Things to Do Around NYC: December 9–15

December 7, 2016 Updated: December 7, 2016    

COMMUNITY EVENTS

NEW IN MANHATTAN

Painting the Natural World
Tuesdays, Dec. 6–Jan. 28, at 7 p.m.
American Museum of Natural History
In an after-hours painting workshop, artists Greg Follender, and Eric Hamilton provide hands-on instruction in acrylic paint. Get a glimpse into the history and craftsmanship behind world-class dioramas and take home a painting of your own. $255; $240 members. AMNH.org

Winter Telescope Party
Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.
Hayden Planetarium Space Theater at American Museum of Natural History
Join Steve Beyer, Brian Levine, and Ted Williams for a sneak peek at the celestial objects that appear in our winter sky. $15; $12 members. AMNH.org

Bryant Park Winter Village
Through Jan. 2
Bryant Park
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park features NYC’s only free admission skating rink, the Holiday Shops, and rinkside eatery Public Fare. Free. WinterVillage.org

7th Annual Ecstatic Music Festival
Jan. 9–May 13
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 W. 67th St.
More than 80 artists from across the sonic spectrum come together for nine collaborative, one-night-only performances. Composers and performers from different musical genres come together for nine one-night-only performances featuring world premieres, new arrangements and the exclusive opportunity to hear artists discuss their work. $100–$120 for festival passes purchased before Dec. 31. KaufmanMusicCenter.org

New York Ceramics & Glass Fair
Jan. 19–22
Bohemian National Hall, 321 E. 73rd St.
The singular fair of its kind in the United States continues to attract a stellar roster of internationally renowned specialists—from ancient to contemporary, spanning five centuries. $20. NYCeramicsAndGlass.com

ONGOING IN MANHATTAN

Peter & the Wolf
Dec. 10 & 11 at 2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.
Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Peter B. Lewis Theater at the Guggenheim, 1071 Fifth Ave.
In what has become an annual holiday tradition, Works & Process at the Guggenheim presents ten performances of Sergei Prokofiev’s charming children’s classic. $35–$100. WorksAndProcess.org

New York & The Nation
Ongoing
The Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History
170 Central Park West
Explore the story of New York and America in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History. $20 for adults, $12 for students, $15 for seniors. NYHistory.org

ONGOING ELSEWHERE

Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) Exercises
Through Dec. 21, Wednesdays, 4–5 p.m.
Borough Park Library, 1265 43rd St., Brooklyn
A class of five exercises including meditation. Come relieve your stress and anxieties, increase your energy and vitality, and enjoy peace of mind. Free. en.FalunDafa.org

Thursday Nights at the Brooklyn Museum
Thursdays
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy.
See all that the Brooklyn Museum has to offer—compliments of Squarespace. Get access to world-class permanent collections and tours of special exhibitions and events like films and salsa dancing. Free. ThursdayNightsBKM.org

Pushing the Envelope: A Decade of Documentary at the Cinema Eye Honors
Through Jan. 8
Museum of Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Queens
Highlights from the Cinema Eye Honors’ first decade with a series featuring more than twenty films that have won or been nominated, along with a few key films released in the year before that inaugural Cinema Eye Honors award ceremony. MovingImage.us

VISUAL ARTS

NEW IN MANHATTAN

Black Fashion Designers
Dec. 6–May 16
Museum at FIT, 227 W. 27th St.
Black Fashion Designers examines the impact made by designers of African American descent on the world of fashion. The exhibition features approximately 75 fashion objects that illustrate the individual styles of more than 60 designers, placing them within a wider fashion context. FITnyc.edu

A True Friend of the Cause: Lafayette and the Anti-Slavery Movement
Dec. 7–Feb. 4
Grolier Club, 47 E. 60th St.
Hailed as the “Hero of Two Worlds,” the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) has received renewed attention for his multifaceted contributions in several areas, including international politics, diplomacy, the military, and the human rights movement. His sustained efforts deployed on both sides of the Atlantic on behalf of the abolition of slavery however are not widely known. This is the first public exhibition devoted to Lafayette’s role as an international anti-slavery advocate. Free. GrolierClub.org

