Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as ‘Sisters’; Holiday Exhibits at The Carnegie and Phipps Conservatory (Thurs., 12/24/15)

1) Sisters – This film’s opening is what’s known in Hollywood as “counter-programming.” Sisters is one of the few movies choosing to open this weekend because of that other film making its debut. Since squealing boy fans the world over will be flocking to Star Wars, movie execs have scheduled, as they used to say on Monty Python, something completely different. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler star as sisters throwing one last house party before their parents sell the old homestead, and, as one imagines, a number of shenanigans ensue. Interestingly, neither Fey or Poehler are credited as the script’s writers; that’s from “Saturday Night Live” writer Paula Pell, the creator of the Internet series Hudson Valley Ballers. The draw of Sisters, beside Tina and Amy, is the large number of current and former SNL folks as well as some quirky New York actors: Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, Kate McKinnon, Dianne Wiest, John Leguizamo, Rachel Dratch, Samantha Bee, Brian d’Arcy James, Santino Fontana, Heather Matarazzo, and, of all people, James Brolin. Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)

 

2) The holidays are full of traditions around these parts: Italians have the Feast of the Seven Fishes; Eastern Europeans have their 12-dish supper; and the Elf on the Shelf is here to stay. This year, the Carnegie Museum of Art wants to be part of your seasonal traditions with the Neapolitan presepio, a Pittsburgh tradition at the museum since 1957. This carefully preserved Nativity scene, which covers 250 square feet, offers a glimpse into 18th-century Italy with its life-size figures handcrafted by artisans between 1700 and 1830. While there, enjoy the Carnegie Trees display too. Both exhibits run through January 11 and are free with museum admission. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 440 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

3) You’ve braved the malls, you’ve crawled through the traffic, and you didn’t grumble once—well done! You deserve a little present for yourself. In the midst of the holiday rush, slow down and relax in the natural setting of the Phipps Conservatory with its Winter Flower Show and Light Garden. This spectacular display includes the festive seasonal colors of poinsettias, amaryllis, and evergreens accompanied by thousands of tiny LED lights. If weather permits, mingle in the Outdoor Garden, complete with glowing lights and festively lit trees for a unique holiday treat. There’s even a garden train that runs through nine fairy tale and fable settings with interactive displays. Runs through January 10. Phipps is open Christmas Eve from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. One Schenley Park, Oakland.

Today there are also several options for dining and entertainment, including Chinese and kosher restaurants, hotel restaurants and bars, and movie theaters. Check with the individual establishments for hours and offerings.