Here are some of the shows running in our local theaters this holiday season:
“Little Black Dress the Musical” follows the story of Dee and her best friend Mandy experiencing life through their little black dresses – first job interview, first date, first awkward sexual experience, second awkward sexual experience and more! Using hilarious improv, catchy songs and a heartfelt story, “Little Black Dress” has made audiences across the globe laugh, cry and party!
Written by Danielle Trzcinski, Natalie Tenenbaum and Christopher Bond, with music by Natalie Tenenbaum, and directed by Christopher Bond, it runs through Dec. 15 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets, call (213) 628-2772 or visit www.KirkDouglasTheatre.org.
“A Christmas Carol” A mesmerizing one-man production performed by David Mynne, is not your run-of-the-mill adaptation. This production, doused with extra humbug for adults (and brave children ages 8 and older), sends audiences home remembering a cast of dozens.
Written by Charles Dickens and directed by Simon Harvey, it runs through Dec. 8 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Lovelace Studio in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (310) 746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Christmas.
“A Christmas Carol” allows families to once again take a supremely theatrical journey and celebrate the transformative power of forgiveness during the holidays. Ebenezer Scrooge’s rebirth from miserly curmudgeon to the epitome of love and generosity affirms our faith in the potent goodness of humanity during this beloved time of year.
Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Geoff Elliott, and directed by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs through Dec. 23 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets, call (626) 356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead’s whacked out friends and clients stop by his small-town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. The town mayor, the sheriff, the twin farmer sisters, the stoner, the town floozy and the pastor’s wife have already RSVP’d for this year’s event. But Bob has dreams of a bigger life and wants to escape their narrow-minded thinking. Will he be able to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional inventor and move to the big city, or will he come to realize how much he is the heart and soul of the town?
Written by Joe Keyes and Rob Elk, and directed by Matt Roth, it runs Dec. 5 through Dec. 22 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, call (8000 838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets,.com/event/4422945.
“Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas” is a singing, swashbuckling adventure performed in the high-flying style of a British holiday Panto. Take off on a wild quest with Tinker Bell, Wendy and Peter Pan as they try to put a stop to the plot of some dastardly pirates who plan to kidnap Peter as a present to Captain Hook. Filled with big laughs, magic, dancers and contemporary songs by everyone from Taylor Swift to The Bee Gees, this family show has a little bit of something for everyone.
Written by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Becky Lythgoe, it runs Dec. 5 through Dec. 29 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets, call (949) 497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“Sugar Plum Fairy” is the story of Sandra Tsing Loh’s holiday trauma, which revolves around the piles of tinsel, reindeer infestations, too-cheery tales of preternaturally good-hearted children – and the memories of a particularly fraught childhood holiday. At the age of 12, she was obsessed with landing the highly coveted lead role in the Beverly Rosann School of Dance’s production of “The Nutcracker.”
Written by Sandra Tsing Loh and directed by Bart De Lorenzo, it runs Dec. 5 through Dec. 22 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.
“Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)” Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told – plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung – it’s a madcap romp through the holiday season for the whole family (except those who still believe in Santa)!
Written by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez, and directed by Gary Lamb, it runs Dec. 6 through Dec. 29 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets, call (626) 355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“SANTASIA – A Holiday Comedy” is celebrating its 20th year. This off-Broadway hit and Critics’ Pick laugh out loud annual holiday romp is the perfect blend of Yuletide snark and sentiment, and has been compared to “The Carol Burnett Show,” “The Kids in the Hall,” “In Living Color” and “Saturday Night Live” and vaudeville. This multi-media holiday special has it all including classic Rankin and Bass claymation-inspired movies, musical parodies and heartfelt holiday moments.
Written by Shaun and Brandon Loeser, and directed by Shaun Loeser, it runs Dec. 6 through Dec. 28 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets, visit www.Santasia.com.
“A Christmas Carole King” For their 18th annual holiday offering, The Troubies have combined the soulful sounds of songstress Carole King with one of the most enduring stories of our time – Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” – and the result is So Far Away from what you’d expect! Will Ebenezer Scrooge wake up One Fine Day feeling like a Natural Woman and finally Believe In Humanity? Will he break his Chains and be shown what’s truly Beautiful, and discover he has a Corazon before It’s Too Late, Baby? Will Tiny Tim go Up On The Roof and ask, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? This December do the Locomotion (or the NoHo Metro) to the El Portal Theatre for many happy tidings of comfort and joy. Prepare for the rockin’ sounds of the Troubadorchestra to make you Feel The Earth Move Under Your Feet! Experience the holi-daze like never before because, this magical season, You’ve Got A Friend in the Troubies!
