Things to Do in Philadelphia This Weekend
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet presents the family-friendly holiday favorite featuring dazzling dancers, sapient toys and rodents of unusual size.
$35-$154, runs December 7-31, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.
This sounds pretty cool: “a self-guided 45-minute treasure hunt through the artist’s studio transformed into an immersive winter wonderland.”
$8-$10, through December 30, Meg Saligman Studio, 829 Bainbridge St.
Lars von Trier Retrospective
The famous(ly weird and controversial) Danish director has a new film coming out next week, so the theater formerly know as the Prince is offering three LVT favorites in three nights. Friday: Dancer in the Dark. Saturday: Antichrist. Sunday: Melancholia.
$21 for all three films, Friday-Sunday, 7 p.m., Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut St.
I Touch My Elf
Comedy duo the Skivvies (Lauren Molina & Nick Cearley) present a unique evening of fun and “undie-rock” music with a holiday theme. BYOB.
$30, runs through Dec. 8, SEI Innovation Studio, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.
BalletX Fall Series 2018
The esteemed Philly dance company presents world premieres by choreographers Marguerite Donlon, Wubkje Kuindersma and Cayetano Soto.
$25-$55, through December 9, Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St.
The soul/R&B legend comes to town for two shows at World Café Live. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has an impressive collection of originals and classics in her repertoire — “Respect Yourself,” “No Time for Crying,” “Come Go With Me” “I’ll Take You There,” “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and so many more.
$75-$88, Friday & Saturday, 7 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.
Technically speaking, Oshogatsu (the Japanese New Year) is supposed to be celebrated on January 1, but you can celebrate early at Fairmount Park’s lovely Shofuso house this weekend. Drink green tea and enjoy the floral arrangements. Warm socks recommended.
Free with admission ($12), Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Lansdowne & Horticultural drives.
A Philly Pops Christmas
The Pops begins a long run of holiday shows at the Kimmel. Todd Ellison guest conducts.
$35-$104, through December 22, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.
Strand of Oaks Winter Classic
Every year around this time, Tim Showalter and co. set up shop at the Boot for a run of cathartic rock shows.
$22.50, through Saturday, Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St.
The Eighth Fish of Christmas
Raw Street Productions presents Gianna Lozzi Wolf play about a divorcee bringing her new Jewish boyfriend to celebrate Christmas with her Italian Catholic family.
$20, December 7-9 & 13-15, Connie’s Ric Rac, 1132 S. Ninth St.
James Ijames, Mary Tuomanen, Claire Inie-Richards and Justin Rose star in this comedy by Tony-winner Itamar Moses. Directed by Matt Pfeiffer.
$35, runs through December 23, Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 341 S. Hicks St.
One-Man Apocalypse Now
Chris Davis presents his funny, dramatic solo performance of Apocalypse Now. Directed by Mary Tuomanen; sound design by Adriano Shaplin.
$20, Friday & Saturday, 9:30 p.m., The Skinner Studio, Plays & Players Theater, 1714 Delancey St.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2018
Old 97’s Holiday Extravaganza
Maybe last best torchbearers for the old alt-country sound, the Old 97’s are still at it. Rhett Miller and co. released their 11th studio album last year, Graveyard Whistling.
$22, 9 p.m., TLA, 334 South St.
York Street Hustle Holiday Spectacular
How about some hot ’60s soul & Motown on a cold winter’s night? The 10-piece York Street Hustle delivers the good every time with powerhouse vocals, horns, and a size-able repertoire of old favorites.
$15, 7:30 p.m., Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St.
The veteran singer-songwriter is on his All These Poses tour, revisiting favorites from 1998’s self-titled debut and 2001’s Poses.
$39.50-$59.50, 8 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 N Keswick Ave., Glenside, PA.
AAMP Salon: When I See Cotton, I See Red
As part of the African American Museum in Philadelphia’s long-running exhibition Cotton: The Soft Dangerous Beauty of the Past, Philly poet extraordinaire Ursula Rucker hosts a multifaceted show featuring filmmaker Roni Nicole Henderson, performance artist Monstah Black, sound artist Hprizm and more.
$12, 7 p.m., African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.
Parrandas De Navidad
BYO instruments and singing voice for this Puerto Rican-style holiday get-together. Includes art, raffles, food from Chef Marangeli Rosa’s Entre Sabores and more.
$60-$100, 6:30 p.m., Taller Puertorriqueno, 2600 N. Fifth St.
The NYC standup/actor wrote for TruTV’s Paid Off (that student debt game show). He sings like an angel. This is his first Philly show.
$14, 8:30 p.m., Good Good Comedy Theatre, 215 N. 11th St.
Mumford & Sons
Because sometimes Coldplay’s too aggressive and in-your-face, you know?
$44-$104, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.
Philly’s longstanding Americana rock band — the best of its kind, according to Rolling Stone that one time — play a big ol’ hometown show to get you in the holiday spirit.
