All posts by Los Angeles Life and Style

Los Angeles based writer, Margie Anne Clark began her career in journalism in 2000. A prolific writer, Margie's work encompasses the entertainment world, with profiles on celebrities, luminaries and impresarios in and around Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Simi Valley, the OC and the Santa Clarita Valley.

Remembering Johnny Grant, Hollywood’s beloved Honorary Mayor

The last time I saw Johnny: Hollywood’s Honorary Mayor Johnny Grant on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, Summer of 2007. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

By Margie Anne Clark

Hollywood, Calif. – Born May 9, 1923, Hollywood’s Honorary Mayor Johnny Grant is perhaps best remembered as one of Hollywood’s most enthusiastic supporters for more than 50 years. On Jan. 9, 2012, Hollywood marked the fourth anniversary of Grant’s passing with a wreath on his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

His legacy of service lives on and the honorary mayor remains one of Hollywood’s most beloved icons. With his signature deep radio voice and affable charm,  Grant arrived in Tinseltown as a young man during Hollywood’s Golden Era of the 1940s.

“I was inspired by Mickey Rooney and the boys when I came out to Hollywood as a G.I.,” Grant told me in 2003 on his 80th birthday. “I knew I was never going to live anywhere else but here,” Grant reminisced.

Always hands on with all of his projects, Grant went on to serve as Chairman of the USO Selection Committee and the Hollywood Historic Trust. He not only created what was to become part of Hollywood’s history, but had been a long-time supporter for preserving Cinema City’s past. To that end, Grant was appointed to a four-year term on the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Heritage Commission.

When spectacular Hollywood special events were presented, more often than not Johnny Grant could be found at the helm.  He served as chairman and executive producer of the Hollywood Centennial Celebration, orchestrating Hollywood’s year-long 100th birthday extravaganza. He added his special charm and touch to many a Hollywood Christmas Parade, helping to direct festivities and recruiting stars. During the 2004 parade, he brought me on board as a volunteer and I observed Hollywood’s honorary mayor at work driving himself on his speedy golf cart making sure everything would be on cue.

“You carefully pick your projects and give them all you’ve got,” Grant told me. “I think you’ve got to enjoy what you do, and I certainly do.”

His dedication to the USO was legendary. In service to his country, Grant holds the record for having appeared in 56 USO shows – more than anyone in Hollywood history. Grant embraced the USO from the very start when he made his first appearance in 1950 at the encouragement of his good friend Bob Hope, who marked his  his 100th birthday back on May 29, 2003.  Grant toured with Hope on numerous USO tours. Of his iconic colleague Grant said, “Bob always saw the positive side of things.”

During Hope’s 100th birthday celebration Grant reminisced, “That ski nose was more than just a prop and he could sniff out more information on the goings-on at camp upon first arriving. He always hit it right on the nose.”

Of his last USO tour to Guantánamo Bay in 2007, Grant remained a dedicated as ever. He toured the facility flanked by an entourage of beautiful Victoria Secret models – his quick sense of humor ever in place. “It’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it,” Grant said.

In the last days of his life, the legendary luminary of the stars reflected, “I was born to live in Hollywood.”  He later was noted as saying; “If I died tomorrow, I know I had one of the best lives anyone could ever imagine…”

Thank you Johnny, for living your life to the fullest. Hollywood salutes you!

 

Margie Anne Clark is a Los Angeles based writer. She can be reached at  margie@losangeleslifeandstyle.com 

 

 

 

 

Monty Python’s irreverent, hilarious ‘Spamalot’ returns to the Pantages Theater in Hollywood

Arthur Rowan and Brittany Woodrow star in Monty Python's 'Spamalot' at the Pantages. Photo by Scott Suchman

Los Angeles Life and Style Entertainment News

Hollywood, Calif. – Monty Python’s Spamalot is returning to the Pantages Theater for a one week engagement from Feb. 28 to March 4. Tickets to he Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 2005.

