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Holiday Wishes, Resolutions, and What We’re Looking Forward To In the New Year

ZEALnyc, December 22, 2017

Well here we are: Hanukkah celebrations have just wrapped up, we’re days away from celebrating Christmas, and the day after begins the celebration of Kwanzaa which runs all the way till January 1, New Year’s Day—all of which means we are smack dab in the middle of what we collectively call ‘the holiday season.’ These annual benchmark celebrations typically provide an opportunity for us to assess where we are in our lives—reflecting back over past year’s celebrations, acknowledging where we are in the moment, all while looking toward the future. With the planet’s prognosis a bit uncertain, and worldwide struggle and strife on the rise, the jury is out on the issue of whether the glass is actually half-empty or half-full, but here at ZEALnyc we’re staying optimistic in the midst of it all.

Once again this year we’ve asked our regularly contributing writers to offer up their thoughts and reflections on holiday wishes, resolutions, and what events and/or performances for which they are looking forward in the New Year. All best wishes to you and yours for the holidays and the year ahead.

Jil Picariello, Theater Editor

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: I wish for someone to give Aaron Tveit a starring role in a musical (a B’way spin of the ‘Company’ he did at Barrington Stage this summer would be swell). I wish for Aaron Tveit to get a Tony for it (he was robbed of even a nomination in ‘Next to Normal’). And I wish for him to take me out to dinner to say “thank you” when these wishes come true.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To throw more parties. To pay less attention to social media. And to try (it’s so hard!) to be a kinder and more compassionate person.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: ‘Tosca’ at the Met (it’s a Christmas gift for the hubby and I get to go too!). The ‘Angels in America’ revival. The new Martin McDonaugh play ‘Hangmen.’ Rufus Wainwright singing at St. Ann’s. Glenda Jackson in ‘Three Tall Women.’ And Aaron Tveit. In anything.

Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor, Jazz

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: That somehow the downward spin of American culture will subside, at least a little bit.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: It’s a long shot, but dust off my neglected 1963 Gibson ES-175 and play again…or maybe sell it so it can be used for good.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: My annual jaunts to the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Holland in July (have been going there since 2002) and the Monterey Jazz Festival in September that I’ve been attending for the past 26 years. Both like returns home. To start the New Year out right, I’ll be spending New Year’s Eve and the next couple days in Orvieto, Italy at the festival there—my first time so I’m really looking forward to that.

A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer / Art and Museum

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: I’d love to spend a couple of hours (maybe a week would be better) in the storerooms of The Met — and maybe get them to put on public display a couple of pieces that I like.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To get people interested in looking and thinking about art, especially if they don’t think art is for them.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: The Society of Illustrators is presenting an overview of Shawn Martinbrough’s graphic work, starting April 24. He has the rare ability to create images that not only capture the essence of a story but allow the reader to imagine themselves in the middle of the action. I can’t wait to see it!

Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer / Classical Music

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH:  Same as last year — to have a good, solid reason to cheer up about the world.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION:  Same as last year — to try to cheer up about the world — only more so.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR:  ‘The Band’s Visit.’  Getting to the Met early enough in the morning to see the Michelangelo show again (and again, and again) without the crowds. Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’ — possibly the most authentically cheerful piece ever written, and one of the least-performed — with the Cleveland Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall on January 24.

Justin Sharon, Contributing Writer / Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: Not to lose sight, amid all the rampant commercialism, of what really matters — friends and family, health and happiness.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To learn a new skill, explore my own city more, and see another part of the world.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: ‘Grand Hotel,’ based on the bestselling novel from 1929, will be featured in City Center’s Encores! series from March 21-25. The new Netflix drama ‘Babylon Berlin’ has whet my appetite for intrigue in the city set in the Weimar-era, a fascinating interlude before the world fell apart.

Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer / Performing Arts, Film, Lifestyle

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: For every person in the world to experience at least ten minutes of happiness on Christmas.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To write every single day for a year.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: To see the Steve Martin play ‘Meteor Shower’ and/or ‘Hamilton.’

Dan Bacalzo, Contributing Writer / Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: A better path forward for our country.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: Go to the gym more often.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: The London production of ‘Hamilton.’

Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer / Dance, Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: That I heal completely and can walk all over the city again, which is one of my favorite things to do. And maybe even do standing room once in a while.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: Clean house and get papers organized.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: ‘Carousel’ and ‘My Fair Lady.’

Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, Classical Music, Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: I wish for truth, logic, and fact-based analysis to be restored to their proper essential places in public discourse.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: I resolve to emphasize positivity in all aspects of life.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Pianist Daniil Trifonov’s Carnegie Hall recital in May, when he will perform a seminal work from each decade of the 20th century, from Berg to Adès.

Miles Harter, Contributing Writer / Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: A swift end to the continuous nightmares and indignities brought about by the Trump and Heritage Foundation administration in DC. In the first days of the administration, I was so passionate about exploring art that explored resistance. But now I feel my own artistic interests have surrendered to feelings of simple avoidance. I find myself, like many others, reading only less than serious novels, watching only dated TV sitcoms, viewing only inconsequential romantic movies, and attending only vintage plays and musicals. All that said, in the real world, I am still Resisting!

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION(S): Run the New York City Marathon in less than three hours; swim a full lap at the Equinox Greenwich Avenue gym pool; publish my first novel — exploring themes of friendship, love of great fiction, fashion, fitness, nutrition, and aging gracefully.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Impossible to choose from among three eagerly awaited theatrical productions perhaps not noted for their homogeneity: ‘Carousel’ (with Renee Fleming, Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller); ‘Angels in America’ (with Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane), and the new musical version of ‘Mean Girls’ (book by Tina Fey).

Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer / Classical Music, Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: I wish the plethora of construction projects in the city would get completed.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: In the coming year, I plan to keep being active, walking and exploring the city and what it has to offer.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Really looking forward to this season at Tanglewood, and its Bernstein concerts; and I’ve been hearing great things about ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ at the Palace Theater, so I look forward to checking that out.

Diana Mott, Contributing Writer / Theater

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: America wakes up and votes all Republicans out of office. (More like my Christmas fantasy.)

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: I never do New Year’s Resolutions, but if pressed — Work less, Write More.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: I am sure there are great things that I am not aware of yet, but ‘Angels In America’ and ‘My Fair Lady’ so far. (The latter because my mom played it incessantly when I was growing up so I know it by heart, and I am taking her to see it in April.)

Caitlin Leonard, Contributing Writer / Canadian Correspondent

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: I really want a kettle! To make tea. (Tea is important to me.)

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: To be more present, to keep meditating, and to be as healthy as possible!

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: I really want to see Taylor Swift…and to visit NYC asap!

Doug Hall, Contributing Writer / Boston, New England Correspondent

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: I hope that music, and my focus of jazz music, can continue to break down barriers and build more positive relationships and reach more audiences. Best said by Wayne Shorter (jazz legend extraordinaire  saxophonist and former leader of jazz-rock fusion band Weather Report) “Write and play music the way you want the world to be like.” You can’t say it any better than that.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: As a freelance writer of art and culture (personal site: artsparksmusic.com), I specifically want to learn more about the theory and structure of music — and that means lessons, probably starting with jazz guitar. I played rock guitar dinosaur years ago — so I’ll have forgotten all my bad habits and can start fresh again.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: The Newport Jazz Festival is always an amazing immersion into the greatest creative talents on the planet in jazz — both young and old. So again in the summer of 2018 I’ll be there for all 3 days writing previews and reviews, as well learning about who’s up and coming. I may also add the Montreal Jazz Festival to my itinerary this summer, also have time to read and travel for fun, while always keeping an ear to the ground for new listening experiences.

Don Adkins, Managing Editor

MY CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY WISH: For all of us on this planet to do a reality check and begin to realize we’ve got to band together to save our home—planet Earth, and then start finding constructive ways to unite for the common good of all.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: Try to enjoy life more and take the time to smell the roses.

WHAT I’M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING/ATTENDING IN THE NEW YEAR: Jonas Kaufman in recital at Carnegie Hall on January 20.  I know there are others, but this is the one that’s nearest on the horizon.


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