PW's Weekend Picks: Dec. 6-8

By PW Staff
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Friday, December 6

The #whyilovephilly Party
Philadelphians are rarely bashful when it comes to civic pride. The adoration for this place youze guys call home goes much deeper than cheesesteaks and soft pretzels: The green awnings draped over South Philly rowhomes on a tiny side street; the gut-warming, readily-available special at the neighborhood bar; your grizzly neighbor’s penchant to gripe how “it’s gonna be a rough winter” on the first 30-degree night—Philadelphia’s minutia endear its residents to the place. Thankfully, Phillyites love to express their affection, giving #whyilovephilly its raison d’être.

Co-started by Indy Hall and Young Involved Philadelphia, #whyilovephilly began circa Valentine’s Day 2011 as a mission to spread cheer, positivity and a bit of hometown snobbery. Since then, the hashtag has taken a life of its own, used daily on various forms of social media by locals to express said adoration. This week, it’ll morph into a full-on First Friday soiree when a host of Philly-centric agencies and businesses team up for the #whyilovephilly Party at the Hamilton Family Arts Center (the Arden Theatre Company’s newest Old City outpost).

Come leave a Philly Love Note and transform your #whyilovephilly tweets into written word. Area food, drink and music will fortify the night’s revelry, and rumor has it that Little Baby’s Ice Cream will be debuting a Philly-themed flavor—which alone is cause for cartwheels. / DANIEL GELB

6pm. Free with RSVP. Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second St. 215.922.1122.

Alan Greenspan: The Map and the Territory
Greenspan released his newest book, The Map and the Territory, in October; In the book, the author—the former Fed chairman (1987-2006)—re-evaluates his deepest held beliefs about risk management and economic forecasting in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008. 7:30pm. $36. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.4341.

ContempraDance Theatre’s Philly Nutt Crak-Up
ComtempraDance’s annual spoof of The Nutcracker is a can’t-miss Philadelphia special. Complete with a bevy of references to Philly personalities, places and area culture, this hip-hop comedy is a one-of-a-kind local performance. 7:30pm. $25-$35. The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St. 215.546.7824.

Doylestown native P!nk brings her widely popular The Truth About Love Tour back to Philly. Since 2000, Pink has released six full-length albums, amassed a multitude of awards and cemented her status as one of the key female pop icons of this generation. 8pm. $39.50-$125. With the Hives. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. 800.298.4200.

A History of Science Holiday Celebration
The Chemical Heritage Foundation harkens back to mid 19th-century lectures for this interesting spin on yuletide scientific history. Staff and scholars will be dressed in period costumes and utilize English scientist Michael Faraday’s annual Christmas lectures from the 1800s for an informative look at the history of modern science. 5pm. Free. Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St. 215.925.2222.

Christmas Ale Spectacular
You might have enjoyed Victoria Freehouse’s dishes at PW’s Taste of Philly;  now, take in their selection of holiday themed brews at the Christmas Ale Spectacular, featuring British-themed Christmas ales from various breweries, including Ridgeway, St. Peters and more. 4pm. The Victoria Freehouse. 10 S. Front St. 215.543.6089.

Art Star Holiday Market
Penn’s Landing and the Blue Cross RiverRink undergo a holiday transformation with Art Star Holiday Market, a pop-up Christmas village. The market will encompass the skating rink with food, local beer and shopping. Keep warm under the massive 400-person warming tent (made specifically for the event from recycled shipping containers). 4pm. Free. Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing, 201 S. Columbus Blvd.

Saturday, December 7

Vejigantes of Puerto Rico: Origins, Myths & Messengers
In 12th-century Spain, St. James the Apostle led a militia into battle against the Moors, defeating the African Muslims and thus “liberating” Spain from their influence. By the 17th century, celebrations of St. James’ feast day began to include elaborate horned masks called vejigantes, which sported toothy beaks and playfully malicious grins, initially representing the fallen Moors while also symbolizing the struggle between good and evil. The tradition traveled to the Caribbean and, in Puerto Rico, has taken on a life of its own. Incorporating elements of African and Taíno cultures, vejigantes can be found throughout the island in a vast array of styles and sizes. Typically worn during the Festival of St. James, a massive carnival taking place before the beginning of Lent, those wearing the masks used to frighten people into repentance and going to church. Now, the mask is believed to represent resistance to imperialism and colonialism, yet remains a lasting symbol of cultural resilience.