$20-$50, 8 p.m., Underground Arts, 200 Callowhill St.
L.A.-based comedian Christina Pazsitzky wrote for Chelsea Lately, hosts the podcast That’s Deep Bro. and co-hosts the Your Mom’s House podcast with husband Tom Segura. This video is NSFW.
$25-$50, 7:30 & 9:45 p.m., Punch Line Philly, 33 E. Laurel St.
The Sweet Spot Philadelphia
The Troc returns to its roots with this “pop erotica” burlesque show featuring music, comedy, poetry, dance, “live body art models” and more.
$20-$50, 8 p.m., Trocadero, 1003 Arch St.
Womanly Magazine Launch
Womanly — which “provides accessible health information to women and non-binary people through visual and literary art” — celebrates the launch of its third print issue. RSVP.
Free, 6-9 p.m., Art Dept Collective, 1638 E. Berks St.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2018
Goblin Performs Suspiria Live
Dario Argento’s 1977 horror movie about murder at a ballet academy is enjoying a moment right now, with the remake, the restored print, etc. Well this revival screening has something the others don’t: Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin ensemble — Suspiria’s original accompanists — performing the score live.
$30-$35, 7 p.m., Trocadero, 1003 Arch St.
Al Jourgensen’s still out there making industrial/metal music for the misanthropic masses. Ministry’s most recent record is called AmeriKKKant and it’s got a facepalming Statue of Liberty on the cover. Subtlety was never their thing.
$39.50-$44, 7:15 p.m., Franklin Music Hall, 421 N. Seventh St.
The Army Navy football game is a Philly tradition as old as the sport itself. (See, much like the Avengers, the U.S. military factions must fight amongst themselves once in a while.)
$45, 3 p.m., Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way.
The neo soul forefather who gave us “Whenever Wherever Whatever,” “Lifetime,” Lake by the Ocean,” etc. is on his Intimate Nights tour with Marsha Ambrosius.
$40-$136, 7 p.m., Tower Theater, 69th & Ludlow streets, Upper Darby, PA.
Effected 2: Return of the Philadelphia Pedal Pop-Up
This isn’t a bike thing, it’s a guitar thing. Several of this city’s finest pedal peddlers — Mountainking Electronics, smallsound/bigsound, Flower Pedals and more — will demo and sell their wares
Free, noon-4 p.m., Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave.
Once one of Philly’s finest, Allison Crutchfield and co. are based out of L.A. these days, but we still love the way they rock us ’90s style. Released in October, Fall into the Sun is one of my favorite records of the year.
$12-$14, 8:30 p.m., Everybody Hits, 529 W. Girard Ave.
Rittenhouse Row Holiday Fashion Crawl
Several stores in and around Rittenhouse Square are offering sales this weekend, including Endeavor, Bonobos, Hope Chest, Shop Sixty Five and more.
Free, 1-4 p.m., Rittenhouse Row.
The NYC comedian does standup.
$12, 10 p.m., Good Good Comedy Theatre, 215 N. 11th St.
Parade of Lights
Local boats will be decked out in twinkling lights for a spirited display on the Delaware. Plus hot beverages, Santa, Jingle Jack and more. (What’s Jingle Jack, you ask? Google was not too helpful. It’s either a lightly menacing clown or slang for a waste of time.)
$17, 1-6 p.m., Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd.
Mistresses of Mayhem 2018 Delaware
Head down to Delaware for a festival of women-fronted bands, including The End A.D., Kitty Rotten, Blessed Muthas, Workhorse III, Thorazine, Thee Minks and Stepping Razor.
$10, 7 p.m-2 a.m., Oddity Bar, 500 Greenhill Ave., Wilmington, DE.
Ron Hextall Scored A Goal 31 Years Ago
This isn’t an event. I just wanted to post the video because remember how awesome this was? We’ll miss ya, Hexy.
December 8, 1987, the Spectrum.
Lil Uzi Vert
The Philly rap phenom plays his biggest hometown show yet. He released Eternal Atake in September.
$35-$95, 9 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.
CultureFest! Winter Solstice Festival
This family-friendly fest promises film screenings, workshops, fire dancing and more. The party ends with cocktails and a drink-mixing workshop.
$15, 1-8 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South St.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2018
The Spirit of The Beehive
This Fishtown rock trio — named, one presumes, after the obscure 1973 film —celebrates the release of their third full-length record, Hypnic Jerks. The Spirit of The Beehive moves with a unique energy, one that one that forces them to push their catchy, lo-fi sound unto stranger, more dangerous territory with jagged noises and samples. “Tulsa, OK” and “White Weekend” off the new record are wild and gorgeous.
$12, 7 p.m., Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave.
Sumo + Sake
That’s really what this is. You eat dinner and drink sake. You learn about sumo wrestling. Then you watch a few matches. In a comedy club. Pretty cool.
$45-$250, 3:45 & 7 p.m., Helium, 2031 Sansom St.