Holiday show stoppers

A few of the many great holiday shows and productions in Greater Pasadena

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 11/24/2011

While most venues are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there’s a plethora of entertainment happening practically every day throughout the holiday season. From the Pasadena Playhouse to the Ice House to the Coffee Gallery to A Noise Within and more, one would find it difficult to be bored.

Boston Court
70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena.
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, the talented Gigi Bermingham (pictured will present a holiday-themed musical evening called “Cabaret Noel” — in English and French — along with a group of world-renowned singers, musicians, composers and directors, including Matthew Goldsby, Amanda Pajer, Michelle Allsopp and Barry Creyton. Tickets are $25 general admission and $20 for students and seniors. Visit to purchase tickets.

A Noise Within
3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
Celebrate the classical theater’s inaugural season in Pasadena and its 20th season producing world class theatre.
“Twelfth Night, Or What You Will,” by William Shakespeare and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, runs until Dec. 16. Tickets are $46.

“Desire Under the Elms,” by Eugene O’Neill and directed by Damaso Rodriguez, runs until Dec. 18. Tickets are $34. Visit

Good Shepherd Church Pasadena
570 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena
This church invites everybody to join its 2nd Annual Christmas Carol Service
at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. “All voices are beautiful before God, so let’s SING!” exclaims Rev. Rick Eisenlord. The church will hold a midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at 11 p.m. Everyone who attends will receive a handmade Origami Christmas Angel. Visit

 Coffee Gallery Backstage
2029 N. Lake Avenue, Altadena
Besides its almost nightly performances, which you can read about at, the Gallery is also running a Toy Drive the weekend of Dec. 10 and 11. Toys can be dropped at the Fork in the Road at the corner of St. John and Pasadena avenues or at the Gallery.

The Ice House
24 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena.
Events take place almost every night at this popular comedy club. Visit for a complete schedule and to purchase tickets. All shows are 18 and up and require a two-drink minimum on top of the ticket price.

Comedian Brad Williams will be performing at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and 8 and 10 p.m. Saturday. Williams was born with achondroplastic dwarfism, but instead of considering his condition as a hindrance, he saw it as an opportunity to make a career out of comedy. Tickets are $17.50 to $24.50.

Increasingly popular certified clinical hypnotherapist Mark Sweet pulls ordinary people from the audience and makes them capable of doing extraordinary things by tapping into the subconscious mind. His show at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27 costs only $12.50. Comedian Fernando Flores takes over at 9 p.m. Sweet and Flores will return at 7 and 9 p.m., respectively,
on Dec. 18.

The All-Star Ladies of Comedy, including Kristen Kay, Gayla Johnson,
Roz Browne and Laurie Kilmartin take over the stage at 7 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets are $10 to $12.50.

For a financially cheaper show, check out “7 for $7,” a show featuring seven top performers from around the country for only a buck a comic. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and Jan. 5 and 12.

Cocoa Brown (pictured), featuring Ludo Vika’s R-rated, award-winning show, utilizes her animated facial expressions and hilarious material that appeals to a variety of audiences. She’ll be at the Ice House at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 23, the last show before the venue closes for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Pasadena Playhouse — Main Stage
39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena.
After filing for bankruptcy last year, the popular theater is back on its feet again. The last show of this year’s season, “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” has only a few performances left: 8 p.m. tomorrow, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday.

The play, written by Pearl Cleage and directed by Sheldon Epps, is set in the summer of 1930 in Harlem, and portrays the harsh realities of the Great Depression, which overshadowed the creative talents of African-American artists, writers and musicians.

Tickets for gallery seating range from $39 to $59 and for the orchestra $49 to $100. Visit to purchase tickets.

A guest production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” presented by the Opera Posse, will be 8 p.m. Dec. 9, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 10, and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11.

The Pasadena Dance Theatre will be performing “Nutcracker Ballet” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 23, 1 p.m. Dec. 24, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27-30.

Pasadena Playhouse’s
Carrie Hamilton Theatre
The moving autobiographical play “Prison is Where I Learned to Fly,” written by Rochelle Duffy and directed by Debra DeLiso, tells the story of Duffy’s brother, who was sent to juvenile hall after their father learned he was molested by a priest. Tickets are$20 for the remaining shows: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. The final show will be Dec. 18. Visit to purchase tickets.