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What to do in Philly Nov. 22-28: Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade, light the tree at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, laugh with Marlon Wayans

Plus the Rainbow Fish at the Merriam, a craft bazaar, Eric B. and Rakim, and more of what's going on this week.

Parade participants wave from a float at the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Parade participants wave from a float at the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.Read moreJessica Griffin / File Photograph

The days are getting darker, my friends. Which is why we need holiday light shows, for real, right now. The Philadelphia Zoo just opened its festive bestiary, including a field of colorfully lit penguins and a Christmas tree made out of illuminated pink flamingo lawn ornaments. Day: brightened.

One way to keep warm: run a marathon. It’s Philadelphia Marathon weekend. Grace Dickinson asked local runners their secrets for getting through it, from socks that will save your feet to something you need because “nobody wants bloody nipples.” (Yiiiiikes.) If you’re not a runner, and just want to know how to avoid the traffic mayhem, here’s what you need to know to go about your business this weekend.

Also this weekend: the lottery for War on Drugs tickets. Once again, the beloved Philly band is doing a small-venue holiday spectacular (which they call “Drugcember”). There are two shows just before the New Year, and you have until 10 p.m. Sunday to enter the lottery for tickets. Bonus: The shows will benefit Philly schools.

Here’s what we’re humming along to: local Grammy noms. Among them: Meek Mill, Bradley Cooper (for his Gaga-collab A Star Is Born), and Wyomissing, Pa-raised Taylor Swift, who, with a paltry three nominations, was robbed. (And sure, he was born in Ohio, but we’ll claim Sexiest University of Pennsylvania Grad Alive John Legend, too.)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, whether you’re prepping a feast like the chefs do or have decided to let a restaurant do the cooking this year.

— Megan Griffith-Greene (@griffithgreene,


Thanksgiving Day Parade

This is the 100th year for the parade, said to be the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country. The parade was sponsored by Gimbels department store from its inception in 1920 till Gimbels’ demise in 1986. Since then, it’s been brought to us by 6ABC. — Bethany Ao

8:15 a.m. Thursday, starts at 20th Street and JFK Boulevard, travels down Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and ends at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., free,


Philadelphia Museum of Art Tree Lighting Celebration

An annual tradition, the Philadelphia Museum of Art lights up its towering tree with a free celebration at the top of the Rocky steps. There will also be live holiday tunes from two musical groups: the Sister Cities Girlchoir and Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Nine. After, you can warm up inside the museum, with pay-what-you-wish admission through closing time. — Grace Dickinson

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, free,


L’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal and Joyce DiDonato

Philadelphia Orchestra music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin reunites with his former, north-of-the-border musical colleagues. Joyce DiDonato’s lends her rich mezzo sound to Mozart’s “Ch’io mi scordi di te? ... Non temer, amato bene” with Nézet-Séguin taking the piano part, and “Parto, ma tu ben mio” from La clemenza di Tito. After intermission, Nézet-Séguin leads his fellow Montrealers in Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4. — Peter Dobrin

2 p.m. Sunday, Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad St., $29 and up, 215-893-1999,


Marlon Wayans

Marlon Wayans has more siblings (nine!) than most families have members, and each one of them seems to have a penchant for comedy. But Marlon is, arguably, the most famous, thanks to dozens of projects across his 30-year career, including the Scary Movie franchise, Fifty Shades of Black, and White Chicks, that have reportedly grossed more than $700 million. — Nick Vadala

Nov. 22-24, Punch Line Philly, 33 E. Laurel St., $40, 215-606-6555,


The Rainbow Fish

Marcus Pfister’s sweet children’s story, about the beauty of sharing, turns the stage into a shimmering underwater life lesson. The noon performance is sensory-friendly, so the audience is “invited to move, vocalize, get up to walk around, and be who they are.” — Lauren McCutcheon

Noon and 3 p.m. Saturday, Merriam Theater, 250 S Broad St., $17.50-$32.50, 215-893-1999,


Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar

Shop from 80 craft vendors selling everything from jewelry to hand-knit children’s toys to coconut oil soap. Food and drink vendors, like Okie Dokie Donuts, Labarra Empanadas and Sandwiches, and the Chocolate Alchemist will also be on-site, and a few make-and-take stations will be set up, too. Show up early for a free tote bag, a giveaway for the first 100 guests each day. — G.D.

