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The week ahead in SoCal theater, Dec. 2-9, 2018: ‘Wink,’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Dec. 2-9, 2018: ‘Wink,’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and more
Javen Marquise Smith, left, and David Mingrino costar in the West Coast premiere of Neil Koenigsberg's "Wink" at the Zephyr Theatre. (Ed Krieger)

THEATER

Capsule reviews are by Charles McNulty (C.M.), Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.) and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.).

Openings

Aphrodite’s Holiday Show Aerialists, dancers, magicians, jugglers and others perform. The Actors’ Gang Theater, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $25-$34.99; Thursdays, pay what you can. (310) 838-4264

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The Okee Dokee Brothers The musical duo celebrates winter’s natural beauty in this family-friendly multimedia show. Plaza del Sol Performance Hall, Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Sun., 3 p.m. $33 and up. (818) 677-3000

The Living Room Series Staged reading of Ken Pisani’s “Glove Story.” The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8 p.m. $15 suggested donation. (323) 661-9827

The Word @ The Road Staged reading of Richard Greenberg’s “The Babylon Line.” The Road on Magnolia, NoHo Senior Arts Colony, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Mon., 8 p.m. Pay what you can. (818) 761-8838

A Holiday Comedy Show Off-color sketches. The Complex Theatre, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Tue.-Wed., next Sun., 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 12. $15. www.squareup.com

Love Actually Live For the Record stages a musical celebration of the holiday-themed 2003 romantic comedy; with Rumer Willis and Steve Kazee. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. p.m. $35-$125. (310) 746-4000

The Fruit Cake Follies 2018 This send-up of 1970s-era holiday TV specials celebrates its 20th season. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Dec. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 22. $35, $40. (800) 838-3006

A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens Independent Shakespeare Co.’s David Melville re-creates a performance of the holiday favorite by the author himself; for ages 8 and up. Independent Studio, 3191 Casitas Ave., No. 130, Atwater Village. Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25-$35. (818) 710-6306

Dreamgirls Cupcake Theater encores its recent staging of the hit musical about a Supremes-like girl group. The Saban Theater, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. Thu., 8 p.m. $49-$125. www.cupcaketheater.com

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues Jeff Goode's off-color holiday comedy. Crown City Theatre Company, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $10. (818) 605-5685

It’s a Wonderful Life Alethia Theater performs a stage adaptation of filmmaker Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday fable. Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $15. (562) 494-1014

Santasia – A Holiday Comedy Long-running annual show features musical parodies, stop-motion animated movies and more. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Fri.-next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $28, $40. www.santasia.com

The Young Americans: The Magic of Christmas The family-friendly multimedia musical revue returns. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $25-$65. (562) 944-9801

La Virgen De Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin The Latino Theater Company presents this annual site-specific reenactment of the Virgin Mary’s visitations with peasant Juan Diego in 16th century Mexico; in Spanish with English supertitles. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m. Free; reserved seating, $40. (866) 811-4111

LeAnn Rimes: You and Me and Christmas Tour The singer performs hits and holiday favorites. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $55-$90. (562) 916-8500

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Beauty and the Beast — A Christmas Rose Family-friendly update of the classic tale, in the style of a traditional British panto. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., noon and 4 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $41-$76. (949) 497-2787

A Christmas Carol Dickens’ beloved holiday tale. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun, 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014

Colors of Christmas Seasonal favorites with veteran singers Peabo Bryson, Taylor Dane, Jon Secada and Deniece Williams. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m. $55-$100. (562) 916-8500

Dickens Holiday Celebration Includes actors portraying characters from various Dickens novels, plus three performances of “A Christmas Carol” (reservations required). The International Printing Museum, 315 W. Torrance Blvd., Carson. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $25. www.printmuseum.org

It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play Theatre Unleashed remounts this show based on filmmaker Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday fable. The Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Sat., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. Also at Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton. Next Sun. only, 1 p.m. $20. (818) 849-4039

The Legend of Georgia McBride Matthew Lopez’s comedy about a struggling Elvis impersonator who meets an aging drag queen; contains adult language. Ensemble Theatre Company, the New Vic, 33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25-$75. (805) 965-5400

South Pacific Two-piano version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical drama set on a remote tropical island during WWII; Broadway’s Ben Davis and Madison Claire Parks costar. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sat., 7 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25-$65; opening night only, $150. (805) 667-2900

Story Pirates Live Family-friendly musical sketch comedy show; for ages 5 and up. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sat., 2 p.m. $25. (310) 746-4000

Troop Beverly Hills Drag stars Trixie Mattel, Peaches Christ and company send up the 1989 comedy that starred Shelley Long. The Montalbán, 1615 N. Vine St., Hollywood. Sat., 4 and 8 p.m. $35 and up. (323) 461-6999

