My daughter Eleanor and I make an annual pilgrimage to the animatronic version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol that used to be in Strawbridge's
here in Philadelphia. Believe it or not it's tasteful and fun and kinda uplifting.
Strawbridge's is no more. Fortunately, last year's revamp of the show was enough to convince the powers that be at Macy's to bring A Christmas Carol to the new Macy's at 13th and Market Streets (in the former Lord & Taylor building, aka the Wanamaker building).
The new Macy's, by the way, is awesome. I'd been in that building before but I... don't think they were using enough of it to really give a sense of how classy it is. I understand now why other people weren't that upset about losing Strawbridge's.
Their "trees of Christmas" window displays rock. Especially the one with the dragon collaborating with the glassblower. That's some creative shit. And somebody very, very geeky was clearly involved. I approve highly.
Also: they have Frangoes.
But anyway, Eleanor and I checked it out and had a great time - everything was just as we remembered it, except that you are now ambushed by a "photo with the ghost of Christmas Present" and given a price card as you walk out. Heh, heh, heh. I can't blame them really. Fortunately Eleanor wasn't really interested. Certainly not $25 worth of interested. As long as you can get out of there without buying an unwanted and unheralded photo, it's still free free free. Definitely worth checking out if you're a Dickens fan, have a child in your life, or both.
... Which brings me to the not-so-free but oh-so-worth it Mum Puppet Theatre
and their imminent production of A Christmas Carol! Starting in previews tomorrow!
The thing about the Mum is this: it's not a children's theatre. It's an honest to god puppet theatre for grownups and, in some cases, kids. They rate their shows, in fact, to help parents decide what's appropriate and what isn't.
Their regular prices reflect the seriousness (and expense!) of their art. As in $25-$30 for A Christmas Carol Tickets.
But: this week it's in previews! Meaning dress rehearsals open to the public. So the shows start out with tomorrow's first dress rehearsal at only $1 (!) and ratchet up to $7 on Tuesday the 12th... before jumping to $30 for opening night, Wednesday the 13th.
I've seen two Mum shows: "A Boy and His Dog on the High Seas" and "The Velveteen Rabbit." Both kid-oriented, needless to say. The detail on the Velveteen Rabbit puppet was one thing. The detail on the "now the Velveteen Rabbit is REAL" puppet was breathtaking.
I strongly recommend you get yourself at least to a preview, or splurge on a regular show if your budget allows.