Five things to do this weekend (plus shopping!): Dec. 15-16
See “Pippin.” A.R.T. artistic director Diane Paulus sets out to breathe new life into this 1972 Stephen Schwartz musical. The tale – a product of its era, about a prince seeking meaning – started as a typically provocative Bob Fosse production but over the years became bleached by amateur productions. Paulus says choreographer Chet Walker will be returning to the style of Fosse and a fascination with Fellini and circus, aided by the modern circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main and its choreographer, Gypsy Snider. It’s a “bold new staging of the dark and existential musical you thought you knew,” and Paulus said she hoped audiences would “be knocked out by the subject matter, by the journey, by the emotional power that is built into this story of a young man trying to find meaning in his life.” The play is at 2 or 7:30 p.m. Saturday, or at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Artistic Repertory Theater, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square. It shows through Jan. 20 (with better seating after this nearly sold-out weekend). Tickets are $25 or $65. For information, click here.
Go Ice skating. As of this weekend, Cambridge has two ice skating rinks. The 300 Athenaeum St., Kendall Square, rink has been open since last week, but at 2 p.m. Saturday hosts its “Holiday on Ice” show with professional and competitive skaters (including some from “Disney on Ice” and “Holiday on Ice” and reality television staples and Boston residents Melanie Lambert and Fred Palasca) providing “live, high-energy ice-skating entertainment.” Doors open at 11 a.m., meaning there’s skating for all before and after, with skate rentals, lessons, and a cafe serving hot drinks and snacks. The professional skaters will stay around after the show to meet and skate with fans, organizers said.
The grand season opening of the 2,900 square foot rink at The Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square, is at noon Sunday, also with skate rentals and lessons available. The event, which goes until 6 p.m., features a visit from the Globe Santa, performances from the Harvard Figure Skating Club and The Christmas Revels and free hot chocolate. Children get access to the hotel’s cookie decorating room from noon to 3 p.m. More information is here.
Gorge on cookies and carols at The New School of Music. Get your carol on! And for those unthrilled by the idea of an hourlong carol sing-along, there’s an hour of eating cookies to consider. This is a free, family-friendly event that depends on participants to bring (nut-free) cookies, potluck style. It starts at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the New School of Music, 25 Lowell St., between Brattle and Mount Auburn streets west of Harvard Square. Call (617) 492-8105 or click here.
Celebrate Christmas in traditional song and contemporary dance. The Cambridge Community Chorus holds its Handel’s “Messiah” sing-along from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 237 Harvard St., off Prospect Street between Central and Inman squares. (Doors open at 2:30 p.m., and scores will be provided to people who don’t have their own.) For information, click here.
Meanwhile, Cambridge Youth Dance puts the exclamation mark on “What the Dickens!” at its fourth annual holiday dance event inspired by the classic “A Christmas Carol.” It runs for three performances across the river at the Boston University Dance Theater, 915 Commonwealth Ave., at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The young dancers incorporate ballet, contemporary and hip-hop dance to freshen up the classic holiday tale. Tickets are $25. More information is here.
Bring the kids to a free concert in Harvard Square. This free outside concert promises carols, cookies, cider, hot cocoa and Santa Claus starting at 1 p.m. Sunday in front of Brattle Florist, 31 Brattle St. The event, sponsored by the Harvard Square Business Association, brings 44 students, ages 5 to 12, from Waverly College in Sydney, Australia, for an hourlong concert by a chamber choir, jazz ensemble and concert band. For information, click here.
For Pete’s sake, finish your shopping: Midnight Saturday — in other words, technically it’s early early early early early Sunday morning — brings the regretfully named Mass Ave Midnight Madness 2012, in which stores such as Joie de Vivre, WardMaps, Abodeon, Sudo Shoes and Clothware are open for shoppers who don’t like crowds but might like complementary food, drink and live music. All shops are between 1700 and 1800 Massachusetts Ave., between Porter and Harvard squares (but closer to Porter).
In addition to “Madness,” there’s also the Cambridge Center for Adult Education’s Holly Fair at 42 and 56 Brattle St., Harvard Square, which organizers call Cambridge’s oldest crafts fair. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday with more than 70 vendors offering handcrafted artwork and gifts. “Shoppers can find handmade jewelry, bags, sweaters, scarves, natural beauty items, soaps, ceramics, stained glass, ornaments, photographs, cards, prints, paintings, food items and much more – ranging in price from $2 to $200,” executive director Susan Hartnett said. (New vendors this year include abstract fine art photographer Walter Perlman and digital collage artist Martha Jane Bradford.) Andrea van Wien, sous chef manager at Harvard University, is to cater with delicious homemade soups and offer truffles – joining Elaine Hsieh, who handcrafts chocolate creations using herbs, spices, teas and fruit purees. For information, click here.
The Cultural Survival Bazaar, with traditional and contemporary crafts, art, clothes, jewelry, carpets and accessories, runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Harvard University’s Center for Government & International Studies, 1730 Cambridge St., Harvard Square. There’s free parking at the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton St. This is its last week in Cambridge for the year. More information is here.
The 27th annual Harvard Square Holiday Fair, featuring artisan gift items such as jewelry, pottery, cards and calendars, art, recycled silk, lamps, tiles, hats and scarves, continues at The First Parish Unitarian Church, Zero Church St., Harvard Square from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. (It also runs Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 18-23, with weekday hours 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.) More information is here.