WHYY’s Arts Calendar curator Robin Bloom sorts through hundreds of listings each week to find the best of what’s happening in the Delaware Valley. View her picks and other listings on how to spend your holidays in the region.
The annual “Yuletide at Winterthur” showcases the ancestral home of Henry Francis du Pont with traditions of the past and holiday entertaining displays, including vignettes depicting mid-1800s Christmas celebrations at Winterthur recalling du Pont family holiday traditions and winter festivities. Fanciful decorated trees and the perennial favorite, Winterthur’s dried flower tree, will also be on display along with a series of special events, performances, and workshops now through January 9 at Winterthur Museum and Country Estate in Winterthur, DE. Admission, $18 adults, $16 seniors and students, $5 children (2-11), children under 2 free.
Eric Kimmel’s award-winning children’s picture book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is brought to life in an artful stage adaptation told through innovative physical theater, live klezmer music with an original musical score by Gregg Mervine of the West Philadelphia Orchestra, and hand-crafted puppetry by Martina Plag. The World premiere production, conceived and directed by Lisa Jo Epstein, explores universal themes of how we respond to cultural and spiritual differences. The humorous and contemporary holiday treat is for ages 7-adult and can be seen at the Painted Bride Art Center just in time for Hanukkah, December 20-31, 230 Vine Street, Old City, Philadelphia. Special Christmas day Chinese food dinner/show package, 4pm, December 25. Tickets: $16 – $25
Other holiday events in the region:
The Upper Darby Sousa Band performs A Victorian Christmas, Sunday, December 18, 3pm, as Tom Hoey leads his band in an afternoon of classic Christmas carols from the time of John Philip Sousa, an old-fashioned sing-along and a visit from Santa, at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA.
Vox Ama Deus performs Handel’s Messiah on original Baroque instruments, Saturday, December 17, 7pm, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill and Sunday, December 18, 4pm, St. Katharine of Siena Church, Wayne, PA.
Onstage at McCarter Theatre is a critically acclaimed production of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. Michael Unger directing, scenery by the legendary set designer Ming Cho Lee, and costumes by Jess Goldstein, now through December 24 at 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ.
Laughing All the Way, a comedic variety show hosted by Tony Braithwaite, takes to the stage at Act II Playhouse with comedy skits and songs, including live interaction with kids reading their prize-winning funny letters to Santa, local headlining performers, and nightly holiday-themed improvisation based on audience suggestions, through December 31 at 56 E. Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA.
DanceSpora, a new dance company embracing the aesthetics of African dance and fuse ballet with contemporary movement, celebrates its first year with a Winter Dance Concert including two premieres by Heidi Cruz-Austin, Saturday, December 17, 2pm & 8pm and Sunday, December 18, 3pm, at The Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street, Trenton, NJ.
The Music School of Delaware hosts a Winter Choral Concert: A Celebration of Lights, Sunday, December 18, 4-6pm featuring the Wilmington Youth Chorale, Delaware Children’s Chorus and more with seasonal favorites from various traditions at Congregation Beth Emeth, 300 West Lea Blvd, Wilmington, DE.
An Old-Fashioned Christmas exhibit, capturing the feeling of Christmas past with a Dickens village collection, model trains, trees, toys and more, is on display at the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ through January 1, 2012.