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Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum Winter Party and Fundraiser Hosted by Wendie Malick and Edward Asner, with performances by Beau Bridges and Dan Lauria. The Mountain Mermaid, 20421 Callon Drive, Topanga. Sat., 5:30 p.m. $150, $200; reservations required. (310) 455-3723

Wink A gender-questioning homeless teen and a former A-list actor forge a connection in the West Coast premiere of Neil Koenigsberg’s drama. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Jan. 13. $30. (323) 960-1055

The Year Without a Santana Claus Troubadour Theater Company’s latest holiday show mashes up the Latin rock of Santana with the classic 1970s stop-motion animated TV special. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 4 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $45-$75. (866) 811-4111

Johnny Mathis: The Voice of Christmas The singer performs classic hits and holiday favorites. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $79 and up. (714) 556-2787

A 1940s Christmas at Club Sweet Lorraine Performers portray Eartha Kitt, the Mills Brothers, Peggy Lee and others in this musical revue. City Garage, Bergamot Station, building T1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Next Sun., 3 and 7 p.m. $20, $25. (310) 453-9939

The Year to Come A Florida family comes together every New Year’s Eve in the world premiere of Lindsey Ferrentino's decades-spanning drama; with Jane Kaczmarek. La Jolla Playhouse, Mandell Weiss Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $51 and up; military discount available. (858) 550-1010

Critics’ Choices

Bob’s Holiday Office Party This long-running yuletide parody of small-town eccentricity thrives on the qualities that has made it a staple of the L.A. theater scene for over two decades — it’s irreverent, crude and devastatingly funny. (P.B.) Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 20. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006

Bliss (or Emily Post Is Dead!) Four women from Greek mythology — Clytemnestra, Medea, Antigone and Cassandra — have been reincarnated through time, doomed to repeat bloody acts of revenge, until reaching 1960 Orange, N.J. Cassandra, though, is determined to break the cycle by addressing its cause: diminishment and abuse by men. The amusing yet powerful script by North Hollywood-based Jami Brandli is a terrific spirit-rouser at a time when women and their allies everywhere are doing just that. (D.H.M.) Moving Arts, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. $30; Mondays, pay what you will ($10-$30). (323) 472-5646

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Tony-winning virtuoso Jefferson Mays single-handedly reanimates Charles Dickens’ holiday chestnut through the incantatory power of his acting. The ingenious auteur Michael Arden (Deaf West Theatre’s brilliant “Spring Awakening,” the Tony-winning revival of “Once on This Island”) extends all the directorial care one might lavish on a precious antique music box. Mays, summoning the snooty, snarling and sniveling voices of Victorian England, is the rare gem that gives this production its mesmerizing glint. For true theater lovers, there can be no better gift this season. (C.M.) Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $30-$120. (310) 208-5454

A Christmas Carol Amid many worthy area stagings of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic, this deftly performed, meta-theatrical edition stands out for fidelity to text, witty stagecraft and heartfelt embrace of message. (David C. Nichols) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., 2 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100

Cost of Living Playwright Martyna Majok has made it her mission to bring to the stage those characters who historically have played a subordinate role in the theater — the nameless, faceless workers who are hanging on by a thread in an economy that devours the weak, the marginalized and the unlucky. In her 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Majok examines the disabled and their caretakers, whose existences can be just as precarious as the people they’re paid to assist. Scrupulously directed by John Vreeke, the actors unflinching lay bare the scars, physical and emotional, of their characters, all of whom are struggling to bear the weight of their difficult lives. (C.M.) The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $25-$45. (323) 663-1525

The Little Foxes Antaeus Theatre Company opens its new season with a bracing revival of Lillian Hellman’s 1939 play about the Hubbards, three avaricious siblings in the post-Civil War Deep South all scheming to cheat each other and anybody else who might come along. Cameron Watson directs a wonderful cast including L.A. favorites Deborah Puette, Jocelyn Towne, Rob Nagle and Mike McShane, among others, in evoking a long-past America with unnerving similarities to the one we know. (M.G.) Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. $35. (818) 506-1983

Showpony Longtime husband and wife producing team Tom Ormeny and Maria Gobetti have a keen intuition when it comes to scouting worthy new plays, and this world premiere by Judith Leora is a real gem, a rollicking entertainment, set in a New York advertising agency, that addresses the current political climate from a fiercely feminist perspective. The play’s valiant women workplace warriors — three African American, two Caucasian — straddle the divide of unconscious racism as they bicker, bond and do battle against a rigged corporate system. In a slam-bang, briskly calibrated staging, Ormeny melds his gifted performers into an impressively organic ensemble that does full credit to Leora’s pithy, timely play. (F.K.F.) The Big Victory Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $22-$34. (818) 841-5421

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