Naughty or nice? Why choose! This playlist captures the jazz, wit, and merriment that legendary New York performance artist Joey Arias brought to a free show at the David Rubenstein Atrium last holiday season. And you'll definitely want to scroll down for a bonus video of a classic Arias performance.
“Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt
It’s all about an adult acting like a child who wants all these beautiful gifts—not fruitcake or socks, but something from Tiffany’s!
“Why Don’t You Do Right” by Peggy Lee
A song that says, “Who cares about love! The real love is in your wallet, and how much you can really afford for a kiss.”
“I Want to Be Loved by You” by Betty Boop
Such a naughty song, but so cute! For when you’re standing by the Christmas tree, the kids are asleep, you’re in lingerie, and you’re waiting for Santa to come down the chimney.
“Santa Claus Got Stuck (In My Chimney)” by Ella Fitzgerald
Santa has had too many surprises this year! But sometimes you find yet another surprise on your way down a chimney.
“Communication Breakdown” by Led Zeppelin
At Christmas, everyone’s always trying to get somewhere, but something always seems to break down or go wrong.
“Silent Night” by Klaus Nomi
An amazing version of this song from an extraterrestrial who landed on earth and found the silent night to be a quiet time for rebirth.
“Jingle Bells” by Dean Martin
To hear such a sexy man sing a children’s song and have fun remembering both youth and growing older—it keeps me young!
“The Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler
Everyone’s gotta celebrate at this time of year, and everyone can come together at the same time to celebrate Christmas and Chanukah and Kwanzaa, no matter what your religion or who you are.
“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” by Billie Holiday
What a song! About all the love and friendship in the world.
“Little Drummer Boy” by Pink Martini
A great version of a standard. It reminds me of childhood and how to be playful and the sounds of Christmas.
Listen to the full playlist
Joey shows how someone can go from nice to naughty with a now-legendary performance of “You’ve Changed.”
About the curator
Revered since the 1980s, Joey Arias has been a central figure in New York City’s fertile downtown performance scene. Cabaret singer, jazz vocalist, songwriter, cult film star, theater artist, drag performer, and fashion icon, famous for “channeling Billie Holiday” (New Yorker), Mr. Arias has gone on to establish himself as a world-class entertainer, touring internationally and starring in lavish theatrical productions, including Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity and Arias with a Twist.