What’s your favorite “special” arts and entertainment event from 2018? Was it a movie you looked forward to viewing? A special theater performance? A long-anticipated concert by your favorite performer? It’s a new year and it’s time to schedule your 2019 memories. Here are my suggestions of the top 10 options for entertaining fun in 2019.
Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road
Jan. 22-23, 25, 30 Staples Center, Los Angeles.
Feb. 1-2, 8 p.m. The Forum, Inglewood.
Sept. 10-11 Honda Center, Anaheim.
Kiss: End of The Road World Tour
Feb. 12 Honda Center, Anaheim.
Feb. 16 The Forum, Inglewood.
Justin Timberlake: The Man of The Woods Tour
Feb. 22 7:30 p.m. Honda Center, Anaheim.
Ariana Grande: Sweetener World Tour
May 10, 8 p.m. The Forum, Inglewood.
P!nk: Beautiful Trauma World Tour
April 13, 7:30 p.m. Honda Center, Anaheim.
April 15, 7:30 p.m. Staples Center, Los Angeles.
April 19, 7:30 p.m. The Forum, Inglewood.
The Rolling Stones: 2019 No Filter Tour
May 11, 7:30 p.m. Rose Bowl, Pasadena.
Hugh Jackman. The Man. The Music. The Show
July 19-20, 8 p.m. Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles.
The Happy Together Tour 2019, The Turtles Featuring Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron, Gary Puckett & Union Gap, Mark Lindsay, Cowsills (admit it, you want to go)…
July 21, 8 p.m. The Pacific Amphitheater, Costa Mesa.
Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tours 2
July 29, 7:30 p.m. Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles.
Alice Cooper and Peter Frampton
Aug. 1 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles.
Release dates can change depending on current events, as well as strategic marketing plans.
For the adults
Jan. 25 “Serenity”
My favorite actors Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway star in a thriller about a man who is visited by his ex-wife, who begs him to save her from her abusive second husband. But… is everything as it appears?
March 8 “Captain Marvel”
Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” follows Carol Danvers (played by Brie Larson) as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes at a time when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.
April 26 “Avengers: Endgame”
The fourth Marvel Studios’ “Avengers” film made history when its trailer broke the record for the most views in 24 hours. I am hoping this film is more satisfying than 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”
May 17 “Rocketman”
The story of rock icon Elton John’s life stars Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard and Taron Egerton.
May 31 “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”
Godzilla is back along with Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah for a full-on kaiju war. Stars Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), Kyle Chandler, Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe.
June 14 “Men in Black: International”
No Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones, but the fourth “Men in Black” movie does have “Thor: Ragnorok” stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, accomplished comedic action heroes.
July 26 “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”
Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film will be a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood in 1969 set against the backdrop of the Manson Murders. Stars Hollywood heavyweights Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden and Al Pacino.
Sept. 20 “Downton Abby”
Fans who miss this beloved British series will be excited to see this big-screen sequel that will reunite much of the show’s cast.
Oct. 4 “Joker”
Joaquin Phoenix stars in an origin story for the Batman supervillain.
Oct. 18 “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Tom Hanks channels Mr. Rogers in this biopic of the children’s entertainer. I would watch Tom Hanks read a phone book, so this is truly a “must-see.”
“Star Wars: Episode IX”
I’m not a J.J. Abrams fan after his poorly conceived trashing of the “Star Trek” franchise. However, I was gratified that he didn’t destroy “Star Wars,” as well. “Star Wars: Episode IX,” written and directed by J.J. Abrams, is the conclusion of the Star War’s sequel trilogy. The film will include Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, despite her death last year. Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels (Luke Skywalker and C-3PO), will also appear in the latest installment of the sci-fi series alongside Billy Dee Williams, (Lando Calrissian).
For the Kids
Feb. 8 “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”
Chris Pratt’s LEGO Movie hero Emmet returns along with Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Tiffany Haddish, and Maya Rudolph. This movie should be fun for adults, too.
Feb. 22 “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
A tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown… and how nothing can ever train you to let go.
