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THE ILLUSIONISTS: MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS Dec. 22 | Thousand Oaks

VENTURA HARBOR PARADE OF LIGHTS

Dec. 16-17 | Ventura

A festival of lights on the water near beautiful Ventura Harbor Village. Vessels of all  kinds cover themselves in festive decor and sail the harbor, delighting spectators with their seaworthy seasonal displays. The 2022 theme pays homage to all things outer space – Out of This World! We are looking forward to a very colorful boat parade and Harbor Village festivities! Soak up some holiday cheer with shimmering lights, whirling kid carnival rides, boutique gift shopping, delicious dining and more. We’ll SEA you there! Carnival starts at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16; 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17 with faux snowfall at 5:30 p.m. Boat parade begins at 6:30 p.m. with fireworks at 8 p.m. (weather permitting). Ventura Harbor Village, 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, 805.477.0470, www.venturaharborvillage.com.    

FOOTWORKS YOUTH BALLET PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER
Dec. 16-18 | Ventura

A traditional holiday party and a very typical sibling rivalry set the stage for an entertaining fantasy journey to the Land of Sweets. With a cast of nearly 60 children and teens, Footworks Youth Ballet’s 23rd production of The Nutcracker, under the direction of Artistic Director Kirsten Oakley, will dazzle audiences with its colorful costumes, professional sets and familiar musical score. A free family educational lecture and story time will begin one hour prior to the performance time. The tale of the Nutcracker Prince will be told, costumes will be shown, and a brief discussion about the history of the classic ballet will occur. Performances on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. Ventura College Performing Arts Center, 4700 Loma Vista Road, Ventura, www.oakleyballet.com.  

2022 SIP, TASTE AND TOUR OF CHRISTMAS TREE LANE

Dec. 17 | Oxnard

Enjoy an evening stroll through Ventura County’s beautiful Christmas Tree Lane. Tour the interiors of four historic homes decked out for the holidays.You’ll also enjoy tasting delectable bites from local restaurants, along with beverages from local wineries and breweries. $60 per guest; tours at 6 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Group discounts are available by calling 805.483.7960; limit of 15 guests per tour. Proceeds benefit the Friends of Heritage Square/Oxnard Heritage Foundation. Henry T. Oxnard Historic District, F and G streets between Palm and Fifth streets, Oxnard. More information at heritagesquareoxnard.com/christmas.html. 

AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’

Through Dec. 18 | Ventura

It’s 1930’s Harlem, and the joint is jumpin’! Nightclubs like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom are the playgrounds of high society, and dive bars on Lenox Avenue pulse with piano players banging out new tunes that are a wild mix of raucous, rowdy and mournful. At home on the keyboard is Thomas “Fats” Waller – the big-hearted, bigger-than-life impresario and international jazz pianist who helped create and define American swing. Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a musical tribute to Waller’s passion for pleasure and play. The revue features a five-person, triple-threat cast performing hit songs like “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Your Feet’s Too Big,” “Black and Blue,” “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Right Myself a Letter,” “The Jitterbug Waltz” and the title song. Tickets start at $39.50. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 East Main Street, Ventura, 805.667.2900, www.rubicontheatre.org.

ELF THE MUSICAL

Through Dec. 18 | Ojai

Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. To spread Christmas cheer among those in need, Ojai ACT invites audience members to bring canned goods to donate to Help of Ojai. $10-25. Ojai ACT, 113 South Montgomery Street, Ojai, 805.640.8797, ojaiact.org.

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

Through Dec. 18 | Santa Paula

All aboard! The exotic Orient Express is hurtling down the tracks… to a murder! Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express hits SPTC’s stage with a train full of suspects and an alibi for each one. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is filled to capacity, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. Isolated, with a killer on the loose, Detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – before he or she decides to strike again. Ken Ludwig’s clever adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express boasts all the glamour, intrigue and suspense of Dame Agatha’s celebrated novel, with a healthy dose of humor to quicken the pace. SPTC audiences are in for a suspenseful, thrilling ride aboard the legendary Orient Express! Don’t go off the rails – hop on board today! $22-24. Santa Paula Theater Center, 125 South Seventh Street, Santa Paula, 805.525.4645, www.santapaulatheatercenter.org. 

RESILIENCE: ART OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Through Dec. 19 | Oxnard

This exhibition will explore how creatives are inspired by the natural world. Five award-winning local artists, Joe Adams, Holly Woolson, Linda Legman, Genie Thomsen, and Christina Altfeld, will use unique mediums to explore the flora and fauna of the Channel Islands. Resilience: Art of the Channel Islands will be the CIMM’s largest temporary exhibition to date. Through printmaking, painting, drawing and ceramics, artists will capture the extraordinary diversity of the many species that call the Channel Islands home. Reflecting on the unique conditions and challenges of island life, this exhibit will also provide a special educational opportunity for guests of all ages. By exploring natural history and stunning biodiversity, from the ancient pygmy mammoth to the Channel Islands Fox, Resilience: Art of the Channel Islands strives to express the true miracles of these legendary islands. Channel Islands Maritime Museum, 3900 Bluefin Circle, Oxnard, 805-984-6260, cimmvc.org.