Since 1989, Glen Burtnik has presented Xmas Xtravaganza shows at venues including the Bottom Line in New York, the State Theatre in New Brunswick and the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank. These shows feature rock versions of holiday favorites and have developed traditions of their own, with many of the performers playing the same songs year after year.
Burtnik’s 2020 Xmas Xtravaganza will take place at the Basie Center’s The Vogel, for a socially distanced audience limited to 150, on Dec. 19. Tickets will go on sale Nov. 24 at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster.com.
As usual, the lineup of the show is not being announced beforehand. But over the year, the series has attracted many notable artists, including Patti Smith, Patty Smyth, Deborah Harry, Willie Nile, Fred Schneider of The B-52’s, Marshall Crenshaw, the late Phoebe Snow, Styx and Freedy Johnston.
Here is a video of Idina Menzel performing the ’60s Stevie Wonder single “Someday at Christmas” at the 2000 Xmas show, with backing by Burtik, the late Bernie Brausewetter and others.
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