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20 wonderful things to do in NYC this week

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Mon 11

A State of Affairs: A Fresh Look at Modern Relationships and Age Old Taboos with Esther Perel French Institute Alliance Francaise; 7pm; $30
The innovative couples therapist, author of The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity and arbiter of "erotic intelligence" shares ideas on monogamy, sexual desire and romance that will alter your perspectives on love and family forever.

Queerball UCBEast; 10:30pm; $7
Improv wizard Timothy Dunn welcomes veteran and newbie performers to take the stage at this bonkers variety show, which aims to create a safe space for LGBT acts. Witness musical comedy, stand-up, contortionism, improv and drag, and, if you're feeling brave, join Dunn onstage for a wild time of your own. This special holiday edition welcomes Tai Leclare, Ryan Leach, Becca Trabin, Jay Malsky and Tessa Greenberg to join the madness.

Perfume Genius Bowery Ballroom; 9pm; $28-$31
This delicately melancholic singer-songwriter (real name Mike Hadreas) started out playing fractured, dark indie pop, utilizing a piano and minimal instrumentation. Over the past few years, though, he's scaled up his tonal palette with glitzy synth shimmer, an exuberant sense of uplift and grandiose crescendos befitting of M83, all of which are employed to enrapturing effect on his stunning latest, No Shape.

Tue 12

Seinfeld Trivia Extravaganza & Airing of Grievances Glow Thai; 8pm; free
Since entering the pop-culture lexicon in an iconic 1997 episode of Seinfeld, Festivus has endured as the ultimate holiday for the anticommercial scrooge during Christmas season. We can’t guarantee that Glow Thai will have an aluminum pole, but count on Trivia AD to provide plenty of competitive trivia based on the show about nothing, plus dramatic activities worthy of Frank Costanza.

Largest Menorah Lighting and Kickoff Grand Army Plaza; 5:30pm; free
To commence eight nights of lightings at the massive menorah by Prospect Park, Chabad Park Slope invites Israeli rock crew Moshav to light up the crowd on Tuesday 12. Show up every night through December 20 for classic Hanukkah songs, free latkes and the chance to see a candle-lighting so immense that it requires a crane.

Holiday Train Show New York Botanical Garden; 10am; $23–$28
The garden lights up with its collection of trains that chug along a nearly half-mile track by 150 miniature NYC landmarks like the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall, all made of natural materials such as leaves, twigs, bark and berries.

A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House; 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!)

Breakout Artist Comedy Series: Rosebud Baker Carolines on Broadway; 7:30pm; $18
After hitting nearly every stand-up joint, festival and podcast you've heard of, pixie powerhouse Baker takes over Broadway for a night of ferocious stand-up. To open her big night, she welcomes buddies Corinne Fisher, Rob Haze and Mike Cannon. Better see her now, before she takes her act global.

Yo La Tengo Bowery Ballroom; 8:30pm; $40
Dreidel-spinning fingers at the ready, folks: beloved indie-rock institution Yo La Tengo resumes its Hanukkah concerts after a five-year hiatus. The shows have crossed the river to a new venue (their home for more than a decade was the lovely, cozy Maxwell’s in Hoboken, which sadly closed in 2013), but you can count on the usual parade of surprise musical and comedic guests to grace the stage.

Wed 13

Take Two Storytelling Two-Year Anniversary Show C’mon Everybody; 7:30pm; $5 suggested donation
Who doesn't want a do-over every now and again? Elana Lancaster and Harvey Katz host this storytelling series where bards tell a single story with two endings: the real one and the make-believe. Show up to celebrate the show's second birthday with 20-time Moth Slam winner Adam Wade, RISK! podcast host Kevin Allison, transgender advocate Cecilia Gentili, comedian, activist and teacher Elsa Waithe and writer and performer Susan Kent.

Ho Ho No! The Tank; 10:30pm; $10
The holidays are filled with gift giving, family gatherings, ice skating and all manner of other activities that can become incredibly awkward in an instant. Hear all about it at this storytelling night featuring UCB and Groundlings comedy writers Drew Droege, Carrie Seim, Paul Walling, Radhika Vaz, David Martin, Daiva Deupree and more. Musical entertainment for the evening comes courtesy of Chris Hall and Karl Jones.

A Well-Strung Christmas Feinstein’s/54 Below; 9:30pm; $45–$85 plus $25 minimum
This charming and cheekily named singing string quartet has been honing its craft all over the world for years. Tonight, the fitter-than-fiddles boys take their bows to holiday favorites, including "Silent Night," "Sleigh Ride" and "Hard Candy Christmas."

Landlady Holiday Spectacular The Bell House; 7pm; $15
Landlady, fronted by local alt-jazz maven Adam Schatz, plies plaintive art pop with an appealingly wide-eyed rock-operatic band. Tonight the group hosts a collaborative holiday show featuring a packed lineup of local music makers.

Thu 14

Taste Flavor UCBEast; 11pm; $7
As part of comedy trio Three Busy Debras—who took over Carnegie Hall in 2016 and will rule human civilization in an ideal future—Alyssa Stonoha has exhibited a brilliant eye for self-aware silliness. At this monthly night of nonsense, she curates comedians, singers and all sorts of wild acts on the UCB East stage. Trust her tastes.

Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; 8pm; $40–$60
Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the largest cathedral in New York City and one of the loveliest; entering its elegant confines could cheer up even the grinchiest among us. At this nonreligious celebration of the season, watch dancers and musicians reenact ancient solstice rituals for a modern audience.

Farm-to-Table Cooking Classes with Butter Beans Asphalt Green Battery Park City; 7pm; Prices vary use code BBTimeOut to receive $10 off your first cooking class purchase
Time to throw on the apron and get those hands dirty in the kitchen this fall with Farm-to-Table Cooking Classes with Butter Beans, hands-on two-hour courses that will teach global cuisine with seasonal recipes. With six classes to choose from, you’ll learn tips on how to create healthy recipes with these farm-to-table cooking classes featuring local NYC market-fresh ingredients. Hosted at Asphalt Green's Culinary Center in Battery Park City, each class will offer a complimentary glass of wine so you can do some sipping while cooking. Adult prices are $95 and use code BBTimeOut for $10 off your first class.    

Nutcracker Rouge Theatre XIV; 8pm; $65–$300
Company XIV returns with its ribald spin on Tchaikovsky, a dazzling spectacle featuring a top-tier cast of opera singers, aerialists, circus performers and burlesque artists. Keep an eye out for whoever (and whatever) comes crawling out from under Mother Ginger’s dress.

Titus Andronicus Market Hotel; 8pm; $22–$25
Singer Patrick Stickles and his band craft meaningful, epic punk records with an abundance of cultural and historical references and even more bite. Their decade-spanning catalogue of work culminated in 2015 with the ambitious release of a 30-plus–song rock opera in five acts, theatrically titled The Most Lamentable Tragedy. Here the band takes the stage at the newly re-re-opened Market Hotel, the persevering Bushwick venue that's returned from several shut downs over the past decade.

In a World: The Dating Show The PIT Loft; 8pm; $7
And you thought your last date was weird. Watch two brave singles go on an actual blind date onstage, while improvisers create a fake world around them in this comedy show. There may or may not be a love connection. There will absolutely be laughs.

Bring Your Friends Comedy Village Lantern; 10pm; free
Head to Greenwich Village for this delightful free stand-up show featuring top local talent. As an added bonus, be one of the first five people through the door and get a free frozen margarita.

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