Leading the cast of Monty Python’s Spamalot are Arthur Rowan as King Arthur and Brittany Woodrow as The Lady of the Lake with Michael J. Berry (Patsy), Adam Grabau (Sir Lancelot, The French Taunter, King Ni, Tim the Enchanter), Jacob L. Smith (Sir Galahad, Black Knight, Father), Kasidy Devlin (Sir Robin), Thomas DeMarcus (Mayor, Dennis’ Mother, Sir Bedevere, Concorde), James David Larson (Not Dead Fred, Prince Herbert) and Joe Beuerlein (Historian, Minstrel, Brother Maynard, French Guard).
Rounding out the company are Kimber Benedict, Jason Elliott Brown, Ryan Cowles, Carl DeForrest Hendin, Amanda Johns, Andrew Leggieri, Melissa Denise Lopez, McKayla Marso, Jesse Palmer, Tiffani Robbins, Jared Titus and Bradley Allan Zarr.
Lovingly “ripped-off” from the internationally famous comedy team’s most popular motion picture, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the hilarious spoof is the winner of three 2005 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director (Mike Nichols), as well as the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Musical. The original cast recording of Monty Python’s Spamalot won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
Telling the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and their quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python’s Spamalot features a chorus line of dancing divas and knights, flatulent Frenchmen, killer rabbits and one legless knight.
Based on the Tony Award winning direction of Mike Nichols and the riotous choreography of Casey Nicholaw, Monty Python’s Spamalot features a book by Eric Idle, based on the screenplay of Monty Python and the Holy Grail by Monty Python creators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, with music and lyrics by the Grammy Award-winning team of Mr. Idle and John Du Prez.
Monty Python’s Spamalot is produced by Stephen B. Kane, Michael McFadden and Phoenix Entertainment.

Tickets to see Spamalot may be purchased online at www.BroadwayLA.org or by phone at 1-800-982-2787. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Pantages Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. The Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, just east of Vine Street, and the box office opens daily at 10am.The performance schedule for Monty Python’s Spamalot is Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm. Monty Python’s Spamalot has a running time of 2 hours including intermission and is recommended for ages 12 and up. (Please note that in consideration of audiences, no one under 5 will be admitted to the theatre.)Orchestra level tickets for Monty Python’s Spamalot start at just $25. Prices are subject to change without notice.For more information on Monty Python’s Spamalot, please visit www.MontyPythonsSpamalot.com.For tickets or more information about Monty Python’s SPAMALOT’s Los Angeles engagement, please visit the Pantages Theatre’s official website, www.BroadwayLA.org.

Leap Year 2012 Calls for ‘One More Disney Day’ as Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resorts turn Feb. 29 into 24 hours of nonstop theme park magic

Los Angeles Life and Style Resort News

Historic Bi-Coastal Day for Disney Parks

Anaheim, Calif. and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Jan. 1, 2012) – Disney Parks guests can get the most out of February 29 when Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California celebrate Leap Year by keeping a theme park on each coast open for 24 hours of nonstop memory-making fun.

For the first time ever, both the Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park will stay open for 24 hours straight as part of a bi-coastal salute called “One More Disney Day.” From 6 a.m., February 29 to 6 a.m., March 1, 2012, local time, guests can fill the extra day of leap

For the first time ever, both the Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park will stay open for 24 hours straight as part of a bi-coastal salute called “One More Disney Day.” From 6 a.m., February 29 to 6 a.m., March 1, 2012, local time, guests can fill the extra day of leap year with a marathon of Disney magic and fun.

year with a marathon of Disney magic and fun.* And for 60 days straight – from Jan. 1, 2012 to Feb. 29, 2012 – a daily winner will be chosen in the “Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes” to receive a Disney Parks vacation.  One entrant each day will win a vacation for four to make memories at either Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.**

For the past year, Disney Parks has invited guests to “let the memories begin,” noted Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

“We’re honored that so many guests have shared their Disney memories with us as part of ‘Let the Memories Begin’, and I’m pleased to announce that the campaign will continue throughout 2012,” Staggs said. “To celebrate, for the first time ever, the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Parks will remain open for 24 hours on Leap Day, so that our guests can take advantage of every minute of their extra day to make memories with friends and family.”

In addition to the extra time, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California will feature a special offer:

  • Guests get one more day and night of memory making, free when they buy a 3-night/3-day non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Co. room and ticket package at select Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort hotels.  The package offer is good for arrivals most nights Feb. 26 – March 10, 2012 and must be booked by Jan. 31, 2012. ***

In 2011, Disney Parks has encouraged families to “Let the Memories Begin,” with guests celebrating their only-at-Disney memories by sharing their vacation stories, photos and videos online at DisneyParks.com/memories.

