The mad dash of the holiday season is upon us, which means Yuletide productions around town are aplenty!

I caught my first one on the weekend … and it was delightful!

Yo Ho Ho! A Pirate’s Christmas

The Company of “Yo Ho Ho! A Pirate’s Christmas.”

A joyous romp for “kids of all ages!” What better holiday gift to the children in your life, than to expose them to the imaginative awe of “live” theatre? An invaluable “present” that will open their minds to other lifestyles and possibilities … for ever after. A magical local Christmas tradition, this is the sixth year here of this fun loving and uplifting holiday musical fantasy. Undeniably aimed at the inquisitive minds and innocent hearts of children, there is also plenty of subtle innuendo to entertain the adults who escort them. I was there for the very first season, and figured it was time to catch it again! Loved every zany moment! Written and directed with playful pizzazz by James J. Mellon … music and lyrics by Mellon and Scott DeTurk … the “tongue in cheek” swashbuckling fun is nonstop! The play opens at Christmastime, as seven year old Eve, a highly imaginative child, is being tucked into bed by her parents … destined for “pirate” dreams. Danielle Soibelman as Eve is perky perfection, and Janet Fontaine and Gary Livingood are delightful as her Mom and Dad. Eve’s dreams take her to The North Pole (Santaland) where a band of quirky misguided pirates have landed. The pirates, having never seen snow, are freaked out! This scene is hilarious! Of course Santa and his elves have never seen pirates either, and are feeling frightfully invaded. The dashing Jonathan Zenz in the lead role as the Pirate Captain, “Black-Eyed Johnny,” is loveably larger than life, and his pirate cohorts are kolorfully kooky! Romping through the audience, and flying overhead on ropes … the kids in the audience shout out repeatedly, warning the North Pole citizens. Half the fun for me was witnessing their loud and passionate verbal reactions, and mesmerized faces. The entire large cast … all fine actors/singers … touched our hearts and tickled our “funny bones,” as they involved the entranced kiddies throughout the shenanigans. The wonderful songs, eyepopping set (Dove Huntley), creative costumes (Curtis Jackson), moody lighting (Luke Moyer), and crisp sound (Jonathan Zenz) created the mood magically! Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of fun … a great time was had by all! So, round up a group of youngsters this holiday season … and take them to discover how Eve saves Christmas! Running through Dec. 31 at The NoHo Arts Center located at 11136 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. Bonus Tip: Kids under six get in for free with one paying adult. For seats, call (818) 508-7101 ext. 6.

Mark Your Calendars (Two Upcoming Holiday Shows I’ll Review)

My Three Angels – Opening Dec. 9 at Lonny Chapman Theatre

This one is billed as “a sweet Christmas show built on murder and mayhem,” taking place on Devil’s Island. As three convicts working as roofers, on a work-release program, get involved in their employer’s problems … they find he needs their help with more than “roofs.” Humphrey Bogart starred in the film version in 1955, under the title of We’re No Angels. For early booking, call (818) 763-5990.

Bob Cratchit & Mr. Tightwad – Opening Dec. 9 at The Secret Rose Theatre

A new telling of Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, with modern day twists and turns…. The miserly Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and the infamous trio of ghosts will appear … but not as we’ve seen them in the past. Sounds like fun! For early booking, call (800) 838-3006.

Although I’m not voicing an opinion on the recent “Occupy LA” circus … I heard a wonderful line, said by one of the protestors, which resonated deeply with me … “You can’t evict an idea.”

See you next week….


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