The walls of the Friars Club are filled with photos of the greats of show business enjoying the food and entertainment at the legendary club. One of them is a black & white of MIlton Berle and Louis Armstrong enjoying an evening at the Friars. Last night in the Milton Berle Room a current music star performed. Friar Danny Bacher, a favorite of the Friars. His show “Swing That Music” has gotten a major thumbs up from the dean of Cabaret Reviewers, The New York Times Stephen Holden. Danny’s fellow Friars got treated to a great evening of comedy and music as the room was filled with the authentic sounds of the three Louis, the wonderful voice of jazz vocalist Alexis Cole, and the comedy of Marla Schultz. At the Friars something old is always something new. Heads up for Sunny Sessa producing an evening featuring Will & Anthony Nunziata with Dave Konig on Jan 6th.
Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook.
December brings many free events as well as places to spend your hard earned cash. My favorite things are the fantastic windows of the department stores like Macy’s, Lord & Taylor’s, Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s and Tiffany’s and Saks, the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, the skating rinks at Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center or Central Park and so much more. Also make sure to check out the holiday markets to shop your way through the holiday bazaars, featuring unique artisan gifts at Grand Central, Union Square, Shops at Winter Village Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle.
Until 12/31: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. Every year, the Lights and Decorations in Dyker Heights Brooklyn.
Until 12/31: Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center with New York City Ballet.
Until 12/31: GingerBread Lane – The World’s Largest Gingerbread Village! The aroma and whimsical fun in the world’s largest gingerbread village. Head over to Manhattan’s Chelsea Market and check out the amazing and delicious creation brought to you by “The Gingerbread Man” Jon Lovitch.
Until 12/31: Shine Bright Only at Hudson Yards. It’s one of the newest Christmas light displayed and is an indoor-outdoor light and music installation featuring more than 2 million white lights illuminating by a visual spectacle that is synchronized to festive music.
Until 1/1: Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes. With up to 5 shows per day on weekends, the Rockettes are a tradition during the NYC Holiday Season for more than 75 years, signature high kicks, precision choreography and exciting, show-stopping numbers – including one with Santa.
Until 1/1: Big Apple Circus. The Big Apple Circus welcomes Europe’s beloved Circus-Theater Roncalli to New York City for a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration and an all-new show, Journey to the Rainbow.
Until 1/3: The Candy Cottage of Christmas Magic, nestled by Rockefeller Center. Immerse yourself in a sugary wonderland, embark on a festive scavenger hunt, and create cherished holiday memories.
Until 1/6: Nutcracker Rouge a racy, adults-only version at Théâtre XIV, 383 Troutman St, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
Until 1/13: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The tree is decorated with 50 LED bulbs and countless Swarovski crystals.
Until 1/14: NYBG GLOW – An Outdoor Light Experience. Breathtakingly illuminated with a newly expanded 1.5-mile colorful experience. Washes of brilliant color, thousands of dazzling LEDs, illuminated plant stories, and whimsical, picture-perfect installations reflect the surrounding gardens and collections.
Until 1/15: New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show. Look for a replica of Manhattan, made entirely from plants, leaves, seeds and bark. There are at least 14 electric trains running in loops around the city, which showcases more than 175 scaled iconic buildings and structures such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, and the Statue of Liberty.
12/1:Submit Your Wish On the Digital Wishing Wall!Your wishes will be added to the confetti that flutters down in the heart of Times Square on New Year’s Eve! Each year, people from around the planet include their wishes for the new year on pieces of official Times Square New Year’s Eve confetti, either digitally or in person.
12/1 – 2: KISS at MSG
12/7 and 14: Broadway Under The Stars brings FREE indoor Broadway performances. 2023 will mark the 9th year of Broadway and the Shops at Columbus Circle teaming up to host Broadway Under The Stars. The performances will take place on the second floor of the Time Warner Center.
