Staying local for the holidays and looking for something special to do to celebrate the season? Here are eight theater options for you.
“Norm Lewis Wishes You a Swingin’ Christmas”
Feinstein’s/54 Below, through Dec. 24
Tony nominee and “Scandal” star Norm Lewis makes his Feinstein’s / 54 Below debut in this delightful, rich concert. Lewis’s velvety baritone is on full display here, as he offers his take on some of your favorite holiday standards (“The Christmas Song,” “Oh Holy Night”) and showtune staples (selections from “Les Misèrables” and “The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess”). Lewis is even inviting a special guest star each night to the stage (Sunday’s opening night saw SiriusXM host Julie James surprising all with her powerful operatic pipes as she and Lewis performed a stunning duet of “I Loves You Porgy”). By the time Lewis makes it to his heart-stopping and tear-jerking finale, you'll be so wooed by his talent and charm, you'll be asking him “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?”
Kings Theatre, through Dec. 27
The first theatrical event in the history of Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, which just underwent a $95 million restoration that turned the movie house into a theatre, is a classic for the whole family: “Annie.” Featuring a book and score by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, the production, directed (for the 19th time) by Martin Charnin, is sure to put a smile on your face -- and put “Tomorrow” in your head well into the New Year. Just beware: Daddy Warbucks throws a better Christmas party than you ever will.
The York Theatre Company at St. Peter’s, through Dec. 27.
The Plaids are back in the New York premiere of “Plaid Tidings,” the holiday edition of the beloved mainstay “Forever Plaid.” You’ll LOL as the four-member cast (Bradley Beahen, Jose Luaces, Ciaran Mccarthy and John Michael Zuerlein) harmonize their way through their posthumous holiday special. Classic Plaids routines make their way into the new show (yes, the three-minute version of “The Ed Sullivan Show” is there). But it’s the holiday tunes (“Jingle Bells,” “The Dreidel Song,” etc.) that’ll get you smiling. Besides -- what goes better with the holiday season than plaid?
Feinstein’s / 54 Below, through Dec. 30.
Cabaret crooner Michael Feinstein’s new show has its fair share of timeless holiday standards. But with an all-star jazz band behind him -- and sounding better than ever before -- Feinstein goes light on the sleigh bells, offering an eclectic and diverse set to carry you through the New Year. Expect songs like “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan” and “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” alongside “The Christmas Waltz” and “White Christmas.” This is Feinstein’s debut engagement -- and first sit-down engagement in New York in three years -- at the newly renamed Feinstein’s / 54 Below. Trust: You’ll want to make this miracle on 54th Street a part of your annual holiday plans.
“The Radio City Christmas Spectacular”
Radio City Musical Hall, through Jan. 3, 2016.
If you want to stick with something more traditional, take a trip to the annual “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” where the Rockettes will surely kick away any holiday stresses that might be sitting on your shoulders. Think you've been there and done that? Think again. New numbers have been added over the years, with some cool new technology that’ll pull you right into the kick line. And yes, the wooden soldiers number is still in there. And it's just as fantastic as you remember it. Some things never change.
“The Greatest Pirate Holiday Spectacularrr”
Theatre 54, through Jan. 3, 2016.
Reading “A Christmas Carol” is a fun way to celebrate the holidays. But you know what else is fun? Pirates. And in “The Greatest Pirate Holiday Spectacularrr,” you’ll get a pirate’s take on the classic Dickens’ tale. The story, which merges Scrooge’s classic tale with “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” asks the audience to help shape the adventure of the musical comedy. You’ll have a boatload of fun with this holiday treat.
“ELF The Musical”
The Theater at Madison Square Garden, through Dec. 27.
You loved the 2003 Will movie, now love the musical, which returns to New York City after Broadway runs in 2010 and 2012. The plot’s exactly the same as the film, so it'll feel like a warm hug from an old friend. Just expect 100 percent more singing and dancing and 100 percent less Will Ferrell.
“Sandra Bernhard: Feel the Bernhard”
Joe’s Pub, Dec. 26 - Dec. 31
Outspoken comic and actress Sandra Bernhard’s annual holiday show at Joe’s Pub is a must-see for every New Yorker -- as iconic as a trip to the Rockefeller Center Tree or a visit to watch the ball drop in Times Square. Only you’ll have to deal with way fewer people at Joe’s Pub, where the SiriusXM host will help you kiss 2015 goodbye by ripping it apart. In her latest show, “Feel the Bernhard,” she joins Bernie Sanders and the rest of the 99 percent in revolution against the 1 percent. “Take control this holiday season and give yourself a gift of liberation,” Bernhard says. Consider us there.