All over the city, holiday joy is spreading, with special performances and events. Go in person or, in some cases, watch from home. Here’s a holly jolly selection.
The Gift of the Magi
A free in-person adaptation of the classic Christmas story “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry is offered as a thank-you to donors and patrons who kept Actors Co-op going in 2021. In their attempts to buy each other proper Christmas gifts, a strange twist of fate leads the couple to find the perfect gifts for one another – but at an unexpected cost.
The one-night-only performance is scheduled for Thursday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Mears Center on the campus of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, 1760 N. Gower St. Running time is about an hour and free parking is available. Make reservations here.
Theatricum Botanicum Holiday Family Faire
Theatricum Botanicum doesn’t just hold a holiday fair with gifts, festive music and a Santa. Yes, there’s all that, but there’s also a special performance of Harry Nilsson’s The Point! with Kiefo Nilsson, narrated by John C. Reilly.
The Holiday Family Faire takes place on Saturday, December 11 from 12:00-6:00 p.m. at Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. Rain date is Saturday, Dec. 18. Find more information here.
Beasley’s Christmas Party
As its final Monday Night Seminar, Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills will present a rehearsed reading via Zoom of a heartwarming holiday tale, Beasley’s Christmas Party by Booth Tarkington (1869-1946). Beasley’s Christmas Party is set in the Midwestern town of Wainwright, where Beasley is considered a potential candidate for governor. But he is seen talking to people and a dog who aren’t there. Is he mad? A new journalist in town and Beasley’s two political foes are determined to find out.
Beasley’s Christmas Party will be performed live on Monday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom. A short Q&A will follow the show. Click here to watch.
62nd Annual LA County Holiday Celebration
The traditional Christmas Eve celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion returns this year, More than 20 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies from around Los Angeles will perform, co-hosted by Mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán and actor Brian White. PBS SoCal will livestream the event.
Returning performers include the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, gospel singers Lorenzo Johnson & Praizum, the Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, klezmer band Mostly Kosher, and Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea. Newcomers include Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance, and cellist and autistic savant Adam Mandela Walden.
The event takes place Friday, December 24 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave. Free parking is available in the Music Center garage. More details:
- Free admission, with no reservations or tickets to the show.
- First come, first seated.
- The line usually begins to form around noon; doors open at 2:30
- Proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or a negative test within 72 hours required; please allow extra time for check-in prior to getting in line.
- Masks required throughout the performance.
- Livestreaming at https://kcet.org/holidaycelebration
Snow Globe Groundlings: The Holiday Show
The Groundlings make the holidays zany with their all-new holiday offerings. In addition to a wide range of non-holiday shows, check out Snow Globe Groundlings: The Holiday Show.
Tickets to Snow Globe Groundlings (Friday and Saturday through December 18) are $25. Showtime is 8:00 p.m. The Groundlings Theatre is located at 7307 Melrose Avenue. Tickets are available here.
A Christmas Carol
Bradley Whitford and Kate Burton are onstage through Jan. 1, 2022 at the Ahmanson in the Old Vic’s production of A Christmas Carol. It’s a reinterpretation of the timeless Dickens tale by playwright Jack Thorne and director Matthew Warchus. Show times are Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m., and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available here.
The Zip Code Plays: Los Angeles
Season Three of The Zip Code Plays: Los Angeles, a podcast series from Antaeus Theatre Company is available now. Each season, Antaeus presents the comedy, drama and sometimes surprising history of various Los Angeles neighborhoods with six original short audio plays, each set in different L.A. zip codes. Hosted by Ramón de Ocampo.
A large box containing recording equipment made the rounds to each actor, who recorded at home (typically in a closet, based on the photos). The results are evocative.
- 91201 Glendale: “The Six Pianos of Miradero”
- 91505 Burbank: “True Sound”
- 90262 Lynwood: “Blue Like You”
- 90027 Griffith Park: “The Fire In-Between
- 90039 Frogtown: “Anaxyrus Boreas”
- 90028 Hollywood: “Marie Dressler: Good Gal”
Start listening here (and you can catch the two previous seasons as well).
About Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen has lived in the Brookside neighborhood since 1993. She works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She's also a playwright affiliated with Neo Ensemble Theatre in Hollywood.
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