JOAN OF ART: An Immersive Nutcracker, Bob's Annual Holiday Office Party, and Santasia - A Holiday Comedy

It's that time of month where most of the events coming up have a holiday theme that has absolutely nothing at all to do with shopping which for me is a good thing. I am so burnt out from hearing about all the sales going on. So if you would like another way to spend your money, here are some suggestions that might add some magic to this holiday season.

First up is an enchanting Immersive Nutcracker Cocktail Fete. Even though the show doesn't start until next Thursday, December 12th, tickets are going fast so I'm adding it to my column now.

It's midnight on Christmas - the most magical hour. The Stahibaum family are fast asleep, all except for Clara, whose waking dream leads her on an adventure alongside mischievous mice, candied royalty and a heroic nutcracker.

Travel back in time to experience the classic story of The Nutcracker like never before as actors, music and creative cocktails transform a 19th century parlor into an enchanting winter wonderland. Join your favorite characters as they use everything in the room including you, to create a comical and intimate take on this timeless tale.

This show is part immersive theatre and part cabaret. Guests will also have the option of choosing three tasteful spiked beverages and themed drinks. You will witness first hand the story coming to life all around you with the help of a selection of costumes to dress up in, parlor games and a cheeky remote controlled mouse. You will also get to waltz with the Sugar Plum Fairy, fence alongside the Nutcracker and find yourself cast in some of the lead roles.

THE IMMERSIVE NUTCRACKER COCKTAIL FETE is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season and indulge in true holiday spirit. This is a 21+ event.

The show will take place from 12/12/2019 to 01/19/2020 and is located at 1039 Olive Street, Los Angeles CA 90015. Tickets are $65.00. To purchase tickets and for more information go to fever.com or NutcrackerCocktailFete.com.

On December 5th through the 22nd, BOB'S ANNUAL HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY is returning to the Atwater Village Theatre and having seen this show in the past, I promise you a really over the top fun time.

The show has earned a solid cult following with audiences and critics alike. Playwright Joe Keyes and Rob Elk are proud to bring back the longest running Holiday hit. Now in their 24th year, this hilarious and irreverent comedy has become a vital part of every Christmas season in Los Angeles since 1995.

Briefly, 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 Bob 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?

Well you're just going to have to travel to The Atwater Village Theatre located at 3269 Casitas Avenue to find out.

For more information including cast schedule go to BobsOfficeParty.com or call 1-800-838-3006.

Finally a different kind of comedy show... SANTASIA which is now in its 20th year at the Whitefire Theatre. The show includes an extremely creative and dedicated group of actors who take us on yet another journey through their own very unique Christmas imagination.

They will once again entertain us with their delightfully warped and seasonally fueled stories, songs and glorious dance extravaganzas. At its heart, it's a sketch show with claymation and live action films created by brothers Shan and Brandon Loeser which are liberally sprinkled through the evening and some very elaborate dance numbers choreographed by Tania Pearson-Loeser.

But in the end, this show is really all about love - their love for Christmas, their love for each other and their love for giving us their own very hysterically funny version of what Christmas really means to them all. One moment you will be laughing and the next, you will be wiping a tear from your eye from remembering those who will be missed around the tree this year.

For tickets and more information go to Santasia.com. The Whitefire theatre is located at 13500 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks.

Whatever you choose to do this week, make it a fun one.


TODAY! Shows Around the Southland to Bring Music into Your Holidays

Bob's Holiday Office Party

TODAY! Insurance agent Bob Finhead's whacked out friends and clients stop by his Neuterburg, Iowa (population 382) office for their annual holiday bash. The town mayor, the sheriff, the twin farmer sisters, the stoner, the town alcoholic, the town "party girl" and the pastor's "emotionally disturbed" 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.
Last show is today, Thursday, December 20, 2018.
Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave. Los Angeles, CA. 90039

The Black Hole: A new Alt-Holiday Comedy

TODAY! Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group is presenting Michael Sargent's "off-beat holiday comedy about a new young hire who throws things out of orbit at The Black Hole – an underground club for men in L.A. just 12 days to 'X-Mas 1984.' Can longtime lovers Fred & Joey fight gravity? Or will they be sucked into The Black Hole?" Recommended for Ages 16 and up.
Last show is today, Thursday, December 20, 2018.
Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group at Z.J.U. 4850 Lankershim Blvd North Hollywood CA 91601 playing until Thursday, December 20, 2018.

