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Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

Mamet’s latest on Broadway, an a cappella sing-off on NBC, a Tunisian oud player takes on jazz, and more.

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Wonderfully warped

“RiffTrax LIVE: Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza,” featuring the stars of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and guest “Weird Al” Yankovic (r.), is a live in-theater event taking place on Dec. 16, at 8 p.m. ET, in 482 movie theaters nationwide (with a taped delay for the West Coast). Based on the cult favorite TV show, it brings its offbeat humor to a series of seasonal short films and TV commercials. For ticket information go to

A cappella ‘American Idol

On Dec. 14, 15, 16, and 21, NBC premières “The Sing-Off,” a nationwide song hunt for the top a cappella singing group. The first three nights, ensembles will compete, “American Idol”-style, and the following Monday finale will feature the winner. Besides a national spotlight on their talent, the top prizewinners will take home a recording contract with Epic Records/Sony Music.


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