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The holiday season is just as much about reaching back to old memories as it is about making new ones. But for obvious reasons, this particular season has presented us with unprecedented challenges that make reveling in Christmas Past while enjoying Christmas Present that much more difficult.
This is not lost on famed musician and theater director/actor Everett Bradley, whose Holidelic Christmas party, a longstanding seasonal extravaganza is typically presented to packed out NYC audiences as well as a number of other great Northeast venues (Club Helsinki in Hudson, World Cafe Live in Philly, Daryl’s House).
Holidelic was originally slated for a newly established 5-week holiday run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre as part of a new 2020 partnership. This year, The Lucille Lortel Theatre will present a virtual Holidelic experience that will be redirected straight into our homes in the interest of public safety, but not at the expense of some real Yuletide fun. Newly directed by acclaimed writer and director, Michael Heitzman, the COVID-19 revision of the much-loved funk revue now has an opportunity to do good at a time when it’s needed most. The show will be free for all to watch and all donations will go to the SAY Organization (Stuttering Association for the Young), a favorite charity of both Bradley’s and The Lucille Lortel Theatre.
The 2020 reiteration comes in the form of Holidelic: Home With Papadelic, hosted by Bradley himself in the comfort of his own home. Bradley plays the role of Papadelic, Funk’s Father Christmas, a sort of amalgamation of George Clinton and Santa Claus, who goes to the videotape deck for an engaging strut down Santa Claus Lane, pouring over performances past and heavy on the funk, featuring holiday-themed songs written by Bradley and brought to life by an array of top shelf noise makers.
“I wanted to create something that would celebrate the idea of being at home, but also the excitement that the holiday season brings,” says Bradley. “To be transparent, this special was actually somewhat inspired by the pandemic, but I didn’t want to give it any credit. We’re just trying to keep it all positive.”
When it comes to rousing rock performances, Everett Bradley is no neophyte. A member of both the E Street Band and Bon Jovi’s touring outfits as percussionist and backup singer, Bradley has spent years as a respected force on big stages the world over. He was the first American artist to direct and perform in Stomp, which earned him a Grammy nomination, and he won accolades for his role on the creative team and star of Swing! He was a featured performer in Broadway’s After Midnight. Collaborations run the gamut, namechecking folks like Cyndi Lauper, Joey Ramone, Carly Simon, Meredith Viera and Chris Botti. He started Holidelic in 2002, bringing in guests like the B-52s Fred Schneider, Living Color’s Vernon Reid, John Forte, Elmo Shropshire (singer/writer of “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”), and Celeste Holm.
“A flashy, bass-heavy retro-futuristic take on the holidays.” The New Yorker
“A holiday funk-tacular.” Time Out New York
“Original songs that celebrate diversity.” OUT.com
“Bradley’s tunes will liven up anyone’s familiar mix of music with pulsating rhythms that bring to mind the work of funk and soul greats like Sly Stone and P-Funk and clever conceits that put a fresh spin on familiar sentiments…” Andy Propst- TheaterMania