Spotlight on the holidays: Local stages are filled with holiday cheer
Local stage venues unwrap a bounty of festive treats both traditional and new.
Left to right: Frank Simons, David Allen Jones and Jenna Augen in "A Christmas Carol" at Grove Theater Center at GTC Burbank. (Courtesy of Dallas Ocean / November 27, 2013)
Aladdin and His Winter Wish (Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena). Bruce Vilanch plays Widow Twankey and Ben Vereen is the Genie in Lythgoe Family Productions' second annual holiday musical, presented British panto style with a cast whose stage and screen credits range from Nickelodeon to Broadway. (And there's a live pony, too.) Choreography by Spencer Liff (“So You Think You Can Dance”) and musical direction by Michael Orland (“American Idol”). For all ages. Gala opening, 7 p.m. Dec. 11. Runs 3 and 7 p.m. Thursday through Friday; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. Also 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Ends Dec. 29. $22 to $72. Premium seating additional. Children's “Golden Ticket” (includes an onstage experience during the show): $100. (626) 356-7529, www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
Alex Theatre Holiday Schedule (Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale). The historic Alex Theatre, closed since July for a multimillion-dollar expansion project, reopens for the holiday season. “Nutcracker Holiday Festival” (Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre): 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 only. $25 to $90. “The Nutcracker” (Los Angeles Ballet): 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8; $30 to $95. “Holiday Spectacular” (Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles): 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 14; 3 p.m. Dec. 15. $25 to $75. “Christmas Concert” (Los Angeles Symphony): 8 p.m. Dec. 21. $25 to $75. “Taline, Friends & Santa, Armenian Christmas Show”: 5 p.m. Dec. 22. $20 to $60. “Anna in the World of Fairytales”: 7 p.m. Dec. 23. $30 to $50. (818) 243-2539, www.alextheatre.org.
A Christmas Carol (A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena). Charles Dickens' message of humanity and redemption is a family affair at A Noise Within, where Geoff Elliott reprises his role as Scrooge. Elliott adapted the classic and helms the full production with his co-artistic director (and wife) Julia Rodriguez-Elliott. Composer Ego Plum wrote the original music. Opens Dec. 7. Regular schedule: 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Also runs 2 p.m. Dec. 22 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. Ends Dec. 22. (Special preshow fundraising gala, 2 p.m. Dec. 8; curtain at 4:30 p.m.: “Fezziwig's Festive Holiday Tea.” Tickets: $200 per adult, $100 per child ages 6 to 17. Supports ANW's core education program, “Classics Live!”) (626) 356-3100, Ext. 1, www.anoisewithin.org.
A Christmas Carol (GTC Burbank, 1111-b W. Olive Ave., Burbank). GTC reprises Artistic Director Kevin Cochran's original language-savoring, quick-change adaptation of the Dickens' classic, performed by a veteran professional cast of three: one to play Scrooge, and two to narrate and play all the rest of the characters. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Ends Dec. 15. $29.50 (Burbank residents) and $34.50. (800) 838-3006, (818) 528-6622, www.gtc.org.
A Christmas Carol (Glendale Centre Theatre, 324 N. Orange St., Glendale). It's a tradition: Glendale Centre Theatre's presentation of Dickens' classic for family audiences returns for its 48th annual outing. Adapted by Brenda Dietlein. This week: 1 p.m. Dec. 1; 8 p.m. Dec. 5-6; 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 7; 1 p.m. Dec. 8. Schedule varies through Dec. 24; check website for other dates and times. Ends Dec. 24. $25 to $30. (818) 244-8481. www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
A Christmas Carol (Parson's Nose Productions, Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena). Parson's Nose and its troupe of classically trained actors present the company's annual Reader's Theatre celebration of the Dickens classic, adapted by Artistic Director Lance Davis. 7 p.m. Dec. 21; 3 p.m. Dec. 22. $5 to $25 (pay-what-you-will). (626) 403-7667, www.parsonsnose.com.
Boogie Woogie Holiday (Missing Piece Theatre, 2811 W. Magnolia Blvd. Burbank). A family-friendly backstage musical comedy about an audition for a holiday show and a director with Santa issues. By Matisha Baldwin. Presented by the It Factor Theatre. 7 p.m. Dec. 14; 1 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 15. $15. (818) 955-8801. www.theitfactortheatre.com/shows.php.
In the Holiday Mood (Colony Theatre, 555 N. Third St., Town Center Mall, Burbank). A vintage big-band-style musical evening with Dean Mora and his Orchestra, featuring “White Christmas,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” and other holiday and Great American Songbook classics. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. $20 to $50. (818) 558-7000, Ext. 15, www.colonytheatre.org.
Walkin' in a Winter One-Hit Wonderland (Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank). Troubadour Theater Co. brings its signature off-the-wall, anarchic humor to a “cabaret clip show,” featuring the towering Winter Warlock and other wild characters from past Troubie shows in a pop musical trip down one-hit-wonder lane. Recommended for ages 13 and older. Opens 8 p.m. Dec. 13. Runs 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Dark Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. (4 p.m. only on Jan. 12 and Jan. 19. Added shows 4 p.m. Dec. 28 and Jan. 4.) Ends Jan. 19. $34.50 to $42. Opening night: $52 to $57. (818) 955-8101, www.falcontheatre.com.
LYNNE HEFFLEY writers about theater and culture for Marquee.