Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Philadelphia events for Dec. 14-Dec. 20

HOLIDAZE Hanukkah done, artfully Members of the brassy, world-beat-minded West Philly Orchestra are in a klezmer state of mind for the "Art After 5" Hanukkah party, celebrating the Festival of Light's seventh crazy night.

The Phanatic dressed as Santa.
The Phanatic dressed as Santa.Read more


Hanukkah done, artfully

Members of the brassy, world-beat-minded West Philly Orchestra are in a klezmer state of mind for the "Art After 5" Hanukkah party, celebrating the Festival of Light's seventh crazy night.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Friday, free with museum admission, $23.50 adults, $17.50 students with ID, $21.50 seniors, 215-235-SHOW,


It might be a ploy to get you to shop at the Majestic Clubhouse Store, but when Charlie Manuel and the Phanatic (as "Phanta Claus") light the tree at Citizens Bank Park Saturday at 5 p.m., you'll want to be there. Other weekend must-dos: contribute to a food drive and snatch up sale items and get your photo with Phanta (11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday).

Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, free, 215-463-1000,

Float your boat

Independence Seaport Museum's lighted boat parade is kind of like Ocean City's Night in Venice, but in red and green, with a historic tug - and without the boozy befuddlement. The price of admission gets you snacks, carols, a visit from the North Pole's pre-eminent ship captain - and a bird's-eye view of the festive flotilla.

Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd., 3 p.m. carols, 5 p.m. parade Saturday, $12 adults, $10 seniors, military, students and children, 215-413-8655,

Holly jolly jail cell

Because nothing says yuletide cheer like a trip to the big house, Eastern State hosts carolers from Penn's Sirens glee club and offers on-the-hour tours of its creeptastic cells.

Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave., concert 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday (open daily), $12 adults, $10 seniors, $8 students and children, 215-236-5111,

Carol classical

"Christmas with the Philadelphia Singers," with candlelight procession and carol sing, has become a longstanding must for choral fanciers. This year, David Hayes leads Gerald Finzi's "In terra pax" and Arnold Bax's "Mater ora filium."

Church of the Good Samaritan, 212 W. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and St. Clement's Church, 20th and Cherry streets, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday, $30-$40, 215-751-9494,

Organ meets

The Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, with the Mendelssohn Brass and organist Michael Stairs, present a program of glorious holiday music led by Alan Harler.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., 5 p.m. Saturday, $30, 215-893-1999,

Angels on high

The four incredible voices of Anonymous 4 return with carols and songs celebrating Mary in music beginning in the 13th century from England, France and Spain.

Holy Trinity Church, 1904 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Friday, $24, 215-569-8080,

Sing magnificat

Choral Arts Society and the Philadelphia Bach Collegium, led by Matthew Glandorf, offers its holiday program with two flaming masterpieces: Bach's Magnificat and Vivaldi's "Gloria" - plus a sing-along to Mozart, Handel and Rutter.

First Baptist Church, 17th and Sansom streets, 4 p.m. Sunday, $30, 267-240-2586,

Sugarplum freaky

Everybody is kung-fu fighting (and rapping, cracking jokes and hip-hop dancing) at ContempraDance Theatre's "Philly Nutt Crak-Up," a locally-bent "Nutcracker" spoof. This family-friendly performance features pro and kid dancers moving to music by Tchaikovsky, Fatboy Slim, Flight Crank and James Brown.

Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $17.50-$30, 800-745-3000,

Holiday original

Sick of the same old Christmas standbys? Philly's own BCKSEET Productions offers up a new seasonal spectacular, "El Fuego," a play about four people whisked away to the North Pole to replace a group of picketing elves, all set to original tunes.

Skybox at The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., through Dec. 29, $28 general admission, $21 students, veterans and seniors, 267-603-3533,

Jingle bell rock

The Polyphonic Spree's new "Holidream: Sounds of the Holiday, Vol. 1" is one of the quirkiest sets of the season, with swoony, note bent Tim DeLaughter plus chorale-turned versions of "Winter Wonderland," "Do You Hear What I Hear," "Silver Bells" and "Let It Snow." The kid-friendly concert adds the Bindlestiff Family Circus, opener Gustafer Yellowgold, cartoons and more.

