No need to be holed up by the fireplace this Christmas — local entertainers have announced their holiday offerings in an effort to lure people out in celebration of the holiday season.
ORSON BEAN AS SCROOGE — Actor Orson Bean brings his adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to the First Lutheran Church of Venice as a free holiday offering for the community at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, December 15th to 17th. No collections will be taken those nights, says Bean.
First Lutheran Church is at 815 Venice Blvd., Venice. Bean’s holiday stage production was put together in association with Pacific Resident Theatre.
Television and film actor Bean made numerous appearances on game shows in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. More recent credits include Alien Autopsy, Being John Malkovich and the television series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Bean was among the Hollywood actors blacklisted in the 1950s in the days of McCarthyism and the congressional House Un-American Activities Committee.
Information, (310) 821-2740.
NATIVITY SCENES — An annual display of nativity scenes will be unveiled at 4 p.m. Sunday, December 10th, at Palisades Park (at Ocean and Arizona Avenues) in Santa Monica.
The display includes 14 scenes with lifesize figures depicting the story of Christ’s birth. Preceding the opening, the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee will lead a caroling procession down Third Street Promenade and then west to Palisades Park.
Donations are requested.
The nativity scenes remain on view in the park until the end of the year.
Information, (310) 577-2586
LMU CHRISTMAS GALA — Annual Christmas Gala choral concerts presented by the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Department of Music will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, December 7th and 9th, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, 1 LMU Drive, Westchester.
Under the direction of Dr. Mary Breden, LMU director of choral activities, the Consort Singers will present Laud to the Nativity, by Ottorino Respighi. The Women’s Chorus and Concert Choir will perform shorter seasonal arrangements of several traditional European carols. The ensembles will combine for a finale with a performance of Cantus Natalis, a new work by Z. Randall Stroope.
Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for children and senior citizens.
Reservations, (310) 338-7588.
SHOPPING CART TREE — Artist Anthony Schmitt was commissioned this year to form a 33-foot-tall Christmas tree built from 83 shopping carts stacked on top of one another. The sculpture stands sheltered in the outdoor courtyard of the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar Center, 2435 Main St., Santa Monica, and is lit each night at 5 p.m. until Friday, January 5th.
Edgemar owner Abby Sher commissioned Schmitt to create the tree, which has been decorated this year with a combination of icicle-white and cobalt-blue lights with large silver and clear balls reflecting against the bright steel shopping carts.
A smaller display of lighted shopping carts on the street just in front of Edgemar serves as a guide for those interested in viewing the larger sculpture.
Information, (310) 399-3666.
ALL ABOUT SANTA — All About Santa, a romantic holiday musical comedy for children and families, where audience members boo the villain, cheer the hero and root for the heroine, is being performed at noon and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through December 21st, at the Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica.
The show, written and directed by Evelyn Rudie and Chris DeCarlo, follows a newly appointed Santa as he tries to prove his worth to retired Father Claus, save the spirit of the holidays from the diabolical machinations of his evil twin, and find the nerve to win the heart of the future Mrs. Claus.
In addition to regular showtimes, two special winter-break performances will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, December 19th and 21st. Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $10.50 for children 12 and under. Information, (310) 394-9779 ext. 2.
ABBOT KINNEY HOLIDAY — A “Holiday Extravaganza on Abbot Kinney” event with decorations, carolers and special guests, including Santa Claus, is planned from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, December 8th, along Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. Merchants along the boulevard will stay open late with their own holiday festivities for customers. Local firemen will collect toys for the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department toy drive benefiting the local community at 6 p.m. in The Brig parking lot, 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. Zany Christmas carolers the Off Their Jingle Bell Rockers will perform up and down the boulevard.
Information, (310) 396-3772.