Holiday performances to stream from Taylor Mac, the Apollo and more

Holiday performances to stream from Taylor Mac, the Apollo and more

~ Happy Holiday Streaming ~

The days leading up to the holidays typically present a cheerful offering of seasonal performances — and this year is no different. From archival captures of beloved classics to original works staged for the screen, organizations and artists have programmed a month of performances that are sure to light up the dark days of winter.

Here is a sampling of holiday specials to stream this year. We’ll be updating this list, so be sure to check back. And with many local institutions filling calendars with virtual events, we also recommend checking out your favorite spot to see what gems are on the lineup this month.

Once Upon the Holidays
Performances on Dec. 18 and Dec. 20

Presented in two parts, this holiday special from the Young People’s Chorus of New York City guest stars baritone Lester Lynch, who joins over 500 members of the chorus to perform an original story by Lynn Ahrens.

Home for the Holidays
Premieres Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. Eastern and is available through Dec. 19

Attention Broadway fans (or anyone who likes to sing holiday songs): Alan Cumming, André De Shields, Heather Headley and more will take part in a concert that showcases “songs based on traditions from their homes and from where their shows are set.” The event benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night
Goes live Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. Eastern

The Apollo Theater is continuing its yearly Kwanzaa celebration with a digital gathering, comprising dance, music and poetry. Hosted by Imhotep Gary Byrd, the event features performances from Abdel R. Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and special guests Mumu Fresh, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Harlem Children’s Zone.

“This year we have witnessed unprecedented disruption — a deadly pandemic, social unrest, economic tumult, an exhaustive presidential race and uncertainty around every corner,” the theater states on its website. “This digital gathering to celebrate culture, tradition, ritual and community in New York and around the country is more important than ever.”

“Jingle Bell Rocks!”
Available through Dec. 31

Have you always wanted to hear a historical account of Christmas music told by Run-D.M.C.’s Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and filmmaker John Waters, among others? Now is your chance. Directed by Mitchell Kezin, this 2014 documentary is streaming courtesy of the Strand Theatre, located in Rockland, Maine. The film includes live performances, interviews and archival footage.

Taylor Mac’s “Holiday Sauce … Pandemic!”
Performances through Jan. 2

ALL ARTS artist-in-residence Taylor Mac is presenting a virtual vaudeville version of “Holiday Sauce” — a performance mixtape of art forms, including music, film, burlesque, designs by Mac’s long-term collaborator Machine Dazzle and other “random acts of fabulousness.” Presented by Pomegranate Arts, the stream promises catharsis and celebrates the release of Mac’s “Holiday Sauce” album, which dropped in November. “Holiday Sauce … Pandemic!” is dedicated to Mac’s late drag mother, Mother Flawless Sabrina, and pays tribute to queer elders. Expect lots of tinsel, glitter and riffs on holiday classics.

Counting Down the Holidays on Instagram

With theaters closed, Instagram has proven to be a virtual stage. This holiday season, we’re watching two different series from Broadway stars: Jim Hogan performs “25 Covers of Christmas,” and Julia Mattison and Joel Waggoner present their “Advent Carolndar 2020.”