Compiled by Audrey J. Bernard, Style & Society Editor
*New York City is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and no one would ever dispute that it is also one of the most exciting ones as well! The city is always live but at its liveliest and most beautiful during the Christmas Holidays.
There’s so much more to see and do than normally. You haven’t lived until you’ve spent some time in my neck of the woods. So, here’s a list of some of my most favorite events taking place during this Yuletide Season that make this city a treasure trove of attractions like no other!
*“A Christmas Story, The Musical”
The Theatre at Madison Square Garden
Through December 29, 2014
Description: The crowds you see lining up to get into Madison Square Garden (MSG) aren’t just Rangers or Knicks fans! They hold tickets for the hit holiday musical A Christmas Story, The Musical presented by MSG Entertainment for a limited engagement at The Theater at MSG through Sunday, December 29, 2013. Dan Lauria returns as lead actor along with three other returning cast members from the Broadway production: John Bolton as The Old Man, Erin Dilly as Mother and Caroline O’Connor as Miss Shields. They headline a large and talented crew that also features Tanya Birl, Judae’A Brown and Thay Floyd. The show made its debut last Christmas on Broadway. This is great entertainment for the whole family laced with a bright, nostalgic score by composer/lyricist team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and a witty book by Joseph Robinette based on the writings of radio humorist Jean Shepherd and the 1983 film favorite. Tony Award winner John Rando directs the production with Warren Carlyle choreography. In its 2012 engagement, A Christmas Story, The Musical was both a popular and critical success, breaking house box office records. The story takes place in 1940’s Indiana, where a bespectacled boy named Ralphie (played by Jake Lukas) has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas — a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a tripledog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. Co-produced by the film’s original Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, A Christmas Story, The Musical is musical comedy entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious wit and a heart of gold. A Christmas Story, The Musical features scenic design by Walt Spangler; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy; lighting design by Howell Binkley; sound design by Ken Travis; wig design by Tom Watson; animal training by Tony honor recipient for Excellence in Theatre William Berloni; orchestrations by Larry Blank; music supervision by Ian Eisendrath; dance music arrangements by Glen Kelly; vocal arrangements by Justin Paul; and music direction by Ben Whiteley. A Christmas Story, The Musical is produced by Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Timothy Laczynski, Mariano Tolentino, Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Alison Eckert, Bob Bartner, Michael Jenkins, Angela Milonas, and Bradford W. Smith. A Christmas Story, The Musical is based upon the motion picture A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co, distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark and is produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc. and Dalfie Entertainment, Inc. For more information about A Christmas Story, The Musical at The Theater at MSG visit: www.AChristmasStoryTheMusical.com.
*“Radio City Christmas Spectacular”
Radio City Music Hall
Through December 30, 2013
Description: The 2013 edition of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show is greater than ever with the addition of all-new special effects and state-of-the-art technology including digital projections, 3-DLive and GPS. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular show has added new attractions to the lineup that fit perfectly with the perennial favorites: Sleigh Ride, Santa Flies to New York, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Nutcracker, The Parade of The Wooden Soldiers, New York at Christmas, Department Store, Here Comes Santa Claus, Closer Than You Know, Santa’s Video Game, Closer Than We Knew, The Living Nativity and Joy to the World. In addition, the dazzling lineup now includes the new production, Snow, where pre-programmed flight paths enable snowflakes to wirelessly soar above the audience. The Great Stage is literally turned into a winter wonderland. Once again, audiences are thrilled with the show stopping scenery, stunning costumes, and pulsating choreography. The Rockettes remain the centerpiece of the show. The legendary dance company has been a part of the show for more than 85 years and is as glamorous as ever! The show never gets stale and remains the number one attraction to see during the Christmas season. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is presented by Chase. Chase’s commitment to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular supports this unparalleled production, which continues to entertain millions of families year after year. For additional information, please visit: www.RadioCityChristmas.com.
Through January 5, 2014
The New Victory Theatre
Times Square, 42nd Street
Description: Celebrate the Holiday Season with the Joy of Africa!
