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6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Experience ‘The Nutcracker’ This Philly Holiday Season

Oh, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker..….where do we truly begin? 

How about with right around this time tomorrow night (and through New Year’s Eve!) that magnificent curtain will rise up at the Kimmel Center’s Academy of Music and give way to what’s sure to be another annual dazzling display of this acclaimed production presented by the astounding, Pennsylvania Ballet

While the reasons listed below are served up as a fine case as to why kids from one-to-ninety-two should experience the magic of lots (and lots!) of sugarplums dancing around their heads all month long thanks to this beacon of a show, but what it truly comes down to are four little-yet-gigantic words….

………support the local arts! Because it all truly doesn’t get any better or magical than what you’re about to get lost in when The Nutcracker takes over our Philly holiday lives once again.Ready? 

Oh, and here’s a few more words…..get those tickets. But first, a delightful, tip-toeing journey through all of the reasons why you absolutely should. 

1.It’s a delightful holiday tale as old as time…..     Considered the most famous stage take of Tchaikovsky‘s historic 1892 ballet, this version ofThe Nutcracker also adapts the story of E.T.A. Hoffman’s tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which you can actually show to the kids right here before you go! While the equally legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov‘s production is the most recognized television version (really, how can we ever forget?), it is Mr. George Balanchine’s story that has not only been taking over stages (and selling out the holiday box office) for nearly 65 years, but will always be thought of as a groundbreaking production that made ballet famous in America. And it’s for that very reason that we must show our respect, lace up those slippers and tip-toe right to those glistening tickets. 

2.All of the incredible local talent on fine display….  While it’s easy to go on-and-on about just how incredible the Pennsylvania Ballet will always be (those incredible kids work really, really hard, folks), it’s better to just get to know it all right now by gliding to their official website right here. And once you’ve entered the land of extraordinary wonder, you’ll be able to meet the Ballet, see how their spreading the Love throughout the community, find out about future spectacular events, and of course, you’ll get all access to tickets for ‘The Nutcracker.’ There’s nothing more to say here except attack it like you’re Natalie Portman in ‘Black Swan.’ Go. 

3.It’s a must to keep those Philly holiday traditions alive and glowing….    Macy’s Light Show.…the Christmas Village……going to all 75 tree lightings around the city…..Miracle on 13th Street….the ice skating (and carousel!!) at City Hall, and of course, The Nutcracker. Yes, these are all delightfully frosty Philly holiday traditions that have kept alive and glowing all of these years. And you know why? Because us Philadelphians know how to do it holiday-style. So, if you haven’t checked your tradition list twice yet, now is the time, because, you-know-who is watchin’ and makin’ sure you and the whole phamily do it all this year and have the best holiday yet. 

4.It’s a fantastic way to expose your little loved ones to the arts…..  Oh, the holidays. A time when young ones’ minds are at their very inquisitive and you may hear such questions as….what time is Santa coming? Why is Rudolph’s nose so bright? Where do babies come from? How would you like not to answer that not-so-elusive third question, well, at least until January, hopefully. Take them to The Nutcracker and they’ll be so immersed in everything that’s going on in front of them (the dancing! the prancing! the stage! the lights!) that it will take their young minds away from that question and straight into an obsessed world of every sensation of the arts. And if you’re really lucky, maybe they’ll take one of the many aspects of this show and roll with it to see what happens in the future. Now, that’s the true magic of the holiday season. 

5.Speaking of the Arts one more time…….So, there’s this thing happening….perhaps you’ve heard….schools across the country are cutting funding to arts programs..yes, clutch those pearls because it’s true. And guess what? It must be stopped right this very moment as young ones will lose their escape from, well, it all. While we may not be able to change what’s already been done, we can still show just how important the arts are for everyone, everywhere and the Pennsylvania Ballet’s production of this enchanting tale is as fine of a local arts fever as you’re going to get. So, let’s show them we mean business and get out there and support those arts! Besides, GQ just named Philly the City of the Year.…let’s keep the vibes up, shall we? Yes. 

6.Because it’s been a year for us all…    One last sip of holiday tea…let’s talk about 2018. Okay, enough about that…it’s time to get those tickets because if you’re looking for one last escape and capture a truly unforgettable moment as we close out this year, it’s certainly right here. Happy holidays, everyone…and may you dance into the night like nobody’s watching all season long and beyond. 

