This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

HOLIDAY MUSIC AND COMEDY 2017

It’s not Christmas in New York until Darlene Love comes to town

It’s not Christmas in New York until Darlene Love comes to town

Hanukkah is under way and Christmas is right around the corner, so the city is filled with holiday-themed comedy shows and concerts. They range from classical performances at the Met and Carnegie Hall to hip-hop, soul, and rock extravaganzas at smaller clubs to Jewish takes on the season. Below is a sampling of some of the cooler events; keep watching this space for more additions.

Thursday, December 14
Ingrid Michaelson’s Eleventh Annual Holiday Hop, with Ingrid Michaelson and a Great Big World, Terminal 5, $40, 8:00

The Fire & Ice Hanukkah Celebration!, with fire dancers, fire breathers, poi juggling, live musical performances, Israeli music with DJ Adidor, glow in the dark madness, Hanukkah video art installations, Hanukkah drink specials, chocolate dessert bar, sufganiyot, and more, Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St., 212-414-5994, $40, 8:00

Thursday, December 14
through
Saturday, December 16

The 38th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration, with the Paul Winter Consort and Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave., $40-$150

Thursday, December 14
through
Tuesday, December 19

The Eight Nights of Hanukkah with Yo La Tengo, with Yo La Tengo and special guests, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St., $40, 8:30

Friday, December 15
Christmas with Aaron Neville, B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St., 212-997-4144, $69.50-$75, 8:00

An Acoustic Christmas w/ Over the Rhine, Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St., 212-414-5994, $29.50-$55, 8:00

Sunday, December 17
Natasha’s Christmas Spirit Brunch Show, with Matt Koplik, Danny Caraballo, Brian Klimowski, Hallie Brevetti, Sophie Bell, Abby Goldfarb, and Alexandria Grace Williams, hosted by Natasha Edwards, benefiting the HAVE Foundation (Honduras Agalta Valley Education), Stand Up NY, 236 West 78th St., $20, 2:00

Unsilent Night, participatory boombox concert with Phil Kline, Washington Square Park, free, 6:00

Monday, December 18
Oratorio Society of New York: HANDEL Messiah, conducted by Kent Tritle, Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, $28-$100, 8:00

Wednesday, December 20
Holidelic feat. Everett Bradley, with special guest Dr. Elmo, Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St., 212-414-5994, $30-$60, 8:00

SING! An Irish Christmas with Keith & Kristyn Getty and Friends, Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, $15-$130, 8:00

New York Baroque Incorporated: Baroque Holiday Music and Dance, led by Robert Mealy, with dancers Caroline Copeland and Carlos Fittante, featuring suites by Rameau, Lully, Purcell, and Handel, the Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Ave., $65 (includes same-day museum admission), 7:00

Ronnie Spector will celebrate the best Christmas ever at City Winery

Ronnie Spector will celebrate the annual best Christmas ever at City Winery

Wednesday, December 20
and
Thursday, December 21

Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Party Ever! with Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes, City Winery, 155 Varick St., 212-608-0555, $35-$75, 8:00

Thursday, December 21
through
Saturday, December 23

A Darlene Love Christmas: Love for the Holidays, B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St., 212-997-4144, $45, 8:00

cirque saturdays

Friday, December 22
Raheem DeVaughn & Friends Annual Holiday Concert 2017, feat. Doug E Fresh, Lil Mo, Ro James, Beanie Sigel, MC Lyte, Raheem DeVaughn, and the CrossRhodes, Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St., 212-414-5994, $35-$69.50, 8:00

Saturday, December 23
Rhett Miller's Fifth Annual Holiday Extravaganza feat. Jen Kirkman, Janeane Garofalo, and other special guests, City Winery, 155 Varick St., 212-608-0555, $25-$35, 8:00

Cirque Saturdays Presents: The Naughty List — A Christmas Spectacular, Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St., 212-414-5994, $20, 11:00

Yo B, It’s Xmas feat. Nyck Caution, Lauriana Mae, with Michael Medium, LiveLikeDavis, DJ Shawn G, and DJ Surge, Mercury Lounge, 217 East Houston St., $12, 11:59 pm