Trocadero, 10th and Arch streets, 7 p.m. Friday $22 (all ages), 215-922-6888,

Jingle bell roll

Trans-Siberian Orchestra merge new/old style storytelling fables and pomp rock grandeur into a heavy Christmas pageant tailored for arena consumption.

Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. (the latter sold out) Saturday, $43-$73, 800-298-4200,

Christmas pack

The Sands blows east as musical impersonators of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. serve a "Reflections of the Rat Pack Christmas."

Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple streets, Sellersville, 1 p.m. Sunday, $29.50, 215-257-5808,


Cello summit

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein returns as Philadelphia Orchestra soloist in the Elgar Cello Concerto. Gianandrea Noseda conducts his second Philadelphia Orchestra week, also leading Borodin's Overture to "Prince Igor" and Tchaikovsky's buoyant Third Symphony, nicknamed the "Polish."

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 8 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday, $20-$119, 215-893-1999,

American principals

Two Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia principal players - English hornist Geoffrey Deemer and trumpeter Rodney Mack - team up for Aaron Copland's evocative "Quiet City." Dirk Brosse also leads music by Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, Copland ("Appalachian Spring") and film score master John Williams.

Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday, $24-$81, 215-545-5451,

Symphonic challenge

The Lower Merion Symphony Orchestra, led by Philadelphia Orchestra member Mark Gigliotti, tackles a rare jewel and a mighty exclamation: Handel's Viola Concerto (with his colleague Kirsten Johnson as soloist) and the massive Bruckner Fifth Symphony.

Lower Merion High School Auditorium, 301 E. Montgomery Ave. in Ardmore, 3 p.m. Sunday, free, 610-667-1888,

'Goldberg' genius variations

Pianist Jeremy Denk performs Schumann's "Davidsbundlertanze" and Bach's monumental "Goldberg" Variations, written to aid an insomniac yet astonishing for its unending imagination.

Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $24, 215-569-8080,


Engelbert's back

Atlantic City's music scene is au courant these days, but there's still room for the occasional old-school gaming-hall headliner. Friday night and Saturday, British crooner Engelbert Humperdinck, who has been performing in Atlantic City since the first legal gambling den opened in 1978, performs at Harrah's. Given the timing, it's not unreasonable to expect to hear a Christmas carol or two besides such hits as "Release Me" and "The Last Waltz."

Harrah's, 777 Harrah's Blvd., 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $77.50, $62.50 and $47.50, 800-736-1420,

Mountain men

Singers from Ukraine's Carpathian Mountains perform the "Koliada," ritual winter songs and music on handmade instruments, including an eight-foot mountain horn and a bagpipe made from a goat.

Ukrainian League of Philadelphia, 800 N. 23rd St., 7:30 p.m. Saturday, adults $20; under 18, $10; free under 12, 215-656-8521,

Dark bouquet

Plucked banjo, sawing fiddle, flat-picked guitar, weepy pedal steel and old-timey vocal balladeering all make Black Lillies a country rock group with true down-home (even "backwoods") credibility. And charm. With Yarn and Former Belle.

Milkboy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St., 9 p.m. Friday, $14, 215-925-MILK,

Ska redux

Third wave ska band Streetlight Manifesto vows "it's gonna get hot in here" with its fast- paced, slip-sliding horns- and guitar-scorched ska-styling. Sounds British but actually from New Jersey (New Brunswick). Lionize roars first.

TLA, 334 South St., Friday, $20, $13.25 (four-pack, individual), 800-745-3000,

Trib time

The funk and jazz mashing Karl Denson's Tiny Universe turns the tribute tables on The Beastie Boys. Helping out - Kyle, OG and Dela (from Slightly Stoopid).

Union Transfer, 1024 Spring Garden St., 9 p.m. Friday, $25, 215-232-2100,

Won't be corralled

The bearded bros of Band of Horses ride harmonic Laurel Canyon folk and easy-rolling, indie/Rolling Stones-y rock trails. Easy to connect with, if you're likewise learning "how to live" and "turning back into a child." Another lonesome boy Jason Lytle (ex-Grandaddy) materializes first with sweeping, surreal folktronica. Don't be late!