Guests can find out more information about other Disneyland Resort offers and tickets at www.disneyland.com and other Walt Disney World Resort hotel and ticket offers at www.disneyworld.com. Guests can find out more information about “One More Disney Day” and get official rules for the “Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes” atwww.OneMoreDisneyDay.com.

 

*Select attractions, entertainment and services will be available for 24 hours. Subject to capacity restrictions.  Valid theme park admission required.

** NO PURCHASE/ TEXT MESSAGE NECESSARY.  Void where prohibited.  Open only to persons who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C. or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not Minors.  Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (EST) on 1/1/12 and ends 11:59:59 PM (EST) on 2/29/12.  To enter, send on your cell phone the key word “DISNEYDAY” as an SMS text message to the SMS shortcode 347639 (Disney).  Msg. & data rates may apply. Or to enter for free and for Official Rules, visit Disney.com/memoriessweeps.  If entering via SMS you will receive a confirmation text in response to your entry.  LIMIT: ONE ENTRY ALLOWED PER PERSON/Cell/Address for each day.  Sponsor:  Disney Online 500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521.

Still Time to see ‘Wicked’ at the Pantages in Hollywood

Hollywood, Calif. – There’s still time to see WICKED at the

Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, now through Jan 29, 2012. Call 800-982-ARTS (2787) for tickets now.
http://www.broadwayla.org/production/show.info.asp?ID=1
The company of WICKED will also include native Los Angeles residents Lauren Boyd, Napoleon W. Gladney, Brenda Hamilton, Alli McGinnis and Kevin McMahon.
Rounding out the company are Megan Campanile, Antonette Cohen, Rick Desloge, Melanie Field, Luis Augusto Figueroa, Timothy A. Fitz-Gerald, Renee Lawless-Orsini, Philip Dean Lightstone, Marissa Lupp, Michael Mahany, Sterling Masters, Christopher Russo, Adea Michelle Sessoms, Carla Stickler, Brandon Tyler, Shanna VanDerwerker, Nicky Venditti and Mikey Winslow.

Back by “Popular” demand. Los Angeles’ most “popular” musical flies back to the Pantages Theatre for the holiday season after a record-breaking two-year run. Called “a phenomenon that keeps growing” by The Los Angeles Times and “the defining musical of the decade” by The New York Times, WICKED tells the story of two girls who meet in the land of Oz. One – born with emerald green skin – is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “America’s must-see musical”. (Orange County Register )

Running Time: 2 hrs 45 mins (including intermission)
Parent Advisory: Recommended for 8 & up; no one under 5 admitted to the theatre.

Leap Year 2012 Calls for ‘One More Disney Day’ As Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resorts Turn Feb. 29 Into 24 Hours

City Life Communications News

Anaheim, Calif. and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Disney Parks guests can get the most out of February 29 when Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California celebrate Leap Year by keeping a theme park on each coast open for 24 hours of nonstop memory-making fun.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicFor the first time ever, both the Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park will stay open for 24 hours straight as part of a bi-coastal salute called “One More Disney Day.” From 6 a.m., February 29 to 6 a.m., March 1, 2012, local time, guests can fill the extra day of leap year with a marathon of Disney magic and fun.*And for 60 days straight – from Jan. 1, 2012 to Feb. 29, 2012 – a daily winner will be chosen in the “Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes” to receive a Disney Parks vacation. One entrant each day will win a vacation for four to make memories at either Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.**

For the past year, Disney Parks has invited guests to “let the memories begin,” noted Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

“We’re honored that so many guests have shared their Disney memories with us as part of ‘Let the Memories Begin’, and I’m pleased to announce that the campaign will continue throughout 2012,” Staggs said. “To celebrate, for the first time ever, the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Parks will remain open for 24 hours on Leap Day, so that our guests can take advantage of every minute of their extra day to make memories with friends and family.”

