And now ... jokes! The estimable 1812 Productions brings together a cast of veteran improv performers -- Thomas E. Shotkin (as Uncle Shotsie), Dave Jadico, Mary Carpenter, Don Montrey, Kristin Finger, Noah Herman, and Fred Siegel -- for the festive Improvukkah: Improv for the Holidays. They'll be making it all up right there on the spot at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey St., at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are $25. Call 215-592-9560.
The intriguing Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has challenged both narrative orthodoxy and normative government censorship in his innovative films. In his 2015 drama, Cemetery of Splendour, about a hospital volunteer and a clairvoyant investigating a narcolepsy epidemic in a clinic for wounded soldiers, he eschews the strange storytelling stylistics for a more straight-ahead tale -- but that only deepens the sense of mystery. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. at the PFS Roxy Theater, 2023 Sansom St. Tickets are $12; $11 seniors and students. Call 267-639-9508.
For A Johnnyswim Christmas, the Los Angeles folk-pop duo bring their distinctive sound to standards such as "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The show goes on at 8:30 p.m. at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. Tickets are $25. Call 215-232-2100.
The British theater tradition known as panto -- absurd adventures with topical jokes, audience participation, a "messy bit," and general silliness -- is now a tradition on our side of the pond, thanks to People's Light & Theatre. The troupe brings back Kathryn Petersen and Michael Ogborn's musical The Three Musketeers (The Later Years), increasing the goofy quotient (it's a scientific term) by a factor of two: capacious clown Dito van Reigersberg as Horace the Hound, and puppeteer Robert Smythe doing double duty as creator of a black-light segment and swinging a sword as the hero D'Artagnan. There's also a brave chicken, of course. The show goes on at 2 p.m. Wednesay at the company's theater, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern, and continues on a varied schedule to Jan. 10. Tickets are $34 to $55. Call 610-644-3500.
In director Lisandro Alonso's western Jauja, set in 1880s Patagonia, a Danish military engineer arrives with his lissome young daughter to work on a project with the Argentine army. When she disappears with her soldier lover into the rugged landscape, the captain (Viggo Mortensen, who also wrote the minimalist score with avant-rock guitarist Buckethead) sets off alone to find her. The film screens at 7 p.m. at International House, 3701 Chestnut St. Tickets are $9; $7 seniors and students. Call 215-387-5125.
If you know that Bumbles bounce, have a place under your tree for a train with square wheels, and leave out some peppermint for Yukon Cornelius on Christmas Eve, you'll be delighted by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, based on the classic 1964 Rankin/Bass TV special. Even if you don't understand any of that, go -- it'll do you good. The show soars into the Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St., at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday. Tickets are $30 to $70. Call 215-893-1999.
Friday & Saturday
The wonderful cellist and singer Heather Woods Broderick plays her ethereal ambient-folk sound as opener for plangent folkie Jesse Marchant at Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St., at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10. Call 215-928-0770.
It's worth the risk of getting a lump of coal in your stocking. For their annual burlesque show -- this year, it's Santa and Frosty Breakup! -- the physical theater company Tribe of Fools decorates the bump-and-grind with a bit of commedia dell'arte tinsel. The show goes on at Shiloh Baptist Church, 2031 Montrose St., at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20. Call 215-284-1178.
Send notices of events to Michael Harrington at email@example.com.