Unwrapping the Universe 

click to enlarge trans_siberian053.jpg

Maybe it was the tea made from the root of the jellibagorba tree, maybe it was the newborn cleanness of the first autumn night on Africa's southern tip, but suddenly the world exploded into spectacle. Spectacle, as of a vision, as of a revelation.

People don't have revelations much anymore, have you noticed? The sun never dances in the sky, nor are people spoken to by flaming shrubbery or by dogfaced dragons. Everything is transmitted through tiny boxes. But recalling that night at the bottom of the world, I was reminded by the flying dump trucks, the inside-out mountains, the many small blue tigers whispering secrets, that life is sometimes about the big revelations, the universe putting on a big show, the big questions being answered with cosmic pyrotechnics, by song and dance.

So I gathered some spectacle in my pocket, along with a few more of those roots, and hailed a cloud for home.

Item N§ 38

Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Specs: Multimedia, arena-rock-sized holiday tunes; lasers and bells.

Availability: Dec. 22, 3 and 8 p.m. Richmond Coliseum.

Price: $32-$47.

To order: 262-8100.

Item N§ 39

"Glorious Christmas Nights."

Specs: West End Assembly of God's annual spectacular; this year, "Starlite '65," a musical extravaganza from the 1960s (the camel may still make an appearance).

Availability: Nov. 29-Dec. 9. West End Assembly of God, 401 N. Parham Road.

Price: $18.

To order: 754-0738.

Item N§ 40

Klezmer Party.

Specs: Eastern European soulful music and traditional Jewish dances from the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra.

Availability: Dec. 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Modlin Center.

Price: $30.

To order: 289-8980.

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