Arts & Culture

SANTA ‘KOZ’ IS COMING TO TOWN: Out Grammy-winning saxophonist Dave Koz brings his annual holiday concert to the area, performing alongside jazz superstars Mindi Abair, Jonathan Butler and Japanese keyboardist Keiko Matsui, 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Scottish Rite Auditorium, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, N.J. For more information or tickets, call 856-858-1000.

Thekitchn.com suggests that you throw away your spices after one to four years, depending on the type, which means I’m probably about eight years behind. Luckily there’s a place that can help me restock with the freshest herbs and spices around: The Spice Rack in Chestnut Hill.

Alain Leroy Locke was born in Philadelphia in 1885. He died in New York City in 1954, the architect of the Harlem Renaissance and a figure so massive in black history that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in a speech in 1968, “We’re going to let our children know that the only philosophers that lived were not Plato and Aristotle, but W. E. B. Du Bois and Alain Locke came through the universe.”

As Center City watering holes go, Good Dog Bar has more than enough charm and personality to match its upbeat, cozy-pub atmosphere, decorated with numerous heartwarming photos of man’s best friend. Meanwhile, the menu deftly bounces between high-minded small plates and surefire comfort food.

CRÈME OF THE DRAG CROP: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” all-star and alum BenDeLaCreme is bringing her hit Off-Broadway show “Inferno A Go-Go” to Philadelphia to heat up your holiday weekend with singing, dancing and comedy, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24 at The Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St. For more information and tickets, call 215-922-6888.

A comedic legend will be telling tales in New Hope this holiday weekend.

And, with decades of showbiz experience, he has plenty of funny fodder.

The Emmy-winning Bruce Vilanch has starred in hit Broadway plays, written jokes for televised awards shows, been a Hollywood Square and rubbed elbows with countless A-list stars and gay icons. His audience at Cock ’n Bull can expect entertaining anecdotes — if not celebrity dirt.     

Do you have someone on your gift list who already seems to have everything? Chances are, you could find something they don’t have — or never even heard of — at ILLExotics, a new specialty store in South Philadelphia.

How about a beautiful Oophaga pumilio? Or a dramatic-looking Hemitheconyx caudicinctus? The otherworldly axolotyl? Or choose a Monstera deliciosa, which sounds like something from a Harry Potter movie but is actually a lovely piece of fauna. The rest are, respectively, an exotic dart frog, an African fat-tail gecko and a salamander known as the Mexican walking fish.

Chris Urban, half of the ILLExotics duo, is a man of many trades. In addition to opening the business with partner Franco Franchina, Urban moonlights as a bartender, DJ, choreographer, dancer and teacher.

The holidays are back and ready to run through your finances and your sanity like a stampede of wild reindeer with razor-blade antlers and spiked hooves. And if you like getting caught up in stampedes, mini-riots and melees, by all means head to the malls, shopping centers and big-box stores to elbow and claw your way further into debt, financial ruin or hoarder status.

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