News: Theater, Dance, Music

The holiday season is filled with virtual performances in theater, dance and music. Celebrate safely at home with some joyful evenings. Some ideas below and more coming!

But first we hear that Hamilton and its creative force Lin-Manuel Miranda might become the first show to open Broadway after the Covid-19 lockdown. They certainly have the clout and where-with-all to slip back into the Richard Rodgers Theatre which they’re talking about doing July 4, 2021. In fact, it may be a double-header ending the Broadway shutdown with the appropriately timed signing of the Declaration of independence. But, right now it’s all hearsay depending on vaccines and more even though the current plan is to open theaters June 1. However, hearing Dr. Fauci, his latest prediction is Fall 2021, if enough people get vaccinated. We’ll see!!!

And the Oscars are preparing to go LIVE in the spring and the planners are figuring out just how many people might be allowed inside the 3400 Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

Theater is certainly moving ahead on the West End as the Olivier nominated musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is planning a return to the Apollo Theatre December 12. Stay tuned!

If you’ve been missing Birdland on West 44th Street in NYC, you’re in for a treat as it has planned to open as of December 2 for dinner and jazz! See their calendar. www.Birdlandjazz.com They are taking reservations now (212 581-3080). Expect to hear David Ostwald, Ken Peplowski, Jay Leonhart, Billy Stritch, Darius De Haas and others.

Ars Nova, “a company known for pop-culture-savvy experimentation, with a hipness that sets it apart” (New York Times), under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Jason Eagan and Managing Director Renee Blinkwolt, is pleased to announce additional details for The Ars Nova Forever Telethon, a 24-hour livestream featuring more than 150 artists celebrating Ars Nova’s past and present, while raising funds to support the company’s artistic programs throughout the unconventional 2020-2021 season. The free online event will begin at 6pm EST on December 4 and run non-stop until 6pm EST on December 5 at https://arsnovanyc.com/telethonThe Ars Nova Forever Telethon will be available on-demand until 6pm EST on December 8. Newly announced participants include Tina FeyJohn EarlyThe BengsonsBowen Yang, and Ziwe who join over 150 artists including Billy EichnerJesse Tyler FergusonAshley Park, Freestyle Love Supreme, Robin Lord TaylorKyra Sedgwick, Brooke Shields, Lea DeLaria, Bridget EverettPhillipa SooBen SinclairJames Monroe Iglehart, Joe IconisBetty GilpinCelia Keenan-Bolger, Matt Rogers, Amber GrayLilli CooperHeather ChristianJason Tam, Ashley Pérez FlanaganRachel ChavkinSakina JaffreyDave MalloyIsaac OliverLarry Owens, and Natalie Walker.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of THE DYBBUK, the world’s most famous Jewish play, by S. Ansky. The Congress for Jewish Culture is celebrating this historically significant milestone with a virtual presentation of the play featuring an all-star international cast including Mike Burstyn (Barnum, The Rothschilds, Ain’t Broadway Grand), basedin Los Angeles; Shane Baker (New York); Mendy Cahan (Tel Aviv); Refoyel Goldwasser (Buenos Aires); Daniel Kahn (Berlin); Amitai Kedar (Tel Aviv); Yelena Shmulenson (New York) as the possessed bride; Suzanne Toren (New York); and Michael Wex (Toronto). Under the direction of Allen Lewis Rickman, who will also provide English narration, the online production of THE DYBBUK will premiere on Monday, December 14th at 7 p.m. EST on the Congress for Jewish Culture’s YouTube channel. It will be performed in Yiddish featuring English subtitles, with a script adapted by Allen Lewis Rickman (from an adaptation by Dina Halperin, who appeared in the 1937 film version). This will air at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCImhbhZ0JyMyEG1_KPnOXYQ

