Since there are so many groovy plays, musicals, concerts and events, this is my monthly list to help promote a few of them (click on a title for more information or to purchase tickets):
1) Spencer Day
January 4 at NYC's Feinstein’s/54 Below
Back by popular demand, Day will explore love gone right, love gone wrong and, of course, love that’s fit for song. This versatile and unique show will feature classic standards, original compositions off of Day’s upcoming album, Angel City, and interesting takes on new standards from the Cardigans and Michael Jackson as well as classics like Cole Porter and Burt Bacharach.
2) Party Face
Off-Broadway previews begin January 11. Opens January 22 at New York City Center Stage II.
Academy Award-winning actress Hayley Mills (The Parent Trap, Pollyanna) plays a young woman’s mother who brings her own food to her daughter’s party – and also the "right" person to be her daughter’s new best friend - in the New York Premiere of Isobel Mahon's new comedy directed by Amanda Bearse (Married... with Children). The cast also includes Klea Blackhurst, Gina Costigan, Brenda Meaney and Allison Jean White.
3) The 17th Annual SF Sketchfest
January 11 - 28 at San Francisco's Castro Theatre and other venues
This comedy festival returns with over 230 shows, including a Tribute to Twin Peaks on Saturday, January 13, featuring an in-depth discussion about the old series, the new series and everything in between with cast members Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Josh Fadem, Sherilyn Fenn, Harry Goaz, Michael Horse, Matthew Lillard, James Marshall, Kimmy Robertson and Ray Wise. And on Sunday, January 21, there will be a 40th anniversary screening of National Lampoon's Animal House as well as a reunion of the cast, including Tim Matheson, Bruce McGill, Mark Metcalf, Peter Riegert, Martha Smith, James Widdoes and director John Landis.
4) YANK! A World War II Love Story
January 11 - February 18 at Chicago's Pride Arts Center
YANK! is the story of a Midwestern boy who joins the Army during World War II, falls in love with another soldier in his squad and is later introduced to the gay underground of the Armed Services through a journalist for the Army magazine YANK. David Zak directs the Chicago premiere of the musical, which features music by Joseph Zellnika and a book and lyrics by David Zellnik .
5) Julia Sweeney: Older & Wider
January 12 - March 18 in Judy's Beat Lounge at Piper's Alley in Chicago
The SNL veteran and one-woman show queen makes her Second City debut in a brand new workshop production. Part stand-up, part storytelling, Sweeney hilariously takes on parenting, religion, cancer, feminism and even her iconic “It’s Pat!” character’s place in the modern landscape of 2018. Come see the creative process in action for an evening of laughter from one of comedy’s most indelible, indestructible voices!
6) Fire and Air
Off-Broadway previews begin January 17. Opens February 1 at Classic Stage Company.
This world premiere by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally explores the rich history behind Sergei Diaghilev’s preeminent Russian ballet company, the Ballets Russes, including his tempestuous relationship with celebrated dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. Directed by John Doyle, the drama stars Douglas Hodge, James Cusati-Moyer, Marin Mazzie, John Glover, Jay Armstrong Johnson and Marsha Mason.
7) Jonathan Groff in The Bobby Darin Story
January 20-22 at NYC's 92nd Street Y
Two-time Tony nominee Jonathan Groff sings the songs of Bobby Darin to kick off the revamped Lyrics & Lyricists series.
8) Charles Busch: My Kinda 60's
January 21 & 22 at Chicago's Pride Arts Center
The Tony nominee, Drama Desk Lifetime Achievement honoree and two-time MAC Award winner returns with a new show that gets to the essence of this legendary entertainer. Weaving tales of his Manhattan childhood and adolescence raised by his indomitable Aunt Lillian through the lens of the tumultuous decade of the 1960’s, Busch will be singing a great songbook from Broadway to pop, featuring the work of Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, the Beatles, Henry Mancini, Bob Dylan, Stephen Sondheim and Kander and Ebb. He will be appearing with his long-time musical director/arranger Tom Judson in a unique evening of music and storytelling, both hilarious and poignant.
9) American Songbook: Jackie Hoffman
January 25 at Lincoln Center's Appel Room in NYC
Fresh off her Emmy-nominated performance as Mamacita in FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan, the actress and comedian takes over The Appel Room for a night of show tunes, covers, original songs and "kvetching on an operatic scale". (Photo Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)
10) BroadwayCon 2018
January 26 - 28 at NYC's Javits Center
Join fellow fans and your favorite Broadway stars and creators as they come together to perform, discuss, debate and celebrate at the third BroadwayCon, which brings you through the stage door to see and experience what goes on both on stage and behind the scenes. Special guests include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Donna Murphy, Laura Benanti, Carolee Carmello, Lachanze, Laura Osnes, Sierra Boggess, Jenn Colella, Alex Brightman, Donna Lynn Champlin, Stephanie J. Block, Alice Ripley, Julia Murney, Noah Galvin, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Gideon Glick, Anthony Rapp, Nick Adams, Liz Callaway, Michael John Lachiusa, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Bryce Pinkham and many others.