Who: Louis C.K.
What: Stand-up comedy tour
Where: Madison Square Garden
When: Wednesday, January 7 & 14, $25-$65, 8:00
Why: Mastermind behind the FX hit Louie and such stand-up specials as Oh My God and Shameless is selling out the World’s Most Famous Arena these days, sharing his unique views on marriage, divorce, children, health, dating, sex, weight, and other topics
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, January 3, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum welcomes in 2015 by handing over the reins of its free monthly First Saturdays program to several of the artists featured in “Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond,” which concludes on January 4. The night before, curators Eugenie Tsai and Rujeko Hockley will discuss the exhibition at 5:30, “Crossing Brooklyn” artist Linda Goode Bryant will talk about urban farming at 6:15, jazz percussionist Ches Smith will activate David Horvitz’s forty-seven suspended bells as part of a site-specific musical composition at 6:30, and BFAMFAPhD (Blair Murphy, Susan Jahoda, and Vicky Virgin) will delve into the nature of creativity and debt at 7:15. “‘Crossing Brooklyn’ Artists’ Choice” also features live performances by Snarky Puppy, DJ Selly and DJ Asen from Fon, ventriloquist Nigel “Docta Gel” Dunkley (telling the story of Cindy Hot Chocolate from Geltown), immersive dance company Ani Taj and the Dance Cartel, Fela! veterans Chop and Quench led by Sahr Ngaujah, and spoken word poets Corina Copp, Patricia Spears Jones, Rickey Laurentiis, and Charles North as well as Greg Barris’s “Heart of Darkness” comedy showcase with Janeane Garofalo and Ilana Glazer, a print-making art workshop, a creative writing workshop led by Jaime Shearn Coan, and D’hana Perry’s multimedia improvisational “LOOSE.” In addition, you can check out such exhibitions as “Revolution! Works from the Black Arts Movement,” “Judith Scott — Bound and Unbound,” and “Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time.”
What: Interdisciplinary festival featuring dance, theater, music, art, and discussion, organized by PS 122
Where: Baryshnikov Arts Center, Chocolate Factory, Vineyard Theatre, Invisible Dog Art Center, the Swiss Institute, Asia Society, Parkside Lounge, New Ohio Theatre, Danspace Project, Times Square
When: January 2-17, free - $30
Why: Dancers and choreographers Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith in Rude World; Temporary Distortion’s durational multimedia live installation My Voice Has an Echo in It; Faye Driscoll’s extraordinary, interactive Thank You for Coming: Attendance; Alexandra Bachzetsis’s Diego Velázquez-inspired From A to B via C
Who: Under the Radar Festival and Incoming!
What: Interdisciplinary festival featuring dance, theater, music, and art, organized by the Public Theater
Where: The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., and La MaMa, 74 East Fourth St.
When: January 7-18, free - $40
Why: Daniel Fish’s A (radically condensed and expanded) Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again based on audio recordings of David Foster Wallace; Marie-Caroline Hominal’s The Triumph of Fame, a one-on-one performance inspired by Petrarch’s “I Trionfi”; Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: 1900-1950s; Toshi Reagon’s Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version; Reggie Watts’s Audio Abramović, in which Watts will go eye-to-eye with individuals for five minutes
Who: American Realness
What: Interdisciplinary festival featuring dance, theater, music, art, conversation, discussion, readings, and a workshop, organized by Abrons Arts Center
Where: Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St.
