Holiday Celebrations New York Style: Halloween and BeyondOctober 30, 2018 - by Griffin Miller, Theatre Editor
If you’ve yet to hop aboard The RIDE in Masquerade, a captivating New York City phenomenon come to life in the days leading up to Halloween, I suggest you take advantage of these last couple of days to indulge in the dramatic presentation—based on European royalty’s tradition of masque balls—as it awakens imaginations on the streets of The City That Never Sleeps.
Immersive... interactive… enticing… the experience unfolds via a million-dollar motor coach and includes everything from videos to magical stories to an award-winning cast who embrace a medieval gestalt in “especially designed lace and jeweled masques of medieval court life.”
The last performance is on The Eve of All Hallows, so you’ll have to act quickly—and it will be totally worth it. Experiencetheride.com
Also on Halloween, in a slightly more nefarious way, is THE McKITTRICK MASQUERADE: INFERNO, a lush, sexy dance party during which guests encounter hotel residents and bizarre secrets within the myriad rooms that make up the McKittrick. And do dress as one of the darker creatures of the night – vampire, monster, werewolf, sorcerer, etc. Tap into your inner beast or Goth… make an occult statement… and let your ghoul freak fly. Mckittrickhotel.com
ONE NIGHT ONLY…
It’s been four long years since the Rufus and Martha Wainwright festive Christmas show appeared in New York, but Noel Nights—their part concert/part family & friends reunion—returns to us on Sunday, December 16th at Town Hall, complete with all its legendary merriment and musical trimmings.
“Let us once again celebrate light and love in these dark times,” said Rufus, adding, “And of course, always important: let us celebrate nutty outfits! Music ain’t too bad either.”
The other stars lined up for this year’s production include Martha Plimpton, Emmylou Harris, Sufjan Stevens, Joan As Policewoman, Loudon Wainwright III, Teddy Thompson, Sloan Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche.
For those unfamiliar with this multigenerational evening, besides New York, it has also entertained audiences in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montreal, Nashville and London since its debut in 2005. Noted musician/songwriter Kate McGarrigle turned the show into a benefit after she was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2006 and following her death in 2010, the family revived the annual benefit tradition for the Christmas show. This year marks the introduction of the Stand Up To Cancer Kate McGarrigle Fund with two main goals: to provide music therapy resources to musically inclined cancer patients, and to fund sarcoma research.
WE HAVE DRONES
Just when you thought New York’s annual Christmas Spectacular couldn’t get anymore, well, spectacular, along comes the genius of Intel® and the 2018 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes® turning the grand finale into a breathtaking drone light show unlike anything… anywhere… ever!
Intel®, the biggest of the big when it comes to “drone innovation” is aiming for a new indoor high when it unleashes 100 Shooting StarTM mini drones onto the Great Stage of Radio City for the show’s grand finale, “Christmas Lights,” given brilliant theatrical life by show director and director of new digital show content, Tony nominee Sam Buntrock (Sunday in the Park with George). Adding to the Yowza! factor is Obscura Digital whose striking projections extend the magic beyond the proscenium. The drone extravaganza will follow the famous “Living Nativity” featuring live animals and the baby Jesus and the original Christmas light: the North Star. Suddenly, “fragments of light will… appear as aerialists fly across the Great Stage” and drones in the guise of Christmas lights will appear with projections and the Radio City Rockettes, performing fabulous new choreography in costumes by Tony nominated costume designer Emilio Sosa.
Victoria Parker, executive vice president, productions, The Madison Square Garden Company expressed how thrilled she—and the whole MSG team is—to be tapping into the creative genius of Intel®, Obscura Digital and Mr. Buntrock, to ensure “…Radio City and the Christmas Spectacular will continue to push technological and artistic boundaries while maintaining the heart of the production – tradition.”
The 2018 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes runs from 11/9 to 1/1; rockettes.com/Christmas.