ONGOING IN MANHATTAN

Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven
Through Jan. 8
Gallery 899 at The Met Fifth Avenue
This exhibition will illuminate the key role that the Holy City played in shaping the art of the period from 1000 to 1400. History records harmonious and dissonant voices of people from many lands, passing in the narrow streets of a city not much larger than Midtown Manhattan. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio
Through Jan. 16
Gallery 999 at The Met Fifth Avenue
This will be the first monographic exhibition devoted to Valentin, who is little known because his career was short-lived—he died at age 41—and his works are so rare. Around 60 paintings by Valentin survive, and this exhibition will bring together 45 of them, with works coming from Rome, Vienna, Munich, Madrid, London, and Paris. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

Velázquez Portraits: Truth in Painting
Through March 12
The Met Fifth Avenue
Velázquez’s portraits of a young girl (circa 1640) and of Cardinal Camillo Astalli-Pamphili (circa 1650), both from the collection of The Hispanic Society of America in New York City, were recently examined and treated at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The removal of extremely discolored varnish layers that had masked these paintings revealed Velázquez’s remarkable technique and subtle sense of color in ways that had not been seen in more than a century. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

The Aesthetic Movement in America
Through June 25
The Met Fifth Avenue
This installation highlights a great strength of The Met collection—arts of the late 19th-century Anglo-American Aesthetic movement. $12–$25 suggested. METMuseum.org

ONGOING ELSEWHERE

Wrap Me Up: Winter Small Works
Through Jan. 20
Eleventh Street Arts, 46-06 11th St, Long Island City, Queens
Small, intimate paintings and drawings by 51 artists, including a couple of sculptures and over 100 portraits, landscapes, figure, and still life paintings and drawings by highly skilled artists from the Water Street and Grand Central Ateliers. Prices range from $150 up to $9,500. Most works are priced around $2,000. EleventhStreetArts.com

PERFORMING ARTS

NEW IN MANHATTAN

The Yorkville Nutcracker
Dec. 8–11
The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, E. 68th St.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of “The Yorkville Nutcracker,” set in 1895, which includes lavish sets and costumes and takes the audience on a tour through Olde New York’s most beloved landmarks, including a holiday party at Gracie Mansion, dancing at the Crystal Palace in the New York Botanical Garden, and skating in Central Park. $45–$85. DancesPatrelle.org

Keith Michael’s The Nutcracker
Dec. 10 & 11 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
Florence Gould Hall, 55 E. 59th St.
New York Theatre Ballet returns for a sixth year of Keith Michael’s “The Nutcracker,” an enchanting holiday ballet. From clockwork imps to a luminous owl that flies above the audience, mice dressed in polka dots and dancers dancing with huge chopsticks, this timeless re-imagined classic bursts with energy and excitement. $24 for children, $34 for adults. NYTB.org

The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s The First Noel
Dec. 10–18
The Apollo Theater
The Harlem-based holiday musical makes an unprecedented move to the Apollo’s mainstage this year with an expanded cast. The musical features original music and re-imagined classic carols—ranging from pop to jazz to gospel—and follows three generations of a Harlem family affected by tragedy to tell a universal story of love and belonging perfect for this holiday season. $30–$65. ApolloTheater.org

The Magic Flute
Dec. 20–Jan. 5
Metropolitan Opera
The Met’s English-language family adaptation of Mozart’s sublime and mystical journey, a new holiday tradition in the city, returns in Julie Taymor’s fanciful production. Young stars Layla Claire and Ben Bliss are the fairy-tale princess and prince, and Christopher Maltman reprises his acclaimed interpretation of the bird-catcher Papageno. Special holiday pricing and weekday matinees are available for this abridged version, conducted by Antony Walker. From $25. MetOpera.org

ONGOING IN MANHATTAN

Manon Lescaut
Through Dec. 10
Metropolitan Opera
Anna Netrebko stars in the title role, a heroine as alluring and irresistible as her adored city of Paris. Marcelo Alvarez is her obsessed lover in the opera that made Puccini famous, showcased in Richard Eyre’s heated,1940s film noir–inspired production, with Marco Armiliato on the podium. From $32. MetOpera.org