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Event Center at Rivers Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Ave., $3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., $2 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., free from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.,


Alice Smith

After a sterling debut with 2006’s For Lovers, Dreamers & Me, Alice Smith disappeared into record-label limbo. Lovers skillfully melded jazz, R&B, rock, and soul. But since then, the smoky-voiced singer has made fitful career progress, with long gaps between releases such as 2013’s She and the new seven-song EP, appropriately titled Mystery. The new album reasserts her talent and makes you wonder where she’s been. — Dan DeLuca

8 p.m. Saturday, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. $30. 215-627-1332,

Eric B. and Rakim

Eric B. and Rakim’s first two albums — 1987’s Paid in Full and 1988’s Follow The Leader — are among the most influential in hip-hop history. A big part of the reason: the complexity and narrative depth of Rakim’s rapping, which influenced the intricate internal rhyming of emcees who followed, like Eminem and Black Thought of the Roots. After a long split, the duo reunited in 2017. This week’s show will go on, after DJ Eric B. (the B stands for his last name, Barrier) was released from a short stint in a North Jersey jail related to a 2002 assault charge. BMAR and Cypher Clique open. — D.D.

8 p.m. Friday, the Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, $45, 212-730-3331,

Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers

After nearly 30 years, Philly favorites Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers have a new album. Showboats and Grandstanders is full of the same unpretentious, straightforward and pop-savvy rock-and-roll that helped propel the band’s brief run at national stardom three decades ago. And amid excellent takes on songs by Robert Hazard, Sonny Bono, and Warren Zevon, the guitar-slinging Conwell’s own songs show some new depth, reflecting a life and career that have known both good times and bad. The Whips open. — Nick Cristiano

Noon, Friday, World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., free, 215-222-1400,; also 8 p.m. Saturday, Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, $20-$55, 610-649-8189,

Fabio Frizzi

The late director Lucio Fulci is fondly remembered by horror fanatics for pushing the zombie movie to visceral new extremes. But just as memorable as his films’ audacious eye gougings and gut spewings: their dazzling scores. Composer Fabio Frizzi’s collaborations with Fulci — much like Goblin’s work with Fulci’s counterpart Dario Argento — recast the horror soundtrack as Italian prog rock. This week, the maestro performs the score to Fulci’s surreal 1981 masterpiece The Beyond, as a live accompaniment to the New Orleans-set film. — Shaun Brady

8 p.m. Monday, Warehouse on Watts, 923-39 N. Watts St., $25, 888-WOW-PHLY,

The Building

The Building is the solo project of singer-songwriter Anthony LaMarca, who is also a member of the War On Drugs. His second solo album, Petra, is a quietly stirring collection, recorded while LaMarca was being treated for multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects plasma cells. The brittle and beautiful album, which is a follow-up to his 2017 effort Reconciliation, is named after LaMarca’s German Shepherd, and an acronym that stands for “Peace’s Eternal Truth Renews All.” — D.D.

8:30 p.m. Saturday, Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad Street. $12. 267-639-4528,

Mikal Cronin / Shannon Lay

Ty Segall has been the raucous, prolific mastermind of West Coast garage rock, and two artists who have played in his Freedom Band — Mikal Cronin and Shannon Lay — come to Underground Arts on Friday. Neither sounds much like the work they do with Segall, though, and while they move in the same circles, their sets Friday will differ greatly. Cronin favors melodic power pop, and his new album, Seeker, is his most polished and wide-ranging. Seeker stretches from the rousing psychedelic groove of “Shelter” to the ruminative acoustic closer “On The Shelf.” Lay builds on the pastoral folk of ’60s artists such as Karen Dalton, whom she covers on this year’s lovely August (which Segall produced). — Steve Klinge

9 p.m. Friday, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., $15, 215-627-1331,

Titus Andronicus

With raw energy and even rawer vocals, Titus Andronicus has always been a punk band. But typical punk bands don’t write songs that regularly stretch beyond the seven-minute mark, nor do they write concept albums about the Civil War, as Titus Andronicus did with The Monitor. This year’s An Obelisk (produced by Bob Mould), plays (mostly) by punk’s loud, fast rules, with compact, Clash-like anthems. “I Blame Society,” Patrick Stickles declares, but acknowledges “we’re all complicit,” knowing blame is too simple a reaction to the world’s inequities. On Friday, the penultimate show of Titus Andronicus’ long tour, we can all shout and pogo along, joyfully, as Stickles rants with righteous anger and riffs with redemptive catharsis. — S.K.

8 p.m. Friday, First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., $20, 215-821-7575,