Sunday December 8, 2013
I had the pleasure of being the guest of the Center Theatre Group to see their production of Peter and the Starcatcher, which opened this week at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center. The show got a mixed response, most likely due to unclear expectations. For those expecting the inn0ocent charm of the 1960 Mary Martin Peter Pan and all its emulators, musical or not, there was a bit of a disconnect. Some of those folks left at intermission. For fans of irreverent sketch comedy and cross-dressing pirates, there were a lot of laughs, and still plenty of charm.
The story takes the plot thread from the children's book Peter and the Starcatchers, and introduces back-story elements that turn an unnamed orphan boy into the Peter Pan created in 1903 by James Barrie. But it's not really a children's show, unless your kids are used to watching Saturday Night Live. There are a few songs in the show, but it's not a musical in the traditional sense. The script is packed with puns and snide modern references that pull you out of the historic fantasy and take some getting used to, but once my brain adjusted, I was able to appreciate how the show weaved in such alternate details as how Peter got his magical powers and how the pirate "really" lost his hand.
The predominantly male cast is talented, from the swishy pirate captain played by John Sanders to Joey de Bettencourt, who evolves from the nameless Boy to become heroic Peter. I especially enjoyed Megan Stern, the sole female actor, who played the spunky heroine Molly, the Starcatcher. But I was even more enchanted by Donyale Worle's set design, which created a variety of spaces from cramped ship's quarters to wild ocean waves with creative use of recyclables and a lot of rope, and the staging that used actors as set pieces.
If you're a traditionalist who wants to preserve the classic Peter Pan vision you know and love, this might not be the show for you, but if you enjoy a good farce and pirates that turn into singing mermaids, you'll probably enjoy Peter and the Starcatcher.
Photos by Jenny Anderson courtesy of the Center Theatre Group
Saturday December 7, 2013
Just about every local bar and nightclub in LA will be hosting a New Year's Eve Party, but for the grandest of them all, check out my guide to the Biggest New Year's Eve Celebrations Around LA. There are events listed for every budget. Ticket prices on some events go up closer to the date and some events sell out, so get your tickets now.
The AAA usually offers Tipsy Tow service on New Year's Eve. If you're too intoxicated to drive home, you can call for a Tipsy Tow and the driver and car will be driven home up to 7 miles for free. Beyond 7 miles the driver will be charged for the tow. Passengers are on their own. Call 1-800-400-4AAA.
If you don't have a designated driver, consider taking the Metro. The press release hasn't come out yet for this year, but usually Rides are free on New Year's Eve from 9 pm to 2 am.
You might also consider catching a ride from Uber. I'm not convinced that they're more economical than a standard taxi, but it's easy to book and pay with a smart phone. LA City Cab also has a iPhone app, but I think it's only for booking, not paying.
Friday December 6, 2013
Since 1995, Bob's Holiday Office Party has been an LA holiday theatrical tradition. It's one of over 30 Holiday Plays in LA this year. Roaming from theatre to theatre over the years, the show has developed a cult following. The zany party takes place this year at the Pico Playhouse Theater.
When: Fri-Sun Dec 4-22, 2013, Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 7 pm
Where: Pico Playhouse Theater, 10508 W. Pico, LA 90064
Cost: $20 Wed & Thu, $25 Fri-Sun
Info: www.bobsofficeparty.com, (323) 960-7735
Read a previous Review of Bob's Holiday Office Party.
© 2007 Ed Krieger, courtesy of Bob's Holiday Office Party
Thursday December 5, 2013
Decorating boats - from kayaks to yachts - and parading them through Southern California's waterways is a long time Holiday tradition. The first two floating Christmas parades are LA Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade in the LA Harbor this Saturday and the multi--weekend Dana Point Boat Parade of Lights. Get full details in my LA Holiday Boat Parade Guide