Wednesday, December 11
Spirits & Suds with Santa
Even Santa likes to get his drink on once in a while, and thanks to more than a dozen bars, pubs and restaurants along East Passyunk, he’ll be able to let off plenty of steam in time for that big ride on Christmas Eve. The $5 admission nabs you $3 craft beers, $5 snacks and a Santa or elf hat. 5:30pm. $5. South Philly Bar & Grill, 1235 E. Passyunk Ave. southphillybar.com
Adopting the timely theme of “re-gifting”—because honestly, who doesn’t have a rant about that?—the StorySlam experience makes its return to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where participants will each be given five minutes to wow the room with their holiday tales. 7pm. Free. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. storyslams.firstpersonarts.org
Debra L. Rothenberg
No one captures Bruce Springsteen in pictures like his fellow New Jerseyan Debra L. Rothenberg, who compiled more than three decades’ worth of concert photos from large-scale arena tours—as well as intimate hometown shows at The Stone Pony—for her new book, Bruce Springsteen in Focus: 1980-2012. 5pm. Free. Barnes & Noble, 1805 Walnut St. debrarothenberg.com
Thursday, December 12
!!! (Chk Chk Chk)
It was right after college, in the year 2005, that I got my hands on Louden Up Now. It was a year after !!!’s sophomore LP had come out; I was slowly but surely catching up with the excellent indie dance music that had come out while I was foolishly letting my classmates at an expensive liberal arts school in central New York dictate playlists that consisted of O.A.R., Dispatch, Marley and Modest Mouse. It was in Oregon that I found !!! and didn’t go anywhere without it on my iPod: “Dear Can,” “Pardon My Freedom,” “King’s Weed” and “Shit Scheisse Merde” are amazing tracks. This record fit so many situations—working out, dancing, as background music, for party jams, bike rides and walking to class in the morning. It was a staple of my heavy rotation. At the same time, I was falling in love with LCD Soundsystem, Koushik, Hot Chip, Ratatat and their twisted little sister, Out Hud.
Louden may be the best thing !!! will ever do, but 2007’s Myth Takes and even their newest, this year’s Thr!!!er, have proven that no matter what the lineup or current hometown, they’ve still got lots of fight left in em’. They typically pack a minimum of seven folks on stage, and it’s not uncommon for as many as 10 musicians to appear on a track, but it’s typically lead singer Nic Offer that either turns you on or turns you off in concert. Don’t even look up—just dance like it’s 2005 and you’ve just heard their propulsive and electronic dance funk for the first time. / BILL CHENEVERT
$16. 8pm. With Vacationer + Risky Disko. Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, 1200 Callowhill St. undergroundarts.org
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
George Balanchine’s version of The Nutcracker is brought to life once again by the School of Pennsylvania Ballet—along with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and Philadelphia Boys Choir belting out Tchaikovsky’s famous score. Through Dec. 29. Various times and prices. Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999. academyofmusic.org
2013 NAMIC Philadelphia Masquerade Gala
2013 saw the Philly chapter of the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) commemorate its 20th anniversary and the launch of the “You Want To Be In” campaign; this masquerade gala doubles as a celebration of all the year’s milestones. Come and raise a glass to another two decades of hard work. 6:30pm. $30-50. BNY Mellon Center, 1735 Market St. 215.567.6510. namicphiladelphia.com
Lester Brown: Breaking New Ground
The founder of two environmentally conscious nonprofit organizations and the recipient of the United Nations Environmental Prize, Lester Brown is passionate about the physical world around him. His new memoir, Breaking New Ground, tells how his early life on a small farm in New Jersey led him to where he is today. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5405. freelibrary.org
The Smith Memorial Playground is turning its six-and-a-half acres into a veritable holiday paradise this year. Kids can learn about ice carving and making homemade gifts, and be entertained by characters from Enchantment Theater Company’s Aladdin—all while sipping on delicious hot chocolate. 10am. Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse, 3500 Reservoir Dr. smithplayground.org
Friday, December 13
J’Adore La Mode Fashion Gala
Some 750,000 teenage girls become pregnant in this country annually. A bleak statistic like that, compared with the hard reality of inner-city public school test scores, can’t help but cast a shadow over the prospective futures of Philly’s young women. There is, however, a brilliantly luminous beacon of opportunity at the end of this tunnel, nestled in the heart of the city. And it’s about to hit the runway.
