Christmas Eve is one of the biggest family nights of the year, and in Los Angeles there are a couple of great options for fun that families of all faiths — or no faith at all — can enjoy.
The 59th Annual LA County Holiday Celebration offers something for literally everyone by bringing together nearly 20 groups from across the artistic spectrum to perform music and dance routines reflecting a variety of cultures’ holiday traditions.
Meanwhile, all eight locations in the chain of Laemmle arthouse cinemas — including Pasadena’s own Playhouse 7 theater and the new Glendale location — will present the 11th Annual “Fiddler on the Roof” Sing-A-Long, an “alternative Christmas Eve event” designed primarily to appeal to area Jewish audiences. Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom of the Feminist Shabbat at Temple Israel of Hollywood will host the Pasadena event, while Elissa Glickman of Glendale Arts will host that city’s event.
Originally based on Sholem Aleichem’s short story “Tevye and His Daughters,” Norman Jewison’s adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical is set in a Russian village at the beginning of the 20th century. Israeli actor Topol repeats his legendary London stage performance as Tevye the milkman, whose equilibrium is constantly being challenged by his poverty, the prejudice of non-Jews, and the romantic entanglements of his five daughters. To add to the fun of the historic film, there will be prizes for trivia contests about the film and for the best costumes among audience members. As the Laemmle slogan for the events say, “Rock the Shtetl!” But be forewarned. The movie is a hefty 179 minutes long so let your grandma cook you a nice hearty bowl of matzo before you head out.
At the LA County event, everyone from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles to the Mariachi Divas will hit the stage to present a set of seasonal songs and dances. Among them are two Pasadena-area acts getting their moments to shine: the Pasadena Girls Choir and the Arcadia High School Orchestra, which will team up with the Daniel Ho Trio, Halau Hula Keali’I o Nalani and Makoto Taiko.
The Pasadena Girls Choir is an auditioned girls’ choir formed by Barbara Allen in September 2017 for ages 7 to 17. Rehearsing once a week in Pasadena, the girls perform many different styles of music from light jazz, pop and classical to show numbers complete with staging and choreography.
Meanwhile, the Arcadia band is backing Ho, whose simple philosophy of presenting ukulele and piano-based music with sincerity and artistry has resulted in six consecutive Grammy awards and a string of hit albums. In addition, they’ll be backing Halau Keali’I O Nalani, a duo who both sing and dance, blending traditional Christmas songs with original Hawaiian language songs and original choreography.
The LA County Holiday Holiday Celebration takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday at the historic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Admission is free, and the event will also be broadcast live on PBS SoCal (check PBSSoCal.org for local listings) or live-streamed at pbssocal.org/programs/la-county-holiday-celebration/..
“Fiddler” fun starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Laemmle Playhouse 7, located at 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, and the Laemmle Glendale, at 207 N. Maryland Ave., Glendale. Tickets are $18 general admission, and $15 for those 62 and over and 11 and under. Visit Laemmle.com.