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NYC weekend picks: Our best bets
Our picks for what to see and do in the city.
(Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway): All she wants for Christmas is you in the audience. Carey wraps up the Beacon Theatre run of her holiday show “Merry Christmas II You,” so expect her holiday hits like “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Here’s hoping she fares better singing live at the Beacon than she did at the Rockefeller Center tree-lighting two weeks ago. Info: Dec. 15-18, 20-22; $59.50-$250; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com -- DANIEL BUBBEO (Credit: Getty Images / Michael Loccisano)
JINGLE POP-UP SHOP
(Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave.): Peruse an eclectic collection of wares from 15 vendors, including global travel store Flight 001, Twig Terrariums and Bamboula, a company that offers handcrafted gifts from six African countries. Info: Dec. 16-28, daily from 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Free, 212-652-2110, chelseamarket.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Patrick Dean)
(Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St.): Here comes the "Newlywed Game" host. Sherri makes merry in this laugh-filled show in which she riffs about male-female relationships, raising kids, her career and plenty more. Info: Dec. 19-20; $26-$115, 212-367-9000, gothamcomedyclub.com -- DANIEL BUBBEO (Credit: Getty Images / Charley Gallay)
(Grand Army Plaza, Flatbush Avenue and Easter Parkway, Brooklyn): At 32 feet tall, the menorah at the north end of Brooklyn's Prospect Park is the maximum height allowed by Jewish law. The eight nights of Hanukkah celebration include live music and latkes, plus gifts for the kids. Info: Dec. 16-23; Free, 646-298-9909, largestmenorah.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: largestmenorah.com)
(IFC Center, 323 Ave. of the Americas): An ongoing series of Christmas-themed films that includes some obvious choices and some not so obvious ones. Among the highlights are "Gremlins" (the little guy was a gift, remember?), the 1990 classic "Home Alone" (above, with Macaulay Culkin) and, of course, Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life." Info: Through Dec. 25; $8-$14, 212-924-6789, ifccenter.com -- RAFER GUZMAN (Credit: Twentieth Century Fox)
NICK LOWE'S HOLIDAY REVUE
(Bowery Ballroom): British recording artist Nick Lowe will perform songs off his 2013 holiday album 'Quality Street', which includes classic covers and two original songs. Info: Dec. 20 at 8:30 p.m., 66 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg, 718-486-5400, $35. (Credit: Jim Herrington)
EL GRECO IN NEW YORK
(Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave.): If you haven't seen this exhibit, which commemorates the 16th century Greek-born Spanish painter on this 400th anniversary of his death, now's the time. More than a dozen of his paintings, including "A View of Toledo," pictured, are displayed at The Met, along with six works on loan from The Hispanic Society of America; three additional works are being shown at The Frick Collection, creating a multisite retrospective of sorts. Info: Through Feb. 1; $25 recommended fee, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Metropolitan Museum)
(Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St.): Jake Gyllenhaal, above, and Ruth Wilson (Showtime's "The Affair") make their Broadway debuts in the American premiere of Nick Payne's romantic drama about what's described as the difference between "choice and destiny." Info: Dec. 16-March 15; $79-$145, 212-239-6200, manhattantheatreclub.com -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Pari Dukovic)
"EVERY BRILLIANT THING"
(Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow St.): In Duncan Macmillan's one-man play, a young man (portrayed by Jonny Donahue, pictured) tries to cheer up his suicidal mother by writing down all the best things in the world. Hint: this includes ice cream and Christopher Walken's voice. Info: Dec. 6-March 29; $55, 212-866-4444, barrowstreettheatre.com -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Matthew Murphy)
(Smithsonian Design Museum, 2 East 91st St.): After undergoing a major renovation, the Carnegie Mansion, which houses this historic and contemporary design museum, is reopening with new exhibits, including "Maira Kalman Selects" and "Beautiful Users: Designing for People." Info: Opening Dec. 12; $18, 212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Matt Flynn)
CHANDLER, HAMMETT, WOOLRICH & CAIN
(Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St.): A festival of 24 films based on writings by the four pillars of film noir: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Cornell Woolrich and James M. Cain. The series begins with the Bogart-Bacall classic "The Big Sleep" (1946) and includes a rarely seen pre-release version with 18 minutes of unused footage. Among the other highlights are Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity," Luchino Visconti's "Ossessione" and Robert Siodmak's "Phantom Lady." Info: Dec. 12-24; $13, 212-727-8110, filmforum.org -- RAFER GUZMAN (Credit: Photofest/Film Forum)
(Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St.): T.R. Knight, pictured, stars in this comedy by Samuel D. Hunter ("The Whale") about life for the manager of an Italian chain restaurant in small-town Idaho. Info: Through Jan. 4; $75, 212-279-4200, playwrightshorizons.org -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Matt Flynn)
"DYING FOR IT"
(Atlantic Theater Company, 336 W. 20th St.): Mary Beth Peil (the dreaded mother-in-law on "The Good Wife"), Joey Slotnick and Jeanine Serralles are part of the ensemble for the American premiere of Moira Buffini's play about a luckless guy whose intended suicide has unintended consequences. Info: Dec. 11- Jan. 18; $20-$65, 212-352-3101, atlantictheater.org -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Ahron Foster)
DYKER HEIGHTS HOLIDAY LIGHTS
