Sunday

Christmas favorites The

Pennsylvania Ballet

presents Balanchine's version of

The Nutcracker

at noon and 4 p.m. at

the Academy of Music

, Broad and Locust Streets, and continues with shows on a varied schedule to Dec. 31. Tickets are $29 to $150. Call 215-893-1999. . . . Conductor

Julian Wachner

leads

the Philadelphia Orchestra

in

Handel's Messiah

, with soloists

Sarah Coburn

, soprano,

Laura Vlasak Nolen

, mezzo-soprano,

William Hite

, tenor, and

David Kravitz

, baritone, at 2 p.m. at

the Kimmel Center's

Verizon Hall, Broad and Spruce Streets. Tickets are $49 to $105. Call 215-893-1999. . . .

Valentin Radu

conducts

the Ama Deus Ensemble

in

the 1749 Covent Garden version of Handel's Messiah

at 4 p.m. at

Daylesford Abbey,

220 S. Valley Rd., Paoli. Tickets are $25; $10 for students. Call 610-688-2800.

What's a mother to do?

In her one-woman show

25 Questions for a Jewish Mother

, comedian

Judy Gold

looks at motherhood from her distinctive perspectives as a conservative Jew, a lesbian, and a single mother of two boys. The

Philadelphia Theatre Company

production goes on at 3 p.m. today at

the Suzanne Roberts Theatre

, Broad and Lombard, and continues with shows at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets are $49. Call 215-985-0420.

Holiday treats

It's the nature of the newspaper business that we often find ourselves working on Christmas Eve, and an annual tradition is a colleague's sojourn around the newsroom reciting George Bailey's back-to-life greetings from

It's a Wonderful Life

("Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!"). You can see the whole story in Joe Landry's on-stage radio adaptation at 3:30 p.m. today at the

Prince Music Theater

, 1412 Chestnut St., and at 7 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 3:30 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets are $35 and $45. Call 215-569-9700. . . .

A Tuna Christmas

revisits the Texas town where Nativity scenes feature life-size statues of Bing Crosby and Natalie Wood and the local pageant is a disaster area. The show goes on at 7:30 p.m. today at

the Walnut Street Theatre's

Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut St., and continues on a Tuesday-through-Sunday schedule to Jan. 4. Tickets are $30. Call 215-574-3550.

Monday

Those old houses

Architect

James Garrison

discusses his book

Houses of Philadelphia - Chestnut Hill and the Wissahickon Valley 1880-1930

at 6 p.m. at

the AIA Center for Architecture

, 1218 Arch St. Admission is free. Call 215-546-1146.

Tuesday

Russian classics

Seventeen soloists from the acclaimed

Academy of Vocal Arts

perform works by Prokofiev, Borodin, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky at the

AVA's Warden Theater

, 1920 Spruce St., at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Tickets are $23; $15 for students. Call 215-735-1685.

Wednesday

A view of the stars

Photographs of artists and celebrities including Pablo Picasso, Miles Davis, Simone de Beauvoir, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren are among those in

Saving Face: Portraits from the Collection of Robert Infarinato

at the

Michener Art Museum

, 138 S. Pine St., Doylestown, to March 15. Admission is $6.50; $6 for seniors; $4 for students. Call 215-340-9800.

Thursday

Scientific movement

The

Miro Dance Theatre

looks at the intersection of physics and dance in their new work-in-

progress,

Spooky Action

. Members of the company visited Fermilab west of Chicago, where they learned about quantum physics to prepare for the work, in which dancers use the behavior of subatomic particles as the basis for choreography. Miro directors

Tobin Rothlein

and

Amanda Miller

discuss their work at 6:30 p.m. at

Girard College

, Girard and Corinthian Avenues. Admission is free. Call 215-962-4773.

Scrooge, et al

For

the Curio Theatre's

production of

A Christmas Carol

, actor

Jared Reed

draws on accounts of Charles Dickens' public readings to present a one-man performance. The show goes on at 7 p.m. Thursday at

the Sanctuary

, 4740 Baltimore Ave., and continues on a Thursday-to-Saturday schedule to Jan. 4. Tickets are $10 to $22. Call 215-525-1350.

Word and music

The New York-based pianist

Aziza

at one time taught high school (where one of her students was Alicia Keys). These days, she's performing her mix of jazz and poetry, as she will at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. at

the Clef Club

, 738 S. Broad St. Tickets are $15. Call 215-893-9912.

Friday & Saturday

Hoppers redux

The Hopper Brothers, a hit and the Philly Fringe, are at the center of the holiday show presented by short-form improv virtuosos

the N Crowd

at

the Actors Center,

257 N. Third St., at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10. Call 215-253-4276

Brassy holidays

We love

Tuba Christmas

, the annual gathering of hundreds (well, maybe 50, but it seems like more) of tubists for a concert of holiday tunes. This year's extravaganza is at

the Kimmel Center's

Commonwealth Plaza, Broad and Spruce Streets, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Call 215-893-1999.

Marvin's the man

Composer

Marvin Hamlisch

presents a holiday gala at

Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center

, 130 Tomlinson Mill Rd., Marlton, at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $65. Call 856-983-3366.

A complete guide to events in the region over the coming weekend will appear in the Weekend section in Friday's Inquirer. Send notices of events for "7 Days" to Michael Harrington at mharrington@phillynews.com.