A Christmas Story! The Musical
Lunt-Fontanne Theater, 205 W. 46th St., at Broadway; 212-575-9200
New to Broadway, this musical version of the 1983 film was a hit last winter in five U.S. cities and retains all your favorite movie moments (think flagpole-licking, BB guns, the lady’s leg lamp). For those still skeptical about the transition from screen to stage, take comfort in the fact that Peter Billingsley, the actor who played Ralphie in the film, is one of the show’s producers.
•Dates: Nov. 11 to Dec. 29
A Christmas Carol
The Players Theater, 115 MacDougal St., nr. Minetta Lane; 800-901-4092
Expect comic relief, singing, and dancing at this family musical. If you go an hour early to a Saturday or Sunday matinee, you can participate in a craft workshop and listen to the actors explain the process of bringing the book to the stage.
•Dates: As of this publication, tickets are still available for Nov. 25 at 11 a.m., Saturdays in Dec. at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sundays at 11 a.m., and Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m.
•Price: $25–45, plus $5 service fee for online purchase; $50 for a ticket plus prix fixe dinner down the street at McCoy (89 MacDougal)
35mm Screenings of It’s a Wonderful Life
IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave., at W. 3rd St.; 212-924-7771
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the 1946 standby. Now you can experience it on the big screen, with all the luxuries the historic Waverly theater has to offer—organic popcorn with truffle butter, theater seats flown in from France, soaring 49-foot ceilings. While you’re at it, you can check out their collection of vintage movie posters from around the world.
•Dates: Dec. 14 to 20
•Price: General admission, $13.50; children (12 and under) and seniors (62 and older), $9.50; members, $8.50
The Puppet People’s A Christmas Carol
Brooklyn Lyceum, 227 Fourth Ave., at President St, Park Slope; tickets at brooklynlyceum.com
A puppeteer duo guides marionettes through this hour-long, kid-friendly show. While most characters are “played” by marionettes, the ghosts of past, present, and future are real humans in costume. Many of Scrooge’s flashbacks are shadows on a screen, and his marionette manifestation wears bunny slippers.
•Dates: Dec. 15 to 16 at 1, 3, and 5 p.m.
•Price: $11 for one ticket, $33 for four tickets
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Brooklyn Lyceum, 227 Fourth Ave., at President St., Park Slope; tickets at brooklynlyceum.com
A live jazz ensemble accompanies this performance, so you’re in for all of Vince Guaraldi’s classics. Fans won’t have any trouble following along, as the dialogue matches the movie verbatim. It’s chilly and sparse in the performance space, but don’t space heaters and a minimalist set make the Charlie Brown experience more authentic?
•Dates: Dec. 6 to 7, 19 to 21 at 8 p.m., Dec. 8 to 9, 15 to 16 at 1, 4, and 7 p.m.
•Price: $11 for one ticket, $33 for four tickets
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical
The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Seventh Ave., btw. 31st and 33rd Sts.;
What this performance lacks in intimacy, it makes up for in confetti showers. Plus, it’s the flashiest rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch” you’re likely to find in New York. While the Grinch costume is reminiscent of the creepy Jim Carrey film version, the set design harkens back to the original Dr. Suess illustrations.
•Dates: Dec. 13 to 30
The Nightmare Before Christmas in HD
Sony Wonder Technology Lab, Sony Plaza, 56th St. and Madison Ave.; 212-833-8100
It’s both free and HD—a good excuse to introduce kids to Tim Burton’s old-school stop animation. The film is not as glossy as his recent Frankenweenie, but isn’t Christmas more about nostalgia, anyway?
•Dates: Dec. 15, 12:15 and 3 p.m.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Church of the Intercession, 550 West 115th St., at Broadway; 212-283-6200
Think of it as your antidote to that last bit of holiday burnout. The Church of the Intercession has been holding a public reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s poem every Sunday before Christmas since 1911 (this year it’s lead by NBC New York anchor Pat Battle). The main event is followed by a candlelit procession to Trinity Church Cemetery across the street, where a wreath is placed on Moore’s grave.
•Date: Sunday Dec. 23, 4 p.m.
Plus: Over the River and Through the Woods
Events for those able to travel outside the five boroughs.
Miracle on 34th Street
Westchester Broadway Theater, 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford, New York; 914-592-2222
This musical rendition of the film favorite is less than an hour by train from Grand Central. Plus, it’s dinner (or in the case of matinees, lunch) theater. Expect a traditional American menu befitting the play’s forties setting, plus appetizers, dessert, and a full bar. Performance-only tickets are available but can only be reserved on the day of the show.
•Dates: Nov. 29 to Dec. 31
•Price: Dinner and show: $52–$80; all weeknights, Sunday matinee and evening: regular $80, senior $72, child $57; Saturday evening: regular $80, child $57; weekday matinee: regular $62, senior $55, child $52.
A Storyteller’s Adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Old Dutch Church, 381 N. Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, New York; 914-366-6900
Ebenezer himself tells his adaptation of Dickens’s classic, along with musical accompaniment, to full pews at the Old Dutch Church. Stick around for cider, hot chocolate, sweets, and shopping. Well worth 40 minutes on the Metro North Express.
•Dates: Nov. 23 to 24, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 at 4, 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 p.m.
•Price: Adults, $16; children under 18, $12
Seneca Falls’ 66th Anniversary Celebration of It’s a Wonderful Life
The Auditorium at the Old Mynderse Academy,12 North Park Street, Seneca Falls, New York; therealbedfordfalls.com; 315-568-1510
Seneca Falls is five hours away from Manhattan and not accessible by public transportation. But for a weekend-long winter escape, immerse yourself in what town residents passionately believe to be the “Real Bedford Falls.” Highlights include numerous screenings of the film, reflections from the actual Bailey Sisters (well, the actresses who played them), a gingerbread contest, caroling, tree-lighting, and bell-ringing.
•Dates: Festival is Dec. 7 to 9, screenings Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., Dec. 8 at 2 and 7 p.m., Dec. 9 at 12:30 p.m.