Disney's 'Frozen': If you've thrilled to the adventures of Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven on the silver screen, and on television, too, but haven't yet experienced Disney's lavish production that made a splash on Broadway, your chance is heating up, or, rather, cooling down. For the frostiest fable to win millions of hearts is arriving at The Hollywood Pantages for a multi-week run. Some new songs from the original "Frozen" team, in addition to "Let It Go" and other favorites, are part of the big-big-big show, which also includes puppetry, majestic set design, and that amazing, on-stage costume transformation. It opens on Dec. 4.
"Love Actually" Live: Do you have absolutely every storyline from the 2003 holiday hit memorized? That's no small feat, given the impressive number of characters and how their sometimes thorny but always heartfelt lives intersect. It's a tale that's been dissected and discussed for years, but a recently debuted stage show delivered a truckload of fresh smiles and strong reviews. It's returning to The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, through Dec. 29, which means you can savor your favorite cinematic confection in a whole new way. A cool twist? Look for the film and what's happening on stage to coexist as coolly as Billy Mack croons a holiday tune.
LA County Tree Lighting: Call it a Christmas-meets-the-city sight, and call it free-to-see and oh-so-spectacular, beginning on Monday, Dec. 2. What's the visual we're describing here? The beautiful and large fir that is set to twinkle at the newly renovated Music Center Plaza, with City Hall standing grandly behind it, across the expanse of Grand Park. It's truly a SoCal snapshot that has seasonal feels, and while you can grab it on any night through the holidays, the tree will actually begin to glow on the first Monday of the month. Music and free hot cocoa will add to the convivial spirit.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Downtown Santa Monica tree lighting: Speaking of large shrubs taking on a lot of sparkle, the sort of twinkle that inspires one to stand close while making "oohing" and "aahing" sounds, there's another effervescent event popping up in our shimmery city, this one rather closer to the beach. It's the Winterlit tree lighting, and it will take place on Third Street Promenade on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 5. Is Santa Claus set to make an appearance? You bet. Is Ice, the seasonal rink, open and gliding just a couple of blocks away? It is, if you want to take a turn after the tree is lit. Is Winterlit loaded with to-dos? Oh, you bet.
Rooftop Cinema's Holiday Favorites: The nights are on the brisker side, for sure, but there are still alfresco spots where you can cozy up and enjoy a Christmas chestnut of the most movie-ish sort. This series can help you out, thanks to the fact that yuletide flicks are running on rooftops in both Hollywood and DTLA. "Home Alone," "A Madea Christmas," and "Little Women" (1994) are all ahead during the first week of December. Eats and cocktails are for sale, and there's popcorn, too, if you need popcorn with your Christmas movies (the snack isn't just for stringing on the tree come this time of year).