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
Through Dec. 31
David H. Koch Theater
Celebrate the joy and wonder of the holidays with George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” as Tschaikovsky’s iconic score whisks you away on a heartwarming adventure through the eyes of the pint-sized heroine Marie on her journey to a fantastical land made entirely of candy. $35–$285. NYCBallet.com

L’Amour de Loin
Dec. 1–29
Metropolitan Opera
A dazzling new production by Robert Lepage, featuring glimmering ribbons of LED lights that extend across the length of the stage and over the orchestra pit. Eric Owens is the knight on a quest of love and Susanna Phillips is his lover on the other side of the sea. Conductor Susanna Malkki makes her Met debut. From $25. MetOpera.org

Nabucco
Dec. 12–Jan. 7
Metropolitan Opera
The legendary Plácido Domingo brings another new baritone role to the Met under the baton of his longtime collaborator James Levine. Liudmyla Monastyrska is Abigaille, the warrior woman determined to rule empires, and Jamie Barton is the heroic Fenena. Dmitri Belosselskiy is the stentorian voice of the oppressed Hebrew people. From $27. MetOpera.org

NEW ELSEWHERE

The Colonial Nutcracker
Dec. 11 at 2 p.m.
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, 2900 Campus Rd.
An annual holiday favorite, Dance Theatre in Westchester performs its family-friendly, full-length version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet set in wintry colonial Yorktown, complete with a red-coated mouse army, an enchanted nutcracker prince, and simultaneous narration to help young audience members enjoy this timeless classic. $15. BrooklynCenter.org

The Nutcracker
Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
Kingsborough College, 2001 Oriental Blvd., Brooklyn
The Nutcracker, a perennial holiday favorite, is an enchanting adventure through a little girl’s fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers, and an army of mice. Be transported by this stunning full-scale production, with Tchaikovsky’s wondrous score, choreography by world-renowned Marius Petipa and The Mariinsky’s Vasily Vainonen, and 40 of Russia’s brightest ballet stars in glorious costumes. $32–$37. OnstageAtKingsborough.org

MUSIC

NEW IN MANHATTAN

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3
Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. & Dec 10 at 8 p.m.
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 came straight from the heart of its creator and was a showcase for his own amazing pianistic talents. Acclaimed pianist Kun Woo Paik makes his Philharmonic subscription debut in this robust, dramatic work. $49–$99. NYPhil.org

Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6
Dec. 10 at 2 p.m.
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
New York Philharmonic musicians playing chamber music, then Dvorak’s Sixth Symphony’s delightful combination of the composer’s beloved Bohemian folk tunes (including a whirling furiant) and the grand symphonic tradition he inherited from Beethoven and Brahms. Stay after the concert, when musicians engage you with a lively Q&A. $33–$77. NYPhil.org

Great Music in a Great Space
Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave.
The annual Christmas Concert at St. John the Divine celebrates France! Poulenc’s stunning organ concerto gives the Great Organ a star turn, while his Four Motets evoke the mystery of the Christmas miracle. Charpentier’s charming In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum tells the Christmas story through a Baroque lens, angels and shepherds abiding. $50–$75. StJohnDivine.org

Renaissance Christmas
Dec. 10 at First Church of Christ, Scientist
Dec. 11, 18, & 25 at Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
To celebrate the holidays, Early Music New York’s Director Frederick Renz has selected carols, noels, and motets emanating from European sacred and secular rituals. Special holiday repertoire performed for voices and instruments. $20–$50. EarlyMusicNY.org

Queens College Choral Society 76th Annual Winter Concert
Dec. 10 at 8 p.m.
Colden Auditorium at Queens College
The Queens College Choral Society, joined by the QC Orchestra and QC Choir, will perform Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture and Nänie along with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. $20. QCChoralSociety.org