Sunday, December 24
A Very Jewish Christmas, with Brad Trackman, Ophira Eisenberg, Jared Freid, Jon Fisch and others, Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd St., 212-367-9000, $25, 7:00 & 9:00

The Jew(ish) Show, with Jared Freid, Marion Grodin, Myq Kaplan, and Talia Reese, Stand Up NY, 236 West 78th St., $20, 8:00

City Winery & Joel Chasnoff Present: Christmas Eve for the Jews, with Jessica Kirson, Phil Hanley, and more, City Winery, 155 Varick St., 212-608-0555, $25-$60, 8:00

Monday, December 25
Oy Vey Festival w/ Soulfarm, featuring Kosha Dillz, Zalman Krause, Meir Kay, and Chillent, Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th St., 212-414-5994, $20-$49.99, 8:00

MLK DAY 2017

The legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be celebrated all over the city and the country this weekend

The legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be celebrated all over the city and the country this weekend

Multiple venues
January 14-16
www.mlkday.gov

In 1983, the third Monday in January was officially recognized as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the birthday of the civil rights leader who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Dr. King would have turned eighty-eight this month, and you can celebrate his legacy on Monday by participating in a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service project or attending one of numerous special events taking place around the city. Below are some of the highlights:

Saturday, January 14
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: Historic Heroines: Coretta Scott King, 11:00 am, 2:00, 3:00; Muslim Arts Series: Many Tunes, One Melody, 5:00 & 6:00, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St., $8-$12

Action in a Time of Injustice: MLK Salon with Yavilah McCoy, JCC Harlem, JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., $5, 6:45

Sunday, January 15
MLK, Jr., I Have a Dream Celebration: Totally Tots Studio — Meet the Artist, 10:00 am; Holding History: MLK’s Life, 11:00 am; Protest Posters, 11:00 am; DNA Bracelets, 12 noon; MLK, Jr. Cinema, Our Friend, Martin (Rob Smiley & Vincenzo Trippetti, 1999), 11:00 am, 3:30; Story Time at BCM: Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other books, 1:30 & 3:00, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., $11

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: Historic Heroines: Coretta Scott King, 11:00 am, 12 noon, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St., $8-$12

Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Concert: Soul to Soul, with Lisa Fishman, Cantor Magda Fishman, Elmore James, Tony Perry, and musical director Zalmen Mlotek, presented by National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., $20-$28, 2:00

Special Presentation: Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016), screening followed by Q&A, JCC Harlem, JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., $5, 5:30

Monday, January 16
MLK, Jr., I Have a Dream Celebration: Totally Tots Studio — Meet the Artist, learn about Kehinde Wiley, 10:00 am; Love, Hope & Peace Postcards, 11:00 am; I Have a Dream Totes, 12 noon ($5); Brooklyn United Marching Band – Celebrating the Dream Performance, 2:00; Story Time at BCM: Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, 1:30 & 3:00; Freedom Hands, 2:00, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., $11

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: Martin’s Mosaic, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm; Historic Heroines: Coretta Scott King, 11:00 am, 12 noon, 4:00; KaNu Dance Theater, 2:00 & 3:00, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St., $8-$12

Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Thirty-first annual celebration, with keynote speaker Opal Tometi, the Institutional Radio Choir, and Sacred Steel band the Campbell Brothers, Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave., free, 10:30 am; screening of Ava DuVernay’s 13th, BAM Rose Cinemas, free, 1:00; launch of Frederick Douglass in Brooklyn with readings by Carl Hancock Rux, commentary by Theodore Hamm, and audience Q&A, BAM Fisher lower lobby, 321 Ashland Pl., free, 1:00

MLK Express Yourself Day, create signs with your own poster board, Old Stone House, 336 Third St., free, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

The World Famous Harlem Gospel Choir Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Matinee, B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St., $25-$30 (plus $10 minimum per person at tables), 12:30

What’s Your Dream? Martin Luther King Jr. Day Family Program: reading of Kobi Yamada’s What Do You Do with an Idea?, broadcast of King speech, and art workshop, Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., free, 1:00 – 2:30

