Christmas shows to see in NYC
You’ll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the leggy, dazzlingly precise Rockettes. In recent years, new music, more eye-catching costumes and advanced technology have been introduced to bring audience members closer to the performance.
This magical 1954 production, set to Tchaikovsky's incredible score, includes the full New York City Ballet company and two casts of School of American Ballet students, as well as an onstage blizzard and a Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet. In the end, however, Balanchine's choreography is what holds it all together. It's enchanting.
Austin McCormick and his risqué neo-Baroque dance-theater group Company XIV present a lavish erotic reimagining of the classic holiday tale, complete with circus performers, operatic singers and partial nudity. The word nutcracker has customarily conjured innocent wonder; now be ready to add glitter pasties, stripper poles and comically large stuffed penises to the toys in wonderland. Definitely leave the kids at home.
Writer-director Peter Rothstein draws from patriotic anthems, war songs, Christmas carols and madieval ballads from multiple countries—as well as texts written by World War I soldiers—in his original musical about the 1914 ceasefires between British and German troops.
The Irish Rep presents a return engagement of its 2016 adaptation of James Joyce's short story about a holiday meal in Dublin, staged immersively at an intimate Upper East Side townhouse. Admission includes dinner and drinks.
Irish Rep chieftain Charlotte Moore directs her own concert adaptation of Dylan Thomas's holiday prose poem, buttressed by traditional Irish music, in the company's cozy production, which it has previously presented in 2010, 2011 and 2015.
John Kevin Jones plays Dickens in this one-hour account of the novelist's classic holiday ghost story, adapted with director Rhonda Dodd. The Merchant's House Museum, formerly the home of a wealthy 19th-century family, provides an atmospheric candlelit setting for Jones's sixth annual engagement.
The folk-dance company, guided by artistic director Alberto Lopez Herrera, debuts a new piece that celebrates the holiday season as it is experienced by a child of Mexican-American immigrants in New York City. In styles that range from Aztec-inspired movement to ballet, and to music from mariachi to Tchaikovsky, 16 dancers perform sequences created especially for this show by Mexican and Mexican-American choreographers.
Now in its 15th year, Charles Rice-González's holiday play—which subverts The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol—imagines a queer Latino couple caught in a journey through time one trippy Christmas eve. Witness ’80s flashbacks, Martha Stewart dinner parties and plenty of angelic divas to light the way.
In this irreverent original musical by Gary Apple, a desperate father makes a deal with the Devil after his eight-year-old son goes to hell and back. Not intended for kids, Apple's musical has previously been seen in New York as part of the Fringe Festival and the New York Musical Theatre Festival; Bill Castellino (Desperate Measures) directs a fuller production for the York Theatre Company, with a cast that include Scott Ahearn, Elijah Rayman and Gettin' the Band Back Together baddie Brandon Williams as the Prince of Darkness.