With Christmas nearly here, everyone is getting busy with Holiday Season events – but don’t forget to include a night at the theater, taking in a holiday production such as:
“The Big Fat Christmas Show” The best and brightest Broadway performers assemble again to give back to Hope of the Valley and help support the services they provide to thousands of Homeless here in Los Angeles. Two Nights ONLY! An elite cast of Broadway veterans will take to the stage for an All Singing / All Dancing Christmas Variety benefit! Broadway’s most talented who starred in Tony Winning shows such as – Rent, Wicked, Avenue Q, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, Les Miserables, Sweet Charity, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Little Shop Of Horrors and more. This will be a stellar night of song and dance with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. The show runs December 1 through December 2 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead’s whacked out friends and clients stop by his small-town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. The town mayor, the sheriff, the twin farmer sisters, the stoner, the town floozy, and the pastor’s wife have already RSVP’d for this year’s event. However, Bob has dreams of a bigger life and wants to escape their narrow-minded thinking. Will he be able to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional inventor and move to the big city, or will he come to realize how much he is the heart and soul of the town? Will any of this matter once the party starts, the bickering and fighting begins, and the drinks hit the floor? The play is set in the office of insurance salesman Bob Finhead in Neuterburg, Iowa (population 382). Bob is carrying on a flirtation with the mayor’s wife, while the mayor himself is busy accommodating a male houseguest. Joe, the alcoholic town sheriff, is attracted to Brandy, the town party girl who is the twin sister of Carol, the minister’s emotionally disturbed wife. There’s one other set of twins in town, La Donna and La Voris Johnson, wealthy farmers who are proud members of the Neuterburg Tea Party. Written by Joe Keyes and Rob Elk, and directed by Matt Roth, it runs December 1 through December 18 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.bobsofficeparty.com.
“A Christmas Carol” No one changes more than Scrooge. What does it take? How much must he be shaken to his core before he sees the light? This production embraces the dark qualities of Dicken’s work which actually is what makes it so much fun…those bone-chilling ghost encounters and the disorienting quality of Scrooge’s experience – really, just how often do you get to visit your own grave? These elements are heightened by the use of shadows in the production. A Christmas Carol is a classic because it speaks to how hard it is to make a real transformation in your life. Scrooge is a man who used to be good but slowly turned to greed. It takes an intervention from spirits and humans alike to bring him back to goodness. That transformation, at the hands of a community, is the heart of this story, and what has made this story among the most popular for all ages for centuries. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by Jen Bloom, it runs December 1 through December 18 at the Miles Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets visit www.santamonicarep.org.
“Devil’s Salt” is set in the 17th Century in the King James Colony of Plymouth Bay in New England where Hannah Mulwray, a young woman who acts as a mid-wife, is brought to trial for witchcraft. Her accuser, Hooker Wainwright, is the Governor of the colony and a man driven by religious zealotry and sexual obsession. Written by Jovanka Bach, and directed by John Stark, it runs December 1 through December 17 at the Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34367/1480568400000.
“A Christmas Carol” Ebenezer Scrooge’s rebirth from miserly curmudgeon to the epitome of love and generosity affirms our faith in the potent goodness of humanity during this beloved time of year. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs December 2 through December 23 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 Ext. 1 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
“The SantaLand Diaries” Patrick Censoplano dons the candy-cane tights for a Santa Monica Playhouse holiday celebration in this outrageously funny one-man play from NPR’s well-loved humorist David Sedaris about the author’s experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York City, taking a wry look at how the holiday season brings out the best – and the worst – in us all. Written by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs December 2 through December 18 at the Santa Monica Playhouse the Other Space in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.
“Santasia” This Off-Broadway Hit and Critic’s Pick laugh out loud annual holiday romp, is the perfect blend of Yuletide snark and sentiment, and has been compared to “The Carol Burnett Show”, “The Kids in the Hall”, “In Living Color”, “Saturday Night Live” and Vaudeville. This multi-media holiday special has it all including classic Rankin and Bass claymation inspired movies, musical parodies, and heartfelt holiday moments. Written by Shaun and Brandon Loeser, and directed by Shaun Loeser, it runs December 2 through December 25 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 818-990-2324 or visit www.santasia.com.
“The Italian in Me” Italian-Canadian actress Dina Morrone takes us on her adventures as a young woman who moves to Rome with grandiose dreams of working in the Italian film business. Her days are filled with countless animated yet fruitless encounters with perverts, priests and producers. When all hope seems lost, she meets the Master himself, the late great Federico Fellini. Dina also wrote and acted in the long-running hit stage comedy Moose on the Loose. You’ve heard her voice before; She’s one of the busiest voice artists in Hollywood, lending her voice to dozens of films, TV shows and as the Announcer of several awards shows. The graduate of Ryerson University (Toronto) has also appeared on screen in numerous films and television shows in the U.S., Canada and Italy. Written by Dina Morrone, and directed by Peter Flood, it runs December 3 through December 4 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.
“Charles Dickens’ a Christmas Carol” This timeless tale of redemption and hope follows the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge (Peter Van Norden), who is visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley (Joe Spano) and three spirits, who show him the error of his ways. Burns’ adaptation provides particular insight into the circumstances of the lost and lonely boy who became a bitter and hardened miser, an echo of Dickens’ own experience. Drawing from rich language of Dickens’ novel, the characters not only speak the dialogue but also narrate their thoughts and actions. The lack of a fourth wall allows the audience to be a part of Scrooge’s inner journey as he discovers the joy and meaning in Christmas. Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Karyl Lynn Burns, and directed by Brian McDonald, it runs December 7 through December 24 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.