Merry and bright, Mother Africa will shine on 42nd Street in a powerful performance of stunning African artistry when Circus Der Sinne makes its U.S. Premiere fromDecember 6, 2013 – January 5, 2014 at The New Victory Theater, New York City’s premier performing arts venue for kids and families. Featuring a diverse cast from different countries throughout the African continent, Mother Africa mixes modern circus arts with traditional African dance and music. Based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Circus Der Sinne’s Mother Africa features a cast of more than two dozen acrobats, musicians and dancers who will fill the New Victory stage with breathtaking feats, exuberant afro-beats and a swirl of colorful bazin and kitenge fabrics. Rare acts like the thrilling Icarian Games from Ethiopia, in which foot jugglers toss fellow acrobats into the air, join crowd favorites like a chair stack from Tanzania, and a contortionist from Kenya described as “the most flexible man in the world.” A live band keeps the party going with every strike of the congos and strum of the mbira, while stilt dancers, gumboot steppers and a marvel of traditional masks showcase Africa’s expressive dance culture. Rich in rhythm and robust in song, Mother Africa has earned rave reviews around the globe and has performed for nearly 1 million people worldwide since the show’s debut in 2006. The performers of Circus Der Sinne, which means “Circus of the Senses” received their training at director Winston Ruddle’s African Acrobatic Academy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which has an open door policy — anyone can join, watch and audition. Young people who exhibit significant talent are invited to study a suitable artistic discipline and participate in a program where all materials, meals and daily transportation to and from the school are paid for by the Academy. Over the years, Ruddle has trained over 150 young African performers, and for most of them, the African Acrobatic Academy is an opportunity to escape the poverty of their homeland. The young performers’ dedication to their art form and cultural heritage translates into an effusive and seemingly inexhaustible joy for performance. Additionally, the academy supports social aid projects in Africa, such as Karl-Heinz Böhm’s Menschen für Menschen (“Humans for Humans”), which provides social aid to Ethiopia. Directed by co-founder Winston Ruddle and produced by co-founder Hubert Schober, Mother Africa is choreographed by Sibongile Prudence, Clive Madlala and Mduduzi Magagula, with music direction by Finn Martin. Lighting design is by Daniel Volk and costumes are by Tsendbjamba Erdeneshoo and Tumaini Mutru. The talented performers are Jean Marc Kouassi Agbogba, Tomas Teka Alemu, Tamrat Yemane Ayalew, Christina Jacob Benedict, Benick Pompido Dominick, Adama Doumbouya, Baraka Juma Ferouz, Roy Gregory Figueiredo, Yusuphu Ramadhani Fuko, Ersi Teame Gebregziabher, Merherete Yeshewamebrat Kassa, Clive Madlala, Mduduzi Magagula, Silethemba Magonya, Nurdini Athumani Makimu, Nomathamsanqa Treatie Mkwananzi, Khamis Suleiman Mlenge, Theresa Makaita Muteta, Richard Leonard Mwanisawa, Bizimana Emmanuel Ntavyo, Omary Ramadhani Omary, Fadhili Ramadhani Rashidi, Wubshet Amare Sahale, Sewasew Alemu Truneh, Ibrahim H.Mussa Tulwo and Stephen Gambo William. Purchase tickets online or by phone at The New Victory Theater box office is located at 209 West 42nd Street, NYC. For more information, visit the NEW VICTORY website.
*“Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree”
Through January 7, 2014
Nothing marks the beginning of the magical holiday season in New York City like the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a world-wide symbol of the holidays in New York City. The tree, traditionally a Norway Spruce, is illuminated by 45,000 environmentally friendly LED lights on five miles of wire, and crowned by a Swarovski crystal star. The tree will stay up until 11pm on January 7, 2014 and will be illuminated from 5:30 A.M. – 11:30 P.M. daily, all day (24 hours) on Christmas Day and 5:30 A.M. – 9 P.M. on New Year’s Eve. More Info: www.rockefellercenter.com/events.
*Big Apple Circus – “Luminocity”
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Through January 12, 2014
Description: Luminocity — the All–New Show from the Big Apple Circus! Now in its 36th Season, the Big Apple Circus celebrates the vitality of life at the city epicenter, the Crossroads of the World! Catch all the verve, the high-spirits and racing-pulse thrills of the World’s Greatest Circus Artists in one ring under our intimate Big Top, where no seat is more than 50 feet from ringside! Watch rowdy pups perform amazing tricks, double trapeze artists soaring high above, a bashful clown, an irrepressible flimflam man, and a juggler extraordinaire; teeter-board acrobats flying through the air, a cavalcade of magnificent steeds, and a couple of amazing wire-walkers suspended in mid-air. Venture within the hubbub at the heart of Gotham, where the restless tide of humanity rushes through canyons of skyscrapers and shoals of billboards: The dog-walker, whose rowdy pups perform amazing tricks! Businesswomen who arrange to meet, soaring high above on a double trapeze! The rube, a clown-prince among peers, celebrating the mirth of life! Revelry at New Year’s Eve, with teeter-board acrobats flying like fireworks! and a chic couple of wire-walkers suspended mid-air for the event! The humble repairman, climbing the ladder of his imagination! The mounted policewoman, directing a cavalcade of steeds! The flimflam man with his quicksilver moves! The food cart vendor, juggling his produce! Construction workers assembling athletic poses of incredible strength! The celebrated Big Apple Circus Band, under the baton of maestro Rob Slowik, provides the lively musical soundtrack, and your cosmopolitan Ringmaster, John Kennedy Kane, will conduct your tour through this luminous cityscape. Run away and join the Big Apple Circus this season for a dazzling, unforgettable spectacle of wonder, merriment and joy! For additional information, visit: www.bigapplecircus.org.
New York based award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel for the Electronic Urban Report and other outlets. Contact her via: [email protected]