It's Christmas and that means 'tis the season … well, for aliens to land in Las Vegas in 1966 and attempt to infiltrate the Rat Pack so they can bring the magic art of entertainment to their galaxy — or something like that. In fact, it doesn't really matter: The wraparound plot is just the flimsiest of excuses to throw one of the Actors' Gang's patented hipster frolic Christmas parties — and a delight it is, too, with dancers, gymnasts, singers, stilt walkers, trapeze dancers, Vegas showgirls and aliens in Spandex prancing, dancing and doing just about anything one can think of to usher in the festive season. The goofy antics, mildly campy song numbers and non sequitur storyline of director/creator Stefan Haves' joyful celebration is belied by the astonishingly crisp and tight stagecraft, which shoehorns a bewildering assortment of production numbers and acrobatic interludes into a comparatively brief time frame. Part old-style variety show, part bizarre post-ironic spectacle and part family-friendly holiday celebration, Haves' production decks the stage halls with a quirky silliness, whether it's the cast of Spandex–clad aliens dancing Rockettes-style to "Walking in Memphis" or Eric Newton's thrilling aerial rings dance. This is a heady, imaginative mix of seasonal charm and sassy cunning. Actors' Gang at Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City; Dec. 14-23 and Dec. 31, 8 p.m. (310) 838-4264, actorsgang.com.
Thu., Dec. 8, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 10, 8 p.m.; Dec. 14-23, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 30, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m., 2011