In addition to the extra time, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California will feature a special offer:

* Guests get one more day and night of memory making, free when they buy a 3-night/3-day non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Co. room and ticket package at select Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort hotels. The package offer is good for arrivals most nights Feb. 26 – March 10, 2012 and must be booked by Jan. 31, 2012. ***

In 2011, Disney Parks has encouraged families to “Let the Memories Begin,” with guests celebrating their only-at-Disney memories by sharing their vacation stories, photos and videos online at DisneyParks.com/memories.

Guests can find out more information about other Disneyland Resort offers and tickets at www.disneyland.com and other Walt Disney World Resort hotel and ticket offers at www.disneyworld.com. Guests can find out more information about “One More Disney Day” and get official rules for the “Disney Parks One More Disney Day Sweepstakes” at www.OneMoreDisneyDay.com.

*Select attractions, entertainment and services will be available for 24 hours. Subject to capacity restrictions. Valid theme park admission required.

** NO PURCHASE/ TEXT MESSAGE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to persons who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C. or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not Minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (EST) on 1/1/12 and ends 11:59:59 PM (EST) on 2/29/12. To enter, send on your cell phone the key word “DISNEYDAY” as an SMS text message to the SMS shortcode 347639 (Disney). Msg. & data rates may apply. Or to enter for free and for Official Rules, visit Disney.com/memoriessweeps. If entering via SMS you will receive a confirmation text in response to your entry. LIMIT: ONE ENTRY ALLOWED PER PERSON/Cell/Address for each day. Sponsor: Disney Online 500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521.

*** Number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Room charge based on average per night rate of applicable room during stay. Offer is valid for bookings from 1/1/12 through 1/31/12 for arrivals from 2/26/12 through 3/10/12. One (1) consecutive night will be added to the hotel stay and one (1) day added to the tickets. Offer applied once per package/reservation and excludes suites. Disneyland® Resort multi-day tickets expire 13 days after first use or 3/23/12, whichever occurs first, Walt Disney World® tickets are for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. Each day of use of a ticket constitutes one full day of use. Advanced reservations required. No group rates or other discounts apply. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Check for packages of other lengths of stay. Walt Disney Travel Company CST: 1022229-50. ©Disne

Special Ticket at Disneyland Resort Offers Two Days of Fun for $99 for Southern California Residents – Guests Will Enjoy All That’s New Plus Classic Adventures

City Life Communications News

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 4, 2012) – An exciting ticket offer at Disneyland Resort invites Southern California residents to enjoy two days of fun and adventure at two parks for just $99. To explore all there is to do at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park, guests may purchase a 2-day ticket for just $99, with their choice of one park per day. With the 2-day ticket, guests get the flexibility to make memories with family and friends any two days from Jan. 4 to June 9, 2012.*
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
From the nighttime brilliance of “World of Color” to parades and high-energy street shows, guests will be immersed in the excitement of high-quality entertainment and some of their favorite attractions for two full days. They will be able to choose two days at Disney California Adventure, or two days at Disneyland, or one day to go wild at each park. Plus, for the first time, SoCal residents may choose to add a third day to this ticket for just $30** and visit one park per day. For blockout dates and restrictions, visit www.Disneyland.com/2days.

Along with the great value of the 2-day ticket, guests will enjoy a fun challenge when they visit the parks: What to do next? Visit a pirate, a princess, a Jedi or a genie? Sing along with a mermaid or soar over California? Embark on a jungle cruise or journey to galaxies far, far away? Dine at a seaside boardwalk or dance the night away at ElecTRONica?
Image and video hosting by TinyPic With so much to do at both parks, guests may choose from a variety of sensational shows, attractions and dining locations. At Disneyland, favorite experiences include the new destinations of Star Tours with more than 50 different story combinations, the exciting drumbeat of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade and the thrills of racing through Space Mountain. At Disney California Adventure, the fun ranges from a musical voyage on The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure to a 4D ride on Toy Story Mania, and more at night with the “World of Color” spectacular on enormous mist screens.

Classic attractions and entertaining shows offer even more options for guests, including a cruise through Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, and a magical carpet ride with “Aladdin, a Musical Spectacular” at Disney California Adventure. Guests also may enjoy meeting characters and princesses at the parks, plus themed dining locations such as the new pavilion at Paradise Pier, with Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill restaurants.

