On Stage at Kingsborough gears up for holiday shows

Once again, On Stage at Kingsborough is bringing the holidays to Brooklyn.

Starting in early December, the Southern Brooklyn performing arts presenter will host two shows that will have something for diverse attendees looking to celebrate both the Hanukkah and Christmas season, with a concert by Klezmer band Golem on December 4 and a performance of “The Nutcracker” by the State Ballet Theater of Russia on December 16.

Leading off the season is Golem, whose unique music is aimed at entertaining audiences of all kinds during Hanukah. “We play Jewish music from Eastern Europe and play it in a contemporary fun way,” said lead singer Annette Ezekiel Kogan. “We’re a Klezmer rock band with a modern take on old songs with original material and it’s really fun.”

The band also prides itself on its diverse catalogue of tunes, including Ukrainian, French, Jewish and Russian songs. “We are all over the map,” she said, adding that the twist of performance is what separates the band from others. “It’s a lot of fun. Our philosophy is to take songs as if they were written for people now.”

Photo courtesy of Viktor Miloslavskiy
Photo courtesy of Viktor Miloslavskiy

Anna Becker, executive director of On Stage at Kingsborough, is thrilled to have the group join its roster. “For Golem, the things that excited us about them coming here is that we really like to have a joyous celebration of Hanukkah and this group is particularly unique and wonderful,” she said of the 15-year-old band. “They are highly theatrical and are very energetic. They play beloved favorites with original songs which makes for a lively and interesting concert. You don’t know what’s coming next.”

Highlights for Golem include playing in venues in the Ukraine, Paris and Mexico. They also performed in an episode of the hit comedy “Louie” starring comedian Louie C.K. “I think it’s the energy and danceable beats that make the music accessible to people of all different cultures,” said Kogan, who is excited to perform at On Stage at Kingsborough.

“Traditionally, we attract a wide range if audience members for this concert every year. Families come to celebrate the holidays so there’s a wide age range. Golem has a broad appeal,” said Becker. “The young audience embraces it.”

Two weeks later, the State Ballet Theatre of Russia will present “The Nutcracker,” about a little girl’s fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers and an army of mice, to On Stage at Kingsborough for the first time.

“They’ve done ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ here. With the company coming, we are thrilled and honored to have them back again this year,” said Becker. “It’s the first time they’re bringing ‘The Nutcracker’ to us and we’re excited to have the holiday tradition in December with these artists. They are an esteemed Russian ballet company.”

The music is by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, with choreography by Marius Petipa and Vasily Vainonen. The performance will feature 40 ballet dancers in elaborate costumes.

“It is very special when this ballet company comes through,” Becker said. “We’re delighted we have two such esteemed companies for the holidays both in highly theatrical style. We’re also really proud to offer these holiday shows with affordable prices.”

The Golem concert will be held on Sunday, December 4 at 3 p.m.  “The Nutcracker” will be performed on Friday, December 16 at 7 p.m. Ticket prices for both shows start at $32. The venue is On Stage at Kingsborough, 2001 Oriental Boulevard.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.onstageatkingsborough.org.

Photo courtesy of Hollywood Entertainment
Photo courtesy of Hollywood Entertainment

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