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The week ahead in SoCal theater, Dec. 16-23: 'All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914' and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Dec. 16-23: 'All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914' and more
The fact-based musical drama "All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914," set in the trenches during WWI, is coming to the Broad Stage. (Allen Weeks)

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.).

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Openings

As Always, Jimmy Stewart Steve Nevil portrays the Hollywood legend in this solo drama. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd., L.A. Sun., 2 p.m. $25. (323) 851-7977.

Joely Fisher: Growing Up Fisher The actress shares songs and stories. The Sorting Room, Lovelace Studio Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sun., 7 p.m.; Tue., 7 p.m. $25-$59. (310) 746-4000.

The Lettermen Christmas Show The veteran vocal trio performs. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 2 p.m. $55-$75. (562) 916-8500.

Red Hen Press: An Afternoon of Poetry and Performance With California poet laureate Dana Gioia and others. The East Wing at Broad Stage, 1310 11th St,. Santa Monica. Sun., 2 p.m. $35 and up. (310) 434-3200.

To Jesus, Thanks for Everything! Jinkx and DeLa Two stars from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” team up in this irreverent holiday spectacular. The Montalbán, 1615 N. Vine St., Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m. $35 and up. (323) 461-6999.

Under the Streetlamp: Hip to the Holidays! Vocal group performs seasonal favorites. Lewis Family Playhouse, Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, 12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga. Sun., 2 p.m. $38-$45. (909) 477-2775.

Amy & Freddy: A Very Divalicious California Christmas The “America’s Got Talent” duo performs. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Tue., 8:30 p.m. $25-$40. (866) 468-3399.

Magic Moments: An Evening Remembering Hal David Eunice David celebrates her late husband, the lyricist who created classic songs with Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini and others. The Sorting Room, Lovelace Studio Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Wed., 7 p.m. $25-$59. (310) 746-4000.

A Christmas Carol Dickens’ classic tale. Cupcake Theater, 11020 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7 p.m.; next Sun., 3:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $25, $39. www.cupcaketheater.com.

An Evening of New Musical Theatre Songs Presented by A Little New Music and ASCAP. The Sorting Room, Lovelace Studio Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Thu., 7 p.m. $25-$59. (310) 746-4000.

Lady Bunny: The Stockings Were Hung The drag artist celebrates the season with songs and stories in this holiday show. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Thu., 8:30 p.m. $25-$35. (866) 468-3399.

Brian Wilson Presents the Christmas Album Live The Beach Boys songwriter performs holiday favorites with special guests Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $90-$150. (562) 916-8500.

A Christmas Carol Long Beach Shakespeare Company presents Orson Welles’ 1939 radio adaptation of the Dickens tale. The Helen Borgers Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Blvd., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $12.50. (562) 997-1494.

Holidaze Harmony X Broadway’s Terron Brooks and Kamilah Marshall perform seasonal favorites. The Garry Marshall Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $55. (818) 955-8101.

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The Two Mrs. Stollers Standards, jazz, light opera and more with Corky Hale and Tricia Tahara. The Sorting Room, Lovelace Studio Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri., 7 p.m. $25-$55. (310) 746-4000.

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 Fact-based, song-filled drama about Allied and German soldiers during WWI laying down their arms to celebrate the holiday together. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Sat., 4 and 7:30 p.m. $45 and up. (310) 434-3200.

Amber Riley & Friends: That’s What Christmas Means to Me The “Glee” star and special guests perform. The Sorting Room, Lovelace Studio Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sat., 7 p.m.; $45, $65. (310) 746-4000.

Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2018 The jazz sax player and special guests perform. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $52.50-$97.50. (562) 916-8500.

Theatre 40 Holiday Show Company members read seasonal poems, stories, etc., by F. Scott Fitzgerald, E.B. White and others. Los Angeles Public Library, Westwood Branch, 1246 Glendon Ave., Westwood. Sat., 2:30 p.m. Free. (213) 385-5515.

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. Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Mon., Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 20. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006.

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. Ends Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; $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., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Tue.-Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 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. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $25-$45. (323) 663-1525.

The Legend of Georgia McBride To misquote Shakespeare: Some are born in drag, some achieve drag, and some have drag thrust upon ’em. Casey, the protagonist of this irresistible 2015 play by Matthew Lopez, now at the New Vic in Santa Barbara, belongs to the third category. A struggling Elvis impersonator, he finds himself one day in one of those situations where you have to choose between getting kicked out of your apartment — with your pregnant wife — and starring in a drag show. What would you do? That’s what he does. And quite fabulously. Jenny Sullivan's heartwarming production is a box of candy for theater fans, featuring extreme costumes, delicious dance numbers, and an endearing cast, including Bill Brochtrup (of “NYPD Blue” and “Major Crimes”) in what may be the versatile actor’s first high heels. (M.G.) Ensemble Theatre Company, the New Vic, 33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara. Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25-$75. (805) 965-5400.

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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. Ends Sun., 4 p.m. $22-$34. (818) 841-5421.

South Pacific A stellar cast and skillfully integrated video successfully scale Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic big-stage musical for a more intimate venue, with a particularly sharp focus on the show’s dramatic narrative and its enduring reflections on the moral dilemmas of racism and war. (P.B.) Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Wed., 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu., 7 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25-$65. (805) 667-2900.

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