Making Yuletide merry

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Making Yuletide merry

This Christmas, mark your calendar for some fun-filled activities, whether it’s dining on turkey, ice skating outdoors, taking pictures by a giant Christmas tree, partying all night at a club, or listening to some classic Christmas carols.
The offerings are many, so take your pick and have yourself a Merry Christmas!


FAMILY FUN

Bubble Christmas
From Dec. 23 to 25, international soap bubble superstar Fan Yang will be performing at the Little Angels Theater of the Performing Arts. He scored big with the Korean family crowd on Children’s Day in May, no surprise since he holds several Guinness Book world records, including producing the world’s largest bubble wall ― 156 feet long. He’s been wowing audiences on the Late Show with David Letterman and other TV programs.
Tickets are 24,000 ($23) won to 48,000 won. For information, visit www.bubblemagicshow.co.kr, or call (02) 3446-6554.

Christmas Tree Photo Opportunity
One of the biggest real Christmas trees in Seoul is traditionally found at the Millennium Seoul Hilton. Under the 10-meter (33 feet) tall tree is a Christmas train, complete with its own miniature Christmas village.

Ice Skating Outdoors
For a little fantasy on ice, head to the Grand Hyatt ice skating rink. The Christmas Eve special includes a rink-side buffet, ice skating, exhibitions, games, raffles and more. Admission is 60,000 won for adults and 44,000 won for children, tax not included. For information, call (02) 799-8112.

Christmas Family Party
COEX InterContinental Hotel is hosting a family party in the Harmony Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 25. Festivities include face painting, a lunch buffet, a performance of Tokebi Storm, games and a children’s dance contest with prizes. Admission is 60,000 won for adults and 40,000 won for children. Call (02) 3430-8686.

Korean Traditional Performance
Just in time for the holiday, Gyeonggi Province Gukag Performance Troupe has created a Christmas performance with traditional Korean dolls. There’s also an area set aside for traditional Korean games. Performances at Gyeonggi Province Performing Arts Center run until Dec. 25 daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Admission is 10,000 won. For more information, visit www.ggad.or.kr.


CHRISTMAS DINING

Seoul Plaza
Plaza Pub is being decorated Moroccan-style for a party on Christmas Eve. Fortune telling with tarot cards and belly dancing are on the list of events. Call (02) 310-7228.
Topaz will be the setting for a romantic Christmas dinner for 120,000 won ($114) plus tax. The menu includes seafood salad with caviar, warm oysters in champagne sauce, turkey and foie gras roll with cranberry sauce, mushroom cappuccino soup, orange sherbet, lobster gratin or beef tenderloin steak with truffle sauce, Christmas cake and chocolate. Call (02) 310-7374.
Plaza View’s buffet will include a glass of wine or soft drink and a picture frame for guests. A Santa’s Village display has been set up for photo opportunities. Cost is 50,000 won, including tax. Call (02) 310-7340.

Millennium Seoul Hilton
Season’s is rolling out Christmas treats, including roast turkey with chestnut stuffing or a “silent night” duo of wagyu beef tenderloin and grilled lobster. The seven-course dinner is priced at 135,000 won and available on Dec. 24 and 25 only. For information, call (02) 317-3060.
Il Ponte also has created a special Christmas menu, including grilled sirloin in red wine sauce or fillet of sea bass with an artichoke sauce. This five-course holiday dinner is priced at 88,000 won per person and available on Dec. 24 and 25 only. Call (02) 317-3270.

Lotte Hotel
Vine will be decked out for the holidays, complete with a special Christmas Eve dinner that includes sauteed foie gras and red wine jus, char-grilled fillet of beef and red snapper fillet with sauteed greens. A three-course meal is 49,000 won, while the full-course meal is 56,000 won. Call (02) 317-7151.
Schoenbrunn is also offering a dinner special with such dishes as fried soft shell crab on scallops, char-grilled fillet of beef and abalone steak. Course A is 135,000 won. Course B is 98,000 won. CaIl (02) 317-7181.

