Our Guide to Culture-Savvy Gift-Giving in Philadelphia



14 Philly Holiday Shows: Philly Nutt Crak-Up, Ariana Grande at Jingle Ball, David Sedaris’s Holidays on Ice and More

thenutcracker

Don’t miss “George Balachine’s The Nutcracker” at the Academy of Music this month. | Photo via Facebook.

With all the concerts, cabarets, plays, and ballets on stage this holiday season, there are plenty of performing arts to see on a special night out.

Down Home Holiday
A holiday hoedown from the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus filled with fiddlers, line dancers, classic holiday tunes and Dolly Parton jams. Thursday, December 4th through Saturday, December 6th, $30-55, Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion, 2110 Chestnut Street.

Philly Nutt Crak-Up
The Rappin’ Sugar Plum Fairy is back for another “nutty” take on a traditional holiday tale thanks to ContempraDANCE Theatre. Friday, December 5th through Sunday, December 7th, $35, Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street.

The Philly Pops Christmas Spectacular
Celebrated conductor David Charles Abell leads this popular sing-along of holiday favorites with the help of Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, Hugh Panaro, and the POPS Festival Chorus. Saturday, December 6th through Saturday, December 20th, $40-131, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.

George Balachine’s The Nutcracker
Join the 46-year-old tradition by seeing this classic holiday show in Philadelphia with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Boys Choir and awe-inspiring sets and costumes. Saturday, December 6th through Tuesday, December 30th, $50-125, Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street. 

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Things To Do In Philly on Black Friday That Don’t Involve Shopping

Black Friday

If waiting in line at Best Buy for a $100 flat screen television is your idea of a nightmare, don’t fear. We’ve rounded up some of the best events for everyone in the Philadelphia region on Black Friday that don’t involve a single shopping bag or cash register line.



Al Pacino Performing With Philadelphia Orchestra in January

shutterstock_111522257Film icon Al Pacino will join the Philadelphia Orchestra in January for its 158th Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball. He’ll be joined by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and special guest, 18-year-old emerging violinist Simone Porter, for this evening that doubles as a celebration of the Academy of Music itself.

But here’s the real question: We all know Pacino’s talented … but what can he offer the Orchestra?

“In the tradition of blending great acting with great orchestral music, Pacino will join Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra, sharing a favorite monologue and more,” reads a press release sent out today.

Makes more sense. Pacino definitely seems excited about it. He shares this sentiment:

“It’s a singular honor for me to perform on the stage of the Academy of Music, in the very place where Rachmaninoff conducted The Philadelphia Orchestra and where this legendary ensemble gave the United States premiere of The Rite of Spring,” Pacino says. “I could not be more thrilled to become part of the legacy of the historic Academy of Music and The Philadelphia Orchestra.”

The event takes place on Saturday, January 24, 2015. Tickets and more information can be found here.

What’s Worth Seeing in November: Usher, Bob Dylan, Jerry Seinfeld, the PMA Craft Show and More

Corrina Burns | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

Corrina Burns | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence
November 5-23
Off-Broad Street Theater
Time and time again, we’ve heard that there’s a dearth of roles for actresses of a certain age. “But I think that might be changing,” says Corinna Burns, the female lead in Azuka Theatre’s The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Last season, the 42-year-old Swarthmore grad was cast in just one show. This season? “I have five shows,” she says, including Revolution Shakespeare’s just-wrapped Macbeth and a Fringe play that won accolades from the New York Times. “I feel very lucky. It’s an embarrassment of riches.”

More November must-dos after the jump

What’s Worth Seeing in October: Neil Young, Thurston Moore, Midtown Village Fall Festival, and More

neil young

Neil Young

Neil Young
October 8th and 9th
Academy of Music
The gritty Canadian singer and guitarist has always had a huge Philadelphia fan base, and his shows here are the stuff of legend. He performed a solo set and one with Crosby, Stills and Nash at Live Aid, he headlined a special 2008 concert to commemorate the end of the Spectrum, and his 2007 Tower shows were memorialized by filmmaker Jonathan Demme in the documentary Neil Young Trunk Show. If you don’t catch at least one of his two performances here this month, you’ll be missing out.

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One of Us: Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Yannick Nézet-Séguin, since I was 16. I was born Yannick Séguin, but I decided to legally add my mother’s last name, Nézet, because we were the only family in North America with that name. And my mother is the only child of her family, so I wanted to make a future for that very strange name. People assume I am Egyptian or Hungarian or Turkish, but it is very plainly Celtic French.

My friends call me … Yannick. I was desperate when I was younger to get friends to call me Yan or Nick. But I never got anyone to do it.

I am a … lover of life.

I grew up in … Montréal, in the city and very close to everything — so much so that I never bothered to take driving lessons. I still don’t have a driver’s license. A conductor but not a driver.

My secret junk food obsession is … poutine. But the problem is, I am lactose-intolerant. So when I have those cheese curds and poutine, I assume the consequences.

The thing most people don’t understand about my job … is how much psychology is involved. I have a mysterious job to begin with, but everything has to do with using the right amount of psychology and diplomacy.

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FALL ARTS PREVIEW: 30 Awesome Shows You Can’t Miss This Season

Lorde performs at the Mann Center on September 5th.

Lorde performs at the Mann Center on September 5th.

1. Lorde
Maybe you’ll see Cecily Tynan there, singing along to “Royals.” The 17-year-old Kiwi is one of her personal faves. Mann Center, September 5th.

Zachary Chiero and Peter Alan Danzig are gay Mummers in Tribe of Fools' "Two Street," part of the FringeArts Festival.

Zachary Chiero and Peter Andrew Danzig are gay Mummers in Tribe of Fools’ “Two Street,” part of the FringeArts Festival.

2. FringeArts
Every year, we wonder if the event previously known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe is going to lose its mojo. But based on this year’s lineup, which includes everything from an interactive public art installation floating on the Delaware River (WetLand) to Two Street, a gay version of Romeo and Juliet as told through the lens of South Philadelphia and the Mummers to one of the most unusual walking tours you’ll ever join (Experiment #39) and a few dozen other shows, and the fact that the FringeArts venue is now fully open, complete with brasserie, outdoor performance plaza and 240-seat theater, it seems the mojo is stronger than ever. Various locations, September 5th to 21st.

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Philadelphia Orchestra Playing National Anthem at Tonight’s Phillies Game

Seven musicians from The Philadelphia Orchestra brass section will toot the “Star Spangled Banner” at tonight’s Phillies game at Citizen’s Bank Park. The ensemble includes Jennifer Montone, Jeffrey Lang, and Jeffry Kirschen on French horns, Robert W. Earley and Darin Kelly on trumpets, and Blair Bollinger and Brian Santero on trombones. In case the names don’t ring a bell, this is the same group who did that pop-up performance on a delayed plane last year that spread like wildfire across the Internet.

The engagement marks the homecoming of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which just returned from trips to Colorado and Asia, and the beginning of a busy week: On July 23rd and 24th, catch them at the Kimmel Center, where they’ll perform “A Tribute to the Beatles.” Then, on July 25th and 26th, they’ll perform “PIXAR in Concert.”

Tickets to all shows can be found here, and  you can still snag seats to tonight’s game—when the Phillies take on the San Francisco Giants—here.

8 Things To Do This Week: Movies, Concerts, and More

 

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