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Pencil This In: the Wainwrights' Christmas Concerts, Charlie Chaplin Classics and 'The Nutcracker Swings'

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The holiday finish line is oh, so close. Here are a few things we found happening around town to step away from the shopping frenzy. Rufus and his sister Martha Wainwright carry on their family Christmas concert tradition; there's also a Music Center sing-along, an apocalypse party; a Nutcracker variation and a Charlie Chaplin double feature.

MUSIC *
CAP UCLA presents Rufus and Martha Wainwright who’ll gather their family and friends for their first time in Los Angeles for their annual Christmas 101 concerts tonight and tomorrow at 8 pm at Royce Hall. Special guests include Emmylou Harris, Van Dyke Parks, Carrie Fisher and many more. General admission tickets: $20-$60. There’s a $101 ticket available, too, that gets you into the post-show gala and benefits the Kate McGarrigle Foundation, created to raise money for sarcoma research. McGarrigle—the famed Canadian folk singer and Rufus and Martha’s mom—succumbed to the disease in 2010. Her kids are keeping her family concert tradition alive.

SING-ALONG
Tonight at 6:30 pm, it’s time for the Music Center’s Holiday Sing-Along at the Music Center Plaza. Sing along to holiday tunes with live musical accompaniment. It’s a free event, but tickets are required and will be distributed starting at 6 pm. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first served basis.

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PERFORMANCE
We know there have been a lot of Mayan apocalypse parties, but we just had to single this one out because it has a super sick name: Demonic-Cat-Fancy-Space-Conjunction-Portal Celebration. Tonight at 9:30 pm, Sancho Gallery in Echo Park host a celebration of “the impending apocalyptic conjunction.” Live music by Thee Fancy Space People who’ll perform songs based on Mayan transition ceremonies as well as a secret headliner. Also planned tonight, a slideshow lecture on the history of demonic possession of cats by Dr. Paul Koudounaris, author of the book Empire of Death. $5 suggested donation.

BALLET
The City Ballet of Los Angeles presents a different take on a Christmas tradition. It’s not just a straightforward presentation of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, but it's The Nutcracker Swings, set in 1942 Los Angeles. Dancers swing to music by Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington in this family-friendly ballet. It plays tonight at 8 pm and tomorrow at 1 pm at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Hancock Park. Tickets: $30-$100. Children 3 and younger: $10. Group discounts available.

FILM
The Egyptian Theatre presents a double-feature of Charlie Chaplin classics tonight at 7:30 pm. Up first is Modern Times (1936), in which Chaplin directs and plays the Tramp in this “inventive critique of industrial advancement.” It’s followed by City Lights (1931), in which the Tramp tries to help a blind flower seller. $11.

*Pencil pick of the day

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Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).