MAIN EVENTS: Plan Your Month 2

For a complete listing of December events, see our Calendar.

Charles in Charge
The Franklin Institute Science Museum’s latest exhibit proves there’s much more to know about Charles Darwin’s remarkable discoveries than the theory of evolution. Running through Dec. 31, Darwin covers a lot of ground, from his early days as a ship naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle to his views on natural selection and other insights that have impacted nearly 150 years of biological studies. Darwin’s findings and experiences are recreated via an interactive exhibit featuring fossils, artifacts and original manuscripts. Kids will love meeting the two 50-pound Galapagos tortoises, a five-foot iguana (above), horned frogs and butterflies documented by Darwin. And don’t miss Galapagos, an IMAX film that follows a young scientist as she retraces Darwin’s footsteps while exploring the Galapagos archipelago. Museum hours 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia. Call (215) 448-1200 or visit fi.edu.

Shape of Things
Function before form, or form before function? Answer the question for yourself at Craft Forms 2006, the Wayne Art Center’s 12th annual international juried exhibition of contemporary craft Dec. 2-Jan. 24. Gretchen Keyworth, director and curator of the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts, is this year’s juror, tasked with whittling 104 winners out of 726 ceramic, wood, fiber, metal, glass and mixed media submissions. The unveiling of Davenport Gallery makes this year’s event particularly momentous. “It’s absolutely fabulous,” says WAC director Nancy Campbell. “It’s a beautiful space with an incredible wood floor, a high-vaulted ceiling and a glass door/window that opens onto a flagstone patio. It’ll knock your socks off.” Not surprisingly, the number of vendors has increased, ensuring that there will be plenty of unique handcrafted gifts for purchase at the fine craft sale Dec. 2, including ceramics, glass, precious and semiprecious jewelry, wood-turned pieces, apparel and hats, handbags, and accessories. To further commemorate WAC’s expansion, a special invitational exhibition features works by 30 national artists, all prior Craft Forms award winners. Preview party 6-10 p.m. Dec. 1; craft sale 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2; juror’s talk 1-3 p.m. Dec. 2. Tickets $100/person, $65/young friends (under 35). Exhibition hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; $3 suggested contribution. Wayne Art Center, 413 Maplewood Ave. Call (610) 688-3553 or visit wayneart.org.


Merry Man?
If you’re looking for some comic relief to get you through your holiday chores, escape to People’s Light and Theatre Company for a boisterous romp through Sherwood Forest. Playing now through Dec. 31, Robin Hood will have the whole family laughing. Cheer the heroes and boo the villains in this fanciful rendition written by artistic associate Kathryn Petersen. Part fractured fairy tale, part variety show, this clever production is unlike any version you’ve seen before, with plenty of song, dance, slapstick and buffoonery. Resident actor Mark Lazar returns as gender-bending villain Mistress Maud, and Barrymore nominee Erin Weaver plays Robin Hood. $28-$48. People’s Light and Theatre Company. 39 Conestoga Road (Route 401), Malvern. Call (610) 644-3500 or visit peopleslight.org.

Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!