Scene In LA – December 2022

Most theaters have returned to normal operations; however, county mandates for mask requirements are still being decided as we go to press, so check the current guidelines before leaving to attend any performances. COVID protocols also vary from venue to venue, so proof of vaccination may need to be shown and/or a mask worn during a show. Please communicate with the theater before attending an event to find out what is their current policy.

The information presented in this column is the latest available at the time of printing; however, it should be verified with the theater before making definite plans.

Here are the shows that have announced opening dates for this month, or are already running at this time:




 “Chriskirkpatrickmas: A Boy Band Christmas Musical” Holiday entertainment just got more magical. Think, “A Christmas Carol” meets “It’s a Wonderful Life” meets …*NSYNC. It’s Christmas Eve 2009 and Chris Kirkpatrick from *NSYNC has a decision to make. This musical parody mashup of holiday classics features 12 original songs in a celebration of the season with music direction by Taylor Williams whose work can be heard on the Grammy Award winning albums Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and The Color Purple (2016 revival).

Written by Alison Zatta, with music by Alison Zatta and Valen Shore, and directed by Valen Shore, it runs through Dec. 11 at the Actors Company in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit



“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? Will any of this matter once the party starts, the bickering and fighting begins, and the drinks hit the floor? The play is set in the office of insurance salesman Bob Finhead in Neuterburg, Iowa (population 382). Bob is carrying on a flirtation with the mayor’s wife, while the mayor himself is busy accommodating a male houseguest. Joe, the alcoholic town sheriff, is attracted to Brandy, the town party girl who is the twin sister of Carol, the minister’s emotionally disturbed wife. There’s one other set of twins in town, La Donna and La Voris Johnson, wealthy farmers who are proud members of the Neuterburg Tea Party.

Written by Joe Keyes and Rob Elk, and directed by Matt Roth, it runs through Dec. 18 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets, visit



“A Christmas Carol” tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a prosperous curmudgeon of a man who believes that personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated “Bah! Humbug!” Scrooge summates his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he’s forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present, and Future. Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge eventually learns to recognize his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful “Happy Christmas” before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him.

Written by Charles Dickens, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and directed by Tim Nelson, it runs through Dec. 18 at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster. For tickets, visit



“Santasia – A Holiday Comedy” The critically acclaimed musical sketch comedy show features Broadway musical parodies, heartfelt sentiment and classic Rankin and Bass inspired Claymation movies. The popular and celebrated live stage show has run in Los Angeles for the past 23 years.

Written by Brandon Loeser and Shaun Loeser, and directed by Brandon Loeser, Shaun Loeser and Tania Pearson-Loeser, it runs through Dec. 25 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets, visit



“Volun-Tears” is based on the true experiences of women who have suffered sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the United States Armed Forces. Performed by a majority of U.S. veterans, the play exposes the truth about the insidious systemic sexual harassment and abuse that continues to shame and dishonor America’s military.

Written by Lester Probst and directed by Tony Lugo, it runs through Dec. 11 at the Blue Door Theatre in Culver City. For tickets, visit



“Winter Wishes: A Holiday Cabaret Theatre” Featuring a talented cast of 15 singer-actors performing treasured songs and telling stories of holiday memories and wishes we will usher in this magical season of joy and light uplifting your spirits, making you laugh out loud and inspiring hope in your heart.

Music by Paul Cady, with music by Paul Cady, it runs through Dec. 11 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 851-7977 or visit



“Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Revue” It’s 1930s Harlem, and the joint is jumpin’! Nightclubs like The Cotton Club and The Savoy Ballroom are the playgrounds of high society and dive bars on Lenox Avenue pulse with piano players banging out new tunes that are a wild mix of raucous, rowdy and mournful. At home on the keyboard is Thomas “Fats” Waller – the big-hearted, bigger-than-life impresario and international jazz pianist who helped create and define American swing. This is a musical tribute to Waller’s passion for pleasure and play. The revue features a five-person, triple-threat cast performing such classic hit songs like “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Your Feet’s Too Big,” “Black and Blue,” “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Right Myself a Letter,” “The Jitterbug Waltz” and the iconic title song.

Written by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr., with music by Thomas “Fats” Waller, and directed by Wren T. Brown, it runs through Dec. 18 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets, call (805) 667-2900 or visit



“A Christmas Carol” A Noise Within’s delightfully festive, musically merry stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has become a Los Angeles tradition with its innovative staging, whimsical costumes, original music and boundless good cheer.

Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Geoff Elliott, with music by Robert Oriol, 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) 356-3100 or visit



“Die Heart” This holiday season, the Troubies leave no stone unturned and no glass un-shot – as they blow the roof off the Colony Theatre and hold the audience hostage with the classic Christmas film “Die Hard” combined with the music of Heart – in Troubadour Theater’s production of “Die Heart!” Don’t spend the holidays “Alone,” run barefoot to the Colony Theatre and see the Troubies “Kick it Out,” but remember – don’t be late-comers or we’ll go “Crazy on You!” Hans Gruber and his “Bara-crewda” will be gunning for laughs in Burbank as they take on that tempestuous “Magic Man,” John McClane in this can’t-miss Troubie extravaganza!

Written and directed by Matt Walker, with music by Ryan Whyman, it runs Dec. 8 through Dec. 18 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets, call (818) 558-7000 or visit



“Shambles” Blurring the lines between audience and performers, this immersive experience drops theater goers into a ’60s NASA holiday party complete with alien abductions, ugly Christmas sweaters and free-flowing champagne as theatergoers meander through curated rooms of wonder.

Written by Stefan Haves with music by Philip Giffin, it runs Dec. 8 through Dec. 31 at the Actors’ Gang at The Ivy Substation in Culver City. For tickets, call (310) 838-4264 or visit



“A Very DIE HARD Christmas” In “A Very DIE HARD Christmas,” a team of terrorists has seized a building, taken hostages and declared war. One man has managed to escape. An off-duty cop hiding somewhere inside. He’s alone, tired … and he doesn’t like Christmas. Action, humor, Professor Snape taking people hostage, singing, dancing, the guy from “Family Matters,” guns, puppets, explosions, the EPA guy from “Ghostbusters” getting punched in the face, Christmas miracles and familiar holiday friends galore. Maybe even an appearance by the legend himself, Santa Claus! This is much more than a stage version of the holiday classic “Die Hard;” its parody at its best.

Written by Josh Carson, Brad Erickson, Andy Rocco Kraft and Mike Mayket, and directed by Gregory Crafts, it runs Dec. 8 through Dec. 18 at the Studio/Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit


“Promises, Promises” The story concerns a junior executive at an insurance company who seeks to climb the corporate ladder by allowing his apartment to be used by his married superiors for trysts. Most of the play takes place at Christmas time and trouble starts at the annual office Christmas party. Includes the hits: “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “Promises, Promises,” “I Say a Little Prayer for You,” “A House Is Not a Home” and more!

Written by Neil Simon, with music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David, and directed by Brent Beerman, it runs Dec. 9 through Jan. 15 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre Main Stage in North Hollywood. For tickets, visit



“The Wonderful Winter of Oz: A Holiday Panto” Lythgoe Family Panto invite you to take a new adventure to the enchanted land of Oz in their fantastically festive and fun production. Based on the British tradition of pantomim, where the audiences’ participation is part of the show, expect a hilarious, heartwarming evening full of song, dance and holiday merriment! The classic American tale gets a holiday makeover as Dorothy is spirited away by a blizzard on Christmas Eve and finds herself in a strange and wondrous land full of witches, munchkins and more! With beloved holiday tunes and a talented cast, you’ll discover the magic of panto to enrich your holiday season!

Written by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, it runs Dec. 9 through Dec. 30 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets, call (949) 497-2787 or visit



“La Voix Studio 10th Annual Winter Gala” La Voix Studio, in association with the Maison De Music Foundation, will host its 10th Annual Winter Gala honoring Randy Taraborrelli and The Supremes. The gala is expected to bring out musical legends and artists to honor Motown’s record-breaking and most influential girl group of all time. Confirmed celebrity guests include Scherrie Payne, Lynda Laurence & Susaye Greene of The Supremes, Freda Payne, Joyce and Pam Vincent (Tony Orlando & Dawn), Randy Taraborrelli (biographer of Diana Ross and Beyonce), Iris Gordy and Karla Bristol Gordy (the Berry Gordy Family), Janie Bradford (former VP of Motown), Gloria Hendry from James Bond “Live And Let Die,” Betty Kelly of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Reggie Dozier (Grammy Award Winning Music Engineer), Donald Welch (Producer & Director), Charlo Crossley of Bette Midler’s Harlettes, Marla Gibbs from 227 and the Jeffersons along with many more! These inspiring musical greats will welcome a new generation of emerging soulful artists to perform a special tribute of chart-topping memorial hits to help raise donations for Maison De Music Foundation.