Grand InterContinental Seoul
The French restaurant Table 34, at the top of the hotel, offers a Christmas dinner on Dec. 24 and a lunch on Dec. 25. The feast includes sauteed foie gras with red wine honey sauce and beef tenderloin in truffle wrapping. Lunch is 95,000 won, while dinner is 140,000 won. Call (02) 559-7631.
The Australian Grill has a Christmas set dinner on Dec. 24 and 25 for 58,000 won, and a lunch on Dec. 25 for 55,000 won. The menu includes roast pumpkin and horseradish soup with caramelized apples and roast turkey with root vegetables, cranberry, ginger and roasted thyme. Call (02) 559-7615.

Renaissance Seoul Hotel
The chefs at Manhattan Grill, this hotel’s sleek new restaurant, has prepared holiday dishes such as consomme with mushroom ravioli, lobster with melted butter and almond broccoli, and roast goose on a bed of honey and apple-flavored red cabbage.
Prices are 60,000 won for lunch and 120,000 won for dinner. Call (02) 2222-8637.

JW Marriott Seoul
JW’s Grill is having a crab promotion. King crab-crusted snapper cost 42,000 won, San Francisco King Crab Newburg is 45,000 won, fillet of beef tenderloin Oscar is 48,000 won, and fillet of beef with king crab-stuffed shrimp is 52,000 won. The meals are served with “New World” wines from America, Australia, Chile and France.
For some post-Christmas relaxation, the Grill has a champagne brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. Call (02) 6282-6759.


MUSICALS

Lost in Paradise: Hard Rock Cafe
This year for Christmas, Seoul Musical Theater is staging a performance about passion, desire and freedom. This year’s performance at Polymedia Theater in Daehangno has a revised script.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday. On Christmas Eve there is a special performance at 11 p.m. Admission is 25,000 won ($24) to 45,000 won. Call (02) 3141-1345.

Maria, Maria
One of this year’s most anticipated Broadway productions, “Maria, Maria” has already won four Korea Musical Awards. The strong cast ― Youn Bok-hee, Kang Hyo-sung and Lee So-jeong ― is the biggest draw of this musical, which presents the world of Mary and Jesus.
The show, at HanJeon Art Center, runs from tomorrow to Jan. 23. Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, and at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. No performances on Monday. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve there will be special performances at 11 p.m. Tickets are 30,000 won to 70,000 won. For more information, see the Web site www.themaria.co.kr.

Jekyll & Hyde
This Broadway musical about human nature, love and the heartaches that follow is put together by some of Korea’s best known talents: Kim So-hyun, Sonya, Kim Sun-young, Cho Seung-woo and Seo Bum-seok.
“Jekyll & Hyde” is at the COEX Auditorium from Friday to Feb. 13. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Christmas Day and at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Tickets range from 50,000 won to 90,000 won. For more information, visit the Web site www.jekyllnhyde.co.kr or call (02) 556-8556.


PARTY TIME

Hip Hop at Herzen Hall
Party organizer Subline is getting together some of Korea’s most popular hip hop musicians, from Drunken Tiger to MC Sniper, Kim Hyeon-jeong and MC Hansai, for a party on Dec. 25 at Herzen Hall, near New York Bakery in Gangnam.
To give the party more of that real hip hop vibe, Korea’s own Drifters, the U.K. B-boy champions, will be performing. DJs include Hydro, Wreckx, Murf, Tahiti, Dollar Bil and Effect. Admission is 25,000 won ($24). For more information, call (02) 335-4040.

Sexy Santas at M2
M2, in the megaclub Ohoo, is encouraging partygoers to go the risque route this Christmas Eve. Guests are encouraged to be creative, and dress in the sexiest Christmas costumes they can find. There will be a 1 million won cash prize for the sexiest Santa.
The DJ lineup includes Yeon Jun, Todd, Bandi, Aya and Fin, with visuals by VJ Mog. Admission is 20,000 won at the door. For information, visit the Web site www.ohoo.net.

