Holiday Delights in the Big Apple

By Karen Isaacs

 Planning a trip into NYC to see the magnificent tree at Rockefeller Center?  The magical store windows? Do some shopping at the holidays markets scattered across the city or maybe just to enjoy the hustle and bustle?

If so, there are a number of theatrical events you can include to make the day super special.

First is, of course, the Christmas Spectacular at Radio Music Hall featuring the Rockettes. It’s already been playing for a month and it continues throughout the season with multiple shows every day. It’s easiest to get tickets for shows in the morning. A few changes are made to the show each year but the crowd favorites remain – the toy soldier number, the live nativity at the end, and a 3-D tour over NYC with Santa.  The show is about 90 minutes. For tickets visit radiocity.com/calendar.  You can make the show even more fun with a backstage tour led by a rockette which shows you parts of the theater and a collection of costumes.  You don’t truly go “back stage” but you do see behind-the-scenes.  Tickets for the tour should be purchased in advance.

Every person who ever taken dance lessons, needs to see the New York City Ballet’s famous production of The Nutcracker. The choreography by George Balanchine is wonderful and the audience oohs and aahs as the tree grows to the ceiling of the huge stage.  It is running at Lincoln Center through Sunday, Jan. 3. The show is about 2 hours with intermission. For tickets visit nycballet.com.

This year, there are no Broadway shows especially for the holidays. Elf- the Musical which is a delightful stage adaptation of the popular Will Ferrell film is at the Theater at Madison Square Garden from Wednesday, Dec. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 27. This show is a tuneful delight which anyone who loved the movie will enjoy.  For tickets visit theateratmsg.com.

Off-Broadway is presenting several shows that are geared to the holidays.

Tony winning actor John Cullum is starring in a staging of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales with the Irish Repertory Theater.  It runs through Sunday, Jan. 3 at the DR2 Theater in Union Square which has a Christmas market nearby.  According to press materials, “in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, a snowy Christmas day is seen through the eyes of a child, featuring haunting ghost stories, frosted treats and puddings, and adventures in the city park.” For tickets visit Irishrep.org.

Two rarely seen one act plays by Connecticut resident Thornton Wilder are being presented by the Peccadillo Theater Company through Sunday, Jan. 3. Billed as A Wilder Christmas the two plays are The Long Christmas Dinner and Pullman Car Hiawatha.  The press release states, “The Long Christmas Dinner traverses 90 years in the life of a single American family as they gather around the dining room table for a holiday celebration. As generations appear, have children, wither and depart, the patterns of behavior within this comically extended family are revealed as well as the essential values in every generation. Pullman Car Hiawatha follows a diverse band of characters bound for Chicago during the 1930 holiday season. No ordinary train, this Pullman car allows us to eavesdrop on the thoughts and feelings of its many passengers, creating a cacophony of self-absorbed humanity.”  A Wilder Christmas is performed at the Theatre at St. Clements, 423 W. 46th Street. For tickets visit ThePeccadillo.com

Plaid Tidings is a holiday version of the hit off-Broadway show, Forever Plaids which told the story of a young male quartet in the ‘50s whose quest stardom was cut short by tragedy.  The show includes holiday classics and what is billed as general hilarity including a three-minute version of The Ed Sullivan Show that features the Rockettes, the Chipmunks and the Vienna Boys Choir.  It’s at the York Theater on East 54th Street through Sunday, Dec. 27.  For tickets visit yorktheatre.org.

The Workshop Theater on West 36th Street is presenting playwrights Allan Knee’s The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit, a musical about Tiny Tim ten years after the Dickens novel ends.  The plot involves not only Scrooge but Timothy’s involvement with Grimaldi, a well-known harlequinade English actor, comedian and dancer. The show is running through Saturday, Dec. 19. For tickets visit workshoptheater.org.

When you are planning your holiday trip to the city you will find not only these but many other theatrical events to add to the spirit of the season.

This content curtesy of Shore Publications and zip06.com.

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