Grateful Crane Ensemble to Present Holiday Show in San Fernando Valley

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PACOIMA —  “Home for the Holidays,” a brand new holiday show featuring favorite songs of the season and a fond look back at Japanese American family gatherings, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center.

Presented by the Grateful Crane Ensemble, this year’s show takes place in the living room of Uncle Jack, an elderly Nisei who is invited to Christmas dinner by his favorite niece, but turns it down, saying he is too old and it is too cold to go out. Rather than letting him be all alone at Christmas, the niece decides to gather up her cousins and bring Christmas dinner to him.

“This is Christmas dinner, the way it used to be,” said Soji Kashiwagi, Grateful Crane executive producer/writer. “During this show, various family members will share their favorite Christmas memories dating back to their childhoods in the ’50s and ’60s. And in between the stories, some of the most famous and favorite Christmas songs will be sung.”

Also featured will be a reading of the famous poem “The Night Before Christmas,” songs for kids to sing along to, a guest appearance by Santa, and holiday cheer in abundance, just in time for Christmas.

Performers in this show include long-time Grateful Crane regulars Keiko Kawashima, Kurt Kuniyoshi, Darrell Kunitomi, Haruye Ioka, Jason Fong, Helen H. Ota and Michael C. Palma. Erika Mariko Olsen, 2011 Nisei Week Queen and Grateful Crane youth singer, will also be featured on a couple of Christmas classics. Grateful Crane musical director Scott Nagatani will accompany the group on piano.

The San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center is located at 12953 Branford St. in Pacoima. Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for children under 12. Kids 5 and under are free. To make a reservation, call Nancy or Patty Takayama at (818) 899-7916.

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