South Bay arts calendar for Dec. 7 to 13
Life could have been better
“Letters to Sala,” by Arlene Hutton and directed by Melissa Staab, is being performed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, in the Redondo Union Auditorium, 1 Seahawk Way, Redondo Beach. The play is about a Holocaust survivor who went through seven different labor camps during World War II. Tickets, $8 in advance (from cast or crew) and $10 online or at the door. More at ruhsdrama.com.
A Jazzy Christmas
Vocalist Mallory Gantner and pianist Danny Pravder perform at 6 p.m. in the Torrance Art Museum, 3320 Civic Center Drive, Torrance. Free; donations accepted.
Light at edge of the world
“Lighthouses of Greater Los Angeles” author Rose Castro-Bran discusses her book from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hermosa Beach Museum, 710 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach. She’ll tell us stories about the area’s lighthouses, which includes those on Point Vicente and Anacapa Island.
Crafting how they move
The El Camino College Dance Department presents its “Choreography Showcase” at 1 and 7 p.m. in the Campus Theatre, located on campus (naturally enough) at Crenshaw and Redondo Beach boulevards, Torrance. This is student work, in areas of ballet, modern dance, contemporary dance, jazz, and hip hop, al original choreography. Tickets, $10. Call (800) 832-ARTS or go to centerforthearts.com.
Spicing it up a little?
Debbie Allen’s “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” is being performed Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m., plus Sunday at 2 p.m., in the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. Allen (of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) wrote, choreographed, and directs this production. For tickets, call (213) 972-8550 or go to hotchocolatenutcracker.com.
Never too young to start
The “Calle Mayor Middle School Winter Concert,” featuring the concert band, jazz band, and choir, kicks off at 7 p.m. in the James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance. Tickets, $7. Call Gabriel Perez, (310) 533-4548 ext. 4601. Friday, December 8
Here comes Santa Claus
Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood star in “Miracle on 34th Street,” screening Friday and Saturday at 8:15 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the Old Town Music Hall, 140 Richmond St., El Segundo. Tickets, $10 general; $8 seniors. (310) 322-2592 or go to OldTownMusicHall.org.
You, there, come lend your voice
The annual “Messiah Sing-Along” takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Theatre, Crenshaw and Redondo Beach boulevards, Torrance. An orchestra and several professional soloists, plus conductor Joanna Medawar Nachef, will be there to help us along. Free, open to everyone. (800) 832-ARTS or go to centerforthearts.com.
Youth times three
The North Torrance Youth Musicians Ensemble, which includes the Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Youth Chamber Orchestra, and the Youth Community Orchestra of North Torrance, performs its “Winter Concert” at 7 p.m. in the James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance. Tickets, $19.50; $17.50. Call (310) 989-4550.
Saturday, December 9
All out war
“April’s Fools vs. MCHS Comedy Sportz” takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Second Story Theatre, 710 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach. Doris Usui directs this latest venture from the April’s Fools Comedy Improv Troupe. Will they be trumped by the Mira Costa High School Comedy Sportz Team? Come find out. Tickets, $10 general; $8 seniors. (310) 318-1705 or go to AprilsFoolsImprov.com.
Classical guitarist Felix Kellaway, with the MBMS Madrigal Singers and Joel Ruben, perform in memory of Sandy Casey, a special needs teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School, at 7 p.m. in the Mira Costa High School Theater, 1401 Artesia Blvd., Manhattan Beach. Proceeds to set up a scholarship. Tickets, $20 donation, presale at benefit.mbrotary.org.
Clara, Fritz, and sugarplums
“The Nutcracker,” presented by Dance West Studio/Metropolitan Ballet Company, is performed at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday in the James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance. Tickets, $19.50; $17.50. Call (310) 781-7171 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A steady hand and a good eye
The “Painting with the Masters” art exhibit opens from 5 to 8 p.m. at Parkhurst Galleries, 439 W. Sixth St., San Pedro. Live music, hors d’oeuvres, wine bar. Through Jan. 1. Call (310) 547-3158 or go to parkhurstgalleries.com.
In a glorious setting
San Pedro City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” takes place at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. Sixth St., San Pedro. Tickets, $19 for children under 12 and seniors over 62. The rest of you pay $29, or $39 if you want premier seating. More at sanpedrocityballet.org.
Jazz it up a little
Presenting Dixieland and traditional jazz in a live music format, the South Bay New Orleans Jazz Club meets in the afternoon at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 214 Ave. I, Redondo Beach. The featured group is Chet Jaeger’s Night Blooming Jazzmen. Admission, $8 members, $12 non-members, and $10 if you belong to another jazz club. For more details, call (310) 376-2591.
A tip of the hat
A recreation of the Carnegie Hall concert in 1938 when Benny Goodman was the most celebrated jazz bandleader of his day, featuring the All Star Benny Goodman Tribute Orchestra, takes place at 2 p.m. in the Norris Theatre,27570 Norris Center Drive, Rolling Hills Estates. With guest vocalists Peter Marshall and Polly Podewell. Tickets, $68 to $80. Call (310) 544-0403 or go to palosverdesperformingarts.com.
Voices yearning to be heard
The 30- voice El Camino College Chorale, under the direction of Joanna Medawar Nachef, performs at 7 p.m. in the Campus Theatre, Crenshaw and Redondo Beach boulevards, Torrance. “Rockin’ the Season” highlights music by non-rockers Bach, Mendelssohn, Lauridsen, Whitacre, Thomas, and others. Tickets, $10. Call (800) 832-ARTS or go to centerforthearts.org.
That’s right, she’s not finished
“I Ain’t Done Yet,” a concert to benefit the Redondo Union High School Performing Arts Dept., features Annette Warren Smith, and it’s taking place on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. at 30015 Avenida Elegante, Palos Verdes, but seating is limited and one must RSVP by today, Dec. 10. Suggested donation is $20. Call (424) 206-1173 or contact email@example.com.
After this, it’s over
David Garfield and Karizma perform at the 20th (and final) Carlos Vega Memorial Concert, taking place at 4 p.m. in Alva’s Showroom, 1417 W. Eighth St., San Pedro. Vega was a professional studio drummer who lost his life in 1998. Tickets, $40. Call (310) 833-7538 or go to alvasshowroom.com. Monday, December 11
The annual “Lo Tech, No Tech” dance performance, directed by Daniel Berney, features choreography created by instructors and performed by students. Dance genres are showcased, including ballet, modern Dance, jazz, African dance, tap, ballroom, Latin social dance, hip-hop, and beginning dance. It takes place Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Marsee Auditorium, on the campus of El Camino College at Crenshaw and Redondo Beach boulevards, Torrance. Tickets, $10. Call (800) 832-ARTS or go to centerforthearts.org.
Tuesday, December 12
Solo guitarist TJ Brinjak plays from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at Suzy’s Bar & Grill, 1141 Aviation Blvd., Hermosa Beach. Half of the tip jar goes to Best Day. (310)379-6171.
Wednesday, December 13
Chill out, chill in
The Queen Mary’s winterland attraction “Chill” opens. It’s an ice park with light shows, dance performances, big wheel ice bikes, and more. Tickets start at $29 for adults and $19 for kids. Through Jan. 7. More at queenmary.com/chill/. ER