NOTES: It’s Christmas in New York!
Taking a cue from Auntie Mame—regardless of your religious persuasion—I think we ALL need a little Christmas now! If you’re looking for some Christmas-y entertainment in New York this season, there’s no shortage of holiday-themed offerings across the city.
Last night I attended the New York Pops’ annual holiday concert, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, featuring special guest star Megan Hilty. The delightful program included a couple of traditionals (“The First Noel”, “O Holy Night”), a suite of popular carols (“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Frosty the Snowman”) and some unexpected choices that ended up being my favorites of the evening: Joni Mitchell’s “River” and “A Place Called Home” from Alan Menken’s “A Christmas Carol” musical.
Ms. Hilty is an outstanding and idiosyncratic vocalist who just so happens to be obsessed with Christmas—she starts decorating on November 2nd (her wedding anniversary). Bubbly and enthusiastic, she charms her way through the program, setting an infectious and uplifting tone without being off-putting. She definitely put me in the spirit.
You can catch the second, and final, performance of this wonderful concert tonight at Carnegie Hall. Tickets start as low as $21. The New York Philharmonic also performs its final, annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” tonight at 7:30pm at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall.
If you can’t make the Pops or the Philharmonic tonight, here are some other ideas:
- “A Christmas Story Live!”, the Pasek and Paul (“Dear Evan Hansen”) musical version of the classic 1983 film airs on Fox tomorrow (Sunday night) at 7pm ET, starring Matthew Broderick, Maya Rudolph, Jane Krakowski, and Ana Gasteyer, among others
- You can’t go wrong with the New York City Ballet’s venerable production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”—running now through December 31st at Lincoln Center’s David Koch Theater
- I haven’t seen it in years, but the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” is another classic mainstay, running now through January 1st, with discount tickets for performances through December 19th
- “Elf the musical”, which enjoyed Broadway runs in 2010 and 2012, is currently playing the Theatre at Madison Square Garden through December 29th
- The Irish Repertory Theatre presents “It’s A Wonderful Life”, set in a 1946 radio station as a live show, now through December 31st
- At 54 Below, Michael Feinstein and Norm Lewis are performing nightly Christmas-themed cabaret concerts, between now and December 30th
- or, just catch a big, happy musical! My recommendations: "Hello, Dolly!", "SpongeBob SquarePants", "School of Rock" or "Kinky Boots" - each is sure to put a smile on your face this holiday season