Through Sat.,  Jan. 11, Taller Puertorriqueño proudly hosts Vejigantes of Puerto Rico: Origins, Myths & Messengers, a collection of reinterpretations of this centuries-old icon. Providing Philly with an opportunity to explore the traditions and ponder its influences, this exhibit of masks by eight artists portrays both traditional and contemporary representations of the vejigante, featuring staples in the artform like Raul Ayala and Miguel Caraballo. In today’s special event, Taller will present a panel discussion featuring Ayala, Caraballo and the other artists whose work is on display. / KENNEDY ALLEN

3pm. Free. Taller Puertorriqueno, 2721 N. Fifth St. 215.426.3311.

My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, I’m Home for the Holidays
From Steve Solomon, creator of My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy, comes this dysfunctional family holiday comedy. Starring comedian Peter Fogel, the play takes place at Grandma’s house, where guests under age 55 still sit at the kid’s table, and 35 overfed people share one toilet. 2pm and 8pm. $31. Penn’s Landing Playhouse, 211 S. Columbus Blvd.

Running of the Santas
Drunken Santas fill the streets and crawl from pub to pub for this annual event, a sort of incredibly slow marathon (in the name of charity). More than 8,000 Santas will “run” from Finnegan’s Wake to the Electric Factory, where 10 bands—including Split Decision and Go Go Gadjet—will perform all day. 11am. $15. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332.

Celeste Giuliano’s Pin-Up Peepshow
This third annual vintage burlesque extravaganza fetishizes music and fashion of the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. Alongside performances by Peek-A-Boo Revue and the Striptease Orchestra, Miss Pin-Up Philadelphia will be crowned in Philly’s only vintage-style pageant. Best of all, the whole show is a fundraiser and official calendar release party for nonprofit charity Pinups for Pitbulls. 9pm. $20-$40. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100.

University City Arts League’s Holiday Craft Show
West Philly’s historic arts instruction and enthusiast group hosts a craft show and sale, offering ceramics, dolls, drawings, purses, paintings, wallets, knit teddy bear hats and just about any other unique gift you might want for someone on your list. Noon. UCAL, 4226 Spruce St.

Sunday, December 8

The Philadelphia Bacon and Beer Festival
The time has come for the inaugural Philadelphia Bacon and Beer Festival, and if you don’t have tickets, too bad: It sold out in a mere 30 seconds. The BBF’s three previous gorgefests in Boston have sold out in minutes, sure, but never in half of one, according to organizer Aaron Cohen. “Thirty seconds is the record for fastest sell-out, and it’s only the first year here, too, so I was surprised!” he tells PW of the BBF’s foray into Philly. An event that celebrates two of knuckle-dragging man’s most highly-desired palate pleasers in a city with a river-deep appreciation of both is no real surprise: The surprise is that no one’s done it before.

So, what’s on tap? The name says it all. Expect savory and sweet bacon offerings courtesy of dining hotspots like Alla Spina, Pub & Kitchen, Southwark, The Mildred, Standard Tap, Lemon Hill, Cheu Noodle Bar and 10 Arts, while craft masters from places including Victory Brewing Co., Sly Fox, Troegs Brewing Co., Dogfish Head, Nodding Head and Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery promise to keep the ice-cold beer flowing freely. Proceeds will help fund MANNA; eating well so others can do the same this season is an absolute win-win.

Can’t get your fill at the Fest? Check the afterparty at Hotel Monaco’s rooftop bar, Cohen says, featuring “some nibbles from Sweet Box Cupcakes and Ribs Within, beer from Vault Brewing and a special bacon and beer related cocktail menu from Stratus’ mixologists.” / R.L.

2:30pm. Sold out. Hotel Monaco, 433 Chestnut St.

African-American choreographer Christopher Huggins rose to fame and helped to break down barriers in the field of dance. Now in their 44th season, Philadanco pays tribute to the choreographer with performances inspired by Huggins’ extensive catalog. 2:30pm. $29-$46. Kimmel Center, 1500 Walnut St. 215.790.5800.

Rock to Remember
This benefit show supports Music & Memory, whose mission is to collect iPods to be used for those with Alzheimer’s. Performers include acclaimed rapper Mic Stewart and indie band Hopscotch Jefferson, along with a handful of DJs spinning upstairs. 5pm. $5 or iPod donation. Grape Room, 105 Grape St.

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