Weekly Entertainment Guide – 5 holiday festivities for everyone

     George Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851, by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

    George Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851, by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

    Looking for something to do this holiday season? WHYY’s Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what’s happening in the Philadelphia region. Here are her picks:


    Catch Murray the Elf at Act II Playhouse

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    Act II Playhouse celebrates the holiday season with “Murray the Elf and the Case of the Terrifying Tinsel,” opening Saturday, December 21 and already extended through December 29. Written by Act II’s Bill D’Agostino and directed by Tony Braithwaite, the new play mixes mystery with comedy for an exciting and fun story for the whole family. Starring Will Dennis as Murray and Andy Shaw, who plays all of the other characters including Mrs. Claus, Rudy the Reindeer, Chilly the Snowman, Clarence the Clockmaker, and Candy Kane. Designed for children ages 5-12, the performance is approximately 50-60 minutes. Also onstage, “The Twelve Dates of Christmas,” the one-woman romantic comedy written by Ginna Hoben and starring Maggie Lakis (from New York’s Avenue Q), also directed by Tony Braithwaite, through December 29. Justin Hopkins performs “One Night Stands,” a night of jazz, Broadway, and holiday standards, Sunday, December 22, 7pm and Monday, December 23, 8pm, 56 East Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA.

    The Annual Christmas Day Crossing of the Delaware River

    At one of the lowest points of the American Revolution, 237 years ago, General George Washington and a small army of men crossed the Delaware River on December 25, 1776, and led a successful surprise attack on the Hessian garrison at Trenton, N.J. The Battle of Trenton, a key victory from Washington’s Continental Army, boosted their confidence to persevere and ultimately triumph. Washington Crossing Historic Park, the actual crossing site, hosts the 61st Annual Christmas Crossing Reenactment on December 25 with the crossing time at 1pm, Washington Crossing, PA. And celebrate the anniversary of this historic event at the National Constitution Center with “Washington on the Delaware,” an interactive program that lets visitors step into Washington’s shoes while exploring his life and military career, part of Holiday Week activities, December 26-31, 12pm and 2pm, 5th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia.

    Being _______ at Christmas


    “Moo Shu Jew Show” returns on Christmas Eve, December 24, 6pm, an evening of Jewish inspired stand-up comedy at Ocean Harbor Restaurant, with comedians Mike Fine, Harrison Greenbaum, and Cory Kahaney (the show’s creator/producer) and a multi-course Chinese banquet, 1023 Race Street, in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. $69 in advance, $80 at the door. Not including alcoholic beverages.

    The Gershman Y introduces “Kung Pao Klezmer,” a concert with Klingon Klez accompanied by a multi-course Chinese feast, Tuesday, December 24, 6pm, Joy Tsin Lau Restaurant, 1026-28 Race Street, Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood. $48/adults, $25/kids 12 and under.

    “Being ______ at Christmas,” the National Museum of American Jewish History’s annual day of family fun is Wednesday, December 25, from 10am-5pm, featuring Baby Loves Disco, family activities including a project with the Clay Studio, comedy by The Great Holtzie, storytime, and more, 101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia. Included with museum admission.

    Patriots Week in Trenton

    The annual “Patriots Week” kicks off Thursday, December 26, celebrating Trenton’s unique and pivotal role in the American Revolution with dozens of events for all ages through January 1, including exhibits, musical performances, family activities, battlefield re-enactments, Colonial Ball, and living history events at various locations in Trenton, NJ.


    Kwanzaa Family Celebrations

    Johnson House Historic Site hosts a Kwanzaa Family Celebration, Friday, December 27, 6pm-8pm, with a journey through African Storytelling, African drumming, arts and crafts and historic cultural foods, 6306 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. The Johnson House is Philadelphia’s only accessible and intact stop on the Underground Railroad and was home to three generations of a Quaker family who worked with European Americans and African Americans, freed and enslaved, to abolish slavery and improve living conditions for freed African Americans.

    The African American Museum in Philadelphia’s Kwanzaa Celebration is Saturday, December 28, 11am-4pm and Sunday, December 29, 12pm-4pm, with candle-lighting, music, dance, storytelling and crafts, 701 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Included with museum admission. Bring a canned good to donate. Kwanzaa Workshop on Saturday, December 21, 1pm-3pm.Don’t miss out on these other holiday offerings…

    The Pennsylvania Ballet performs “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” through December 29, Academy of Music, Broad Street, Philadelphia.

    McCarter Theatre Center’s “A Christmas Carol,” onstage through December 29, 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ.

    “Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play,” onstage at Bucks County Playhouse through December 29, 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA.

    Christmas in Cape May – Christmas Candlelight House Tour, “Old Fashioned Christmas Exhibit,” “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” and Santaland Diaries” at Cape May Stage, through December 29.

    “Miniature Marvels,” the Barbara Merrell Collection of Handmade Doll Houses at Biggs Museum of American Art, through December 29, 406 Federal Street, Dover, DE.

    Macy’s Grand Court Light Show through December 30, 13th and Market Streets, Philadelphia.

    1812 Productions’ “The Big Time: New Vaudeville for the Holidays,” onstage through December 31 at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street, Philadelphia.

    “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m Home for the Holidays” at the new Penn’s Landing Playhouse, through December 31, 211 S. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia.

    The Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad through December 31, 12th and Arch Street, Philadelphia, free.

    “A Christmas Carol” at Hedgerow Theatre through December 31, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA.

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates the holiday season with special events, musical performances, and activities, through January 1, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.

    The Comcast Holiday Spectacular through January 1 at the Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia.

    The annual Christmas Village at LOVE Park through January 1, JFK Plaza, 1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia.

    Adventure Aquarium’s annual Christmas Celebration, through January 1, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ.

    Lit Brother’s Enchanted Colonial Village at Please Touch Museum, through January 2, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia.

    “ELF” at Walnut Street Theater through January 5, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

    A Brandywine Christmas at Brandywine River Museum through January 5, U.S. Route 1, Chadds Ford, PA.

    The Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway Display through January 5, 100 Northwestern Avenue in Chestnut Hill.

    Lantern Theater Company’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” onstage through January 5, St. Stephen’s Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia.

    “Yuletide at Winterthur” through January 5, Winterthur, DE.

    “A Christmas Past in the Pennsylvania German Tradition,” at Woodmere Art Museum through January 5 at 9201 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill.

    “Under the Tree: A Century of Holiday Trees and Toys” at Mercer Museum through January 5, East Court Street and Route 313, Doylestown, PA.

    “A Longwood Christmas” through January 12 at Longwood Gardens, Route 1, Kennett Square, PA.

    To submit an event to be considered for the Weekly Entertainment Guide email Robin Bloom at artscalendar@whyy.org.

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