The musicians in the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band like to say that they have more than a century of combined experience in playing live and recording. Which sounds good in light of bluegrass' long roots.
Rowan, a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist, attributes some of his skill to playing with the late bluegrass icon Bill Monroe. He also joined Jerry Garcia in Old & In the Way and emerged as a bandleader.
Next month, Rowan brings his band to the Peninsula with a Dec. 8 concert hosted by Redwood Bluegrass Associates. Joining him on stage are: Keith Little on banjo, Paul Knight on bass, and Jody Stecher on mandolin. The show will be at the First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View at 1667 Miramonte Ave. Doors open for jamming at 5 p.m., with the concert venue opening at 7 p.m. and the show starting at 7:30. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 on the day of the show, with half-price tickets for teens. (Music students and kids under 13 get in free.)
Go to http://rba.org or call 650-691-9982.
Christmas Creche exhibit
Now in its 25th year, the annual Christmas Creche exhibit opens this Saturday, Dec. 1, in Palo Alto. The event observes the holiday by displaying Nativity scenes large and small, from countries far and wide. Local artists take part, too.
The creches are built in almost any medium a visitor can think of. Last year's offerings included an Italian scene carved from marble, a creche made from linden-tree wood in China, and Indian figures fashioned from metal oil drums. Other media have included rice paper, banana fibers, porcelain, teak, gingerbread and brass. More than 350 creches will be exhibited this year, and it's likely that several thousand people will attend. (The number topped 11,000 last year.)
The exhibit runs from noon to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 through Dec. 5 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 3865 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Holiday music performances are planned periodically throughout the exhibit, including marionette shows and choral concerts. Admission is free.
For details, go to http://christmascreche.org or call 650-856-3781.
'Bench Project 2'
What do two soldiers, a young radical protestor and a woman doing her laundry have in common? All are wrapped up in stories that take place on benches.
A collection of new short plays, all set on benches, will be presented at Mountain View's Pear Avenue Theatre next month by The 06 Ensemble, a multicultural Bay Area theater troupe. Several playwrights have written the works for the troupe, which is made up of young theater artists who started meeting up in 2006 to put on plays in their old high school theater. "We seek to give voice to emerging playwrights, to produce established plays with nontraditional casts, and to create a new canon of ethno-American plays," the group wrote in a statement.
This theater production, called "Bench Project 2," includes the plays "Dodging Bullets" by Skyler Garcia, "Soap Boxing" by Colette Freedman" and "And Then She Fell in Love, Really in Love for the First Time in her Life" by Julia Cho. Performances are Dec. 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 2 p.m., at 1220 Pear Ave., Unit K. In lieu of buying admission tickets, audience members are asked to bring warm jackets to be donated to people in need.
For more information, go to http://06ensemble.blogspot.com .
Readings with 'Mister Lemur'
Hans and Jen Hartvickson share a connection to Stanford and a love of lemurs. The pair of authors will combine those two interests on Dec. 1 with a free reading-slash-storytime from their children's poetry book "Mister Lemur's Train of Thought" at the Stanford Bookstore.
The two became taken with lemurs while spending time in Anja Community Reserve on the island nation of Madagascar in 2006. They concluded that the little mammals' social personalities worked well with their creative style of poetry. The poems include tales about eating ice cream from volcanoes' cones, trying to meet Santa Claus, and experiencing the world's hottest pepper.
Jen Hartvickson has bachelor's and master's degrees from Stanford (in sociology and education, respectively), and Hans earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford before going on to an MBA at Wharton.
The reading is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at 519 Lasuen Mall on White Plaza. For more information, go to http://events.stanford.edu or call 650-329-1217, extension 323.
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