Holiday Shows in NYC

By Alison Durkee

One of the best ways to ring in the holidays in NYC is through the performing arts, as stages throughout the city bring holiday cheer through festive offerings. Here are some upcoming holiday performing arts events to get you into the seasonal spirit.

Before the Christmas and winter holiday season gets into full swing, celebrate Thanksgiving and its aftermath by enjoying folk performer Arlo Guthrie’s annual Thanksgiving concert at Carnegie Hall on November 25. On Black Friday, the Lincoln Center Film Society will take part in Blackout for Human Rights (Blackout)’s fourth annual #BlackoutBlackFriday, which encourages people to spend Friday taking part in cultural activism and protesting inequality instead of shopping for Black Friday deals. The Film Society will mark the occasion with a screening of Whose Streets?, a documentary chronicling the racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, along with a post-screening performance by composer and pianist Samora Pinderhughes. The most iconic Thanksgiving performances are, of course, those that take place during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year’s parade will feature appearances by such performers as Patti LaBelle, the Goo Goo Dolls, Smokey Robinson, andas alwaysthe Radio City Rockettes.


For a more classic Christmas tale, see Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol come to life at the Merchant’s House Museum from November 30–December 10 in a captivating one-man performance that evokes Dickens’s own performance of the story in New York in 1867. MOD Theatre Company will also bring its take on the Christmas classic to life at Theatre Row from November 24–December 17. On December 11, The Acting Company will also host a one-night benefit performance of the Dickens tale, which will star David Hyde Pierce as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Credit Photo: Paul Kolnik

Another classic holiday story, of course, is the Nutcracker, which dance lovers can catch this holiday season on stages throughout the city. The city’s best-known Nutcracker is the New York City Ballet’s iconic production with choreography by George Balanchine, which will run this year at Lincoln Center from November 24–December 31. But that isn’t the only Nutcracker in town: Ballet fans looking for a different production of the show can check out the Moscow Ballet’s take on December 9, enjoy the New York Theatre Ballet’s Art Nouveau-filled production from December 15-17, or see a New York spin on the classic tale in the Yorkville Nutcracker from December 7-10. On December 2, Valentina Kozlova, former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet, will lead the Dance Conservatory ensemble in a one-hour Nutcracker Winter Suite at Symphony Space. Those looking for a different sort of Nutcracker production can travel back in time with the 70’s Nutcracker at Queens Theatre on December 2, or enjoy the Hip Hop Nutcracker on December 14.

In addition to this season’s theatre and dance offerings, music lovers have plenty of upcoming holiday-themed concerts and musical performances to enjoy. The Guggenheim Museum will present their annual holiday concert in their rotunda on December 17 and 18, while the Mount Vernon Hotel and Museum will offer visitors the chance to enjoy musical stylings by PACC Recorder Consort and harpist Sarah Loveland Gill during the museum’s atmospheric holiday candlelight tours on December 1 and 2. The Aesthetic Realism Foundation will mark the holiday season with a gala benefit on December 3, which will include cabaret performances and live jazz. The city’s most famed musical stages, too, will get into the holiday spirit. At Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic will take on Handel’s Messiah in a special holiday performance that runs from December 15-19. A few blocks away at Carnegie Hall, the New York Pops will ring in the holidays with a performance featuring musical theatre star Megan Hilty on December 16, while tenor Amine J. Hachem will celebrate A Middle Eastern Christmas, marking the singer’s Lebanese, American and European background, on December 13.