By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor
THE HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS PARADE
When I was a young girl, my parents would bundle us into our Plymouth and we would take a drive into Hollywood to watch the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Later, as a parent, my then husband and I took our two daughters to view the parade in person, but mostly we would watch it on our television set. Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm will mark the 80th Anniversary Hollywood Christmas Parade benefiting the US Marine Toys for Tots. As always, you’ll find awardwinning bands, colorful equestrians, balloons and lots of comical characters as well as celebrities from film, television and stage riding the ornate floats. Marie Osmond will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal. And, as always, the special guest will be Santa Claus himself. Dean Cain will serve as host of the music portion of the nationally televised special of the parade, which will be shown on the Hallmark Channel on December 12, 2011.
The parade will also air on other days and times throughout the holiday season on the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel and in syndication across the country. Actors Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie will serve as broadcast hosts. The parade route will be Ushaped, starting at Orange Street and Hollywood Boulevard, traveling east onto Hollywood Boulevard, turning south onto Vine and then traveling west onto Sunset Boulevard and back to Orange Street. You can now purchase reserved grandstand seating located on Hollywood Boulevard between Orange Street and Highland Avenue. You can purchase “Santa’s Package,” which includes a ticket to Madame Tussauds Hollywood and the grandstand seat for $45, or just purchase the grandstand seat alone for $35 per ticket. To order tickets please call 1-866-Parade1. For more details visit the parade’s official website, www. hollywoodchristmasparade 2011.com.
“WICKED” RETURNS TO LA
One of Broadway’s biggest blockbusters, the awardwinning “Wicked,” will return to the Pantages Theatre in time for you and your family to enjoy it this holiday season, November 30, 2011 to January 29, 2012. “Wicked,” based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy flew over the rainbow, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One — born with emerald-green skin — is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. “Wicked” tells the story of their odyssey and how these two grew to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
The cast features Katie Rose Clarke as Glinda and Mamie Parris as Elphaba with Liz McCartney as Madame Morrible and Mark Jacoby as The Wizard. For the performance schedule or to purchase tickets, visit www. BroadwayLA.org or call 1- 800-982-ARTS. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Pantages Box Office or all Ticketmaster outlets. Orchestra level tickets start at just $30. The Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, just east of Vine Street. Parking is available in nearby lots or Los Angeles residents can take the subway and exit the Vine Street Station in Hollywood and simply walk across the street. I park my car at the North Hollywood or Universal City Stations and for 25 cents (I’m a senior) I board the car and have a stressfree 20-minute ride and save about $9.75.
The Joffrey Ballet’s will return to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center with its acclaimed production of “The Nutcracker” from December 1 to 4, for six performances only. “The Nutcracker,” with a score by Tchaikovsky, is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” (1816), and is a Robert Joffrey Production conceived and directed by Robert Joffrey. Choreography for “Waltz of the Snowflakes” and “Waltz of the Flowers” is by Gerald Arpino. The Joffrey production was originally staged by George Verdak and Scott Barnard, inspired by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo 1940 production that was revived by Alexandra Federova from the original Petipa/Ivanov production for the Maryiinsky Ballet. Robert Joffrey’s rendition of the classic story, with its dazzling costumes and imaginative sets by Oliver Smith, has already delighted generations of families and dance lovers. The Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” became an annual holiday tradition at the Music Center during its residency here; this is the first time since the 1994 season that is has been seen in Los Angeles.
“The Nutcracker” will also feature a live performance by LA Opera’s Orchestra. In addition to the 42 Joffrey dancers, “The Nutcracker” will feature over 60 local children serving as supernumeraries. The production will also include the Los Angeles-based National Children’s Chorus under the direction of Luke McEndarfer, which features over 25 local children. Did you know that: – Mother Ginger’s dress required over 100 yards of fabric? – The Christmas tree is 23 feet 3 inches tall, 16 feet wide at the base and has 46 individually wrapped gifts beneath it? – It takes 12 dressers to get “The Nutcracker” on stage for each performance-four dressers for the children alone? – The production uses approximately 200 costumes and 172 pair of boots and shoes? – In every performance there are 42 company dancers, 70 children, 40 musicians, 8 gumdrops, 12 snow wands, 12 rifles, 24 lbs of flower petals and a snow glitter pony? Tickets range from $34 to $125. They can be purchased at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012, or online at www. musiccenter.org/events/ dance.html or by calling (213) 972-7211.