Theater Reviews by Morna- 12/18

Morna Martell

Looks like some wonderful Holiday shows are celebrating this month, so here’s a few live shows to take the grandkids to…

A CAROL CHRISTMAS – North Hollywood

The Group Rep presents a new musical version of the immortal Charles Dickens classic – instead of a miserly man named Scroogewe have a domineering woman named Carol.A successful hostess of a home-shopping network show, she despises Christmas and demands that her staff work through the holidays. There are 17 new songs, and all of the characters you know and love including Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and three Christmas Ghosts. It’s a fun, charming, family-friendly new musical. Adapted by Doug Haverty, with direction and songs by Bruce Kimmel, musical direction by Richard Allen, and choreography by Kay Cole. At the Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd, NoHo. Tickets: (818) 763-5990 or


Theatre West, who recently unveiled this glorious outdoor Judy Garland mural, has a number of December shows to catch. Based on the original 1947 Lux Radio Theatre version, PhilipMatt Johnson directs this radio-drama style staging of the holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life.The cast includes Philip Sokoloff, Bonnie Kalisher, Maria Kress, Loida Navas, Sara Shearer, Tammy Taylor, Tatum Shank, Michael Van Duzer, Don Moore, James J. Cox, and Bill Sehres. Don’t forget to watch Jill Jones, the Foley master, magically recreating the old radio sounds. George Tovar produces for On The Air Players. Then on December 15, Here’s Johnny!,an afternoon of Music and Fun with actor-singer Giovanni Ferretti, who will delight with Romantic Ballads, favorite Opera arias and Neapolitan Folk songs. That’s Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. Info:


This thoroughly original holiday treat tells the story of a 12 year-old girl who dreams of dancing the lead in The Nutcracker and the audience is invited to join in the fun. Created by NPR’s Sandra Tsing Loh’s, this festive cheer is appropriate for ages 8 to 80. So bring the little ones and come decked out in bright holiday sweaters, tutus, red jammies and Hanukah hats, and be prepared to join in the madcap merriment. Bart De Lorenzo directs, Sandra Tsing Loh, Tony Abatemarco, and Shannon Holt perform. It’s a modern take on the Christmas season, and if you sit close enough to the stage you might go home with one of the show’s props! Sandra Tsing Loh’s daily NPR radio minute, The Loh Down on Science, is internationally syndicated and heard locally on KPCC (89.3 FM). At Skylight Theatre, 1816 ½ North Vermont, LA. Tickets online at


If you enjoyed the star-studded 2003 movie, Love Actually, then don’t miss this live theatre production at The Wallis. Presented by special arrangement with Universal Theatrical Group, the Bram Goldsmith Theater is transformed into a giant, immersive modern-day cinema. This one-of-a-kind presentation is performed live by an all-star cast and 15-piece orchestra, and includes songs from the film, such as Christmas Is All Around,The Trouble with Love Is, and Both Sides Now.In case you missed the film, it showed different aspects of love through ten separate stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many interlinked as the tales progressed. Nowin a three-dimensional world, scenery and video screens intertwine, providing a canvas upon which actors weave between projections as they bring scenes to life through the movie’s songs. At Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills. Tickets: (310) 746-4000 or

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