What to do in Philly this weekend


‘Kiss Me, Kate’

Through Dec. 13

Adrienne Theater

2030 Sansom St.

$30-, 800-838-3006


Renaissance Music Theater Company presents Cole Porter’s 1948 Broadway classic, a cleverly conceived adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” — clever in that it’s about a group of contemporary (i.e. 1940s) actors putting on a production of the Shakespeare play whose “real” lives end up mirroring the art they’re working on. Ain’t that always the way?

‘Great Expectations’

Through Dec. 21

Arden Theater Company

40 N. Second St.

$36-$50, 215-922-1122


Arden Theater Company brings Charles Dickens’ rags-to-riches classic to life using only six actors to play the show’s 40-plus characters. The often grotesque figures and details of life the hero Pip encounters give the story a vibe close to gothic at points, but as usual in Dickens’ wide-frame view, comic elements mediate the gloom.


Cabaret Verite

Saturday, 9 p.m.

Philadelphia Ethical Society

1906 Rittenhouse Square

$15, 800-838-3006


This event, a benefit for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Adolescent Initiative, which helps HIV-positive Philadelphia youth, is hosted by locals artists Tom Wilson Weinberg and Andrew Crowley and features performances by Kathryn Bezella, V. Shayne Frederick, Alexander Kacala, Ezra Berkley Nepon, Lexi Schreiber, Dena Underwood and Ibrahim Vicks. Great performers, great cause — sounds way better than an evening at the mall.

The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die

Friday, 7:30 p.m.

World Cafe Live

3025 Walnut St.

$12-$14, 215-222-1400


Some bands have random names, but these guys, hailing from Connecticut, picked a name that serves as a perfect descriptor for their cathartic sound. Mixing atmospheric post-rock in the vein of Caspian or Sigur Ros with ’90s emo a la the Promise Ring, and adding unusual instruments like cello and trumpet, they create a downright epic, life-affirming, near-orchestral rock sound.


2014 Philadelphia Tibetan Bazaar

Friday and Saturday

Philadelphia Ethical Society

1906 Rittenhouse Square

$7, 215-280-4706


This crafts fair is loaded with hand-made Tibetan textiles, jewelry and various other objets d’art, and it also features cultural shows by the Drepung Gomang Monks and a slide show by Tibetan photographer Zoksan. Lots of holiday gift ideas here — a nice scarf for your niece, perhaps, or maybe a bug-eyed, seven-headed demon statuette for your boss?


Todd Glass

Through Saturday

Helium Comedy Club

2031 Sansom St.

$22-$29, 21+, 215-496-9001


Philadelphia native Todd Glass is a stand-up vet, much admired by fellow comedians. Fans of Louis C.K. will find much to like in his act. Disingenuous and foolish behavior, especially from those who should know better, is a big target of his material, and it’s not limited to his monologues: his zero tolerance policy toward hecklers has led to some epic showdowns.


Black [Light] Friday

9 to 11 p.m.

Tattooed Mom

530 South St.

No cover, 21+, 215-238-9880


Are you really going to spend Black Friday night in line with a bunch of chumps at the mall? That’s just what the Man wants you to do. Here’s one of many alternative options: a groovy black light installation by South Fellini, with DJ Mike Vivas and special “trippy” black light cocktails — or, if you feel like being less stylish, half-price drafts.


‘A Philadelphia Nutcracker’

Friday and Saturday

William Penn Charter School

3000 West Schoolhouse Lane

$25, 215-247-4272


Once again the Philadelphia Dance Theater presents their original version of the Nutcracker, which takes place in 19th century Northeast Philly. Real elements of the Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill landscapes are integrated into the set, which was created by local artist Christopher Fox. Otherwise, it’s the familiar holiday story we all know and love, set to Tchaikovsky’s immortal score.

​Danzas de Cuba

Saturday and Sunday

Painted Bride Art Center

230 Vine St.

$20-$25, 215-925-9914


The veteran local African dance and drum troupe Kulu Mele, celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, presents an evening of Afro-Cuban dance, featuring the Oyu Oro Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble and showcasing new works from Oyu Oro’s artistic director Danys “LaMora” Perez and local choreographer Mora Amado. Whatever the temperature outside, it should get pretty hot once these beats get going.


Winter Beer Festival

Saturday, 1 to 10 p.m.

23rd Street Armory

22 S. 23rd St.

$40, 21+, 215-882-1362


Alas, the beer gardens of summer are gone (until next year), but beer, luckily, is not. For this festival, several craft breweries will be showcasing their trademark winter brews, as well as year-round favorites, with over 100 beers to choose from. And lest you commit the error of drinking on an empty stomach, plenty of top-notch food trucks will also be on the premises.


Rebecca Smith/Chris Corales

Through Jan. 15

Fleisher/Ollman Gallery

1216 Arch St.

Free, 215-545-7562


Rebecca Smith’s sculptures in “Atmosphere” reflect her interest in the molecular genesis of global warming; through these pieces she attempts to give the viewer a sense of the scales involved, visualizing the invisible greenhouse gases. The nomadic Chris Corales provides a set of stark and room-like collages in “Imitation of Home,” exploring his relationship with the idea of home.

Catherine Mulligan: Recent Paintings

Through Saturday

F.A.N. Gallery

221 Arch St.

Free, 215-922-5155


Catherine’s Mulligan’s paintings depict anonymous shopping centers on overcast days, as if seen through foggy bus windows. You can almost hear the monotonous swiping of windshield wipers and sounds of traffic on wet pavement. Mulligan avoids the tired old critique of consumerism here. Instead, color and texture and composition take precedence, and we’re encouraged to see these simply as places with their own gloomy beauty.

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