Weekly Entertainment Guide – Year of the Bard, 'Cherokee' and Comin’ Home
Beat the cold with exciting indoor events. WHYY's Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what's happening in the Philadelphia region. Here are her picks.
Wilma Theater continues its commitment to collaborate directly with theater artists, playwrights, and nationally-renowned directors to bring new work to Philadelphia with the World Premiere of “Cherokee.” The camping comedy, by Obie Award-winning playwright and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D’Amour, about getting lost - or found - in the woods, is a follow-up to her popular play “Detroit.” Starring Ashley Everage, David Ingram, Kevin Jackson, Kalani Queypo, and Marcia Saunders, and directed by Anne Kauffman January 8 through February 8, 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Special events include behind-the-scenes Onstage Conversations, Young Friends Evening, and Pre-Show Wine Tasting. The show is the first of two world premieres to be produced during this season at the Wilma. The next is “Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel and directed by Blanka Zizka.
The Free Library of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre partner with many other cultural organizations to celebrate the rich legacy of William Shakespeare with “Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450.” The fun kicks off this month with a year’s worth of programs and events designed to appeal to Shakespeare buffs and newcomers alike. The idea for the celebration was inspired by a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, published in 1623, one of only 40 complete iterations in the world, that is held by the Rare Book Department at the Parkway Central Library. Every month throughout the year, look for activities including lectures, an insult contest, digital and live exhibitions, pop-up and theatrical performances, film screenings, craft sessions, and a big birthday bash on April 23.
Tony Braithwaite and Jennifer Childs reunite again for a limited run of “Let’s Pretend We’re Famous,” January 7-26, at Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA. Their newest comedy cabaret features unique interpretations of songs and dissections of American celebrity, along with new material, including an improvised section that changes every night. Braithwaite is the Artistic Director for Act II. The show was originally produced in 2012 at 1812 Productions, where Childs is Artistic Director.
Thirdbird presents the Philadelphia premiere of Eleanor Bauer’s biographic solo “Eleanor!” and a remounting of Kelly Bond and Melissa Krodman’s work, “Colony.” Bauer is an American choreographer, dancer and performer based in Brussels, Belgium. Her work was first introduced to Philadelphia audiences in January 2012 with her critically acclaimed solo performance “Big Girls Do Big Things.” Experimental choreographers and performing artists Melissa Krodman and Kelly Bond originally performed their endurance-based duet as part of FringeArts (pictured). Both performances take place at Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street, Philadelphia, January 9-11.
Discover the real answer to the age-old question, “What do women want?” with Robert Dubac’s one-man, multi-character show “The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?” The comedian examines the difference between the sexes through five alter egos in a 90 minute witty production at Bristol Riverside Theatre, January 9-12, 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA.
InLiquid presents “Menagerie,” a solo installation by Lynette Shelley, opening First Friday, January 3 through February 16 at Painted Bride Art Center Café Gallery, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania artist has exhibited nationally and specializes in mixed media paintings and drawings that explore animals, archetypes, and mythology, with abstract scenes and backgrounds, along with symbolic and stylized elements.
On display at Indigo Arts gallery is “Shrines of Life Peruvian Retablos,” featuring works by Claudio Jimenez Quispe (pictured), Mabilon Jimenez, Eleudora Jimenez, Luis and Julie Huamani, Javier Gonzalez and Pedro Gonzalez. The exhibit celebrates the folk art of retables, or portable shrines that hold figures sculpted of pasta (a mixture of plaster and potato) or maguey cactus wood, through February 8 at Crane Arts Building, #104, 1400 North American Street, Philadelphia.
The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts presents Kay Healy: New Work, through March 16, displaying the Philadelphia artist’s room-sized quilted pieces in fiber and mixed-media (pictured). Also on view, “Legal Tender” by Emily Erb through February 16, Erica Loustau’s “Exodus: Canaries Fleeing the Coal Mine,” through February 17, and more, 200 S. Madison Street, Wilmington, DE.
Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College challenges the limitations inherent in the traditional chronological presentation of works of art with “A to Z: Highlighting Works from the Berman Collection.” The exhibit features two dozen selected pieces from the museum’s collection of nearly 1400 works, arranged alphabetically, by 20th century artists such as Alexander Calder, Mary Cassatt, William Glackens (pictured), and Andy Warhol, through January 12, 601 E. Main Street, Collegeville, PA
VoxAmaDeus and Maestro Valentin Radu offer a special program of popular works for piano and orchestra by George Gershwin, Friday, January 3, 8pm. Acclaimed British pianist Peter Donohoe joins the Ensemble as a soloist for the program which also includes Maurice Ravel’s jazz-oriented Piano Concerto in G Major and several movie music medleys by John Williams, Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater, Broad Street, Philadelphia.
Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia celebrates jazz in the “City of Brotherly Love” with Comin’ Home, Tuesday, January 7, 7:30pm, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Philadelphia. The concert, dedicated to honoring, presenting and continuing Philadelphia’s jazz legacy through performance and education, is emceed by Bill Cosby, under the direction of trumpet player and Director of Jazz and Instrumental Studies at Temple University, Terell Stafford. Musicians include Wynton Marsalis (pictured), Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, Odean Pope, Larry McKenna, Bootsie Barnes, and Tony Williams, featuring a program of Benny Golson, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and much more.
The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society starts the new year with concerts: Louis Lortie, piano, Tuesday, January 7, 8pm, Philosophical Society; David Kim, violin, Juliette Kang, viola, Natalie Zhu, piano, Monday, January 13, 8pm, Philosophical Society; Jupiter Quartet & Jasper Quartet (pictured), Wednesday, January 15, 8pm, Perelman Theater; Dénes Várjon, piano, Thursday, January 16, 8pm, Philosophical Society; Isabelle Faust, violin, Alexander Melnikov, piano, Monday, January 20, 8pm, Perelman Theater; Peter Serkin, piano, Wednesday, January 22, 8pm, Perelman Theater; Jeremy Denk, piano, Sunday, January 26, 3pm, Philosophical Society.
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