SHOP PENN Playlist for December

The holidays are here and University City is hopping with things to do. Whether your love is history, art, music or sports, there is something for you at this festive time of year! The “Shop Penn Playlist” is a snapshot of the top events being offered by institutions, organizations, and venues throughout the district this month.

Work Drugs Holiday Spectacle – World Café Live
December 2

Work Drugs specialize in cocktails-compatible indie pop inspired by the soft rock era of artists like Christopher Cross and Donald Fagen, but with a lo-fi spark. They will be joined by Tyler Burkhart, an independent singer-songwriter known for his “do-it-yourself” aesthetic.

Christian McBride’s New Jawn – Penn Live Arts
December 3

Eight-time Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride returns to his hometown backed by his all-star quartet of Josh Evans (trumpet), Marcus Strickland (tenor sax) and Nasheet Waits (drums). Named in tribute to one of our city’s beloved colloquialisms, “the Philly flavor is present—tight instrumentation, fast-and-loose percussive subtlety and soul for days.” (DownBeat)

Mind & Mood Recharge – Penn Museum
December 6

Get your monthly dose of wellness in the Penn Museum galleries with an uplifting array of health-centric happenings including a botanical bar, wellness marketplace, and a monthly rotation of all-levels wellness activities from local practitioners of yoga, meditation, expressive arts, and more. Mind & Mood Recharge is a chance to hit pause on the hecticness of a busy week and multi-sensory movements to recharge and rejuvenate.

Dan Rouse Presents: The Holiday Jawn – World Café Live
December 6

Since he was a child, Dan Rouse has considered music to be one of the most powerful forces in our universe. This idea drove his passion for music at an early age as he harnessed his skills as an instrumentalist, producer and composer. Dan continues to travel the world sharing his talents, advocate music enrichment and education for youth, as well as create music that reaches listeners worldwide.

Penn Basketball – The Palestra
December 6, December 11

The Quakers made waves in the college basketball world with their upset win over Big 5 rival Villanova at the Palestra in November. Make sure you don’t miss any of the action at Philadelphia’s cathedral to college basketball as Penn is set to face off with FDU-Florham on December 6 and Howard on Dec. 11 before opening Ivy League play in January.

Dorrance Dance: The Nutcracker Suite – Penn Live Arts
December 8-9

Tap superstar and MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance “is a virtuoso, both as a dancer and choreographer." (The New York Times) In this Philadelphia premiere, tap dance meets holiday favorites from The Nutcracker Suite boasting boogies, slides, struts and dives into Duke Ellington’s intoxicating interpretation of the Tchaikovsky classic. Get ready to enter a world of jazz, swingin’ syncopation and vernacular sugar, persuading us all to be a little more soulful this holiday season.

West Craft Fest – The Rotunda
December 9-10

Find local wares handmade with care, like cozy hand knits, artisan jewelry, unique ceramic vessels, home wares, intriguing original art, warm glowing candles, natural soaps and bodycare, holiday cards, ornaments, accessories, toys, and unknown treasures each day of this 2-Day holiday shopping event features a totally different vendor lineup.  Both days are open 10am to 4pm, indoors and outdoors.

Chelsea Reed & The Fair Weather Nine: Christmas Swing – World Café Live
December 15

In October 2012, vocalist Chelsea Reed brought five of her friends together to play some tunes in a South Philly dining room. Her plan was to form a band that played for swing dancers, so she could finally have the chance to sing her favorite songs for an audience that loved the music of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday as much as she did. Since that fateful day, sheʼs been living that dream. Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five draw upon the intensity of powerhouse vocalists, the ingenuity of 20th century composers, and the soul of the dance floor. They are silly, passionate people who love playing this music. And thatʼs all there is to it.

The Crossing @Christmas – Iron Gate Theatre
December 15

Conducted by Donald Nally, the “adventurous, fiercely talented” (The New York Times) new music choir, The Crossing, performs the world premiere of poor hymnal by David Lang. Woven into many varying religions, hymnals represent a catalog of ideals worshipers agree upon, such as how we treat and care for others, particularly those who are less fortunate. In poor hymnal, Lang adds to this tradition, posing the question of whether the hymns we’re singing today are truly reflective of a society that feels a responsibility to care for and support one another.

