Masterpieces of Holiday Simplicity

Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy The powerhouse quartet of “On the Record” focuses their pipes on popular music’s last 100 years.

Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy
The powerhouse quartet of “On the Record” focuses their pipes on popular music’s last 100 years.

Caruso’s musical ‘Nice’ list sure can swing

BY JIM CARUSO  (jim-caruso.com)  |  I  love spending the holidays in New York City — but between the over-blown seasonal spectaculars, the inclement weather and throngs of gaping tourists, a Manhattan Christmas can sometimes be overwhelming. In concocting this list of December must-sees, I’ve noticed that my choices are all masterpieces of simplicity — emphasizing clarity, sophisticated humor and good old-fashioned showbiz. Maybe those are the qualities I wish for myself, and should include in my letter to Santa. So, with all due respect to The Rockettes, the 76-foot tree in Rockefeller Center and the upcoming slush-fest, here is my grown-up Christmas list of musical, magical morsels.

ON THE RECORD:   A TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT VOCAL GROUPS OF THE 20th CENTURY
Through December 15
Sat. at 3pm & Sun. at 6pm
At Stage 72
158 W. 72nd St.
(btw. Amsterdam & Columbus)
$25 (half price for students/seniors)
Call 800-838-3006
Visit brownpapertickets.com

As solo singers, Bill Daugherty, Paul Kropfl, Amanda Savan and Deborah Tranelli are wonderful. As a quartet, they’re even better. Their show, “On The Record, A Tribute to the Great Vocal Groups of the 20th Century,” celebrates such disparate and influential ensembles as The Andrews Sisters, The Mills Brothers, The Beach Boys and The Beatles. This multi-media chronology showcases the sights and sounds of singers and arrangers who have shaped the popular music scene for the last 100 years.

 

Photo courtesy of the artist Michael Feinstein’s headlining debut at Birdland Jazz Club happens Dec. 17-28.

Photo courtesy of the artist
Michael Feinstein’s headlining debut at Birdland Jazz Club happens Dec. 17-28.

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN AT BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB
December 17-28
At Birdland Jazz Club
315 W. 44th St. (btw. 8th & 9th Aves.)
$75-$200, plus $20 food or beverage minimum
Call 212-581-3080 or birdlandjazz.com

After 14 years headlining at the eponymously named Feinstein’s at The Regency, Michael Feinstein moves his smart, suave and sophisticated holiday show to Birdland, ‘the jazz corner of the world.’ The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer has been a friend to the club for years, even highlighting Monday night’s weekly Cast Party on his PBS “American Songbook” series. Lucky audience members will be privy to ravishingly performed yuletide standards and insider stories celebrating the legacy of popular song — making this the nightclub event of the season.

 A SWINGING BIRDLAND CHRISTMAS
December 21-25
At Birdland Jazz Club
315 W. 44th St. (btw. 8th & 9th Aves.)
All shows 6pm, except Sat. at 5:30pm
$30, plus $10 food or beverage minimum
212-581-3080 or birdlandjazz.com

As the late, great Kay Thompson chirped, “It’s the holiday season! So whoop-de-doo, and dickery-dock!” That’s just one tune I’ll be singing with my musical cohorts Billy Stritch and Klea Blackhurst in our fourth year of “A Swinging Birdland Christmas.” If you miss the cozy, traditional Christmas TV specials of yore, this just might be the perfect show for you! Tight harmonies, superstar guests and all-round yuletide euphoria will abound at the iconic jazz room.

Photo by Michael Lamont Something up their sleeves? Helder Guimarães and Derek DelGaudio claim they have “Nothing to Hide.”

Photo by Michael Lamont
Something up their sleeves? Helder Guimarães and Derek DelGaudio claim they have “Nothing to Hide.”

NOTHING TO HIDE
Through January 18
Wed.-Fri. at 7:30pm, Sat. at 2pm, 5pm & 8pm
Sun. at 4pm & 7:30pm
At Pershing Square Signature Center
480 W. 42nd St. (btw. 9th & 10th Aves.)
$76.50-$149.50
Call 212-279-4200
Visit ticketcentral.com
Also visit nothingtohidenyc.com

As a kid, I annoyed children of all ages as “Jimbo the Clown,” with magic, ventriloquism and mayhem, so I have a passing knowledge of card tricks. But this show, directed by TV and Broadway superstar Neil Patrick Harris and starring sleight-of-hand artists Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimarães, had me slack-jawed and screaming, “How’d they DO that?” This show had a wildly successful theatrical run at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and now you can catch the fun Off-Broadway at the Pershing Square Signature Center until January 18. This isn’t your basic bunny-out-of-a-hat show, folks. The delicacy, wit and laser-beam precision is a thrilling thing to watch — and is, as they say, fun for the whole family!

Jim Caruso’s “Cast Party” happens every Monday night at Birdland Jazz Club (315 W. 44th St., btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). Doors open at 9pm, show at 9:30pm. $25 cover, $10 food/drink minimum. For info, call 212-581-3080 or visit jim-caruso.com and birdlandjazz.com.

 

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