The Evoluer House, a vibrant local organization focused on young women’s empowerment, has been working for a decade to provide a positive and encouraging environment for teenage girls of color. Through personal development programs and youth workforce development programs, Evoluer House enables its participants to gain invaluable experience, insight and personal growth. Some outstanding statistics of its own: Eight hundred girls have graduated from these workshops since the organization’s conception; 100 percent of them have graduated high school; 70 percent of those graduates attend college or other forms of post-secondary education/training; and 75 percent have become mentors themselves.
Evoluer House’s fourth annual fashion-show benefit gala, J’Adore La Mode, takes place this week, bringing together the elements of refinement and high style on which Cheryl Wadlington, EH’s founder and author of last year’s The DivaGirl’s Guide to Style and Self-Respect, built her career. Featuring the stunning 2014 spring collection of internationally renowned celebrity stylist Kithe Brewster, the event also includes innovative designs by talented area upstarts. UArts graduate and world-renowned dancer/choreographer Anthony Burrell kicks off the show; and, bringing some glamor to the night, international supermodel Sessilee Lopez is scheduled to attend. Thanks to the Evoluer House, Philly’s fashionistas are about to celebrate this city’s most precious commodity: Our youth. / KENNEDY ALLEN
7pm. $100-$275. University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St. 215.592.8988. evoluerhouse.org
Twelfth Night on Friday the Thirteenth
The Raven Society pays tribute to the Bard at its annual holiday soiree. Celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, the party features live entertainment, an open bar, dancing and general merriment. 8pm. $50-$100. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.7710. freelibrary.org/ravensociety
You may recognize Pitchfork darling Ernest Greene, better known as Washed Out, as the dude whose song is used in the opening montage of Portlandia. However, he’s expanded his arsenal of lo-fi/chillwave jams and dropped his new album Paracosm this summer. Washed Out will be joined by Damn Right! as a part of DeathWaltz Media Group’s two day WinterWaltz festival. 8:30pm. $20. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 800.745.3000. electricfactory.info
Space 1026 Art Auction
Specializing in the eclectic, Space 1026 has been an essential tool for emerging Philly artists and their non-traditional works. Tonight, Space 1026 opens its doors for a public auction. Admission is free, and bidding for each piece of artwork begins at $10. 6pm. Free. Space 1026, 1026 Arch St. 215.574.7630. space1026.com
Exhumed Films: Trailer Trauma
International House plays host to a five-hour onslaught of nonstop trailer madness. Exhumed Films has strung together 300 minutes of sex, violence and mayhem via unrelated snippets of classic trailers. No plot, no intermission, no escape—no problem! 7:30pm. $12-$18. International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St. exhumedfilms.com
Body Vox: The Cutting Room
The brainchild of dance vets Ashley Roland and Jamey Hampton, Body Vox has been called a multimedia “cocktail of physicality.” The latest in their series, The Cutting Room, is an odyssey through film genres: noir, comedy, science fiction and romance. 2pm and 8pm. $20-$55. Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St. 215.898.6702. annenbergcenter.org
The oft-told story of the rise of tech giants Bill Gates and Steve Jobs gets a makeover in the musical journey of Nerds. The performance follows the two titans from their garage-dwelling days through their massive success, with hilarious musical numbers marking the time. 8pm. $56. Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St. philadelphiatheatrecompany.org
Robicelli’s: A Love Story in Cupcakes
Brooklyn-based wholesale cupcake crafters Allison and Matt Robicelli have cornered the market on wildly gourmet treats. Their new book contains more than 50 fancy cupcake recipes, ranging from “chicken and waffles” to “chocolate peanut butter pretzel.” The couple will be signing copies of their new cookbook, which is an ideal gift idea for the holidays. 4pm. Free. UPenn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. upenn.bncollege.com
Saturday, December 14
The Punk Rock Flea Market
We all have that one notorious friend or family member on our holiday shopping list—the one who has everything, the one who wants nothing, or the one who collects limited edition 12-inch variant Boba Fett figures. Where on Earth are we expected to find the perfect gift for that difficult person—and at the perfect price, to boot? If you’re already tired of crowded malls this season, the Punk Rock Flea Market is the place to hit up.
On Saturday and Sunday, more than 500 commercial and private vendors come together to sell their wares. Boasting everything from vintage furniture to hand-made accessories to vegan cupcakes, this market proves that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Attendees can dig through vinyl collections or peruse photography and paintings while munching on hand-made baked goods for maximum energy. Looking for a fuel injector for a 1972 Cutlass Sierra? Try your luck. Hell, you may even walk away with a great pair of earrings for that aunt who loves cats as well.
