Holiday Garden Railway
A favorite any time of year, the miniature train system is truly special in this season. The quarter-mile of track features seven loops and tunnels with 15 different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under). The model trains run through a display of Philadelphia-area landmarks made of natural materials — such as a replica of Independence Hall using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials, and twigs as downspouts. A delight for all ages. — Michael Harrington
To Dec. 31, Morris Arboretum, 100 E Northwestern Ave., $17; $15 seniors; $9 ages 3 to 17; under 3 free; 215-247-5777, http://www.morrisarboretum.org
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s innovative, Tony Award-winning 1970 musical about life and love in New York City is given a minimalist concert production by the 11th Hour Theatre Company. — M.H.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, at the Drake Theater, 302 Hicks St., $15 to $30, 267-987-9865, www.11thhourtheatrecompany.org
“Every Brilliant Thing”
In Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe’s comedy, a man stands on stage and lists everything worth living for — while enlisting audience members to play roles — from ice cream to Nina Simone to lucha libre wrestling masks. An antic Scott Greer stars in the show in the Arden’s intimate cabaret space. — M.H.
To Dec. 10 at the Arden Theatre’s Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. Second St., $37 to $55, 215-922-1122.
International Ocean Film Tour
Hosted by the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival, this program features seven of the year’s best ocean adventure films and environmental documentaries, including Bernardo Arsuaga’s documentary The Weekend Sailor, about an amateur yachtsman’s unlikely win in the 1973 around-the world race, R.C. Cone’s The Accord, about surfing in Iceland, and Ian Derry’s Johanna Under the Ice, about a Finnish free diver’s affinity for frigid waters. — M.H.
7 p.m. at Drexel University’s URBN Annex Screening Room, 3401 Filbert St., $15, www.oceanfilmtour.com/us
“A Matter of Life and Death”
A classic of film blanc (the post-WW II genre of philosophical fantasy, such as Here Comes Mr. Jordan and It’s a Wonderful Life, that explored human morality and mortality) Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 British epic (released in the U.S. as Stairway to Heaven) stars David Niven as an RAF bomber pilot who bails out of his burning aircraft without a parachute, only to find himself on a beach in England, where he meets the American radio operator (Kim Hunter) he had been talking to before his jump — they fall in love and begin a life together. The pilot may have escaped death through the error of an afterlife operator, or he may be hallucinating due to a brain injury suffered when he landed. He finds himself on trial in a celestial courtroom in the (black-and-white) Other World, arguing that love is eternal and should triumph over death, while in the (Technicolor) “real” world, he’s undergoing brain surgery. It’s one of the greatest films ever made. — M.H.
7 p.m. Monday at the Moorestown Library, 111 W. Second Street, Moorestown, free, 856-234-0333, www.moorestownlibrary.org
Night at the Market
Step into Reading Terminal Market for a nighttime celebration of food and drink. Explore the Terminal hours after it traditionally shuts its doors, sample offerings from its local vendors and participate in all the activities of the night including dancing, music, cooking demonstrations and a raffle. All proceeds go towards The Food Trust, working to make healthy food available to all. — Thea Applebaum Licht
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Filbert Streets. $12 Kids 12 and under, $25 in advance/$40 at the door general admission, $250 VIP admission with unlimited food and drink. 215-575-0444, www.eventsprout.com/event/nightatthemarket.
Get some holiday shopping done and enjoy Ardmore’s annual “Cricket Cringle,” an open-air market lined with restaurants and food trucks, beer, wine, a visiting Santa Claus and more seasonal festivities. Besides more than 40 vendors and activities, the “Cringle” will host performances by local dancers, choirs and an orchestra. Make sure to be on Cricket Avenue at 7:30 p.m. Friday, when Santa arrives on the city’s fire truck. — T.A.L.
5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Cricket Avenue, Admore. Free admission. http://www.cricketavenue.com.
The Christmas Village
The beloved German-style Christmas market returns on Thanksgiving this year, and will feature more than 70 vendors. Purchase glass ornaments from Europe for your tree and artisan crafts for your loved ones before stopping for a cup of hot mulled wine and a tasty bratwurst to keep you warm. — Bethany Ao
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Love Park, 1500 Arch St.; philachristmas.com
Comcast Holiday Spectacular
The video wall at the Comcast Center will be lighting up with a 15-minute show blending sing-alongs, the Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and a sleigh ride through the Pennsylvania countryside. Featuring one of the largest high-resolution video displays in the world, the festive display starts at the top of the hour. — B.A.
Daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., excluding 5 p.m. on weekdays, through Dec. 31. Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Blvd. http://www.visitphilly.com
Longwood Gardens decks out its Conservatory each year with crystal ornaments, holiday-themed topiaries, poinsettias, mirrors, and wreaths to evoke the magnificence of France’s Versailles. The fountains outdoors are paired with holiday music, and half a million lights twinkle enchantingly around the garden. — B.A.