Cover photo by Pennsylvania Ballet. Media clips courtesy of YouTube, CBS3 and Pennsylvania Ballet. 

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Memorial Day Weekend Entertainment Groove

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! 

And for the love of all things SPF, please be safe out there….you getting arrested for being stupid is not what this weekend’s about. 

So, with that being said, let’s unofficially kick off summer, shall we? 

Yes. 

Sing Your Life Karaoke  Not only will you have plenty to do in Philly this holiday weekend, but you’ll also have lots of places to go and sing your little heart out thanks to the lovely Ms. Sara Sherr and her always sun-kissed Sing Your Life Karaoke collection. Belt it out this weekend and beyond at any of these fabulous locations listed below.  Fri/9-1 Southhouse, 2535 S. 13th St.Saturday/9-1:45 Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap,1301 E Susquehanna Ave Sun/9-2 Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street Tues/9-2 12 Steps Down, 9th and Christian Thurs/9-2 Milkboy South Street/401 South St. 

Delaware River Waterfront It’s official! The Philly Waterfront is now officially open for the season……and we’re all invited. Ready, set, hammocks all summer long. For more details on this summer’s flowing festivities including fun for the kids, fabulous music and where and how you can get your yoga on, you should absolutely check this out right now. 

Mayer Hawthorne It certainly has been “A Long Time,” hasn’t it, Mr. Hawthorne? If you’re looking for what’s sure to be the most vibed out show of your holiday weekend, this is it. Plus, this is also your official Daryl Hall and John Oates presented Hoagie Nation pre-party event! (see below). So, get those tickets because they will sell out before tonight’s show. But first, watch this f@#king epic music video. Tonight/The Fillmore/8 pm/29 East Allen St. 

HoagieNation It’s baaaack! And this year, Philly’s annual hoagie-stravagana is more stuffed than ever. Oh, wait, that’s us when it’s all said and done. Plus, the music of City of Brotherly Love entertainment legends Hall & Oates (plus Train & Fitz and the Tantrums!) helps this spectacular holiday weekend event shine in every way possible. Don’t miss it! Get those tickets here and now!  Saturday/3 pm/Festival Pier/Columbus Blvd & Spring Garden Streets 

Mamma Mia! Since there’s still two grueling months left until the much, much-anticipated Mamma Mia! sequel hits the big screens–that’s like twenty years in Meryl and Cher time–why not go see the acclaimed national production to help pass the seconds along while it’s in Philly this summer? Yes. Just a word to your bell bottoms…tickets are going quick, because as we all know this show is life within itself, so don’t delay and shimmy on over to them right here and right now. Ready, set, “Fernando.”  Tonight-through July 15th/various showtimes/ticket prices/Walnut Street Theater/825 Walnut St. 

8th Annual Philly Tango Fest  You know you’re, like, so tempted to go right here to tango it up for more info on this sure-to-be sizzling holiday weekend event. Plus, the title says it all…and what a Fest it shall be. Tonight-Monday, May 28th/Lithuanian Music Hall/2715 E. Allegheny Avenue 

Festival Pier Whether it was Post Malone and 21 Savage this past Wednesday, Khalid tonight or Down North on Saturday,, Festival Pier has certainly wasted no time in getting the unofficial summer party started. Of course, there’s still much, much more on the way, so check this out right here as it’s your official gateway to all kinds of sun-kissed shenanigans down by the River this summer. Various dates& showtimes/Columbus Blvd & Spring Garden Streets 

Pop Muzik:Memorial Day Staycation Sunday  For those choosing to stay in the city this weekend, there is absolutely no need to fret. Because not only are you making a wise decision (Philly can be so peaceful when there’s no one around), but you’ll be here for a most fabulous dance party presented by the one, the only, DJ Robert Drake. Not only will he be spinning out those classic cuts all night long, but he’ll be getting you even more hype for the Depeche Mode takeover of Wells Fargo Center on June 3rd. Plus, you’ll get to check out the city’s newest hot-spot, Concourse Dance Bar! There’s really nothing left to say but stay…and dance for your life. Sunday/9 pm/Concourse Dance Bar/1635 Market St. 

Sunday Tea:Memorial Day Weekend Edition  Just keep on dancin’ this weekend…..it’s really that simple. Plus if you haven’t stepped a fancy stiletto inside Maison 208 yet, tonight’s the night like Rod to do so. Let’s boogie. Sunday/2 pm-8pm/Maison 208/208 S. 13th St. 

