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Friday, December 1, 2017

10 Groovy Things to Do in December starring "Bette Midler" and Chita Rivera

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) Santa Speedo Run - Boystown
December 2 at Sidetrack in Chicago
Get your Santa on! Better yet, take it off! Participants run one mile through the heart of Chicago's Boystown neighborhood wearing only a Santa hat and Speedo (and running shoes, of course). This festive holiday event raises money for non-profits serving Chicago’s LGBTQ community.

2) Disney's The Happiest Millionaire 50th Anniversary Concert
December 3 at Joe's Pub at NYC's Public Theater
Brooke Shields, Tonya Pinkins, Lesley Ann Warren, Joyce Bulifant, Dana Ivey and Brad Oscar bring Disney’s The Happiest Millionaire to life in this one-night only 50th Anniversary celebratory concert to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The Happiest Millionaire, premiering in 1967, was the final live action Disney production to be overseen by Walt Disney himself. It starred Warren and Bulifant as well as Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, Geraldine Page, Tommy Steele, Hermione Baddeley and John Davidson.

3) 29th Annual Gypsy of the Year
December 4 & 5 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 28 editions have raised more than $72.7 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Below are highlights from last year's event.

4) Chicago Gay Men's Chorus Naughty or Nice
December 9 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie
Have you been naughty or nice? Come see Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus choose between the beauties and bawdies, the reckless and royal, and the wanton and wise. Members will decide which of Santa’s lists they belong on, with selections from John Legend, Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” Zoltan Kodaly’s “Veni Emmanuel,” as well as Devo, Eurythmics, South Park, Ella Fitzgerald, Clarence Carter and more! CGMC will also perform at Chicago's Athenaeum Theatre on December 1 and Beverly Arts Center on December 10.

5) The 34th Annual Music Box Christmas Double Feature & Sing-a-long
December 9 - 24 at Chicago's Music Box Theatre
Who could have predicted on that snowy Christmas Eve in 1983, when the operator of a vintage movie theater in Chicago decided to show two old holiday movies (White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life) and sing a few Christmas carols during the intermission, that over 30 years later the Music Box Christmas Show would become a 9-day extravaganza that grows more popular with each passing year? People from all around Chicagoland have made this terrific, old-fashioned event part of their family’s holiday tradition. The Music Box will also present two Alternative Christmas Double Features - Love Actually/Christmas Vacation on December 13 and Batman Returns/The Nightmare Before Christmas on December 18 and 19.

6) Chita Rivera in Concert with Seth Rudetsky
December 11 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre
Two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera performs for one night only alongside Sirius XM Radio host Seth Rudetsky as pianist and host. This unscripted evening will feature Rivera performing the greatest hits of her vast musical theater repertoire, including songs from her now legendary roles of Anita in West Side Story, Rose in Bye Bye Birdie and Velma in Chicago.

7) BETTE: Xmas at the Continental Baths
December 12 & 13 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre
Hell in a Handbag presents Caitlin Jackson as Bette Midler in the return of their steamy cabaret sensation with a holiday twist! A live tribute to the legendary shows at New York's infamous Continental Bath House with Jeremy Ramey on piano and a slew of special guest stars to help ring in the holidays - Handbag style!

8) NYCGMC’s Holiday Slay!
December 14, 15 & 16 at NYU Skirball
New York City Gay Men's Chorus is back, ready to slay every holiday tradition and give your season the gay spark it so desperately needs! Join them as they pile their sleigh with bears, twinks and sugar plum fairies to celebrate the end of 2017 in style. Special guests The Bang Group will perform excerpts of their remarkable twist on Tchaikovsky’s classic, Nut/Cracked, and 275 amazing voices will deck the halls with their astonishing sound. NYCGMC’s holiday extravaganza brims with comfort, zany cheer and goodwill for humanity.

9) The New York Pops: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
December 15 & 16 at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
‘Tis the season for the orchestra’s annual program of holiday classics and festive surprises. Broadway superstar Megan Hilty joins the full New York Pops orchestra and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA to ring in the holidays at Carnegie Hall.

10) Mankind
Off-Broadway previews begin December 15. Opens January 8 at Playwrights Horizons.
Mark and Jason were keeping things casual until Jason got pregnant. But however unplanned the pregnancy was, nothing could be less expected than the chain of events it would set in motion. Robert O’Hara’s audacious, hilarious allegory envisions an uncannily familiar future – one long after women have gone extinct from centuries of mistreatment – where man’s capacity to f**k everything up soars to new heights. The cast includes André De Shields, Bobby Moreno, Anson Mount, Stephen Schnetzer, Ariel Shafir and David Ryan Smith.

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