The 2-day ticket is the perfect way to catch all the fun, and it won’t last long. SoCal residents must purchase the 2-day ticket by June 1, 2012. First use must occur on or before June 8, 2012, and the tickets expire on June 9, 2012. The 2-day ticket can be purchased at Disneyland.com/2days, The Disney Stores, Albertsons and other retail locations, as well as any Disneyland Resort ticket booth. Guests who purchase online can print their tickets at home.

Additional offers are available for guests who want to turn their Disneyland Resort visit into a getaway, including a hotel stay at any of the three Disneyland Resort deluxe hotels and FASTPASS tickets. The four-diamond Disneyland Hotel has been fully renovated with beautiful décor, a new pool and water play area, and a new restaurant and bar. For details, see www.disneyland.com/offers.

* Hotel savings: Guests can save up to 35 percent* on hotel stays for most Sunday through Thursday nights at a Disneyland Resort hotel for travel from January 2 through February 29, 2012, when the reservation is booked before February 29. Hotel guests may also enjoy Magic Morning admission to a Disneyland Resort theme park on applicable days.
* FASTPASS Tickets: Guests who stay at any Disneyland Resort hotel from January 4 to February 29 will receive 2 Disney’s FASTPASS tickets for each registered guest in their party (ages 3 and older). Valid theme park tickets are required, of course.#
* Vacation package: Guests get one more Disney day and night free! As part of the One More Disney Day campaign, when guests purchase a non-discounted Walt Disney Travel Co. 3-night, 3-day Room and Ticket Package before January 31, 2012 for arrivals most nights between February 26 and March 10, 2012, they will receive a ticket for an additional theme park admission and a hotel night for free.##

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About Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure park – plus three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The resort’s hotels are the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its “day-at-the-beach” fun and two Four Diamond properties – the luxurious, 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and the magical, newly renovated, 969-room Disneyland Hotel. For information on attractions and vacations at Disneyland Resort visit www.disneyland.com, call (866) 43-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.

Star Tours ©Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd.
Indiana Jones Adventure ©Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™

So Cal Resident 2-Day, 1-Park per Day and 2-Day Park Hopper Ticket Disclaimer

* Tickets valid only for Southern California residents within ZIP codes 90000-93599 and Northern Baja California residents within ZIP codes 21000-22999 and proof of residency is required for purchase and admission. Each day of use constitutes one full day of use. Tickets expire June 9, 2012. Blockout days of 3/30/12-4/15/12 and 6/4/12-6/5/12 apply. May purchase up to 5 tickets per person per day with valid ID. Tickets may not be sold or transferred for commercial use. Offer may not be combined with other discounts or promotions. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

** Resort Hotel Offer Disclaimer

35% savings on Sunday through Thursday night stays based on the non-discounted price for the same room at Disney’s Paradise Pier® Hotel. Check for offers at other hotels. Travel must be completed by March 1, 2012. Applies only to standard and concierge level rooms and not valid with previously booked rooms. Excludes applicable taxes and fees. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and five (5) people maximum per room. Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

#Disney’s FASTPASS Disclaimer

Each Disney’s FASTPASS® ticket will allow a guest one (1) entrance to the FASTPASS® return line of any Disney’s FastPass® attraction at the Disneyland® Resort Theme Parks (except World of Color). Tickets expire seven (7) days from check-in or March 7, 2012, whichever occurs first. Disney’s FASTPASS® attractions and return lines may not operate daily and Disney’s FASTPASS® tickets are subject to attraction changes, closures and capacity. No cash value; no substitutions. Tickets may not be sold, copied or transferred for commercial purposes and will not be replaced if lost or stolen. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

## Free Day and Night Disclaimer

*Number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Room charge based on average per night rate of applicable room during stay. One (1) consecutive night will be added to the hotel stay and one (1) day added to the tickets. Offer applied once per package/reservation and excludes suites. The Disneyland® Resort multi-day tickets expire 13 days after first use or 3/23/12, whichever occurs first, and each day of use of a ticket constitutes one full day of use. Advanced reservations required. No group rates or other discounts apply. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Check for packages of other lengths of stay. Walt Disney Travel Company CST: 1022229-50.

