Weekly Entertainment Guide - International House celebrates 100 years, 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert,' and Parsons Dance
Looking for something to do this week? WHYY's Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what's happening in the Philadelphia region. Here are her picks:
International House Philadelphia opens its first permanent historical exhibit, "IHP: The First 100 Years," celebrating its role in the Philadelphia community over the past century. The display includes photographs, correspondence, newsletters and press clippings, documenting the residential services and social programming that has distinguished IHP among organizations that advocate for cultural exchange, open dialogue, and progressive thinking. Join the free opening celebration, Thursday, February 28, 6pm, with an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and live music by The Gatsby Brothers, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. RSVP required.
InLiquid at the Painted Bride Art Center presents "Portraying Kinship," showcasing the artwork of Kim Alsbrooks and Helen Mirkil. Alsbrooks' exhibit, "My White Trash Family," explores social class and consumer culture through detailed portraits painted on flattened beverage cans and other packaging (pictured: "Martha Washington"). Mirkil's paintings call back to late 19th Century masters like Vincent Van Gogh and Edgar Degas. The exhibit runs through March 17, 230 Vine Street, Old City, Philadelphia.
"Deep in the Weeds," a new exhibit showcasing the photography of Rob Cardillo, is on display at the Morris Arboretum's Upper Gallery, featuring thirty photographs of roadside weed patches, native plant communities and well-tended garden beds where the abstract beauty of nature interplays with shape, color and light. For over twenty years, Cardillo, a local artist, has professionally photographed gardens and their inhabitants and his work has appeared in Country Gardens, Organic Gardening, and The New York Times. Free with garden admission, the opening reception will take place Sunday, March 17, 1-3pm, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia.
The Mojo Gypsies perform at The Twisted Tail this Friday, February 22, 9pm-1am, with Flourtown Fats on upright bass, Mark Shewchuk on drums, "Professor" Dave Orban on guitar and vocals, and Russ Lambert on harmonica and vocals, playing a show of old school blues, original tunes, and more, 509 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia.
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia joins forces with the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and pianist Ching-Yun Hu in a concert that celebrates the legacy of Beethoven. The program features "Choral Fantasy," "Fidelio Overture," and "Symphony No. 2" as well as the world premiere of Jeremy Gill's companion piece, "Before the Wresting Tides," Saturday, February 23, 7:30pm and Sunday, February 24, 4pm, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 3723 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture's Arab Music Concert Series continues with the Philadelphia premiere of "Roads to Damascus," a collaboration by cellist and composer Kinan Abou-afach and visual artist Kevork Mourad, two Syrian artists who explore the history of their hometown. With roots in Arabic music, the multimedia experimental work features seven pieces where Mourad draws spontaneously as Abou-afach recreates memories of the city through music, illustrating Syria's cultural richness and current conflict, Saturday, February 23, 8pm, Trinity Center for Urban Life, South 22nd Street, Philadelphia.
Lehigh University's Department of Theatre performs the Tony Award-winning musical "Urinetown" by Mark Hollmann, opening this weekend through March 2. In the humorous satire inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, a terrible water shortage cripples a Gotham-like industrial city and forces the government to ban the use of private toilets. A special workshop with Broadway composer and lyricist Mark Hollmann will examine his career and the evolution of his musical. Directed by Pam Pepper with music direction by Bill Whitney and choreography by Lynn Weiner, Diamond Theater, 420 E. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA.
Join three friends on the road trip of a lifetime in the Australian outback as "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" rides in to the Academy of Music, Tuesday, February 26 through March 3, 240 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, as part of the Kimmel Center's Broadway series.
Storybook Musical Theatre presents a mad-cap children's musical version of "Robin Hood" at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center from Tuesday, February 26 through March 10, Tomlinson and Buck Roads, Bryn Athyn, PA.
Internationally-acclaimed Parsons Dance returns to Philadelphia with two premieres along with David Parsons' masterpiece "Caught," and "In the End," a dance choreographed to honor Dave Matthews with performances Wednesday, February 27 through Saturday, March 1 at Annenberg Center, as part of Dance Celebration's 30th anniversary season, Zellerbach Theatre, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Pre-show talk back on March 1.
Onstage Thursday, February 28 at New City Stage Company is "Hurlyburly," the Philadelphia premiere of the groundbreaking play by award-winning playwright and screenwriter David Rabe. Searching for meaning in their isolated lives, two casting directors attempt to provide a home for their friends and a runaway girl amidst the decadent, perverse cocaine culture of 1980s Hollywood. Rabe was the first graduate of Villanova's Masters in Theatre program and won a 1972 Tony Award for Best Play for "Sticks and Bones." James J. Christy and Ginger Dayle, also Villanova graduates, direct the production starring Russ Widdall (RFK, The Wire), onstage at the Adrienne Theater Main Stage through Sunday, March 24, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" opens at the Roselle Center for the Arts Thursday, February 28, performed by the Resident Ensemble Players of the University of Delaware. Mark Lamos directs the classic drama of revenge, deception, and corruption, through March 17, 110 Orchard Road, Newark, DE.
