NYC holiday show roundup 2017: John Waters, Matisyahu, Rhett Miller, more
The Holiday Season is upon us and as usual, there are a plethora of festive shows. Here’s a guide to some holiday-themed shows that New Yorkers can attend while spreading the holiday cheer:
“Ring in the Resistance” happens at The Bell House on December 21 and is a “resistance-themed… night of music, dancing, drinks, comedy, and a chance to mingle with fellow activists, progressive candidates, and resistance organizations.” The night features Arcade Fire’s Will Butler, his friend Jo Firestone, her Butterboy cohost Aparna Nancherla, and more. Tickets are on sale and proceeds go to “2018 political work to take back the U.S. House of Representatives, the New York State Senate, and our country in 2018.”
Dap Kings member Binky Griptite hosts the Instrumenthead Holiday Show at Brooklyn Bowl on December 18 featuring his orchestra and Brass Against the Machine whose video of their horn-filled take on “Killing In The Name” has become a viral hit (tickets).
Singer and actor Darlene Love will be playing hear annual “Love For The Holidays” run at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill on December 21-23. She’ll also be returning to the venue next year on January 13. Tickets for all four shows are on sale now.
Fellow A Christmas Gift to You from Phil Spector singer Ronnie Spector will be playing her annual Christmas shows at City Winery from December 20-21. Tickets are on sale now.
Also at City Winery, filmmaker, author and bad taste connoisseur John Waters brings his this year’s “A John Waters Christmas” show to the venue on December 10. The show is sold out, but you can still join the wait list.
Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller will be doing his fifth-annual “Holiday Extravaganza” at City Winery on December 23, with special guests Jen Kirkman and Janeane Garofalo, with more guests TBA. Tickets are on sale now.
City Winery will be holding their annual Christmas Eve For The Jews event, which features comedian Joel Chasnoff alongside special guest comedians Jessica Kirson, Phil Hanley, and more TBA. That’s on December 24 (obviously), and tickets are on sale now.
Jewish a capella group The Maccabeats will be playing two NYC-area shows; first at Wayne, NJ’s Rosen Performing Arts Center on December 10, then NYC’s Temple Emanu-el Streicker Center on December 13. Tickets for both shows are on sale now.
In addition to the Will Butler/Jo Firestone show mentioned at the top of this post, Brooklyn’s Bell House has some great holiday options this year as well, including a special “Kwanzaa Spectacular” live taping of the Buzzfeed podcast Another Round with hosts Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu on December 7 & 8. The first show is sold out, but tickets for the 12/8 show are still available.
Also at the Bell House, Landlady‘s annual “Holiday Spectacular” show will take place on December 13, which notably features a wide range of special guests, including Cass McCombs, Joan as Police Woman, Rahm, Caroline Rose, Wilder Maker, and more. Tickets are on sale now. Flyer is below.
This year’s Harry and the Potters’ Yule Ball is at the Bell House on December 16, bringing the magical (musical?) world of Hogwarts to NYC, with many Harry Potter-themed acts sharing the stage. Tickets are on sale now.
Eliot Glazer, who plays Ilana Glazer’s brother on Broad City (and in real life!) hosts a Holiday Edition of Haunting Renditions Live at Littlefield on December 17. If you’ve never experienced Haunting Renditions, Eliot takes pop songs and turns them into sweeping, highbrow ballads. His aforementioned sister Ilana, and Judy Gold, will be his guests (tickets).
The Second Annual Chanukahstravaganza: The Night of a Thousand Jews will take place at Union Hall on December 12. The show is a benefit for the Anti-Defamation League, with hosts Ilana Michelle Rubin and Lana Schwartz and comedians Charles Gould, Yoni Lotan, Sam Reece, Anna Roisman, Orli Matlow, Ariel Gitlin, Max Dylan Ash, and Rob Tanchum Tickets are on sale now.
At Union Hall on December 13 is “Dog Day After Hight, Home for the Holidays!” which is presented by Between Two Bushes and features Kristen Buckels, Lacey Jeka, Aparna Nancherla, Dan Soder, and Will Miles (tickets).
Brooklyn Bowl will host its Family Hanukkah Bowl on December 17, and tickets for that are on sale now.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Bowl will host its Christmas Eve Family Bowl, which is of course on December 24. Tickets are on sale now.
If you’re looking for events on the revealing side this holiday season, Le Poisson Rouge will host Wasabassco’s House of Deveraux: Holiday Rock Spectacular burlesque show on December 15. Tickets are on sale now.
Also on the burlesque front is The Schlep Sisters‘ eleventh annual Menorah Horah show at Drom on December 16, with shows at 6 and 8:30 PM. Tickets are on sale now.
Matisyahu will be playing three NYC-area shows later this month; first at Port Chester’s The Capitol Theatre on December 23 (tickets), then at NYC’s Irving Plaza on December 28 (tickets), and finally at Huntington’s The Paramount on December 29 (tickets).
The NYC Gay Men’s Chorus presents three “Holiday Slay!” shows at NYU on December 14-16. Tickets are on sale now.
Murray Hill will again be doing his annual “A Murray Little Christmas” shows over three days, at Joe’s Pub on December 15-17. with Bridget Everett, Angie Pontani, Nik B, and The Craigslist Quartet. Tickets are on sale now.
Joe’s Pub will also be hosting multitalented cabaret artist Justin Vivian Bond‘s “Manger Danger! Jesus as a Weapon and a Tool” show, which runs from December 14-17 and 19-23. What is this show all about? We’ll let Justin do the talking: “I think I’m in LOVE with JESUS but it’s difficult because a lot of HIS FOLLOWERS totally HATE ME. (I know, the irony is not lost on me either) Anyway, I’m confused because I’m fully committed to bringing down the patriarchy but I’M TOTALLY CRUSHED OUT ON THE SON OF GOD! Please forgive me for co-opting your holiday to work it out publicly in my new show ‘Manger Danger! Jesus as a Weapon and a Tool.'” Tickets are on sale now.
Baby’s All Right will hold a Pre-Chanukah Festival on December 11, which features Moshav, Lost & Found, and Aryeh Kunstler on the bill. Tickets are on sale now.
Cassie Ramone and Colleen Green will be having their Holiday Spectacular show at The Footlight on December 21. Leya and Spirit Crush are also set to appear. Tickets are on sale now.
Meanwhile, there’s a bunch of shows coming up that we’ve mentioned before. Dave Harrington will be having his fourth-annual Holiday Spectacular show at Elsewhere on December 17, which is set to feature special guests such as Elvis Perkins, Peter Silberman (The Antlers), Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker), Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Mauro Refosco (Forro In the Dark/Atoms For Peace), and many others. Tickets are still on sale.
Speaking of upcoming guest-heavy events, Cyndi Lauper‘s annual holiday show at Beacon Theatre on December 9 is set to feature many notable guests, including Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, Peaches, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Dr. John, Jackson Browne, and many others (tickets).
There’s also WFUV’s annual Holiday Cheer benefit show, taking place at Beacon Theatre on December 15, features a stacked quadruple-bill: Aimee Mann, Jeff Tweedy, Randy Newman, and Lo Moon. Tickets for that show are still available.
Last but not least in any way, Yo La Tengo are bringing back their famed annual Hanukkah shows, which used to take place at Maxwell’s. This new run of shows will be at Bowery Ballroom from December 12-19 with special guest openers to be revealed each evening. Tickets for all shows except 12/14 are still available.
What else? You can check out all upcoming shows at BV’s NYC shows calendar.