Written and directed by Matt Walker, with music by Derrick Finely, it runs Dec. 13 through Dec. 22 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com
“The Christmas Present” In this clever holiday dark comedy, Colin, a divorced businessman, decides to cheer himself up by hiring a female companion to visit him in his posh London hotel room over Christmas. Unfortunately, the girl who arrives is not quite what he’d been fantasizing for. Can this mismatched couple make it to Boxing Day without killing each other?
Written and directed by Guy Picot, it runs Dec. 13 through Dec. 22 at the Broadwater Black Box in Hollywood. For tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets,.com/event/4430834.
“Marvels of Magic” is a new play set in the world of young magicians. Wannabe illusionist Gus is compelled to enter the “Marvels of Magic” competition – a gathering of all the top young magicians on the planet with the once in a lifetime prize of a Las Vegas show! As they gather to compete, these young magicians all grow close becoming fast friends. But will they let their competitive natures, and their desires for fame and success, get in the way of what is really important? “Marvels of Magic” explores what is trick and what is truth in this compelling, magical, coming of age story.
Written by Andrew Simmons and directed by Enrico De La Vega, it runs Dec. 13 through Dec. 15 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets, visit www.marvelsofmagicshow.com.
“A Snow White Christmas” An updated version of the classic fairy tale, Princess Snow White joins forces with the Seven Dwarves to defeat her wicked aunt, the Queen. In the style of British Panto, audiences are encouraged to interact, booing the baddies and cheering for the hero. The show features family-friendly magic, with a comedic twist, dancing (with “So You Think You Can Dance” alumni), contemporary music and more.
Written by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, it runs Dec. 13 through Dec. 22 at the Pasadena Civic in Pasadena. For tickets, call (6260 449-7360 or visit www.thepasadenacivic.com.
“The Nutcracker” This production boasts a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a real live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, and a cast of over 200. Former Disney designers Elliot Hessayon and Scott Schaffer created the enchanting scenery, Australian artist Adrian Clark designed the detailed costumes, and renowned magician Franz Harary created the special effects, including a magical costume switch, involving Clara instantly changing from her nightgown into a gleaming ball gown.
Written by E.T.A. Hoffmann, with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and directed by David Wilcox, it runs Dec. 14 through Dec. 22 at the Terrace Theatre, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach. For tickets, call (877) 852-3177 or visit www.LongBeachNutcracker.com.
“Waiting for Waiting for Godot” Ester and Val are understudies for a production of “Waiting for Godot.” They are committed to art and frustrated by anonymity. They understand their purpose, but not the reasons they stay. They accept their fate, but question each other’s motives, all while waiting for “him” to appear. A backstage farce packed with profound insight, existential dread and shameless punchlines, this is the Beckett companion you didn’t know you needed.
Written by Dave Hanson and directed by Jacob Sidney, it runs through Dec. 14 at the Broadwater Second Stage in Hollywood. For tickets, visit www.sacredfools.org.
“Seven” collaborated to create this compelling tapestry of stories, weaving together the words of seven remarkable women who faced life-threatening obstacles to bring about major improvements in the lives of women and girls in their home countries. ÉLAN Ensemble, using its signature physical theatre techniques, brings these unforgettable stories to life.
Written by Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith and Susan Yankowitz, and directed by Natsuko Ohama, it runs through Dec. 16 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, call (310) 990-2023 or visit www.seven.brownpapertickets,.com.
“The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever!” Sixteen actors play nearly 30 characters in a holiday spectacular that will put you in a festive mood! A play-within-a-play, this fast-paced comedy follows a small, LGBTQ+ community theatre as it struggles to pull together its annual holiday pageant.
Written by Joe Marshall and directed by Bree Pavey, it runs through Dec. 22 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (8180 452-3153 or visit www.loftensemble.org.
“Bob Baker’s Nutcracker” Bob Baker’s adaptation of the ballet classic is one of Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s most beloved shows since it began in 1969. Imagination dwells at Pasadena Playhouse, in a space specially outfitted for optimal holiday and puppetry joy. Allow the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and over 100 handcrafted puppets to take you on an adventure through the wizardry of strings and into the enchanted world of the fantastic … Nutcracker. The show runs through Dec. 29 at the Pasadena Playhouse Carrie Hamilton Theatre in Pasadena. For tickets, call (6260 356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
This Christmas, as always, we want to send out warm wishes to all of our devoted readers, to all of the public relations representatives we deal with and their staffs, and to all of the staff at the publications that make these columns possible throughout the year. Have a healthy, happy and memorable holiday season from Steve and Sid!
Steve Zall and Sid Fish of Scene in L.A. know a lot about L.A. theatre and are ready to share with CV Weekly readers. You can read more at CVWeekly.com/LEISURE.