Housed in the appropriately named Punk Rock Flea Market Dome, the shopfest continues to bring the widest variety of randomness to our neck of the woods. The two-day event features different vendors each go-’round, and the whopping $3 entry donation grants access to both days. And fret not: In the unlikely event that you don’t spot any desirable wares, R5 will be selling their ever-popular 10-show pass, giving you and your friends access to 10 upcoming R5 shows in 2014. Yes, the sold-out shows, too. So come on down, bring the kiddies and shop till the other anarchist shoe drops. / K.A.
Through Sun., Dec. 15. 10am. $3. Punk Rock Flea Market Dome, Ninth St. and Spring Garden Ave. r5productions.com
Fuel the Cure Winter Gala
Enjoy an evening of dancing and dining while supporting Children in Need, an organization dedicated to providing children with better education, health and communities. The 2013 Fuel the Cure Winter Gala is black-tie optional and features a 5-hour open bar, food stations, silent auction, live music and more. 8pm. $125. Hyatt at the Bellevue Ballroom, 200 S. Broad St. fuelthecure.net
This marathon competition puts a spin on college football rivalries by forcing teams to race a 10 or 5k while they try to grab flag football-style tags from other players and catch balls from the sidelines for points. Army faces Navy in Philadelphia’s Rivalry Race, which is highly recommended for fans of BASEketball, football tennis and other hybrid sports. 8am. $30-$40. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. rivalryraces.com
Spares for the Homeless
A unique charity event pitting teams of four against one another in a bowling tournament to raise money for One Step Away, the organization that strives to provide the homeless with work by selling newspapers on the street. Food and beer will be available for the entirety of the four-hour competition, with prizes awarded at the end. 3pm. $20-$160. Liberty Lanes, 6505 Market St. 215.951.0300. osaphilly.org
Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar
Greensgrow Farms presents this craft fair featuring local, handmade gifts. Pick up a tree at the farm as you shop their selection of jewelry, ceramics, edibles and more. 11am. Free. Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland St. 215.427.2702. greensgrow.org
Frisky for the Holidays Dance Party
Celebrate the festive season as your ancestors did in days of yore, and discover the true meaning of the holidays—with striptease aerobics! Burlesque performer Timaree and Urban Striptease instructor Deb guide you through this annual ladies-night-out class, featuring sultry holiday tunes and a wine and chocolate tasting. 4:30pm. $20-$25. The Arts Parlor, 1170 S. Broad St. 215.645.2717. phillydancefitness.com
Crafty Balboa Holiday
Yooze guys! Getcha shoppin’ done at this annual South Philly craft fair, celebrating its fifth year. More than 50 vendors will showcase affordable handcrafted goods, ranging from baby hats to screen prints and everything in between. 11am. Free. SS Neumann Goretti HS, 1736 S. 10th St. 215.465.8437. craftybalboa.blogspot.com
Andrew Dice Clay
The foul-mouthed Brooklyn icon, who rose to unprecedented comedic fame in the late ‘80s by reciting “adult nursery rhymes,” has experienced a resurgence in his career since garnering a recurring role on Entourage, this year co-starring in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. He returns to the stage as part of a short tour on the East Coast; here’s hoping the years haven’t softened his over-the-top repertoire. 8:30pm. $43.50-$68.50. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave. 215.572.7650. keswicktheatre.com
Sunday, December 15
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
Jessica Hernandez has one of those sounds you can’t resist but can’t necessarily define, either. Sure, the Detroit-based singer/songwriter/instrumentalist gets her share of Amy Winehouse comparisons, and she’s got the neo-soul sound down to have earned ‘em, but there’s something else about her music that makes it a bit more unique.
Maybe it’s the diverse share of instruments put together by her backing band, the Deltas, which includes a keyboardist, bassist, drummer and guitarist, plus sax and trombone players. In songs like “Picture Me With You,” there’s a creepy Murder City Devils organ-sounding overture throughout the rapid beats, with Hernandez telling the person to which the song is dedicated: “I’ve been sleeping with your girlfriend,” and, later, “I’ve been sleeping with your boyfriend.”
Of her newest EP, the six-song Demons, Hernandez told Paste magazine, “It’s the perfect soundtrack to drive around on those creepy fall overcast days.” That autumn hymnal gets a little less creepy when she’s performing onstage. There, the energy of such a large live band seems to change the atmosphere from a somber fall ghost story to an action flick that just so happens to haunt you, too.
