From UCB’s take on a Hallmark (movies) holiday to a celebration of Japanese New Year and chance to check out the Rose Parade floats in post-parade peace, here are the 7 best not-New-Year’s-Eve things to do in Los Angeles this week.
Hallmark Christmas movies are the fruitcake of TV. They have formulaic plots, the same cast of white actors and cheesy titles (A Christmas Wedding Tail, anyone?). Some find them a guilty pleasure, others have dedicated entire podcasts to their schlock. UCB’s Public Access Presents: The Best of the Worst Hallmark Holidays! takes obvious inspiration from this staple of hokey holiday entertainment. Eric Chad Ho and Koschka Bahr host the show, where three improv teams will read the synopsis of old and new Hallmark film titles and perform wholly improvised remakes, sometimes using audience participation. It’s better than watching Candace Cameron-Bure or Lori Loughlin. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood; Fri., Dec. 27, 10:30 p.m.; $7. (323) 908-8702, sunset.ucbtheatre.com. —Siran Babayan
Tim Burton Takes Over the Stage
Scissorhands: A Musical Inspired by the Film is back to puncture your heart and tickle your funny bone. The dinner theater experience presented by The Fuse Project re-imagines Tim Burton’s classic film starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder for the small stage, and it was such a huge hit during the holidays last year, they brought it back. Written by Bradley Bredeweg (the man behind the Disney show The Fosters, as well as the Freeform/Hulu show Good Trouble) the show aims to reflect what made the movie great and inject new ideas, melding pop culture and cinema references with familiar dialog, social commentary, nostalgic narrative and catchy sing-a-long numbers. Of course, we all know the story: Set in a pastel-drenched American suburb circa 1990, it weaves the tale of Edward, the creation of a mad doctor who did not finish him so he has scissor blades instead of hands. When Ed is discovered by a woman selling cosmetics door to door, she takes him to live with her family. Adjustments to “normal” life and hilarity ensue as our sweet (and sliced-up) hero falls in love with the teenage daughter of the household, making for a star-crossed love story that was — and is — unforgettably bodacious yet beautifully bittersweet. Rockwell Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave, Los Feliz; Friday & Saturday, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, 12:30 p.m., through January 5; $25-$45. rockwell-la.com —Lina Lecaro
When In Aroma
Since 2012, the Institute for Art & Olfaction has supported the intrigue of scent as a creative pursuit, compiling research and inviting artists, collaborators and the public to get in on the indie, avant-garde tip of the perfume world. This weekend artist and perfumer Ashley Eden Kessler and IAO founder Saskia Wilson-Brown join forces in an immersive all-day session designed for those who are more than just scent-curious, but actively seeking ways to incorporate scent into their creative practices, and maybe even grow it into a proper business. Business + Practice: Perfumery Intensive will cover the industry basics, answer your practical questions and trigger your flights of inspiration. Institute for Ar & Olfaction, 932 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Sat., Dec. 28, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; $165. artandolfaction.com. —Shana Nys Dambrot
New Year’s Mit Schlag
While many cultures revel in ringing out the old year, leave it to the 19th-century’s Austro-Hungarian empire to set a European standard on how to do it right. In Vienna’s famous Neujahrskonzert (New Year’s Concert), dancers from the Vienna Opera Ballet perform in one of Vienna’s elaborate palaces evoking the era when the Hapsburg’s ruled an empire. The dance along with music and opera is performed for a live (and presumably shivering) audience and also broadcast nationally, easily vying with New York City’s crystal-ball countdown. Recreating the Neujahrskonzert, Salute to Vienna arrives with waltzes, polka, ballet, singing and lots of music provided by the Strauss Symphony of America. Like Vienna pastry, it is definitely mit schlag, but a fun way to stretch the New Year’s celebrating with a post-concert glass of champagne before committing to those resolutions. After a Saturday performance in Orange County, the show goes to Hollywood on Sunday. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa; Sat., Dec. 28, 8 p.m.; $49-$129. scfta.org/events/2018/salute-to-vienna. Also at the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Sun., Dec. 29, 2:30 p.m., $42-$126. ticketmaster.com/event/0900570EE6404773. —Ann Haskins
The Poseidon Adventure
Before Kate Winslet let Leonardo DiCaprio die for some reason instead of sharing precious real estate on her flotsam in Titanic, when it came to maritime disaster films there was The Poseidon Adventure. Follow an ensemble cast (including Gene Hackman) as they attempt to survive a New Year’s Eve gone disastrously wrong after the eponymous cruise liner is struck and overturned by a massive wave. The film, and its less heralded sequel, Beyond the Poiseiden Adventure (which holds the dubious distinction of holding a 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes), will be screening at the New Beverly Cinema; be sure to come prepared for a long evening — the film palace’s owner, the one and only Quentin Tarantino, is committed to showing double features in 35mm, as the theater does tonight. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Mon., Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.; $10 ($11.49 service fee). thenewbev.com. —Avery Bissett
See our New Year’s Eve guide online at laweekly.com/culture.
Japanese New Year
If you think Little Tokyo is just about sushi or the museums, The Annual Japanese New Year’s Oshogatsu Festival provides the ultimate one day experience to show you so, so much more. Filled with non-stop amusements reflecting the rich culture of Japan, the event, now in its 22nd year, is one of the most important for the Japanese people. Two different stages and booths throughout present taiko drumming, traditional dance, kendo, mochi making, kite making, and origami teaching and martial arts. Of course there will also be plenty of food and drink, including beer. Weller Court Shopping Center, 123 Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka St., downtown; Wed., Jan. 1, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; free parking & shuttle service provided by L.A. Metro. golittletokyo.com/oshogatsu/. —Lina Lecaro
The Post Parade
Some of us would rather party and get drunk on New Year’s Eve than camp outside in the cold to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade the next morning. But you can still marvel at the floats just a few feet away from the parade route at Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats. On view will be some of the more than 40 floats, including the ones representing the teams playing at this year’s Rose Bowl game, the Oregon Ducks and Wisconsin Badgers. Nearly 150,000 visitors will be getting a closer look at these floral and mechanical beauties, which took 80,000 hours and 935 volunteers to decorate, and are covered in grass, plants, seeds, bark and a whopping 18 million flowers. Volunteers will be on hand to discuss the workmanship involved. E. Sierra Madre Blvd. & E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena; Wed., Jan. 1, 1-5 p.m. & Thu., Jan. 2, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $20, free children 5 and under. (626) 795-4171, sharpseating.com. —Siran Babayan