The Holidays Are a Drag

| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:14

    It's that time of the year again. Yes, the time of cheer, coerced giving and seeing your family for way longer than should be allowed by law. There are crying kids and tourists with eyes aglow in the twinkle of Rockfeller Center holiday lights. And then there's you. Sure, you'll watch Frosty on TV one night if there's nothing better on. And you're known to enjoy a (strong) glass of Eggnog now and again. But, the pressure of incessant happiness and altruism just isn't your thing.

    So, naturally, you won't be line to see the Radio City Christmas Show or some rendition of A Charlie Brown Christmas. That's not to say you couldn't enjoy a little holiday-themed fun, though, if given the option. We've picked a few of the best shows for the season. Just don't bring any tots, lest images of drag queens dance in their heads.

    Nutcracker: Rated R

    Dec. 10 through Jan. 3, Theater for the New City, 155 1st Ave. (betw. E. 9th & E. 10th Sts.), 212-254-1109, times vary, $20.

    Remember The Nutcracker? You know, that Christmastime fairy tale-ballet about a precious little girl, magical fairies and happy endings? Well, forget that script when you go to see Nutcracker: Rated R. This adaptation of the Christmas classic—back for its third season—delves into the far-from-wholesome side of the underground nightlife scene. The original’s angelic Clara is replaced by a rebellious teen anxious for excitement and snow fairies are traded in for blow fairies, many of whom are men dancing around in tutus. Not to mention Firecrotch, former drag queen star of the ’80s, is the male lead in this delightfully indecent production. “It’s a completely entertaining show that’s never boring,” says Angela Harriell, director, choreographer and co-creator of Rated R. “Not only is a lot of bang for your buck, but it even has a more than a little naughtiness. And that’s always fun.” If you can manage to swing by on Dec. 11 or Dec. 18, you’ll even get a taste of Harriell’s other brainchild, The Love Show. Cast members and guest performers will perform a compilation of favorites from the ballet-slash-rock-and-roll-slash-theatrical show, including songs, dances and even some low-budget magic.

    Drag Nog

    Dec. 12 through 14, The Cutting Room, 19 W. 24th St. (betw. Broadway & 6th Ave.), 212-353-3101; 7:30, $20.

    Let’s face it: you’re a scrooge. Nothing about this time of year makes you happy or warm inside. And you’re counting the days until you can finally walk out of your apartment and not see Santa Claus or mistletoe hanging in doorways. So, if you’re looking to embrace your Grinch-ness this holiday, we suggest seeing one of New York’s favorite drag queens, Jackie Beat, in Drag Nog. After hearing her version of “Christmas cheer,” we doubt you’ll feel bad for being less-than-merry. In addition to Beat, the Cutting Room will also host Mimi Imfurst as the Virgin Mary in Oh Holy Shit: It’s Christmas! and Jessye Normous in Holly, Jolly, Jessye.

    4th Annual Bar d'O Reunion

    Dec. 14 and 21 Indochine, 430 Lafayette St. (betw. Astor Pl. & E. 4th St.), 212-505-5111; 10, $20.

    The nagging ring of Salvation Army-Santa bells is reverberating through your eardrums, and the throngs of tourists and bargain-hungry shoppers invading the streets are making you want to hibernate until May. Basically, all this holiday-cheer permeating the city is just a bit too ubiquitous for you to actually enjoy the season. But what better to put you in the mood than a night of non-stop, over-the-top, live drag cabaret? The girls from the now-defunct Bar d’O—Joey Arias and Sherry Vines—will be joined by Lady Bunny, Flotilla DeBarge, Sade Pendavis, Bianca Leigh and Porsche in this annual show at former Bar d’O owner Jean-Marc Houmard’s other haunt, Indochine. And whether you want to sit down and enjoy a meal or just hang by the bar while listening to Arias croon some Billie Holiday, the show will definitely do more for your holiday cheer than hot chocolate or tinsel hanging.

    Meow Meow in Meow to the World

    Dec. 17 and 20 through 22, Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. (betw. 9th and 10th Aves.), 212-414-5994; 8, $25 in advance, $30 at door.

    She’s brought her award-winning cabaret act around the world and has made her way back to New York City just in time to celebrate the holiday season. This internationally acclaimed singer and exotic performer will grace the Highline stage in the world premiere of Meow to the World. Meow’s acrobatics, scandalous performance tricks and killer pipes will grace the Highline Ballroom stage. If you’ve pledged to skip on the Rockettes or Rockefeller Center ice-skating this year, Meow promises a much more shameful, but delightful, way to kick your holiday cheer up a notch. Just don’t invite your mom to this one. Unless, of course, she has a soft spot for drag queens like you do.