Company XIV: Nutcracker Rouge Minetta Lane Theatre; Through Jan 17; $40–$85
Austin McCormick and his risqué neo-Baroque dance theater Company XIV present a lavish erotic reimagining of the classic holiday tale, complete with circus performers, operatic singers and partial nudity. Definitely leave the kids at home: The word nutcracker has customarily conjured innocent wonder; now be ready to add glitter pasties, stripper poles and comically large stuffed penises to the, shall we say, toys to expect in wonderland.
The Moth StorySLAM The Bell House; Mon 4 at 8pm; $8–$16
Consider yourself the Walt Disney or Shakespeare of story telling? The outrageously (and deservedly) popular series hosted by Peter Aguero pits local yarn spinners against one another, challenging them to deliver an impressive tale based on a specific theme. Volunteers are encouraged, but get in line early, as spots for raconteurs and spectators alike go quickly.
B.Y.O.V. at the Garret East Mon 4 at 7pm; free
The only thing that could ruin a perfectly good night out other than spilling your drink on the cutie by the bar is a crappy DJ (especially one who is too pretentious to take requests). Luckily, the Garret lets you B.Y.O.V. (bring your own vinyl), so you can dance and groove to your favorite jams.
Here and Now Winter Festival Bargemusic; Mon 4 at 8pm; $35, $30 seniors, $15 students
Bargemusic's first weekend of the year features Winter Nights, a new work by Frederic Rzewski, played each night, and a rotating cast of performers and pieces throughout the four night run.
Holiday Train Show New York Botanical Garden; Through Jan 20; $25-$35
Watch choo-choos go vroom-vroom in a circle. In New York Botanical Garden’s wildly popular diorama, more than a dozen model railway trains traverse an incredibly detailed New York City scene, including landmarks like the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall, made of natural materials such as leaves, twigs, bark and berries.
Big Apple Circus Damrosch Park (at Lincoln Center); Times vary through Jan 10; $25–$175
Step into the Big Top and back to the 1920s at this fond homage to the circuses and carnivals of the early 20th century. See juggling, acrobatics and animal tricks with a Newsies twist at this grand show.
Gotham Writers Workshop Open House Tue 5 and Wed 6; 7–9:15pm; free
If you feel you have an inner Joan Didion, Maureen Dowd or Roald Dahl just waiting to make its mark on the world, try one of Gotham's free workshops. For two nights, they offer dozens of free one-hour classes, from Memoir Writing to Screenwriting, and you can sign up for one or two. Get a peek at what a class would be like while enjoying some free wine and bites. Registration is required online, but classes can also often accommodate walk-ins.
Frankie’s at the Jane Hotel Tue 29 at 10pm; $10, before midnight $5
DJ Nita Aviance and rotating guests lead fun-seeking ravers, club kids, muscle boys and fashion deviants on a midweek binge in the ballroom. Staying late will be rewarded with live music and drag performances.
Awaken Your Inner Force Workout New York Sports Club; Tue 5 at 5:30pm; free
When it comes to working on your fitness, Yoda has the right mindset: "Do or do not, there is no try." Take a hint from the Jedi master (a.k.a instructor Amira Lam) and sign up for New York Sports Club's Star Wars-themed workout. The 45-minute choreographed, strength-based routine includes martial arts moves, cardiovascular and strength exercises using a light saber. The best part? The workout is free to members and nonmembers alike. Just show up early at the Soho and Chelsea locations to sign up before the class begins.
The Big Quiz Thing Q.E.D.; Tue 5 at 7:30pm; $10
Show off your impressive stash of trivial knowledge, or your ability to come up with smart-alecky witticisms, at this live trivia game show. Hosted by quizmaster Noah Tarnow, the event includes audio and video puzzles. If you don’t know an answer, create a clever one for a potential Smart-Ass Point. The winning team receives nerdy bragging rights—and a cash jackpot! This special flashback version features some of this year's best (and most difficult) questions.
Coil Festival 2016 Various locations and prices; Jan 5–17
P.S. 122, in temporary exile from its home base on First Avenue, schools us all in this sampler of avant-garde subjects, including performance works by Annie Dorsen, Kaneza Schaal, Frank Boyd, David Neumann, Jillian Peña, Samita Sinha and Australia's Ranters Theatre. The shows are spread out at various venues (Abrons Arts Center, La MaMa, the Invisible Dog Art Center), so visit the festival's website for details.
Desigual sample sale Clothingline; Tue 5–Thu 7 at 11am
Your rustic, lumberjack wardrobe takes precedence during the chilliest time of the year. But don’t be too timid to try a bold print, especially when you can snag colorful garb for up to 70 percent off. Scoop up wares like women’s sleeveless chiffon rose-print dresses ($45, used to be $200). Dudes, don’t fret: You can still stick to the aforementioned lumberjack style with plaid button-downs ($40, previously $124).
Sweet Slipper Room; Tue 5 at 9pm; $5–$7
Seth Herzog's weekly mainstay, which has settled back into its longtime home at the Slipper Room, still features scads of downtown stand-ups and, quite often, Herzog's mother.
2 Dope Queens Union Hall; Wed 6 at 8pm; $10, day of show $12
Blogger and comic Phoebe Robinson brings her online alter ego Blaria to the stage alongside The Daily Show's Jessica Williams in this fun stand-up show that features sardonic storytelling and special guests (Roy Wood Jr., Jean Grae, Dave Hill).
New York Boat Show Wed 6 through Jan 10; 10am; $16, kids 15 and younger free
If your life, your love and your lady is the sea, then you'll be more than satisfied by this five-day nautical convention, which features a vast variety of yachts, sailboats and more, along with features like a "Be A Diver" scuba pool, Annapolis School of Seamanship seminars and a boating simulator.
Three Kings Day Parade El Museo del Barrio; Wed 6 at 11am; free
Procession starts at Lexington Ave and 106th St. Colorful floats, camels and 12-foot-tall puppets descend on Spanish Harlem for this holiday procession honoring the magis' visit to that famous manger. Expect plenty of live music at the parade, which is sponsored by El Museo del Barrio, plus get into the museum for free!
Showgasm Ars Nova; Thu 7 at 8pm; $5–$15
Ars Nova's eclectic (and cheap!) neovaudevillian variety show features a lively mix of music, comedy and burlesque acts hosted by the very funny John Early (with Hamm Samwich sidekicking as DJ). Swing by early (7pm) for a little Foreplay action (a.k.a Showgasm pre-game), includiing 2 drinks, a slice of pizza AND a ticket for only $15. SAY WHAT!
Dragon Boat Racing David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center); Thu 7 at 8pm; $22–$167
China's Guangdong Song & Dance Ensemble makes its U.S. debut with Tang Dong and Du Ming's hit 2014 blend of music and romance, set during the Japanese occupation of China in the 1930s. Zhou Liya and Han Zhen direct and choreograph.
Boys' Night: An All-Male Cirquelesque Revue Slipper Room; Thu 7 at 10pm; $15–$25
Hunky circus performers and burlesque stars strut their muscular stuff at this monthly showcase overseen by Jason Mejias.
Tinder Live! with Lane Moore The Bell House; Thu 7 at 8:30pm; $15
The writer, whose work has been featured in The Onion and McSweeney’s, comes to the stage to show off her Tinder profile, swipe left, message those guys that pique her interest and even call them live. Then she’s joined by the hilarious cast from Neon Joe Werewolf Hunters (Jon Glaser, Scott Adsit and Stephanie March) to evaluate strangers’ profiles.