1) How big a deal is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? In Japan, the novella has been viewed as one of the great works of English literature—“possibly in a league with Hamlet,” as one Japanese scholar wrote. Illustrious actors who’ve played Ebenezer Scrooge in adaptations of the story include Basil Rathbone, Lionel Barrymore, and, memorably, Michael Caine (in The Muppet Christmas Carol, with Kermit and Miss Piggy as Bob and Mrs. Cratchit). In Pittsburgh CLO’s annual production of A Musical Christmas Carol, Scrooge is played this year by Patrick Page, whose résumé seems made for the role. Page was The Grinch in the 2006 Broadway debut of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Given that he’s also played villains ranging from Iago in Othello to Scar in The Lion King, he’s sure to be a right nasty Scrooge. But will he really turn into nice Scrooge? Find out at the Byham Theater, 101 6th St., Cultural District. 7:30 p.m. Ends tomorrow. (MV)
2) There aren’t many restaurants open for Christmas dinner. One that will be open and offering a special menu is Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brassiere. The restaurant will be featuring a special prix fixe Christmas dinner menu, in addition to its regular menu, for $60. Diners will be able to choose between one of two savory salads, an oyster or a short rib appetizer. and for the entrée: Chicken Galantine, sage bread pudding, Cointreau-gooseberry glaze, grilled mushrooms, and Yukon Gold smashed potatoes or grilled local Jameson Farms lamb rack, toasted Israeli cous cous, Bourbon-blackberry gastrique, and cauliflower au gratin. Reservations are needed. Christmas dinner hours are from 5 -10 p.m. The restaurant will again be offering a special menu for New Year’s Eve. 107 6th St., Downtown.