December 2018

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Come From Away plays through January 6th at the  Ahmanson


  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Center Theatre Group

Commercial planes played a central role in the tragic events of 9/11. But what happened to passengers on international NYC-bound flights that were diverted to other locations that day? Broadway’s critically acclaimed new musical Come From Away tells the incredible true story of 6,500 passengers from 100 countries on 38 planes who were re-routed to the Canadian town of Gander, Newfoundland (pop. 10,000) and the local citizenry fated to welcome them.

Tony and Grammy Award nominees David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Come From Away) interviewed members of both groups in 2011 during a ten-year anniversary reunion of that five-day visit. Directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), twelve actors portray more than 40 characters that are composites of passengers and townsfolk while an eight-piece onstage band plays an energizing original Celtic/folk-rock score with British Isles influences and world music elements. This New York Times Critics’ Pick show is a heartwarming tribute to the best aspects of human nature and friendships forged during a time of unfathomable horror.

“An affecting, stirring and unpretentious new musical. Christopher Ashley’s production lets the simple goodness of ordinary people outshine sensational evil.” Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

Through January 6th. For more information, click here.


Come From Away plays through January 6th at the  Ahmanson


  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Pantages

Elphaba and Glinda return to the Pantages to “defy gravity” in Broadway’s most “popular” musical, Wicked! This legendary Tony Award-winning tale of two witches from the Land of Oz, featuring songs by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman, recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Gershwin Theatre debut with original stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. The Wizard of Oz prequel is the second highest grossing Broadway show of all time behind The Lion King.

Los Angeles audiences will be changed “for good” by the women leading this special holiday season engagement. Jackie Burns is Broadway’s longest-running Wicked Witch of the North while Kara Lindsay played Glinda the Good for several years in the Broadway company. Both have starred in their respective roles on national tours. Watch them bring these beloved characters and once-upon-a-time friends to life before Dorothy and her little dog Toto dropped in. A day-of-performance lottery will be held prior to each performance for a limited number of $25 seats.

“If every musical had the brain, heart and courage of Wicked, Broadway really would be a magical place.” — TIME Magazine

Now through January 27th. For more information, click here.

Elf The Musical!

Elf The Musical plays through December 9th at Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach

Elf The Musical!

  • By Arlene Winnick

Buddy is back!  Yes, the star of one of the funniest Christmas movies ever, ELF! Is back and stars in a delightful production.  ELF the MUSICAL is so much fun for the entire family — a perfect way to start off your holiday entertainment this year.  The show -a presentation of Musical Theater West – is now in a limited run at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach.

Who didn’t love Will Farrell in the 2003 hit film portraying William “Buddy” Hobbs, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole.  There, the would-be elf is raised by Santa and his helpers unaware that he is actually a human….until his giant size – and poor toy-making skills – cause him to face the truth.  Soon Buddy embarks on a journey in search of his real family and ends up helping everyone remember the true meaning of Christmas.

The music and dance numbers are filled with high energy and wonderfully staged with songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway and other hit shows).  The show broke Broadway records when it first debuted in 2010 and ABC News raved, “a tight, polished, expensive-looking affair that has enough jokes for adults and enough special effects for kids” to keep everyone fully satisfied.

To purchase tickets and more details, click here.

Holiday Panto!

The Wonderful Winter of Oz plays December 15-30th at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium (Starring Marissa Jaret Winokur, Kermit the Frog, and Mackenzie Ziegler)

Holiday Panto!

  • By Karen Vock

Lythgoe Family Panto makes the holiday season bright with the world premiere of THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF OZ, live onstage at the historic Pasadena Civic Auditorium December 15-30.  For those not familiar with this delightful British tradition, a “panto” takes a traditional fairy tale and adds songs, dances, jokes and lots of audience participation.

In this holiday version of the well-known tale, we find Dorothy on Christmas Eve, swept away by a ‘freak’ Kansas blizzard and landed in a world of munchkins and witches. With a topical script and pop songs from Imagine Dragons to Earth, Wind and Fire, THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF OZ promises to be wildly entertaining for both kids and adults.  The cast features Mackenzie Ziegler (Dancing with the Stars: Juniors) as Dorothy, Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur (Broadway’s Hairspray) as Glinda, Kermit The Frog® as the Wizard of Oz, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer (Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band, “Cha Cha” on FOX’s Grease: Live!)  as The Wicked Witch of the West, and Rescue Dog Pickle C. Irwin nipping at her heels in the role of Toto.

The family Lythgoe is well known for their TV hits “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” and this production credits direction by Bonnie Lythgoe, book by Kris Lythgoe and casting by executive producer Becky Lythgoe. OZ marks the 7th season of Lythgoe Family Panto in Pasadena – make it your holiday tradition!

For tickets and more details, click here.

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SATURDAY, October 27, 2018




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