The art organization returns to the La Mirada theater to present a show that includes choirs, music and dance

Charlie Martinez was diagnosed as a child with severe autism. He thought that participating in plays and musicals in high school would help him become a more sociable person, but he didn't. With everything and his efforts, he was still an insecure and self-contained boy.

"Despite everything, it didn't come out of my shell and it was very closed," Martinez said.

It was until his choir teacher, Dalia Krauss, from Ontario High School, recommended auditioning for the Young Americans College for the Performing Arts – an organization that offers music, dance, and teaching methods for students in these disciplines – that Her live changed.

“I opened up, I felt I had a purpose (in life) and I felt true happiness,” Martinez said. “I had the privilege of working and teaching students with physical and invisible disabilities and I use what I have learned to teach them, and the growth I see in them after the workshops is impressive.”

Young Americans, whose headquarters are in Corona, California, includes approximately 200 young people between the ages of 16 and 25, mostly Americans but also some from other countries. Among them is Martínez, who now works as a resident counselor and as support in the administrative area; He also volunteers for the company's music training program. Before working for Young Americans, Martinez volunteered seven tours in the music program.

That's why nothing prides him more than being part of this group that will present The Magic of Christmas starring The Young Americans, as of Friday at the La Mirada theater, located in the city of the same name. This is a show that integrates 200 singers, dancers and musicians who use about 6 thousand costumes and perform under a stage where artificial snow falls.

The talent dances to the rhythm of melodies like "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies", sections of "Elf: The Musical", "How The Grinch Stole Christmas", "The Polar Express" and pieces of musicals like Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia ! In the end, in which it has already become a Christmas tradition, the entire cast sings excerpts from Handel's "Messiah."

The show is completed with images on a 45-foot high screen of 30 scenes of Christmas tapes, including "The Holiday Inn," "The Polar Express" and "Adventures in a Winter Wonderland." And songs by artists such as Elvis Presley, Celine Dion, Lionel Richie and Tina Turner are performed.

In addition to all this, Martinez has another reason to invite the audience to see the show.

"The show is fun," he said. "The Young Americans meets once a year for this show, which has something for everyone."

In detail

What: The Magic of Christmas starring the Young Americans

When: Saturday 2 and 8 pm and Sunday 2 and 7:30 pm; and from Wednesday 11 to Sunday December 15 at various times

Where: La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada

As: $ 23 to $ 65 tickets

Reports: (714) 994-6310 and


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