Do It This Weekend: Sherlock Holmes or Up In the Air, The Nutcracker, Bosikom at The [email protected] and more

Clooney’s life is one of constant motion, speeding from hotel room to rental car desk to Admiral’s Club lounge in a quest for peace of mind and 10 million frequent flyer miles. Along the way he develops relationships with two women, a sexy fellow traveler (Vera Farminga) who digs the unattached lifestyle and the size of Clooney’s rewards account, and a fresh-out-of-Columbia ladder-climber (Anna Kendrick) who threatens the older man’s lifestyle with the development of an even colder way to terminate people. All three performances are award-worthy, and Up In The Air is sure to head up many year-end 10-best lists. Trust me: I’ve seen it and it’s that good. Check out movie times for your local theater here. -- Joe Bardi[image-1]

It’s a longstanding Weddington family tradition to see The Nutcracker ballet each holiday season. So my dad and grandfather (who would rather be home watching football), my mom (who would rather be cashing in on Christmas sales) and my sisters (who would rather be doing anything, including getting double root canals) all put on the ritz. Dressed in our holiday finest, we all join my grandmother for the story of Clara, her meddling little brother, Fritz, the evil Mouse King, the Nutcracker Prince, and a journey to the Land of Sweets — all accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s memorable score that has invaded so many Christmas dreams. The sugary sweet, intricately detailed and colorful costumes, the lighter-than-air dancing by the internationally famous Moscow Ballet – none of it could make my family enjoy the ballet. But we spend that day together, and that’s what the holidays are really about. (Pictured: Cristina Terentiev in the Moscow Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker) Sun., Dec. 27, 3 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg, $27.50-$100, 727-892-5767, –Franki Weddington

Classical composer Nicholas White wowed audiences in July with Bosikom: The Music of Nicholas J. White, at St. Pete’s [email protected] This Sunday he’ll premier number two in the series: Bosikom: Songwriters on Songwriting, featuring songs from his folk-country album How a Cookie Comes Together and works by other well-known American songwriters. A composition alum of Boston’s New England Conservatory and the Rimsky-Kosakov Conservatory in Russia, White is active in St. Petersburg’s music and theater communities, composing for FloriMezzo, The Florida Orchestra, Pinellas County Schools and The [email protected] White’s work has seen premieres in nearly a dozen countries throughout Europe, North America and Africa (as well as the apartment he shares with one lucky CL writer – me). Sun., Dec. 27, 7:30 p.m., The [email protected], 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg, $15, – Sarah Gerard

This year’s traditional treats include for Bright Holidays at Busch Gardens "Christmas On Ice," a winter wonderland-inspired ice-skating show (Nov. 21-Jan. 1); "Christmas From the Heart," a choir concert of gospel and spiritual songs in Marrakesh Theater (Nov. 21-Jan. 3); "Christmas Celebration," a true extravaganza of all things Christmas, complete with tap-dancing toy soldiers and seasonal songs in the Desert Grill (Nov. 21-Jan. 3). Visit for more info. Busch Gardens, Tampa.

Imagine 425,000 winking, twinkling lights strung among the fauna, creating an enchanted wonderland of beauty. Lucky for us, it’s right in our backyards for Celebrate the Season: Holiday Lights in the Garden at the Florida Botanical Gardens, where live entertainment also sets the magical mood for holiday cheer. Continues Nov. 28-Jan. 3, 6-10 p.m. Visit for more info. $2 adults, free for children under 12. Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo.

If your family is anything like mine, the less time we have to fill with conversations that will inevitably annoy the hell out of each other, the better. What better to fill that time than celebrating the time-honored holiday tradition of going to the movies? You'll have a lot to choose from (hey, it's another chance to argue!), but we recommend:

Sherlock Holmes, in which Robert Downey Jr. stars as English literature’s most revered private dick in writer/director Guy Ritchie’s (Snatch, RockNRolla) big-budget adaption of the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Jude Law is on hand as Holmes’ faithful assistant Watson, as is the lovely Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveler’s Wife) as Holmes’ love interest (provided rumors of a Holmes-Watson tryst don’t pan out, of course). It’s been almost 25 years since the last good Sherlock Holmes movie (1985’s Young Sherlock Holmes), but if anyone can pull it off it’s Downey, whose manic energy seems perfectly matched to the high-strung detective. (Pictured: Jude Law as Dr. Watson and Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes) Check out movie times for your local theater here. — Joe Bardi

Or, if your kin wants to forgo violence for sex, try  Up In the Air, in which George Clooney stars as a road-warrior corporate consultant who specializes in firing people in director Jason Reitman’s follow-up to Juno.

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