MLK Day Screening: The Negro and the American Promise (1963), Museum of the Moving Image, Redstone Theater, 36-01 35th Ave., $7-$15 (includes admission to galleries), 3:00

Artists Celebrate Dr. King’s Legacy: Featuring Sweet Honey in the Rock, JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., $5, 5:00

Special Presentation: Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016), screening followed by Q&A, JCC Harlem, JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., $5, 7:30

Martin Luther King, Jr. Evening Show: A Decade of Soul, classic soul & Motown revue, preceded by Aretha Franklin Tribute feat. “Lady Jae” Jones & the Decade of Soul Band featuring Bruce “Big Daddy” Wayne and special guest Prentiss McNeil of the Drifters, $20-$25 (plus $10 minimum per person at tables), B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St., 7:30

INSPIRATIONAL BROADWAY

A bevy of Broadway favorites will gather at B. B. Kings to benefit BIV on February 15

A bevy of Broadway favorites will gather at B. B. King’s to benefit BIV on February 15

Who: Michael McElroy & the Broadway Inspirational Voices with special guests Billy Porter, Joshua Henry, Marcus Paul James, Adam Pascal, Telly Leung, Jarrod Spector, La Chanze, Lindsay Mendez, Chad Kimball, and Norm Lewis
What: All-star benefit for Broadway Inspirational Voices
Where: B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St. between Broadway & Eighth Ave., 212-997-4144
When: Monday, February 15, $30-$175, 7:30
Why: Founded in 1994, Broadway Inspirational Voices is a nonprofit dedicated to “providing hope to inspire and transform youth in need through music and the arts.” On Presidents Day, B. B. King Blues Club & Grill will host a benefit for the organization’s outreach programs; the evening will be led by BIV founder Michael McElroy (Big River) and members of the BIV choir ensemble, joined by a sensational group of special guests comprising Tony winners, nominees, and other Broadway favorites. The diverse cast features Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys), Marcus Paul James (Motown the Musical), Adam Pascal (Rent), Telly Leung (Allegiance), Jarrod Spector (Beautiful), La Chanze (The Color Purple), Lindsay Mendez (Wicked), Chad Kimball (Memphis), and Norm Lewis (Porgy & Bess), performing Broadway, Gospel, pop, and rock songs under the musical direction of James Sampliner (Honeymoon in Vegas).

A DARLENE LOVE CHRISTMAS: LOVE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love brings her annual Christmas show to B. B. Kings December 23 & 26 and January 2

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love brings her annual Christmas show to B. B. King’s December 23 & 26 and January 2

Who: Darlene Love
What: Annual Christmas show
When: Wednesday, December 23, Saturday, December 26, and Saturday, January 2, $45-$50, 8:00
Where: B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St. between Broadway & Eighth Ave., 212-997-4144
Why: If you’re like us, one of the saddest parts of David Letterman’s retirement was not ever being able to see the one and only Darlene Love tear down the Ed Sullivan Theater again performing her rousing rendition of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home).” But you don’t have to miss out, as you can catch the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer at B. B. King’s, playing her annual holiday show at the Times Square music palace, which will be experiencing its first Christmas without its founder, who died in May at the age of eighty-eight. Love will be mixing in songs from throughout her career, from 1960s hits (“He’s a Rebel,” “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” “Da Doo Ron Ron”) to holidays faves (including “Marshmallow World” from A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector) to tunes from her latest release, September’s Introducing Darlene Love, which was produced by Steve Van Zandt and features new and old tunes by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Linda Perry, Jimmy Webb, Joan Jett, and others.

