It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas…Chanukah, and Kwanza. The 21st edition of the Nyack Center Holiday Readings on Dec 11 features local artists, musicians and actors including Tony Roberts, Tom Dudzick, Sean Fleming, Martha Mooke, Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White, among others. The evening is co-produced and hosted by Kevin Pariseau and Elliott Forrest.
There’s a lot to love about the readings – they’re communal, inclusive and uplifting, embracing holiday spirit whilst largely avoiding outward religiosity or Christmas commercialism. But as a show, the Readings’ greatest strength is the way they complement tradition with the new.
The show is anchored each year by some of the same high notes – Sean Fleming’s Irish-electric take on “Santa Claus is coming to Town”; Host Elliott Forrest’s droll stories about growing up Jewish in Texas – but the ultimate caliber of the show is determined by the newcomers to the Nyack Center Stage. In years past, local talent of the likes of actor Bill Irwin, author David Means, and the actor Hal Linden have been featured. This year, Tony Roberts is the headliner. Roberts acted in the Woody Allen classic, Annie Hall, as well as Serpico, Play It Again, Sam, and many other films. Tonight he’ll be taking on a new role: Scrooge.
Why? Because this year the Readings are changing things up. There will be a big performance of A Christmas Carol, written by Arthur Yoricks and inspired by the Charles Dickens classic.
Tickets are $7 for children and $20 for adults. The show is a benefit for the Nyack Center.