“Mary Poppins.” The world-famous nanny sweeps across the theater stage in this vivacious production that combines P.L. Travers’ stories and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film with the Academy Award-winning music and lyrics of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. Additional new songs, music and lyrics, as well as lighting and special effects adapt this family favorite into a live show. Tue.-Sun. Through Feb. 7, 2010. $25-$150. Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 628-2772. centertheatregroup.org.
Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s “A Holiday Spectacular.” More than 100 of Bob Baker’s intricately painted marionettes will prance and dance on stage during this holiday classic featuring the eight days of Chanukah and a trip to Santa’s workshop. The in-the-round performance brings the audience into the show, and singing along is highly encouraged. Recommended for all ages. 2:30 p.m. Tue.-Sun. Through Jan. 10, 2010. $20. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., Los Angeles. (213) 250-9995. bobbakermarionettes.com.
Mon., Dec. 7
“Up in the Air,” Reel Talk With Stephen Farber. Directed by Jason Reitman, who also co-wrote the film with Sheldon Turner, this highly anticipated comedy-drama is about a man who begins to question his detached-from-humanity, relationship-free existence. George Clooney stars in this poignant Oscar contender. This screening of “Up in the Air” with film critic Stephen Farber is a chance to hear Reitman discuss the long-simmering project, an adaptation of a Walter Kirn novel he has been working on since 2002. 7 p.m. $17. Wadsworth Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 365-3500. richmarkent.com.
Tue., Dec. 8
Harper Simon. The son of legendary musician Paul Simon has earned critical acclaim for his solo debut, a self-titled LP recorded with the help of an eclectic and multi-generational group of collaborators, including famed producer Bob Johnston, young singer-songwriters and friends, and of course, Harper’s own father. Simon, the younger, performs live as part of his nationwide tour. 9 p.m. $12. Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa. (949) 642-0600. myspace.com/harpersimon.
“Rembrandt & His Pupils: Telling the Difference.” The drawings of the great draftsman and 15 of his most talented apprentices will be displayed side by side in this major international loan exhibition, presented exclusively at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Thirty years of scholarly research have gone into preparing this exhibition; see if you can tell the difference between the carefully paired drawings. Through Feb. 28, 2010. Closed Mondays. Free admission. $15 (parking). Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. (310) 440-7300. getty.edu.
Sat., Dec. 12
Renée Fleming in Recital at LA Opera. The internationally acclaimed American soprano performs songs by Richard Strauss and Olivier Messiaen, as well as Henri Dutilleux’s song cycle, “Le Temps L’horloge,” which was composed especially for Fleming. Her new album, “Verismo,” includes rarely performed arias, a few of which will be part of the night’s program. Meet Renée Fleming at the post-performance signing of her CD. 7:30 p.m. $25-$100. LA Opera, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 972-8001. laopera.com.
The Conscious Holiday Gift Bazaar. Raise the consciousness of the holiday season with gifts for the soul at this unique gift show. Live music, a free vegan buffet for the first 200 attendees each day and unique ideas for holiday giving. Admission is free if you bring a new, unwrapped gift for a child or teen. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Also, Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $5. LAX Hilton, 5711 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles. consciousholidaygiftbazaar.com.
Sun., Dec. 13
Farmers Market Hanukkah Celebration. The Farmers Market hosts holiday season festivities for all ages, including this festival of lights celebration that features a dreidel-making workshop, a card-making workshop, building a menorah out of Legos, a menorah-lighting ceremony and a sing-a-long. 2:30-5 p.m. Free. Farmers Market Plaza, 6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles. (323) 933-9211. farmersmarketla.com.
Fri., Dec. 18
“Nine.” Featuring a constellation of bright stars, this film, adapted from a Tony Award-winning musical, is being touted as the treat of the holiday season. Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) directs with a screenplay by Michael Tolkin and the late Anthony Minghella; Daniel Day-Lewis plays the lead role of a famous film director surrounded by a bevy of dames, including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his film-star muse (Nicole Kidman), his confidant (Judi Dench), a journalist (Kate Hudson), a whore from his past (Fergie) and his mother (Sophia Loren). nine-movie.com.
“Avatar.” This futuristic tale of a wounded war veteran who is brought to another planet and falls in love with one of its nonhuman inhabitants has all the makings of a big-budget studio blockbuster: James Cameron (“Titanic,” “Terminator”) writes and directs; a handsome leading man; a love story; an epic battle between two worlds; loads of cool CGI and special effects; and blue-skinned, 10-foot-tall hot aliens. avatarmovie.com.
Tue., Dec. 22
“Holidays With Sweet Honey in the Rock.” The Grammy Award-winning a cappella group blends festive holiday harmonies with stories of their African ancestors. Celebrating their 35th anniversary of performing together, the all-female group’s sound is inspired by blues, gospel hymns, rap, reggae, hip-hop and jazz, and they are occasionally accompanied by hand percussion instruments. 8 p.m. $25-$72. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 850-2000. laphil.com.
Tue., Dec. 29
“Ricky Jay: A Rogue’s Gallery — An Evening of Conversation and Performance.” David Mamet directs the infamously reclusive magician in a production that offers a rare glimpse into Ricky Jay’s life and career. The show will also include Jay’s renowned sleight-of-hand illusions and a fair amount of audience interaction. The last show Mamet and Jay collaborated on, “Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants,” broke box-office records and is considered the fastest sellout in Off Broadway history. 8 p.m. Through Jan. 10, 2010. $65-$125. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood Village. (310) 208-5454. geffenplayhouse.com.
Thu., Dec. 31
New Year’s Eve With Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The kings of swing bring in the New Year with a jump and a jive at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Hailing from Southern California, the contemporary swing band is best known for hits such as “Go Daddy-O,” “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)” and “Mr. Pinstripe Suit.” 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. $60-$175. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 850-2000. laphil.com.
A Look Ahead
Tue., Jan. 12
“The Pee-wee Herman Show.” Paul Reubens returns with a re-imagined production of his wildly popular 1980s show, which expanded into a CBS television series and several films. The new version, for adults over the age of 16 only, has been adapted from the original production and involves many of the show’s original artists, both on stage and behind the scenes. 8 p.m. Through Feb. 7. $30-$125. Club Nokia, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (800) 745-3000. clubnokia.com.
Tue., Feb. 16
“Kings of the Dance.” Making its North American debut, six of the world’s most accomplished male dancers come together on one stage in this newly created three-act program, featuring master works by acclaimed choreographers. The dance virtuosos include David Hallberg (American Ballet Theatre), Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre), Denis Matvienko (Kirov Ballet), Nikolai Tsiskaridze (Bolshoi Ballet) and a special appearance by Desmond Richardson (Complexions Contemporary Ballet). 7:30 p.m. Also, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. $30-$120. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (800) 982-2787. musiccenter.org.
Sun., Feb. 28
“American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915.” LACMA presents 150 years of American masterpieces by major artists including John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, George Bellows and others. The exhibition features some of these artists’ most iconic works that have appeared in American textbooks for generations — works of art that derive from firsthand observation, documentation and interaction with everyday Americans as they sell their goods, travel across the West, celebrate marriages and build communities. Closed Wednesdays. Through May 23, 2010. $8-$12. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 857-6000. lacma.org.