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15 fantastic things to do in NYC this weekend

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Fri 22

Throwback Friday House of Yes; 10pm; free–$25
“All the hits of the ’80s, ’90s and now,” is no longer just a trite radio slogan, it’s an entire evening in Bushwick. The organizers of #TBF at House of Yes kindly divvy up the entertainment into themed rooms, each of which strives to emulate the childhood feeling of staying up late, playing video games in your best friend’s basement and getting hopped up on sugary treats. Not that you'll need help staying awake: the lineup features house heavyweights Todd Terry and Crystal Waters, plus Sammy Bananas, Zephyr Ann and Rush Midnight.

Pregame Your Brain Caveat; 6pm; $7
Before you tear up the long holiday weekend, head to this brainy happy hour, at which experts gather around the bar to share knowledge, games and trivia centered on a fascinating­—and often esoteric—topic. This week, learn about the very lit ancient Roman festival Saturnalia (the OG end-of-year bash) and how it has influenced the modern yuletide.

A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House Museum; 7pm; $45–$75
In late 1867, Charles Dickens trekked across the Atlantic to spend a month performing his Christmas classic here in NYC. The Merchant’s House Museum reenacts this one-hour performance for modern-day audiences in its old-fashioned museum. If you think A Christmas Carol is enchanting now, just wait until you see it performed by candlelight in a 19th-century home by Dickens—or rather an actor playing the part of the British author. (Bonus: Come early for mulled wine and tasty snacks!)

Spill the T with the Mannequin Room UCBEast; 7:30pm; $5
Talk about your week with improv group the Mannequin Room (Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, Brian Urreta) at this relaxed get-together. After they've heard about the drama in your life, they spin an improvised show together.

Cool Shit/Weird Shit UCBEast; midnight; $9
This long-running, reliably bonkers comedy showcase created by Matt Dennie and Josh Sharp features hilarious sketch, improv, music and films from a diverse range of out-there acts. This month, guests hosts Matt Clevy and Mike Sapp welcome Alex Song, Matt Rogers, Dave Mizzoni, Richard Armstead, Eric Feuer, Donald Chang and Sean Patrick O'Reilly (UCBT Lloyd Night).

LCD Soundsystem Brooklyn Steel; 8pm; $66.25
The seminal NYC crew returns to the industrial-chic Brooklyn Steel for another string of shows, this time behind a newie, American Dream. It’s the first No. 1 album of the dance-punk artists’ career and a possible answer to any who questioned the motives behind the band’s quick about-face after retiring in 2011: When you listen to American Dream, it’s clear LCD still has something to say.

Sat 23

Young Adult Friction: An Indie & Alt Dance Party Brooklyn Bazaar; 10pm; free
Lose yourself to the sounds of the Cure, Grimes, Mazzy Star, the Walkmen and other alternative icons at this monthly jam. For the holiday edition, DJs Doug Dealer and Deseos add some unexpected merriment—like Julian Casablancas’s “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” and Blink 182’s “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas”—to the indie proceedings.

The Nutcracker Ball Arlene’s Grocery; 11pm; free
You may be hungover through Christmas Day after hitting this joyous bash, courtesy of Lower East Side joint Arlene’s Grocery. Show up to the beloved rock and karaoke spot in your most glorious ugly sweater or North Pole couture, and dance on the decked-out Nutcracker stage while DJs You Love Poon and Church spin killer beats late into the night.

Amélie + Mulled Wine Videology Bar & Cinema; at various times; $22
Celebrate the season of giving and generosity with cinema’s most darling do-gooder at this cheerful screening marathon. Warm your hands by holding a mug of mulled wine, and watch Audrey Tautou contend with dyspeptic waitresses, satanic carnival rides, traveling gnomes and shut-in neighbors.

Seinfeld Trivia Extravaganza & Airing of Grievances Slattery’s Midtown Pub; 5:30pm; free
Think you know “The Strike” episode of Seinfeld better than anyone? Assemble a group of antiholiday people (a total of four) to test your Festivus knowledge during Trivia AD’s head-scratching quiz night. After many beers and some tough trivia rounds, you may have to host your own Festivus dinner where you gather your friends and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you this year.

Black Christmas Screening Syndicated; midnight; $10
Some holiday movies are about a reindeer with a red nose; others focus on an elf from the North Pole. This 1974 Christmas flick is about a less jolly subject: murder. If this speaks to your Santa-hating heart, watch a bunch of sorority sisters try to claw their way out of their winter break from hell at a dine-in movie joint.

A Darlene Love Christmas B.B. King Blues Club & Grill; 8pm; $45–$85
A chief voice in Phil Spector’s ’60s singles factory, Love has found success since as a singer, a late-night TV favorite, a documentary subject and an actor (in Lethal Weapon and Broadway’s Hairspray). Her esteem among other artists has only grown, and deservedly so: No one sings like she sings. Her latest album, 2015’s Introducing Darlene Love, includes songs written for her by Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello. At this annual B.B. King gig, she celebrates the holidays as only the venerated singer can.

Sun 24

Christmas Eve Caroling at Washington Square Park; 5pm; free
Croon “Silent Night” under the arch at Washington Square Park on the night before Christmas. The Rob Susman Brass Quartet will provide the melodies while you and revelers from all over the city sing in perfect (er, sort of) harmony. Don’t fret if you can’t remember all the words to “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”—there will be songbooks provided by the Washington Square Association.

Hebro’s A Christmas Eve Jewbilee Slate; 9pm; $15–$250
Not stuck at home with your parents? Then hit the dance floor with more than 1,000 gay Jews at this annual blowout. For more than a decade, Hebro’s annual ’twas-the-night-before blowout has rightfully earned its status as the place to be on Christmas Eve for the city’s Chosen dudes. Lose yourself to pop hits from DJ Nandi, and get pumped for performances by drag stars.

A Very Jewish Christmas! Gotham Comedy Club; 7pm, 9pm; $25 plus two-drink minimum
Usher in the holidays with a number of stellar stand-ups taking the Gotham stage for an evening of comedy with some damn funny Jewish comedians, including Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR’s Ask Me Another; Jared Freid, host of the JTrain podcast; Jon Fisch from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert; Brad Trackman from AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live; and Gary Vider from America’s Got Talent.

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