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Holiday Wishes and New Year’s Resolutions (and what we’re looking forward to next year!)

ZEALnyc, December 23, 2016

It’s one of those unique years when the Hebrew calendar aligns with the Gregorian calendar, so when the first candles are being lit on menorahs signifying the start of Hanukkah, Christians will be making their way to Christmas Eve services and midnight masses in seeming global solidarity celebrating their separate, but equal, observance of these two major religious holidays. As this time of year brings family and friends closer together and thoughts of Santa Claus dance through the heads of children, we decided to ask our writers at ZEALnyc to share their perspective on these traditional holiday and seasonal conjectures.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading our wishes, resolutions, and our collective anticipated events and performances in the New Year.  Everyone here at ZEALnyc sends you and yours all the very best for 2017.

Mark McLaren, Editor in Chief

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: My holiday wish is for a peaceful and joyful season for everyone — around the world. It seriously is.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: I’m just going to be better. That’s it.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: There is so much – but I am a big fan of Sally Field, and following Cherry Jone’s unique and beautiful Amanda a few seasons ago, I’m running to the Belasco to see Ms. Field tackle that beautiful character.

Jil Picariello, Theater Editor

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: That I will wake up from this hilariously dark dream (is it a Martin McDonagh black comedy? a Feydeau farce?) and Hillary will be the incoming president.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: The same one I make every year: to try to be a braver, kinder, more present and more compassionate human being. The reason I make it every year is that I never attain it.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: The revival of Noel Coward’s ‘Present Laughter’ starring Kevin Kline. I would not only attend a performance of Kevin Kline reading the phone book, I would pay money for it.

Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer / Classical Music

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: To cheer up about the world; specifically, by seeing my younger granddaughter finally conquer crawling, and my older granddaughter master the word “cat.”

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To try really hard to cheer up about the world.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Jörg Widmann and Mitsuko Uchida’s joint recital at Carnegie Hall in April, because she’s wonderful and he’s so cheerful.

Dan Bacalzo, Contributing Writer / Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: Safety for all those traveling this holiday season – including myself!

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To start work on my book project.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: ‘Hello Dolly!’ on Broadway, starring Bette Midler.

Danielle Zickl, Contributing Writer / Lifestyle

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: For everyone to be kinder to one another.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To make room for more adventures.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 40th Anniversary World Tour.

Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor / Jazz

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: A retreat of sorts…I’m not a big fan of the commercial Christmas, but I will enjoy the chill with my wife out at our home on Shelter Island and hopefully a stop-by in Western Mass. to see some members of my family.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To find an agent and/or publisher to put out into the world three books I’m working on all at once…plus how to publicize them in some way when they do see the light of day. No more self-publishing! I’m a writer not a marketer.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Early in the going: taking in as much as I possibly can of the Winter Jazzfest that opens the jazz year in New York…the top jazz festival of NYC for the entire year. Plus, looking forward to my friend, young pianist Tigran Hamasyan perform solo in March at Subculture. He’s a hidden treasure. Also, a longtime personal favorite: Regina Specktor at Radio City Music Hall, also in March. Plus my annual jaunts to the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam (July) and the Monterey Jazz Festival (September).

Caitlin Leonard, Contributing Writer / Canadian Correspondent

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: To spend time with my family. My four brothers are flying from all across the world so we can all be together. That, and some good carry on luggage!

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To make as many as my longtime dreams / wishes come true!

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: It is always a goal of mine to see Saturday Night Live. I’ve seen the dress rehearsal, but am excited to attend a live show taping.

Christopher Caggiano, Contributing Writer / Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: That the Times Square Church will sell back the glorious and architecturally stunning Mark Hellinger Theatre so we can have it back as a full-time Broadway house.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To be a lot more selective about the plays and musicals that I see in New York — so that I don’t get burned out — and to try to see more shows in regional theaters around the country before they hit New York.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: There’s so much good stuff coming the the Broadway this year, but I think if I had to choose it would be ‘Come From Away.’ I attended a reading of the show a few years back and it really made an impression on me. Even in a staged reading, the show was already so heart-warming and real that I can’t wait to see a fully staged production. I keep hearing people dismiss the show as ‘That 9/11 musical,’ but the show is so much more than that.

