December 17, 2018

The Lettermen Christmas Show at Cerritos Center

It was one of the best Daytripper Tours I’ve led all year!  It was “The Lettermen Christmas Show at the Cerritos Center.”  You remember The Lettermen, right?  The trio with the harmonizing voices who first hit the charts in 1961 with “The Way You Look Tonight?” Well, let me tell you, these guys have still got “it!” Their voices blend as one and after that first hit, they had another chart topper, “When I Fall In Love.” That’s when they were voted best vocal group of that year, 1961. Who would have guessed that 57 years later they’d still be performing and listening to the applause of thousands of fans?  Even fans who drove all the way from San Diego to Cerritos (near Long Beach) like those of us on DayTripper Tours!

Driver David picked us up shortly after noon for the drive to Costa Mesa for lunch on our own at South Coast Plaza. Totally decked out in Christmas finery, South Coast Plaza dazzled us with a giant Christmas tree, carolers, and lots and lots of Christmas shoppers.  This is the largest shopping mall on the West Coast and the fourth largest in the entire country, a destination in and of itself.  However, we had to tear ourselves away from the beautiful stores and people-watching to drive another 45 minutes to the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.  My guests were interested to learn that Cerritos used to be called “Dairy Valley” because of the preponderance of dairy farms that used to be in the area.  It was also interesting to learn that former First Lady Pat Nixon was its most famous resident. There is an elementary school and a park named for her.  Today, Cerritos has the third largest percentage of Asian residents in Los Angeles County. The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts is certainly a jewel in this city.  It opened its doors in 1993 and hosts opera, cabaret, jazz, magic, drama, musicals and comedy in addition to the star act today, The Lettermen!

The current group consists of one of the group’s original members, Tony Butala (who recently turned 80!), Donovan Scott Tea and Robert Poynton.  All three of these guys are accomplished singers individually as well.  They took the stage in smart, bright red 3-piece suits with their background keyboardist and drummer producing a very big sound indeed! They started out with some of their biggest hits including, “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” “Going Out of My Head Over You,”  and “Up, Up, and Away.” The fans went wild. The magic really happened when they started singing Christmas tunes.  My favorite was “Mary, Did You Know?”  The funniest one was “The 12 Days of Christmas” during which they chose audience members to come on stage and each one sing one of the “days.”  Three young boys were chosen for the lyric “nine ladies dancing” and proceeded to dance “the floss” which had the audience in hysterics. All too soon, the show was over, but the spirit of Christmas permeated the motor coach on the drive back to San Diego.  Thank you Lettermen and thank you DayTripper Tours!

– Pat Brown
DayTripper Tour Manager
Tour: The Lettermen Christmas Show at Cerritos Center
December 16, 2018


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