Friday through Sunday
300 S. Broad St.
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The Philadelphia Dance Company returns with four pieces: Daniel Ezralow “Pulse,” Elisa Monte’s “White Dragon,” Ray Mercer’s “Guess Who's Coming to Dinner” and an as-yet-untitled new work by Christopher L. Huggins. We’re told some of these dances involve high-risk choreography. They’ll nail it anyway, no doubt, but if you see them before the show you might not want to say “break a leg!”
Thursday through Sunday
3680 Walnut St.
This Swiss performance art troupe is beloved for its bizarre avant-garde whimsy. Utilizing a variety of eccentric puppet-costumes including a giant hand, fleshy blobs that turn into faces, a plug and electrical outlet and several more basically indescribable creatures, they create a truly mesmerizing theatrical experience, somehow both absurdly oblique and, by virtue of its gentle humor, totally accessible.
‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’
Through Jan. 3
7137 Germantown Ave.
Quintessence Theater presents a stage adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s whacky, whimsical fantasy tale. Fun fact: one theory asserts that the mathematician Carroll’s annoyance with new mathematical concepts, which he believe to be absurd outside the rarified universe of math, was a major inspiration for the story’s weird ideas and scenarios. Whatever their impetus, they’ve certainly enchanted audiences for almost 150 years.
The Untitled Holiday Puppet Show
Thursday through December 21
1219 Vine St.
Figment Theater celebrates the season with this family-friendly mix of holiday sing-along, improv comedy and yes, puppets. They describe the vibe as a mix of Disney, Norman Rockwell and “Sesame Street.” The basic plotline involves a lady Scrooge named Stephanie, whose boyfriend Junior invites her spend the holidays with his family. But each show’s a little different, integrating audience suggestions into the story.
Crafty Balboa Holiday
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ss. Neumann and Goretti High School
1736 10th St.
Looking for a more unique set of holiday gift ideas? Check out the wide selection of handmade items at this fair, sold direct by more than 60 crafty craftspeople. They’ve got toys, clothes, ceramics, knitted stuff, jewelry, prints, soaps — and the list goes on. Early bird bonus: the first 50 shoppers get a goody bag with items contributed from various vendors.
Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now
3260 South St.
This exhibition explores both the past and present of the diverse set of societies identified collectively as Native American, aiming to get past tired old stereotypes and let contemporary Native Americans speak for themselves, through contemporary video and audio recordings. Over the course of its five-year run, it will also display more than 300 Native American artifacts from the Penn Museum’s collections.
Friday, 8 p.m.
German Society of Pennsylvania
611 Spring Garden St.
At this combination music concert and wine/beer tasting, PhilHarmonia will perform carols, and sommalier Marnie Old will share some sage drinks advice. What wines or beers go with what kinds of holiday meals? It’s a win-win: either your relatives will all be impressed with your epicurean cultivation, or, as usual, they won’t care, but you’ll still have the perfect drink.
Koliada: Winter Songs from the Carpathians
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Ukrainian League of Philadelphia
800 N. 23rd St.
If you’ve been pretty much anywhere lately, you’re probably already burnt out on those same 30 or so Christmas tunes this year. Well, unless you’re Ukrainian, these traditional instrumental “troista” winter songs, performed by the group Koliadnyky, ought to be a refreshingly unfamiliar seasonal music experience. The group will be joined by the Accolada Chamber Choir of Philadelphia and bandurist Julian Kytasty.
‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’/’The Year without a Santa Claus’
Saturday, 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
2023 Sansom St.
Feeling nostalgic yet? This double feature pairs two beloved animated Christmas specials from the broadcast TV era. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas," directed by Warner Bros. animation genius Chuck Jones, only seems to improve with age, and the goofy dueling elemental brothers Heatmiser and Snowmiser undoubtedly steal the show in “The Year without a Santa Claus," the last great Rankin-Bass holiday special.
‘Rome, Open City’
Sunday, 7 p.m.
3701 Chestnut St.
This 1945 film by Roberto Rossellini dramatized the Nazi occupation of Rome. Its first viewers would have walked out of the theater onto still-ravaged streets, and the film has the unsanitized intensity of a fresh wound, ending with the martyrdom of its resistance heroes, a priest and a communist—strange bedfellows united by a much greater enemy.
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
1901 Vine St.
A weird fact about Shakespeare’s immortal lines is that no one knows exactly how they went, because multiple early versions exist. At this talk, Penn professor Zachary Lesser will discuss his new book on the 1823 discovery of a “Hamlet” variant called Q1 —earlier than all known versions — and how it radically altered contemporary understanding of the play.