What Makes It Great? Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8
Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th St.
The meaning of Shostakovich’s greatest chamber work, an emotionally wrenching piece he called his “ideologically depraved quartet,” has been contested for more than 50 years. Written in just three days in a white-hot burst of inspiration after visiting the bombed-out portions of Dresden, the quartet was officially dedicated to the victims of fascism and war. But did Shostakovich actually intend it as veiled criticism of Soviet rule meant to undermine the Communist regime? Or as a requiem for himself, a powerful testament to his own uniquely personal experience? Featuring the Attacca Quartet. $45. KaufmanMusicCenter.org

Young Concert Artists: Tomer Gewirtzman
Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67th St.
Poetic Israeli pianist and winner of the 2015 YCA International Auditions, the Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Tel Aviv, and Gold Medalist at the 2014 Wideman International Piano Competition in Louisiana. A favorite soloist with the Israeli Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony, and the New Haifa Symphony. He held Juilliard’s Kovner Fellowship. $10–$45. KaufmanMusicCenter.org

New York Philharmonic:
Handel’s Messiah
Dec. 13–17
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Messiah’s dazzling solos, instrumental fireworks, and glorious choral writing have made it the quintessential New York Philharmonic holiday tradition. $31–$145. NYPhil.org

The Snowman
Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Met Fifth Ave
“The Snowman” has become a British holiday classic. This Academy Award-nominated animated film features a lush score, including the timeless song “Walking in the Air,” which will be performed live by the Mannes Orchestra. Tickets start at $40. MetMuseum.org

Pipes of Christmas
Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 922 Madison Ave.
The festive concerts, produced by the Clan Currie Society, offer a traditional Celtic interpretation of the holiday season with holiday favorites such as “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, “Joy to the World”, and “Amazing Grace”, all performed live on pipes, drums, harp, fiddle, organ, and brass, accompanied by readings taken from Scottish, Irish, and Welsh literature. $60. PipesOfChristmas.com

Christmas Jazz
Dec. 17 at 3 p.m.
Fort Washington Collegiate Church, 729 W. 181st St.
Invite a little inspiration into you holiday season. Join members of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra and friends as present an afternoon of jazz-infused Christmas carols and holiday music, featuring jazz vocalist Aubrey Johnson, pianist/composer Chris Whittaker, and more. Usher in the Christmas spirit and support WHCO’s outreach programming to our area schools. $20. WashingtonHeightsOrchestra.org

Sejong Soloists Gala Concert
Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
New York-based Sejong Soloists has performed over 500 concerts in more than 100 cities on major stages of the world. The program features a world premiere by award-winning composer Richard Danielpour: “Talking to Aphrodite,” performed by Sarah Shafer and David Jolley, is based on poetry by noted author Erica Jong. The gala evening is hosted by TV journalist Paula Zahn, eight-time Emmy Award-winner, co-host of WNET’s weekly program “NYC Arts”, and a long-time supporter of Sejong Soloists. $75 concert; $300 concert and gala reception. Student discounts available. CarnegieHall.org

Apollo’s Fire—Handel’s Messiah
Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. “Pocket” Messiah
Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. Handel’s Messiah (full oratorio)
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Met Fifth Ave
The ultimate holiday tradition. Hear Handel’s famous oratorio in its full version, or choose the hour-long “pocket” version. Tickets start at $40 for the “pocket” Messiah; $65 for the full oratorio. MetMuseum.org

Holiday Brass
Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Beloved former Principal Trumpet Philip Smith—one of the undisputed top trumpet virtuosos of all time—hosts, conducts, and performs in this afternoon of joyful music. Program to include works by G. Gabrieli, Mozart, Warlock, and Anthony DiLorenzo, plus traditional Christmas and Chanukah favorites. $49–$69. NYPhil.org

Handel’s Messiah
Dec. 21 at 8 p.m.
Carnegie Hall
Kent Tritle conducts the Oratorio Society of New York, with a 200-voice chorus, soloists, and orchestra. $25–$90. OratorioSocietyofNY.org

ONGOING IN MANHATTAN

Spiral Music
Wednesdays
Rubin Museum, 150 W. 17th St.
Spiral Music presents acoustic music every Wednesday evening at the base of the museum’s spiral staircase. Artists who specialize in music from the Himalayas and South Asia are invited to forge a connection between their music and the art in the galleries. Free. RubinMuseum.org