Just in time for giving thanks! A parade of oh-so-lovely samba dancers in colorful barely-there costumes strutted along Universal CityWalk with a cadre of ultra-handsome drummers following. They were there for the big debut of the Samba Brazilian Steakhouse and Lounge. The yummy and exciting Samba spot has been added to the variety of restaurants at the Universal complex, known as “the Entertainment capital of L.A.”
The opening activities also included a Brazilian martial artist called a Capoeirista, who went for the world record for a high kick—and nailed it. Then, the CityWalk crowd that gathered for the festivities was welcomed and invited to enter Samba and enjoy the authentic Brazilian churrascaria and more entertainment. Now customers can indulge in feasts of skewered meats and enjoy free nightly entertainment. Yes, Samba dancers, in full festive regalia, are there every night, and the steakhouse and lounge feature lively Brazilian and Latino music, plus a well-stocked Caipirinha, cocktail bar with popular rum drinks. The party has just gotten started at Samba.
Not-to-be-Missed Holiday Concerts
‘Tis the season to lift your spirits, so let me put the spotlight on two feel-good concerts that are sure to make the season bright.
For one night only, the “Vox Femina Holiday Voices” concert is being presented Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8pm at the First Congregational Church in Pasadena.
It’s a unique treat because for the first time ever, the internationally known Vox Femina is offering a holiday concert but it’s far from the typical holiday fare. The event will feature carols and lullabies, both in English and Spanish, and the audience will experience Vox “on the journey to Bethlehem.” The evening’s music will include various themed sets—“Voices of Tradition,” “Voices of Peace and Hope,” “Voices of Vox” and concluding with “Sugar and Spice.” “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is in the repertoire, as is the holiday favorite “Santa Baby” in true Vox Femina style.
The L.A.-based Vox Femina was founded by Dr. Iris S. Levine in 1997 and in the past 12 years, Vox has established itself as one of the preeminent women’s choruses in the U.S. It has an exciting schedule of performances, touring and educational outreach, and Vox Los Angeles is funded through grants and private donations. Go to www.voxfeminala.org to find out more.
Another great concert to experience the spirit of the yuletide season is “The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles Proudly Presents Nutcracker!” at the Alex Theatre on Brand Blvd. in Glendale (Saturday, Dec. 19 at 3pm and 8pm, and Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3pm).
Continuing its 31st season, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles is offering an enchanting new rendition of the Nutcracker story. Tchaikovsky’s magnificent music will be showcased with spectacular dance and familiar holiday songs that include “Deck the Halls,” “Home for Christmas,” “We Need a Little Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and many more. It is a great show for the entire family. Believe me, I don’t care how old or young you are, or what your background is, the GMCLA concert is a pure delight.
For more than thirty years, GMCLA’s singers (numbering about 200 currently) have created wonderful music and great entertainment. This year, GMCLA launches a high school music education program, the Alive Music Project. The AMP has already received rave reviews from teachers, students and researchers. And it has provided students with a well-rounded mixture of music which educates and aids discussions about social issues. Go to www.gmcla.org to learn more.
Entertainment & Party Hotline
Always seen at all kinds of great events is the super likable Ray Engel. He’s a fellow who has made it his mission in life to let everyone know about all the free movies and shows, plus other entertainment freebees around town via partyhotline.net. It’s wonderful to know if you have nothing to do and you want to be part of the happening scene. And it’s especially helpful if you have relatives visiting who want a real Hollywood experience over the holidays. Enjoy and give thanks!