Saturday, December 20, 2014

POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2014, 4:40 PM
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NYE is a funny beast. There are so many ways it can go wrong and so few ways it can go right. Having experienced pretty much all of the “bad” types of New Years, I can safely say: it’s best when there’s music involved. Here are our top picks for live music this NYE, $150 cover not required.

POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2014, 1:14 PM
Wednesday January 1, 2014,The 2014 Mummers Fest and Fancy Brigade Finale at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Here, The Downtowners captain Frankie Devito performs. ( (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer)

If your Mummers excitement cannot be contained by just one day — or you fear your New Year’s Eve festivities might keep you from heading out for the parade — a special preview sneak peek of the costumes, dancing and spectacle comes to the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch St.) for four days leading up to the big parade.

MummersFest, running Sunday, Dec. 28 through Wednesday, Dec. 31, offers family-friendly activities and displays all in honor of the Mummers.

Of the available entertainment, a 50-minute tour of in-progress floats, struts and props, including insightful stories and quick Mummers Strut lessons, is available.

POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2014, 12:56 PM
Partygoers at NSFW at Medusa Lounge. (Photo by Alexander John Ortiz)

Christmas is almost here. The holidays can be filled with frantic family get togethers, stressful shopping sprees and hair pulling decorating binges. Here are the seven best distractions from the craziness, from classy cabarets to raunchy dance parties to get you in the holiday and of course, gay yuletide spirit.

Holidays on Ice

Holidays on Ice, a hilarious collection of holiday short stories by David Sedaris, will be performed this weekend at The Society Hill Playhouse (507 S. 8th St.). Directed by Stan Heleva and featuring actors Michelle Pauls and Peter Zielinski, the night promises to be full of Sedaris’s politically incorrect wit and absurd humor.

POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2014, 3:00 AM
The Rock School for Dance Education puts their Revolutionary spin on "The Nutcracker. (Courtesy photo)

Spectacular, entertaining and all on Friday.

For a reenactment: Put on your best Continental Army face in honor of the anniversary of the date — today — Washington and his troops marched to Valley Forge for the winter in 1777. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the visitor center at Valley Forge National Historical Park (1400 N. Outer Line Dr., King of Prussia, Pa.), see Revolutionary War artifacts, tour huts designed in the style of the Revolutionary War, take a candle-lit tour of the trails, meet Washington and more.

For holiday cheer: Not only will the streets of Downtown Camden be filled with Santa’s magic through a special holiday parade, but the good times will continue at the Camden Children’s Garden (3 Riverside Dr., Camden, N.J.) for rides, gingerbread man decorating, meet and greets with Santa, face painting and more. The parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and the festivities round out at 9:30 p.m.

POSTED: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 3:06 PM
The final holiday edition of the Franklin Flea takes place this Saturday. (Photo via Facebook)

Take a break from your last-minute shopping and enjoy one of the final weekends of 2014.

For over a month, different combinations of local independent shops have taken over a pop-up space at the Voorhees Town Center (2120 Voorhees Town Center) for a weekend. The final installment of Shop Up-Pop Up comes from chocolate vendor The Chocolate Clinic and local printmaker exit343design, selling wall art, T-shirts, stationery and totes. Shop away from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20 and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 21.

Comedy. Celebs. Audience interaction. That’s pretty much all you need to know about “Hang On With Aaron Nevins,” a comedy talk show, featuring celebrity conversations, laced with laughs and a chance for audience members to chime in whenever they feel the urge. This Friday, Dec. 19’s show at the Adrienne Theater (2030 Sansom St.) features guests Justin Guarini (“American Idol” and “Wicked”) and Jon Wurster (“The Best Show” on WFMU and drummer for Superchunk, The Mountain Goats and more). The show starts at 8 p.m.

POSTED: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 11:27 AM
New Year's Eve in the Piazza featured five parties in one as thousands of people gathered to ring in 2013. (AL FOR / Philly.com)

Ring in, sing in, dance in, or do whatever you please on New Year’s Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 31, but at least make sure you have a plan on where you are going. Here are some spots to consider if you are leaving your house to welcome the year 2015.

You’re cordially invited to experience the taste of a lifetime at Alla Spina (1410 Mount Vernon St.) this New Year’s Eve. Why is it the taste of a lifetime? Because beginning at 8 p.m. Marc Vetri’s Italian gastropub transforms into Club Vetri for a night of tastings, celebrations, and entertainment. With admission, guests will get signature tastes from Vetri restaurants such as Lo Spiedo, Amis, Vetri, Osteria, Pizzeria Vetri, and, of course, the host — Alla Spina.

The Piazza (1001 North 2nd St.) party (as stated previously) has not been cancelled; it has been taken over by different organizers. Beginning at 8 p.m. the Northern Liberties landmark transforms into one of the biggest New Year’s Eve party venues and offers multiple admission options. General admission gets you a five-hour open bar with live music from DJs Sat-One, S3ti, and Mark Eteson. If you want the ultimate NYE experience you can choose the VIP admission which gets you a six-hour open bar, a VIP host to accommodate your needs, sofa seating, food, top shelf seating and more. 

POSTED: Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 2:33 PM
Before they perform at the San Francisco and Chicago sketch festivals, The Flat Earth show off new material. (Photo by Tom Lovelund)

Local improv group The Flat Earth have been making us laugh since 2012. The oldest sketch team of Philly Improv Theater, together since 2012’s Fringe Festival, will hit the stage at Philly Improv Theater (2030 Sansom St.) for the last time this year for their brand-new scripted sketch comedy show, sure to make your stomach rumble: “An Evening With Venison Fajitas.”

Utilizing their wit, costumes and fresh ingredients, the players — including Jaquie Baker, Vincent DiCostanzo, Sean Landis, Rich Lee, Matthew Schmid, Molly Silverman, Adam Siry and Harry Watermeir — and director Paul Triggiani put their spin on office lingo, sci-fi TV and more in the new show, hitting the stage at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18 and Friday, Dec. 19.

Not only is this your last chance to unleash the laughs with The Flat Earth in 2014, it’s the final premiere of new material before the team hits the road, heading to perform in both the San Francisco and Chicago sketch festivals in January.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 10:29 AM
Tyler the Creator of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) performs live on the Main Stage on Day Two during the Reading Festival 2012 at Richfield Avenue on August 25, 2012 in Reading, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner (Getty Images)

Concert picks for the week before Christmas!

Friday, December 19: The Making Time $2 Bill with Nothing

Philly’s Nothing craft big, loud, noisy rockers that temper their more aggressive tendencies with a hazy, shoegaze wash — frenetic guitars giving way to melodic keyboards, and head-in-the-clouds, MBV-style vocals. Formed in 2011 following a jail stint for front man Nicky Palermo, Nothing not surprisingly concerns itself with questions of circumstance and redemption, from Palermo’s childhood growing up in Frankford to everyday existences fueled by loneliness, drugs, and depression. Of course, you might never realize any of this without delving into their backstory — on the surface these dudes are mainly loud and expansive, blowing eardrums, speakers, and yes — minds with their rock. They play Making Time’s $2 bill this Friday — show up before midnight and tix are just $2. You know — so you can save some money for Christmas presents booze.

About this blog
Discover great events, festivals, museums, parties, music, restaurants, movies, performances, and art happening in Philadelphia. Want to share an event? Click here to submit an event for consideration on Philly.com

Gabrielle Bonghi Philly.com
Kate Bracaglia Philly.com Music Blogger
Allie Volpe philly.com
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