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Monday, December 1, 2014

10 Groovy Things to Do in December starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Erich Bergen

Since there are so many groovy plays, musicals, concerts and events, this is my monthly list to help promote a few of them (click on a title for more information or to purchase tickets):

1) Robert Altman
December 3 - January 17 at NYC's Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art presents a comprehensive career retrospective of the maverick film and television director Robert Altman (1925–2006), comprising 50 programs, including theatrical features, television films, cable series, and rarely seen music videos, industrial shorts, and documentary pieces. Altman's feature films include M*A*S*H (1970), McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), Nashville (1975), 3 Women (1977), A Wedding (1978), Popeye (1980), Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), Gosford Park (2001) and A Prairie Home Companion (2006).

2) The 4th Annual Most Fabulous Santa Speedo Run
December 6 at Chicago's Sidetrack The Video Bar
Participants run one mile through the heart of Chicago's Boystown neighborhood wearing only a Speedo and a Santa hat (and running shoes, of course). This festive holiday event benefits Center on Halsted.

3) Chicago Gay Men's Chorus YuleTUBE: Holiday Favorites from TV and the Movies
December 6 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
The Christmas Queen wants to settle down and watch her favorite classic holiday specials on television, but her set is on the fritz. Whatever shall she do? Watch her subjects from Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus save the day (and their necks) as they begin a fun romp reenacting her (and your) favorite holiday specials from Rankin and Bass (Rudolph, Frosty and the Grinch), Charlie Brown, The Muppets and a dozen more! They will also perform at Chicago's Harris Theater on December 5 and the University of Chicago's Logan Center on December 20.

4) 26th Annual Gypsy of the Year
December 8 and 9 at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre
This annual event is the culminating celebration of six weeks of fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies. For two magical afternoons, the best "gypsies" perform original skits, songs and dances, and awards are presented to the top fundraisers and for the best presentation during the two shows. Often called "the season's most dazzling talent show", the previous 25 editions have raised more than $57.2 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Below is last year's opening number.

5) Living the History – 125 Years of the Auditorium Theatre
December 9 at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre
The Auditorium Theatre commemorates its opening night 125 years ago with this special gala performance. The evening’s host, Chicago actor John Mahoney, will welcome friends old and new to the stage, including Broadway legend Patti LuPone (whose great-grand aunt sang on the very same stage at the original grand opening), Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, The Apollo Chorus and a rock band of legendary Chicago musicians.

6) Diner
December 9 - January 25 at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia
Nine-time Grammy Award Winner Sheryl Crow and Academy Award-winning original screenwriter Barry Levinson makes a stunning debut as writers with the world premiere musical adaptation of the 1982 movie, Diner.

Christmas, Baltimore: 1959. A circle of childhood friends reunite for the upcoming wedding of one of them. Well, only if his fiancée passes a football trivia test. From the comfort of their all-night diner, the men, now in their early-twenties, confront the realities of adulthood: marriage, careers, money and the ever-mysterious opposite sex. But no matter where life takes them, they know they’re welcome back at the diner, the one place they’ll always belong.

Infused with swinging 1950s rock and roll sound, three-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall joins Crow and Levinson to transform Diner’s groundbreaking evocation of burgeoning adulthood and friendship for the stage.

7) Big Red and the Boys: A New Home for the Holidays!
December 12, 13, 15, 19 & 20 at Chicago's Theater Wit
About Face Theatre in association with Theater Wit presents this non-traditional concert of songs, stories and spirits starring Meghan “Big Red” Murphy, John Francisco (AFT Artistic Associate), Patrick Andrews (AFT Artistic Associate) and Nick Davio. Kicking off its fourth year, Big Red and the Boys has already become an annual tradition for Chicagoans looking to escape typical holiday drudgery and celebrate in their own way.

8) Constellations
Broadway previews begin December 16. Opens January 13 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Nightcrawler) and two-time Olivier Award winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther) make their MTC and Broadway debuts in the first American production of this new play by Nick Payne (If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet).

This mind-bending, romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman. But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know – delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny.

9) Liz Callaway
December 22-27 at NYC's 54 Below
Broadway favorite Liz Callaway returns to 54 Below this holiday season in Celebrate! This festive evening will feature songs from her Christmas album, Merry and Bright, as well as personal favorites by Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Ahrens and Flaherty and more. To add to the fun, Liz will be joined by a special guest each night!

10) Erich Bergen: An Early New Year's Party
December 29 at NYC's Birdland
Erich Bergen, best known for his performance as Bob Gaudio in the Clint Eastwood film, Jersey Boys, and the current hit CBS drama, Madam Secretary, will bring his dry wit and smooth vocals to the Birdland stage, featuring songs from his stage and screen career as well as material from his two EP releases - his self titled debut and the recent Never Give Up.

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