Good afternoon, this is W42ST Lifestyle Editor Sarah Beling with “Make Way For The Weekend” — your curated guide to the best of New York events in one convenient newsletter!
How did I spend my holiday break, you ask? By reading and watching plays, movies, books and TV shows filled with existential dread that remind us of life’s finite nature, of course!!! Now before you start wondering why you subscribed to New York’s Most Macabre Weekend Newsletter™️, hear me out: first of all, maybe you also watched It’s a Wonderful Life (and Fleishman is in Trouble?!?!), and secondly — these are the kind of works that inspire you to go out and Start Living Life. Don’t give everyone all the money in the bank à la George Bailey, but do go out and start trying your New York bucket list, ya know?
See you out there!!
What’s on your New York bucket list?
🎭 let’s go oooooo(uit) tonight
I am notoriously un-chill around celebrities (remind me to tell you about the time I accidentally dismissed Jodie Foster from my restaurant, confidently telling her “our brunch is over” at my first day on the job, as my manager sprinted to let me know that we’d be perfectly suited to serve Clarice Starling waffles). But lucky for me, this time I interviewed Broadway legend and Rent OG Anthony Rapp over the phone and managed to hold it together. He’s awesome and also opening his one-man memoir musical, Without You at New World Stages beginning January 14.
🎨 night at the museum
Raise your hand if your credit card bill is looking a little wretched after the holidays 💁🏼♀️. All of us?! Cool! Let’s go out for free-99 at Uniqlo NYC Nights at MoMa Friday January 6 where there will be open galleries, cocktails, tunes and drop-in drawing sessions sans debt lol.
🎶 middle east meditations
Kicking off the 2023 season at Lincoln Center Jazz is Middle East Meditations Friday January 20 and Saturday January 21, which features Naseer Shamma, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in an evening of Middle Eastern melodies and arrangements by Marsalis, Shamma and other orchestra members.
🎭 bite the apple
This may be very niche content, but if you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you purchase a copy of the seminal showbiz documentary Every Little Step and watch the scene where theatrical icon Rachelle Rak dons a fur coat and demands that casting director Jay Binder tell her whether she booked a job. She’s the real deal, y’all, and her new musical about women gritting it out on the Broadway boards, Electric Island is showing selections at Green Room 42 Monday January 9.
Broadway’s funniest smash hit! This Olivier Award-winning comedy is a hilarious hybrid of Monty Python and Sherlock Holmes. “NOTHING IS AS FALL-DOWN FUNNY!” (New York Post) “TONS OF FUN FOR ALL AGES!” (HuffPost) GET TICKETS…
🎭 camp’s in session
New work alert! Head over to ARS Nova Thursday January 12 for a “variety show meets party” of comedians and multidisciplinary performers at CAMP Showgasm, all of whom will also be premiering solo shows at the venue later in the season.
👯♀️ dance dance evolution
The Joyce Theater is home to the American Dance Platform January 10 through 15, where you can enjoy a rolling series of performances from Les Ballets Afrik, contemporary company B.Moore DANCE and contemporary urban rep from waheedworks.
🎶 cue the clarinets
If you’re kicking yourself for missing out on Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, fear not… Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All Stars, Yiddish singer extraordinaire, Eleanor Reissa and a Klezmer string super trio — Bob Cohen, Jake Shulman-Ment and Pete Rushefsky — come to the West Side in Klezmer in the Kitchen! at the AMT Theater Wednesday January 11!
🎭 run don’t walk
There are some actors so superb that I’d pay money for them to read the phone book, and Audra McDonald is one of them. A master of the craft, McDonald stars in the searing, can’t-look-away Ohio State Murders now on Broadway. Performing nearly the entire, grippingly distressing piece alone, McDonald shows you exactly why she is a living legend. Go see it with dear friends and book a cocktail hour afterwards to unpack her brilliance.
📺 start your engines
Get ready to lipsync for your life at this season’s newest RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing party at brand-new bar The Dickens Friday January 6. Hosted by Adriana Trenta, the weekly party will feature Drag Race trivia, food and drink specials and a dance floor that I would wager will play Supermodel.
🎶 raise your voice
Over at Sony Hall, the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir bring their buoyant, soulful sounds to Midtown on Saturday January 7!
🧁 sugar butter(lane) four
Many years ago, I lived near Butter Lane bakery and could not walk by without buying a cupcake (which is not the greatest strategy when it’s on your commute almost anywhere, but I digress…). Make your own at the Butter Lane cupcake classes Saturday January 7 and save one for me!
🎶 lobby party
Performing a pay-what-you-can performance featuring members from country, folk music and theater, collective The Lobbyists open at Rockwood Music Hall Saturday January 7!
🎨 celebrate lunar new year
Check out the Brooklyn Museum’s Sunday Art: Lunar New Year Celebration January 15 for an afternoon of creating your own art and enjoying a traditional Lion Dance performed by the New York Chinese Freemasons Club!
Want to catch the next great theatrical hit before theater TikTok does? Check out the Under the Radar Festival presented by The Public Theater, which features new works from around the world now through January 23 and highlights themes from Moby Dick to Kylie Jenner.
🎨 feeling fancy
Something about going to The Whitney makes me feel like a stylish, fancy New Yorker. Lucky for me, I can be a stylish, fancy New Yorker who sips cocktails on the museum’s rooftop without breaking the bank at Friday Night at the Whitney January 13.
🌳 a tree grows in queens
Cultivate a green thumb and pot your own plant at the Bonsai Bar at Queens Taproom Sunday January 8. The workshop even guarantees that your tree will survive (or they’ll replace it), which is the kind of insurance I need lol.
🍿 in the midnight hour
If you’ve been tuning in for a while, you know that I’m a big ’fraidy cat but I’m sure there are plenty of fun folks who would enjoy the zombie-themed Midnights of the Living Dead series at the IFC Center now through January 14! You can report back to me hahahaha!
🎤 logline appreciation alert
If you’re wondering what The Lesbian Agenda (playing the Bell House Tuesday January 17) is about, wonder no more: “Did you hear that lesbians are taking over the world? I mean, did you actually think straights making bread during quarantine was just a coincidence? Join Supreme Chancellor, Sophie Santos, who brings you her Agenda™ with this very serious show, where she tries to enforce her new world order. Featuring some of the best lez, bi and queer comedians* of all time.”
🔥 Hot tip
I may be going out on a limb again with Very Niche Content, but hear me out: old school, rubber and wood craft stamps are kind of awesome, and perk up any plain ol’ greeting card. I recently rediscovered my love of the art form when I stopped by Casey Rubber Stamps, a tiny East Village shop that feels practically frozen in time. Browse the delightfully funky stamp selection (yes, I bought several NYC and pizza-themed options) and then grab a cannoli at nearby iconic Italian bakery Veniero’s. And if you’re like “Sarah this is way too specific and strange for me” then FINE I ACCEPT THAT BUT I PROMISE YOU’LL HAVE A GOOD TIME!!
⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
The Wiz is screening at the Museum of the City of New York Thursday January 26
There’s a superstar DJ night at The Standard Hotel Friday January 6
The Housing Works Dispensary is now open 👀
There’s a Hugo Boss sample sale happening now through January 8
That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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