Five things to do this weekend: Dec. 20-21
“It’s a Wonderful Life” at 1, 4, 7 and 9:45 p.m. at The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Tickets are from $7 to $10 depending on age, Brattle membership and time of show.
Last week we got Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film as a radio play. This week get the original artifact: Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers in the story of George Bailey, a forlorn small-town banker considering suicide who meets Clarence, an angel in training. George gets to see what life would be like if he had never been born, letting George realize how valuable one person’s life can be. This film – one of the most memorable (and bittersweet) Christmas stories ever – is a reminder that life may not be what we expected but it is still sweet and rich. This beloved film has a 94 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (and a 96 percent fresh from audience). Information is here.
Eighth Annual “Everyone Loves Latkes” Party from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Brattle Plaza, in front of Brattle Florist (31 Brattle St.). Free.
The Harvard Square Business Association celebrates Hanukkah by serving free potato pancakes – touted as tasty, diverse in shape, size and texture and accompanied with creative condiments – from Beat Hotel, the Hong Kong, Fire + Ice, Park, Red Lentil and Otto Pizza. Jelly doughnuts (another Hanukkah thing) will be provided by Dunkin’ Donuts. Joe Kessler and his Klezmer band, Klezwoods, will be on hand to entertain the crowd with traditional songs of the season. Information is here.
(Can’t get enough? For $40 you get access to 8 Crazy Bites of Hanukkah, a holiday party put together by Kitchen Kibitz, Steinbones and Commonwealth from 5 to 7:30 p.m Sunday at Commonwealth, 11 Broad Canal Way, Kendall Square. The menu includes potato latke with pastrami and New York deli mustard; sweet potato latke with smoked trout; parsnip latke with brisket and Dr. Brown’s black cherry barbecue sauce; carrot latke with honey crisp apple butter; and Jerusalem artichoke latke with creme fraiche and chives. Information and tickets are here.)
Petey Gibson has a homecoming Christmas show filled with comedy, music and games that bring Boston’s finest weirdos back to the stage! (The host’s slogan: “If you didn’t miss Petey before, you sure won’t now!”) Featuring the Walsh brothers and Sean George, all back from Los Angeles for the holidays, The Steamy Bohemians, in an another far too rare stage appearance together, Julee Antonellis, Robin Maxfield and tunes by Brendan Burns. Gibson is a stand-up comedian and Groundlings-trained character actor based in Los Angeles but bred in Boston, known as 86-year-old Mary Dolan and for “The Mary Dolan Show” (“heroic defiance of good taste,” according to the Dig) and for the premiere season of the “Transparent” series on Amazon. (You have another chance to see the Walsh brothers and other acts at the annual holiday party from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday at The Comedy Studio, 1238 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, but the $10 tickets usually sell out.)
Vintage Pop-Up Holiday Market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Free.
Last-minute shopping gets interesting, with two floors of vintage goodness that includes oddities, collectibles, ephemera, clothing, posters, records, refurbished furniture, jewelry, accessories and more from a variety of unique vendors! There will be food and music during the shopping.
Vintage holiday show at 3 p.m. Sunday at Harvard Film Archive at The Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St., Harvard Square. Free.
The archive offers this sixth annual free, 90-minute break from the cold and frenzy of shopping on the Sunday before Christmas. The show is made up of surprises from the Harvard Film Archive collections, including animation, puppets, live action and documentary material – some Christmas-oriented, some not, all family-friendly. The weird treats include “Charlie’s Christmas Secret,” a 1984 episode of the TV series “Young People’s Specials” that stars Seth Green (at the age of 10, already a jaded old man) in a ham-fisted holiday program in which Charlie thinks he has lost his taste for Christmas and tries to rediscover the meaning of the season before it is too late. As usual. Information is here.