Holiday fun, world premieres, music and more this week. Robin Bloom shares her picks.
150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s Birth
Reminisce with a grown-up Peter as he goes on a quest to rescue the children of his cousin Benjamin and sister Flopsy with Enchantment Theatre Company’s Peter Rabbit Tales. The new and original world premiere production was created in celebration of the 150th anniversary of author Beatrix Potter’s birth and is based on three of her famous tales. Potter’s beloved characters hop out of the pages of her storybook and on to the stage with life-sized puppets, fantastical costumes and masks, mime, magic, dance and music, in an exclusive production in partnership with publisher Penguin Random House UK. Touring the world, the show stops in Philadelphia December 12 through January 3 at the Arts Bank, 601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Mark Garvin.Free Library of Philadelphia is showcasing a collection of Beatrix Potter’s original watercolors, handwritten manuscripts, first editions and collectibles – currently the largest Potter collection outside of Great Britain. Items include one of only 450 privately printed editions of the “Tales of Peter Rabbit,” the original manuscript of “The Tailor of Gloucester,” which Potter wrote and illustrated as a gift to the daughter of a former governess, through February 28 in the Parkway Central Library’s rare book department, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia. Guided tours available.
“Diner” at Delaware Theatre Company
The musical adaptation of the classic film Diner is onstage at Delaware Theatre Company. Set in Baltimore in 1959, the play centers on childhood friends who confront the realities of adulthood at the all-night diner. Written by Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson (who wrote the film) with music and lyrics by Sheryl Crow, the show is being developed for a Broadway stage. Featuring the theater’s largest professional cast made up of veteran Broadway actors, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall, and already extended through January 3, 200 Water Street, Wilmington, DE. Related programs and events include post-show talkbacks and pre-show Viewpoints. Photo by Matt Urban: Mobius New Media.
Curio Theatre Company’s “The Bald Soprano”
Onstage at Curio Theatre Company is an updated take on Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano. The riotous classic has been adapted by Tina Howe and makes fun of language and the absurdity of manners and small talk. Directed by Charlotte Northeast and featuring Rachel Gluck, CJ Keller, Ken Opdenaker, Maria Konstantinidis, Aetna Gallagher, and Brandon Pierce through December 19, Calvary Center, 4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. Photo by Rebecca M. Gudelunas.
Pig Iron Theatre Company’s “Gentleman Volunteers”
In honor of the 100th anniversary of World War I, Pig Iron Theatre Company remounts Gentleman Volunteers, one of its most popular works in its repertoire of unusual theatrical creations, December 10-27. Based on the book by Arlen J. Hansen, the epic drama of American idealism follows two American ambulance drivers from the idyllic campus of Yale University to the battlefields of France and the chaos of the First World War. Originally performed in 1999, the show has since toured New York and Europe. Featuring a brand new cast creating all the effects onstage and live music performed by “one man band” Michael Castillejos, the site-specific piece is performed in “promenade,” with the audience following the action around the space in the intimate Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street, Philadelphia. The original cast – including Cassandra Friend, Dito van Reigersberg, James Sugg, Emmanuelle Delpech, Quinn Bauriedel – will perform two special benefit performances, December 19 and 20. Photo by Lindsay Browning.
“Winterfest” at Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education’s Winterfest is Saturday, December 12, 3pm-6pm. Make your own lantern or bring one and take a walk through the night forest and find your way to a bonfire for s’mores, hot cocoa, and stories of winter celebrations. Also, crafts, a live animal show, and stories, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia.
City Theater Company’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost”
City Theater Company takes on a new musical that tackles the Bard’s classic comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost. From the creators of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Michael Friedman and Alex Timbers), the play follows Shakespeare’s with some updated twists for a modern audience. Featuring a cast of 16 under the direction of producing artistic director Michael Gray through December 19 at the Black Box, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE. Photo by Joe del Tufo, Moonloop Photography.
Pennsylvania Ballet presents George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”
The Pennsylvania Ballet performs the annual holiday spectacular, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, December 11-31, updated by Artistic Director Angel Corella, featuring the Philadelphia Boys Choir and dozens of local dance students along with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra at the Academy of Music, Broad Street, Philadelphia. Special programming includes Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy, Sunday, December 13, 2:30pm and Saturday, December 19, noon and Nutcracker Magic Children’s Party, Saturday, December 12, noon. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.
