Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Holiday Shows I Saw This Season

This season, I had the wonderful opportunity to see several holiday shows.

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
For years, my friends and I have dreamed about seeing NYCB'sThe Nutcracker. We would then get caught up in life and our responsibilities, the season would pass, and the following year we would dream once again. This year though, we placed a stake in the ground. We firmly agreed on a date. I placed a tickler on my calendar and when tickets went on sale, I was ready. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time at this pristine classic performed by the New York City Ballet and would go every year (if only our budgets allowed).

A Christmas Story
Each year A Christmas Story loops for 24 straight hours during the holidays on TBS; I have to admit though that I have never sat through the movie in its entirety. However, when the musical [Book: Joseph Robinette Lyrics/Music: Ben J. Pasek and Justin Paul] opened on Broadway last year to rave reviews, A Christmas Story got my attention. This year, I ran to see it, now playing at MSG. It was my first time seeing a show at the Theater @ MSG, and I can't say that I am a fan of the space, which seats over 5,000 people. With that said though, the show was wonderful, and a special shout out goes to Jake Lucas who plays Ralphie. The kid is just amazing! 

Holiday Belles @ Townhall
What a treat to see these three holiday belles - Marilyn Maye (@ 85 years old!), Christine Andreas and of course my favorite Leslie Uggams. Town Hall seats over 1,000 people; yet somehow these cabaret gems created an intimate and lovely evening in the space. I am so happy I went to see the show. At the end when the three belles performed holiday songs together, Leslie Uggams introduced a new Christmas song written by Curtis McKonly. I am not sure how often new holiday songs are created, but here is one...Wishing You a Happy New Year.

NYCGMC -- What a Wonderful World
Years ago, a good friend, who is a fan of choral music, became a permanent fan of the New York City Gay Men's Chorus after seeing a tribute to victims of AIDS at a holiday show. Some years ago, I accompanied her to a holiday show at Carnegie Hall and instantly became a fan as well. At each holiday show, I now sit anxiously in the audience waiting for my two favorite moments - the beloved singalong (yeah!) and their beautiful rendition of Silent Night, which poignantly ends in sign language.        

Radio City Christmas Spectacular
This year, I returned to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, after 20+ years. So, what did I think? Well, check out more about my experience right here.

Soon, the holiday season will come to an end. I will try to shed a few pounds in the new year. But these shows and memories of my time with friends and families will stay and endure...

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