Joke of the week: Jane Borden

I was watching Jeopardy once, and the answer was, 'This leader did some sightseeing in a newly defeated Paris in June of 1940.' The contestant said,...

I was watching Jeopardy once, and the answer was, 'This leader did some sightseeing in a newly defeated Paris in June of 1940.' The contestant said, 'Who is Adolf Hitler?' and Alex Trebek replied, 'That is correct.' Really? That's the answer to the question 'Who is Hitler?': A guy who went antiquing through Europe? Because I feel like I know that name from something else.

Jane Borden performs at Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill on January 7th at 8pm, the Pleasure Chest on January 8th at 8pm and M.I. Westside Comedy Theater on January 9th at 10pm. Tickets are under $10.

This weekend

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Ah, the joys of Christmas in a Mediterranean climate, where boat owners can deck out their ships in holiday lights and set sail without the impediment of icy weather. For the 106th year, the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is doing just that as over 100 decorated vessels parade around a 14-mile circuit in the Newport Harbor. You can see the parade for free during each of the five nights, but there are also reserved seats and dining packages available for purchase.

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Free

The Nutcracker

Relive your childhood theatergoing experiences this Christmas with Uncle Drosselmeyer, Clara and her beloved Nutcracker at the LA Ballet. The timeless show will travel all over LA, from Glendale to Northridge, from Westwood and Hollywood to Redondo Beach over the 2014 holiday season, performing their classic pirouettes and Mouse King battles for all LA County to see.

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Royce Hall, Westwood Until Sunday December 28 2014

Naked Comedy Toys for Tots Charity Show

Staying in Los Angeles for the holidays? Make your way to the Improv for this annual pre-Christmas charity comedy show. Josh Androsky hosts this year's show, which includes Tim Heidecker, Eddie Pepitone, Greg Proops, Guy Branum, Kate Berlant and Amber Kenny & Tamra Brown. Tickets are only $10, and half of the proceeds will go to Toys for Tots. Or, if you're short on cash but stocked with unwrapped, unopened toys, sign up for free here and bring along a donation.

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Hollywood Improv, Hollywood Sunday December 21 2014

The Nutcracker

No Christmas bucket list is complete without an outing to see The Nutcracker. Sure, the story is the same every year—Clara always gets a nutcracker from the toymaker, the music never changes, and the guys’ tights are always too(?) tight—but it’s a holiday tradition nonetheless. Will Clara and the Nutcracker defeat the evil King Mouse? They say history repeats itself, but I don’t know…

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A Christmas Carol

We all know that Ebanezer Scrooge is your favorite Christmas character. Beneath the façade of cheesy reindeer sweaters and Santa Claus hats is a grumpy old man yelling “bah humbug.” Get in touch with that inner grump with a holiday classic the whole family can enjoy. Presented by classical repertory theatre company A Noise Within, this version of the classic play will have original music yet will use only Dickens' original words. It's a rendition that's sure to leave you in a "God bless us, every one!" kind of mood. Warning: there is no intermission so you will have to hold it for 90 whole minutes. Go ahead, say it. Bah humbug.  

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A Noise Within Until Tuesday December 23 2014

Bob's Holiday Office Party

You complain about your holiday office party: weak egg nog, a $10 waffle iron from the white elephant gift exchange, Jill from accounting attempting to sing karaoke. Just be thankful you're not at Bob's Holiday Office Party. The play, which has been running since 1995, shares a look at Iowa-based insurance agent Bob Finhead as his friends and clients stop by for the annual party. Twin farmers, a stoner, a floozy and a pastor's wife are just some of the cast of characters that bring big-time laughs to the small-town setting as Bob struggles with fulfilling his dreams in the city as a professional inventor while grappling with leaving the charm of his small town. Bickering, fighting and drinking ensue. Well, some things might be familiar.

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It's A Wonderful Life screening

Critics' pick

Frank Capra's 1946 beloved tale of a family man learning to look at his life in a whole new light at Christmas time, thanks to the creative perspective of an angel trying to earn his wings, is no less relevant today than when it first came out. The movie can be found on TV all month long, but the ideal way to view the holiday classic—and the incomparable Jimmy Stewart at his best—is on the big screen at a handful of showings across L.A. Bring the family and get in the feel-good Christmas spirit.

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Until Thursday December 25 2014

Trannyshack

Critics' pick

Since coming to Los Angeles in 2006 from its birthplace in San Francisco, TrannyShack has played host to an astonishing cast of luminaries, from RuPaul's drag race champions Raja and Sharon Needles to musicians Kembra Pfaler and CHRISTEENE to legendary former porn actress Traci Lords. Not your Great-Uncle's drag review, TrannyShack is committed to pushing the boundaries of drag as an art form, featuring  extreme and cutting edge performances that often rise to the level of performance art. From the amusingly disturbing to the disturbingly amusing, TrannyShack brings you the drag of tomorrow, today.

