Looking for something to do this week? WHYY's Robin Bloom has some suggestions.
Art in the Open Philadelphia
Join more than 100 artists and cultural organizations for the citywide public event Art in the Open Philadelphia, Friday, May 16 through Sunday, May 18. Arts partners include the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, PAFA, Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Fleisher Art Memorial, and Fairmount Park Water Works. 30 artists from across the country come out of their studios for a free family day of outdoor art-making and interactive activities on Saturday, May 17, 11am-2pm. Special projects include a 64 foot woodcarving with Nancy Agati, Susan Benarcik uses natural materials to build a free-standing sculpture, Ellen Brooks creates dwellings inspired by Native American tents and Japanese Tea rooms, Eun Hye Kahng creates a pattern installation depicting the lines of the Korean alphabet, along Schuylkill Banks trail from the Fairmount Water Works by the Philadelphia Museum of Art south to the Locust Street Green.
International Museum Day
The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) celebrates Art Museum Day, in conjunction with International Museum Day (May 18), offering free admission and/or special gallery tours and programs. Enjoy free admission Sunday, May 18 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with guided tours in the galleries, the Fairmount Water Works, and the Fairmount Park houses (be sure to visit Mount Pleasant Plantation's Spring Festival!). Penn Museum celebrates on Tuesday, May 20 with free admission, special collections activities, storytelling for families, and tours throughout the day. Pictured: American Section Keeper William Wierzbowski, one of several collections staff who share "A Few of My Favorite Things" at a 12:30 presentation. Additional participating institutions in our region include the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art, Brandywine River Museum of Art, and Princeton University Art Museum.
Colors of Brazil at International House
For more than 50 years, International House Philadelphia has focused on a different country to celebrate each year. This year, the spotlight is on Brazil. On display through June is the exhibit "From Rio to Brotherly Love," featuring works by Brazilian-born fine-art photographer Daniel Gafanhoto. The 53rd Global Gala: Colors of Brazil is Saturday, May 17, 6:30pm with a Carnaval Cocktail party and dinner-dance and authentic cuisine by Modern Palate, music from Dendê & Band and DJ Ben Arsenal, 37th & Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia. Pictured: City Hall Lights by Daniel Gafanhoto.
First Person Arts' "Grand Slam"
First Person Arts hosts Grand Slam, winners from monthly StorySlams competing for the title of "Best Storyteller in Philadelphia," Friday, May 16, 8pm (doors open at 7pm), Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, 1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia. Hosted by Corey Cohen (pictured).
The 9th Street Italian Market Festival (pictured) is this Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18, 10am-5pm, rain or shine, with 100 outdoor vendors, live music on 3 stages, Procession of the Saints, children's activities and more, along South 9th Street, from Fitzwater to Federal Streets, in South Philly's Italian Market, the nation's oldest outdoor market.
Bring the kids to the African American Museum in Philadelphia for the Macy's Family Fun Day, Saturday, May 17, 10am-5pm, celebrating the culture of people from the African Diaspora with music, art, dancing, and the opportunity to explore the current exhibit "Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876" and "Distant Echoes: Black Farmers in America," at 7th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia. Geared for children ages 5-11 and free with museum admission.
The Trenton Avenue Arts Festival is Saturday, May 17, 11am-6pm, celebrating East Kensington's mix of local artists, musicians and eateries. Organized by the volunteers of the East Kensington Neighbors Association and featuring over 200 local arts and food vendors, the festival is free and open to the public at Trenton Avenue and East Susquehanna, Philadelphia and is held in conjunction with the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a design competition and parade of human powered vehicle floats, beginning at noon at Trenton Avenue and Norris Street, Philadelphia.
Get a front row seat to witness the amazing spectacle of shorebird migration and horseshoe spawning season with the 2nd annual Spring Shorebird & Horseshoe Crab Festival, Friday, May 16 through Sunday, May 18, including guided shorebird viewings, horseshoe crab workshops, walks, and many other conservation-based, hands-on, interactive activities for all ages at the Wetlands Institute, 1075 Stone Harbor Blvd, Stone Harbor, NJ.
The 5th annual Peace, Love & Horseshoe Crab Festival is Saturday, May 17, 10am-3pm, celebrating the spring spectacle of migrating shorebirds and spawning horseshoe crabs. Festivities include live music, crafts, vendors, food, family activities and more at DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve, Milford, DE. Rain or shine, free and open to the public.
Salem County's annual Arts in Bloom is this Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18, 10am-5pm, showcasing new work by over 50 artists including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, collage, glass art, ceramics, furniture making, woodworking, leatherwork, fashion design, fiber arts and more, along with family activities at more than 30 locations in Salem County, NJ.
Penns Woods Winery's 4th annual Wine & Jazz Festival is Saturday, May 17, 12pm-7pm, featuring live music by the duo Grace and the blues rock trio Bushmaster, along with local food, vendors, and of course wine and wine tastings, 124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, PA.
The M&Ms at Ardmore Music Hall
The M&Ms jam Ardmore Music Hall this Friday, May 16, 8:30pm. The super group is keyboardist John Medeski, guitarist Pap Mali, drummer Stanton Moore & bassist Rob Mercurio (both of Galactic) and opening is Swift Technique and No Sinner. Doors open at 7:30pm, 23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA.
Piffaro's Songs of Sin and Redemption
The last words of the executed queen Anne Boleyn will haunt the cellblocks of Eastern State Penitentiary as Piffaro, the Renaissance Band brings her words back to life with Songs of Sin and Redemption. The finale of the group's season (focusing on the music of Renaissance England) features mezzo-soprano Maren Montalbano and a program that focuses on the themes of murder, crime, justice and prisons. The Friday, May 16, 7:30pm performance is already sold out but there is still room in the late night concert at 10pm. Additional off-site performances are on Saturday, May 17, 8pm, Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, and Sunday, May 18, 3pm, Christ Church Christiana Hundred, Wilmington.