Bob Baker's Nutcracker

"Bob Baker's adaptation of the ballet classic and one of Bob Baker Marionette Theater's most beloved shows since it's opening in 1969! For the first time outside of its original location, the imagination dwells in a space specially outfitted for optimal holiday and puppetry joy." The Bob Baker Marionette Theater will feature over 100 handcrafted puppets from the Sugarplum Fairy and her Promenading Cakes, through the Waltzing Flowers, and all "the wonders beyond the Mysterious Door!"
Now through December 30, 2018.
The Pasadena Playhouse  - 39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

A Christmas Carol

A Carol Christmas is a new musical version of the immortal Charles Dickens classic set in America right now. Instead of a man named Scrooge we have a woman named Carol, a successful, driven, demanding, Home-Shopping Network maven who cares nothing for Christmas and wants her staff to work right through the holidays. All of the characters you know and love — Marley, Cratchit, Fred, and Tiny Tim are women in this fun, charming, and touching family-friendly new musical."
Playing now until December 30, 2018.
The Group Rep/The Lonny Chapman Theatre - 10900 Burbank Blvd
N. Hollywood, CA 91601

A Christmas Story

TODAY! In 1983, the movie "A Christmas Story" was released--now a classic in its genre-- was based on radio personality and author Jean Shepherd's first volume of stories, his 1960's radio shows, and his iconic character, Ralphie Parker. Shepherd wrote the screenplay with Leigh Brown and director Bob Clark [best known for the Porky's trilogy] Now the Sierra Madre Playhouse is presenting the stage adaptation of A Christmas Story as its holiday attraction. The Parker family gets its Christmas tree. Ralphie's dad, The Old Man, wins a very special prize in a contest. Ralphie is pursued by a girl in his class. Ralphie is pursued by the class bully. And, most famously, Ralphie sets off on a campaign to acquire his most-desired Christmas present, a Red Ryder BB air rifle.
Playing today, Thursday, December 20, through December 30, 2018.
“You'll put your eye out, kid.”
The Sierra Madre Playhouse - 87 West Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024

It's a Wonderful Life

This 1940's live radio-style version of Frank Capra's timeless classic comes to life onstage at the Pasadena Playhouse this year, with Simon Helberg "as the down-on-his-luck George Bailey whose guardian angel shows him what his town would have been like had he'd never been born."
Playing now until Sunday, December 23, 2018
The Pasadena Playhouse  - 39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

The Nutcracker

The Los Angeles Youth Ballet will tell the story of The Nutcracker, originally written by E.T.A. Hoffmann and ballet score by Tchaikovsky, whose ballet "received its debut over 100 years ago in 1892." Spend an evening with family for this enchanting Holiday classic in the one of the City of Glendale's treasured landmark theatres.
Playing Friday, December 21, 2018 – Sunday, December 23, 2018.
Alex Theatre - 216 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203

The Nutcracker

Los Angeles Ballet will present their annual production of The Nutcracker. "One snowy Christmas Eve, at a great townhouse where a party is in full swing, local magician Herr Drosselmeyer arrives with gifts for the children, including a wooden nutcracker for Clara, the oldest child. When the clock strikes midnight, an adventure begins and the Nutcracker comes to life, leading our heroine Clara into a war between mice and tin soldiers, and into the enchanted Land of Sweets where a dance festival awaits them as a reward for defeating the dastardly mouse army." Set to Tchaikovsky's iconic score, The Nutcracker features original choreography by Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, set design by Catherine Kanner, and costume design by Mikael Melbye.
Playing December 22 - 24, 2018, with two shows each day.

UCLA Royce Hall - 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Santasia

SANTASIA – A Holiday Comedy” by Shaun and Brandon Loeser, is celebrating its 19th year, the off-Broadway "laugh out loud annual holiday romp, is the perfect blend of Yuletide snark and sentiment, and has been compared to “The Carol Burnett Show”, “The Kids in the Hall”, “In Living Color”, “Saturday Night Live” and Vaudeville. This multi-media holiday special has it all including classic Rankin and Bass Claymation inspired movies, musical parodies, and heartfelt holiday moments.
Playing now until December 23, 2018.
Whitefire Theatre - 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91423

Special

Presented by Ol' Bait Shop Productions is the World Premiere comedy, "Special," that commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the worst variety show in television history with a behind-the-scenes imagined look of how "The Star Wars Holiday Special" came to be. Riding on the coattails of what was at that point the most popular movie of all time, it featured appearances by cast members, including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, with guest stars, a "holographic" Jefferson Starship, a cartoon sequence with the first appearance of Boba Fett, a celebration of the Wookiee holiday Life Day (because there's no Christmas in Space), and Imperial Storm Troopers. What could possibly go wrong? Everything.
Playing now through January 13, 2019.
Theatre of NOTE - 1517 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Sugar Plum Fairy

"Sugar Plum Fairy is a thoroughly original story about a 12-year-old girl who dreams of dancing the lead in The Nutcracker with a cast of characters you won't forget," said Ashton Marcus. "...an offbeat holiday treat that Adults and Kids love! Join in if you like, (think G-rated “Rocky Horror” fun) and don't forget to wear your ugly holiday sweater, tutu or silly Hanukah hat. It's 75 minutes of madcap merriment that will send you home smiling!"
Playing now until Sunday, December 23, 2018.
Skylight Theatre - 1816 1/2 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Wonderful Winter of Oz

Panto at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium! The Lythgoe Family Panto will take you to the enchanted land of Oz through the British tradition of pantomime, in a retelling of the L. Frank Baum family classic, where audiences participation is part of the show, promising an "evening full of song, dance and holiday merriment, with Kermit the Frog as the Wizard!"Today, Thursday, December 20, 2018, through Sunday, December 30, 2018.
Pasadena Civic Auditorium - 300 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101