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Until Wednesday December 31 2014

SparkleBlob's Annual Holiday Puppet Show

Critics' pick

The name is a mouthful—SparkleBlob's 7th Annual Holiday Puppet Show: Jingle-Belling on the Outskirts of Greatness—but the show’s components are quite small. Puppet-sized, to be exact. Put on by the SparkleBlob performance collective, this seventh annual puppet show follows Silver Lake's Most Well-Adjusted Family as they attempt to celebrate the holidays in the strange recreational haven known as PigBear National Forest. Part social satire, part pure silliness, this show might be the perfect outing for a mixed-ages group. 

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Sunday December 21 2014

Hanukkah Celebration at Farmers Market

Build a giant LEGO menorah and decorate a dreidel at the Original Farmers Market's Hanukkah celebration. Bring yours kids (or your inner child) out early for games, crafts and the musical "Chanukah Pajamikah" show. The menorah lighting kicks off just after sunset at 5pm.

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The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles Sunday December 21 2014 Free

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

"God Bless America," "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "White Christmas" are a glimpse into Irving Berlin's portfolio of over a thousand songs written during his 60-year career. The Russian-born composer, one of America's greatest songwriters, will come to back to life in LA courtesy of Hershey Felder, writer and star of the performance, to tell the story of a man who wasted no time in achieving the American Dream. This performance at the Geffen Playhouse will surely be a feel-good treat for the holiday season.

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Geffen Playhouse, Westwood

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

This Russian ballet company has been gracing US audiences with its rendition of The Nutcracker since 1993. The annual production of the classic Christmas tale features a growing Christmas tree and falling snow, all set to Tchaikovsky's iconic score.  

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The Wiltern, Koreatown Sunday December 21 2014

California Crab Boil with Santa Monica Brew Works

You know your taste buds are in for one hell of a treat when Coast and Santa Monica Brew Works team up behind the kitchen. This December, indulge in their first-ever California Crab Boil—a $45 fixed menu complete with a two-pound succulent Dungeness Crab (bathed in beer and Cajun spices), homey French fries, an aioli trio and a pint of cold beer.

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Shutters on the Beach, Los Angeles Until Tuesday December 23 2014

Jeff Garlin

Long, long before Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad About You and his many film appearances, Jeff Garlin was a touring stand-up. On the mike, he's got a bright, upbeat presence that's easy to connect with, as well as a keen eye that lends his jokes an extra snap. Catch Garlin at Largo for his regular conversation series and podcast, By the Way.

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Largo at the Coronet, West Hollywood Sunday December 21 2014

Where's the Band?

After a two year-long hiatus, the "Where's the Band?" tour returns, where five talented emo frontmen from successful indie rock groups ditch their backups and morph into singer-songwriters who perform their own solo acoustic sets. Dustin Kensrue of Thrice, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, Casey Crescenzo of the Dear Hunter, Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids and Andy Jackson of Hot Rod Circuit make up this year's lineup, stopping at both the Troubadour and Glass House (although Pryor, a mainstay of the tour, will not appear at the Glass House show).

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Leftover Luxuries pop-up shop

Vintage junkies migrate west this season for the ongoing Venice pop-up shop of high-end consignment boutique, Leftover Luxuries. The Virginia-based shop opens its first-ever temporary space in LA (712 Lincoln Blvd) from October through December, where antique-wielding Angelenos can sell luxe pre-owned apparel, furniture, home goods and other throwback treasures on consignment. Here's how it works: Consignee’s price their own items and then split the sale price 50/50 with the shop. More into the buying than the vending? Shoppers can expect to find an eclectic mix of secondhand gems, from vintage dishes and chinoiserie lamps to mid-century modern chairs and Ligne Roset tables.

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Until Tuesday December 30 2014

Crafted at the Port of LA

SoCal’s first large-scale permanent craft marketplace, Crafted is housed in—you guessed it—a warehouse at the Port of LA (located at 110 E 22nd St) in San Pedro, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the year. A patchwork of stalls house more than 100 vendors who make handmade goods and artisanal foods, including local designers such as Branch of Life, which makes planters out of natural and found objects and The Donut Snob for gourmet treats. Also on offer are craft demonstrations, live music, food trucks and special events, such as an Etsy craft party—call up your knitting circle!