12/7 – 28: Cirque du Soleil ‘Twas the Night Before at Hulu Theater at MSG
12/7: The latest exhibition at the Met’s Costume Institute, Women Dressing Women will highlight the creative female forces behind women’s fashion. Around 80 objects from over 70 womenswear designers will be included, looking at examples from the turn of the twentieth century up through the present day. Visitors can expect designs from celebrated names such as Vivienne Westwood and Miuccia Prada as well as unknown creators forgotten by history.
12/9: SantaCon is popular and loathed Christmas celebrations in NYC. This bar crawl, turn people into bad Santa’s!
12/9: Jingle Ball with Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Charlie Puth, Backstreet Boys at MSG
12/13-14 : Andrea Bocelli at MSG special guest Zucchero, an Italian singer and songwriter who is credited as “the father of Italian blues.” Together, the two will perform songs from their respective repertoires as well as special holiday selections. Bocelli will draw extensively from his recent album A Family Christmas, which features songs that will be familiar to an American audience – like Joy to the World and The First Noël – as well as Italian ballads.
12/13 – 14: Madonna at Barclays Center
12/16 and 22: Visit with Santa Hudson Yards and Bryant Park are offering this event at 10:00 a.m. – it’s a free event.
12/19: Billy Joel at MSG
12/17: Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas One And All! at MSG
12/ 22- 23: The New York Pops: The Best Christmas of All at Carnegie Hall. led by Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke— will ring in the holidays with Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and SAG Award nominee Norm Lewis andJudith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA for its annual holiday tradition featuring a merry night of classic carols, contemporary favorites, plus a few surprises
12/22: Lighting the World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorahs Manhattan and Brooklyn, have a competition for the world’s largest Hanukkah Menorah. On December 22nd, the Jewish “Festival of Lights” begins and this starts with the lighting of the largest Menorah in the world. The gold, 400-pound, 32-foot steel structure can be admired both in front of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and at the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.
The event begins at 5:30 pm, on Fridays at 3:30 pm and Saturdays at 8:00 pm. In Brooklyn, the lights will be on at 6:00 pm, on Friday at 3:30 pm and on Saturday at 7:00 pm.
12/31: New Years Eve in Times Square. To learn about everything in Times Square click here.
92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 12/2 – 4: Lyrics & Lyricists In the Key of Life: The Genius of Stevie Wonder. Led by Broadway’s Darius de Haas; 12/5: Recanati-Kaplan Talks Death, Let Me Do My Show: Rachel Bloom in Conversation and 12/14: Sharon Stone and Jerry Saltz Talk About Art.
The Green Room 42: 570 10th Ave. 12/2: Sally Mayes; 12/11: Mamie Paris; 12/13: Danny Bacher and Dawn Derow.
Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St. 12/22: José Feliciano
Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. 9/28: Alison Angrim
The Triad: 158 W. 72 St. 12/2 and 5: White Christmas at the Triad: A Celebration of Irving Berlin;
The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 12/18: The 43rd John Lennon Annual Tribute starring Graham Nash, who will receive the 2023 John Lennon Real Love Award and play some of his favorite John Lennon and Beatles classics. Nash will be joined by a stellar line-up including Rosanne Cash, Judy Collins, Marc Cohn and Bettye LaVette; 12/5: A Very Darren Crissmas Meet & Greet Experience and 12/22: Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Nöel Nights.
Devotees of the Great American Songbook have another reason to love living in New York. Yes, cabaret shows of the music of Porter, Rodgers et al abound here of course, but once a year there is a loving tribute to a lesser-known composer. Some of us may have even passed him on West 44th Street as he was leaving his home in the Algonquin Hotel. This dapper gentleman was Alec Wilder, a musician who wrote classical pieces as well as songs. He wrote words and music, and sometimes let the likes of Marshall Barer, Fran Landesman and even Johnny Mercer supply lyrics. There are a few of these titans who can have one foot in Tin Pan Alley and the other in Carnegie Hall. George Gershwin comes to mind immediately; Cole Porter dabbled but reverted to what he could do best. Wilder also wrote American Popular Song/The Great Innovators 1900-1950, a volume respected by those who love the music of that era.