A mainstay in their Motor City hometown, Hernandez and her Deltas have rarely toured over the last few years but thankfully added some East coast dates to end 2013 on a high note. If you can, catch ‘em up there. / RANDY LOBASSO
7pm. $10-$12. With Ang & The Damn Band, Rob + Lately. MilkBoy Philadelphia, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.MILK. milkboyphilly.com
Holiday Market Extravaganza
Fine art is the focus of this Northwest Philly holiday market. Browse work from more than 25 local artists, enjoy food and live music, and cross some names off your list while supporting the Mount Airy art scene. Noon. Free. Mt. Airy Art Garage, 11 W. Mt. Airy Ave. 215.242.5074. mtairyartgarage.org
Lil’ Steph presents Rasputin’s Room
The originator of the “single-cheek ass-bounce,” Lil’ Steph returns to perform her legendary burlesque routine with the show she founded. Entertainers like Bunny Buxom, Joey Martini and Lefty Von Blitz bring you sinfully opulent indulgence and sumptuous performances. 9pm. $10. Ruba Club, 416 Green St. 215.627.9831. lilsteph.com
Bringing Sexy Back, Again: Justin Timberlake Workshop
Philly Dance Fitness presents their second workshop celebrating the master modern song-and-dance man. Slides, shoulder shrugs, spins and other smooth moves inspired by JT will get broken down for you as you groove to a hot mix of past and present hits. 2:30pm. $15-$20. The Arts Parlor, 1170 S. Broad St. 215.645.2717. phillydancefitness.com
Martha Graham Cracker Christmas Show
The world’s hairiest drag queen descends on L’Etage for her annual Christmas party. Expect inappropriate stories and holiday music, along with gifts, glitz and a whole lot of glitter. 8pm. $15. L’Etage, 624 S. Sixth St. 215.592.0656. creperie-beaumonde.com
Monday, December 16
Elf, the Musical
Based on the Will Ferrell holiday comedy, this lighthearted production focuses on an inept elf from the North Pole who discovers his true identity as a human. Santa’s helper travels to New York to meet his biological father and spread Christmas cheer in a world of cynics. 2pm and 7pm. $10-$75. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. walnutstreettheatre.org
Bill of Rights Anniversary
December 15 marks the anniversary of the inclusion of the Bill of Rights into the U.S. Constitution. The National Constitution Center celebrates the landmark passage of our inalienable rights in 1791 with a multitude of Bill of Rights Day events and discounted admission courtesy of the Macy’s Foundation. $5. National Constitution Center. 525 Arch St. constitutioncenter.org
Tuesday, December 17
In all likelihood, most of y’all have seen Judith Hill on The Voice. The Top Eight contender was knocked out in what’s considered to be one of the most shocking eliminations in the history of the show. It was after she sang that brutal Bieber and will.i.am joint, “#thatPOWER,” but also after she destroyed James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend” and even turned in a miraculously perfect rendition of Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants.” But, as is true with lots of these bullshit reality competition shows, the winner isn’t always the biggest winner of that year’s contest. (Lookin’ at you, American Idol, Project Runway and Top Chef.) Shortly after the competition, she announced a deal with Sony and a tour support spot with Josh Groban.
Now, you also may know Hill from her dazzling turn in this year’s outstanding documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom, in which we watch her dueting and rehearsing with Michael Jackson during his final days. But just ‘cause she’s a commanding and in-demand back-up singer doesn’t mean she doesn’t have what it takes to stand on her own two legs as a solo star. Take, for instance, a single from the 20 Feet soundtrack, one of Hill’s first, called “Desperation.” Not only is she stunningly beautiful, benefiting from her parents’ outstanding genes and history as musicians, but she plays the piano with ease and grace while emoting and manipulating her voice with arresting control. Like The Voice’s Adam Levine said of Hill after she chose to be on his team—after all four judges hit their “I choose you” buttons—“She’s going to be a Grammy-winning superstar, and she’s on my team.” Lucky you, handsome. / B.C.