Kenny Loggins Yes, that Kenny Loggins. So, let’s get “Footloose” this holiday weekend, shall we? F@ck yes. Get those tickets. Sunday/8 pm/Borgata Event Center/1 Borgata Way

Also on the sun-kissed local and legendary entertainment decks for your……..

Friday……..

Lots of fabulous dancing @Woody’s (202 S. 13th St.) all holiday weekend long………DJ Jimmy DePre @Tavern on Camac (Friday & Saturday/10 pm/243 S. Camac St.)……..John Fogerty/ZZ Top @Borgata Event Center(8 pm/1 Borgata Way)……….Lissie@World Cafe Live(8 pm/3025 Walnut St.)……….Suuns @Boot & Saddle(830 pm/1131 S. Broad St.)……..Two Friends@NOTO(10 pm/1209 Vine St.)…………Thank You Scientist@Milkboy Philly(830 pm/1131 Chestnut St.)…………Pkew Pkew Pkew @Kung Fu Necktie (730 pm/1248 N. Front St.)………….The Cobbs @Johnny Brenda’s(9 pm/1201 Frankford Ave)………..DJ Sylo@The Dolphin Tavern(8 pm/1539 S. Broad St.)…………..Plagues@The Barbary (730 pm/951 Frankford Ave)

Saturday……

Hip Hop Since 1987 Mini Festival @Voltage Lounge(12 pm/421 N. 7th St./Sunday, too!)…………..The Kooks @The Trocadero(8 pm/1003 Arch St.)…………..Laura Veirs@Boot&Saddle(8 pm/1131 S. Broad St.)…………Village People @Resorts Atlantic City(8 pm/1133 Boardwalk)…………This Is The Kit@Johnny Brenda’s(915 pm/1201 Frankford Ave)………..Kevin Hart@Boardwalk Hall(7 pm/2301 Boardwalk)……….The Vanish@The Barbary(7 pm/951 Frankford Ave)………Blood Sound@Ortlieb’s(8 pm/847 N. 3rd St.)………Great Time@The Pharmacy(7 pm/1300 S. 18th St.)……….The Baylor Project@South(9 pm, 600 N. Broad St.)………Holy Trinity@The Dolphin Tavern(9 pm/1539 S. Broad St. 

Sunday…….

Sinful Sundays w/The Godess Isis @Tabu(10 pm/200 South 12th St.)…….Carnage@NOTO(10 pm/1209 Vine St.)………….Leikeli47/Shaqeyah@The Foundry(9 pm/1000 Frankford Ave)…………Lost Dog Street Band@(8 pm/951 Frankford Ave)………Knightlife@Ortlieb’s(7 pm/847 N. 3rd St.)……..Brendan Bring’em@Silk City Diner & Lounge(10 pm/435 Spring Garden St.)……..Showtunes Sundays@Tavern on Camac (9 pm/243 S. Camac St.)

Monday….

Mambo Mondays @Vango(830 pm/116 South 8th St.)……………Memorial Day Party @Vesper (11 am/1031 Germantown Ave)………….Serenity/The North Wind @Penn’s Landing Arena(9 pm/301 S. Columbus Blvd.)…………Augustus@The Pharmacy(7 pm/1300 S. 18th St.)……….Brett Andrew/Hunka Junk@Sands Bethlehem Casino Resort(730 pm/77 Sands Blvd).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2017 Holiday Album Round Up

Move over Mariah?? 

While MC will always be the official queen of the holidaze, sensational violinist (and dancer!) Lindsay Stirling has certainly released a holiday album for the ages and beyond this year with ‘Warmer in the Winter.’ 

Also on your holiday playlist shopping list are stocking stuffed offerings from Sia, Gwen Stefani, Tom Chaplin, Kaskade, Cheap Trick (!), Hanson(!!) and one bangin’ set from You Tube favorite Jake Paul that even Scrooge himself would get down with. 

Happy holiday streaming!! 

