Check out bold twists on the Grinch, ‘Nutcracker’ and more
8th December 2018

Christmas in the city: Rockefeller Center’s tree, Radio City’s Rockettes, New York City Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” But let’s say you’ve already been there, seen that: Are you acting the Scrooge by hoping for other ways to celebrate the season? Hardly. Yule is the season that keeps on giving, offering new twists on evergreen traditions.

Here are five, for a variety of tastes.

Uptown and up-to-date

Imagine if Scrooge took the A train. The Classical Theatre of Harlem did just that with “A Christmas Carol in Harlem,” a family-friendly adventure scored to gospel, hip-hop, pop and R&B.

“There’s lots of dance, lots of music from the ’70s, ’80s and present-day,” says the theatre’s producing artistic director, Ty Jones. “You’ll hear about some famous Harlem landmarks, too.” And yes, you’ll recognize Dickens’ characters, even if this Ghost of Christmas Present appears in a rainbow of sequins. Saturday, 1 and 8 p.m., at City College Center for the Arts’ Aaron Davis Hall, 135th Street and Convent Avenue; tickets from $10 to $50;

Irish and literary

Don’t let the title deter you: The Irish Repertory Theatre’s “The Dead: 1904” is anything but deadly. Set in a grand, turn-of-the-century town house a spud’s toss from the Met, this lively, immersive adaptation of James Joyce’s classic story unfolds all around you.

Melissa Gilbert heads an impeccable, Irish-accented cast as Gretta, a wife with a secret. Admire the tree in the parlor as you sip your Irish whiskey or hot cider, then follow the dancing, singing and violin soloist into the living room. If you bought a $300 ticket (or won one for $19.04 in the lottery), you’ll join Joyce’s characters for a lavish Christmas dinner complete with figgy pudding. Later, Lily the maid will lead you to an upstairs bedroom, where this poignant drama ends. Through Jan. 13, various times, at the American Irish Historical Society, 991 Fifth Ave., at 80th Street; $150 and up at, 212-727-2737; some $19.04 tickets by lottery through

Hot and spicy

Austin McCormick grew up with “The Nutcracker.” From age 5 on, the Santa Barbara, Calif., native tells The Post, he danced every role in that Tchaikovsky chestnut, only to wonder what it would be like to make it “a variety-show type of event.” And so he has: The “Nutcracker Rouge” he choreographed for his Company XIV is a fusion of circus arts, burlesque, opera, ballet and baroque dance.

Now in its seventh year, this sensual, kinky “Nutcracker” is best enjoyed by viewers 21 and older, who can partake of the venue’s two bars. Through Jan. 13, various times, at Theatre XIV, 383 Troutman St., Bushwick, Brooklyn; $75 and up;

Sweet and sour

Judging from the new movie, Bloomie’s holiday windows and all those woolly green hats around town, the Grinch is having a moment. Headed our way is “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,” staring Gavin Lee, fresh off his Tony-nominated turn as Squidward in Broadway’s “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

“I’m playing him quite flamboyant,” says Lee, a cheery father of three. “There’s not a lot of subtlety when you’re playing someone in a green furry costume with big long fingernails with hair at the end of them. These gloves are fantastic, but they’re a pain to pick up any props with.” Oh, but you’re a clever one, Mr. Grinch — you’ll figure it out! Dec. 13-30 various times, at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza; $39 and up; 866-858-0008;

Uplifting and true

“Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Gian Carlo Menotti’s 45-minute opera, debuted on Christmas Eve 1951, on TV. Now, the tale of a poor shepherd boy and his mother, who open their humble home to three kings, is being performed . . . in a soup kitchen.

“We’re turning it on its head a bit,” says On Site Opera director Eric Einhorn. In this version, the travelers aren’t wealthy but homeless men, with whom the shepherd shares what little he has.

“Amahl” is sung in English, with professional soloists and a chorus of 18 formerly homeless people. “We’ve been working with them since September,” Einhorn tells The Post, “and they’re wonderful.” Saturday, at 2 and 6 p.m., Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, 296 Ninth Ave. Free, but donations of nonperishable foods are welcome and reservations are required;

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