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EntertainmentColumnistsLinda Winer

Theater, dance and more: Holiday events for gift giving

New York City Ballet's

New York City Ballet's "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker" is a classic holiday mainstay. Credit: Paul Kolnik

New York can’t resist getting in the mood for the holidays, no matter what world politics tell us, and the arts and entertainment universe is no exception. Here are some familiar events, plus a sleigh load of diverse offerings you may never before have imagined. And, for those who are not already spent out, I’ve added a few ideas for offbeat gifts.

RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR High-kicking Rockettes, wooden soldiers and, for sure, Santa take over Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Ave. of the Americas, through Jan. 2. Visit

GEORGE BALANCHINE’S THE NUTCRACKER The classic fantasy of the classic ballet is back, complete with the tree that grows, through Dec. 31 at the Koch Theater, Lincoln Center. Visit

THE ILLUSIONISTS — TURN OF THE CENTURY The magic show returns for the third year, this time with The Clairvoyants from “America’s Got Talent,” through Jan. 1 at the Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway. Visit

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL The show based on the TV musical is at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, through Dec. 18. Visit

THAT GOLDEN GIRLS SHOW! A PUPPET PARODY: HOLIDAY EDITION The puppet spoof of the ’80s TV favorite has updated its script and the decoration for the season at DR2 Theatre, 103 E. 15th St., through Dec. 31. Visit

iLUMINATE The high-tech group applies its magic to art and music for the holidays at New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St., through Jan. 8. Visit

SEVEN IN ONE BLOW, OR THE BRAVE LITTLE KID For the 16th year, the Axis Theatre presents its children’s show, adapted from the Brothers Grimm with a video cameo by Debbie Harry at 1 Sheridan Sq., through Dec. 20. Visit

CHRISTMAS IS A DRAG Members of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” share their special extravagance at the Laurie Beechman Theatre and supper club, 407 W. 42nd St., through Dec. 21. Visit

A WELL-STRUNG CHRISTMAS The singing-string quartet Well-Strung puts its pop-classical spin on holiday favorites at 9:30 Tuesday and Dec. 13 at Feinstein’s/54 Below, the supper club and cabaret at 254 W. 54th St. Visit

A CHRISTMAS CAROL AT THE MERCHANT’S HOUSE This is a re-creation of Charles Dickens’ own New York readings in 1867, performed at the landmark Merchant’s House Museum, 29 E. Fourth St., Wednesday through Dec. 24. Visit

A STREET CORNER CHRISTMAS The Nashville-based a cappella group Street Corner Symphony comes to Le Poisson Rouge, the multimedia art cabaret, 158 Bleecker St., Wednesday at 7 p.m. No one under 18 allowed. Visit

HOLIDAY HOUSE: CHRISTMAS BENDS An ageless child has holiday memories in this experimental show by the Mason Holdings Theater Company at the Fourth Street Theatre, 83 E. Fourth St., through Dec. 23. Visit

THE RIDE: HOLIDAY EDITION For the fifth year, the tour-bus expedition celebrates the lights of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa around the city, through Jan. 8. Visit

THE YORKVILLE NUTCRACKER This is the 21st year that Dances Patrelle has mixed the “Nutcracker” with scenes of “olde” New York, Thursday through Dec. 11, Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College, East 68th Street and Park Avenue. Visit

THE FIRST NOEL The Classical Theatre of Harlem begins what it hopes will be an annual tradition with this musical view of original and classic carols through pop, jazz and gospel, Saturday through Dec. 18 at the Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125 St. This is part of the “holidays at the Apollo” family series. Visit

THE HARD NUT Mark Morris and his dance group return with their hilarious and beautiful deconstruction of “The Nutcracker,” Saturday through Dec. 18 at BAM Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn. Visit

CARNEGIE HALL FAMILY HOLIDAY CONCERT The New York Pops and the New York Theatre Ballet present “Twas the Night Before Christmas” at 3 p.m. Dec. 18. Visit

HOLIDAY SOIREE The Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., invites people of all faiths to enjoy the fourth night of Hanukkah 7-9 p.m. Dec. 27. Includes food and a tour of the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue. Visit

And for the theater person who doesn’t quite have everything

  • How about a vinyl special edition of the original Broadway cast recording of “The Book of Mormon”? Talk about retro. The LP double set will be on gold records, with new artwork and rare photos. In case you aren’t also prepared to buy a turntable on which to play the handsome thing, the set includes an MP3 download card for the full digital cast recording. $80;
  • Not to be outdone by news from “Mormon,” there’s also something new from “Hamilton” — a limited-edition T-shirt with “History has its Eyes on You” printed on a map of the country. It’s $30, but $10 will be donated to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, a partner in the show’s ambitious education program. Check out
  • Each year, BroadwayCares/Equity Fights AIDS creates a holiday ornament of a star deemed a Broadway legend. Now it’s Northport native Patti LuPone’s turn and she is memorialized in her iconic arms-up pose in “Evita.” A four-legend gift set — Liza Minnelli, Gwen Verdon, Barbra Streisand and Julie Andrews — is available for $200. $70 for LuPone, $200 for the quartet;
  • Finally, fans of both the musical “Waitress” and pies can get a five-piece gift package that includes the original Broadway cast recording, a limited-edition “Waitress” pie ornament, a flour jar, butter dish and guest check tray. $120;


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