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Monster Truck

Monster Trucks and Scary Monsters

December runs the gamut of good taste this month. Mind you, our barometric anchors are better characterized as white trash-to-highbrow than A-to-Z. You know us, striving to please all readers, and without judgment!

The holiday season is firmly in place and nothing says “December” better than Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer — unless Rudolph had a daughter reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter nemesis Clarice Starling. (Not our imagination, folks — although we are impressed by the concept — see below.)

Whether it’s a Wicked good time at the theater or cheap beer at a monster truck rally, Red Thread has capped the year off with some prized picks. So, raise your glass with whatever is your pleasure — be it Meister Brau or Moet & Chandon — and toast to a rollicking end to ’11. And, in the immortal words of Sinatra’s favorite Yid, composer Cy Coleman, “The best is yet to come.” Happy New Year, folks.

Thriller Silence of the Lambs meets retro holiday favorite Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in Silent Night of the Lambs, Ryan Landry’s twisted take on the two classic tales. See Rudolph’s daughter Clarice all grown up as she challenges the mind of a fat, jolly madman to solve the biggest case of her FBI-agent life — live on-stage by the ensemble cast of Who Wants Cake at the Ringwald Theatre. Through Dec. 19. $10-$20. 22742 Woodward, Ferndale. (248) 545-5545;

If the biggest, baddest, loudest trucks on the planet get your engines going, motor over to the Palace of Auburn Hills at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, for the return of Extreme Monster Truck Nationals. Jimmy Creten and his truck Bounty Hunter, along with his wife, Dawn, and her truck Scarlet Bandit will be among those competing for a prize of $25,000 in events like Wheelie contest, Donut contest and Freestyle.

Live the dream and get a chance to ride in a monster truck, too. Plus, not to be missed: Pork Chop, the motorsports rodeo clown. $15-$80. (800) 745-3000; or

Join the unlikely girlhood friends, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch, before they became witches on their own journey down the yellow-brick road. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the record-breaking Broadway blockbuster Wicked, set to music by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pocahontas) and a book by Winnie Holzman (My So Called Life, thirtysomething), and directed by Tony-winner Joe Mantello, is the untold story of the witches of Oz, before Dorothy came into the picture. $39-$99. Tuesday, Dec. 7-Saturday, Dec. 31. Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit. (800-982-2787; or

It’s hard not to get into the holiday spirit this time of year — we mean, who doesn’t love roasted chestnuts, street-corner carolers and horse-drawn carriage rides? Even if you’re the merriest motha out there, you’ll feel at home among Scrooge and his cronies, who come to life along with the rest of Charles Dickens’ merry ole’ England at the annual Dickens Festival, a Holly tradition for more than 30 years. Dec. 9-11. For details, visit

No plans yet for Dec. 31? Ring in the New Year — vintage style — at Cliff Bell’s, a resurrected 1930s-era Detroit jazz club originally designed by Charles N. Agree and housed in an Albert Kahn-designed building.

Pull out your favorite Roaring ’20s attire for a three-course dinner (5-8:30 p.m.), then kick up your vintage heels with 1920s and ’30s New Orleans-style jazz with the End Times Spasm Band (9:30 p.m.). $55 ($35 for prix-fixe dinner; $20 entertainment cover). Reservations required. 2030 Park Ave., Detroit. (313) 961.2543;



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