Written by Shoshana Phillips and directed by Donald Welch, it runs Dec. 11 at the American Jewish University in Bel Air. For tickets, visit



“Latina Christmas Special” You thought your holidays with the family were dramatic? Try these three hilarious, touching and surprisingly personal Christmas stories of holidays past told by three acclaimed Latina comedians. When these three sassy BFFs get together, they down plenty of tequila and dish about everything from moms to cucarachas (cockroaches) to Farrah Fawcett and share their funny and intimate stories of childhood Christmas “dramas” that make them uniquely American, undoubtedly Latina and, most of all, friends. Bursting with laughs, more laughs, music and escándalo (scandal)!

Written by Maria Russell, Sandra Valls and Diana Yanez, and directed by Geoffrey Rivas, it runs Dec. 13 through Dec. 20 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets, call (626) 356-3100 or visit



“18 Minutes of Fame: A Musical Journey with Barbara Minkus” You’ve seen her – a lot: on stage, on screen and especially on television. Other than the fact that she never became actually famous, she’s had what most performers would consider an enviable career. Because she started out as, and remains, an accomplished singer, her show business memoir is a musical one. Her road hasn’t always been an easy one. She faced physical challenges. She had to conceal her stage mother’s ongoing infidelities. Aspiring early on to sing opera, Barbara found her audiences steering her in the direction of musical comedy. Gaining a foothold in national media, she worked with the show business greats. She appeared 25 times as a raconteur and singer on “The Merv Griffin Show;” appeared on TV with Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis; 27 episodes of “Love, American Style” as a variety of characters; stints on “Tosh O,” “Getting On” and “The Tonight Show.” Her stage career has included the touring company of “Funny Girl” (as Fanny Brice), a starring role on Broadway in “The Education of Hyman Kaplan,” off-Broadway roles in “Picon Pie” (as Molly Picon), “Don’t Leave It All to Your Children.” She starred locally as Jennie Grossinger in “Saturday Night at Grossinger’s.” She also had roles in 11 feature films. Along the way, she found true love. A trip to Israel with her husband brought her closer to her Jewish roots.

Written by Susan Morgenstern and Barbara Minkus, and directed by Susan Morgenstern, it runs Dec. 16 through Dec. 18 at Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 851-7977 or visit



“The Long Beach Nutcracker” This production boasts a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a real live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics and a cast of over 250. 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.

Written by E. T. A. Hoffmann, with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and directed by David Wilcox, it runs Dec. 16 through Dec. 23 at the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach. For tickets, visit




“A Child’s Christmas in Wales” Dylan Thomas recounts his childhood in Wales and the simple pleasures of Christmas in a small seaside town. Snowballs, songs and presents are all part of the whimsical winter landscape as we follow a young boy through the most wonderful time of the year.

Written by Dylan Thomas, it runs through Dec. 11 at the Helen Borgers Theatre in Long Beach. For tickets, visit



“Mrs. Dilber’s Fabulous Bedcurtains” is a comedic reimagining of the classic holiday tale, but without the old rich guy! Instead, playwright Arthur M. Jolly focuses on Mrs. Dilber, the housekeeper in the original story – and her epic attempt to get some bedcurtains despite a series of ghosts and other diversions including Dr. Jekyll, the little matchstick girl and an oddly Mr. Hyde-esque Tiny Tim … on a night somewhat adjacent to the more familiar story.

Written by Arthur M. Jolly and directed by Tor Brown and Marc Leclerc, it runs through Dec. 18 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets, visit


“A Christmas Carol” features SCR founding member Richard Doyle as Ebenezer Scrooge. This Orange County holiday tradition, now in its 42nd year, provides a perfect holiday story about Southern California holiday theatre.

Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Jerry Patch, and directed by Hisa Takakuwa, it runs through Dec. 24 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets, call (714) 708-5555 or visit



“The Empire Strips Back– the Unauthorized Star Wars™ Burlesque Parody” Combining striptease, song and dance, troupe routines and plenty of humor, audiences are transported into the world of burlesque to witness a menacing troop of seriously sexy Stormtroopers, a dangerously seductive Boba Fett, tantalizing Twi’leks, a delightfully lukewarm Taun Taun, a lady-like Skywalker and. of course, scantily clad and daring Droids. Even Darth Vader will explore her feminine side with a fantastical twist.

Written and directed by Russall S. Beattie, it runs through Jan. 1 at the Montalbán Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets, visit



Steve Zall, Publisher

Sid Fish, Co-Publisher and Editor