Sat., Dec. 8
The U.K.-born Maxi Priest had plenty of success taking reggae back to its R&B roots, particularly slow-grooving, lover-man soul. He’s notable for his ability to apply his style to a diverse range of rock and traditional pop covers (Robert Palmer, Cat Stevens, Paul Anka), enjoying a string of international hits from 1985-‘96. (He was a much bigger star across the pond.) His output’s slowed of late, with two studio albums and a Christmas LP (last year’s Time of the Year) since the millennium, but his vocal talents remain undiminished. His limber baritone’s still as warm, crisp and clear as an autumn morning wrapped in cashmere and kissed by the sun. -Chris Parker
8pm. $30-$40. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. 215.572.7650. keswicktheatre.com
Book Paper Scissors
For one afternoon, the Philadelphia Center for Books is asking locals to put down their Kindles and iPads and join them in celebrating old-school and contemporary book arts, printmaking and paper crafts. An array of vendors will be setting up shop inside the Free Library for this annual book fair, selling hundreds of affordable paper-based creations including zines, origami, paper sculptures and jewelry. Meanwhile, guests of all ages have a chance to explore these art forms themselves during one of two free workshops. At 11 a.m., learn the ins and outs of the simple and elegant pamphlet book structure as you make two of your very own books. Then, at 2 p.m., discover the versatility of thaumatropes, a Victorian-era children’s toy that helped pave the way for modern animation. -Nicole Finkbiner
10am. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. philadelphiacenterforthebook.org
The Smashing Pumpkins have done a better job staying together than most ‘90s-era alternative bands. Despite a death in the group, internal discord, multiple lineup changes and no longer being the superstars they were when Bullet with Butterfly Wings and Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness were ruling the rock charts, they’ve survived and continue to produce music at a steady pace. This year’s Oceania is their latest, and it’s filled with the same combination of energetic rock (“Quasar”), fuzzy, distorted guitars (“Panopticon”) and appearances by Billy Corgan’s oddly melodic, nasally whine (“Wildflower,” “Oceania”) that have characterized their other releases. Oceania is the latest piece of evidence that Corgan is no longer the same rat in a cage he once proclaimed to be, as much of the vitriolic screaming and biting lyrics have disappeared, but these changes enhance rather than detract from the songs, so it’s more than welcome. -B.P.
8pm. $45-$65. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, N.J. 856.365.1300. livenation.com
Crafty Balboa Holiday
Already finished your holiday shopping? Good for you. Hopefully you kept the receipts because chances are, those generic gifts don’t compare to the plethora of handmade, super cool wares you’ll find at Philly’s annual holiday “Knock-Down, Drag-Out Craft Event.” With more than 60 local art vendors in attendance, everyone on your list should be covered. If you’re shopping for your sister or mom, check out Penelope Rakov’s colorful blown jewelry, the sophisticated yet quirky textiles and wares of Kaye Rachelle Designs or Volta Organics’ selection of all-natural, eco-friendly bath and body products. For the men in your life, consider one of Recycled Rowhouse’s revamped pieces of furniture or the folklore-inspired books and prints of Huldra Press. This year’s event will also feature two fun new additions: a holiday-themed photo booth and a live print-your-own-wrapping-paper demo from South Philly’s mobile art studio, ColorWheels. Be one of the first 50 shoppers to arrive, and you’ll score a free goodie bag. -N.F.
11am. Free. SS Neumann Goretti High School, 1736 S. 10th St. craftybalboa.blogspot.com
Sun., Dec. 9
Philly’s favorite celebration of fried potatoes and Hanukkah returns for its 10th year of grease and revelry. The ticket price gets you all-you-can-stomach gourmet latkes from local favorites like Bar Ferdinand, Sabrina’s Cafe, Singapore, Talula’s Garden and more, each with their own twist on the classic potato pancake. Music from the West Philly Orchestra will aid in your digestion, and there will be plenty of kid-friendly activities, including a performance from the Music Monkey Jungle. More than 400 people showed up last year, so get your tickets in advance. -A.B.
2-4pm. $5-$18. Gershmam Y, 401 S. Broad St. 215.545.4400. gershamy.org
Mon., Dec. 10
11th Hour Theater Company opens its new production Winter Wonderettes not in Philadelphia, but rather at Theater Horizon’s new theater in beautiful downtown Norristown. Penned by Roger Bean, Winter is the sequel to Marvelous Wonderettes, which 11th Hour mounted last summer in a joyous production from director Megan Nicole O’Brien. For those uninitiated into the world of the Wonderettes, the title is the name of a singing group comprised of four gal pals from high school. In Winter, it is 1968, and the group (now 10 years post-graduation) is hired to sing at a hardware store’s Christmas party, where they belt out yuletide classics like “Santa Baby” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Three of the original cast members from Marvelous—Laura Catlaw, Kat Borrelli and Janet Rowley—return, and are joined by newcomer Rachel Camp. -J. Cooper Robb
7pm. $15-$31. Theatre Horizon, 401 Dekalb St., Norristown. 267.987.9865. 11thhourtheatrecompany.org
Tues., Dec. 11
Do the impending holidays have your stomach in knots because last year was the absolute worst X-mas on record? Are you looking for a place to decompress that’s not blasting Bing Crosby’s Mele Kalikimaka? Before getting sucked into the family-X-mas-sweater vortex, climb up to the cozy second story of South Philly’s Dive Bar. Here you will find solace at the monthly installment of Second Stories. Hosted by the magnificent Jamie Fountaine, four of Philly’s hottest tale-spinners—James Bradford, Hilary Rea, Vickie Fernandez and Alanna Kennedy-Gorman—will tell you the nitty, gritty hilariously-heart-wrenching details surrounding the worst Christmas of their lives. There is a slight possibility elves will stop by. So nibble on some Christmas cookies, light up a cigarette (yes, smoking is allowed at the Dive after 7 p.m.), and get ready for some laughs. -Jessica Foley
7pm. Free. The Dive Bar, 947 E. Passyunk Ave, 215.465.5505. facebook.com/pages/second-stories
Million Dollar Quartet
Fifty-six years and one week ago today, the place to be was the storefront studio of Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn. That afternoon marked the one and only meeting between Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. The four gathered for a jam session that is the inspiration of Million Dollar Quartet, a jukebox musical in town for a brief run at the Forrest Theatre. Brought together by the founder of Sun Records Sam Phillips (who is known as the father of rock ‘n’ roll and serves as the show’s narrator), the 90-minute musical isn’t always historically accurate, but when it strays from the facts, it does so in its quest to include all the biggest hits from the four superstars. Included on the impressive song list is Presley’s version of “Hound Dog”, Cash’s classic “Riders in the Sky” and Perkins’ sly “See You Later, Alligator.” In the moments of historic accuracy, Quartet also features the four guys harmonizing on old spirituals like the lovely “Down by the Riverside” before it concludes with the audience inevitably on its feet during Jerry Lee Lewis’ sweaty, key-pounding oldie-but-goodie, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” -J.C.R.
7:30pm. $49.50-$97. Through Dec. 16. Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St. 800.447.7400. telecharge.com
Calendar: December 17-24
Calendar: Dec. 10-17
PW's Holiday Guide 2014