Cultural highlights for the coming weekend include the returns of “Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake” and Pacific Opera Project’s “La Bohème,” plus the long-awaited national tour of the Disney musical “Frozen.” We’ve got two distinct productions of “A Christmas Carol,” two presentations of “The Nutcracker” and two performances of Handel’s Messiah. And you’re invited to “Bob’s Holiday Office Party,” back for a 24th season.
Chill out and let it go
Direct from Brrr-oadway, “Frozen” officially launches its national tour in Los Angeles. A brave young woman and her companions go on a quest to break the wintry spell of her big sister in this stage adaptation of the hit 2013 animated musical featuring songs by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. New: A duet between Anna and Elsa that, for now, you can hear only in the touring production. Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Feb. 2. $39 and up. (800) 982-2787. hollywoodpantages.com
Birds of a feather
An all-male corps de ballet is a central feature of “Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake,” the British choreographer’s acclaimed reimagining of the Tchaikovsky dance fable, back after having its American premiere here in 1997. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 8 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 7 p.m. Sunday; other dates though Jan. 5. $35-$145. (213) 972-4400. centertheatregroup.org
What is hip?
Back for another year, it’s “La Bohème: AKA ‘The Hipsters.’” Pacific Opera Project’s update of Puccini’s tragic tale of struggling artists transposes the action from 19th-century Paris to present-day downtown L.A. Sung in Italian with projected English titles. Highland Park Ebell Club, 131 S. Avenue 57, L.A. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; other dates through Dec. 14. $15-$30; tables $60, $180. (323) 739-6122. pacificoperaproject.com
Double your ‘humbug’
In a spirit of generosity, we’re recommending not one but two productions of “A Christmas Carol”:
Hal Landon Jr. takes his 40th and final turn as Ebenezer Scrooge in South Coast Repertory’s annual presentation of the Dickens classic. South Coast Rep, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, noon and 4 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Dec. 24. $38 and up. (714) 708-5555. scr.org
Meanwhile, co-artistic director Geoff Elliott reprises his portrayal of the miserable miser in A Noise Within’s production. An L.A. Times Critics’ Choice. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Dec. 23. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100. anoisewithin.org
Sometimes you feel like a ‘Nut’
And here are two noteworthy productions of “The Nutcracker”:
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is joined by Encino’s Los Angeles Youth Ballet plus a cohort of dancers from around the world for its staging of Tchaikovsky’s holiday tale. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $49 and up. (818) 677-3000. thesoraya.org
Raven-Symone, Tichina Arnold and others join the Debbie Allen Dance Academy for “Debbie Allen’s Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” the choreographer’s take of the holiday favorite, featured in this 2015 article. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 E. Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $40-$110. thehotchocolatenutcracker.com
And two performances of Handel’s Messiah:
In Orange County, Robert Istad leads Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale and guest soloists for the annual presentation “Handel’s Glorious Messiah.” Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 3 p.m. Sunday. $25 and up. (714) 755-5799. pacificsymphony.org
The Judy Garland musical classic, back in theaters for a 75th-anniversary celebration, won young Margaret a special Academy Award for kids.
Peter Holzhauer photography at Gallery Luisotti shows what we’re not used to seeing, whether verdant or volcanic, serenely still or fiercely turbulent.
Gilbert & George transform Sprüth Magers gallery in L.A. into a giddy extravaganza with 35 head-spinning works.
Tatiana Trouvé's installation in Beverly Hills feel like the wreckage of a natural disaster, but enter the scene and you’ll find hints of healing.
And in downtown L.A., conductor Daniel Suk’s Dream Orchestra performs Handel’s beloved oratorio with a little help from the Cathedral Choir, the Opera Chorus of Los Angeles and guest vocalists. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., L.A. 7 p.m. Sunday. $20-$40. dreamorchestra.org
Leave the kids at home
An insurance broker’s office in a small town in Iowa serves as the setting for “Bob’s Holiday Office Party.” The raucous seasonal comedy for ages 16 and up returns for a 24th year. An L.A. Times Critics’ Choice. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday; other dates through Dec. 22. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006. brownpapertickets.com