BW Picks




All Ian Bagg wants for Christmas is you--and not just in terms of your yuletide ass in the seats at his upcoming holiday shows at Funny Bone. The 35-year-old Canadian comedian wants you to talk with, to make into his prop and to help him carve up any notions of the "fourth wall" between an audience and a performer. Put another way, he explains, "My only rule is: you can talk at my shows, but you have to talk to me." Bagg calls his style "off the cuff comedy," and he has been inflicting it annually on Boise audiences since 1998.

Bagg has been a regular on Conan, Leno, Kilborn and most of the standup-oriented programs that pop in and out of existence across the networks. He has also appeared in a handful of films, including the bizarre extreme monkey-sports movies Most Valuable Primate II and III.

What to expect, you ask? From the audience perspective, very little "material" in the common usage of the word. Instead, look for high-energy improvisation driven by moments and moods rather than jokes. From Ian's perspective, though, even he doesn't quite know what to expect. "I just stay as calm as possible until the last possible moment," he explains, "and then I go into a white light trance. It's really... interesting how it happens. Honest to god, I have woken up in the middle of shows and I was talking, and I have no idea what I was talking about. It just happens." When's the last time you got to see that on Christmas?

8 p.m., $8, Xmas Day $10 to $12, Funny Bone, 405 S. 8th St., Suite 110, 331-2663,



"Winter Wonderland," "Silver Bells," "Let It Snow," "Jingle Bells," "Snowfall" ... we confess to a fondness for wintry scenes and all its accoutrements: crackling fireplaces, warm libations, holiday jingles and good cheer.

For a festive wintertime outing, make an evening jaunt to Idaho Botanical Garden for Winter Garden aGlow--sip cocoa, spiced cider or wine by the warmth of a roaring bonfire and then stroll about the garden landscape awash in zillions of colored lights, as is the Boise skyline, which makes a glorious spectacle from the garden's hilly perch.

Adding to the festivities are musical performances: vocalist Nicole Pettinger serenades strollers on December 22 and 23, Laura Hibbs provides accordion delight on December 25, and on December 30 Borah High School's Ars Nova sings choral classics.

Whether in need of a brief respite from the holiday hustle and bustle or looking for a festive outing with friends and family, a stroll through the twinkling garden is guaranteed to delight young and old.

6-9 p.m. daily including Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year's Eve and Day, $5 general, $3 IBG members and children ages 4 to 12, 2355 N. Penitentiary Road off Warm Springs Ave., 343-8649,