Disneyland’s Merry Holiday Celebration Continues through January 8, 2012

City Life Communications News

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 4, 2012) – The holiday season at Disneyland Resort is still going on daily through Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012.
* For the first time, the Holiday season at Disneyland Resort will be extended to celebrate Three Kings Day, known as Día de Reyes. From Jan. 6-8, 2012, look for special décor and entertainment in Frontierland that showcases western and Mexican heritage, along with food themed to this holiday and children’s activities.* The first Disneyland holiday celebration was in 1955, when Walt Disney placed a Christmas tree in the Hub at the north end of Main Street, U.S.A., near Sleeping Beauty Castle. For many years now, the tree has been located in Town Square near the Main Street Disneyland Railroad Station.
* Beginning Friday, Nov. 18, “The Magic, The Memories, and You!” show gets a new, Yuletide glow. The show features photos and video of guests creating memories at Disneyland park, with favorite holiday melodies underscoring images of guests enjoying their holidays at Disneyland.
* The lively street show “Phineas and Ferb’s Rockin’ Rollin’ Dance Party” gets a merry twist at Disney California Adventure park, with holiday décor and songs. The show is performed several times a day in Paradise Pier.
* Lanny and Wayne, the techno-savvy elves from the “Prep & Landing” holiday TV specials, make guest appearances in a new holiday prelude sequence in the nighttime “World of Color” show in Disney California Adventure.
* Decorating experts at the Disneyland Resort have to get started early. They trim nearly 700 trees for the season, on display in Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, the resort’s three hotels and the Downtown Disney District. The smallest tree is at Storybook Land and the largest is at Town Square – both in Disneyland.
* The Disneyland Christmas tree in Town Square has become a favorite spot for snapping holiday photos. The artificial tree stands 60 feet tall and has 280,000 pine-tip branches molded from actual tree branches. It is decorated with more than 2,000 ornaments, including the three-foot star on top, and nearly 4,800 energy-efficient LED lights. When the Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle show reaches its finale crescendo, more than 60,000 LED lights and 1,200 strobe lights are added to the effect.
* Mickey’s Toontown is decorated with its own distinctive “toon” trees this 2011 holiday season. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse each have personal Christmas trees in the front yards of their Toontown homes, and a cartoon-themed tree beckons guests for photos in front of Toontown City Hall.
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* Since the introduction of the artificial Christmas tree and LED lighting technology in 2008, the Disneyland park Christmas tree has used 50 percent less electricity than it did previously.
* Carolers in traditional Victorian holiday garb make regular appearances throughout the season at each of the three Disneyland Resort hotels: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
* The Dapper Dans, the popular Main Street, U.S.A., quartet, add holiday songs to their repertoire, with holiday chimes as accompaniment. Favorites range from the traditional “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to “Frosty the Snowman,” “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and “Christmas in Killarney.
* The nighttime Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle light show is divided into three “acts” over the course of the evening. Each one begins at the Castle and travels the length of Main Street, U.S.A., finishing at the Town Square Christmas tree. Each act features a magical snowfall, and the final act concludes with “Believe…in Holiday Magic” fireworks.
* The nighttime light show employs more than 200,000 points of light, 2,600 individual circuits and more than 85,000 individual wiring connections.
* If all the cables and conductors for the show were laid end to end, they would stretch 48 miles from Disneyland Resort – enough to pass the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.
* The entrance to Disney California Adventure and locations throughout the park are festooned with holiday decoration. New this year are the decorations around the newly renovated Paradise Pier area, with The Little Mermaid ~Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and the nearby dining locations.
* The largest ornaments used at Disneyland Resort may be found in the “bugs-eye-view” world of Flik’s Fun Fair at Disney California Adventure.
* The smallest ornaments used at the Resort may be found in the Storybook Land attraction at Disneyland.“A Christmas Fantasy” parade* Each performance of “A Christmas Fantasy” features 105 performers, 18 float drivers and 12 musicians costumed as toy soldiers from the Disney movie “Babes in Toyland.” With daily parade performances, it takes approximately 200 performers to stage the parade during the holiday season.
* The parade features six major “units,” each consisting of multiple floats. The units are: ”A Christmas Fantasy Opening” featuring Mrs. Claus sorting letters in Santa’s Mailroom; “Winter Wonderland” with Mickey and Minnie enjoying a romantic skate atop the frozen pond; “The Candy Shop” with Goofy leading the bakers from the Gingerbread House; “Candlelight Christmas Ball” featuring everyone’s favorite Disney Royal Couples; “Toy Factory,” the perfect spot for Buzz and Woody; and the “Finale,” where Santa himself waves from his sleigh.

