7 things to do in L.A. besides Black Friday shopping. Start with ‘Love Actually Live’


If you’re not too worn out from the Thanksgiving feasting or Black Friday bargain hunting, get out and enjoy some culture this holiday weekend. “Love Actually Live,” the stage adaptation of the film, returns to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Three productions of “The Nutcracker” are landing on local stages, Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company spreads good cheer at Cal State L.A., the drama “The Great Leap” wraps up its run in Pasadena and singer Storm Large takes the stage in Irvine.

Spreading the “Love”

Did you love “Love, Actually”? Then, you might like “Love Actually Live.” The Wallis and For the Record’s tune-filled celebration of the star-studded and veddy British 2003 rom-com returns for a second year. The Wallis, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Dec. 29. $39-$125. (310) 746-4000.

Visions of sugar plum fairies

The onslaught of “The Nutcracker” gets underway and includes Los Angeles Ballet’s annual production, which sets the holiday tale in the City of Angels circa 1912. The company starts with performances at 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Also Dec. 7-8 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, Dec. 13-15 at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Westwood, Dec. 20-24 with live orchestra at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and Dec. 28-29 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. $34-$109; 10% discount for students, children, seniors and military. (310) 998-7782.


Meanwhile, Westside Ballet of Santa Monica presents the holiday favorite for the 47th year. This production features a live orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s score, plus guest artists including New York City Ballet soloist Savannah Lowery. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; other dates through Dec. 8. $45. (800) 595-4849.

Leaving it all on the court

It’s your last weekend to catch “The Great Leap.” An American basketball team becomes embroiled in controversy while on a trip to China in Lauren Yee’s drama, directed by BD Wong and co-presented by Pasadena Playhouse and East West Players. An L.A. Times Critics’ Choice. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

Feliz Navidad, feliz navidad

Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company marks its 10th anniversary with a reprise of “Diciembre Mexicano.” The troupe is joined by Mariachi Tesoro de San Fernando and Cencamatl Choir for this colorful celebration of the holiday traditions of Mexico. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A., 5151 State University Drive. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $30-$50. (323) 343-6600.

Storm in Irvine

“Storm Large: Holiday Ordeal” finds the big-voiced Pink Martini chanteuse performing seasonal favorites in this adult-themed cabaret show. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. 8 p.m. Saturday. $38-$100. (949) 854-4646.


Some strings attached

For a “Nutcracker” of a different color, there’s “Bob Baker’s Nutcracker.” The beloved puppeteer is gone, but his marionettes live on in this holiday show for children of all ages. Pasadena Playhouse, Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino Ave. 2:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; other dates through Dec. 29. $20 and up. (626) 356-7529.