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20 awesome things to do in NYC this week

NYC skyline with WTC

Mon 19

House of Yes Xmas Spectacular: Home for the Holidays House of Yes; $35, VIP $50
Ah, nothing like the feeling of going back to the comforts and traditions of home, especially if your home was an intergalactic, sci-fi rager. Go to the House of Yes for this space-themed spectacular where the entertainment is just as likely to be dressed as rockets as they are the Rockettes, and the true meaning of Christmas is much more likely to be about aliens and trippy lights than a baby and manger. Here, it’d be best to match your ugly holiday sweater with glow-in-the-dark pants and a tinfoil Santa hat. 

The New York Times Book of the Dead Mid-Manhattan Library; 6:30pm; free
Times obituary editor William McDonald presents some of the most interesting life stories from the newspaper’s storied obituaries section. 

Comfort Ye…Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew; 7pm; $40
Star soprano Lauren Flanigan hosts and performs in her spirited annual benefit concert to raise money for New York City's homeless, joined by other world-class opera singers. Proceeds go to the West-Side Campaign Against Hunger. In lieu of the $40 admision, you can opt to donate: a shopping bag full of non-perishable food items; three packages of baby diapers an unwrapped brand new toy suitable for children under the age of ten; or a clean used winter coat or warm blanket.

Los Lobos City Winery; 8pm; $48–$65
More than four decades into a career that’s taken them from the barrios of East Los Angeles to a 2009 gig at the White House, David Hidalgo and his bandmates sound no less juiced about exploring their fusion of Chicano culture and muscular roots rock than they did during the outfit’s early days—or during the late '80s, when Los Lobos’s version of “La Bamba” earned the band a No. 1 hit.

Daniel Reichard’s Guide to Christmas Birdland; 7pm; $40–$50, plus $10 minimum
Original Jersey Boys cast member Daniel Reichard—who has lately been touring the country with his former costars from that show, in a group called the Midtown Men—shares his musical gifts in this collection of holiday standards.

Choose Your Own Misery: The Holidays Pete’s Candy Store; 6:30pm; free
Former The Onion writer Mike MacDonald reads from the second installment of his Choose Your Own Misery series, a darkly humorous adult version of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Kick back with a cocktail and have a chuckle at the myriad ways the holidays can go wrong.

Tue 20

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Trivia The Dubliner; 7pm; free
Sunnydale survivors unite! Test your knowledge of the Watchers’ Council, demonology and bunnies at this trivia battle covering all 144 episodes of one of TV’s most legendary series. Register a team of up to four Scoobies online, slip into your leather pants, and pack your holy water: You’re going to have some fierce competition. 

The Prose Bowl Pete’s Candy Store; 6:30pm; free
Ready to share your writing with someone other than your roommate? Bring some flash fiction—up to 1,000 words—to this writer’s arena, where you get less than five minutes to share your work with a panel of local comedians and writers. You’ll get a critique, and the final two writers will face off in a tweet-length lightning round. The night’s winner receives a free drink.

Urban Graffiti: Street Art & Street Food of Brooklyn Aleef Coffee House; noon; $39, with bike $79
Ride down the Brooklyn Bridge and through Bushwick at this immersive tour through Brooklyn, where you’ll see some of the borough’s most striking street art and dish on food-truck fare with a group of eight riders. Local architect Allen R. Phillips leads the 20-mile tour and keeps you out of the way of tourists.

Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales: Christmas Mourning Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café
Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon focuses her quirky comedy style on the holidays with longtime collaborator and accompanist Major Scales for an evening of new original songs and imaginative arrangements of pop covers. 

Harold Night Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre; 7:30pm; $5
The Harold is a classic structure pioneered by improv legend Del Close, and this show sees three of the UCBT’s top house teams take turns in proving they have it down to a fine art in a series of fast-paced, 30-minute sets.

Wed 21

Justin Vivian Bond: The Bipolar Express Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; 9:30pm; $35, plus $12 minimum
Caustic wit, witchy charisma and subversive queer wisdom have made Bond one of New York’s essential performers. Now the alt-cabaret star and trans icon returns to Joe’s Pub with holiday show that is guaranteed to deck your halls with subversive cheer.

Ronnie Spector City Winery; 8pm; $35–$75
Charismatic queen of the Ronettes Ronnie Spector belts out the hits at this "Best Christmas Party Ever," accompanied by a full band. That means “Be My Baby,” folks—need we say more?

Hedda Lettuce: Lettuce Rejoice Metropolitan Room; 9:30pm $25 plus two-drink minimum
Drag personality Hedda Lettuce tosses a Christmas salad, complete with a splash of raunch dressing.

Thu 22

Beer + Latkes Celebration Gabriela’s Restaurante and Tequila Bar; 7:30pm; $40
These are a few of our favorite things! Join 92nd Street Y at Gabriela’s for yummy concoctions that your bubbe never heard of—like guacamole latkes, spicy habanero latkes and, maybe your new fave, latkes con mole. There’s tequila at the bar if you need a little more spice—and the first drink is free!

Eyes Wide Shut + Champagne Videology Bar & Cinema; 9pm; $23
Kubrik's final film stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as unhappily married couple Bill and Alice Hartford. Dr. Bill Hartford goes on a somewhat dream-like adventure after Alice admits to having sexual fantasies about a naval officer they met on vacation. Bill's adventure includes prostitutes, a dead beauty queen, and a sex party. Oh, and the setting is New York City during the holidays, which means Christmas trees and holiday lights in nearly every scene. What better way to get into the spirit than watching Eyes Wide Shut while drinking champagne? 

‘Twas the FLOAT Before Christmas The Paper Box; 7:30pm; $10
The Paperbox is a bar and lounge that hosts concerts, art and special events in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Come celebrate the holidays and the release of FLOAT's new EP with live performances from FLOAT, Behind The Façade, Dry Clean Only, Another Astronaut and Birds with Fleas. Advance tickets are $10 and they're $12 at the door.

Dirty Thursday: Holiday Office Party House of Yes; 10pm; free
The most exciting office holiday party you'll go to this season. This party would be an HR nightmare waiting to happen at any other office - but not at House of Yes. Dress up in your favorite office holiday attire and get your photo taken on one of the disposable cameras being passed around. With these drink specials, you'll finally build up the confidence to talk to your crush who sits at the desk across from you.

Runnin’ On Empty Le Poisson Rouge; 7pm; free
This monthly show hosted by Yotam Tubul and Lisa Franklin mixes up rising star stand-ups with new acts ready to attack the scene. This week they welcome Tami Sagher, Langton Kerman, Sydnee Washington, Hannah Cowger and Luke Sovern Conley to the stage. Some of these talents have been featured on shows like Inside Amy Schumer and Insecure, while others are just sinking their teeth into the live game. You won’t know the difference. 

The Last Schmaltz Highline Ballroom; 8pm; $20–$45
Do you enjoy late ’70s and early ’80s pop hits? Do you find it impossible to resist a cheesy pun? Then you’ll love the Jewbadours, a high-energy trio that will belt out guilty pleasures like Toto’s “Africa” at the Highline Ballroom the week after Hanukkah. Hold on to your yarmulkes, because the dance floor’s going to get wild.

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