The Friends of Alec Wilder presented their 38th Annual Concert for an audience of seriously devoted fans of Wilder on November 11th at 54 Below.
Mark Walter, FOAW Board Member and son of noted pianist and friend of Wilder’s Cy Walter, introduced Honorary Host Steve Ross, who along with the ever-amiable Eric Comstock interspersed the music with anecdotes about Wilder which rounded out the portrait of the gentleman being painted so effectively by the rest of the cast.
Barbara Fasano, Eric Comstock
The afternoon began with one of Wilder’s chamber works, presented lovingly by The Wilderness Trio. Eric Comstock followed, summing up Wilder by saying that his music never went out of vogue because it was never in vogue. Wilder is like that secret ingredient that once having tasted it, one yearns for it thereafter. Eric sang four songs, infusing I’ll Wait with his ineffable sass and charm before being joined by his wife, the spunky and gorgeous Barbara Fasano, who made each lyric come to life in ways Wilder would have appreciated. Sean Smith provided bass support, and the trio which has been a mainstay at Birdland illuminated Wilder’s deep emotional grasp of the human condition.
Jason Henderson photo credit Van Craig
The Wildebeest Wind Quintet followed with the Alice in Wonderland Suite, which showed Wilder at his classically playful best. Jason Henderson carried some of that lightheartedness into his segment, with two songs that benefited from his natural charm and enthusiasm. Steve Ross made the heart ache a bit with his rendition of the plaintive Did You Ever Cross Over to Sneden’s? before closing the program by encouraging everyone to join him in singing I’ll Be Around, perhaps the best known of Wilder’s songs.
If your interest in Alec Wilder has been piqued, visit alecwildermusicandlife.com.
One Night Only: An Evening with Sutton Foster and Kelli O’Hara with the NY Pops is happening Friday 8pm, at Carnegie Hall. This unique program by NY Pops conductor Steven Reineke, pays homage to earlier icons of stage and screen who teamed up for memorable concerts.
Actor and writerPaul Iacono, best known for the filmsFame,G.B.F., and MTV’s “The Hard Times Of RJ Berger,” returns to The Green Room 42 in“Paul Iacono, Unfiltered,”His bawdy evening of excess and exposé happens tonightFriday, November 17at9:30 PM. T2C had a chance to talk to this 3 decade seasoned performer.
Paul Iacono, is best known for his portrayal of the title character on MTV’s “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.” Paul was first featured on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” at age eight, after she discovered his unique talents for impersonating Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman Favorite stage credits includeMercury Fur (The New Group), Bridget Everett’sRock Bottom(Joe’s Pub), Noël Coward’sSail Awaywith Elaine Stritch (Carnegie Hall), John Guare’sLandscape of the Bodywith Lili Taylor and Sherie Rene Scott (Signature Theater), andThe Dark at the Top of the Stairswith Donna Lynne Champlin and Michele Pawk (Transport Group). Favorite film credits include MGM’s remake ofFame, Drew Barrymore’sAnimal, Darren Stein’sG.B.F.,Extracurricular Activities, andDating My Motherwith Kathy Najimy. Iacono’s playPrince/Elizabethpremiered at The Teatro LATEA Theater co-starring Sofia Black D’Elia and Peter Vack, andThe Last Great Dame(loosely inspired by his relationship with Elaine Stritch) at Jane Friedman’s HOWL! Happening Gallery. His cabaret “Where’s the Fucking Kid?” premiered at 54 Below, with “Psychedelic Hedonism” following at Joe’s Pub (New York Magazine“Critic’s Pick”), and “Psychedelic Playhouse” at The Green Room 42.
Join Paul for a surreal vaudevillian celebration through the highs, lows, and misadventures from his past five years out of the spotlight. Directed by Eric Gilliland and written by Iacono, Paul weaves insanely personal and wildly hilarious moments from Hollywood to 42nd Street and beyond, accompanied onstage by music director Drew Wutke, with music consulting and arrangements by Peter Saxe.
Paul Iacono, UnfilteredonFriday, November 17at9:30 PMat The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel).