5 Things to Do This Christmas Weekend
In the fantasy version of a December evening, we would dive from West 54th Street up the stairs into the cozy, enveloping glamor that Feinstein’s / 54 Below always gives the feeling of being ready for its close-up. We slipped into a cabin and ordered something nice. Then the long-standing cabaret series “Sondheim Unplugged” would begin – another advantage for the holidays in New York.
Fortunately, the pandemic version of “Sondheim Unplugged” is also quite nice: elegant, comforting, peppered with dead humor. Recorded with five cameras and streaming on Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (and then available on request from Sunday through January 9th), it’s an hour full of Sondheim hits and obscurity sung by Broadway performers with only piano accompaniment. Highlights include Telly Leung’s heartbreaking “Being Alive” and Lucia Spina’s sizzling “Could I Leave You?” and T. Oliver Reid’s extremely sorry “Good Thing Going”. Tickets to access the performance are $ 25 at 54below.com. Pour something bubbly into a glass and enjoy.
Quiet at the end of 2020
When you need a break from vacation activities or some space to reflect on the past year, spend time watching Jordan Demetrius Lloyd’s dreamy short film “The Last Moon in Mellowland”. Lloyd, a Brooklyn-based dance artist, began working for the screen when the theaters closed in March. As part of Issue Project Rooms “soft bodies in hard places”, a series organized by curator Benedict Nguyen and tailored to planetary events (such as new moon or solstice), “Mellowland” draws the viewer into a 20-minute meditation that loosely is tracing the arc one day. Lloyd describes this world as a place “the viewers already remember,” and its rhythms and repetitions are comfortably familiar as the camera rests on a spinning ceiling fan or two dancers at the edge of the ocean.
With appearances by Lloyd, Breeanah Breeden, Ariana Speight and Demetries Morrow as well as dramaturgy by Stephanie George, the film, which was released in November, is available free of charge until December 31 at issueprojectroom.org/event/last-moon-mellowland.
An empty hall full of ghosts
On the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. next month, the Harlem Gospel Choir will celebrate 35 years as one of the leading contemporary gospel groups in the country and a globally recognized ambassador for the genre. During a normal year the choir toured the world at least once, and when not out the group played a Sunday brunch every week at Sony Hall near Times Square, along with a full band who brought the sounds to praise one Mixture of supporters and tourists.
The group will return to an (empty) Sony hall on Friday for the first time since March to give a special performance on Christmas Day at 5 p.m. East Coast time, which will do its part to maintain the spirit of community at social distance. Tickets for the live stream are $ 25 and can be purchased from sonyhall.com. The archived video of the performance will remain available to ticket holders until January 1st.
Forget magic and good fairies. The title character of “Hip Hop Cinderella” needs rap and rocket science.
Charmingly played by Alexis Aguiar, she masters both in this 35-minute adaptation of the Space Age, which will be broadcast on-demand on Stellar through January 31st. (Tickets are $ 15-25.) Presented by Amas Musical Theater in association with HipHopMusicals.com, Cinderella still competes against a scheming stepmother (Lexy Piton) and step-sisters (Cassandra Barckett and Emily Lang) on the show, however the price is not a royal marriage. Instead, a prince (Jamiel Tako L. Burkhart) wants to crown the winner of a hip-hop ball and rap competition. With the help of her trusty robot (Brian Criado), Cinderella, also known as Ella C, could get the groove of the galaxy back.
This production was conceived by Linda Chichester and David Coffman and directed by Christopher Scott. It has clever graphics and even some space shuttle material. The show, which includes a book by Scott Elmegreen and music and lyrics by Rona Siddiqui, will amuse adults too when the stepmother files a familiar complaint: “This competition has been rigged!”
The ultimate kosher Christmas
For the first time in its 28-year history, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, also known as “Christmas Jewish Comedy in a Chinese Restaurant,” is online, meaning you don’t have to go to San Francisco to enjoy the shows.
The headliner is Judy Gold, who appears regularly on “The Drew Barrymore Show” and is releasing a book this year: “Yes, I can say that if they come for the comedians we are all in trouble.” Alex Edelman also appears , whose article about attending a neo-Nazi gathering in New York, “Just for Us”, earned him a 2018 nomination for Best Show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The founder of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, Lisa Geduldig, will host the events, which will be broadcast on Zoom and YouTube Live on Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and on Saturday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Tickets to access the show cost $ 25 to $ 50 and are available from cityboxoffice.com.
SEAN L. McCARTHY