8pm. $14. With Matt Cermanski. World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, Del. 302.994.1400. queen.worldcafelive.com
UPenn alum Eric Brach co-authored Basketball Stories, an autobiographical account of former NBA star Billy “The Hill” McGill. Brach and McGill recount the former No. 1 draft picks’ life and career, as well as McGill’s largely unrecognized impact on the jump hook shot. Philadelphia native Chris Cline will also join the discussion. 6pm. UPenn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. upenn.bncollege.com
The show that broke the Forrest Theatre’s box office records a staggering seven times returns. Jersey Boys, the musical story of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons, has had tremendous worldwide success. With obvious local ties, this show is a must-see. 6:30pm. $42-$137. Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St. 800.447.7400. forrest-theatre.com
Wednesday, December 18
Rachel Pikelny: Feature Documentary Production
Chicago-based filmmaker and producer-writer Rachel Pikelny knows a thing or two about convincing storytelling. Many of the films she’s worked on are through Kartemquin Films, the non-profit documentary factory exclusively dedicated to exploring and critiquing aspects of American society—as in 1994’s Hoop Dreams, 2004’s The New Americans and 2011’s The Interrupters, all highly acclaimed. She also lends her talents to Adelstein Liston, a top media and strategic communications firm hired by everyone from the American Cancer Society to President Obama.
Pikelny’s current films in post-production include a documentary about the Mormon Church’s place in the film industry and one called American Arab, which examines American perceptions of people of Middle Eastern descent, but her most famous project to date is The Trials of Muhammad Ali, the Bill Siegel-directed documentary released this summer to almost universally positive reviews. That award-winning doc—for which Pikelny was credited for helping unearth rarely-before-seen archival footage of Ali to tell the story of the legendary boxer’s fight to exercise his personal and religious beliefs—is still screening in select outlets throughout the country.
Pikelny is headed to West Philly’s Scribe Video Center to present a workshop on producing feature documentaries, where she’ll share the secrets of her craft and engaging, informative stories from her years on the grind. Additionally, Scribe’s Producers’ Forum will be showing The Trials of Muhammad Ali a day earlier at the International House, and she’ll be in attendance. Haven’t seen it? Do. / R.L.
7pm. $10-$20. Scribe Video Center, 4212 Chestnut St. 215.222.4201. scribe.org
Twelve X Twelve
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents this annual exhibition comprised of more than 50 works, all in a 12x12 inch format. Drawings, oils, acrylics and watercolors are some of the mediums used in the exhibition featuring PAFA alumni artists. Each of the pieces will be up for purchase at affordable pricing.10am-5pm. Free. Historic Landmark Building, 118 N. Broad St. 215.972.7600. pafa.edu
Photos With Santa
Santa comes to East Passyunk for a photo shoot this week. Bring your own camera to capture some priceless family memories for free or purchase a professional photo pack that will be printed on site. 6pm-8pm. Alphabet Garden, 1631 East Passyunk Ave. visiteastpassyunk.com
Out of Town
Bizarre AC Horror Fest
The fabled Atlantic City Boardwalk gets taken over by horror fanatics for a weekend-long festival of the macabre. Take part in horror movie screenings, purchase ghoulish gifts at the Bazaar and check out the enticing “Hall of Oddities.” Fri., Dec. 6. $20-$40. Tropicana Casino & Resort, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ. bizarreac.com
United Career Fairs: Philadelphia Career Fair
Meet face to face with potential future employers in the business development and sales fields across dozens of industries. Register online for the opportunity to have your resume professionally reviewed. Thurs., Dec. 12, 6pm. Hilton Garden Inn, 530 Pennsylvania Ave., Ft. Washington. unitedcareerfairs.com
Annual Running of the Santas
What is the Christmas season without a horde of drunken Santas stumbling from bar to bar? The revelry begins at the Tropicana and finishes with the official run down the Boardwalk. Sat., Dec. 14. $20. Tropicana Casino & Resort, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. runningofthesantas.com
2013 Winter Festival Benefiting Toys for Tots
Venture to Phoenixville for this annual Star Wars-themed gathering, and bring a new unwrapped toy to be entered for a chance to win a door prize. Attractions include character meet-and-greets, Nerf gun villain-blasting, face painting and complimentary chair massages. Sat., Dec. 14, 10am. Free. Kimberton Fairgrounds, 762 Pike Spring Rd. 215.948.2166. tftwinterfestival.com
Cheech & Chong
The comedy duo who defined a generation of counter-culture humor are back with a holiday flavored romp. Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke Holiday Tour is sure to delight those who remember the glory days of the dynamic duo, as well as a new generation of fans, man. Fri., Dec. 13, 9pm. $55-$75. House of Blues, 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. houseofblues.com
Compiled by Jake Abbate, Drew O’Meara and Daniel Gelb.