Electric Factory, 7th and Willow streets, 8:30 p.m. Friday, $30, 215-627-1332,

International feel

Pioneer of multiculturalism David Amram brings peaceful vibes and his eclectic ensemble to The Psalm Salon, an intimate living room concert venue. As opening act, Amram's screening the vintage Jack Kerouac documentary "Pull My Daisy," which he jazz scored so many moons ago.

The Psalm Salon, 5841 Overbrook Ave., 8 p.m. Friday, $25, 215-477-7578,

Whiny boy punk

Buying into the Man Overboard lament - "This is the hardest time to keep your head up"? Come commune with these angst-filled pop punks, plus I Am the Avalanche, Seahaven, Citizen, Daylight, Alan Day and Transit.

TLA, 334 South St., 5 p.m. Saturday, $17/$20, 800-745-3000,

Whole lotta shakin'

Dare we say it? The ensemble portraying the fateful meetup of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis in the touring version of "Million Dollar Quartet" rocks harder and better than the Broadway cast. Jump quick if you want to see it.

Forrest Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, $49.50-$97, 800-447-7400,

Cementing relationships

Recently graduated from tattooing school, she claims, Johnette Napolitano is now back to musicmaking with Concrete Blonde. Opening the night: Jim Bianco.

World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., Saturday, $30-$42, 215-222-1400,

Bern notice

Musical agent provocateur Dan Bern calls 'em like he sees 'em in caustically funny, folk-tuned topical songs.

Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 7:30 p.m. Saturday, $22, 215-928-0978,

A hometown holiday

Philly soul legend Bunny Sigler is a late addition to the Last Minute Jam Band's All-Star Jingle Jam. Other special guests include Rocco Notte of The A's, Jeff Washington, Chris Day (Young Rumblers), and Bobby Michaels of the Bill Haley Jr. Band, plus more.

The Legendary Dobbs, 304 South St., 8 p.m. to midnight Tuesday, 215-501-7288.

Hardest working man in showbiz

DJ ?uestlove and Friends spin and burn for your listening and dancing pleasure. Jimmy Fallon must be on vacation this week.

Soundgarden Hall, Columbus Boulevard at Spring Garden Street, 8 p.m. Wednesday, $10/$15, 800-745-3000,


Homeland insecurity

Can Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), the Marine-turned-terrorist-turned-congressman - who two episodes ago helped kill the vice president of the United States (Jamey Sheridan) - possibly survive Season 2 of "Homeland?" Can he and bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) start a new life together without making a mockery of whatever fans thought this show was about? And is there anyone who watches who's not counting down the minutes to Sunday's season finale?

"Homeland," 10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime.

Anita Gevinson book party

Oh, does Anita Gevinson, the former WMMR DJ, have stories to share, in You Turn Me On I'm a Radio . . . My Wild Rock 'n Roll Life. Bring a copy of the book ($12.99 at for her to sign.

Serrano, 20 S. 2nd St., 6:30 p.m. Thursday, free, 215-928-0978,

Poetic hip-hop

Renown hip-hop choreographer Raphael Xavier will bring his B-boy moves to a theater setting. His show, "The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance," is an autobiographical mix tape of music and moves, with input from poet Leigh Nelson.

Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, 1200 Callowhill St., price TBD, 8:30-9:30 p.m. Friday,

Distilled derby

Two teams of made up of five tough women each will compete in the Iron Athlete Challenge, featuring 15-minute "mini-bouts," courtesy of Love City Roller Derby. Normally teams are made up of 14 skaters, so these matches will pit only the toughest of competitors against each other.

Derby Ink Gardens Arena, 820 Spring Garden St., 1 p.m., Sunday, $12 in advance, $18 at the door,

- Compiled by Lauren

McCutcheon, Chuck Darrow, Tom

DiNardo, Molly Eichel, Ellen Gray and Jonathan Takiff.