Top 10 Weekend Events: Freaks, Geeks, & Puffy Tacos

Watch ballerinas twirl or the world’s largest collection of two-headed animals

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Not just for holiday cheer but for all sorts of oddball activities.

Venice Beach Freakshow Festival
Let your freak flag fly, literally and metaphorically. As part of the inaugural fesitval of freaks, there will be a Say No To Normal march on Saturday, Dec. 15 starting at Horizon Avenue and Ocean Front Walk. After that, watch sword swallowers, fire eaters, and a menagerie of two-headed animals. (Saturday, Dec. 15; Venice) More information

Rebekah Del Rio Benefit Concert
Before she undergoes surgery to remove a brain tumor that may permanently change her voice, singer Rebekeah Del Rio (probably best known as the Mulholland Falls chanteuse who sang the Spanish version of Roy Orbison’s song “Crying”) will play one last show. Proceeds will got toward Del Rio’s expenses while she recuperates. (Sunday, Dec. 16; 4-6 p.m.; Cicada Lounge) More information

Billed as “a holiday market for uncommon goods,” LA Craft Experience’s next outdoor gift fair will take place on the Santa Monica Pier this Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Along with local designers, jewelers, and artisans, there will be food vendors, a DIY gift wrapping station, and guest DJs. (Saturday – Sunday, Dec. 15 – 16, noon – 8 p.m.; Santa Monica Pier) More information

Cinefamily Holiday Telethon
Help keep the city’s most eclectic revival house in business during this nutzoid 24-hour telethon. Packed with bands, Q&As, and celebrity guests—the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt held court last year at 3 a.m.—it’s a goofy cultural smorgasbord. (Saturday – Sunday, Dec. 15 – 16; Cinefamily) More information

Bar Ama Opening
Josef Centeno, the award-winning chef behind Baco Mercat (one of our favorite restaurants of 2011), has a new restaurant. Opening Saturday night, it’s his slightly more upscale take on Tex-Mex complete with puffy tacos, Frito pies, roasted goat cabrito. Break out the fajitas! (Saturday, Dec. 16; 118 West Fourth St.) More information

Liquid Radio Players Christmas
With a loose style of presentation that’s more like ad-libs, the Christmas-themed improv extravaganza lets the audience construct the entire 1940s-style radio show, from title to character names to advertised products. (Sunday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.; Sierra Madre Playhouse) More information

That ’70s Soul
Led by a performance from the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble as well as assorted special guests like Zap Mama and Seu Geroge, this evening celebrates and breathes new life into the soul and funk of the ’70s. Get your James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and Al Green fix here. (Sunday, Dec. 16, 6 p.m.; The Mayan Theater) More information

Judith Owen and Harry Shearer’s Holiday Sing-A-Long
From his turn in This Is Spinal Tap to voicing The Simpsons to hosting Le Show, Harry Shearer’s got the bases covered. With his wife, Welsh singer-songwriter Judith Owen, he croons wintertime standards, powered by his bellowing baritone and biting wit. (Friday, Dec. 14, 8a p.m.; Largo at the Coronet) More information

The Nutcracker
For 30 years Long Beach Ballet has entertained audiences with its take on the Christmas classic. Today artistic director David Wilcox still features elaborate set designs, pyrotechnics, and other theatrical effects. A live orchestra will accompany the dancers, including guests Seth Orza, a principal with Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Melissa Sandvig, who was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance. (Dec. 15 – 23, various times; Long Beach Terrace Theater) More information

Holiday Organ Spectacular
The concert hall’s grandeur is found in its organ, which is showcased during the annual spectacular that features the nimble fingers of organist David Higgs. (Friday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.; Walt Disney Concert Hall) More information