Monsurat Adebanjo, Contributing Writer / Lifestyle

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: To reach the next plateau in my career by April, enjoy every public holiday, and travel out of the country at least three times in 2017.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To take more chances.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Every music festival I can obtain tickets for, throughout the United States.

Paul Desenne, Contributing Writer / Classical Music

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: Wishes are rarely fulfilled, so I wish to be wise enough to turn undesired situations into advantageous openings, which could not happen therefore I’d need the same wish over again, and again, etc. (And if wishes are totally fulfilled, remember: it could be the end of something instead of a beginning!)

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: Understand life as the prehistoric artists of the Chauvet Cave understood theirs; alas by understanding… History! and being able to leap out of it finally, before it crashes!

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: ‘The Focus! 2017 Festival’ at Juilliard, dedicated entirely to the contemporary concert music of Latin America. (Great poster, by the way…) 6 free concerts, a fantastic palette of styles, directions and performers, January 20-27, Lincoln Center.

Justin Sharon, Contributing Writer / Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: Simply spending time with loved ones. Amid all the materialism of the holiday season Manhattan, don’t let it be forgot that enriching the soul by surrounding oneself with friends and family is infinitely more important than any base exchange of gifts. That said, if Santa’s listening, this Child of the 80’s wouldn’t say no to seeing the gloriously old school Nintendo NES Classic Edition console under the tree.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: Eerily, I pen this piece amid news that Zsa Zsa Gabor has passed away. I had always assumed that, after nine marriages and as many lives, she was immortal, so her sad demise reminds me anew to stop procrastinating, seize the day and actually check off the many items on my “To do” list.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Speaking of Chekhov, catching the incomparable Cate Blanchett’s Broadway debut in Anton’s ‘The Present’ at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre is my can’t-miss cultural event. For more Moscow on the Hudson, I am also excited about MoMA’s blockbuster exhibit A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde. Nineteen-seventeen, the year of both Zsa Zsa’s birth and Lenin’s arrival at the Finland Station, changed the world irrevocably, so expect a red tide of centennial sentiment over the next 12 months.

Bethany Hopta, Contributing Writer / Dance

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: I’m getting my wish of spending time with my family, so what I wish for is safe travel and peace in the family!

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To increase physical fitness; I resolve to plank every day. To increase my culinary experience; I will try new restaurants in my neighborhood. To increase my knitting skill; I will attempt socks this year.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Dance Theatre of Harlem at City Center, April 19-22 and The Joffrey Ballet’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ March 29-April 2.

Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer / Classical Music/Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: That we all somehow manage to survive the incoming administration.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: Try to be as kind as possible to everyone.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: To be completely honest? The world premiere of the new musical I’m writing, an adaptation of the play STAGE DOOR, which will take place at the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama in London next May. Apologies for the shameless self-promotion.

Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer / Lifestyle

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: For the new president-elect to be impeached.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: Publish my memoir and/or coffee table book.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Women’s March on January 21st in Washington.

Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer / Classical Music/Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: I’m hoping for more free time in the coming year.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: I’m determined to rehabilitate an injured ankle, and get back to yoga practice.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: I’m keen to see ‘Being Evan Hanson,’ which received such positive reviews as an exciting new Broadway musical.

Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer / Film

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: Having struggled with a broken ankle for much of 2016, my simple wish for the holidays is for it to fully heal, so I can once again be the active person I used to be. However, this is not a bad time of the year to stay seated, with all the year’s festival winners and Golden Globe/Oscars contestants to be released 🙂

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: How about humbly striving to be the best me I can be and do the best deeds I can do?

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Apart from looking forward to another exciting film year starting with the Sundance-releases, there is a couple of Broadway mega hits I’m ashamed to admit, writing about culture and all, that I haven’t seen yet—’Book of Mormon’ and ‘Hamilton.’ I wish for more theatre in 2017!

Don Adkins, Managing Editor

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: A pony. And if that’s not possible, then maybe world peace.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: I’m cheating because I’ve made this one before and haven’t been as successful with it as I had hoped — I really want to get to more museums and catch more of the wonderful exhibits that take place in this incredible city. We are so fortunate to have access to the shear volume of museums and curated exhibits here in NYC, and I want to see more of them in the coming year.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: ‘War Paint’ —  how can you go wrong with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole portraying Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden? The writing team are Scott Frankel and Michael Korie of ‘Grey Gardens’ and ‘Far From Heaven’ fame, and I’m sure mascara will run.


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