Theatre

The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

THE NUTCRACKER

  • By KEN WERTHER
  • Photo Courtesy of SEGERSTROM CENTER

This month, Segerstrom Center for the Arts is presenting the return of American Ballet Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of The Nutcracker. This beloved holiday tradition is a Christmas fairytale that truly captures the spirit of the season through the magic of a child’s imagination. Created by one of today’s most celebrated choreographers, Alexei Ratmansky, this dazzling ballet treat features ABT’s roster of superstar dancers along with gorgeous sets and costumes by Tony Award-winner Richard Hudson, Pacific Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, and over 100 performers. Now, when I was a kid, I bought tickets for the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker every year. Top price for the best seat — $8 (I’m old)! The Nutcracker was first performed in 1892 and was not considered a success. But Tchaikovsky’s score became one of his most famous compositions, and various iterations of the ballet continue to enjoy enormous popularity all over the world. As a special treat, on Saturday, December 3 (at 10am and 11:30am), The Nutcracker will be performed in a condensed version created just for kids. And the show finishes with a jolly visit from Santa Claus himself!

Segerstrom also has a fabulous slate of other holiday events scheduled for December. There’s Mannheim Steamroller Christmas (one of my personal faves), The Broadway Hollywood Holiday Songbook, the Johnny Mathis Christmas Concert (the man is a legend!), Fiesta Navidad, and Salute to Vienna. I might just spend the entire month in Costa Mesa!

For tickets and details, click here.

Die Heart at the Colony Theatre (December 8-18)

DIE HEART

  • By ARLENE WINNICK

Tis the season to be jolly and nothing makes an audience laugh more than the Troubadour Theatre Company a.k.a. The Troubies annual holiday show.  Known for their hysterically-funny musical mashups, this year their gift to Angelenos is Die Heart combining the classic Bruce Willis film Die Hard with the music of Heart. Die Heart is a wonderful addition to The Troubies holiday repertoire from year’s past including Little Drummer Bowie, Santa Claus is coming to Motown, and A Christmas Carole King.

Our hero “Magic Man” John McClane arrives in LA (“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…) to discover his wife and her co-workers have been taken hostage in the Nakatomi Plaza skyscraper (aka Fox Plaza in Century City) by the notorious Hans Gruber and his “Bara-crewda” gang.

Can the renegade McClane – all “Alone” – save the day and outsmart the ruthless gang (“Just a fly in the ointment, Hans. The monkey in the wrench”) as he goes “Crazy on You.”

Heart, a popular rock band formed in Seattle in the 1960’s, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. The play features many much loved Troubie regulars and was adapted and directed by Troubie founder Matt Walker. So “Kick It Out” and give yourself a gift – get your tickets at Burbank’s Colony Theater now as the holiday shows always sell out.

For more details and tickets, click here.

Mrs. Dilber’s Fabulous Bedcurtains through December 18

Mrs. Dilber’s Fabulous Bedcurtains

  • By Ken Werther

Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood has welcomed the 2022 holiday season with the world premiere of a new comedy, Mrs. Dilber’s Fabulous Bedcurtains by Arthur M. Jolly. Definitely not A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Mrs. Dilber’s Fabulous Bedcurtains is a comedic reimagining of the classic holiday tale, but without the old rich guy! Instead, playwright 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. Directed by Tor Brown and Marc Leclerc, the cast features Antwan Alexander II, Lemon Baardsen, Macedonia Bullington, Isaac Deakyne, Jennifer DeRosa, Raymond Donehey, Madylin Sweeten Durrie, Jay Hoshina, Robert Jolly, Maia Luer, Benjamin Marshall, Matthew Monaco, Ignacio Navarro, Sarah Nilsen, TJ O’Brien, Bree Pavey, and Natasha Renae Potts. Performances continue through Sunday, December 18.

I’m guessing that if you’ve never read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, you’ve never heard of Mrs. Dilber. This is a great time to meet her — she’s a hoot! Loft Ensemble has won several Valley Theatre Awards, two Ovation Awards, received five BroadwayWorld Award nominations along with a combined 28 Valley Theatre Award nominations in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Admission for all shows is Donate What You Want. How can you go wrong?

For tickets and details, click here.

Bob’s Holiday Office Party December 2-18 at Beverly Hills Playhouse

Bob’s Holiday Office Party

  • By Kenne Hoffman

Beverly Hills Playhouse cordially invites you to attend Bob’s Holiday Office Party, now celebrating its 25th year. Dreaming of a bigger life, Bob wants to escape the narrow-minded thinking in his small town. But once again it’s that time of year and the annual holiday bash thrown by Bob’s whacked out co-workers and friends. The usual suspects have already RSVP’d — the town mayor, the sheriff, the stoner, and the town floozy. Written by Joe Keyes and Rob Elk and directed by Matt Roth, Bob’s Holiday Office Party has earned quite the cult following and is a vital part of LA’s Christmas season. 

Think your holiday parties are bad? Just wait until you see the antics at Bob’s, set in the insurance office of Bob Finhead (playwright Rob Elk) in Neuterburg, Iowa (population 382). Bob flirts with the mayor’s wife while the mayor is busy entertaining his male house guest. You’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of this bunch of characters (all played by veteran “Bob” cast members) get up to when the drinks begin to flow, and the bickering begins. Will Bob be able to escape to the big city and fulfill his dreams, or will he come to realize that he is the heart and soul of the small town?

Bob’s Holiday Office Party takes place on Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7:30pm.

For tickets, click here