Despite your inner procrastinator’s best wishes, December is already here. While that means final exams for students and finishing out a year’s worth of back-logged work for everyone else, it also marks the start of the holiday season, which brings cheer, good food, and time with family. Our fair city, noted every year for its “livability,” has an abundance of activities this month to make the 2013 holiday season a special one.
Midnight Radio Animated Holidaze: In a combination best described as Midnight Radio meets Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Bricolage invites guests to celebrate the holidays with a dubbed–over spin on classic animated holiday favorites. The Adults-only show features risque comedic takes on holiday classics like Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if your friend with “no filter” got a chance to be a voice actor for a children’s movie, you don’t want to miss out. As an added bonus, Cello Fury will be on hand performing holiday tunes with a modern twist. TICKETS are available online and the show runs for the first two weeks of December from Thursday-Saturday.
It’s a Wonderful Life at Regent Square Theater: Even though we live in modern times full of Netflix binge watching and pirated movies, sitting down with the whole family to watch a universally-enjoyable film is timeless. The Regent Square Theater brings the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life to the big screen from December 18th through the 22nd. Even if you don’t know it, you’re probably familiar with the story of George Bailey, a small town guy with big dreams. George, played by Jimmy Stewart, spends most of his life helping others, sometimes at the cost of his own happiness. A guardian angel shows George what life in his hometown would’ve been like if he had never been born. And in the spirit of giving, you can help support the East End Cooporative Ministry’s food drive by bringing a nonperishable or canned good to the free screening.
Highmark Holiday Pops: The holidays just aren’t the same without the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Together with the Mendelssohn Choir, the orchestra continues this Pittsburgh holiday tradition. Hear classic carols and much-loved holiday music, including “Sleigh Ride,” “Joy to the World,” and more. Renowned conductor Todd Ellison leads the show, and Santa himself is rumored to be attending. Before and after the concert, you can look in amazement at the ornate decorations at Heinz Hall, complete with a 25-foot tree in the Grand Lobby. Tickets are available online and the show runs from December 12th through the 20th.
Manor at Midnight Oscar Classics: Winter is also Oscar Nomination season, and if Oliver Stone’s push to get his latest film in to make the cut says anything, it’s a good time for movies. The Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill has a reputation for showing the best films, so it’s only right that they celebrate Oscar season by highlighting some of the best Oscar-nominated films of all time.The midnight series of unforgettable Oscar favorites includes classic, yet edgy films from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s that were nominated and/or won an Oscar in one or more categories. With outstanding performances, directing, effects, screenplay, scores, these films are classics. The series starts at midnight on December 29th with Steven Speilberg’s Raiders of the Lost Arc.
The Nutcracker: Perhaps the most iconic symbol of the season, The Nutcracker remains a staple in our cultural consciousness. Pittsburgh Ballet Theater brings the classic to life with its performance, which takes place from December 6th through the 29th, by illuminating the stage with more than 150 performers, hundreds of costumes and choreography that displays the versatility of PBT dancers like no other production. With more than 100 exuberant characters, this remains one of PBT’s most anticipated performances. Tickets are available online and should be purchased with haste, as this popular show always sells out in advance.