it’s a small world” Holiday

* A new, 14-foot snowman made of crystal snowflakes is lit with thousands of lights in the finale of “it’s a small world” Holiday. This is the first addition to this holiday celebration since the attraction debuted in 1997. The snowman stands atop a 10-food-wide snowflake and holds a beautiful “icicle” sign that that spells out “Happy Holidays” in colors that change as guests float by.
* Decorators use 50,000 Christmas lights on the façade of “it’s a small world” Holiday, and an additional 200,000 mini-lights in the trees, hedges and topiaries surrounding the attraction.
* Among the holiday special effects inside the attraction: pine tree and peppermint scents in the European scenes; 75 gallons of bubble juice to make bubbles throughout the season in the South Seas scene.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

* Jack Skellington has his own ideas about appropriate holiday decorations. The Haunted Mansion Holiday exterior is decorated with more than 100 jack-o’-lanterns and the eerie glow of more than 400 flickering candles.
* For the holidays, the graveyard in the Haunted Mansion finale is covered with 7,500 square feet of snow. Trees in the graveyard are decked out with 1,000 tiny orange lights.
* The gingerbread house in the Mansion’s Great Hall is made of real gingerbread and icing. Each year, the Disneyland Resort Foods and Entertainment divisions partner to create an original design for that year’s Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house.
* This 2011 gingerbread house stands six feet tall, consisting of 500 pounds of gingerbread and miles of frosting. The house animates to become a gingerbread monster, revealing glowing eyes and sharp teeth. This year’s Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house took months of planning and three weeks of creation in the Disneyland Resort Central Bakery.
* Guests may book guided Disneyland holiday tours which include visits to Haunted Mansion Holiday and “it’s a small world” Holiday attractions, reserved viewing of “A Christmas Fantasy” parade with a delicious holiday treat and warm beverage, plus a 2011 holiday pin and tour tag. (Information and reservations: 714-781-TOUR/714-781-8687.)

Halloween Time has come to Disneyland

City Life News
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The spirit of Halloween Time has come to Disneyland Resort this fall with Disney villains, Mickey Mouse and his friends in Halloween costumes, along with the seasonal transformations of Haunted Mansion into Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain into Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort is now open and will continue through Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31.
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The after-hours Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separate-ticket event* which has become an annual highlight of Halloween Time for trick-or-treating families, will take place in Disneyland park on 10 special Monday, Tuesday and Friday nights: Sept. 30 and Oct. 3,7,11,14,18,21, 25, 28 and 31. Tickets are available at Disneyland.com/halloween.
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Mickey’s Halloween Party invites adults and children to dress up in costume and trick-or-treat at the resort. These party participants can also “mix in” with regular Disneyland guests for three hours prior to the start of Mickey’s private bash. Highlights of Mickey’s Halloween Party include:

* Newly themed dance party: Guests can mix, mingle and dance with some of their favorite Disney characters at the new “Piratepalooza” at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. The popular “Buzz Lightyear’s Intergalactic Space Jam” returns to the Tomorrowland Terrace for more dancing fun.
* New character photo locations: Guests will meet Stormtroopers at Tomorrowland, Phineas & Ferb at Plaza Gardens Stage, and Duffy the Bear in his pumpkin attire at Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. Eight additional photo locations feature princesses, Disney villains and more Disney and Pixar pals.
* The special opportunity to play in Disneyland for three hours before the party starts
* Trick or Treating – candy and healthy treats ­- in the ultimate Disney neighborhood
* The “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular, hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington (presented exclusively for guests of Mickey’s Halloween Party)
* “Mickey’s Costume Party” cavalcade, performed twice nightly
* An opportunity for everyone in the family to attend the park in costumes
* Nearly all the favorite Disneyland rides and attractions

Tickets purchased in advance for Mickey’s Halloween Party are $49 most days, while tickets purchased on the event days are $59. All tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party on Friday, Oct. 28, and Halloween Night, Monday, Oct. 31, are $64.
(Disneyland Resort)
Favorite Disney characters, including Mickey himself, will dress up in fun, fall costumes. It’s the ideal environment to eat special holiday treats, play interactive games, listen to “spirited” music and watch a nightly character cavalcade that celebrates the season.

