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Entertainment & Arts

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Dec. 17-24: ‘A Christmas Carol’ and more

“A Christmas Carol” at A Noise Within
A Noise Within’s annual staging of Charles Dickens’ holiday fable “A Christmas Carol” closes this week. With Geoff Elliott, center, as Scrooge.
(Craig Schwartz)

THEATER

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

Openings

Back From Broadway Lindsay Mendez (“Wicked,” “Godspell”) performs as part of Musical Theatre West’s “Broadway in Concert” series. Beverly O’Neill Theatre, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Sun., 7 p.m. $50-$120. (562) 856-1999.

Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show The veteran gospel group performs with the Preservation Hall Legacy Horns and singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster in this CAP UCLA presentation. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, L.A. Sun., 7 p.m. $29.50-$59.50. (310) 825-2101.

Eden According to Eve Jewish Women’s Theatre reimagines the stories of Old Testament heroines and villainesses. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., #102, Santa Monica. Sun., 2 and 5 p.m. $40. (800) 838-3006.

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Electricity Two gay men reconnect after their 10th high school reunion in a benefit performance of Terry Ray’s comedy-drama; contains nudity. Thymele Arts, 5481 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Mon., 7:30 p.m. $25. (800) 838-3006.

The Skivvies: Sleigh My Name The underwear-clad comedy-and-music duo is joined by special guests for an off-color holiday show. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Mon.-Tue., 7:30 p.m. $40-$55. (949) 497-2787.

Holidaze Harmony Broadway’s Terron Brooks and Kamilah Marshall perform seasonal favorites. The Garry Marshall Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. Tue., 7:30 p.m. $35, $45. (818) 955-8101.

Motown The Musical Jukebox musical tells the story of the Detroit-based record label that spawned stars like Smokey Robinson, the Temptations and the Supremes. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tue.-Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 1 and 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 p.m.; ends Dec. 24. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

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David Broza & Friends: The Not Exactly Xmas Show The Israeli singer-songwriter performs. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7:30 p.m. $55 and up. (310) 434-3200.

How the Princh Stole Christmas Troubadour Theater Company’s latest holiday musical is a mashup of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale with the songs of Prince. El Portal Theatre, 11206 Weddington St., North Hollywood. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 and 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $45, $55; New Year’s Eve, $100. (866) 811-4111.

Liz Callaway’s Celebrate! The Tony nominee performs show tunes, seasonal favorites and more. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Thu., 7 p.m. $20-$40. (310) 746-4000.

Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates Christmas J.M. Barrie’s beloved characters return in this family-friendly British panto-style musical tale. Balboa Theatre, 868 4th Ave., San Diego. Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 1 and 5 p.m.; next Sun., noon and 4 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $25-$64. www.sandiegotheatres.org.

The 7th Annual Janky Christmas Show John C. Reilly hosts this irreverent holiday show featuring a musical retelling of “A Christmas Carol.” Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $25, $30. www.bootlegtheater.org

Shine Storytellers share tales about traditions and rituals. Promenade Playhouse, 1404 3rd St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7 p.m. $12; discounts available. (310) 452-2321.

We Are America Senior citizens perform a musical salute to military veterans in this Pink Lady presentation. Madrid Theatre, 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park. Thu., 2 p.m., Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. Free-$60. (800) 838-3006.

Reduced Shakespeare Company: The Ultimate Christmas Show The comedic trio spoofs the season in this family-friendly show. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Fri., 8 p.m. $15-$30. (562) 944-9801.

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Here & Now: The Legacy of Luther Vandross Terry Steele pays tribute to the late R&B singer. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $40-$50. (323) 964-9766.

Critics’ Choices

Bob’s Holiday Office Party Sporting its original creators and longtime cast members, this long-running yuletide parody of small town eccentricity thrives on the qualities that made it a staple of the L.A. theatre scene 22 years ago — it’s irreverent, crude and devastatingly funny. (P.B.) Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Ends Sun., Sun., 7 p.m. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Even the most jaded of “Christmas Carol”-inundated audiences may well find themselves pleasurably surprised by the Rubicon Theatre’s literate new version, owing to both the scrupulous textual fidelity to the source novella, as well as the allocation of narrative and dialogue among the cast to better illuminate their characters’ backstories, perspectives and interior mental states. (P.B.) Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu., 7 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25-$65. (805) 667-2900.

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. There are fleeting oddities, but only a die-hard humbug could remain unmoved by so charming a yuletide treat. God bless us everyone. (David C. Nichols) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., 2 p.m.; Tue.-Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

I Am Not a Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce In this meticulously researched solo biography tracing the life and prosecution of the groundbreaking early 1960s comic provocateur, actor Ronnie Marmo and director Joe Mantegna offer subsequent generations not only a sense of who Bruce was, but more importantly why he mattered. (P.B.) Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 5 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $35. (323) 960-5068.

The Latina Christmas Special Under the direction of Geoffrey Rivas, the massively talented trio of Maria Russell, Diana Yanez and Sandra Valls, who all play themselves, hilariously and heart-wrenchingly recapitulate memories of Christmases past in this very special “Special” — which is most distinctively and most memorably a loving tribute to their feisty, funny Latina mothers. (F.K.F.) Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 7. $32-$37; discounts available. (866) 811-4111.

Rotterdam A big change can knock any couple out of alignment. For Alice and Fiona, the change goes to the very core of their identities. In her late 20s and several years into the relationship, Fiona reveals that she feels she’s a man. With insight and humor, British playwright Jon Brittain charts the pair’s journey as they rediscover who they are in this Olivier Award-winning play. Michael A. Shepperd crisply directs a perceptive cast. (D.H.M.) Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $25-$41. (866) 811-4111.


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