The New Jersey State Theatre presents the BAMA Theatre Company (alumni from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival) with an inventive version of "Twelfth Night," capturing the humor and lyricism of Shakespeare's most beguiling comedy, Thursday, February 28 through Saturday, March 2 at Crossroads Theatre, 7 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ.
Dancer and choreographer Roger Lee performs "Dancing through Black History," a program exploring themes of segregation, civil rights, and integration, Thursday, February 28, 7pm, Lenfest Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA.
Alchemy Dance Company takes on ambitious choreography with the world premiere of "I Am We" and "Follies," Friday through Sunday, March 1-3, at The Performance Garage. Choreographed from the dancer's feelings, the production focuses on internal struggles and connections between people. Founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Amy Harding, the company of six dancers and two directors is committed to producing accessible high quality dance experiences, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia.
Other events and listings throughout the region:
Center City Opera Theater presents a Hispanic and Spanish Opera Cabaret, as part of their Latino Audience Development. CCOT's Young Artists explain and perform music by composers Daniel Catan, Hector Armienta, Osvaldo Golijov, and more, while celebrating Spanish Zarzuela, Friday, February 22, 8pm, Saturday, February 23, 8pm, and Sunday, February 24, 2pm, Prince Music Theater's Independence Black Box Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
The Lewis Center for the Arts' annual Spring Dance Festival is Friday, February 22, 8pm, Saturday, February 23, 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday, February 24, 1pm, a three day festival showcasing over 50 students performing repertory works by internationally renowned choreographers Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, Karole Armitage, and Zvi Gotheiner, as well as new dances by Raja Kelly and Laura Peterson. The Festival takes place at the McCarter Theatre Center, 91 Princeton, Place, Princeton, NJ.
The 30th Street Craft Market (postponed from February 9) is Saturday, February 23, 11am-5pm, highlighting 30 local artists and craftspeople offering jewelry, knits, prints, glassware, ceramics, and more at the 30th Street Station, Philadelphia.
The 2nd annual Bierfest returns the German Society of Pennsylvania Saturday, February 23, 1pm-5pm, offering German-style beer from Pennsylvania and Germany, German cuisine, bluegrass music by the Keystone Mountain Boys, a "German Import Lounge" with rare, imported beer, and plenty of entertainment. Over sixteen Pennsylvanian brewers will be participating in Bierfest, including Lion Brewery, Straub Brewery, Yuengling & Sons Brewery, and more, 611 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia.
The family-friendly concert series, "Concerts for Kids and Their Grown Up Friends," begins its second season with "The Magic of Strings" at Trinity Center for Urban Life, featuring Astral Artists on viola, violin, and cello, with a post-show ice cream social, Saturday, February 23, 1:30pm, 2212 Spruce Street, Philadelphia.
Singing City Choir performs "A Wonderful World" at the First Baptist Church this Saturday, February 23, 7pm. The program is a collection of 20th century songs that take a step back to enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of the world. Singing City will be joined by SC Children's Choir and the Northeast High School Choir with guest conductor Chris Windle, 17th and Sansom Streets, Philadelphia.
History and music combine this Sunday, February 24, as Commonwealth Youthchoirs hosts three performances of "The Good Raised Up: A Story of Community, Integrity, and the Road to Freedom." Sung by the members of Keystone State Boychoir, Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and others, the choral work tells the true story of a 1850s Quaker family who protected a group of escaped slaves from capture. The performance takes place right where the story occurred, Philadelphia's only intact stop on the Underground Railroad: the Johnson House. Show times are at 2pm, 2:45pm, and 3:30pm, 6303 Germantown Avenue.
Old songs become new in 11th Hour Theatre Company's "Philly Rocks, Remixed," Monday, February 25, 6pm at World Café Live. Sold out for the past seven years, the annual rock concert revamps favorite songs with top Philadelphia performers. Hosted by Jess Conda and featuring Alex Bechtel, Melissa Bird, Rachel Camp, Laura Catlaw, Colleen Hazlet, Marissa K. Hines, Alex Keiper, Mikey Jr., Craig O'Brien, Megan Nicole O'Brien, Michael Philip O'Brien, and Steve Pacek, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.
Symphony C performs "Mendelssohn and Schumann," Friday, March 1, 8pm at The College of New Jersey. Music Director Rossen Milanov leads the performances of Mendelssohn's "Overture to Midsummer Night's Dream," local area composer and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, Paul Moravec's "Violin Concerto" with violinist Maria Bachmann, and Robert Schumann's "Second Symphony," Mildred and Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall, 200 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ.
"Who Will Carry the Word?," a drama based on the true story of Holocaust survivor Charlotte Delbo and her experience sharing an Auschwitz barracks with 19 other women, takes the stage at Rowan University's Westby Black Box Theatre. The goal of the women is simple yet important: keep the strongest alive so someone can give an account of the horrors witnessed in the camp. Dr. Anthony Hostetter directs through March 3, Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.
Mel Brooks' Tony Award-winning musical satire "The Producers" is onstage at the New Candlelight Theatre through March 17 on the Main Stage, 2208 Millers Road, Ardentown, DE. Show includes a buffet meal served by the actors and crew.
Brett Rader and Sarah Pike contributed reporting to this week's guide.
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