The holidays are here and the time is ripe to get into the spirit of the season. Los Angeles offers ample options for holiday fun no matter your age or faith. Enhance your holidays with theater and music by attending one or all of the best holiday performances in the area this season.
“A Christmas Carol with Charles Dickens”
Independent Shakespeare Company’s Studio
3191 Casitas Ave. 168
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Dates: Dec. 10 to 23
Price: $25 general/$15 students
Based on an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” done by its own writer, Charles Dickens, and with some creative additions by the Independent Shakespeare Company, this public holiday reading is becoming an annual tradition. David Melville, ISC’s artistic director, performs as Dickens, accompanied by the music and dramatic effects of actress Mary Guilliams. This play should be enjoyed by family members 7 years old and older.
53rd Annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Date: Dec. 24, 3 to 6 p.m.
Los Angeles largest public holiday celebration presents a diversity of music, dance numbers, choirs and other performing arts every year at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at no cost to the audience. This year will include the Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble, a group of 20 youngsters 11 to 18 years old from the Antelope Valley. Also performing will be the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, which was created during the 1970s gay civil rights movement to advance social change through art.
“A Snow White Christmas”
The Pasadena Playhouse
39 S. El Molino Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101
Dates: Dec. 13 to 30
Price: $32 to $72 adults/$22 to $47 children
This interactive musical, a Lythgoe Family Production, is based on the Grimm Fairy Tales but modernized with current subjects and well-known pop songs. It includes magic acts, comedy, dancing performed by a few “So You Think You Can Dance” alumni, a live miniature pony and music by pop stars like Katy Perry, Huey Lewis and Michael Jackson. Prior to every performance, guests are invited to enjoy a Winter Wonderland event in the Playhouse’ courtyard, which will include music, crafts, games and great picture backgrounds.
Holiday Sing-Along at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Date: Dec. 22, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Price: $33.50 to $87
Few things get you in the holiday spirit like a great sing along of merry holiday songs. That is what the audience is encouraged to do at the Holiday Sing-Along organized by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, which this year presents the Angeles Chorale with artistic director John Sutton, host David Prather, and beloved actress Julie Andrews. At this concert, the audience is given lyric sheets with the words to some of the best-known carols, and the historically sold-out concert turns into a great event for the whole family. Andrews will recite holiday poems during the show.
“Coney Island Christmas”
10886 Le Conte Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Dates: Through Dec. 30
Price: $35 to $55
Written by Pulitzer-winner Donald Margulies and based on Grace Paley’s short story “The Loudest Voice,” this play presents the story of a Jewish girl named Shirley Abramowitz who, to her parents’ dismay, was selected to perform the part of Jesus in a school Christmas play. The tale is told by Shirley herself, many years later, to her great-granddaughter, in what becomes a nostalgic yet cheerful reminiscence of the American holiday spirit. “Coney Island Christmas” is a family event that can be enjoyed by 6 year olds and older. It is 85 minutes long without an intermission.
Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.