Brian’s picks – December 15

Merely listening to actor Robert Hay-Smith run through in rather rapid-fire fashion, the 18 characters he depicts in “A Christmas Carol: The Radio Play” is funny enough by itself during an informal rehearsal. Add in Tim Staggs’ frenzied sound effects with all types of crazy contraptions and you’ve got holiday humor from an age-old story presented with fresh life. The show continues at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Harlequin Theatre inside FairOaks Mall, 2380 25th St. in Columbus. Tickets: $15 in advance at the theater or the mall office or Viewpoint Books downtown. $20 at the door. Children 12 and younger, $5.

The Bartholomew County Public Library wants to help youngsters remember to bring a little Christmas to the critters this year. Children of all ages can learn to make pet toys for animals at area shelters during a session from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at the library’s story time room, 536 Fifth St. in Columbus. Information: 812-379-1266 or

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.