If you think all Christmas decorations are basically the same, you haven't been to Dyker Heights, the Brooklyn neighborhood known for its over-the-top holiday displays. You can take a self-guided tour, checking out the blocks between 82nd and 84th streets and 11th and 12th avenues. Or let A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours show you the way. Their three-and-a-half-hour "Christmas Lights and Cannoli Tour" departs from Manhattan and leads passengers past the sparkling colored lights, glowing Nativity scenes and animatronic Christmas figurines, concluding at Villabate Alba Pastry Shop. Info: Displays are in place through Dec. 31. Tours run nightly at 7 through Dec. 31, with additional times on some nights. No tours Dec. 24-25; A Slice of Brooklyn tour $55, 212-913-9917, asliceofbrooklyn.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Maria Boyadjieva)
ALVIN AILEY DANCE THEATER
(New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St.): The company returns for a five-week holiday season. The repertory schedule includes the world premiere of “Odetta,” a work choreographed by Ailey dancer Matthew Rushing and inspired by Odetta Holmes, a singer and activist known for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. The family matinee series runs every Saturday at 2 p.m. and includes a post-performance Q&A with the dancers. Special holiday performances take place on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Info: Dec. 3-Jan. 4, $25-$150; 212-581-1212, alvinailey.org. --ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Andrew Eccles)
ROBERT ALTMAN RETROSPECTIVE
(Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.): Unpredictable, idiosyncratic and ferociously independent even when working within the Hollywood system, Altman died in 2006 having left his unmistakable imprint on every genre he touched, from the Western ("McCabe and Mrs. Miller," pictured, starring Julie Christie) to the war movie ("M*A*S*H") to the noir ("The Long Goodbye"). Those films are included in an Altman retrospective of 50 programs that also covers his television series, documentaries, industrial shorts and music videos. Info: through Jan. 17, $12; 212-708-9400, moma.org. --RAFER GUZMAN (Credit: Warner Bros.)
"GEORGE BALANCHINE'S THE NUTCRACKER"
(Lincoln Center Plaza): The New York City Ballet celebrates 60 years of performing this beloved holiday classic. Info: Nov. 28-Jan. 3, Tickets from $35, 212-496-0600, nycballet.com -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Paul Kolnik)
"TAMBURLAINE, PARTS I AND II"
(Theatre for a New Audience, 262 Ashland Pl., Brooklyn): John Douglas Thompson, the off-Broadway superstar who really should be known by everyone, plays the Central Asian tyrant in this 19-actor revival and compression of Christopher Marlowe's bloody 1587 epic. Info: Through Dec. 21, $55-$85, 866-811-4111, tfana.org -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Gerry Goodstein)
Bergdorf Goodman Windows
Bergdorf Goodman windows have a simple theme this year: "inspired." One window, for example, features inspired (and inspiring) individuals such as Shakespeare, Melville and Tolstoy. Through January 4. (754 Fifth Ave., 800-558-1855, bergdorfgoodman.com). -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Ricky Zehavi)
Henri Bendel Windows
At Henri Bendel, window designers created an enchanted secret garden. The main window features an ivy-covered, lush interior accented by sparkling accessories. Through Jan. 5. (712 Fifth Ave., 800-423-6335, henribendel.com). -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Getty Images / Eugene Gologursky)
(Macy's Herald Square, 151 W. 34th St., 8th floor): Go big when you visit Santa this year and check out this 13,000-square-foot Christmas Village, which features a train ride, an enchanted forest and a toyshop on the way to see the jolly man himself. Info: Nov.28-Dec. 24, free, 212-494-4495, macys.com/believe -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: FACEBOOK/Macys)
(New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Corona): What is billed as the largest gingerbread village in the world returns to Queens with 1,000 new homemade houses, an underground candy subway station and Peppermint Central Park. Info: Through Jan. 11; $11, $8 kids 2-17, 718-699-0005, nysci.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: NY Hall of Science / Andrew Kelly)
HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW
(The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx): The Flatiron Building, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the original Yankee Stadium are among the 150 miniature New York landmarks that model trains zip past in this magical landscape made of bark, leaves and other plant parts. Other special holiday events coinciding with the exhibit include a hands-on botanical building workshop, a "Thomas & Friends" adventure for kids, and adults-only "bar car" nights. Advance reservations encouraged. Info: Nov. 15-Jan. 19, $28 adults, $16 kids 2-12; 718-817-8700, nybg.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Flickr/Augie Ray)
"THE ELEPHANT MAN"
(Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St.): Can one of the most beautiful men in Hollywood transform into one of the world's ugliest in "The Elephant Man?" Bradley Cooper says he's been yearning to play John Merrick since he first saw the 1980 movie with John Hurt. Now Cooper stars in the new Broadway production of this drama about a severely disfigured man working as a Victorian side-show freak. Info: Through Feb. 15, $79-$169, 212-239-6200, elephantmanbroadway.com -- LINDA WINER (Credit: Joan Marcus)
“CHRIS OFILI: NIGHT AND DAY”
(New Museum, 235 Bowery): What do the Bible, Zimbabwean cave paintings and hip-hop music have in common? They’ve all served as the inspiration for this artist’s varied, vibrant work, which caused a stir at the Brooklyn Museum in 1999. Info: Through Jan. 25; $16, 212-219-1222, newmuseum.org -- ANNE MACHALINSKI (Credit: Chris Ofili/David Zwirner/Victor)