Sia/This is Christmas  No, you’re not hallucinating (well, maybe a little), the “Chandelier” songstress has released her first holiday offering and as you would expect…..it’s quite Sia-fied. But that’s actually not a bad thing here as the kwirky Aussie music princess teamed up with Grammy snatching writer and music producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Kelly Clarkson) to deliver the kids and kweens ten original holiday tunes that are worth sliding down the chimney to. Among Ms. Sia’s serving of dashing ditties are the jinglin’ “Santa’s Coming For Us,” the doo-wop tinged “Candy Cane Lane” and the oh, so adorable, “Puppies Are Forever,” in which even The Grinch would smile at. 

Lindsay Stirling/Warmer in the Winter There’s holiday albums….and then there’s those holiday albums. You know, the ones you can’t stop listening to all year long. Right, Mariah, Ms. Clarkson and Pentatonix? Dancing With the Stars diva and incredible violin connoisseur Lindsay Stirling has certainly cooked up a truly standout holiday record, whipping up a set full of gift-wrapped life for kids of all ages. Whether on the cheeky “Christmas C’Mon” co-starring pint-sized pop diva Becky G, Ms. Sterling’s intriguing takes on “I Saw Three Ships,” “Let it Snow,” and especially her rendition of Trans Siberian Orchestra’s holiday classic, “Carol of the Bells,” indeed this is that album and from the blissful sound of it all, will be for many more cheery seasons to come. 

Gwen Stefani/You Make It Feel Like Christmas While we could have only wished the legendary No Doubt diva (and of The Voice, too..) would’ve served us with a feisty rendition of “Hollaback Santa,” Blake Shelton’s gal pal kept it light and frothy and delivered a holiday record that’s actually quite fabulous at times. With her trademark vibrato in full formation, Ms. Stefani sleighs classics like “Jingle Bells,” Let it Snow,” “Santa Baby” and “White Christmas.” And we just can’t leave out “You Make it Feel Like Christmas,” Gwennie’s debut duet with her one-and-only, Blakie. Sigh…holiday miracles do come true. 

Cheap Trick/Christmas Christmas One that truly needs no introduction as you’ve already poured in the Aqua Net, ripped those jeans, popped in the shoulder pads and are already well versed in this truly rockin’ holiday set from the ‘I Want You to Want Me” and “The Flame” crooners. Let’s jingle bell f@#king rock this holiday season, shall we? Yes. 

Hanson/Finally It’s Christmas  It looks like all of our holiday wishes have come true this year because the f@#king legendary “MMMBop” superstars are not only back in our late ’90s lives, but they’ve given us the gift of their first holiday album!! And we’re not going to spill about it here, just delightfully listen to the “Finally’ lead single below and then check your holiday spirit for the rest of the tracks right here. OMG, Hanson is home for the holidays!! 

Jake Paul/Litmas A holiday album so packed full of krunk-worthy beats, that even Grandma herself will be gettin’ down with that eggnog in the middle of the living room dance floor. Just listen to Mr. Paul’s take on “Deck the Halls” below and you’ll understand how he’s certainly released the most…interesting (??) holiday album of…like, ever. Let’s party. 

Kaskade/Christmas  Are you destined to be the hit of your holiday party? Well, you just might be once you get Kaskade’s holiday offering pumping through the chimney. Get on the decorative dance floor and prepare to dance for your red-nosed life as the superstar DJ provides us with his deep and delicious takes on “Santa Baby,” “Deck the Halls,” “God Rest Ye” and “Christmas Is Here,” all of which will guide your dance floor sleigh well into the holiday after party night. Let’s dance like Rudolph. 

Tom Chaplin If you don’t know who Tom Chaplin is now, you certainly will after you get lost in his light rocked debut holiday set. The former Keane front man not only delivers a record that’s a bit heartbreaking because of that voice, but it’s also quite delightfully laid back and the perfect holiday stress reliever because of well, that voice! Just listen to “Midnight Mass,” “Another Lonely Christmas,” “Under a Million Lights” and “We Remember You This Christmas” and try not to simply feel it all over..or call your ex for that matter. It’s like that. 

Holidays Rule Vol. 2  Indeed, the holidays do rule, especially if there’s an extra festive compilation record to go along with them. This mix has it all from the holiday music past–Roseanne Cash’s “May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas–present–Paul McCartney and Jimmy Fallon’s take on “Wonderful Christmastime”–to the somewhat bizarre–Muna’s “Pipes of Peace”–it all just gets to holiday werk for Santa on one dizzying compilation that’s perfect for the holiday playlist lover in your life…or you! 

Mariah Carey/Merry Christmas  Because it’s still that god damn magical year-after-year.