Nutcracker, the Annual Holiday Tradition – Regional Performances
The Brandywine Ballet Company’s 36th annual production of The Nutcracker returns (pictured – photo by JAS Photography) with performances December 11-20 at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, 700 S. High Street, West Chester, PA. The Company offers the popular “Nutcracker Tea,” with the opportunity to join Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and other characters for a special brunch on December 12, 19, and 20. The Atlantic City Ballet performs “The Nutcracker” Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12, Stockton Performing Arts Center, Galloway, NJ and December 18-20 at the Claridge Hotel, Atlantic City, NJ. Moscow Ballet’s “The Great Russian Nutcracker” returns to the State Theatre Saturday, December 12, 3pm and 7pm, 453 Northampton Street, Easton, PA. First State Ballet Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker” returns Saturday, December 12, 7pm, Delaware Tech, Georgetown, DE, and Saturday, December 19, 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday, December 20, 2pm at the Grand, 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE. Wilmington Ballet performs “The Nutcracker” Saturday, December 12, 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, December 13, 2pm and 6pm, at the Grand. ContempraDance Theatre’s hip hop dance parody “Philly Nutt Crak-Up” is back with superheroes, kung fu fighting, The Rappin’ SugarPlum Fairy, Penn’s Angels, and the South Street Rocky-Ettes at the Kingdom of Prussia, December 11-13 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia. Meet the “nutty” cast after the Sunday performance. The Schuylkill Valley Regional Dance Company’s performances of “The Nutcracker” take place December 12, 2pm and 6pm, Phoenixville Area Middle School, Phoenixville, PA. American Repertory Ballet’s “Nutcracker” comes to the State Theatre in New Jersey, December 18-20.
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at Bucks County Playhouse
Bucks County Playhouse brings back the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, by Joe Landry. The stage adaptation, inspired by the Frank Capra classic film of the same name, is set at a live radio broadcast in the 1940s with an ensemble that brings over two dozen characters to life. Directed by Hunter Foster with musical staging by Jennifer Cody and featuring Wayne Wilcox, Brandon Ellis, Maggie Lakis, Whitney Bashor, Kevin Pariseau, and Garth Kravits, December 11-27, 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA. Santa Claus will be in the lobby before the show to greet those attending the performance. Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. Photo courtesy of Bucks County Playhouse.
Parade of Lights at the Philly Seaport
Independence Seaport Museum’s annual Parade of Lights is Saturday, December 12. The festivities begin inside the museum at 11am with live music, refreshments, visits with Santa, and the Silver Ships display, featuring dozens of tiny silver ships from the Museum’s collection. At 5:30pm, the parade of festively decorated working vessels and pleasure boats begins its march down the Delaware River. Great views from the 2nd floor balcony overlooking the Delaware River inside the Museum, 211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia.
Cairnwood by Candlelight
Cairnwood Estate hosts Cairnwood by Candlelight, an evening of candlelight and music at the 120 year old Beaux Arts-style mansion, Thursday, December 10, 7:30pm, with self-guided tours of all three floors of the mansion, the servant’s quarters, and the tower, live music, a display of Victorian gowns, Yuletide desserts, and holiday décor including the two-story Christmas tree adorned with more than 3000 lights and 300 pieces of sugared fruit (pictured), 1005 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, PA.
Sellersville Theatre’s Holiday Performances
Sellersville Theatre hosts holiday concerts and performances: Irish Christmas in America, Wednesday, December 9, The DePue Brothers Band, Friday, December 11, Claire Lynch Band, Sunday, December 13, Imagination Movers Reindeer Party, Sunday, December 13, Free movie: Elf View and Brew Series, Monday, December 14, Whiskeyhickon Boys, Wednesday, December 16, Sons of Serendip, Thursday, December 17, Annie Haslam and Friends (pictured), Saturday, December 19, Doug Church An Elvis Christmas, Sunday, December 20, Free movie: It’s a Wonderful Life sing-along, Monday, December 21 and Tuesday, December 22, 24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, PA. Photo by Krista Wallhagen.
Thievery Corporation at the Fillmore Philadelphia
Thievery Corporation brings their unique sound to the Fillmore – the first stop on their East Coast tour – this Thursday, December 10, 8pm. Doors open at 7pm. Grandchildren, an orchestral pop band from Philadelphia, opens. Show is General Admission, 1000 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia. Photo by Erik Kabik Photography.
Mendelssohn Club’s “Feast of Carols”
Mendelssohn Club’s Feast of Carols is back, Saturday, December 12, 5pm, under the direction of new Artistic Director Paul Rardin. Expect the traditional elements of the annual event, including the sing-alongs and favorite carols, as well as new formats and lesser-known repertoire such as African American and Caribbean tunes and jazz selections. The 140 voice group will be joined by Harpist Adrienne Knauer, along with the Mendelssohn Brass and Michael Stairs on organ, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Chestnut Hill, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Avenue, Philadelphia.
A Johnnyswim Christmas
Husband and wife duo Johnnyswim plays a Christmas concert Wednesday, December 16 at Union Transfer, featuring songs from their album A Johnnyswim Christmas and more. Doors open at 7:30pm, show at 8:30pm, 1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia. Johnnyswim is Abner and Amanda Ramirez, who is the daughter of Donna Summer.
Take advantage of free meter parking in Philadelphia on Thanksgiving and after 11am on Saturdays, starting after Thanksgiving through New Year’s.
Each week, the Entertainment Guide spotlights interesting local arts offerings happening now, including music, dance, theater, museums, special exhibitions and other arts events from across the region.
To submit an event to be considered, email Robin Bloom at email@example.com.