15 Plays, Musicals & Concerts in NYC That Will Make Your December All the More Merry
December 1st, 2014
by Josh Ferri
So it’s December, and you want to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, maybe ice skate in Bryant Park and indulge in some New York City culture. We got you, boo. Below, BroadwayBox spotlights 15 New York plays, concerts and musicals that will make your season bright. (In no particular order.)
1. If you haven’t seen The Last Ship, it’s time go. If you have, then it’s time to go back because now Grammy winner Sting is playing a principal role. Just watch this performance from the Thanksgiving Day Parade and tell us this doesn’t look like a thrilling night at the theatre. Beginning December 9 at the Neil Simon Theatre.
2. December is last call for some of Broadway’s best shows. January is closing time for Pippin, Once, Rock of Ages, Motown, Cinderella, This is Our Youth and off-Broadway’s Here Lies Love. See ‘em all before it’s too late.
3. The fairytale musical Disenchanted is not intended for the little princess in your life; however, if you know the joy of a bulky plastic Disney VHS case, this is the musical for you. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and more dish what it’s really like to be part of Walt’s “Princess Posse” (think Bridesmaids for Disney Princesses). The six ladies are mega-talented (Lulu Picart and Soara-Joye Ross each stopped the show with their numbers) and the 90-minute musical will make you blush and feel nostalgia all at once. Who could ask for anything more?
Photo by Matthew Murphy
4. The Illusionists are coming to New York City to blow your minds. Seven of world’s most incredible illusionists bring the world’s best-selling touring magic show to the Marriott Marquis Theatre through January 4 only. It’s sure to be a show you’ll be talking about with family and friends at every holiday get together this season.
5. Two Christmas concerts that caught our eye were Matt Doyle at 54 Below and Kelli O’Hara, Matt Morrison and the NY Pops at Carnegie Hall. Both shows promise a mix of holiday favorites sung by Broadway favorites. Doyle and his band the Whiskey 5 take the stage on December 4 and 23, while O’Hara and Morrison will bring audiences to their feet on December 19 and 20.
6. It’s time to revisit Wicked, and here’s why: the new cast beginning December 16 is so out of this world, even Elphie on her broom couldn’t touch them. Big-voiced Evita star Caroline Bowman is Elphaba, Newsies’ Kara Lindsay is Glinda, Spring Awakening and Rent hottie Matt Shingledecker is Fiyero and too-fabulous-for-words Tony nominee Robin De Jesus is bringing it as Boq. Case closed.
7. The U.K. smash hit Every Brilliant Thing arrives at the Barrow Street Theatre on December 6 for a limited 16-week engagement. The new play sounds fascinating and moving: a young boy attempts to ease his mother’s depression by creating a list of all the best things in the world. #BringTissues.
8. Another British import worth checking out this December is MTC’s Constellations. The new play stars Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and The Affair’s Ruth Wilson as a couple whose love affair defies time and space…more or less. Seriously, this was a hot ticket in London and it’s bound to be one in NYC. Performances begin December 16 at the Samuel J. Friedman.
Photo by Bruce Glikas
9. Santa got our wish list because Alice Ripley, Truman Capote and Christmas make the perfect December combination. Irish Rep’s new musical A Christmas Memory stars the Next to Normal Tony winner and is based on Capote’s story about a Southern family’s last Christmas together. It’s like the gift you didn’t know you wanted but you are so glad to have.
10. Now if it's family fun you're looking for, three holiday shows you want to check out are The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (features high-kicking Rockettes, 3D scenes and a live Nativity), How the Grinch Stole Christmas at MSG starring Tony winner Shuler Hensley and the holiday version of The Ride, which combines sight-seeing, entertainment and Christmas magic.
11. If you are a fan of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon (and face it, who isn’t), then you don't want to miss the world premiere of Alain Boublil’s new musical Manhattan Parisienne at 59E59. It’s a romantic story about a French singer and New York musician who connect through music. Performances begin December 18.
12. Legendary New York performer John Epperson drives fans wild downtown with LYPSINKA! The Trilogy. Three shows starring Epperson as himself and as his fabulous drag creation Lypsinka rotate in repertory through January 3 at the Connelly Theater. Get a glimpse of his genius below.
13. Top Model runway diva extraordinaire Miss J Alexander hosts A Better Holiday, a December 7 concert at Joe’s Pub to benefit the It Gets Better Project. Performers include Caissie Levy, Andy Mientus, Lauren Pritchard, Emily Padgett, and TV’s Janina Gavankar.
14. Now as far as 54 Below goes, put these six concerts on your holiday wish list Frank Wildhorn (Dec 2-6), The Civilians: A Pretty Filthy Evening (Dec. 2), The White City in Concert (Dec. 5), Annaleigh Ashford (Dec 1,8,15 & 26), Laura Osnes (Dec. 9-15) and The 7th Annual Joe Iconis Christmas Spectacular (Dec 19 & 20). Don't forget to use our discount code!
15. New Years Eve is so one of those holidays that's fun on paper but awful when you have no plans. Thankfully, 54 Below and Joe’s Pub have got you covered this year. The Pub is bringing in 2015 with the one and only Sandra Bernhard, and 54 Below is giving you a saucy and hilarious double-header of Charles Busch and Laura Benanti. We’ll toast to that.
Bonus: You don’t need to be in the Big Apple to feel the wonder of (and live tweet) Peter Pan Live on December 4 or the big screen adaptations of Into the Woods and Annie on December 25.