David Broza at Israel 66
David Broza headlines the Israel 66 Independence Day celebration on Penn's Landing this Sunday, May 18. The afternoon includes performances by Ethiopian-born Israeli singer Ayala Ingedeshet, the klezmer jazz group Melevah Malkah Band, the Mummers' Avalon String Band, plus food, crafts, gaga games and other family friendly activities, 12pm-5pm at Great Plaza, Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. The festival kicks off the Delaware River Waterfront's PECO Multicultural Series.
Zach Deputy at Hard Rock Café
Known for his one-man-band "looping," acoustic storytelling shows, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Zach Deputy plays the Hard Rock Café Thursday, May 22, 8pm, 1131 Market Street, Philadelphia.
The last installment of PAPAYA at the Bride: International Family Series takes place this weekend with Italy's Compagnia T.P.O's multi-media extravaganza, "BLEU!" on Saturday, May 17, 12pm and 4pm, and Sunday, May 18, 12pm and 4pm. Using color, images, movement, sound and light, BLEU! takes you on an undersea and interactive journey. Some adventurous kids may even be asked to join the cast on stage during the performance! The Philadelphia premiere arrives at the Painted Bride Art Center off of a world tour, 230 Vine Street, Old City.
Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company
The experimental modern dance troupe, Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company, hosts a home season show based on themes of identity, dreams and desires, Red, White and Blue, on Friday, May 16, 7:30pm, Saturday, May 17, 7:30pm, and Sunday, May 18, 3pm at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street, Philadelphia. Asking what is and what makes an American, the program features World of Dreams 2014 and Six Short Works for Dance and Film choreographed by artistic director Anne-Marie Mulgrew and spanning 22 years of the company's performances including Tales of the Buffoon 1992, created for WHYY-TV. Also, choreographer-dancer Ashley Searles performs her newest solo work Elevation 2014. Meet & greet with the company and light refreshments following each performance.
BalletX Free Performance
The contemporary ballet company BalletX offers a free lunchtime performance on Wednesday, May 21, 12pm-1pm, offering viewers the opportunity to see highlights from their critically acclaimed Winter Series. The program features Joshua L. Peugh's "Slump" and "Valentine's Day" duet, along with Jodie Gates' "Delicate Balance" (pictured) at the Porch at 30th Street Station, 30th & Market Streets, Philadelphia. Open to the public. Rain date June 20.
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre's "Communitas"
Acrobatic storytelling with human sculptures tells the story of the founding of a civilization in Almanac Dance Circus Theatre's world premiere of Communitas. The full-length, 70 minute performance features emerging artists Nick Gillette and Ben Grinberg (who honed their skills at the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training and the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts), along with collaborators Adam Kerbel and Lauren Harries, accompanied by live music on guitar and Appalachian lap dulcimer, May 22-25, Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street, Philadelphia. Suitable for all ages. The Saturday, May 24, 8pm show features special guests No Face Performance Group.
"How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" at Walnut Street Theatre
Walnut Street Theatre closes its 205th season as the oldest theater in America with an all-new production of the musical comedy How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The satire of 1960s big business won the Tony for Best Musical and is directed by Casey Hushion (who last directed "Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story") with choreography by Michele Lynch, and music direction by Douglass G. Lutz. Jeremy Morse makes his Walnut debut as J. Pierrepont Finch and Becky Gulsvig plays Rosemary Pilkington. Onstage through July 13 at 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Produced in association with Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida.
"The Real Thing" at Wilma Theater
Wilma Theater searches for The Real Thing with Tom Stoppard's Tony Award-winning
play, in previews May 21 and onstage through June 22. The critically acclaimed, witty show examines the intense complexity of true love and infidelity and marks the tenth Stoppard production at the Wilma (he's their most produced playwright). Directed by David Kennedy and starring Kevin Collins, Hannah Gold, Dan Hodge, Suzy Jane Hunt, Karen Peakes, Brian Ratcliffe, and Harry Smith at 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Special events include "Twenty Years of Stoppard," an exhibit showcasing materials from the past 9 plays the Wilma has produced by the playwright (since 1994). Pay What You Can performance May 21, Beer tasting, Onstage Conversations, Young Friends Night, Wine tasting, and Open Captioning performance.
Azuka Theatre's "Tigers Be Still"
Azuka Theatre continues its goal of telling the stories of those who live on the edges of society with the Philadelphia Premiere of playwright Kim Rosenstock's Tigers Be Still. Written by one of the writers for the Fox Television show New Girl, the dark comedy about a twenty-something who finds herself unemployed and dealing with the anxieties of life is onstage through May 25 at Off-Broad Street at First Baptist Church, 1636 Samson Street, Philadelphia. Directed by Producing Artistic Director Kevin Glaccum and featuring Anna Zaida Szapiro, Jared Michael Delaney, Trevor William Foehl, and Felicia Leicht.
Brat Productions' "Always Coming Soon: The Future"
Brat Productions offers a glimpse into the future with an original rock & roll cabaret featuring derelict clowns, aggressive barkers, and old truth tellers. Always Coming Soon: The Future features Brat's highly visual, adventurous, signature rock cabaret performance style infused with vintage circus imagery and devised physical theater techniques, Friday, May 16 through Sunday, May 18, Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia. Performers include Tabitha Allen, Rob Cutler, Justin Rose, and Artistic Director Jess Conda, with music direction by composer Peter Gaffney (and a band of experimental musicians), and stage direction by Scott Sheppard.