On the heels of the newly released and highly sought after “Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York ” anthology, I’m going to counter with this weekends list of extraordinary events. And if it isn’t fabulous enough that all this is happening in our backyard, some of the biggest shows have been rewritten to be more NYC – centric with our famed city as the revised backdrop. Because there wasn’t enough New York in an Issac Mizrahi (born in Brooklyn) production at the Guggenheim!
If I were to describe a blue jay dressed in a baseball uniform with sweat socks and Nike pointe shoes what classic tale comes to mind? The answer – Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf (of course!) with costumes and sets designed by Issac Mizrahi and music by the Juilliard Ensemble. While Prokofiev might have imagined a Russian forest milieu, this version is in Central Park, complete with boulders! This year along with his usual narrating, Mizrahi also directs the actors. I’m not going to take up more time describing this popular annual performance at the Guggenheim except to say that it’s 30 minutes long, $35 and as of this writing there are only tickets left for one of the 10 performances. Get them here.
No need to fret if you miss Issac’s Peter and the Wolf, there is a bounty of great seasonally appropriate performances to catch this weekend. You can still snag tickets to the annual Yorkville Nutcracker. As in Issac’s big show, this unique rendition opts for Central Park as one of the sets along with New York landmarks Gracie Mansion and the New York Botanical Garden. Featuring young dancers from around New York City in lovely costumes, dancing alongside New York City Ballet principals.
It’s not all about big ticket events in this admittedly expensive city. The popular Lloyd H. Miller’s monthly sing-a-long variety show at the beautiful Brooklyn Historical Society is FREE on Saturday. There will be several musical guests including the charming Amelia Robinson of Mil’s Trills and circus performer Justin Wood. This month, what’s Lloyd singing about? Hmm, … oh yes – Brooklyn! The Historical Society has a growing exhibit about Hurricane Sandy and so songs will celebrate the rich maritime history of the beloved borough. Expect sea shanties!. Reserve your spot for “Songs of Sandy and the Sea!”.
Jon Samson performs original family music at THE BROOKLYN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC RECITAL HALL. The award-winning children’s composer, performer and music therapist writes clever and catchy songs that parents find themselves singing along with their kiddies. The show supports the music therapy program at BCM.
THE 3RD ANNUAL ROCKIN’ HOLIDAY SHOW has a stellar line-up on Sunday. With The Pop-Ups, Tim Kubart (of Tim and the Space Cadets), Natali Elizabeth Weiss of baby DJ school and the debut of The Screaming Keys, 4-6 year old Little Rock students. Then, a presentation on how to stage dive while you still have baby teeth. Okay, that part is not true.
There are a ton of NYC spots to spend some quality lap time with the “Man with a Bag” but why not catch him with The Philhallmonics. The ladies swing and sing their way through holiday favorites and Broadway hits at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts (Lincoln Center). Joined by a three-piece band and a visit from Santa. FREE!
There is still SO MUCH MORE!!! Karen K & the Jitterbugs will be at The 1st Annual Winter Jam Brrr ee at Families First in Cobble Hill Brooklyn. The 10:30am concert leaves plenty of time to hit a whole bunch of other things.
You can end your day with Pegasus Warning, performing otherworldly sounds, electronic music, and soulful beats and Target 1st Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum.
The lovely Suzi Shelton performs at Shapeshifter (Santa will be there too!) And Dan Zanes brings his friends to the 3rd Annual Holiday Sing-a-long at City Winery.
** ALSO NOTE – The Good Ms. Padgett show at Jalopy is CANCELLED as poor Ms. Padgett has broken her leg! We wish her a speedy recovery.
Pheww. It’s a get out there and take it all in kind of a weekend. And for those who decided to leave NYC – I’m looking at you Sari Botton – this is a great weekend to visit!