9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily until Jan. 7. Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square; longwoodgardens.org
The sensational pianist plays a recital featuring the local premiere of Chai-Yu Hsu’s jazzy Rhapsody Toccata and Schumann’s Faschingsschwank aus Wien (“Carnival of Vienna”), plus sonatas by Scarlatti and Beethoven, and two ballades by Chopin. — M.H.
8 p.m. Friday at the American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St., $25, 215-569-8080, https://www.pcmsconcerts.org
courtesy of the artist Donald Runnicles
Conductor Donald Runnicles is at the podium for Mozart’s rich and finely wrought Symphony No. 38 (“Prague”) along with works by Vaughan Williams, Engelbert Humperdinck (the original, not the pop star), and Wagner. — M.H.
8 p.m. Saturday at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall, Broad and Spruce Streets, $39 to $158, 215-893-1999, https://www.philorch.org
In recent interviews for his new album Low in High School, Morrissey has made some attention-getting proclamations: He’s questioned the validity of recent sexual misconduct allegations, threatened President Trump, and said he doubts Brexit will happen (although he’s pro-Brexit). He’s also claimed he’s “nonpolitical,” although his new album juxtaposes his trademark paeans to loneliness with references to political hot spots such as Israel and Venezuela. The music on his eleventh solo album can be thrilling and bombastic; the lyrics confounding. And often funny. After all, over three decades ago on the Smiths’ “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” Morrissey defended himself with the refrain “I was only joking.” Now, it seems, he can’t refrain himself, and it’s hard to tell if he’s joking. Moz worshipers gather Monday at the Fillmore. — Steve Klinge
8:30 p.m. Monday at the Fillmore, 29 E. Allen St. $82.75. 215-309-0150, thefillmorephilly.com.
Not one, not two, but three. After staging an elaborate farewell in 2011, what turned out to be short lived retirement for James Murphy’s geeky indie dance band LCD Soundsystem ended earlier this year’s terrific sounding American Dream. Now, the New York band is slotted for a trio of midweek Philadelphia shows, all of which sold out quickly. — Dan DeLuca
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St. Sold out. 215-309-0150. fillmorephilly.com.
Since helping to revitalize a moribund country music scene in 1986 with his electrifying Guitar Town album, Steve Earle has risen into the pantheon of hallowed Texas troubadours alongside such idols of his as Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, while also displaying some of the rebel streak of Waylon and Willie. Along the way he has weathered a lot of personal turmoil — addiction, prison, a string of divorces — but the quality of his work has remained high. That is certainly the case with his latest album, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, on which he continues to dispense unvarnished truths: “If you wanna be an outlaw, you can never go home. — Nick Cristiano
With the Mastersons, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ardmore Music Hall, 23 Lancaster Ave., Ardmore. Tickets: $42 in advance, $47 day of show, $55 reserved. 610-649-8389. www.ardmoremusic.com.
Laura Roberts/Invision/AP, File Kesha
What’s happening on pop radio? A December crash course is provided by Top 40 radio station Q102 ‘s annual Jingle Ball, in which a cavalcade of contemporary pop stars do mini-sets for screaming fans in a time honored package-tour rite of passage tradition. This year’s South Philly version on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center includes the Chainsmokers, Kesha, Charlie Puth, Niall Horan, Halsey, Fall Out Boy, Logic and Julia Michaels. (The biggest of stars have given Philly short shrift, however: Virtually the same lineup appears in New York two nights later, with the additions of Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and Demi Lovato.) — D.D.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. at 7:30 p.m. $16-$176. 216-336-3600. wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
From the sound and fury of 2017’s Savage (Songs from a Broken World), Gary Numan has some griping to do. Numan’s dry ice vocals and Nine Inch Nails-like production values again take on matters of scorched earth morass on new songs such as “Bed of Thorns” and “My Name is Ruin.” Still, Numan’s biggest complaint when it comes to his 21st studio album is — despite Savage being his most thoroughly, nearly exclusively electronic production since 1979’s The Pleasure Principle (the LP with his pop breakthrough “Cars”) — it was excluded from the U.S. Billboard’s Dance/Electronic charts, because it is much less of the former. A recent story in the U.K.’s The Guardian asked “What does an electronic artist have to do to top the U.S. dance/electronic chart? Be electronic dance music act Calvin Harris, sat at No 1, despite selling less than Numan?” OK, so you won’t dance when you see Gary Numan, but give him a round of applause for helping to kick start the alterna-rock electronica movement. — A.D. Amorosi
8:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street. $30, utphilly.com
Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives
Philadelphia native Marty Stuart — Philadelphia, Miss., that is — has had an eventful country music career dating back to when he appeared on Hee-Haw in bluegrass giant Lester Flatt’s band when he was 14 years old in 1972. Along with his fabulously named and sharply dressed band, Stuart is these days busy exploring the full range of Americana styles on albums marked by impeccable musicianship and passion. On this year’s Way Out West, the Stuart quintet teamed with producer Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on a set of originals that includes nods to the Byrds, Marty Robbins, and the Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. — D.D.
8 p.m. Thursday at the Ardmore Music Hall, 23 East Lancaster Ave, Ardmore. $35-$249. 610-649-8389. artdmoremusic.com
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