MLK DAY 2015

New York City celebration of MLK Day includes a screening of KING: A FILMED RECORD...MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS at Film Forum

New York City celebration of MLK Day includes a screening of KING: A FILMED RECORD...MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS at Film Forum

Multiple venues
Monday, January 19
www.mlkday.gov

In 1983, the third Monday in January was officially recognized as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, honoring the birthday of the civil rights leader who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Dr. King would have turned eighty-six this month, and you can celebrate his legacy on Monday by participating in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project or attending one of numerous special events taking place around the city. BAM’s twenty-ninth annual free Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. includes a keynote speech by Dr. Cornel West, live performances by Sandra St. Victor & Oya’s Daughter and the New York Fellowship Mass Choir, the theatrical presentation State of Emergence, the NYCHA Saratoga Village Community Center student exhibit “Picture the Dream,” and a screening of Ken Burns, Sara Burns, and David McMahon’s 2012 documentary The Central Park Five. The JCC in Manhattan will host an Engage MLK Day of Service in Brooklyn: Feeding Our Neighbors community initiative, a screening of Rachel Fisher and Rachel Pasternak’s 2014 documentary Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent, and “Thank You, Dr. King,” in which Dance Theater of Harlem cofounder Arthur Mitchell shares his life story, joined by dancers Ashley Murphy and Da’Von Doane.

The Harlem Gospel Choir will play a special matinee at B.B. Kings on MLK Day

The Harlem Gospel Choir will play a special matinee at B.B. King’s on MLK Day

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan will teach kids about King’s legacy with the “Martin’s Mosaic” and Mugi Pottery workshops, the “Heroic Heroines: Coretta Scott King” book talk, and Movement & Circle Time participatory programs, while the Brooklyn Children’s Museum hosts the special hands-on crafts workshops “Let’s March!” and “Let’s Join Hands,” screenings of Rob Smiley and Vincenzo Trippetti’s 1999 animated film Our Friend, Martin, and a Cultural Connections performance by the Berean Community Drumline. The Museum at Eldridge Street will be hosting a free reading of Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom’s picture book What Do You Do with an Idea? along with a collage workshop. Also, Film Forum will show the 1970 three-hour epic documentary King: A Filmed Record . . . Montgomery to Memphis at 7:00, and the Harlem Gospel Choir will give a special MLK Day matinee at 12:30 at B.B. King’s in Times Square.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: “CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME)” BY DARLENE LOVE

Who: Darlene Love
What: A Darlene Love Christmas: Love for the Holidays
Where: B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves., 212-997-4144
When: Friday, December 26, Saturday, December 27, and Friday, January 2, $45, 8:00
Why: The great Darlene Love performs holiday classics and more during multiple-show run in Times Square

SIXTH ANNUAL LATKE FESTIVAL

latke festival

Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Monday, December 15, $60-$110, 7:30
www.greatperformances.com
www.latkefestival2014.eventbrite.com

To me, it was never quite Hanukkah until I devoured my grandma Ud’s sizzling-hot latkes, smothered in applesauce and sour cream. These days, fried potato pancakes have gone gourmet, so you can celebrate the Festival of Lights with some two dozen versions at the sixth annual Latke Festival, taking place December 15 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. This year’s menu includes Veselka chef Tom Birchard’s Pork Goulash Latke with Prunes & Red Beans, Delicatessen chef Michael Ferraro’s Sweet Potato Latke with Duck Rillette & Black Truffle Vinaigrette, Toloache chef Julian Medina’s Potato Pancake with Beef Short Rib Chorizo & Chipotle Crema, Baz Bagel chef Bari Musacchio’s Latkes Dill-Luxe with House Cured Gravlax, Sour Cream & Dill, B. B. King Blues Club & Grill chef Wenford Patrick Simpson’s Potato Pancake BBQ Chicken Slider, Benchmark chef Ryan Jaronik’s French Onion Soup Latke with Gruyere, Beef Gelée & Beef Carpaccio, PRINT chef Gabe Stulman’s Caraway Spiked Latke with Brats, Beer Mustard & Crispy Onion, Tres Carnes chef Sasha Shor’s Smoky Poblano Latke with 16-Hour Texas Smoked Brisket, Ancho Chile-Tamarind Date Molé & Hot Pink Pickled Onions, and Hill and Bay chef Eric Perlmutter’s the ChutzSpud. Among the judges voting for the best latke — there is also a people’s choice award — are former NBA commissioner David Stern, Saveur editor in chief Adam Sachs, and food writers Marion Nestle, Joan Nathan, and Meryl Gordon. Proceeds will benefit the Sylvia Center, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to inspire young people and their families to establish independent healthy eating habits — so that they may lead healthy and productive lives.”