Holidays 2011: Theater and dance performances


‘Tis the season for a little holiday drama and dance, and this year, Los Angeles stages will pull back the curtain on plenty of festive performances for a range of yuletide (and not-so-yuletide) tastes. From Tchaikovsky’s dancing sugar plum fairies to David Sedaris’ misanthropic Crumpet the Elf, here’s a rundown of good tidings from Southern California stages.


A Christmas Carol: Richard Hellesen adapts the Dickens’ classic tale into a song-filled musical ghost story. Mark Booher directs. Marian Theatre, 800 S. College Drive, Santa Maria. Nov. 10-Dec. 23. See website for showtimes. (805) 922-8313.


The Eight: Reindeer Monologues: Jeff Goode’s irreverent comedy about a North Pole sex scandal with Santa’s eight reindeer telling all. August Viverito directs. Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hollywood. Dec. 2-17. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (800) 838-3006.

Some Lovers: Tony-winner Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) teams up with Academy- and Grammy-winning music legend Burt Bacharach for a world-premiere musical about two estranged lovers on Christmas Eve whose memories of happier days conspire to bring them together again. Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Dec. 7- 31. Sun., Tues., Wed., 7 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m. $35. (619) 234-5623.

Christmastime Is Queer 4: A series of one-acts with holiday and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes returns after a six-year hiatus. Celebration Theatre, 7051 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. Dec. 2-17. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. $20. (323) 957-1884.

Bob’s Holiday Office Party: Joe Keyes and Rob Elk’s comedy is back for its 16th season. A small-town Iowa insurance agent throws a holiday bash for his wacky friends and clients. Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Dec. 1-18. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. $20-$25. (323) 960-7711.

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues: Hear the truth about Santa straight from the eight reindeer who know him best. Chance Theater, 5552 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim Hills. Nov. 29-Dec. 20. Mon.-Wed., 8 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 11 p.m. $23-$35. (714) 777-3033.

Carlie & Doni’s XXX-Mas Special: The irreverent musical-comedy duo perform an R-rated holiday show. Santa Monica Playhouse Main Stage, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Dec. 1, 8 p.m. $20-$25. (310) 394-9779.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The whimsical musical based on the classic Dr. Seuss book returns for its 14th year. Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Nov. 25-Dec. 31. Showtimes vary. $24-$112. (619) 234-5623.

A Song for Christmas: A story of how the music of the season has shaped one man’s life from childhood to adulthood. Attic Community Theater, 2834 S. Fairview, Santa Ana. Dec. 2 and 3 and Dec. 8-10, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 4, 2:30 p.m. $18. (714) 662-2525.

The Christmas Present: The U.S. premiere of Guy Picot’s heartwarming tale of a hooker, a hotel room and some holiday magic. Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N Heliotrope Dr., L.A. Dec. 6-21. Tues.-Wed., 8 p.m. Dec., 22-24, 8 p.m. $15. (310) 281-8337.

The Santaland Diaries: A solo show written by David Sedaris about his experiences as an unemployed writer-turned-Christmas elf at a New York City Macy’s. Paolo Andino stars; Michael Matthews directs. Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. Nov. 26-Dec. 18. Thus.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. (No performance Nov. 27). $30. (323) 661-9827.

It’s A Wonderful Life: Based on the classic Christmas film, an angel shows George Bailey the world is better with him in it. Christina Harris directs. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Nov. 25-Dec. 23. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; Dec. 21 and 22, 8 p.m. $25. (626) 355-4318.

A Christmas Carol, the Musical: The West Coast premiere of the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale. Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 Main St., Newhall. Dec., 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m.; Dec. 4, 11, 17 and 18 at 2 p.m.; Dec. 20 and 21, 7 p.m. $17. (661) 799-2702.


The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever!: Joe Marshall’s wildly popular gay-themed Christmas comedy about a drama-addicted theatre company makes its West Coast debut. Paul Storiale directs. Avery Schreiber Theatre, 11050 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. $18. (818) 766-9100.

It’s a Wonderful Life: Oscar nominee Annette Bening, Emmy winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and other acclaimed actors from stage and screen will perform a radio-play adaptation of the classic film. Proceeds benefit the Geffen Playhouse and the Actors Fund. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A. Dec. 10, 3 and 8 p.m. $69-$93. (310) 208-5454.

La Virgen De Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin: The holiday pageant, now in its 10th year, depicts the miracles of Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 and features a cast of more than 100 actors, singers and dancers. The show is in Spanish with English supertitles. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., L.A. Dec. 8 and 9, 7:30 p.m. Free. (866) 811-4111.

A Holiday Party: Erich Bergen (“Jersey Boys,” “Gossip Girl”) performs new tunes and holiday classics in a show benefiting Toys for Tots. The one-night event features music direction by “American Idol’s” Michael Orland and a special guest appearance by “Glee’s” Lindsay Pearce. Coterie at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, 1755 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. Dec. 5, 8 p.m. $15, free for patrons who bring a new, unwrapped toy. (530) 426-8374.

Winter Wonderettes: In a follow-up to the hit the Marvelous Wonderettes, the girls are back for a Christmas party, and when Santa goes missing, they must use their four-part harmonies to save the celebration. Musical Theatre West at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach. Dec. 9-18. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. $20. (562) 856-1999.

A Broadway Holiday: The latest installment in the Rubicon Theatre’s Broadway Cabaret Series, David Burnham (“Wicked,” “The Light in the Piazza”) and musical director Mark Vogel team up for a one-night musical performance combining holiday classics and Broadway hits. A holiday-themed reception will follow. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Dec. 10, 7 p.m. $75-$250. (805) 667-2900.


My Three Angels: Larry Eisenberg directs this dark Christmas comedy about a trio of convicts who save a struggling shopkeeper from losing his shirt. Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., N. Hollywood. Dec. 9-Jan. 15. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, 7 p.m. $15-$22. (818) 763-5990.

Bob Cratchit & Mr. Tightwad: A modern take on the Dickens classic — complete with a goth-girl ghost — makes its world premiere. Proceeds from the run will be donated to Children International and Valley schools. Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Dec. 9-30. See website for showtimes and tickets. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Blue Suede Christmas: The Ultimate Elvis Holiday Bash: A holiday homage to the King featuring the rock icon’s greatest hits and holiday tunes with renowned Elvis impressionists Scot Bruce as the young heartthrob and Mike Albert as the older rocker. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Dec. 11, 3 p.m. $30-$65. (562) 467-8818.

Atomic Holiday Free-Fall: A gaggle of Cirque du Soleil extraterrestrials descend on Sin City to learn the secrets of show business. Expect singers, showgirls, comics and clowns in this musical holiday variety show. Cirque veteran Stefan Haves directs. The Actors’ Gang at the Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Dec. 9, 10, 19, 20, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m.; Dec. 11 and 18, 4 p.m.; Dec. 15-17, 8 p.m. $35. (310) 838-4264.

1940s Christmas at Club Sweet Lorraine’s: A New York speakeasy during WWII is a hot spot for music, love and loss, plus plenty of Christmas carol sing-alongs. Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, 4305 Degnan Blvd., L.A. Dec. 9-23. Fri., 8 p.m. $15. (323) 296-2272.

A Christmas Westside Story Troubadour Theater Company blends two classic tales — “A Christmas Story” and “West Side Story” — in this holiday performance. Matt Walker directs. Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. Dec. 9-Jan. 15. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun., 4 and 7 p.m. Dark Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1. $34.50-$57. (818) 955-8101.


Sleigh Bells Swing!: The High Street Broadcast theater troupe performs its live radio variety show. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m. $12. (805) 583-7900.

Colors of Christmas: The annual celebration returns with holiday melodies and pop hits featuring Grammy winner Jennifer Holiday, Broadway star Lea Salonga and Tony winner Ben Vereen. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Dec. 10, 8 p.m. $50-$100. (562) 467-8818,

A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show: Award-winning sound effects artist-musician Scott Paulson stars in this new one-person adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story performed in 1940s-radio style. Carlsbad Village Theatre, 2822 State St., Carlsbad. Dec. 13-18, 7:30 p.m.; Dec 17 and 18, 4 p.m. $10-15. (760) 720-2460.

A Christmas Carol: The Santa Monica College theatre arts department presents the classic holiday as adapted and directed by SMC theatre arts professor Janie Jones. Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Dec. 1-11. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. $10-$15. (310) 434-4319.

Gay Apparel: A Christmas Carol: A trio of gay ghosts teach world-famous fashion designer Scrooge what the holidays are really about. Space 916, 916 Formosa Ave., Hollywood. Dec. 2-18. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. $20-$25. (323) 418-2583.

A Christmas Carol: A world-premiere adaptation of the Dickens classic told with three actors, two long scarves and one glowing candle. Grove Theater Center, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank. Dec. 3-18. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. $29.50. (818) 528-6622.


