Things to Do in Philly in December: Aretha Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Bill Nye, Frozen and More

Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

The Sincerity Project
December 4-13
Of all of the fledgling theater companies in Philadelphia right now, the ensemble-based and movement-oriented Team Sunshine Performance Corporation is the most promising. Its summer co-production of Henry IV: Your Prince and Mine and 100-person sword-bearing army in Clark Park drew rave reviews. Now they’re back with this years-in-development play about the growing pains faced by millennials. Look for an onstage choir, a little nudity, and a bunch of 20-somethings baring their souls and questioning what it means to get older. Well, a little bit older, anyway.

Great Expectations
December 1-14 
Arden Theatre Company
Matt Decker directs just six actors in the Dickens play that features 40 characters.

Mary Poppins
December 1st to January 4th
Walnut Street Theatre
The Broadway version of the Disney classic.

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Author Jill Lepore reads from her latest on December 4th at the Free Library.

Jill Lepore
December 4
Central Library
With her latest, The Secret History of Wonder Woman.

Cat Stevens
December 4
Tower Theatre
A.k.a. Yusuf, his post-Islam-conversion name.

Philadelphia Orchestra
December 4th and 6th
Kimmel Center
Yannick conducts his favorite composer, Johannes Brahms.

Lewis Black
December 5th and 6th
So angry.

Yo La Tengo
December 6
The indie heroes celebrate 30 years on the outskirts of the music biz.

Beauty and the Beast
December 6
Arden Theatre Company
New Paradise Laboratories’ Whit McLaughlin directs, so expect some weirdness.

The Nutcracker kicks off at the Academy of Music December 6th.

The Nutcracker kicks off at the Academy of Music December 6th.

The Nutcracker
December 6–31
Academy of Music
A little Tchaikovsky to get you in the spirit.

Marco Benevento
December 12–13
Johnny Brenda’s
Featuring songs from his latest, the well-received and intensely groovy Swift.

Bill Nye
December 16
Merriam Theater
As in the Science Guy!

Justin Timberlake will croon-up the Wells Fargo Center December 17th.

Justin Timberlake will croon-up the Wells Fargo Center December 17th.

Justin Timberlake
December 17
Wells Fargo Center
His third Philadelphia performance this year.

December 23
The ex-Hasidic rapper brings his annual Festival of Lights party to South Street.

Disney On Ice
December 25th to January 4th
Wells Fargo Center
Of course the theme is Frozen.

December 26–30
Merriam Theater
The perennial percussive favorite.

Aretha Franklin
December 29
Kimmel Center
If you don’t go to this show, we won’t forgive you.

Gogol Bordello perform in Philly on New Year's Eve.

Gogol Bordello perform in Philly on New Year’s Eve.

Gogol Bordello
December 31
Electric Factory
With Philly weirdo favorites Man Man in the opening slot, this is the only New Year’s Eve party you need to be at.


Trans-Siberian Orchestra
December 23
Wells Fargo Center
Ruining Christmas music for  all future generations.

Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.