Club Sugar Costume Party
Club Sugar, near Dosan Park in Cheongdam-dong, is getting together Black Guy Dance Team, drum performances and an international DJ lineup (DJ Jal of Korea, DJ Frankie Shin of Australia, DJ Tonio of France and DJ Eugene Blake of the United Kingdom) for this Christmas costume party on Dec. 24.
Dress code is what organizers are calling “Crazy X-Max Costume,” which includes bikini wear.
Admission is 30,000 won, which includes one free drink. For those in a bikini, admission is free. E-mail .

Christmas at J.J. Mahoney’s
For the adult crowd, Hyatt’s J.J. Mahoney’s is setting the ambiance for live performances by the club’s house band Ultra, as well as games, a magic show, and dancing.
Entry fee for the night is 50,000 won, which includes a welcome cocktail, coffee and a Year of the Chicken gift doll. The party takes place on Dec. 25, 30 and 31. Call (02) 799-8601.


CHRISTMAS CONCERTS

Jazz Christmas with Ronn Branton
American jazz pianist Ronn Branton’s annual Christmas concert traditionally sells out. This performance, with Klae on the saxophone, Choi Chi-woo n drums, and Chang U-choi on bass, is expected to be just as popular as previous ones.
Concerts take place at Kumho Art Hall on Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is 20,000 won ($19) to 40,000 won. Call (02) 888-2698.

Christmas Concert with Vibe
R&B artists Vibe, SG Wannabe and KCM are collaborating on performances at Pyeonghwaui Jeondang (Peace Hall) at Kyunghee University. Vibe writes and produces songs like “O-rae-o-rae” that have become representative of R&B in Korea.
SG Wannabe made a mark as one of the most acclaimed singers of the year, taking home the 2004 GoldenDisk Award and 2004 Seoul Pop Award. KCM recently came out with the hit music videos “Arayo” and “Heukbaek Sajin.”
The three singers will be performing their hits along with timeless Christmas carols. This concert is expected to be a soulful, romantic one for lovers and friends.
Performances are at 8 p.m. on Dec. 24 and at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Dec. 25. Tickets are 30,000 won to 50,000 won. Call (02) 540-7181, or visit the Web site www.happykcm.com.

Dynamic Duo and Windy City
Sponsored and organized by J’s People, a collaborative concert by Dynamic Duo and Windy City is a nice way to wrap up the year. Presenting a mix of jazz, funky hip hop and R&B, the concert will be all-standing and will consist of two phases: the performance itself and a party after the concert with free drinks. The theme is “to bring the singers and audience together into one fun and loud concert where their combined passion produces sparks like fireworks.” Another highlight is the guest singers, including Brown Eyed Soul, Movement, Dr. Roh and JungIn.
Popular DJs and famous party sponsor AfroKing are organizing the after-concert party. The concert is already being talked about; many anticipate great fun, great music and a great party.
The Dynamic Duo and Windy City Duo Fireworks Concert is in the Event Hall, SumYoo Center, in Samseong-dong. Tickets for the concert alone are 55,000 won, while the cost for the concert and party is 66,000 won. Visit the Web site at www.dynamicduo.co.kr.

Sweetbox in Seoul
Feeling blue over the holidays? Have no fear: Sweetbox’s charm will cheer you up. Presenting a smooth crossover of classic and hip hop, Sweetbox took the world by storm this year with its sophisticated and edgy singles “Don’t Push Me,” “Life is Cool” and “Cinderella.” Sophisticated classical melodies laced with a funky hip hop flavor create a cool, sweet sound, like the band’s name.
The theme of this year’s concert is “2004 Luxury Trendy Party.” It includes one free drink, and two special guests, Dj Jinu and Defton, are scheduled to appear.
There is also an after-show party, hosted by DJ Woongja. PrivateCurve Company has organized some funky events and special door prizes can be anticipated.
The concert is at Vista Hall, Walkerhill Hotel on Dec. 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are 111,000 won, all standing. For more information, visit the Web site www.sweetboxlive.com or call (02) 563-0595.


by Joe Yonghee, Koo Mee-hyoe

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