Hot on the heels of a successful, reduced-capacity run of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the performing artists of Englewood, NJ’s Black Box Performing Arts Center are offering an eclectic array of live entertainment between December 5 and 23, with details, tickets, and safety/health protocol information available anytime at www.blackboxpac.com! Saturday, December 5th at 7PM and Sunday, December 6th at 3:30 & 7PM: BROADWAY HITS BERGEN!: A revue of hit musical theatre songs!Thursday, December 10th, Friday December 11th, and Wednesday, December 16th at 5PM: METAMORPHIC ENTERTAINMENT & OPEN BOOK presents ‘A CONFUSED HANUKKAH’, based on the book by Jon Koons – a special appearance from Off-Broadway in residence at the BBPAC! Saturday, December 12th at 7:30PM: L’CHAIM/TO LIFE feat. ILANA SCHIMMEL and Friends – a special Hanukkah Cabaret celebrating music, art, and life! Saturday, December 12th at 9:30PM: OPEN MIC feat. Drunk Santa – the first COVID-19 return of the variety show, with mask-wearing and pre-registration required due to current health protocols! Thursday, December 17th – Sunday, December 20th:CHARLES DICKENS’ XXXMAS CAROL, a new version of the classic morality tale for mature audiences only – performance schedule and tickets TBD! Finally, look out in front of the theater for a number of LIVE readings of Dickens’ classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL as well as special appearances by Santa himself – with socially distanced picture opps for the kids!

London’s National Theatre will be streaming on demand featuring Tom Hiddlestown-led Coriolanus, Medea with Helen McCrory, Mosquitos with olivia Colman and Amadeus starring Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati. You’ll also find Otheloo with Adrian Lester, Phedre with helen Mirren, Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga and The Cherry Orchard with Zoe Wanamaker. Sign up at NTathome.com

Theatre discovery platform Thespie is thrilled to announce that renowned composer Stephen Schwartz has created a special song performance at the piano for audiences to enjoy as part of the first concert of the Reunited series— four filmed musical theatre concerts premiering throughout December.  

Unlimited: The Songs of Stephen Schwartz is a celebration of his works including WickedPippinGodspellChildren of Eden, and The Prince of Egypt, Schwartz’s newest musical.  The concert will premiere on Thursday 3 December at 8pm GMT, and will be available on demand afterward for audiences around the globe. The nine artists in the concert (Nikki Bentley, Sophie Evans, Alice Fearn, Alexia Khadime, Melanie La Barrie, Carl Man, Dianne Pilkington, Liam Tamne, Oliver Tompsett) have all starred in Wicked during its first 14 years in London, and two (Khadime, Tamne) are in the current cast of The Prince of Egypt. Tickets can be purchased at thespie.com in 12 currencies, with lower prices available for a 4-concert bundle. 

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents a groundbreaking first-ever virtual engagement celebrating six decades of Alvin Ailey’s timeless American masterpiece Revelations from December 2nd to 31st with nine unique presentations each available free for one week online! Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will elevate a legacy of artistic innovation and excellence . December 5 at 2 pm – Ailey & Ellington; December 7 at 7:30 pm – Dancing Spirit; December 9 at 7:30 pm – Glenn Allen Sims & Linda Celeste Sim “The Winter in Lisbon”; December 11 at 7:30 pm – Dancing for Social Justice; December 14 at 7:30 pm – Jamar Roberts’ A Jam Session for Troubling Times; December 17 at 7:30 pm – Testament by Matthew Rushing; December 19 at 2 pm – Revelations; December 23 at 7:30 pm – Decades of Revelations.www.alvinailey.org/virtualseason

(Photo Marc J. Franklin at Ardesia Wine Bar)

Primary Stages will present a reading with Raúl Esparza, Krysta Rodriguez, David Mason, W. Tre Davis and more starring in A Christmas Carol, Co-Adapted by Theresa Rebeck and Erin Daly, streaming LIVE Dec. 16, running thru December 20. www.59e59.org

 Kris Kringle The Musical offers up a free holiday gift for theater lovers everywhere. On Christmas Day, a virtual, streaming production of the perennial holiday musical, featuring a cast of Broadway veterans, will be available to online audiences at KrisKringleTheMusical.com.  As an added bonus, starting December 1, Kris Kringle The Musical will release a series of special online musical videos leading up to the Christmas Day stream. All content is available to online audiences, free of charge when you register online. Produced by 2500 Productions Inc. and Angel Polar Bear LLC, Kris Kringle The Musical supports The Actors Fund of America. Original story, book and additional lyrics by Maria Ciampi, music & lyrics by Tim Janis and Angelo Natalie, this is a holiday treat for all ages.

A Drag Queen Christmas 2020 brings Ru Paul’s Drag Race Stars together for the holidays with Tuck Taylor & nina West hosting and featuring Sasha Velour, Shea Coulee, Jaida Essence Hall, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Thorgy Thor, Jackie Cox and special guests Lady Bunny & Landon Cider on demand now. www.dragfans.com

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