“A Christmas Carol with Charles Dickens” In his lifetime, Charles Dickens was recognized not only as a great writer, but as an actor. His greatest successes on the stages of Britain and the United States were his solo performances of his own work. One of the first pieces he presented to great acclaim was A Christmas Carol. The performance of A CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH CHARLES DICKENS is full of the acting pyrotechnics Dickens was famous for as the two actors conjure a magical evening full of wry humor, ghosts, romance, and redemption. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by Melissa Chalsma, it runs December 8 through December 18 at the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex in Atwater Village. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.
“A Cinderella Christmas” Panto at The Playhouse has become a holiday tradition for families and what a joy for Lythgoe Family Panto to bring A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS to Pasadena for our 5th season at the historical State Theatre of California. This cast brings together some Panto at The Playhouse alumni favorites along with some new stellar stars from stage and screen that will take you on a magical journey! You will have a ball at Cinderella this year! Written by Kris Lythgoe, and directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, it runs December 8 through January 8 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
“Sleeping Beauty and her Winter Knight” Broadway and TV stars perform in this interactive musical fairy tale with comedy, magic and pop music sure to delight children of all ages! The story is based on the European fairytale where a Princess called Aurora has a curse put on her by an evil fairy Carabosse. By her 18th birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on a spindle and fall asleep for 100 years. The Royal family live under the protection from Silly Billy and Nanny Tickle but Aurora does prick her finger and falls asleep for 100 years. A handsome Prince saves the day by defeating the wicked fairy and giving Aurora a true love kiss. Lythgoe Family Panto produces fun, musical theatre the whole family can enjoy. Known for their creativity and involvement in television hits “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, the Lythgoes are dedicated to bringing affordable theatre to families across America. Based on the Grimm fairytales and others, each story has been modernized with topical scripts for parents and well known pop songs for kids. The Lythgoes pride themselves on creating a memorable experience a family can share together. Written by Kris Lythgoe, and directed by Linda Goodrich, it runs December 9 through December 30 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“Snowed Inn” Enjoy this modern day farce that takes place in the snowy mountains of Colorado. A winter storm hits as guests arrive and what could have been a relaxing holiday weekend very quickly descends into chaos. Snowed Inn is the journey of eight characters finding ways to ignite or rekindle passion in their lives. The lobby plays home to all their misguided, albeit hilarious, antics and shenanigans. The real world, sealed away behind deep drifts of snow, is forgotten. The insane becomes probable and the farcical becomes commonplace. As beloved as the holiday classics of our age are, audiences yearn for a new world with its own treasured characters to fall in love with, while still enjoying the spirit of the holidays. Snowed Inn represents everything we cherish during the season, with characters that will melt your heart and comedy that will warm the soul. It’s the kiss under the mistletoe and Mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies. It’s what makes the pressure of finding a perfect present or preparing a flawless meal a gift and not a burden. It’s the reason we connect with each other. It’s what the entire season is all about. We hope you’ll join us this holiday season for a night of thrills, spills, and passions igniting across the generations. Not to mention a cup of hot cocoa in the lobby after the curtains fall. Written and directed by David Ewing, it runs December 9 through December 18 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.snowedinntheatre.com.
“Impro Theatre’s 1966 Holiday Variety Extravaganza” is a completely improvised TV holiday show spectacular of yore complete with a five piece swinging 60’s jazz band. This brand-spanking new, completely improvised spectacular is a tinsel-covered take on the Andy Williams-y, Perry Como-like, and Bob Hope-esque shows of the past. Directed by Dan O’Connor, it runs December 15 through December 17 at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-434-3200 or visit www.thebroadstage.com.
“John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Christmas” The well-loved Jim Curry returns to the Mainstage with a heartwarming and fun concert of John Denver songs and Christmas favorites. Join acclaimed performer Jim Curry for this tribute to the music of one of the most beloved singer/songwriters ever to grace the stage. Jim’s uncanny ability to mirror John’s voice and clean-cut look takes you back to the time and his popular music had the heartfelt message of caring for the earth and caring for each other. Written and directed by Jim Curry, it runs December 18 only at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“The Annual All-New One-Time-Only New Year’s Eve Musical Revue” the annual New Year’s Eve Santa Monica Playhouse celebration, ushering in 2017 with an all-new evening of audience favorite songs, dances, comedy and other delights culled from five decades of beloved critically-acclaimed Santa Monica Playhouse productions. From finger-snapping 40’s jazz to foot-stompin’ country rock, Jewish patter songs to romantic ballads, complete with complimentary buffet supper, champagne, sparkling cider, hats, noisemakers, favors, special prizes and surprises all included in the price of admission, it is arguably the best New Year’s celebration in town. The late show at 9:30 pm gives audiences the chance to celebrate the changeover to the New Year in the theatre with the members of the Santa Monica Playhouse Actors’ Repertory Theatre. The early-bird 6:00 pm celebration offers everything that the later show does and is a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the entire family, letting the kids have a real New Year’s Eve treat, and get home at a reasonable hour, or for the adults to kick off an evening of after-theatre dining and celebrating. Written by Evelyn Rudie, Matthew Wrather and Emery Bernauer, with music by Evelyn Rudie, Matthew Wrather and Emery Bernauer, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs December 31 only at the Santa Monica Playhouse Main Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.