Universal Studios Grinchmas

By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor

IT’S HOLIDAY TIME… … And all around Los Angeles you’ll find many ways to celebrate this season: To celebrate Hanukkah, which takes place from December 20-28, 2011 this year, you can attend these two Menorah Lighting Ceremonies that are scheduled to take place December 20, 2011. At the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, a nightly Menorah ceremony will take place beginning at Sunday. There’s no charge to attend the ceremony and you can park in nearby lots for two hours for free BEFORE 6 pm. The second event will take place at the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market on Third St. and Fairfax Avenue from 2:30 -5:00 pm. In addition to the Menorah lighting ceremony at 4:30 pm, you’ll find children’s craft workshops, lots of music, holiday foods, and building a giant Lego menorah.


CONSIDER THIS… Producers Jay Irwin and Pegge Forrest are presenting a very special New Year’s Eve celebration December 31, 2011 at 4 pm and 10 pm at the historic El Portal Theatre. Coming to the famed El Portal will be all stars Sam Harris & Friends, Todd Schroeder at the piano, 2010 Tony Winner Levi Kreis, 2011 Ovation Winner Lesli Margherita and one of Broadway’s brightest lights, David Burnham. Sam Harris, first grand champion of Ed McMahon’s “Star Search,” has gained international acclaim and has played to sold-out audiences at New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s West End, with the Boston Pops at the White House and our Universal City’s Amphitheater. He’s also appeared on Broadway in “The Producers,” played the leading role in the national tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and more.

His television work includes the series “Down to Earth,” “The Class,” and “Rules of Engagement” and appeared on numerous talk shows. Musical theatre star Levi Kreis originated the role of Jerry Lee Lewis in Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet for which he received the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Lesli Margherita, winner of the 2011 Ovation Award for her performance as Kate in “Kiss Me Kate” at Reprise. She is also the winner of the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in 2009 for her performance in the Gypsy Kings’ “Zorro the Musical” on the West End in London. David Burnham has just returned from New York where he played Fiyero in the Broadway production of “Wicked.”

He was also a member of the original Broadway cast of Tony Award winning musical “The Light in the Piazza.” Both the 4 pm and 10 pm shows include desserts and at the 10 pm show there will be champagne, hats and horns, and dancing in the Forum Theatre “Disco”! For tickets call (818) 508- 4200 or (866) 811-4111. You can order online at www.elportaltheatre.com. The Historic El Portal Theatre is lcoated in the heart of the NoHo Theatre District 5269 Lankershim Boulevard, one block north Magnolia. FELA! Opening this Wednesday, December 14, at the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre is


This 2010 Best Musical Tony Award-nominated musical is filled with the exuberant music of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuyti and is based on his life. It’s a tale of the courage, passion and love of Kuti, who created a new type of music, Afrobeat, and mixed these rhythms (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies) with lyrics that openly attacked the corrupt and oppressive military dictatorships that ruled Nigeria and much of Africa. Book is by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones; music and lyrics by Fela Anikulapo- Kuti; additional lyrics by Lewis; additional music by Aaron Johnson; conceived by Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis and Stephen Hendel. “FELA!” directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award winner Jones, a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.


The Secret Rose Theatre is pleased to announce the world premiere of a new musical, “Bob Cratchit & Mr. Tightwad.” In this version you’ll find that there are a few modern twists with one of the ghosts is a rock n’ roll Goth girl. Scrooge is still the center of the action but his employee Bob Cratchit does become more prominent in this version. All the other elements of the story are still there. Katrina Wood created the book from the Charles Dickens story, “A Christmas Carol,” with composed the music and lyrics. Cece Whittaker provided additional songs and Trace Oakley directs. For Reservation call (855) 4TIGHTWAD or online at www.cratchitmusical.com The Secret Rose Theatre is located at 11246 Magnolia Boulevard, North Hollywood CA 91601. Proceeds form the run will be donated to the Children International and the Valley Schools.


Universal Studios Grinchmas
Universal Studios Grinchmas

Universal City Walk is pleased to announce that continuing daily from December 17 through January 1, 2012 a very merry “Grinchmas” will be returning to Universal Studios Hollywood. Along with the Grinch and his faithful dog Max, the visitor will find tons of fresh snow and nightly readings by celebrities from the worlds of film, television and music, of the Dr. Seuss classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

A nightly lighting of a whimsical, curving “Grinchmas” tree that towers 60 feet above the center of a snow-covered winter wonderland will also feature a costumed Who-ville choir caroling. The Grinch and Max will star with the Whos in these enchanting “Who-bilation” performances. Throughout the “Grinchmas” season, the Grinch, Max and the Who-ville Whos will be on hand and paw to meet fans and take memorable holiday photos. Families who are on hand for the celebration will be able to enjoy a playground of real snow and build their own snowmen. For those who want to take the world-famous behindthe- scenes Studio tour, you’ll not only be able to see a close-up view of the original Who-ville sets but you’ll be treated to songs and dances re-enacted from the film by Who-ville residents. For more information go to www.Universal StudiosHollywood.com.


Storyteller David Prather will be returning to the Walt Disney Concert Hall at 11 am and 2:30 pm to host the annual Holiday Sing-Along at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Philip smith, the Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ Conservator, will play the Hall’s famous pipe organ, complemented by the voices of the Angeles Chorale. Bryan Pezzone on piano, Bryan Taylor on drums and Merlyn Kelly on bass add to the day’s entertainment. The Holiday Sing-Along provides audience members with lyric sheets so they are able to sing traditional holiday music in this annual sold-out concert that is for the entire family. Tickets range from $33.25- $88.25 and can be ordered by going to laphil.org.

By Jean Strauber

Entertainment Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *