The A-List

Compiled by Scott Stiffler

Film

Rick Moranis, as Dark Helmet, in a rare comic moment from “Spaceballs”

CHINESE & A MOVIE
92Y Tribeca, and the Jewish people, have the right idea when it comes to having a good time every year on December 25. No tree, no family drama — just Chinese food and movies. But why the enduringly mediocre 1987 Mel Brooks film “Spaceballs” — haven’t those people suffered enough? At least the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet and 2:30 p.m.’s “Blazing Saddles” will push the day into the plus column. As for 4:00 p.m.’s “Spaceballs” — leave early or get some booze (available at the bar). Doors open at 2:00 p.m. on Dec. 25; at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson St.). $25 in advance/$30 at the door. Call 212-601-1000 or visit www.92ytribeca.org.

Theater

Photo by Jonathan Slaff

“In Fields Where They Lay”

IN FIELDS WHERE THEY LAY
Peace on Earth and goodwill to mankind during the middle of an armed conflict? It actually happened. This dramatization of the famed Christmas Truce of World War I follows a squad of front-line British soldiers — who, with their German counterparts, shook hands, shared cigarettes and sang Christmas carols together during a brief interruption in fighting that occurred on Dec. 24 and 25, 1914. The play was developed from diaries, letters and newspaper accounts. Recommended for audiences aged 11 and up. Tues.-Fri. at 8:00 p.m., Sat. at 2:00 pm and 8:00 p.m.; Sun. at 7:00 p.m.; Dec. 11 to Jan. 2 (skips Christmas week), at Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th St.). For $15 tickets, call 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com. On Fri, Jan. 1 pay what you can.

Music

Chamber music at a blurring pace: The Avian Orchestra

The Avian Orchestra
Interested in what constitutes chamber rock for the 21st Century? The Avian Orchestra starts 2010 with a bang with a concert of hard-hitting chamber music inspired by the world of rock-and-roll. Help celebrate the release of their newest recording: “Fantastic Music for a Fabulous Time” as you enjoy performances from the album along with other surprise musical treats. If you like what you hear, the new CD will be available for purchase at the discounted price of $10 —and all six composers featured on the disc will be in attendance and available to sign it after the show. 8:00 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 6, at The Cell (338 West 23rd St., btw. 8th and 9th Aves.). For tickets ($20; $10 with student ID), purchase at the door in cash or in advance at www.avianmusic.tix.com. For more information, visit www.avianmusic.com.

Music

Neil Gaiman

The Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra featuring Neil Gaiman
We’re letting you know now so you can get in line in plenty of time to see science fiction and fantasy cult figure/legend Neil Gaiman — while soaking up some equally credible culture of a different kind. Arts World Financial Center — currently in its 22nd season of presenting free visual and performing arts — presents the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra featuring Gaiman. The “Coraline” author will almost certainly give new life to Sergei Prokofiev’s children’s classic. Also featured: acclaimed Broadway tenor Jason Danieley in “And Bold to Fall Withal – Henry Hudson in the New World” — a world premiere composition by Knickerbocker founder and conductor Gary S. Fagin. FREE. 7:00 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 16 at World Financial Center Winter Garden (220 Vesey Street). For information, call 212-945-0505. Visit www.artsworldfinancialcenter.com.

Museum

Celebrating January 1st, 19th century style

MERCHANT’S HOUSE MUSEUM
The forward-thinking historians at Merchant’s House have two future events for you — both firmly rooted in the past. On Fri., Jan. 1 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., “Come Calling: New Year’s Day Open House” invites you to relive the elegance of Old New York’s most important holiday — when gentlemen sallied forth to pay respects to all their neighbors in honor of the New Year. A guided tour reveals dramatic readings and decorations from the period ($20). Through Jan. 11, “New Year’s Day in Old New York” is an exhibition featuring scenes of holiday preparation which show how mid-19th Century New Yorkers celebrated New Year’s Day — once the most important day of the year, now simply the first day to start breaking resolutions made the night before. This event is included with regular Museum admission ($8 general, $5 for students/seniors). Museum hours: Thur. through Mon., Noon to 5 p.m.; all above events are at Merchant’s House Museum (29 E. Fourth St.). Call 212-777-1089 or visit www.merchantshouse.org.

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