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Events / Concerts & Live Music (280)

Friday, December 19

City Ballet of LA presents The Nutcracker Swings, a jazzy twist on the holiday favorite

Wilshire Ebell Theatre

Los Angeles, CA 90005

8:00pm

The Nutcracker Swings is City Ballet of Los Angeles’ tribute to the classic tale of the Nutcracker. Set in 1942 during WWII in Hancock Park and the iconic Cocoanut Grove nightclub, the audience will be swept away to another world while dancers swing to the sounds of Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington. In this version of the classic family ballet, Maria, the heroine falls for the leading man, Jim, a WWII hero who gives Maria the Nutcracker doll which kicks off a whirlwind journey of Christmas Wonder. Performances take place on Friday and Saturday, Dec 19 & 20 at 8pm at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 743 South Lucerne Blvd., Los Angeles 90005.

Under the artistic direction by former American Ballet Theatre dancer and Los Angeles native Robyn Gardenhire founded CBLA with a mission to reflect the diversity of Los Angeles’ multicultural community. Presenting work that blends classical and contemporary dance theater, CBLA explores untraditional themes and incorporates music from all over the world. In keeping with the tradition of classical dance, City Ballet of Los Angeles is preserving the standards of excellence in its presentation of the art of dance. CBLA’s Ballet School offers training at low or no-cost to children from economically depressed areas and provides educational outreach programs to thousands of elementary school students annually.

Tickets start at $20.00 and are available through brownpapertickets.com/event/908770. For Group Sales please call 323-292-1932; Opening Night VIP Reception $150 includes Orchestra Seating and Pre-Reception at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please visit CityBalletofLA.org

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Poncho Sanchez

Upstairs at Vitellos

4349 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604

8:00pm

If music were about pictures, percussionist Poncho Sanchez’s music would best be described as a kaleidoscopic swirl of some of the hottest colors and brightest lights to emerge from either side of the border. At any given show, on any given record, fragments of Latin jazz, swing, bebop, salsa and other infectious grooves collide and churn in a fiery swirl, with results that are no less than dazzling.

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The Doll

LACMA

5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

9:15pm

Live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla

1919, 64 minutes, black and white, DCP | Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

Long before becoming a fixture in the Hollywood pantheon, Berliner Ernst Lubitsch made his name in Germany with ambitious, comedic epics and rollicking fantasies such as this one. An adaptation of an A. E. Willner operetta (itself based on an E. T. A. Hoffmann story), The Doll opens with a prologue in which a young Lubitsch arranges a miniature landscape that comes magically to life with real actors. Hermann Thimig plays the ironically named Lancelot, a spoiled, weakling heir who flees to a monastery to avoid the betrothal ordered by his baron uncle. Word gets out that Lancelot will inherit a sizable dowry upon marriage, so the monks and Lancelot connive to wed him to a lifelike mechanical doll and split the kitty. But when the doll breaks down before Lancelot takes possession of it, its flesh-and-blood muse (Ossi Oswalda) decides to take its place as a goof. Silent Lubitsch is visually dazzling and silent German Lubitsch is a feat of total imagination, as shown in this lighthearted farce that is festooned with surrealist touches, boldly artificial sets and devil-may-care charm.

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Saturday, December 20

Highlights of the Museum: Ancient to Modern

LACMA

5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

12:00pm

Learn about the art of Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East—from prehistoric times to the present—on this tour of works housed in the Ahmanson Building. Masterpieces from each of these cultures demonstrate cross-cultural connections fostered through trade and increasing travel.

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