JOAN OF ART - A Musical About Love, Winter Fun in Downtown LA, A Thousand Lights at Union Station and A Poignant, Raw, Beautifully Written, Directed, and Acted Film

After you have stuffed yourselves with delicious food, and visited friends and family, here are some fun things you might want to do that does not include eating or shopping.

First up is the return of LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. This is their biggest, record-breaking hit of the holiday season. The multimedia concert celebration of one of the most beloved holiday films of all time is back by popular demand, now as a not-to-be missed Los Angeles tradition.

The team behind LA's award winning series For the Record transforms the theatre into an immersive cinema, where the modern classic written by Richard Curtis is reborn as a revolutionary stage and screen event.

To tell the story, the film and live action seamlessly intertwine throughout the London setting. Iconic scenes on screen share the stage with an all star cast of singers and a 15-piece orchestra as they reimagine the film's hit soundtrack including 'Christmas is All Around' and 'Trouble With Love.'

'Love Actually Live' is a first-of-its-kind theatrical cinema experience. The show runs from November 27th - December 29th. To purchase tickets and for more information visit TheWallis.org/Love or call 310-745-4000.

The Wallis-Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills, 90210.

Next up is something fun for the whole family and one of my favorite things to do...ICE SKATING...Growing up in New York City once the winter was upon us, you could find me with my white skates with pink pom poms ice skating at New York's famed Rockefeller Center. It was always a magical, super fun experience even when I'd fall on my butt which I did more times than not.

Now you can lace up your skates and have the same experience as I did at PERSHING SQUARE HOLIDAY ICE SKATING RINK.

Open daily as of November 14th 2019 until January 20, 2020, you won't want to miss this magical winter wonderland that promises to delight all people of all ages. So grab your family, friends, co-workers or a date and visit The Bai Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square for festive fun and unforgettable memories.

The is their 22nd Anniversary Season so you know they're doing something right. Also every Tuesday throughout the rink, the season will be dedicated to FROZEN. Ice rink lights will be predominantly blue and every third song played will be from the FROZEN'S original Broadway Cast Recording at 7pm, 8:30pm and 10pm.

For more information go to HolidayIceRinkDowntownLA.com. or call 313-624-4289.

 

Speaking of Downtown, at Union Station THOUSANDS OF LUMINOUS LIGHTS are setting the stage for a month long holiday celebration which started on Thursday November 21st.

The holiday season Union Station's historic south patio will be transformed into a hub of holiday entertainment with a Luminous Holiday Light Display, a Tree Lighting Ceremony, illuminating a towering tree with thousands of glistening lights as snowdrifts from the sky fall to welcome the holiday season.

Additionally, the station's iconic clock tower will be adorned with a massive 20 foot wide wreath. There will be a month-long series of eclectic Cocoa Concerts and a Holiday Festival and Artisan Market featuring a distinctive diverse performers, artists and artisans from across Los Angeles.

The Union Station Holiday Festival, a pop-up artisan market, rolls into the station's south patio on Saturday December 7th from 10am to 6pm with more than 40 of L.A.'S most sought after artists and artisans, live entertainment, a Beer Garden, food truck favorites and fun, free activities for the kids.

The Cocoa Concert series continues on Friday, December 6 at 6:40pm (Latin beats from the Congas ), Friday, December 13th, 6:30pm (The singing sounds of the HI-FI HONEYDROPS AND Friday, December 20th, 6:30pm (Special Guests to be announced).

There will also be Santa selfies, a Candy Cane Lane where custom neon photo-op will make your season bright alongside a soaring Candy Cane Queen and holiday-themed arts, crafts and interactive games and entertainment.

I'm taking my eleven year old niece there next weekend and I'm probably going to have just as much fun as she will. For additional information on holiday events at Union Station, check out 'happenings' at UnionStationLA.com.

Lastly I high recommend one of my favorite films of the year MARRIAGE STORY, written and directed by NOAH BAUMBACH, who is also one of my favorite screenwriters. This 2019 films stars the fantastic Scarlett Johansson and the equally fantastic Adam Driver along with the wonderful Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta and Julie Hagerty.

The film follows a married couple going through a coast to coast divorce. You can see it in theaters around town and it will also be streaming on NETFLIX starting on December 6th. The film received widespread critical acclaim particularly for Baumbach's screenplay and direction as well as the acting of Johansson, Driver and Dern.

MARRIAGE STORY is at times funny, extremely raw and deeply emotional. Driver plays a successful theatre director in New York City. His theatre company is currently producing a play that stars his wife Nicole (Johansson) a former teen film actress. That's all I really want to say about it except that I promise, you will be thinking about this film long after the credits end. I know I was.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays even though I'm a staunch vegetarian. For me it's all about getting together with people that I love and sharing what we are all thankful for. I hope that you all besides having fun and experiencing delicious food, take a moment and reflect on all the things in your life that you are grateful for.


Joan's LA Weekend, Vampires, Ghosts, A Train Station, and One Beautiful Love Story

Well it's getting close to Halloween and the ghosts and goblins are already out in full force.
I love to be scared. I go to horror films (as long as they aren't gory) haunted hay rides and the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor Tour. To say Halloween is one of my favorite time of year is an understatement.

On Friday night I will be at the Odyssey Theatre, located at 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd, West Los Angeles to see BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL described as 'West Side Story' with Vampires. Now I've seen 'West Side Story' more times than I can remember so you can imagine how excited I am to see this. This show will have a limited run so I wouldn't wait too long to get tickets. The performances are: September 20th through September 23rd and again September 27th through the 30th. For more information and tickets go to BloodRocktheMusical.com.

Continuing the theme on Saturday I am going on HOLLYWOOD'S HAUNTED WALKING GHOST TOUR. According to the site the walking tour is packed with haunted locations and scary stores in Los Angeles. You will step into the shoes of the fallen stars of Hollywood and peer into the grisly fates that fame and fortune had in store for them. In between sights, you'll take a break at a haunted bar to make the rest of the journey extra enjoyable. If you like to be scared as much as I do then go to HollywoodHaunted.com to book your tickets.

Now next to being scared I love anything vintage and arcade games so on Sunday I will be downtown at Union Station to step back in time for the ultimate arcade rewind: Union Station's Retrocede Experience. It will feature over forty cabinet games from the 70's, 80's and 90's. The event starts at 11 am and goes to 9 pm on Saturday the 22nd and 11:00 am to 7 pm on Sunday the 23rd. You will be able to play on the eclectic collection of classic arcade games and my favorite, pinball cabinets including Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Street Fighter. From 5pm - 7pm each day, you will be allowed to enter a Pac Man Tournament and compete for top honors and a Pac Man trophy. The fee is only $5.00 to enter. At the Arcade Lounge there will be classic arcade food and 80's candy. Beer wine and specialty themed cocktails will also be available. To learn more go to UnionStationLA.coum/happenings.

Finally I have to recommend a film that I have already seen entitled 'Life Itself'. It opens this Friday and it's definitely high up on my 'must see' list. In fact it's one of my favorite films of 2018. 'Life Itself' was written and directed by Dan Fogelman, creator of the television show 'This Is Us'. I absolutely loved this film and you will too. The story takes us on this incredible poignant journal through love, family, tragedy, joy and fate weaving stories of different people from different generations and different parts of the world and eventually connecting them. The film starts Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Olive Cooke, Mandy Patinkin and Oscar Isaac and they are all amazing.

Whatever you choose to do, have a wonderful weekend.