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Tuesday 12.1 

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Cirque Dreams: Holidaze

Memorial Auditorium, Progress Energy Center—What's better than the spandex-clad, vaguely sexual contortions of Cirque Dreams (no relation to Cirque du Soleil)? Why, Cirque Dreams in Christmas outfits! No, that's not trauma-inducing at all! Discover the magic when Cirque Dreams: Holidaze is presented at Memorial Auditorium. From a preview video on YouTube, the show appears to include a knock-off of The Nutcracker involving, among other things, Elvis impersonations, ventriloquist dummies, techno music and what may or may not be two gingerbread men engaged in relations. The video included the critical pull-quote "A HO-HO-Home Run! —Santa Claus." I'm reasonably certain that quote was fabricated. The performance opens tonight at 8 and runs through Dec. 6; ticket prices vary. Visit www.broadwayseriessouth.com. —Zack Smith

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Omid Safi

The Regulator Bookshop—For a progressive look at the nature of the Muslim faith and its place in the modern world, you might turn to Omid Safi, associate professor of Islamic studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. Safi, the author of The Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam and the editor of Progressive Muslims, has just published a new book, Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters. It's an insightful look into the origins of the Muslim faith and the issues many Muslims face today, from holy wars to the role of women in society. Safi will read from the book and sign copies starting at 7 p.m. Visit www.regulatorbookshop.com. —Zack Smith

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