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Saturday, December 1, 2018

10 Groovy Things to Do in December featuring a Well-Strung Santa Speedo Run

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) Red Bucket Follies
December 3 & 4 at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre
Formerly known as the Gypsy of the Year competition, this annual event is the culminating celebration of six weeks of fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies. For two magical afternoons, ensemble members and special guests 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 29 editions have raised $76 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Below are highlights from last year's event.

2) Liz Callaway: A Hymn to Her
December 3 - 8 at NYC's Feinstein's/54 Below
In her latest show, the Emmy winner and Tony nominee turns to the women who have inspired her to become the woman she is. Drawing from a vivid cross-section including Eydie Gormé, Barbara Cook, Carole King, Billie Jean King, Julia Child, Nora Ephron and more, Liz pays tribute to her heroes in story and song. Expect to hear songs by Carole King, Carly Simon, Stephen Sondheim, Sara Bareilles, Maltby & Shire, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin and more in this unforgettable evening of musical storytelling.

3) Santino Fontana
December 3 and 17 at NYC's Birdland
The Broadway at Birdland concert series presents Santino Fontana (Broadway's Cinderella, TV's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and the voice of Prince Hans in Disney’s Frozen), who will next be seen in the new Broadway musical, Tootsie.

4) Simply Barbra Merry Hannukah/Happy Christmas Show
December 4 at NYC's Birdland Theater
Jingle all the way with Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand in the Simply Barbra Merry Hannukah/Happy Christmas Show featuring holiday favorites, Streisand classics and special guest stars.

5) The 35th Annual Music Box Christmas Double Feature & Sing-a-long
December 7 - 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 - Elf/The Muppet Christmas Carol on December 12 and 13 and Die Hard/Home Alone on December 19 and 20.

6) Santa Speedo Run - Boystown
December 8 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 the Center on Halsted serving Chicago’s LGBTQ community.

7) Big Red & The Boys: Get Your Holiday On!
December 9 and 10 at Chicago's Venus Cabaret Theater and December 19 at NYC's Feinstein's/54 Below
With that special mix of naughty and nice, Meghan “Big Red” Murphy opens her living room to you in an evening of songs, stories and spirits, celebrating holiday city-dwellers, new traditions and chosen family. Big Red and her Boys (Patrick Andrews, John Francisco, Nick Davio and TJ Chernick) feature music of many artists, including Irving Berlin, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton and Destiny’s Child.

8) A Well-Strung Christmas
December 11 - 13 at NYC's Feinstein's/54 Below
Devised by Well-Strung (Edmund Bagnell, Christopher Marchant, Daniel Shevlin and Trevor Wadleigh), Mark Cortale and director Richard Jay-Alexander, the show features the group’s own unique pop-classical spin on some of the most beautiful and traditional holiday favorites - such as “Silent Night" and "Sleigh Ride" - all the way to Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas” and everything in between.

9) NYCGMC’s Comfort and Joy
December 14, 15 & 16 at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
Join New York City Gay Men's Chorus for a big, warm, fuzzy holiday extravaganza, Comfort and Joy! Warm your heart and soul through the power of song, share laughter and love, and look ahead to a bright New Year. With nostalgic favorites and wonderful new surprises, NYCGMC invites you to wrap yourself in the comfort and joy of the holiday season.

10) Christine Pedi: Snow Bizness
December 27 at NYC's Feinstein's/54 Below
All I want for Christmas is Barbra Streisand, Patti LuPone, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Carol Channing and my favorite divas stuffed into one big Christmas stocking. Well, do you hear what I hear? Longtime SiriusXM Radio personality and musical theater powerhouse Christine Pedi conjures them up in her joyful and triumphant show.

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