York Street Hustle Holiday Spectacular – World Café Live
December 16

Each week, ten musicians arrive at a former South Philadelphia funeral home where, one by one, they unload their old tube amps and vintage gear. Once inside, the classic sounds of the 1960s are reinvigorated, re-energized and reborn. Legends, like Stevie, Aretha and the Four Tops; lesser-known artists including Donny Hathaway, Arthur Conley and Betty Everett – all are given new life. In a few short years the York Street Hustle has gone from filling tiny South Street bars to repeated sell outs of World Cafe Live. Their repertoire now spans over 80 songs including more than a decade worth of Detroit, Memphis and Chicago soul.

Moveables – Institute of Contemporary Art (LAST CHANCE)
Closes December 17

Moveables brings together the work of five artists—Jes Fan, Nikita Gale, Hannah Levy, Ken Lum, and Oren Pinhassi—who are rethinking functional design and its intimate relationship to the human body. Whether reminiscent of a living room, lighting rig, toothbrush holder, or chandelier, these artworks invite us to imagine new possibilities for the objects that shape our daily lives, including who they are made for and how they might be used.

David Antonio Cruz: When The Children Come Home - Institute of Contemporary Art (LAST CHANCE)
Closes December 17

When the Children Come Home is an artistic milestone and homecoming for painter and performance artist David Antonio Cruz (born 1974, Philadelphia, PA; lives New York, NY). Born and raised in North Philadelphia by parents who migrated from Humacao, Puerto Rico, Cruz embraces a sense of home that defies conventional definitions. For him, home can be conjured through the bonds of community and chosen family, sustained by a sense of possibility and belonging that comes from being among those you love.

Come Together: A Trip Down Abbey Road – World Café Live
December 22

For the fourth consecutive year, a spectacular group of Philadelphia’s finest musicians is ready to weave the timeless magic of The Beatles into the heart of the City of Brotherly Love! This year, the ensemble embarks on a musical journey, bringing the iconic “Abbey Road” album to life in its entirety, and as a bonus, they’ll present an extra set filled with more beloved Beatles classics. Get ready to be enthralled by the harmonious melodies and captivating arrangements that have defined generations.

Rev. TJ McGlinchey & Friends: Jim Henson Holiday Extravaganza – World Café Live
December 23

Rev. TJ McGlinchey & Friends are paying a special Holiday Concert Tribute to Jim Henson & Company. This very special event features over a dozen of Philadelphia’s most-Muppety singers, songwriters, musicians, and puppeteers to celebrate togetherness, traditions, and families of all types. Philly finest will serenade you with their favorite tunes from The Muppet universe (The Muppetverse?) including but not limited to; the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Muppet Movies, Muppet TV Specials, etc.

Winter Break – Penn Museum
December 26-28

Looking for things to do while the kids are home from school? Head over to Penn Museum for their Winter Break programming. Stop by the Asia Gallery to make your own mythical animal puppet and create a story about its origin. Head to the Sphinx Gallery and challenge yourself to a friendly game of Mancala. Get up close with artifact reproductions at Cartifacts stations. At noon, take a snack break with a free cookie for each member of the family. At 2:00 pm, listen to a Caribbean story, Drummer Boy of John John, and learn about the origin of the steel pan with an up-close look at a real steel drum. Ignite your curiosity and create cherished memories together as you journey around the globe in a single day.

Harry Potter Quizzo – World Café Live
December 28

Calling all Potterheads! Want to show off your Harry Potter knowledge and perfect “swish and flick” form?! If so, experience the magic in The Lounge as host Chris Fish returns for a 7th year of Harry Potter trivia, food, and drinks! As WCL celebrates year seven of Harry Potter Quizzo, there will be a special focus on… you guessed it, the Deathly Hallows!

40th Annual Kwanzaa Children’s Festival – Penn Museum
December 29

Penn Museum is delighted to host the Afro Culture Preservation Council’s 40th Kwanzaa Children’s Festival with special guest NAACP High School Talent Search. Celebrate the magic of Kwanzaa with holiday activities for the whole family, including a traditional candle ceremony, stilt ballet performances, games, and food. Admission is free.