Silly season It's time for the holiday panto - the British theater tradition featuring fractured fairy tales with topical jokes, audience participation, a "messy bit," silly songs, and, maybe, a skin horse - and this season's offering is Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon, a musical by Michael Ogborn with book by Pete Pryor and Samantha Bellomo. It's the story of a sword, a stone, a wizard, a dragon, a once and future king, and lots of silliness. The show goes on at 2 p.m. Sunday at the People's Light & Theatre Company, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern, and continues on a varied schedule to Jan. 11. Tickets are $27 to $50. Call 610-644-3500.
Chamber music Violinist Eunice Kim plays an eclectic recital of works by Stravinsky, Hindemith, Andrew Hsu, Ginastera, Piazzolla, and Sarasate at 3 p.m. at the Trinity Center for Urban Life, 2212 Spruce St. Tickets are $20; $18 for seniors; $5 for students. Call 215-735-6999.
What's going on Hip-hop star Common, who meditates on the violence in our cities in his fine new CD, Nobody's Smiling, displays his smart style at 8 p.m. at the Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. Tickets are $40. Call 215-922-1011.
Distinctive voices Indiana songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joseph O'Connell, doing business as Elephant Micah, plays his lo-fi, folk-pop gems on a double bill with Will Johnson's sensational avant-pop combo, Centro-Matic, at 8:30 p.m. at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St. Tickets are $12. Call 267-639-4528.
Kitchen confidential The great director Peter Greenaway's chilly, gorgeous approach is epitomized in his brutal and beautiful 1989 drama, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, mixing film noir and Jacobean revenge tragedy in a tale of a gangster's wife (Helen Mirren) who carries on an affair with a mild-mannered bookseller at her husband's restaurant with the help of its staff. The film screens at 7 p.m. at International House, 3701 Chestnut St. Admission is free; tickets are required. Call 215-387-5125.
Word and music E.Y. "Yip" Harburg made an indelible mark on popular culture, though many may be hard-pressed to say who he is exactly. But if you know the words to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" or "April in Paris" or even "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," you're quoting him. He was one of American song's greatest lyricists, and reportedly contributed much to the script as well as the song lyrics for The Wizard of Oz. Author Michael Lasser discusses Harburg's career in the lecture "Over the Rainbow" with Yip Harburg at 7 p.m. at the Michener Museum, 138 S. Pine St., Doylestown. Tickets are $20; reservations are required. Call 215-340-9800.
Stage music Conductor Bramwell Tovey leads the Philadelphia Orchestra in his own Songs of the Paradise Saloon with soloist Alison Balsom, trumpet, plus other works for theater and opera by Britten, Gershwin, and Bernstein at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall, Broad and Spruce Streets, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $35 to $171. Call 215-893-1999.
Moving pictures The kinetic dance troupe Mummmenschanz performs at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 215-898-3900.g
Friday & Saturday
Holiday music The luminous vocal group Anonymous 4 performs seasonal medieval repertoire at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 1904 Walnut St., at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $24. Call 215-569-8080.
East meets West American hip-hop teams with Japanese butoh dance in a performance by Rennie Harris and Michael Sakamoto at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St., at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $30. Call 215-925-9914.