Christmas

Musical Moxie Rules ‘Love Actually' Live

Know the Christmas classic by heart? Enjoy a song-filled take on the tale in Beverly Hills.

"Love Actually" Live

What to Know

  • The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills
  • Through Dec. 29
  • $39-$125

A movie is a movie is a movie, right?

It's written, filmed, and into the can it goes. And it shall stay exactly what it is, forever and ever... but wait.

That hasn't been the case in recent years, as ardent fans have remixed their favorite film scenes, and created online odes to famous characters, and, in the case of the hit stage show now playing at The Wallis, fashioned a festive, song-filled love fest that draws out some of the biggest and lushest emotions from an enduring slice of cinematic Christmas sweetness.

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That slice of seasonal sweetness? It's "Love Actually," the artfully constructed, multi-character'd, Richard Curtis-penned film that immediately became, for many people, a must-watch holiday movie. It's a super-festive but not-so-frothy flick that been heavily debated, dissected, satirized, and loved upon, and, in Beverly Hills, it is now on stage, but perhaps not in the way you think.

For For the Record, the company behind the returning stage hit, didn't just transfer the screen script to the stage. Rather, "Love Actually" Live is part concert and part film, with a pinch of play to boot, with live performers weaving a host of songs around several on-screen clips, the scenes that "Love Actually" fans know so well.

So while major moments from the movie roll on a series of large screens placed around the stage at The Bram Goldsmith Theater, actors are weaving in and out among the screens, singing to the peaks and valleys of story while adding a fresh dimension.

That deeper dimenson comes when characters from different storylines unite on the same song for a few bars, highlighting the connectiveness between their not-so-disparate lives.

And while the pathos is high, so is the celebratory spirit, with Billy Mack, the film's incorrigible rock-and-roller, constantly raising the roof.

Is "Love Actually," and its imaginative, on-stage remix, "Love Actually" Live, the Christmas confection so many have called it, or is it something more serious, like a full Christmas dinner?

Whether it's your favorite bon bon, or more of a meaty experience for you, the show that's on stage at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts will cast a new and note-filled light on the festive film.

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