The Clarks Play Jergel’s; Cirque Dreams Holidaze at Benedum (Fri., 11/26/21)

1) The Clarks continue to build on their foundation of playing solid working-class rock. The group gained a strong local following in the early ’90s gigging at clubs like Graffiti (remember Graffiti?), and has remained together and active long after nearly every other band on the scene during that era called it quits. After over 35 years, 11 albums, countless gigs and zero line-up changes, The Clarks have gone from being a regional favorite to a local institution. And the band members, who formed The Clarks at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, have never forgotten their home turf. Their most recent album  is 2018’s, Madly in Love at the End of The World, released on the Clarkhouse Entertainment label. Special guest is the Raelyn Nelson Band. 8:30 p.m. Jergel’s, 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale.

A spotlight "sunflower" effect shines down on the band as they play.

A spotlight “sunflower” effect shines down on the band as they play at Stage AE in 2018. (photo: Rick Handler).

Ornaments on a Tree. Photo Credit: Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Courtesy of Cirque Productions.

Ornaments on a Tree. Photo Credit: Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Courtesy of Cirque Productions.

2) Oh my goodness! It’s “snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers … and of course Santa, with soaring acrobatics, gravity-defying feats, elaborate production numbers, illusions, and more.” Yep, it’s Cirque Dreams Holidaze, the touring holiday spectacle that is part three-ring circus, part Broadway-style musical, and 100 percent OK for small children as well as adults. The show comes from Florida-based Cirque Productions, which sends out multiple casts to perform across the U.S. The word on the street (and in the press) is that it’s a real crowd-pleaser. 7:30 p.m. tonight, and two shows tomorrow. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (M.V.)

MADELINE’S CHRISTMAS (musical) by Jennifer Kirkeby and Shirley Mier, from the picture book. Little Lake Theatre. Nov. 26 – Dec. 5.

3) We don’t usually highlight theater for kids—or TYA (theater for young audiences), to use the genteel trade term—but hey, this is Madeline. Lots of parents grew up loving the seven-year-old heroine of the Ludwig Bemelmans books, so they too should enjoy Madeline’s Christmas, a musical adaptation of the book of the same title. As in some other stories, there’s an unhappy occurrence but Madeline’s joie de vivre, élan, and je ne sais quoi lead the way to a happy ending. Little Lake Theatre presents Madeline’s Christmas at 500 Lakeside Dr. South, Canonsburg. (M.V.)