Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, wrapping presents to bring joy to others, and enjoying all the wonderful shows in theaters around town. We are lucky to have such a mixture of musicals and holiday comedies to indulge our live theatre passion, because this reporter thinks seeing a great show is like getting a warm hug on a cold night.
Always among my favorite things is discovering what clever idea the Troubadour Theater Company is presenting for its holiday musical at The Falcon Theatre in Toluca Lake. The Troubies are phenomenal at coming up with a strange fusion of a familiar story and a rock or pop music genre and adding a large dose of free-wheeling zaniness to create their own unique Commedia Del Arte classic. Their wildly successful award-winning past efforts for the holidays have included A Christmas Carole King, Frosty the Snow Manilow, A Christmas Westside Story, It’s a Stevie Wonderful Life, and my all-time favorite, A Charlie James Brown Christmas.
Thank goodness the late great Garry Marshall gave the Troubies a holiday home at the Falcon Theatre. And the tradition continues now till January 15th with Little Drummer Bowie. Troubie leader Matt Walker calls it “a musical parody of biblical proportions.” Matt directs the show with Joseph Leo Bwarie. Their description reports that the show journeys to a faraway land where a new king is on the rise and a drummer with a dilemma is asking, “Is There Life On Mars?” (FYI, that’s a David Bowie classic).
With Little Drummer Bowie, the Troubies reimagine the classic story of the drummer boy, spoofing the mystique and melodies of the late glam rock icon David Bowie. Can’t wait to glow in the holiday lights of Ziggy Stardust.
Another of my favorite things: ballet performances during the holidays. It was an exquisite evening when American Ballet Theatre (ABT) hosted its annual Holiday Benefit dinner and performance at the Beverly Hilton on December 5th. The event featured a one-night-only performance by the world-renowned artists of American Ballet Theatre, including Principal Dancers: media darling Misty Copeland, Stella Abrera, Gillian Murphy, Cory Stearns and James Whiteside. There were breathtaking dancing scenes from the Company’s unrivaled repertoire.
The event was sponsored by Harry Winston and Lloyd E. Rigler—Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation. ABT leaders and dancers sparkled and lit up the red carpet with spectacular Harry Winston Diamond Jewels. Co-Chairs included Avery and Andy Barth, Michael Moser (Vice President Regional West Coast Retail, Harry Winston) and Sutton Stracke.
ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie welcomed guests and noted “As America’s National Ballet Company, we welcome the opportunity to bring dance to the country and American dance to the world. We especially look forward to our return to Los Angeles and Southern California where we are so warmly received. This year’s Holiday Benefit will continue to support our work and ABT’s ongoing educational programs.”
It all goes to inspire all the future little ballerinas just discovering the beautiful world of ballet through performances of The Nutcracker this holiday.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 35 years. Among her credits: being featured in the movie “Alligator” and being half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.