Lost in Radioland — A Christmas/Chanukah Spectacular: A Christmas play goes awry when Scrooge is injured and a Jewish actor takes his place and demands all Christmas references are replaced with Hanukkah ones. Theatre 68, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A, Dec. 2-18. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. $25, $20 for those who bring an unwrapped toy for the L.A. Mission. (323) 960-5068.

Judith Owen & Harry Shearer’s Holiday Sing-Along: Singer/songwriter Owen and her husband Shearer (KCRW, “The Simpsons”) present a family-friendly holiday comedy and variety show with special celebrity guests. Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. $47-$75. (310) 434-3200.

Michael Grimm and Celtic Spring: Singer-songwriter Grimm and fiddle and dance group Celtic Spring are joined by Heatwave Youth Jazz & Show Band, comedian Dana Daniel and juggler Mickey O’Connor. Magician-illusionist Chuck Jones & Co. and funnyman Bruce Block round out the lineup. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Dec. 30, 7 p.m. $34-$54. (562) 467-8818.


The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker: Debbie Allen’s twist on a holiday classic. Kara receives a Nutcracker filled with hot chocolate as a Christmas gift, and when her toy comes to life, she follows him to lands of wonder from Candy Cane Lane to the Land of the Kimono Dolls, China. UCLA Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, L.A. Dec. 10, 1 and 7 p.m. $25-$47.50. (310) 825-2101.

The Nutcracker: Festival Ballet Theatre Company presents the holiday classic of a young girl who encounters a night of magic when her Christmas gift comes to life. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Dec. 10-24. Dec. 10 and 17, 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 11, 1 p.m.; Dec. 16, 7 p.m.; Dec. 18, 1 and 6 p.m.; Dec. 20 and 21, 6 p.m.; Dec. 22 and 23, 2 p.m.; Dec. 24, 11 a.m. $40. (949) 854-4646.


The Nutcracker: The Malibu Civic Ballet presents the 20th annual production of the holiday classic. Diane Linder directs. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 10, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 11, 2 p.m. $25. (310) 506-4522.

Stations: A Los Angeles Holiday Story: Tales from the L.A. public transit system are set to dance with stories of an overworked Santa, an unappreciated pastry chef and a basketball hotshot hurrying through the holidays. Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. Nov. 26-Dec. 19. Tues.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; Dec. 20-30. Tues.-Fri, 8 p.m. $25. (800) 838-3006.

The Nutcracker: Los Angeles Ballet performs the holiday favorite featuring sets with an L.A. flair. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 4, 2 p.m. (310) 998-7782.

The Nutcracker: Westside Ballet of Santa Monica re-creates the traditional ballet, from the Victorian-style party scene to the glittering Sugar Plum Fairy. Wadsworth Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Brentwood. Dec. 3 and 4, Dec. 10 and 11, 1 and 5 p.m. $30. (310) 828-2018.

The Nutcracker: Joffrey Ballet returns to the Music Center with Robert Joffrey’s rendition of the classic story with live music by LA Opera’s orchestra. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Dec. 2 and 3, 2 and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4, 2 p.m. $34-$125. (213) 972-0711.

The Nutcracker: Inland Dance Theatre presents Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet. California Theatre of the Performing Arts, 562 W. 4th St., San Bernardino. Dec. 2 and 3, 8 p.m.; Dec. 4, 2:15 p.m. $20-$30. (909) 891-1563.


The Nutcracker: Inland Pacific Ballet brings the yuletide tradition to life with more than 100 dancers on stage. Bridges Auditorium, 450 N. College Way, Claremont. Dec. 3 and 4, 1 p.m.; Dec. 10 and 17 at 1 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 11 and 18 at 1 p.m. $21-$50. (909) 607-1139.

The Nutcracker: Uta Graf-Apostolfor directs the Palos Verdes Ballet’s 31st annual production of Tchaikovsky’s timeless piece. Norris Theatre, 27570 Crossfield Drive, Rolling Hills Estates. Dec. 17, 7 p.m.; Dec. 18, 1 and 5 p.m. $32. (310) 544-0403.

Posada Mexicana: A Mexican Holiday Spectacular: Thirty folklorico dancers and 10 mariachis perform in a south-of-the-border celebration laden with seasonal accents, including a traditional Christmas processional and Mexican holiday songs. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Dec. 17, 2 and 8 p.m. $15-$59. (562) 944-9801.

The Great Russian Nutcracker: The world-renowned Moscow Ballet celebrates its 19th annual tour of the performance with lavish costumes, hand-painted backdrops and larger-than-life puppets designed by Russian puppet master Valentin Federov. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. $25-$85. (562) 944-9801.