We won’t be bundling up in our holiday finest for an evening at the theater this season. But the show must go on, and some of our very favorite venues are offering streaming productions to bring your family a taste of that festive spirit.
Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish-The Musical (www.eleanorswish.com): Based on the heartfelt book of the same name, the family-friendly production will be available to stream through Dec. 27 via InPlayer for $25 per household. It tells the story of a rag doll named Eleanor who lives at the North Pole with Santa and his family but wishes for a best friend and home of her own. She writes a letter to Santa expressing her dream, and her wish comes true. Adding to the fun is the availability of two Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Party in a Box options. The Super Fun Sprinkle & Sparkle Box ($45) includes a copy of the book that inspired the show, a keepsake ornament, stationery and pencil for children to write their letters to Santa and four holiday fun hats. The Super Duper Fun Eleanor Box ($60) features all these items plus a cookie cutter with recipe card and Twinkle’s favorite reindeer ring toss game.
The Winter WarLOCKDOWN Troubie Holiday Party (www.troubie.com): Featuring members of the Troubador Theater Company from around the country, this family-friendly, vaudeville-esque variety show is emceed by Troubie founder Matt Walker with the help of infamous holiday stalwart The Winter Warlock (Beth Kennedy) and appearances by Rick Batalla as Santana Clause, plus other Troubie veteran special guests. Decorate your Zoom square for the holidays and be a part of the joyous audience montage. Audience members will be able to interact with the Troubies as they’re enlisted to play parts. Find the fun at 8 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 4 and 8 p.m. Sat. and 4 and 7 p.m. Sun. Dec. 10-20. Tickets are $60 per household.
Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol (www.thesoraya.org):The Soraya brings a rare holiday treat – a series of live performances from the magical world of Manual Cinema, which will stream at 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11, 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 12 and 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 13. This holiday season, the company takes on Charles Dickens’ classic with a visually inventive adaptation made to broadcast directly to your home. The story is told by Aunt Trudy, an avowed holiday skeptic. On Christmas Eve, during quarantine, she has been recruited to entertain her family with a puppet show on a Zoom call. The puppets soon take on a life of their own, and the family’s call transforms into a stunning cinematic adaptation of the classic ghost story. Hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes and an original live score will come together to tell an imaginative re-invention of this cherished holiday classic. Tickets are $20.
A Night of Holiday Magic (www.thewallis.org): The Wallis streams this special evening at 8 p.m. Dec. 12. The show features four elite Magic Castle members: Elizabeth Messick, Michaelann Awesome, Patricia Magicia and Simone Turkington. All will astonish and amaze the family with their gift of holiday-themed magic. Messick, known as “The Siren of Magic,” enchants with her vintage flair. Close-up magician and stand-up comic Awesome weaves humor and mystery into her sleight-of-hand performances. French magician Magicia mesmerizes adults and children alike with her uncanny abilities. Turkington infuses the sights and sounds of the 60s into visual, card and mentalism effects. Tickets are $40 per household.
Skirball Hanukkah Celebration (www.skirball.org): Come one and all to celebrate the Festival of Lights online! Perfect for fans of the Skirball’s much-beloved annual Hanukkah Festival, this one-of-a-kind streaming event premieres on YouTube at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 and includes everything you’ve come to expect from a Skirball holiday extravaganza. Enjoy a heartwarming community candle lighting and a lively sing-along. Groove to the klezmer beat of L.A.’s own Mostly Kosher, jam to the psychedelic funk of Israeli superstar Gili Yalo and gather ’round for a timely retelling of the age-old Hanukkah story. If you tune in on Sunday, when the program premieres, you can participate in a virtual game for prizes. There will be a Hanukkiah Show and Tell from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday before the premiere. Register to receive the Zoom link.
Holidaze Harmony (www.garrymarshalltheatre.org): Recording artists and Broadway stars Terron Brooks and Kamilah Marshall reunite at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank for their annual holiday extravaganza concert. The virtual concert can be viewed on demand after 5 p.m. Dec. 17-20. The all-new, filmed incarnation of the fan-favorite is part variety show, part intimate concert and all feel-good. Tickets are $29 per household.
L.A. County Holiday Celebration (www.holidaycelebration.org): Filmed on location at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Jerry Moss Plaza and at sites around Los Angeles County, the beloved three-hour showcase of 22 L.A.-based artists will air on PBS SoCal starting at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and simultaneously stream on pbssocal.org/holidaycelebration, kcet.org and Holidaycelebration.org. PBS SoCal will air an encore presentation that evening at 7 p.m. and KCET will rebroadcast the show at noon on Christmas Day. The Emmy Award-winning holiday show features choirs, music ensembles and dance companies representing the many cultures of Los Angeles. The broadcast will also include five mini documentaries featuring artists from different neighborhoods as well as performances on location at key landmarks, including Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro and Angel’s Point in Elysian Park.
Christina Elston is Editor of L.A. Parent.