Dropping panto 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. 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. Sunday 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.

Chamber music The dynamic Parker Quartet plays works by Karol Szymanowski, Beethoven, and Schumann at 3 p.m. at the American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St. Tickets are $24. Call 215-569-8080. . . . The EStrella Piano Duo - Svetlana Belsky and Elena Doubovitskaya - plays four-hand works by composers including Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and Gershwin at 3 p.m. at the German Society, 611 Spring Garden St. Tickets are $20. Call 215-627-2332.


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.


Dream world 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.


Deck the halls 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 searcher 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.

Misfits Yule 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

Chamber pop The wonderful cellist and singer

Heather Woods Broderick

plays her ethereal ambient-folk sound as opener for plangent folkie

Jesse Marchant


Tin Angel

, 20 S. Second St., at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10. Call 215-928-0770.

Naughty but nice 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.

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