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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

10 Groovy Things to Do in December starring Well-Strung

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) Bright Star
December 2 - January 10 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
From Grammy and Emmy winner Steve Martin and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell comes a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and '40s. Directed by Tony winner Walter Bobbie, this new musical stars Carmen Cusack, Paul Alexander Nolan, Tony Award nominee Michael Mulheren, A.J. Shively, Hannah Elless, Tony Award nominee Stephen Bogardus, three-time Tony Award nominee Dee Hoty, Stephen Lee Anderson, Emily Padgett and Tony Award nominee Jeff Blumenkrantz. Broadway performances begin February 25, 2016, at the Cort Theatre.

2) Chicago Gay Men's Chorus Miracle on Thirty-Funk Street
December 5 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
Celebrate with CGMC as they raise their 150 voices in song and dance and put a funky twist on some of your holiday favorites. Artistic Director Jimmy Morehead is mixing up some classic tunes from Pearl Bailey, James Brown, Donny Hathaway and many more to put you in the holiday spirit! They will also perform at Chicago's Harris Theater on December 4.

3) Sparkle: An All-Star Holiday Concert
December 6 at The Cutting Room in NYC and December 15 at Rockwell: Table & Stage in Los Angeles
Haul out the holly and put up the tree because Scott Nevins (Bravo's The People’s Couch) brings his star-studded holiday benefit back to NYC for a 4th year where it will once again benefit the programs and services of The Actors Fund. Currently scheduled to perform is Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Stephanie J. Block (Wicked, 9 to 5), Max von Essen (An American in Paris, Evita), Robin De Jesús (In the Heights, Wicked), Erich Bergen (Madam Secretary, Jersey Boys) Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party), Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon, War Horse), Nick Adams (Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, A Chorus Line) and Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu).

Nevins then brings the show to Los Angeles with Lorna Luft, Jacob Young (The Bold and the Beautiful), Rumer Willis (Dancing with the Stars), Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life, Red Band Society), Matt Zarley (Out Music Award winner) and a special appearance by Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinnati).

4) 27th Annual Gypsy of the Year
December 7 and 8 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 26 editions have raised more than $62.4 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Below are highlights from last year's event.

5) A Well-Strung Christmas
December 9, 10 & 14 at Feinstein's/54 Below in NYC
The all-male string quartet Well-Strung debuts their brand new holiday show, which has been devised by Well-Strung, Mark Cortale and director Richard Jay-Alexander. Selections will be performed from the most beautiful and traditional melodies, such as “Silent Night” to irreverant “newly-observed” versions of things like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and the famous “Sleighride,” to George Michael’s “This Christmas” - and everything in between. There will also be opportunities for the audience to participate and walk away from the evening’s holiday celebration with some special moments they will remember and keep close to their hearts. You might even see a little snow!

6) Gotta Dance
December 13 - January 17 at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre
From Tony winner Jerry Mitchell - the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots - comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. This original Broadway-bound musical stars Tony winner Lillias White, Tony nominee André De Shields, Emmy nominee Stefanie Powers (Hart to Hart) and Georgia Engel (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)

7) Christmas Eve's Holiday Hunkfest
December 14 at The Cutting Room in NYC
The incomparable Ann Harada will once again spread holiday spirit as Christmas Eve, the hysterical, sincere yet highly inappropriate therapist from Avenue Q, who will be joined by some of Broadway’s hunkiest men to reinterpret everything you know about Broadway romance in her shamelessly unapologetic exploration of the modern songbook. The list of Broadway’s talented hunks set to join Harada includes John Bolton, Joe Carroll, Jordan Gelber, Adam Jacobs, Telly Leung, Jose Llana, Joel Perez, Tony Award winner Michael Rupert, Robert Sella, Ryan Silverman and Howie Michael Smith. This one-night-only concert is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

8) Samba Bamba Holiday Spectacular
December 15 at Martyrs' in Chicago
Dust off your maracas, get out the cocktail shaker and prepare to be "samba-sized" as the "Sergio Mendes meets the B-52's" 8-piece Latin-flavored band returns to Martyrs' to celebrate the holidays. In addition to giving their unique, spicy twist to a batch of traditional songs of the season, the evening will feature an opening set from Samba Bamba's drummer extraordinaire, Gerald Dowd, whose debut CD was recently released to critical acclaim. Expect a lot more than moldy fruitcake at the wackiest holiday party you'll attend this year!

9) Noises Off
Broadway previews begin December 17. Opens January 14 at the American Airlines Theatre.
Michael Frayn’s uproarious 1982 comedy, which tracks the onstage and offstage disasters of an English troupe on tour with a lousy play, returns to Broadway with a cast that includes Andrea Martin, Megan Hilty, Campbell Scott, Daniel Davis, Kate Jennings Grant and Rob McClure.

10) Linda Lavin in Our Mother's Brief Affair
Broadway previews begin December 28. Opens January 20 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Tony and two-time Golden Globe winner Linda Lavin (Broadway Bound, Alice) returns to Manhattan Theatre Club in a new play by Tony-winning writer Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out). MTC Artistic Director Lynne Meadow directs this New York premiere about a dying woman who shocks her adult children by revealing a surprising indiscretion from her past. The cast also includes Kate Arrington, Greg Keller and John Procaccino.

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