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Thursday, December 1, 2016

10 Groovy Things to Do in December starring Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh & Simply Barbra

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) Chicago Gay Men's Chorus Home for the Holidivas
December 3 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
From musical theatre to pop and even opera, this divalicious show is sure to rev up your holiday engines! Come hear your favorite holiday music made famous by such renowned solo female singers as Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Kristin Chenoweth, Lady Gaga, Bette Midler, Cher, Liza Minnelli, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Judy Garland and, of course, Mariah Carey. Opera singer extraordinaire Cynthia Clarey will grace the stage to round out this holiday experience. CGMC will also perform at Chicago's Harris Theater on December 2 and Beverly Arts Center on December 13.

2) Sparkle: An All-Star Holiday Concert
December 4 at The Cutting Room in NYC
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 5th year where it will once again benefit the programs and services of The Actors Fund. Currently scheduled to perform is Max von Essen (An American in Paris, Evita), Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party), Erich Bergen (Jersey Boys, CBS's Madam Secretary), Tom Lenk (Rock of Ages, Transparent), Daniel Reichard (Jersey Boys), Blake McIver (Bravo's The People's Couch, Ragtime), Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon, War Horse), Nick Adams (Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Wicked), Lacretta (Disaster!, The Book of Mormon), Kristy Cates (Finding Neverland, Wicked), Kevin Smith Kirkwood (Kinky Boots), Erin Quill (Avenue Q), Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu) and recording artist Natalie Douglas.

3) Amélie, A New Musical
December 4 - January 15 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles
Amélie captured our hearts in the 2001 Oscar-nominated film. Now she comes to the Ahmanson in a magical new musical. Embark on a mesmerizing journey with inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie as she turns the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining while secretly orchestrating moments of joy for those around her. Tony nominee Phillipa Soo (Hamilton) and Adam Chanler-Berat (Peter and the Starcatcher) star in Center Theatre Group’s production of Amélie, which begins Broadway previews on March 9, 2017, at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

4) 28th Annual Gypsy of the Year
December 5 and 6 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 27 editions have raised more than $67.3 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Below are highlights from last year's event.

5) Jane Lynch's A Swingin' Little Christmas!
December 8 - 10 at Feinstein's at The Nikko in San Francisco
Promoting her new Christmas album, the actress brings a brand new holiday show to San Francisco. She is joined by Kate Flannery (The Office) Tim Davis (Glee's vocal arranger) and The Tony Guerrero Quintet for an evening of traditional holiday songs, a few surprises and lots of laughs (they will also perform at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles on December 21).

6) Orfeh and Andy Karl: Legally Bound
December 8, 12, 13 & 14 at Feinstein's/54 Below in NYC
Warm up on a cold winter’s night with Broadway’s hottest couple, Orfeh and Andy Karl, in their Feinstein’s/54 Below debut. After love at first sight during their time in Saturday Night Fever on Broadway, then getting married in 2001, this duo has established themselves as individuals and together as a theatre power couple. They appeared together in Legally Blonde, earning Orfeh a Tony nomination, and Andy received Tony nods for Rocky and On the Twentieth Century. Reuniting again onstage, the couple will be joined by musical director Steven Jamail for an unforgettable evening of chart-toppers and showstoppers.

7) Christmas Eve's Holiday Hunkfest
December 12 at Howl at the Moon in NYC
Broadway favorite Ann Harada reprises her role as Christmas Eve, the sincere and sassy therapist from Avenue Q, who will be joined by some of Broadway's hottest hunks to redefine romance through a hilarious cabaret of show tunes and modern hits. The list of talented hunks scheduled to appear include Corey Cott, Colin Cunliffe, Aaron Finley, Santino Fontana, Jordan Gelber, James Monroe Iglehart, Devin Ilaw, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Donald Jones Jr., Michael Mindlin, Ryan Silverman, Howie Michael Smith and Bobby Conte Thornton. This festive evening is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

8) The New York Pops: Make the Season Bright
December 16 & 17 at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
Ring in the holidays with The New York Pops and guest artists Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Anthony Nunziata and Will Nunziata as they perform a concert of festive classics, including "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year", "Baby, It's Cold Outside", "Winter Wonderland", "We Need a Little Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock".

9) The Present
Broadway previews begin December 17. Opens January 8 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh make their Broadway debuts in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Present. Old flames ignite in this new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play, Platonov, which unfolds over the course of a birthday celebration in the post-Perestroika Russian countryside. Performed by 13 of Australia’s finest actors, The Present is adapted by Andrew Upton and directed by John Crowley (Fox Searchlight’s Brooklyn).

10) Simply Barbra Holiday Show: The Music, The Mem’ries, The Matzo…
December 18 at Feinstein's/54 Below in NYC
It’s J-J-J-Jingle Bells as Steven Brinberg returns as the legendary Barbra Streisand (soft S!) for an evening of holiday tunes, Streisand classics and glimpses of other divas from Cher to Bea Arthur.

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