Need something to do with the kiddies over the Thanksgiving weekend? We've got you covered.
Roald Dahl, though one of the great children's book writers, if only for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was not a sweet guy. His darkly funny books specialize in the macabre and odd, and often feature children in conflict with evil adults.
Perhaps it was a reflection of his own childhood — which included losing a sister and his father to illness as a tot, and the sadistic corporal punishment of the English school system, which left him suspicious of education, religion, and the adults who were nominally in charge of both. Or maybe it was his wartime service as an RAF fighter ace where he suffered a fractured skull after being given the wrong landing coordinates. Whatever it was, it left him with a sensibility that children recognize and love, because kids always know what's genuine.
Matilda, the Musical, based on Dahl's novel about a precocious 5-year-old girl who overcomes indifferent parents and a villainous headmistress at school, finishes up its run at the Academy of Music this weekend.
2 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, at the Academy of Music, Broad and Locust Streets. Tickets: $80 to $250. Information: 215-893-1999 or www.kimmelcenter.org.
Magician Max Major returns with his show "Think Again!," in which he demonstrates the powers of the mind, using a combination of hocus-pocus and psychology. In the show, he "reads the minds" of audience members through his understanding of body language, assumes the role of a human lie detector, and puts himself in apparent physical danger (better leave the small fry home). In a switch, he'll tell you how he does it and give a lesson in predicting thoughts (again, not for small fry, who are never predictable).
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Franklin Institute, 271 N. 21st St. Tickets: $25. Information: 215-448-1200 or www.fi.edu.