March 29 “Dumbo”
A live-action remake of the classic Disney cartoon of a circus elephant with the ability to fly. (I have to admit that Dumbo never really spoke to me.) Directed by Tim Burton.
May 10 “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu”
Ryan Reynolds voices anime superstar Pikachu in this live-action comedy that has a film noir setting.
May 25 “Aladdin”
This live-action Disney film directed by Guy Ritchie stars Will Smith stepping into the bottle to play the Genie made famous by the late Robin Williams.
June 7 “The Secret Life of Pets 2”
More antics from our favorite furry friends. Voiced by Harrison Ford, Patton Oswalt, Tiffany Haddis, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet and Yarrow Cheney.
June 21 “Toy Story 4”
Almost 24 years after the debut of the original “Toy Story,” Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) welcome a new toy named Forky, a spork with googly eyes and pipe cleaners for arms.
July 19 “The Lion King”
Another remake of a Disney classic “The Lion King” will star the voices of Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover and James Earl Jones. While it has the appearance of a “live action” movie in reality it utilizes photorealistic computer-generated animation.
Nov. 8 “Sonic The Hedgehog”
A “fish out of water” story with Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, who finds himself in the present-day world.
Nov. 22 “Frozen 2”
Can it be that it has taken six years for a “Frozen” sequel? Seems like yesterday that Walt Disney’s Pictures’ animated 2013 mega-hit “Frozen” had us all singing “Let It Go” with Indina Menzel. Elsa (Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) will travel go far out of Arendelle in this film.
Feb. 8-10 “1776 The Musical”
The Soraya, the Valley’s Center for the Performing Arts, Northridge. Tickets: www.thesoraya.org.
The 1969 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical showcases Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, the imperfect men who first strived for a more perfect union, in a gripping reminder that democracy has never been easy.
Feb. 26-March 24 “Cats”
Pantages Theatre, Hollywood. Tickets: www.hollywoodpantages.com.
“Cats,” first performed on Broadway in 1982, is a Tony-award winning musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot.
April 5-6 “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged)”
The Broad Stage, Santa Monica. Tickets: https://thebroadstage.org/reducedshakespearecompany.
In this “tale told by idiots,” The Reduced Shakespeare Company weaves all of The Bard’s famous characters, greatest lines and magnificent speeches into a Shakespearean smorgasbord. This comic misadventure will feel strangely familiar, yet excitingly new.
April 16-May 5 “Fiddler on the Roof”
Pantages Theatre, Hollywood. Tickets: www.hollywoodpantages.com.
The Tony-award winning “Best Musical,” which opened in 1964, had the first musical theater run in history to surpass 3,000 performances. Its iconic score includes “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life.”
April 16-May 19 “Falsettos”
Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles. Tickets: www.centertheatregroup.org.
The Tony-award winning musical Falsettos is a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family… and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories.
May 15-June 30 “Happy Days”
Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles. Tickets: www.centertheatregroup.org.
Academy-award winner Dianne Wiest stars in Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece “Happy Days.” Absurdly funny and compassionate portrait of the human spirit.
May 21-June 9 “Noises Off”
A Noise Within Theatre, Pasadena. Tickets: https://www.anoisewithin.org.
This joyfully out-of-control British farce about the auspiciously titled play-within-a-play “Nothing On” is a must see for anyone who loves theater.
June 11-July 14 “Mysterious Circumstances”
Gil Cates Theatre at the Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles. Tickets: https://geffenplayhouse.org.
This world premiere play tells the true story of Richard Lancelyn Green, a world-renowned expert on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, who was found dead in his apartment. The investigation revealed uncanny similarities between the case and the plot of a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
July 9-14 “The Book of Mormon”
Fred Kavli Theatre at the Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand Oaks. Tickets: https://civicartsplaza.com
This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word.
Wednesdays-Sundays year-round “The Groundlings”
The Groundlings Theatre, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. Tickets: www.groundlings.com.
Offering a completely new and different experience every time to you visit, The Groundlings are the gold standard of improvisation and sketch comedy.