SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
Winter is finally here, and though it’s really cold now for Southern California, our local theatres are hotter than ever with new shows, like:
“Island of Brilliance” the play revolves around Eve, a unique young college woman who displays unusual honesty and generosity. When her older sister (who has an IQ of forty) begins reciting poetry, her life is disrupted in a complex series of events that shape Eve's future. Written by Dawn O'Leary and directed by Wynn Marlow, it runs December 2 through January 16 at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets call 310-822-8392 or visit www.pacificresidenttheatre.com
“Remembering The Ladies” salutes the legendary ladies with song, story and film clips, featuring memorable moments from the legendary careers of Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Debbie Reynolds, Carol Channing, Shirley Bassey, Liza Minnelli, Lucille Ball, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Edith Piaf and more. Written by Toni Morrell and directed by Karen G. Cadle, it runs December 2 through December 31 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“Traveling Carnival Freakshow” A holiday-themed show featuring an amalgam of elements of theatre, dance, burlesque and cabaret. Written by Chelsea Sutton and Questa Gleason and directed by Chelsea Sutton, it runs December 3 through December 19 at The Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village. For tickets call 818-508-3003 or visitwww.eclecticcompanytheatre.org.
"Radio City Christmas Spectacular" The West coast production was specifically designed for large-scale venues and replicates on a grand scale the exact production of The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Audiences are taken on a theatrical journey that the entire family can enjoy together. Children thrill as Santa takes the audience on a magical sleigh ride to the North Pole, while parents marvel at the unparalleled precision dance of the Radio City Rockettes. The Christmas Spectacular is truly unique in its universal appeal to people of all ages. From small children to grandparents, this dazzling holiday production is guaranteed to bring smiles to their faces and help create wonderful family memories to last a lifetime. The production is enhanced by an immense LED screen that transports the audience from a wintry landscape to Times Square to Santa’s Workshop right before their very eyes. The larger than life sets and awe-inspiring special effects allow families to connect with both the intimacy and grandness of The Christmas Spectacular as they are immersed in the warmth and grandeur of the holiday spirit. From the moment guests settle into their seats, the audience becomes part of the spectacular’s magical experience. Fan-favorites like the legendary “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” which continues to set the standard as the signature Rockette number for precision performance, and the “Living Nativity” remain a vital part of the show’s core. And the Rockettes will undoubtedly bring the audience to their feet with a Rockette finale “Let Christmas Shine,” which honors and celebrates the Rockettes as the stars of the show. Directed and choreographed by Linda Haberman, it runs December 6 through December 7 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, and December 9 through December 12 at the Nokia Theatre LA Live in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-745-3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
“Bullshot Crummond and the Invisible Bride of Death” Vile Teutonic arch-villain Otto Von Bruno and his femme fatale companion Lenya have gained control of a powerful and effective invisibility formula. They pursue a fiendish plot to steal the Crown Jewels of Britain as they plan a course to achieve world domination. Only two people stand in the way of the wicked Von Bruno and Lenya: The intrepid adventurer Bullshot Crummond, champion of all that is good and British - and his beautiful bride Rosemary. But to retrieve the Crown Jewels, Bullshot and Rosemary must not only defeat Von Bruno and Lenya, but also the Moroccan terrorist and self-rule fanatic Al Shaitan and his army of cutthroats. Written and directed by Ron House, it runs December 10 through January 16 at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 800-595-4849 or visit www.bullshotisback.com.
“The First Jo-el” is a comedic parody of the story of the nativity with the help of Piano Man, Billy Joel. Let go of thatNew York State of Mind, and Say Goodbye to Hollywood, and hello to Bethlehem! She's Got a pregnant Way About Her, but when they Tell Her About It that there's no room at the inn, Joseph and Mary are Movin' Out to the manger. Come out and enjoy yourself for The Longest Time! Written and directed by Matt Walker, it runs December 10 through January 16 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre.com.
“Julia” set against a crumbling urban backdrop, this is a touching and tender examination of a fifty-year-old love – lost and reclaimed. Written by Vince Melocchi and directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos, it runs December 11 through January 30 at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets call 310-822-8392 or visit www.pacificresidenttheatre.com
"Calligraphy" Take one part stable cousin in Los Angeles, one part sexy blonde-wig-sporting cousin in Tokyo, and two parts aging mothers. Add ice, tension, shake it up, and serve. Written by Velena Hasu Houston and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, it runs through December 12 at Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-411-4111 or visit www.thelatc.com.
