The Nutcracker Ballet Christmas 2011

Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ~Mary Ellen Chase

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 12/2/2011

Paul's 67th birthday
It's time for a zoom zoom day!

We went to the ballet in downtown LA after going to lunch at Kendalls (a Patina Group restaurant). The meal was fantastic and the wait staff was excellent. We enjoyed about an hour and half of visiting before walking upstairs to see the ballet.

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Great restaurant with excellent presentation and atmosphere

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
We dined inside but had a window onto the street

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Excellent wine... Excellent Risotto at the suggestion of Sage (our waiter)

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Decked out for Christmas... Even Paul's wine was red. The supersized pork chop came from a 900 pound piggy.

To The Nutcracker Ballet


The Nutcracker

Did You Know? - he Nutcracker (Russian: «Щелкунчик», Shchelkunchik) is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". It was given its première at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Friday, December 18th, 1892, on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky's opera, Iolanta.

Although the original production was not a success, the twenty-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. However, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the mid-20th century and is now performed by countless ballet companies, primarily during the Christmas season, especially in the U.S.

Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions, in particular the pieces featured in the suite. Among other things, the score is noted for its use of the celesta, an instrument that the composer had already employed in his much lesser known symphonic ballad The Voyevoda. Although known primarily as the featured solo instrument in the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from Act II of The Nutcracker, it is also employed elsewhere in the same act. More....

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Almost ready to begin... Loaded with kids... That is a good thing

No Photography
We, of course, honored their request

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
...but it looked kinda like this....

Did You Know? - The Los Angeles Music Center is a complex of music and theatrical halls on the Grand Avenue cultural corridor between Temple Street to the north and Second Street to the south, including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theater and Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Disney Hall opened in 2003 as the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, increasing the number of major theaters at the Music Center to four. Also housed in the Disney Hall complex is the smaller REDCAT Theater and art studio. Audio and guided tours are provided by the Music Center.

We Headed For Home In The Traffic

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
We headed for home to visit everyone at the ranch


Click to see full sized (3000px by 2000px)

Did You Know? - The earliest known settlements in the area of what is now Downtown Los Angeles was by the Tongva, a Native American people. Later European settlement arrived after Father Juan Crespí, a Spanish missionary charged with exploring sites for Catholic missions in California, noted in 1769 that the region had "all the requisites for a large settlement." On September 4, 1781, the city was founded on the site that currently holds La Placita Olvera.

Land speculation increased in the 1880s, which saw the population of the city explode from 11,000 in 1880 to nearly 100,000 by 1896.

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Blue and pink skies

Did You Know? - By 1920, the city's private and municipal rail lines were among the most far-flung and most comprehensive in the world in mileage, rivaling that of New York City, as shown (and parodied) in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. By that year, a steady influx of residents and aggressive land developers had transformed the city into a large metropolitan area, with Downtown at its center. Rail lines connected four counties with over 1,100 miles (1,800 km) of track

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
The sun is setting and it is time to have a glass of wine


Zoom zoom zoom

Time To Visit Friends At Old Ranch

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
We sits down and Karen comes by to play Santa Clause... Bunnaford must open it!

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
All smiles

Bunny Quotes....

Well, what did you expect in an opera? A happy ending? - Bugs Bunny

Do you happen to know what the penalty is for shooting a fricaseeing rabbit without a fricaseeing rabbit license? - Bugs Bunny

I wonder what the poor bunnies are doing this season? - Bugs Bunny

Oh, well, we almost had a romantic ending! - Bugs Bunny

My, I'll bet you monsters lead innnnteresting lives. - Bugs Bunny

Of course you realize this means war! - Bugs Bunny

Gee, ain't I a stinker? - Bugs Bunny

Here I go with the timid little woodland creature bit again. It's shameful, but...ehhh, it's a living. - Bugs Bunny

I bet you say that to all the wabbits. - Bugs Bunny


For shame, doc. Hunting rabbits with an elephant gun. Why don't you shoot yourself an elephant? - Bugs Bunny

I know this defies the law of gravity, but I never studied law! - Bugs Bunny

Eh, what's up, doc? - Bugs Bunny

Jumpin' without a parachute? Kinda dangerous, ain't it? - Bugs Bunny

If it's the Captain's Mess, let him clean it up. - Bugs Bunny

Hey, I found Nemo! - Bugs Bunny

Shhhhhhhh! I'm about to defy you. - Bugs Bunny

And remember, 'mud' spelled backwards is 'dum'. - Bugs Bunny

Ah, your brother blows bubble gum! - Bugs Bunny

I'll be scared later. Right now I'm too mad. - Bugs Bunny

The way I run this thing you'd think I knew something about it. - Bugs Bunny

Well, it's 5 o'clock somewhere. - Bugs Bunny

Back To The Present

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Wow... Musical also

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Linda and James are enjoying the fun... James mentions his Reyn Spooner shirt

Did You Know? - In the early 50's, Reyn McCullough, a visionary merchant who owned and operated a successful men's wear store on California's Catalina Island, saw the growth potential the Hawaiian Islands had to offer. Statehood was imminent — so was the introduction of jet travel — and Honolulu was soon to be a short jet ride from the West Coast. So Reyn packed his family and moved to Hawaii. Within a few years, the growth of Reyn's Ala Moana and other new Hawaii locations convinced him to sell his Catalina business and concentrate his focus in the Mid-Pacific.

