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Downtown Culture: The Week Ahead

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, December 02, 2010, at 03:40PM
Next to Normal Craig Schwartz

Alice Ripley and Jeremy Kushnier in the national tour of “Next to Normal” at the Ahmanson Theatre with (above L to R) Curt Hansen, Asa Somers, Preston Sadleir and Emma Hunton. Continues until January 2.

If you're having a crazy time this holiday season, you may find solace in knowing that around Downtown a bipolar mother will be having episodes through the New Year, three sisters are skipping together on the edge, two cousins are dealing with feuding mothers, and a jester with severe kyphosis finds himself cursed. It makes you want to slow down, gather them all in a large hall, and sing the Hallelujah Chorus.

"Next to Normal,", "Crimes of the Heart", "Calligraphy", and "Rigoletto" earned great reviews and continue through the weekend. Or you can get your songbook and head toward Disney Hall Sunday and join in a Messiah sing-along. Here is a glance at what else is happening through the week.

THURSDAY DECEMBER 2

Chinatown Tree Lighting: Festivities around the Chinatown community’s first annual Christmas Tree Lighting will include carols by youth performers from Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory. Holiday beverages and snacks will be served. Thu Dec 2 6pm / Central Plaza / 943 N. Broadway

Heavy Metal Parking Lot: The Musical HEFFINGTON MOVES MOCA’s final project for its Engagement Party series is the head-banging dance event “Heavy Metal Parking Lot: The Musical,” a happening inspired by the influence of MTV on small-town America (Its muse is the 1986 documentary chronicling the tailgating antics of heavy-metal fans). The work will feature music by We Are The World and Zig Zags; fashion by Moon Spoon Saloon; sculpture by Zwilling Haas and Mindy LeBrock; lighting by Ryan Granich; styling by Diana Contreras; and hair by Yuya Takahashi. MOCA encourages you to dress for your favorite '80s rock show but to consider practical footwear. The actual location will be revealed at MOCA. The event is FREE. Thu Dec 2 7pm / MOCA Grand Avenue / 250 S. Grand

FRIDAY DECEMBER 3

André Rieu: Violinist André Rieu is the charismatic conductor who brings waltzes to an international audience with flair, style, and his Johann Strauss Orchestra (with six soloists). As he encourages the audience to dance in the aisles during his live performance you'll begin to understand how classical music was the pop sound of its day.

Andre Rieu & the Johann Strauss Orchestra’s “Moonlight Serenade” entered the UK chart at number 4 in November ahead of Pink’s “Greatest Hits - So Far” at number 5 and Bruce Springsteen’s “The Promise” at number 7.

In other words, Rieu sells tickets, including this week when his “Celebration of Music” 2010, with Holiday music added to the playlist, reaches Downtown L.A. Fri Dec 3 7:30pm / Nokia Theatre /777 Chick Hearn Ct

The Posies: The Posies; plus Brendan Benson (of The Raconteurs) with Aqueduct Date. Fri Dec 3 8pm / Club Nokia L.A. Live / 800 W. Olympic

Bella Donna: Michelle Tyle leads Bella Donna, a Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac tribute band. Fri Dec 3 8pm / Pershing Square / 532 S. Olive

Denève conducts Beethoven: Conductor Stéphane Denève leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Nicholas Angelich (piano) with Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5. Other selections include Debussy’s Ibéria and the West Coast premiere of Connesson’s Une lueur dans l’âge sombre. Additional performances December 4 (2pm), and December 5 (2pm). Fri Dec 3 8pm (Opening) / Walt Disney Concert Hall / 111 S. Grand

Greg Proops: Proops, of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” fame (both the US and original British version) brings his stand-up act to the Downtown Comedy Club. Fri Dec 3, Sat Dec 4 9pm / 114 W. 5th

SATURDAY DECEMBER 4

L.A. LIVE Holiday Tree Lighting: Billy Bush hosts a one-hour event that will feature performances by Seal, Willow Smith, Jessica Lowndes and Greyson Chance. Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek will skate on the complex’s ice rink. Sat Dec 4 / 5:30pm / Nokia Plaza L.A. Live / 800 W. Olympic

‘Spirit of the Season:’Hiroshima’s presentation of the 9th Annual “Spirit of the Season” Concert also celebrates the jazz ensemble’s 30th year in the recording industry. Special guest artists include former Hiroshima lead singer/composer Terry Steele, and harmonica virtuoso Tetsuya Nakamura, a former member of WAR. Sat Dec 4 7:30pm / Aratani/Japan America Theatre / 244 S. San Pedro

SUNDAY DECEMBER 5

Messiah Sing-Along: With orchestra and soloists on stage, and an expected packed Walt Disney Hall, Music Director Grant Gershon will conduct the annual Messiah sing-along, now in its 30th year. The concert also features selections from the Sacred Harp Anthology. Sun Dec 5 7pm / Walt Disney Concert Hall / 111 S. Grand

KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball: The 11th annual Jingle Ball concert lineup will include performances from Katy Perry, Enrique Inglesias, Nelly, B.o.B. Travis McCoy, Taio Cruz, and Bruno Mars. Sun Dec 5 5pm / Nokia Theatre L.A. Live / 777 Chick Hearn Ct

TUESDAY DECEMBER 7

Jazz for the Holidays: LeRoy Downs, The Jazz Cat of KJAZZ 88.1 FM, hosts Helen Sung and Gary Fukushima Trio for a free jazz concert that also benefits the Weingart Center. Tue Dec 7 Noon / 7+FIG @ Ernst & Young Plaza / 725 S. Figueroa

Salvation Army Angel Tree Unveiling: A live performance by the Salvation Army Brass Quartet introduces an “Angel Tree.” It will hold gift tag ornaments that attendees may pick up, each with the name of a child in need and a requested item. Guests can bring their chosen tag and donated gift to the Front Desk. Tue Dec 7 Noon Millennium Biltmore Hotel / 506 S. Grand

Neil Sedaka: Iconic American singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka showcases a roster of hits from his 50-plus musical legacy. This concert was originally scheduled for October 27, but was postponed due to illness. Tue Dec 7 8pm / Walt Disney Concert Hall / 111 S. Grand laphil.com

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 8

Clippers / Lakers: It'll be a win for Los Angeles either way as the Clippers host the Lakers for the first match-up of the Staples Center Hallway series. Wed Dec 8 7:30pm / Staples Center / 1111 S. Figueroa

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