"Nightsong for the Boatman" Harry Appleman, an aging, washed-up poet, plays dice with fate and loses. Through various cunning contrivances, he tries to avoid his mortality. He discovers his humanity when he learns he can't sacrifice his daughter, but a tricky graduate student will do. Written by Jovanka Bach and directed by John Stark, it runs through December 12 at the Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visitwww.odysseytheatre.com.
“The Animals and Me” is about the rights of all mankind, as seen through the eyes of animals, as Wolf and his family are stripped of everything they own. They are to be hunted, thrown into prison or killed. Can the Animal Kingdom ban together and save the Wolf’s tail in time? The story is humorous, with a message that is universal. Written and directed by Vinnie Torrente, it runs through December 12 at the Raven Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7726 or visit www.plays411.com/theanimals.
"Uptown Downtown" Leslie Uggams stars in this dazzling musical evening where, in stories and song, she recreates her extraordinary journey from uptown to downtown, from Mitch Miller to "Roots," from the Apollo Theater to Broadway. Directed by Michael Bush with musical direction by Don Rebic, it runs through December 12 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
“Broadway Holiday” features much loved holiday tunes as well as hits ranging from classic shows such as My Fair Ladyand South Pacific, through groundbreakers like West Side Story and Chicago, to current blockbusters like Jersey Boys, and Wicked – performed by five top performers from Broadway and a three-piece band. Created by Neil Berg, it runs December 17 through January 2 at the Gil Cates Theater in the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood Village. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.
“Cinderella: A Musical Extravaganza” takes the traditional children’s fairytale and sets it to today’s music and places it in a unique setting that has a comical twist and incredible magic such as a pumpkin turning into a carriage with real live ponies right before your very eyes. Produced and directed by The Lythgoe Family, it runs through December 19 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“A Christmas Carol” is an all-new musical adaptation of the classic Christmas story. Written by Charles Dickens and directed by Christina Harris, it runs through December 23 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“Rock with You, The King of Pop’s Latin Side” is a celebration of music and dance masterpieces made famous by the late, great Michael Jackson, done with a Latino beat and re-orchestrated in rhythms such as Salsa, Cha-cha-cha, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton and even some Latin Hip Hop. Written and directed by Seaon Stylist Bristol, it runs December 23 through January 2 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visitwww.elportaltheatre.com.
“A Christmas Carol” is a musical adaptation of the classic holiday tale. Written by Charles Dickens and directed by Tim Dietlein, it runs through December 24 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visitwww.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“A Christmas Carol” is the traditional staging of the classic holiday tale with many of the familiar actors seen in this production in previous years. Written by Charles Dickens and directed by John-David Keller, it runs through December 26 at the South Coast Repertory theatre in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“Daddy Long Legs” is an exquisitely moving story of a young orphan girl named Jerusha as she blossoms into a beautiful, intelligent and vivacious woman at the turn of the last century. A trustee of the John Grier Orphanage offers Jerusha a proper education, but the benefactor’s only requirements are that Jerusha never know his identity, and that she write him monthly (though he will not respond). She sees him once in shadows and invents a nickname for her mysterious patron—Daddy Long Legs. Her letters to him paint a moving portrait of her lonely life in the orphanage, the development of her mind and spirit, and the growing personal relationship that she develops with her unseen benefactor. Written by John Caird and Paul Gordon, it runs through December 26 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna. For tickets call949-497-2787 or visit www.LagunaPlayhouse.com.
“Sweet Mama String Bean: A Celebration of Blues Woman Ethel Waters” is about legendary performer Ethel Waters, star of radio, TV, Broadway and feature films, who was the daughter of a 12-year-old rape victim, but worked her way up through vaudeville to become a celebrated blues singer and star in 12 Broadway productions, ultimately becoming one of the highest paid entertainers in America. Written by Vallimar Jansen and William L. Stout, it runs through December 31 at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visitwww.fremontcentretheatre.com.
“Inspecting Carol” when a financially-strapped Midwestern regional theater company is informed that their annual endowment grant is in question, and an inspector will be paying a visit to decide their fate, a case of mistaken identity wreaks havoc and puts a riotous spin on their already unusual version of "A Christmas Carol." Written by Daniel Sullivan and The Seattle Repertory Company and directed by Chris Winfield, it runs through January 2 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-700-4878 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.
“West Side Story” this musical follows the doomed love story of two star-crossed lovers from rival gangs - the Jets (a working-class white gang) and the Sharks (first-generation Puerto Ricans). Tony, a member of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. Directed by David Saint and choreographed by Joey McKneely, it runs through January 2 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or visit www.broadwayla.org.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our publishers, editors, and support staff, for their tireless, ongoing efforts devoted to making this column available to our readers each month. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all!