Beginning on Monday, December 6, and continuing throughout the entire month, Off-Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Theatre will present its seasonal series Tinsel: A Global Holiday Celebration. The winter-time festival will showcase live performances by leading artists with roots in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, India, and around the world, including stars from Broadway and beyond. They’ll all be sharing their unique holiday traditions and spotlighting the variety of ways people from different cultures celebrate.
There is something for everyone to enjoy, from music and dance to cabaret and theatrical performances. Among the highlights are the twelve-show run of Everett Bradley’s Holidelic, the popular holiday funk revue headed by famed rock percussionist Everett Bradley (E Street Band; Hall & Oates; Bon Jovi). The show features holiday-themed funk songs written by Bradley (who plays the role of Funk’s Father Christmas, Papadelic – a mash-up of George Clinton and Santa Claus) and brought to life by an array of “top-shelf noise makers.”
The exciting line-up also includes international drag superstar Latrice Royale; an updated comical version of the traditional Mexican Pastorela (Nativity play) about immigration and politics by Something from Abroad; an evening of music and dance of the African diaspora from Cumbé Dance; Brinda Guha’s Kalamandir Dance Company bringing together ancestral knowledge and local creators of South Asian artistry; Ronny Dutra’s Brazilian-style celebration of New Year’s Eve; and composer/vocalist Ilene Reid’s rocking “Chrismukkah” show.
In addition, you can catch spectacular one-night-only appearances by Broadway luminaries Jelani Remy (Ain’t Too Proud), Telly Leung (Aladdin), Jared Grimes (Funny Girl), Reed Luplau (Moulin Rouge!), and their special guests, as well as musical multi-hyphenate of the stage and screen Jaime Lozano and The Familia (Songs by an Immigrant; In the Heights).
Jelani revealed to me that Broadway’s Saint Aubyn (Ain’t Too Proud) and Jewelle Blackman (Hadestown) will number among the artists joining him on the Lortel stage, and added, “I am most excited to share my Caribbean roots with my theater family!”
According to Jaime, “This concert is very important for me because I had my very first Off-Broadway show in this theater ten years ago and now I am back with my own concert to celebrate the holidays. I will be joined by an amazing all-Latinx/Latine line-up of performers and musicians, including Mauricio Martínez, Florencia Cuenca, Marina Pires, Cedric Leiba Jr., and more.”
And Telly noted, “We have an incredible line-up of guests from the AAPI theater community – and it is a rare thing to see ALL of us on a stage together. As the host, I’m excited to have a moment to touch base with them, showcase their incredible voices, and also play some fun games. It’ll feel like a late-night talk show, with musical numbers and lots of surprises for the audience and our guests. It’s been such an isolating time for all of us, so we are excited for this chance to gather again, laugh, and spread some holiday cheer! It’s a ONE-NIGHT-ONLY event, so we hope you’ll join us at the Lortel on 12/20.”
Be sure to get your tickets soon and join in the spirit of international holiday cheer with one or more of these terrific diverse selections that will not only entertain, but also give you a glimpse at how people from around the globe make the season merry and bright!
Tinsel: A Global Holiday Celebration plays December 6-31, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street, NYC. For tickets to individual shows (priced at $10-99), go online. To ensure safety, everyone who enters the theater must be fully vaccinated; all audience members are required to show proof of full vaccination status along with a valid ID upon entry. While inside the theater, everyone must wear a mask at all times.