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Until Wednesday December 31 2014

LA Zoo Lights

After going dark in 2009, holiday lights return to Griffith Park—this time at the LA Zoo. Whereas the old DWP Holiday Lights brought motorists careening through the park's windy roads, the zoo's fest will find visitors trekking through the front half of the festively illuminated grounds on foot. Though most of the animals will be asleep, you will be able to see reindeer and sit for a photo with Santa. There's a charming premise that ties everything together: A group of LED monkeys have comandeered a Christmas tree and the zoo's power supply. The glowing "Animal Power" cord they've draped across the grounds electrifies everything from desert flora laced with lights to a purple, disco ball-filled forest. Standout displays include elephant statues animated with projection mapping, a twinkly light tunnel and "ZOOray for Hollywood," a festive interpretation of LA landmarks. For better or worse, it's a tasteful, sometimes understated display—there's no snow or strobing lights, and the holiday music is sporadic—but LA Zoo Lights is sure to become an LA holiday staple. Tip: Buy your tickets in advance to avoid the worst of the entry lines. Also, tickets are $5 cheaper until December 11. And wear comfortable shoes; the lights only cover a fraction of the zoo grounds, but you'll be shuffling slightly uphill for most of the way. RECOMMENDED: Christmas lights in Los Angeles: Where to find holiday lights

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Until Sunday January 4 2015

LA Kings Holiday Ice at Nokia Plaza LA Live

Skate around the dazzling Christmas tree that stands in the middle of this outdoor rink, and take in an LED holiday light show on the huge screens around the plaza. For the perfect date-night, book the Supper and Skating deal, which includes a prix-fixe dinner at a handful of LA Live restaurants, skate rentals and skating admission for only $30 per person.  RECOMMENDED: The best places to go ice skating in Los Angeles

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Until Wednesday December 31 2014

Chill at the Queen Mary

Cozy up—and make sure to bring your jacket—to the Queen Mary for Chill. It's the time of year when the iconic ship is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, with an ice kingdom featuring frozen sculptures, a castle, an ice queen, a towering 100-foot ice slide for tubing and a 6,500-square-foot outdoor ice skating rink in front of the ship. It's all housed in 9-degree temperatures to keep from melting. Slip on some skates and glide across the rink, made with real ice and decked out in string lights.  Check the website for more details—there's even a holiday village with visits from Santa Claus, gingerbread-house decorating, a Candy Lane maze and more. RECOMMENDED: The best places to go ice skating in Los Angeles

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Until Sunday January 11 2015

Vroom: The Art of the Motorcycle

Forest Lawn Glendale revs up its engine in an ode to SoCal's death-defying, traffic-busting vehicle of choice: the motorcycle. For six months, the free museum will be showcasing vintage bikes, hand-painted helmets and motorcycle-inspired artwork. Expect to see everything from a solid orange 1910 Flying Merkel—literally a motorized bicycle—to Brando and Dean-era hogs. Plus, there's even a Transformers motorcycle on display.

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Until Monday January 5 2015 Free

Reindeer Romp

These aren't just any Arctic deer: Santa's reindeer are making a home at the LA Zoo this holiday season (except on Christmas, of course; they're busy). While those giant antlers will be around every day, you'll have to swing by on weekends untl Christmas for photos with Santa and holiday crafts. In addition, the animals will be getting their own enrichment presents to unwrap on the following schedule: gorillas (Sat 10:30am), tigers (Sat 3pm), African wild dogs (Sun 10:30am) and elephants (Sun 3pm).

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Until Sunday January 4 2015

Revolve Pop-Up Shop

Critics' pick

Just in time for holiday season, the online shopping site Revolve is setting up shop at the Grove for a two-month pop-up experience, featuring chic party wear pieces for the style-savvy girl. Join them for opening day (on Nov 1) and meet fashion blogger and shoe designer Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, while checking out statement pieces from her latest footwear collection. Just look for the bright neon pink store—bold is a running theme (and we love it). 

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The Grove, Fairfax/Beverly/La Brea/Third St. Until Wednesday December 31 2014

Asssscat

Critics' pick

Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise's longest-running, most beloved showcase starts when a base cast of the theater's current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that's deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who's there—that's part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early.

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Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB Franklin), Franklin Village Until Sunday December 20 2015

Warby Parker's Wheel of Good Omens

Before browsing the racks for a fresh pair of shades, take a spin at the wheel of good omens (yes, omens) for free holiday treats at Warby Parker. No need to break a sweat when you spin the wheel—whether you land on success, wisdom, or good luck, you'll win a complimentary prize like a fold-it-yourself fortuneteller or tasty treat. Add a little pizzazz to your holiday shopping and take a spin at Warby Parker’s Hollywood and Abbot Kinney locations from Dec. 19 – Jan. 4.

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Until Sunday January 4 2015 Free

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