Mel Brooks: Man in Tights
Dec. 28, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (betw. W. 94th & W. 95th Sts.), 212-864-5400; 3:30 & 7:45, $11 Mel Brooks hasnt aged all that well. Hes 82 and more wrinkled than a Shar Pei. His comedies, on the other hand, are as fresh and funny as when he made them. Symphony Space screens two of his best: Blazing Saddles (1974) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). The latter features Cary As youuu wiiiisssh Elwes and a killer rap at the end by Kevin Dorsey and the Merry Men Singers. The former is pretty much the best comedic Western ever made. Bottom Line: Why wouldnt it be sad to spend the Sunday after Christmas in a darkened movie theater alone? Because youll spend it doubled up in laughter. And no one can see youre alone in the dark.
Dec. 24, Capitale, 130 Bowery (betw. Broome & Grand Sts.), 888-633-5326; 9, $30 Youre young. Youre Jewish. You dont have any righteous gentiles to invite you to carol or whatever they do around their Christmas tree. Where do you go Christmas Eve? If you like striped shirts, self-deprecation and body hair, wed recommend the Matzo Ball, a gala thrown by The Society of Young Jewish Professionals. Its at Capitale; there will be DJs; there will be grinding. Bottom Line: Any other night this crowd would be kind of horrible but during times like these, Jewiness trumps douchiness and a good time can be had by all.
Still the River Flows: Celebrations of Winter Ritual from the Carpathians
Dec. 26-28, La MaMa, 74A E. 4th St. (betw. 2nd Ave. & Bowery), 212-475-7710; times vary, $25 Unless you have a thing for gypsies and small, poor Eastern European villages, youll probably never make it to Kryvorivnia in the Carpathian Mountains. Thankfully, Kryvorivnia can come to you. Or at least a group of musicians from there can come to perform ancient winter solstice songs called the Koliada. Theres also a nativity puppet play and an Eastern European Womens Vocal Ensemble. Bottom Line: An ethnomusicologists wet dream but also one for anyone who loves music, Eastern Europe, human voices, puppets or stuff.
Sunday Gospel Brunch
Dec. 28, B.B. Kings Blues Club and Grill, 237 W. 42nd Street (betw. Broadway & 8th Ave.), 212-997-4144; 1:30, $40 Not enough Christ or food for you this week? Grab your kente cloth and head to the Sunday Gospel Brunch at B.B. Kings Blues Club. Though the club is in Times Square, the choir is straight outta Harlem and, even if you are a godless heathen (like me!) you cant help but enjoy the music
and the mac and cheese. Delicious mac and cheese. Bottom Line: Maybe you will feel out of place, but it sure as shit beats trying to finish the New York Times crossword puzzle. Stupid puzzle.
Dec. 24, 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St. (betw. Watts & Desbrosses Sts.), 212-601-1000; 8, $12 A good a pregame as any for the abovementioned Matzo Ball, Jew comedians like Todd Levin, SNL writer Leo Allen and funny lady Amy Schumer take to the stage for classic standup shtick. You know, I realize that in writing this, I have an us vs. them mentality. But lets be honest here: What else are the chosen people to do when the rest of the world is celebrating the birth of the Messiah? All there is to do is drink and laugh and cry and drink. Bottom Line: Hanukkah, Chanukah or Christmas notwithstanding, all of these performers are worth $12 (one for each day of Christmas). Together they make the case for a worldwide Jewish Comedia conspiracy.