Because a person can only sit through the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular so many times.
If you’re spending the holidays near New York City, get into the spirit with these 10 joyful plays, musicals, and cabaret kikis.
A Christmas Carol
Various productions of the timeless Dickens classic can be found all over town, but there’s only one on Broadway. This enchanting staging, adapted by Tony winner Jack Thorne and directed by Tony winner Matthew Warchus, stars Longtime Companion’s Campbell Scott as Scrooge, plus Tony-winning legends Andrea Martin and LaChanze. Come early for carols and cookies! Lyceum Theatre through January 5.
How the Bitch Stole Christmas
Is your heart two sizes too small? Don’t miss this queer cabaret spoof, which stars NYC drag darling Tina Burner as the titular thieving Bitch. She’s putting the ho in Whoville with fellow queens Sherry Pie as Maxine the dog and Bootsie Lefaris as Cindy Lou Who. Club Cumming through December 19.
Illuminati or Nice?
If you can only squeeze in one drag show this season, catch Jackie Beat in her 21st annual holiday cabaret, which illuminates the dark and dirty side of Christmas with irreverent song parodies like “Alcoholidays” and “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Syphilis.” Laurie Beechman Theatre, December 20–22.
The Illusionists–Magic of the Holidays
What could make the holidays any more magical? This mind-blowing Broadway spectacular featuring jaw-dropping acts like America’s Got Talent marvels Dom Chambers and Eric Chien. Neil Simon Theatre through January 5.
Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody
The team behind The Office! A Musical Parody and Friends! The Musical Parody have returned to spoof the classic Christmas rom-com Love Actually. To you, it may be perfect. Song titles include “A Joni Mitchell CD? (For Your Continued Emotional Education)” and “The Lament of Laura Linney.” Jerry Orbach Theater at the Theater Center through January 14.
Playfully blending elements of theater, ballet, circus, opera, and nightlife, the latest baroque burlesque extravaganza from Austin McCormick’s Company XIV puts a sensual and queer spin on the Nutcracker tale. Théâtre XIV through January 26.
The Santa Closet
What happens when Santa denies a kid’s gender-atypical gift request? Jeffrey Solomon’s merry and moving one-man mockumentary—an updated version of Santa Claus Is Coming Out, which premiered off-Broadway in 2009—was inspired by the debate about discussing LGBTQ issues with schoolchildren. Teatro Círculo Theater through December 22.
Sad clowns silently search for joy in the Broadway revival of Russian performance artist Slava Polunin’s beloved wintry spectacle. Is anything more aggressively festive than an indoor blizzard? Stephen Sondheim Theatre through January 5.
A Soulful Christmas
Disco lives! Anthony Wayne and Kendrell Bowman, the partners behind Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, return with their retro revue set during the taping of a groovy holiday episode of a Soul Train-inspired TV show. Actors Temple Theatre through December 15.
Sugar & Booze
Joe’s Pub is the downtown hub of holiday cheer with cabaret crowd-pleasers like Matteo Lane’s A Matteo/Mariah Christmas and Murray Hill’s A Murray Little Christmas. Feeling lucky? Try the cancellation line for Ana Gasteyer’s sold-out show to toast her new album, Sugar & Booze. “I’m just going to assume that everyone at my show knows it’s a dumpster fire out there,” the unmasked Masked Singer contestant told NewNowNext. “I think the holidays are an opportunity to press pause and consciously remove yourself from all that.” Joe’s Pub, December 20–21.