For Halloween fun at Disneyland, guests will enjoy Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy in Tomorrowland. The experience begins as a typical Space Mountain adventure, but suddenly launches voyagers into a haunted section of the universe. Ghosts appear out of the starry darkness and swirling galaxies of Space Mountain, reaching out as if to grab guests as they speed through space. The exhilarating drops and curves of the journey are punctuated by piercing screams, creepy sound effects and haunting music.

Jack Skellington also returns to take over the Haunted Mansion and bring back Haunted Mansion Holiday to New Orleans Square in Disneyland. Transformed to a mix of Halloween spookiness and Christmas tradition, Haunted Mansion Holiday is inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.” Jack’s return to the Haunted Mansion includes the traditional Halloween/Christmas gingerbread house in the Mansion Ballroom, with some special spooky surprises in this year’s design.

Halloween Time offers frightfully delightful fun for children and adults.

* For spine-tingling fun, drop in at The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure park, where a “supernatural” event happened on Halloween evening, 1939, forever haunting the building.
* Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland is transformed for the Pumpkin Festival. More than 300 pumpkins will be on display and none of them are the same!
* Visitors to Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland will find ranch animals, pumpkin carvers, Halloween décor and activities for youngsters.
* Meeting Disney characters will be easier than ever as Disney villains gather to plot Halloween mischief at “it’s a small world” Mall in Disneyland, while other characters in spooky attire greet guests in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A.
* Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland will honor Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead with traditional skeleton figures on display Sept. 16 through Nov. 2.
* Special Halloween treats will be available in Disneyland, including menu items such as Zero’s Ghostly Ghoulash, served in a dog dish in honor of Zero.

For more information about Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort, see www.disneyland.com/halloween. This site will be updated with frightfully fun details.

Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights Now Playing

City Life News

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.- Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights opened today with more mazes than ever – and an all-new Terror Tram: Scream 4 Your Life.

This year’s six horror mazes include the return of “Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses: In 3D ZombieVision.” Rocker Alice Cooper joins the fun with “Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare.”

Director Eli Roth put together “Eli Roth’s Hostel: Hunting Season,” which features items from Roth’s personal collection of original “Hostel” movie props.

“La Llorona: Villa De Almas Perdidas” (“The Weeping Woman: Village of Lost Souls”) is from actor and director Diego Luna, who re-imagines the legend of melancholy and murder that he was told as a child. The other mazes are “The Thing: Assimilation” and “The Wolfman: The Curse of Talbot Hall.’

The new backlot experience, “Terror Tram: Scream 4 Your Life,” is based on the latest installment of Wes Craven’s “Scream” film series. “Scare Zones” and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” add to the nightmare theme.

“Halloween Horror Nights” are Sept. 23 and 24 plus Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Oct. 7-9, 14-16, 20-23 and 27-31. Tickets can be purchased at UniversalStudiosHollywood.com/hhn. Updates on “Halloween Horror Nights” are available at www.halloweenhorrornights.com/ and also on Twitter and Facebook. Tickets now on sale!

Wicked returns to the Pantages Nov. 30 – Jan. 29, 2011

By Margie Anne Clark
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – WICKED, the colorful Broadway hit musical, is back by “Popular” demand. The dazzling musical will take to the stage of the Pantages Theatre, just in time for the holiday season, beginning Nov. 30 and running through Jan. 29, 2012.

After a record-breaking two-year run and called “a phenomenon that keeps growing” by The Los Angeles Times and “the defining musical of the decade” by The New York Times, WICKED’s story of two girls who meet in the land of Oz comes to life in a musical burst of energy and fun for the whole family. One girl – born with emerald green skin – is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and glowingly popular.

Audiences will enjoy discovering a whole new side to the Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda the Good Witch of the North.

Don’t be green with envy, by your tickets now! Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-982-ARTS (2787) or by visiting the Broadway LA website at: http://www.broadwayla.org/production/show.info.asp?ID=1
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Photo by Joan Marcus