Naughty & Nice

Freaky fun that will have you feeling festive


Haunted Pussy aren't your average band. More musical-theater than rock, these spooky art stars relate the tale of an abandoned rich girl who's raped by a ghost, who impregnates her. Using screams, catfights, gore, and a wailing guitar, their holiday show will have Haunted Pussy befriending Jesus, played by Michael Portnoy, a/k/a Soybomb, in "a story of triumph." Expect Jesus to engage in blasphemous sexual acts and enjoy them. Not for the faint of heart, Pussy's "histrionic fear-metal" will offend some, but for the rest, this'll be a special night of filthy irreverence sure to skewer Christianity and complacency. KRAMER BUSSEL

December 16, 180 Orchard Street, hauntedpussy.com

Art stars Haunted Pussy hang with J.C. on Orchard Street
Art stars Haunted Pussy hang with J.C. on Orchard Street

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Desperate for free labor, overburdened social-service organizations and underfunded quirky interest groups plead that their work is fun, important, and politically meaningful. If you are seeking such purpose, a change of routine, or to do good this holiday season, opportunities abound for mingling with odd demographics and performing obscure tasks that are sure to satisfy this seasonal urge. New York Cares provides an online database of activities, referring volunteers to targeted tasks of interest and keeping them updated on the latest New York need (Olympics 2012, anyone?). If you are looking for weekly fun, partner up with a wheelchair-bound boogier at the Jewish Home and Hospital for Thursday-night dancing to the "oldies but goodies." Or if you have a flair for fashion and counsel, provide wardrobe supplements and career advice to soon-to-be-employed women at the Bottomless Closet. Feeling overwhelmed by relatives during the holidays? Escape on a brisk walk through Williamsburg with a needy pup from the Brooklyn Animal Rescue Coalition, or tote a bag of bagels through town from a local café to a shelter, as part of City Harvest's hunger-fighting "Street Fleet." Volunteering opportunities vary come springtime, so you can also resolve this New Year's to get dirty dredging the Gowanus with the Urban Divers or vow to weed a local lot with community-garden activists the Green Guerrillas. At Christmas dinner you will be armed with anecdotes sure to bewilder and delight the out-of-towners, and perhaps inspire the locals. COLE


nycares.org; jewishhome.org; bottomlesscloset.org; barcshelter.org; cityharvest.org; urbandivers.org; greenguerillas.org

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The peerless New York Gay Men's Choruscelebrates its 25th anniversary at Carnegie Hall with an evening of fun and fabulous holiday carols. Over its history, the chorus has performed everything from classical Bach pieces to show tunes to glitzy new wave hits; '80s pop princess Cyndi Lauper once made a guest appearance as a vocalist. In the "Twisted Holiday" special of years past, the group added some much-needed flavor to the old chestnuts ("Rudy, the Rude, Rude Reindeer"; a sexy, gender-bending version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"). Expect some of those at this year's "Silver Bells" incarnation. DAYAL

December 16, Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, 212.247.7800


The ho-ho-ho cheer this post-election yuletide season will feel decidedly more duplicitous and, mixed in with evangelical sentiments, heavy-handed. Christmas in Nickyland 2004, like last year, should provide an irreverent, satirical antidote. Curated by La MaMa's own minister of culture Nicky Paraiso, the lineup-in-formation includes the East Village gay boy band the Isotoners, performance artist John Fleck, Marga Gomez doing her Christmas monologue, Little Annie singing her inimitable holiday tunes, and the non-saintly Nicky himself. With its undercurrent of welcome decadence, this anti-Christmas Xmas celebration won't only be joyous, it might even prove ecstatic. FRANCIA

December 16 through 19, the Club @ La MaMa, 74A East 4th Street, 212.475.7710


Befitting an ecumenical "symbolic journey through the longest night of the year," Paul Winter's 25th Anniversary Winter Solstice Celebration showcases three hours of musical oddities: uilleann piper Davy Spillane, hand drummer Glen Veldez, and a metallic "tree" weighted with percussive instruments. Improvisational Russian village singers the Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble wheel in an oversized "Earth Ball" while the Forces of Nature Dance Theater Ensemble beats gamelan gongs ("planets") as the tam-tam sun gong and Chinese wind gong (the "moon") boomingly ascend to opposite ends of the gigantic Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The celebration ends in a full-cathedral new-agey sing-along. COLE

December 16 through 18, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Amsterdam Avenue and West 112th Street, 212.581.1212


If Christmas music makes you instinctively cover your ears and howl, you're in good company. But, hey, the family's in town and you've got to take them somewhere, so why not head over to the Museum of Television and Radio for Holiday Hits, a screening of some pop-star Christmas crooning? There'll be Bing Crosby for old folks, Jessica Simpson for 12-year-old girls, and Elvis for everyone else, plus David Bowie (singing "Little Drummer Boy" with Bing), the Supremes, and more. And remember, Christmas music isn't all goopy sentimentality—Irving Berlin tried to keep Elvis's 1957 version of "White Christmas" off the radio because it was "vulgar and disrespectful." Sounds good, huh? GLASS O'SHEA

December 17, Museum of Television and Radio, 25 West 52nd Street, 212.621.6800, mtr.org


The poems, stories and comics in Christmas at The New Yorker evoke a bizarre, barely recognizable New York of butlers, wreaths, and generally unhampered good spirit. In his off-puttingly cheery foreword, John Updike describes Manhattan as the Christmas-lit capital of the world, citing a number of influential holiday treatises—many written by New Yorkers, about New York, often for The New Yorker. As part of Symphony Space's "Just Kidding!" series, Roger Angell, Malachy McCourt, James Naughton, and Tony Roberts will continue with the uncharacteristic merriness, "digging out the trusty metaphors" as they read December "obbligatos" from the magazine's past 80 years. AVIV

December 19, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 212.864.1414


Nothing is sacred at Heeb Storytelling, Heeb magazine's popular series where cabaret meets Catskills in seven-minute true-ish tales told by some damn funny Jews. The anti-silent-night show features original stories by Daily Show writer Eric Drysdale, VH1 DJ Bex Schwartz, humorist Peter Hyman, Michael "Soybomb" Portnoy, comedian Dana Kletter, literary rock stars One Ring Zero and more. What, you'd rather be stringing popcorn? ROSENBLUM

December 22 at 7, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 212.539.8778, joespub.com.


The holidays can become mildly predictable; this year why not mix it up with the Miss Scandal 2004 Pageant, at Scandals, a gentlemen's club in Queens? Porn legend Ron Jeremy hosts this yuletide-themed strip and beauty pageant (complete with ball gowns, talent show, and swimsuit competition), and suspense will escalate until Angie, Britney, Barbie, Shy, or Sophia is crowned the winner. Festive decor continues throughout the season: Wreaths adorn the walls, tables are covered in virginal white satin, and those booty-shaking dancers—who'd rather you be naughty then nice—don Santa-inspired outfits. Admission is $20. PHILLP

December 23, Scandals Gentlemen's Club, 24-03 Queens Plaza North, Long Island City, Queens, 718.784.5600


I'd invite you over to swill Manischewitz martinis and sup on pupu platters, but my apartment is tiny, the TV is minuscule, and we'd all have to get really cozy on my little blue couch. Makor, however, will welcome you, tatele, with open arms, a mandate to nosh on the Chinese-food buffet, and projection screens showcasing two cute Jews. Ben Stiller takes a turn in The Royal Tenenbaumsat 8 and Zoolander at 10, while the older yentas can oogle Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles at 8 and Young Frankenstein at 9:45. SNOW

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