Give a gift of entertainment this holiday season

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MAKING BEAUTIFUL MUSIC—Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone find dance and romance in “La La Land,” an Oscar-worthy film in release this month. Photo by Dale Robinette

The holidays are just around the corner — in fact Christmas and Chanukah arrive on the same day this year.  It’s a time to be happy, give gifts to loved ones and share good times with family and friends. It’s also a time to come up with a special present for every on your gift list — and what could be better than a gift of entertainment.

The holidays are just around the corner — in fact Christmas and Chanukah arrive on the same day this year.  It’s a time to be happy, give gifts to loved ones and share good times with family and friends. It’s also a time to come up with a special present for every on your gift list — and what could be better than a gift of entertainment.

If you have film fans on your list, December is the perfect time to go to the movies since most of the Oscar contenders are being released this month–fine films like “Silence” and “Fences” from Paramount, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” from Disney and a new musical that should be especially enchanting for Angelinos, ”La La Land.” For the theatre fans, two fine musicals will be gracing Los Angeles stages in December and January: ”The King and I” at the Pantages and a brand new musical “Amalie” at the Ahmanson. And remember, a DVD is a perfect stocking stuffer and so easy to wrap.

It is interesting to note that Martin Scorsese’s latest film, “Silence,” opened at the Vatican on Nov. 29 this year.  This is actually appropriate since “Silence” is the story of two Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution in 17th century Japan when they try to locate their mentor and protect Japanese Catholics from harm.  It stars Liam Neeson, Adam Driver (“Star Wars”) and Andrew Garfield who is expected to be nominated for his performance in this gripping film.  Garfield also turned in another Oscar worthy performance in Mel Gibson’s  “Hacksaw Ridge” about a conscientious objector who served as a medic and saved the lives of 75 men.

“Fences,” starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis (TV’s “How To Get Away With Murder”), is based on August Wilson’s play and deals with the strained relationship between a father and son. There is also Oscar buzz attached to this film which will be in theaters soon.

 

For “Star Wars” fans you can’t miss with Disney’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” which will open on December 16 citywide.  It stars Felicity Jones and Diego Luna , unlikely heroes who join forces to steal plans for the Death Star. This film sets up the epic “Star Wars” anthology.  If you see it at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood you will enjoy a themed stage show and you and your guests can take your photo at the Stormtrooper meet-and-greet.  There will also be a curated collection of vehicle models and hero costumes from the production of the film on display.  How cool is that! For tickets and further information go to 1-800-Disney6 (800-347-6396) or visit www.elcapitantickets.com.

For all the song and dance guys and gals on your holiday gift list you can’t go wrong with “ La La Land,” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.  It’s the romantic story of a jazz musician (Gosling) and an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) who meet while pursuing their dreams  It will soon open citywide.

For theatre fans on your gift list, consider seeing the revival of “The King and I” which won four Tony Awards this past year.  The show is filled with great music and has an engrossing story.  You can also give a Flex Package as a present for the theatre buff you want to please.  With Flex you can choose 4 or more shows for a very reasonable price.  Upcoming this year at the Pantages: “An American in Paris,” “Rent,” “Motown,” “Finding Neverland,” “The Book of Mormon” and more. For further information call 866-755-2929 or www.hollywoodpantages.com

From Dec. 4 through Jan. 15 the Ahmanson Theatre presents a brand new stage musical, “Amalie,” based on the 2001 romantic film comedy with music by Daniel Messe. Phillipa Soo stars in the title role. In the new year “Amalie” heads to Broadway where previews will begin in March–so we have the chance to see it first here in La La Land before it heads off to the Big Apple.

And if you want a nice little stocking stuffer, here are a few DVD titles to consider.  For pet lovers, young and older, check out “The Secret Life of Pets.”  Discover what your furry little darlings might be up to when you’re not looking.  Another animated charmer, now available on DVD and Blu-ray, is Disney’s “Finding Dory,” starring the voice of Ellen Degeneres as the lovable, but very forgetful little blue fish named Dory who sets out to find her parents with the help of Nemo.

Give a gift of entertainment this holiday season