Holiday music, seasonal celebrations and an NFL showdown in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

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Image courtesy of Bucks County Playhouse

Image courtesy of Bucks County Playhouse

Things to do this week in the Delaware Valley include seasonal music, new takes on classic musicals, and the Eagles vs. the Cowboys.

WDAS Holiday Jam w/ Kem, Kirk Franklin and Brownstone
The Met Philadelphia
858 N. Broad St.
Saturday, Dec. 21, 8 p.m.
$49 – $199

Soul crooner Kem is a Detroit native who formerly experienced homelessness and went on to become a romantic balladeer known for his jazz-infused vocal stylings. Since his 2003 debut, he’s released four albums, including a holiday one, “What Christmas Means,” in 2012. His last project was 2014’s “Promise to Love.” R&B girl group Brownstone is best-known for their ’90s hits, “If You Love Me” and “Grapevyne.” Though they’ve struggled through internal strife and tragedy, two of the group’s original members reunited with newer members this year for their 25th anniversary. An innovator of the musical marriage between gospel and hip-hop, gospel star Kirk Franklin is one of the genre’s most recognizable figures. The 14-time Grammy winner’s latest release, “Long Live Love” came out in May.

Cee-Lo Green
Keswick Theater
291 N. Keswick Ave.
Glenside, Pa.
Friday, Dec. 20, 8 p.m.
$29 – $59

Once a member of the seminal Atlanta hip-hop crew Goodie Mob, Cee-Lo Green soon emerged as a powerhouse vocalist in his own right. After two successful solo projects, Green hooked up with DJ Danger Mouse and created the duo Gnarls Barkley. That pairing scored him a huge mainstream hit in “Crazy” in 2006. In 2010, Green’s breakup anthem “Forget You” (better known by its more profane title) became another monster hit, earning him a gold single in the U.S. and platinum singles in Canada and Australia. In 2011, Green was named one of the original coaches of the NBC singing competition series “The Voice,” which he appeared on for four seasons. Green has acted in TV and film, both in live action and animated shows. In 2015, he released his most current solo album “Heart Blanche.”

PJ Morton – PAUL Tour
Theater of the Living Arts
334 South St.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 8 p.m.
$25

PJ Morton was once known as the lone African American band member in Maroon 5, but in recent years the New Orleans native has branched out on his own. Nine albums — including three live — and several mixtapes later, Morton has delivered on his solo aspirations. The singer/songwriter and keyboardist can also be credited for exposing white soul singer Yebba to a larger audience. She was the guest vocalist on his cover of the Bee Gees hit “How Deep Is Your Love” on his 2017 album “Gumbo.” Morton won a 2019 Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance for the song in a rare tie with Leon Bridges’ “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand.” His latest release “Paul” came out earlier this year.

Butterfly Light Festival
Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
8046 Frankford Ave.
Saturday, Dec. 21, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$10 – $20

Do you love butterflies or know someone who does? If so, there’s a perfect holiday outing for you. The Butterfly Light Festival showcases butterflies of all kinds at their second annual festival. An all-ages, all-day event, the program schedule includes the light show for which the festival is named, a painting-with-light workshop, arts, crafts, games and face-painting. Exhibits from sculptor Vanny Channal and the muralists at V.U.R.T Creative will be on display. Food and drink are available for purchase.

Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show
Bucks County Playhouse
70 S. Main Street
New Hope, Pa.
Through Sunday, Dec. 29
$55 – $70

The suitable-for-all-ages musical version of “A Christmas Carol” returns to Bucks County with an updated and comical take on the journey of Ebenezer Scrooge. Charles Dickens might not have imagined the artistic license that would be taken for adaptations of his Christmas classic, but probably would have appreciated that his work remains relevant. Five actors, who’ve obviously mastered the art of rapid costume change, play all of the characters, which should make for some interesting transitions. This production is not your granddad’s Dickens.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
Lincoln Financial Field
1 Lincoln Financial Field Way
Sunday, Dec. 22, 4:25 p.m.
$173 – $450

It comes down to this – a late-season showdown to help decide who wins the NFC East. The Cowboys win the title with a victory, the Eagles need to win the game to have a chance to clinch the division with one game left. Given the rabid fan bases of both teams, expect the atmosphere to be charged, to say the least. Well-heeled Cowboys fans will likely travel to the game, so the Eagles faithful will have to be out in droves to support. Though the Eagles have been decimated by injuries this year, fans hope to see them fly once again.

The Snow Queen
The Arden Theater
40 N. 2nd St.
Through Jan. 26, 2020
$25 – $40

Danish author Hans Christian Andersen has been a companion to many young readers, ushering them through the world and all of its complexities via his stories and fables. One of them, “The Snow Queen” is a take on the battle between good and evil as shown through the characters of Gerda and her friend, Kai. Animated Disney blockbuster “Frozen” is based on this story. The Arden Children’s Theater version is directed by Whit McLaughlin, who’s also directed “The Dinosaur Musical” and a contemporary version of “Beauty and The Beast.”

New Ark Chorale Christmas Concert
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
701 S. College Ave.
Newark, Del.
Saturday, Dec. 21, 8 p.m.
$20, under 18, free

Since its inception in 1977, The New Ark Chorale has committed to expanding the reach of chorale music through concerts and education. Their annual Christmas concert “Gloria In Excelsis Deo” features seasonal music as well as “Gloria” by Michael John Trotta arranged for choir, bass quintet, timpani and percussion. (NOTE: Call ahead for ticket availability. Tickets will be available online but are not yet. Tickets are also available at the door.)

2019 Night of Lights Country Christmas Hayride
Creamy Acres Farm
448 Lincoln Mill Rd.
Mullica Hill, N.J.
Through December 28, various times
$10 – $15

If your family needs a festive activity before the Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa holidays commence, there are still events that can qualify. The Night of Lights Country Christmas hayride includes Christmas music, a light display, bonfires, a musical dancing tree light show, themed walk-through attractions and a photo-op with Santa himself.

Carols in Color
Kurtz Center For the Performing Arts
3000 West School House Lane
Saturday, Dec. 21, 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 3 p.m., 6:30 p.m.
$27 – $30

Author/poet/playwright Langston Hughes reimagined the nativity from an African American perspective, penning the musical “Black Nativity” which was first performed in 1961. Since then, it’s become a community theater staple, a gospel album, and a 2013 movie – directed by “Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons, starring Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett. The Eleone Dance Theater version incorporates both music and dance and is in its 28th year of performance.

Resist and Rejoice: Kol Tzedek’s Synagogue’s Annual Hanukkah PartyCalvary Center for Culture and Community
801 S. 48th St.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
$5-25 suggested donation, but no one will be turned away

Kol Tzedek Synagogue invites the community to its Hanukkah party at a multi-denominational church space in West Philadelphia. A potluck dinner, a craft fair, Klezmer music, and candle-lighting are scheduled. A $5-25 donation is suggested for admission, but no one will be denied for lack of funds.

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