By Michael Gioia
26 Dec 2012
Concluding Dec. 29
Jackie Hoffman’s A Chanukah Charol (Off-Broadway at New World Stages). Jackie Hoffman's A Chanukah Charol, the dark holiday solo comedy, is directed by Michael Schiralli. In A Chanukah Charol, Hoffman "is forced to examine her life when she is visited by the Ghosts of Chanukah Past, Present and Future, and even Molly Picon! What she finds on her quest for fame is that she is a dark desperate diva who would give Scrooge a run for his money." Visit Telecharge.com.
Concluding Dec. 30
A Christmas Story, The Musical (Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre). A Christmas Story, based on the 1983 film of the same name, is the new musical by songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. According to producers, "In 1940's Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie (Johnny Rabe) has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas—a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. A Christmas Story, The Musical is holiday entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious wit and a heart of gold." Visit AChristmasStoryTheMusical.com.
Bring It On: The Musical (Broadway at the St. James Theatre). Bring It On, based on the popular film franchise, is the high-flying new musical that features a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green. Here's how producers bill the work: "In Bring It On: The Musical, the high-stakes world of competitive cheerleading is intertwined with cutthroat high school politics to tell the story of Campbell, the heir apparent to the head cheerleader at Truman High School. Campbell is at the top of the cheerleader pyramid and she has it all — a strong squad, a doting boyfriend and a straight path to the national championships. Her entire life has been dedicated to honing routines and staying within the strict rules and guidelines, but when a surprise letter arrives, Campbell's world is thrown upside down." Visit BringItOnMusical.com.
Falling (Off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theater). Falling, a play about autism by Deanna Jent, features Daniel Everidge, Celia Howard, Daniel Pearce, Jacey Powers and Julia Murney. The work is described as a new drama "about how 18-year-old Josh, who has autism, affects the lives of everyone around him. When a relative comes to visit, the entire family is thrown off their equilibrium, with everyone trying to balance what is best for the family and what is best for them." Visit FallingPlay.com.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular (New York at Radio City Music Hall). The 2012 production of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular — the opulent holiday musical revue, complete with live nativity and high-kicking Rockettes (in their 85th year) — features new choreography and favorite numbers that have been part of the show since it began. Audiences can also expect a "3Dlive" scene, which incorporates 3D elements interacting with live performance, with Rockettes taking "audiences on a whimsical journey battling 'humbugs,' gingerbread men and an ice monster who have stolen all the Christmas toys." Visit RadioCityChristmas.com.
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical (New York at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden). Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, which stars Jeff McCarthy (Side Show, Urinetown, The Pirate Queen) in the title role, features the beloved songs "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas" from the original animated TV special. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is "two sizes too small," decides to steal Christmas away from holiday-loving Whos of Whoville. Visit TheaterAtMSG.com/Grinch.
Let's Kill Grandma This Christmas (Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clement's). The world-premiere production of Brian Gianci's Let's Kill Grandma This Christmas features Adam Mucci, Katie Webber, Brandi Nicole Wilson, James Wirt, Roxie Lucas and Kevin O'Donnell. Here's how it's billed: "A family, a will, a gun, a marriage, an affair, a wheelchair and a murder attempt… just your normal Christmas holiday! Let's Kill Grandma This Christmas is a rip-roaring holiday black comedy that takes place as a family gathers to celebrate Christmas Eve dinner. After a rough year rife with economic difficulties, some family members ponder the question...at 80 years old, how much longer does Grandma need to hold on to her vast fortune?" Visit LetsKillGrandmaThePlay.com.
Bad Jews (Off-Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company's Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre). Bad Jews, featuring Tracee Chimo, Philip Ettinger, Molly Ranson and Michael Zegen, is a world-premiere comedy about the "holy and the holier-than-thou," according to Roundabout. "Daphna Feygenbaum (Chimo) is a Real Jew — just ask the Israeli boyfriend she met on Birthright. So when her cousin Liam (Zegen) brings home his shiksa girlfriend Melody (Ranson) and declares ownership of their grandfather's Chai necklace, it sparks a viciously hilarious brawl over family, faith and legacy." Visit RoundaboutTheatre.org.
What Rhymes With America (Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company's main stage Linda Gross Theater). The Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Melissa James Gibson's What Rhymes With America is led by Atlantic ensemble member Chris Bauer. "A father (Bauer) and his teenage daughter (Aimee Carrero) stand on either side of a closed door," according to Atlantic notes. "Life is unraveling for him, and is entirely uncertain for her. So begins Melissa James Gibson's poignant, funny new play about estrangement and the partially examined life." Visit AtlanticTheater.org.