NPR personality, best selling author, and performer Sandra Tsing Loh is making her East West Players (EWP) debut with a new staging on her holiday tale SUGAR PLUM FAIRY, directed by Bart DeLorenzo and co-starring Shannon Holt and Tony Abatemarco. 

SUGAR PLUM FAIRY is based on Loh’s original offering on This American Life and it follows a 12 year-old Sandra and her dream to be part of a school production of The Nutcracker. The story is Loh’s brainchild, and it’s delivered nicely with the help of Holt and Abatemarco’s enthusiasm, as they perform a rotation of quirky characters and help her spread holiday cheer to the audience.

SUGAR PLUM FAIRY has moments of audience participation, and it’s festive, colorful, and vibrant enough to keep the attention of the young ones while emoting nostalgia from those who, like Loh, were in middle school sometime in the 70s and have their own memories of the American life that Loh speaks about throughout the show. It’s a Christmas story that does not sound like a British novella, but that tells of a young daughter of immigrant parents (from China and Germany) whose family worked hard to create a perfect Christmas in an area where snow never falls and where there are cacti instead of pine trees – our beautiful Los Angeles. There will be moments when you’ll laugh out loud, and moments where you’ll sing along, attempt to hit an airborne ball, or catch some flying candy. 

SUGAR PLUM FAIRY performs in 70-minutes without an intermission, from Thursday through Sunday through Dec. 23, 2019. Tickets start at $25 for children and $35 for adults, available at or by calling (213) 625-7000. Discounts are available for students, seniors, and groups of 10 or more. 

The David Henry Hwang Theater is located at 120 Judge John Aiso St., in Los Angeles CA 90012 (in the Little Tokyo area). East West Players concentrates in the Asian American experience and in telling its stories.