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Keeping up with the arts over break

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“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Peter Jackson, director of the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, returns to Middle Earth with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” The film debuts Dec. 14, and is the first installment of three films to chronicle events leading up to the “The Lord of the Rings.” Martin Freeman stars as the titular hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and Ian McKellen reprises his role as the wizard Gandalf the Grey.

“Les Misérables”

On Christmas day, the film adaptation of the classic Broadway musical “Les Misérables” comes to the big screen. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway are part of the all-star cast directed by Tom Hooper. This musical-films intertwines the story of the ex-convict Jean Valjean in his attempts for redemption and the Paris Uprising of 1832.

“Struck by Lightning”

Chris Colfer of “Glee” fame comes into his own with this film based on his book of the same name that was published last month. As a writer, producer and star, Colfer tells the coming-of-age story of Carson Phillips, a young man who blackmails his classmates to submit to his literary magazine. “Struck by Lightning” comes out on Jan. 11.

Bruno Mars: “Unorthodox Jukebox”

Bruno Mars’ second album “Unorthodox Jukebox” features the singles “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Young Girls,” “Moonshine” and “When I Was Your Man.” All are already available on iTunes. The whole album will be released on Dec. 11, but can be streamed on until then.

Green Day: “Tre!”

Green Day completes its trilogy of albums on Dec. 11 with “¡Tre!” The first two albums, “¡Uno!” and “¡Dos!” were released in September and November respectively. “¡Tre!” features 12 new tracks including “Brutal Love” and “Missing You.” Visit to listen to the album or preorder it on Amazon or iTunes.


Fun., the band behind such hits as “We are Young” and “Some Nights,” will be at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. as a part of their current international tour. Other tour locales in the coming months include Portland, Dallas and Las Vegas.


This hit Broadway musical comes to St. Louis from Dec. 12 to Jan. 9. “Wicked” tells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch, and their lives leading up to the classic “Wizard of Oz.” Based on the novel by Gregory McGuire and featuring music by Stephen Schwartz, this musical is the 12th longest running show on Broadway.

 “Ali’s Pretty Little Lies” by Sarah Shepard

“Ali’s Pretty Little Lies” by Sara Shepard is a prequel novel to the best-selling young adult series that inspired the television show “Pretty Little Liars.” This book reveals the story of protagonist Alison DiLaurentis and comes out on Jan. 2 in hardcover and e-book formats.

 “Kinsey and Me” by Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton, author of detective novels galore, releases “Kinsey and Me” on Jan. 8. This book is a collection of short stories that revolve around the origin of the fictional character Kinsey Millhone, the star of the alphabet series books (e.g.“‘A’ is for Alibi”) for which Grafton is famous.

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