A roundup of events in every borough, from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Manhattan to the annual Holiday Train Show in the Bronx.
A chronological sampling of seasonal celebrations throughout New York City, including concerts, plays and events.
Turn on a TV during December, and will undoubtedly discover innumerable adjustments of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” It’s starting to feel a similar route in New York’s theaters. On Broadway, a variant by Jack Throne (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”) is presently open — and is a New York Times Critic’s Pick (achristmascarolbroadway.com). Downtown, in the cozy parlor of the Merchant’s House Museum through Jan. 5, John Kevin Jones depicts Dickens relating his vacation great out traveling to New York in 1867 (merchantshouse.org). “A Christmas Carol in Harlem,” at Aaron Davis Hall through Dec. 21, ship the story to show day Manhattan (cthnyc.org). What’s more, the Staten Island Shakespeare Company tells it from the point of view of Ebenezer Scrooge’s condemned and withdrew colleague in “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” Dec. 12-22 (sishakespeare.org).
As synonymous with New York Christmas as “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” the Radio City Rockets’ “Christmas Spectacular” is presently running — now and then five times each day — through Jan. 5 (rockettes.com). At the more unassuming Kaye Playhouse, the Harlem School of the Arts will introduce “A Telemeters Holiday,” a festival of the local’s rich social and political history, on Dec. 19 (hsanyc.org). In case you’re looking to be stunned past the bounds of a theater, however, basically visit the Dykes Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, whose houses are renowned for their blindingly intricate Christmas designs. (Guided visits are accessible through A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours.)
Holiday Train Show
It gets greater consistently: Now on see through Jan. 26, the New York Botanical Garden’s yearly scene in smaller than usual highlights reproductions of almost 200 nearby milestones — all made from normal materials like lotus units and cinnamon sticks. The most recent feature is a re-making of Central Park gathered with greenflies and holly, and highlighting treasures like Delivered Castle. Select nighttime, called Bar Car Nights, oblige the 21-and-more seasoned group with spiked warm beverages, melodic exhibitions and various cooking from the Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-up (nybg.org).
This storied space is practically booked through the month for holiday concerts. Many of them are annual engagements, such as one by the Vienna Boys Choir on Dec. 8. That same day, in Carnegie’s Wankel Hall, Cristina Fontanel presents the 16th edition of her “Christmas in Italy.” The National Children’s Chorus arrives on Dec. 15 for a solstice-themed program. (The actual solstice isn’t until later, but that’s not stopping even Paul Winter from hosting his beloved Winter Solstice celebration Dec. 19-21 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.) Also at Carnegie are the duo Keith and Kristin Getty, who are offering an Irish singalong on Dec. 18, and the New York Pops, reveling in Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald classics on Dec. 20 and 21 (carnegiehall.org).
The final installment of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival will be brief, running Dec. 12-14, with the big-voiced and bawdy chanteuse Meow Meow (bam.org). She has previously performed at Joe’s Pub, which has its own slate of seasonal cabaret: Mr. Showbiz himself, Murray Hill, presents “A Murray Little Christmas” Dec. 18-21, with guests including the fearless downtown fixture Bridget Everett; Carolyn Bergier, the host of the podcast “Dyking Out,” adds some queer to Christmas cheer in “Dyke the Halls: A Holigay Spectacular” on Dec. 16; and the great Sandra Bernhard closes out the year with “Sandy’s Holiday Extravaganza — A Decade of Madness and Mayhem,” Dec. 26-31 (publictheater.org). At Feinstein’s/54 Below, Joe Iconis (“Be More Chill”) hosts his annual Christmas show that bills itself as “putting the ‘extra’ in ‘extravaganza,’” Dec. 13-15. And Michael Feinstein’s “Home for the Holidays,” Dec. 23-30, offers a comparatively warmhearted evening by way of the Great American Songbook (54below.com).
Music at the Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rich and shifted December programming incorporates the performer Mayo Brennan’s show “An Irish Holiday” (Dec. 13); the supper club star Ute Temper’s grittier “Wiemar Holiday” (Dec. 14); the Handel+Haydn Society’s show including one of the exhibition hall’s Stradivarius violins, played by Grisliness No-sky (Dec. 20); and the Crossing, a fundamental choral troupe, performing David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio, “The Little Match Girl Passion,” and another work by Eddie Hill (Dec. 21). Mr. Lang’s piece, propelled by a Hans Christian Andersen story, has become an occasion custom at the Met; its unobtrusively eerie message about vagrancy and empathy is constantly worth hearing once more (metmuseum.org).
Bach and Britten
Handel’s “Messiah” is never more than an arm’s length away during the holidays, but there are plenty of other seasonal choral works worth catching. At Carnegie Hall on Dec. 14, the Cecilia Chorus of New York will sing Bach’s sweeping “Christmas Oratorio,” led by Mark Shapiro (carnegiehall.org). And, at Saint Thomas Church on Dec. 19, the Boys of the Saint Thomas Choir, joined by the harpist Sara Cutler, will perform Benjamin Britten’s smaller — but no less sublime — “A Ceremony of Carols” (saintthomaschurch.org).
In Queens, the Flagstone Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center’s Kwanzaa Celebration on Dec. 14 is intended for families, with an assortment of contributions for the individuals who need to be at the focal point of the programming —, for example, workshops — or simply need to stay in the group of spectators at move and melodic exhibitions (queenslibrary.org). Investment is everything except required on Dec. 15 in Phil Kline’s “Silent Night,” his yearly boombox parade from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park. He generally has individual vintage boomboxes to credit (and tapes for those with their own); yet you can likewise get by with a track accessible to download, play through a cell phone application or stream on Sound Cloud (unsilentnight.com). Another December stalwart, Make Music Winter, returns on the 21st with programming everywhere throughout the city; among the features are a sound stroll on the High Line, a fiddle-and-move march down Flat bush Avenue and an unseasonable yet exceptional long distance race execution of Sadie’s “Vexations” at the World Trade Center (makemusicny.org). One occasion is a ukulele caroling party at Washington Square Park’s curve; if that instrument sometimes falls short for you, on Dec. 22, the West Village Chorale will have a caroling walk that starts and finishes on the recreation center’s south side, at Judson Memorial Church (westvillagechorale.org).
This holiday begins Dec. 22, but the Jewish Museum will celebrate early, on Dec. 15, with family-focused events including a performance by Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights and a workshop to build your own Hanukkah lamp with found objects. Visitors will also be able to take a guided tour of the museum’s virtually permanent exhibition “Accumulations,” which features more than 80 Hanukkah lamps from around the world (thejewishmuseum.org).