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8 Holiday Shows to See in New York

These are the shows that will make your season bright.

Looking for a show to see this holiday family? Look no further. There's something on this list for you and your family, whether biological or chosen:

Jefferson Mays stars in A Christmas Carol on Broadway.
(© A Christmas Carol Live)

1. A Christmas Carol on Broadway
Tony winner Jefferson Mays (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) plays over 50 characters in this genuinely scary adaptation of Charles Dickens's ghost story about Ebenezer Scrooge learning the value of Christmas. From the very first beat, audiences jump in their chairs as Mays grabs hold of our attention and never lets go. His tour de force performance is supported by some of the most innovative stage wizardry available today. The magic in this show must be seen to be believed. As our critic notes, "This Christmas Carol will send you out into the cold feeling warm, reflective, and maybe — maybe — just a little less cynical about the state of the world right now."

Jinkx Monsoon and BeDeLaCreme star in The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show.
(© Curtis Brown)

2. The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show
Drag superstars Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme are once again bringing their holiday extravaganza to New York's Town Hall as part of an international tour. This evening of comedy and song has become a seasonal essential, the spiked eggnog to make your holidays extra festive (or just gets you through, depending on your relationship to this time of year). Drag Race fans will be particularly keen to see Jinkx Monsoon, the newly crowned "Queen of All Queens" who triumphed over a field of Drag Race winners in the latest season of All Stars. There's no better way to make the yuletide gay.

The creative team of A Hanukkah Carol.

3. A Hanukkah Carol, or Gelt Trip! The Musical
Oy to the world! This new musical twist on Dickens by Aaron Kenny, Rob Berliner, and Harrison Bryan will receive a concert performance at the Green Room 42 on December 18, the first night of Hanukkah. Scrooge has become Chava Kanipshin, a narcissistic Millennial influencer who is too busy building her brand to spend time with her family during Hanukkah. However, an unforgettable trip to Hanukkah past, present, and future makes her see the lights. It's unclear whether Chava's transformation takes a full eight nights, or if it can be completed in the standard one. But this special concert is one-night-only.

Drew McVety and Allen Gilmore star in A Sherlock Carol off-Broadway.
(© Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

4. A Sherlock Carol
Mark Shanahan's clever mashup of Sherlock Holmes and A Christmas Carol returns to New York for a second year, with Drew McVety reprising his role as the brilliant detective and Allen Gilmore taking on Ebenezer Scrooge — who has possibly been murdered. Dr. Timothy Cratchit (better known to us as "Tiny Tim") wants answers in this festive whodunit, which also features a fair amount of caroling. TheaterMania's review calls it "a show for the whole family."

Kylie Kuioka, Ali Ewoldt, Dan Macke, Kerry Conte, Jay Aubrey Jones, and Ashley Robinson rehearse for Irish Rep's 2022 production of A Child's Christmas in Wales.
(© Irish Rep)

5. A Child's Christmas in Wales
Now back for its sixth season, Charlotte Moore's stage adaptation of this heartwarming tale by Dylan Thomas is a beloved tradition at the Irish Rep. Steeped in the nostalgia of a snowy Christmas as viewed through the eyes of a child, it features both contemporary and traditional Christmas music in what is guaranteed to be a feast for the senses. In a review of an earlier run, our critic advises, "Let it warm you inside like a cup of hot cocoa and take in the spirit of the holidays that exist only in our fantasies and fabricated memories."

John Kevin Jones stars in A Christmas Carol at the Merchant's House.
(© Joey Stocks)

6. A Christmas Carol at the Merchant's House
I know, I know…I've already recommended a one-man Christmas Carol featuring a Tony winner on Broadway. But for those willing to go off the beaten path, you'll find this little gem, which is performed in the most well-preserved townhouse in Manhattan's historic Bond Street neighborhood. You'll feel like you're stepping back into Dickens's own time with this intimate performance by John Kevin Jones, who marks his 10th anniversary performing A Christmas Carol at the Merchant's House. You can read more about this real haunted house of New York here.

Bridget Everett, Murray Hill, and Justin Vivian Bond will all appear at Joe's Pub this December.
(© Tricia Baron / Kevin Yatarola)

7. A Blessed Trinity at Joe's Pub
This is actually three shows at Joe's Pub, but all of them are worth highlighting: Starting December 5, cabaret terrorist Bridget Everett and her band, the Tender Moments, will play a series of engagements, all guaranteed to delight those with a taste for original songs and outrageous comedy. Starting December 13, Mr. Showbiz himself Murray Hill will take the 7pm show at Joe's Pub with A Murray Little Christmas, with Everett performing afterward at 9:30. Stick around and make it a double feature. You might do the same on December 16 when Justin Vivian Bond returns to Joe's Pub with Oh Mary, It's Christmas, the latest in a series of always-memorable holiday engagements. These three downtown icons all playing the same venue within the span of two weeks constitutes the ultimate gift for cabaret fans.

The Rockettes star in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
(© MSG Entertainment)

8. Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes
I couldn't leave this one out, could I? The Radio City Christmas Spectacular has been a beloved tradition in this town since 1933. Featuring the iconic Rockettes, it truly lives up to its name with a living nativity, a magical trip to Santa's workshop, and a full-size New York City tour bus onstage. This year, the Rockettes have added a new number called "Dance of the Frost Fairies", which will feature robotic fairy drones flying high above the audience. It plays an auditorium that seats over 6,000 and has 4-5 performances a day, meaning that there are always seats for you and your family. Catch a matinee and visit the tree in Rockefeller Center afterward — a perfect New York City afternoon.