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Holiday in the City

Kate Baldwin, Derrick Baskin, James Carpinello, Maria Dizzia, Santino Fontana, Matthew Hydzik, Brian d'Arcy James, Leigh Ann Larkin, Peta Murgatroyd, and Saycon Sengbloh reveal their holiday plans. logo
Brian d'Arcy James
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
A toy train track weaves through hallways backstage at Memphis, while tinsel shimmers on the dressing racks at Burn the Floor. Casts and crews across the Great White Way are collecting toys and coats for charity, while making sure to keep their Secret Santa a secret. It's the holidays on Broadway. And since many have performances on Christmas and New Year's, the Great White Way's actors have to celebrate New York City-style often with their fellow actor friends in place of family.

Still, as Brian D'Arcy James points out: "At least you've got a job and can pay for your egg nog." The award-winning actor, who recently shed the green makeup of Shrek the Musical in order to star in Manhattan Theatre Club's upcoming production of Time Stands Still, will celebrate in town with his wife, actress Jennifer Prescott, their eight-year-old daughter, and plenty of friends. "Last year, our Christmas was in competition with a pretty big Broadway musical, so this year I'm enjoying being in the middle of the rehearsal process for a new show rather than being on the brink of opening one," he says. For New Year's Eve, he and Prescott will continue their dinner and a movie tradition. "We've already pegged Nine as the 2010 choice," he notes.

Leigh Ann Larkin, who plays the saucy servant Petra in the revival of A Little Night Music, knows what she hopes to find under her tree on December 25: The Rosetta Stone, the Polish edition. "My family is big into Polish traditions, Polish foods, and polkas," she says. She'll miss being back home with her family in Pittsburgh, but she looks on the bright side of performing on Christmas Day. "Last Christmas, I was doing Gypsy [in which she played June] and it was just so cool to say 'Merry Christmas' to everyone at the show that night. I'm really looking forward to that again this year."

With two small children and a show on Christmas night, Rock of Ages' James Carpinello, who plays rocker Stacee Jaxx, won't be getting much sleep this Christmas. "At 5am I'll be up opening presents, and at 8:30pm I'll be singing Bon Jovi," he laughs. Despite the prospect of a long day, he's looking forward to spending Christmas night with his castmates. "We have a great family at Rock of Ages, so it will be fun to be there Christmas night." And he's got a plan to add some additional holiday spirit. "I think we should do the show with real bourbon eggnog. What's more rock 'n' roll than having a totally f'ed up Christmas show?"

Kate Baldwin
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
Kate Baldwin is thrilled to be on Broadway this year starring in the acclaimed revival of Finian's Rainbow. "I love how excited people get to come see a Broadway show over Christmas, especially when people tell me it's their first time." She will celebrate Christmas Eve with a nice dinner out with her husband, fellow Broadway actor Graham Rowat, and some friends, and then on Christmas Day, she'll watch him open his presents before heading out to perform. She'll have nothing to open under the tree, though, since she asked for a weekly massage. "Not from him, but from a professional," she adds, laughing.

Matthew Hydzik recently took over the role of Tony in West Side Story, so this Christmas, his parents are coming to visit him. They will get to shop on Fifth Avenue, see the show a few times, and maybe stop by Hydzik's favorite theater district pub for some holiday cheer. "We're just going to make a holiday of it and have a very merry New York Christmas," he notes. Hydzik is also hoping for some more snow. "Since I drink beer, I have to run, and I like to run in the park on a cold snowy day," he says.

While Santino Fontana's family celebrates Christmas back in Washington, the actor will be in the Big Apple preparing to play Rodolfo in the revival of A View from the Bridge opposite Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson. "Over the years I've missed going home five or six times and it gets a little easier each year," he says. "My first Christmas I couldn't go home was while I was doing A Christmas Carol in Minneapolis and I ate at Falafel King with a friend, because it was the only thing that was open." This year, with many more choices in Manhattan, he'll avoid the fried chickpeas when eating Christmas dinner out with friends.

Saycon Sengbloh, who co-stars in Fela!, says she'll miss her holiday tradition of getting together with her brother and sharing new songs they've written. Nonetheless, she will keep her Christmas "simple but festive" with a pot luck dinner at a friend's apartment. "I make a mean macaroni and cheese casserole," she boasts.

Burn the Floor star Peta Murgatroyd vowed never to spend another Christmas away from her family in Australia after the loneliness of last year's holiday, which she spent in a German hotel while on tour with the show. But her holiday in New York is shaping up to be a much merrier one than she first expected. Her older brother is flying in from the UK and will attend the show's holiday dinner with her on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, she's surprising him with Knicks tickets, and then he'll see her perform later that night. For her first New Year's in New York, she's going to brave Times Square with her dance partner and boyfriend Damian Whitewood. "We're going to go see the big ball drop. I know there will be so many people there, but we haven't experienced that yet."

Maria Dizzia, who has earned rave reviews for her work in Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, plans on doing "touristy things" like visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center on December 25 before her evening show. She says the best part about being part of a cast during the holidays is the "insta-friends" you have to celebrate with. "I feel like we've been celebrating since the 26th of November," she notes.

Memphis isn't playing on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and Derrick Baskin, who plays Gator, can't wait to fly home to Virginia and spend his two days off with his family. And even though he has two shows on December 26, his 1950s-style costumes aren't going to stop him from eating copious amounts of Cornish hens and rice and diving into the "litany of desserts" that accompany his family's dinner. "There will definitely be coconut cake, cheese cake apple pie, and peach cobbler," he gushes. Will he bring some leftovers back for any of his castmates? "I would, but they probably wouldn't make it out of my apartment!"

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