Mamet’s latest on Broadway, an a cappella sing-off on NBC, a Tunisian oud player takes on jazz, and more.
“RiffTrax LIVE: Christmas Shorts-Stravaganza,” featuring the stars of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and guest “Weird Al” Yankovic (r.), is a live in-theater event taking place on Dec. 16, at 8 p.m. ET, in 482 movie theaters nationwide (with a taped delay for the West Coast). Based on the cult favorite TV show, it brings its offbeat humor to a series of seasonal short films and TV commercials. For ticket information go to FathomEvents.com.
On Dec. 14, 15, 16, and 21, NBC premières “The Sing-Off,” a nationwide song hunt for the top a cappella singing group. The first three nights, ensembles will compete, “American Idol”-style, and the following Monday finale will feature the winner. Besides a national spotlight on their talent, the top prizewinners will take home a recording contract with Epic Records/Sony Music.
Musicologist Alan Lomax traveled throughout Haiti in 1936 and made field recordings of local musical talent for the Library of Congress. The occupation by US Marines had recently ended, and part of the island’s rebound from the invasion was musical. Drummers, woodwind players, and vocalists were performing with a rambunctious sense of nationalistic fervor. “Alan Lomax in Haiti” (Harte Recordings) consists of 10 CDs of never-before-released music steeped in African-flavored jazz, calypso, and Mardi Gras marches. Along with sultry merengues are mesmerizing children’s songs performed by another American passing through, writer Zora Neale Hurston. Enchanting and revelatory.