Cirque du Soleil

The high-flying Quebec-based troupe is presenting its signature show Varekai for one last tour. The story of a young man wandering in a magical forest mixes circus arts, acrobatics, and dance in the company's distinctive kinetic style. As always, expect gorgeous costumes, stunning feats, and dazzling effects. — Michael Harrington


Wild Wizarding Weekend

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Academy of Natural Sciences, 19th and the Parkway, $19.95; $16.95 seniors; $15.95 ages 3 to 13; ages under 3 free, 215-299-1000, ansp.org

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit

To Jan. 15, at the Please Touch Museum,  4231 Avenue of the Republic, $19, 215-581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org


“Finding Neverland”

Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy's musical, an adaptation of the film about writer J.M. Barrie and his relationship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan, offers a new perspective on a classic tale. — M.H.

2 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday, at the Academy of Music, Broad and Locust Streets, $24 to $144, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org


Secret Cinema

The found-film collector screens industrial, promotional, and educational flicks including 1967's 20 to the 3rd Power, a student work produced by the Documentary Film Laboratory of Penn's Annenberg School showing fashionable undergrads enjoying Philly; footage of Atlantic City in the 1970s; clips of Mr. Rivets, a "mechanical man" (actor Joe Earley) who was the goofy sidekick on a local TV afternoon show; and a 1976 promo for the cultish self-help program EST, featuring founding Werner Erhard (who got his start as Philly-born car salesman John Rosenberg). — M.H.

8 p.m. Friday, Horticulture Center, West Fairmount Park, North Horticultural Drive and Montgomery Avenue, 215-685-0096, thesecretcinema.com


Circa Survive

Since 2004 and its debut album Juturna (the Roman goddess of wells and springs), Doylestown's Circa Survive — powerful whiner/stream of consciousness ranter Anthony Green, jackhammering guitarist Colin Frangicetto, a prog-rock rhythm section that makes Yes sound like Selena Gomez in comparison — have made emo mean more than a haircut and teardrop. Their heartbroken emotional hardcore, tinged with sometime-silly philosophical conceits — to say nothing of Green's newly formed sensitivity as a dad and acoustic-based solo artist — and cranky rhythmic overdrive continue to make Circa Survive brilliant and even important beyond their original sphere of influence. Plus, they put out a new album this autumn, The Amulet, which you should own, so hit the merch table when Thrice, CHON and Balance and Composure are on stage. — A.D. Amorosi

6:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. $34.50-$40. 215-627-1332, electricfactory.info

St. Vincent

Masseduction, the fifth St. Vincent album, is both deadly serious and seriously fun. Annie Clark — who records as St. Vincent — downplays her guitar heroics this time in favor of M.I.A.-like provocative pop on songs such as "Pills" and "Los Ageless," foregrounding beats and quick-cuts and abrupt noises to soundtrack her apocalyptic messages. The songs veer from the personal to the political, and they're often delivered with a winking extravagance. She's dubbed this tour "Fear the Future," and it's a theatrical, multi-media affair, with a solo Clark first playing a retrospective set — expect her guitar-shredding on favorites such as "Rattlesnakes" — followed by Masseduction's savvy pop, from start to finish. — Steve Klinge

8 p.m. Tuesday, Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. $41.50 advance; $44.50 day of show. 215-627-1332, electricfactory.info

Pat Martino

8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. 8 p.m. shows sold out; $35 for 10 p.m. shows. 215-568- 3131, chrisjazzcafe.com

Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton

Emily Haines is the front woman of Toronto rock quartet Metric, and she's also a contributing member of Canadian indie supergroup Broken Social Scene, who released Hug Of Thunder this past summer. But Haines also makes a solo album every 10 years or so, going back to Cut in Half and Also Double in 1996, Knives Don't Have Your Back in 2006, and now this year's Choir Of The Mind. The new 13-song set does rev up itself on the likes of the slow building "Fatal Gift," but mainly it's a subtle and sedate piano-centric affair, with Haines' breathy vocals paired with stately melodies. At Union Transfer, she's playing an all-ages seated show. — Dan DeLuca

8 p.m. Wednesday, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. $26-$85. 215-232-2100, utphilly.com


Black Friday Comedy Marathon

If you missed Philadelphia's long-distance run last weekend, make up for lost time at a different type of marathon: a comedy marathon. For the fourth year running, the Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) gathers entertainers and comedians for a show lasting no fewer than 40 hours. The event features stand-up comedians, sketch performers, improvisers, musicians, clowns and more. If that seems like whole lot of comedy, remember that it's a whole lot less of a time commitment than preparing for a 26.2-mile endurance contest. — Thea Applebaum Licht

9 a.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Sunday, Philly Improv Theater, 2030 Sansom St. $12, or free with a receipt from a local business. 267-233-1556, phitcomedy.com.


Philadelphia Orchestra

In this all-American program, James Gaffigan leads Samuel Barber's First Symphony (in One Movement), Antonin Dvorak's "American" Suite (a Czech view written in Manhattan) and George Gershwin's Promenade (a.k.a. "Walking The Dog"). Gershwin's jazz-tinged Piano Concerto in F will be played rousingly by one of its champions, pianist Jon Kimura Parker. — Tom Di Nardo

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. $56-$158. 215-893-1999, philorch.org.

Temple University Concert Choir and Project HOME Choir

The choir from Project HOME, a organization whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty, teams with Temple's choir and conductor Paul Rardin for a special program. Temple prof and composer Jan Krzywicki's Lute Music and Two Elegies shares the bill with John Corigliano's Fern Hill and "We Are Home," composed by Rardin and Project HOME's Annette Jeffrey. — T.D.N.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 N. Broad St. Free. 215-204-7609, temple.edu/boyer



This enterprising troupe begins its 12th season with one of this century's real dance highlights, Nicolo Fonte's Beautiful Decay, celebrating the aging process. The company's 10 dancers will perform with four guest senior artists (on different nights), with original sets and music by Vivaldi, Max Richter, and Olafur Arnalds. — T.D.N.

8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, plus 10 more performances through Dec. 10, Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St. $55, 215-546-7824, balletx.org.