1. A Christmas Carol
We could see it hundreds of times, but we still can’t get enough of this rendition of Dickens’ tale, which you can see performed onstage at South Coast Repertory through Dec. 24 (tickets $23-$72). It stars Hal Landon Jr. as Ebenezer Scrooge—his signature role since the play’s first year of production.
2. New Year’s Eve Gala
Talk about ending the year on a high note: The Dec. 31 festivities at the Montage Laguna Beach (tickets $795-$1,195) begin with a reception in the courtyard where you can snack on caviar and groove to DJ’d tunes. Then there’s a three-course meal complete with wine pairings from Executive Chef Rob Wilson. (More foie gras au torchon, please!) The final farewell: entertainment from The Shadowboxers with special guest Kenny Loggins—and a midnight Champagne toast, but of course.
3. Softer World
Chicago-based artist Laura Berger uses dream-like minimalism to paint an escape from the painful realities of society today. Using primarily acrylic and gouache, Berger presents murals, ceramics and animated pieces in her solo show, on view at Laguna Beach’s Artists Republic through Dec. 31.
4. Dreamscapes and Bronze Figurative Sculpture
Ann Kim fills canvases with her abstract oil paintings in Sandstone Gallery’s front exhibition area. And in the Skylight space? Marie-Pierre Philippe-Lohézic recasts the human body. You can see both artists’ works at the Laguna Beach gallery through Jan. 2.
5. Odysseo by Cavalia
There’s something so graceful about galloping horses—their pounding hooves, their manes flowing behind them. And Cavalia’s spellbinding show—performed under the White Big Top in Irvine through Jan. 8 (tickets $30-$145)—capitalizes on that with the addition of stage arts and theatrical effects. Nab a rendezvous VIP package ($150-$255) for access to the private lounge, a buffet, open bar and an exclusive stable visit after the final encore.