“Aladdin and His Winter Wish” is a fantasy extravaganza, to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. It is in the style of the traditional fun-loving British Panto shows based on classic fairy tales rewritten with contemporary jokes and current hit songs. There’s an abundance dancing, singing, acting, magic, and interaction with the audience. It’s playing at the historic Pasadena Playhouse, from Dec. 11 to 29, sure to fill everyone with wonderful memories.
The elaborate musical has notable stars including Broadway legend Ben Vereen as The Genie. It’s a big wow to see Vereen perform. Also, adding a contemporary flair to the show filled with popular tunes are Jordan Fisher, a young heartthrob from Disney’s Teen Beach Movie as Aladdin, delightful songbird Ashley Argota (Nickelodeon’s True Jackson VP) as The Princess, Richard Karn (Home Improvement) as The Sultan), and outrageous funnyman Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray) as the Widow Twankey. Adding to the impressive cast are Josh Adamson as Evil Abanazar and Ben Giroux as Wishy Washy, plus an ensemble of talented singers and dancers. They are all framed by gorgeous scenery and costumes.
The incredible show is directed by Bonnie Lythgoe (So You Think You Can Dance), sharply written by Kris Lythgoe, and produced by the Lythgoe family and Jason Haigh Ellery. It is choreographed by Spencer Liff, an Emmy nominee for So You Think You Can Dance.
Show-stopping hit songs are sprinkled throughout, inclucing “Call Me Maybe,” “Makes You Beautiful,” “Walking On Sunshine,” “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll,” “Billionaire,” “Treasure,” and “Viva La Vida.” And then there’s a sing-along Merry Christmas finale, oh my! Great for kids of all ages. Go to www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org. #
“Stomp” is a joyous experience about hearing the music in the noise all around us. And the unique percussion show has constantly recreated itself over the past 20 years so new audiences and die-hard fans can enjoy every performance. The phenomenal performers are disciplined artists. They don’t just go around banging trash can lids or plumbing fixures, sweeping brooms, beating on matchboxes, and clapping their hands willy-nilly. All have the heart of passionate musicians. Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, the performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” says Cresswell, who directs the touring show playing Dec. 17 through Jan. 5 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA. Go to www.stomponline.com. #
“The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies” is having its last hurrah this season, ending its final season with the hilarious and entertaining madness that has been its hallmark for 23 years in the desert oasis know as Palm Springs, just a couple hours drive from LA. The Follies holiday show is currently playing. Then starting 2014 with another fabulous show with guest star singer Maureen McGovern will open January 7, and play through March 8.
The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies 23rd edition is aptly themed “The Last Hurrah!” Since 1992, the Follies has been seen by over three million patrons, and celebrates the music and dance of Mid-Century America with a cast ranging in age from 55 to 84 years “young.” The show features lavish, Broadway-caliber production numbers, and plays five days a week starting in November through late-May. In 1997, it was the subject of an Oscar-nominated short documentary entitled “Still Kicking: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.” The show is housed in downtown Palm Springs’ historic Plaza Theatre. Go to www.psfollies.com. #
“SALUTE TO VIENNA” is a grand tradition for lovers of the classics, and it’s so popular the show is returning to the LA Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall for a 10th appearance on Sunday, January 5. This highly anticipated concert for the New Year is a magnificent re-creation of Vienna’s world famous “NEUJAHRSKONZERT.” It features a stellar cast of more than 75 musicians, including European singers and dancers in beautiful costumes. It is a celebration of the best waltzes, polkas and excerpts from Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, and more. The show is light-hearted and full of energy: a full orchestra offers the lilting Strauss waltzes, and costumed dancers bring those waltzes to life better than any “Dancing With the Stars” routine. It also features singers hand-picked from Europe’s finest opera-houses, presenting stories of love, romance, and comedy to eager audiences in one of the most prestigious concert halls in America. The concert will feature special guest conductor András Deák from Budapest, soprano Alexandra Reinprecht from Vienna and tenor Martin Piskorski from Vienna. Go to www.salutetovienna.com. #