Enter Ruth Spooner who, in 1956 had established Spooners of Waikiki, and, with her one sewing machine operation on Waikiki Beach, was cultivating a reputation for the best 'kine' custom surf trunks in the islands. She made swimwear and shirts that Reyn designed, eventually selling him her business in 1962. Reyn set up four sewing machines in the basement of his Ala Moana store, and merging the two company names — Reyn Spooner® was born.

Frustrated in his efforts to find and offer unique, quality swimwear and an aloha shirt dignified enough for his local customer to wear professionally and casually, Reyn determined, in 1961, that he would have to make his own. At the time, the only shirts on the market were poor fitting, loudly colored garments that were generally made out of left over muumuu fabrics —a popular item for tourists and ideal for that once in a lifetime Hawaiian luau, but hardly of the quality and look that Reyn had in mind.

In 1966 the Hawaii Fashion Guild, of which Reyn was an active member, convinced local businesses to allow aloha wear to be worn to work on what we now know as Aloha Friday. By this time, Reyn had designed a pullover, Ivy-League all cotton aloha shirt with a button-down collar that proved to be very popular. But he still wasn't satisfied with the intensity and brightness of the tropical and calico print fabrics he was using. He liked the shirts the surfers wore — the prints had become bleached out and subdued by the sun — and after experimenting with several ways to achieve the same "chambray" effect, realized that he would simply turn the floral and calico prints inside out! Cowabunga! The "reverse print" concept, now synonymous with the Reyn Spooner® name, made history.

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
There is a date on this shirt somewhere... I just know it!

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Back here??

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Sue and Bunnaford explore James upper torso for a year so we could know how ancient the shirt was....

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
In a Zoo they would be looking for fleas...

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
"I got it" Sue cries out.... Nope, "It was a spaghetti stain"

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Dr. Longo also provides some assistance!

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Too much fun... Linda also gives it a try

Nutcracker at the Music Center and visiting at Old Ranch
Alas... James is again dateless.... or is that ageless....

Oops... Seven PM, Got To Go To Cerritos... Doo Wop Holiday

We headed home to feed the babies and then VFR to Cerritos which is about a twenty-two minute (via the Freeway) trip arriving just in time to place an order for half-time.

The Crystals
The Crystals

Did You Know? - The Crystals are an American vocal group based in New York, considered one of the defining acts of the girl group era of the first half of the 1960s. Their 1961–1964 chart hits, including "Uptown", "He's a Rebel", "Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)" and "Then He Kissed Me", featured three successive female lead singers, and were all produced by Phil Spector. The latter three songs are ranked #267, #114, and #493, respectively, on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

MJohnny Tillotson
Mel Tilloyson

Did You Know? - Johnny Tillotson (born April 20, 1938 in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American singer and songwriter. He enjoyed his greatest success in the early 1960s, when he scored 9 top-ten hits on the pop, country and adult contemporary billboard charts including "Poetry In Motion" and the self-penned "It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'". He also sang "Yellow Bird", an adaptation of the Haitian song, Johnny's version is quoted as being a favorite of the former head of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, because he and his wife had enjoyed it during their honeymoon. (BBC Interview). More...

The Planetotones
Kenny Vance and the Planetotones

Did You Know? - Kenny Vance and the Planotones first came to be as a fictional band appearing in the 1978 film American Hot Wax. The band consisted of Kenny Vance, Joe Esposito, Bruce Sudano and Ed Hokenson. They were just a combination of the Vance with the musical group Brooklyn Dreams. In the film they were portrayed as a very popular group with lots of hits and sang songs that were actually by artists like Danny and the Juniors and The Del-Vikings.

The Penguins
Cleve Duncan (On the right)

Did You Know? - The Penguins were an American doo-wop group of the 1950s and early 1960s, best remembered for their only Top 40 hit, "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)", which was one of the first rhythm and blues hits to cross over to the pop charts. The song peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but had a three-week run at #1 on the R&B chart.

The original members of The Penguins were:

  • Curtis Williams (December 11, 1934 - August 10, 1979)
  • Cleveland Duncan (July 23, 1935)
  • Dexter Tisby (March 10, 1935) (tenor)
  • Bruce Tate (January 27, 1937 - June 20, 1973)

Paul's 67th birthday