When: January 8-18, $20
Why: World premiere of Jack Ferver’s Night Light Bright Light; Cynthia Hopkins’s A Living Documentary; Tere O’Connor’s Undersweet; Luciana Achugar’s Otro Teatro: The Pleasure Project; My Barbarian’s The Mother and Other Plays; Dynasty Handbag’s Soggy Glasses, a Homo’s Odyssey
What: Festival of opera, theater, music, and conversation
Where: HERE, St. Paul’s Chapel, La MaMa, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Park Ave. Armory, Joe’s Pub
When: January 8-17, $22-$75
Why: The Scarlet Ibis, inspired by James Hurst’s 1960 short story; Carmina Slovenica’s Toxic Psalms; Bora Yoon’s Sunken Cathedral; Ellen Reid and Amanda Jane Shark’s Winter’s Child
Who: Winter Jazzfest NYC
What: More than one hundred jazz groups playing multiple venues in and around Greenwich Village
Where: The Blue Note, (le) poisson rouge, Judson Church, the Bitter End, Subculture, Bowery Electric, others
When: January 8-10, $25-$145
Why: Catherine Russell, David Murray Infinity Quartet with Saul Williams, Jovan Alexandre & Collective Consciousness, Marc Ribot & the Young Philadelphians with Strings, So Percussion Feat. Man Forever, Theo Bleckmann Quartet with Ambrose Akinmusire, and David Murray Clarinet Summit with Don Byron, David Krakauer, and Hamiet Bluiett
Who: Marion Grodin, Jared Freid, Louis Katz, Sam Morril, and Chloé Hilliard
What: A Very Jewish Christmas
Where: Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves., 212-367-9000
When: Wednesday, December 24, $25 (plus two-beverage minimum), 7:30 & 9:30
Why: Four Jewish comedians and one raised in a Hasidic community bring the laughs on Christmas Eve
Who: Judy Gold
What: A Jewdy Gold Christmas
Where: Carolines on Broadway, 1626 Broadway, 212-757-4100
When: Wednesday, December 24, and Thursday, December 25, $31.25, 7:30
Why: Star of The Judy Show — My Life as a Sitcom and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother spends Christmas in New York City telling jokes about being a tall, gay Jewish comedian
Who: Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, William Ferguson, Marc Kudisch, Lauren Worsham, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Ted Sperling, the New York Metro Pipe Band, and the Collegiate Chorale
What: Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy), by Eric Idle and John Du Prez
Where: Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
When: Monday, December 15, and Tuesday, December 16, $15-$145, 8:00
Why: Outrageous musical evening by the creators of Spamalot, based on Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “Baroque-N-Roll” featuring such songs as “Hail to the Shoe,” “We Love Sheep,” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”
CHRISTMAS WITHOUT TEARS (DOES THIS TREE MAKE ME LOOK FAT?)
The Cutting Room
44 East 32nd St. between Madison & Park Aves.
Friday, December 5, and Monday, December 8, GA $40, VIP $75 (plus $20 food/drink minimum), 8:00
Spinal Tap star and multiple Simpsons voice Harry Shearer and his wife, musician and songwriter Judith Owen, will be celebrating the season as only they can December 5 and 8 at the Cutting Room with their unique touring variety show, “Christmas without Tears (Does This Make Me Look Fat?).” A fifteen-year tradition previously known as “Judith Owen and Harry Shearer’s Holiday Sing-a-Long,” the evening is broken into two segments, the first consisting of holiday classics (“Winter Wonderland,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) and originals (“F&*k Christmas,” “Jesus Was a Dreidel Spinner”) performed by Shearer, Owen, and surprise guests, which in the past have included such celebrities as Weird Al Yankovic, Richard Thompson, Catherine O’Hara, Christopher Guest, and Donald Fagen. (The 2014 guest list features Evan Christopher, Davell Crawford, Tom McDermott, Teddy Thompson, David Torkanowsky, Mario Cantone, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, Amy Engelhardt, the Gregory Brothers, Artie Lange, Amy Miles, and Alice Ripley appearing at stops either in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Evanston.) For the second act, the audience receives specially designed songbooks and is invited to sing along to a collection of carols until mayhem ensues. Every year, Owen and Shearer release a seasonal song; this year’s treat is their jazzy version of Spinal Tap’s “Christmas with the Devil.” Proceeds from the first show, which will have a decidedly more Creole feel, will benefit the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation, while the December 8 show benefits the Actors Fund.