WHYY's Arts Calendar curator Robin Bloom sorts through hundreds of listings each week to find out what's happening in the Delaware Valley. Here are her picks and listings.

Welcome spring with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival

The annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival blooms in Philadelphia through April 21 with a celebration of the cherry tree and many events for all ages.   Produced by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, the Festival is designed to encourage a better understanding of the cultural, social, and educational customs of Japan and the United States and benefits the JASGP Community Tree Planting Project which seeks to beautify Philadelphia by annually planting and maintaining cherry trees in its parks. Events include the Blossom Bash, the festival kickoff at the Hyatt at the Bellevue on March 23, with Japanese fusion food, live music, entertainment and an auction of Asian art, jewelry and Trans-Pacific airfare; an afternoon of Kabuki Dance at the Kimmel Center on March 25 led by Japanese dance master Bando Kotoji, the first performance of its kind if Philadelphia; a traditional theater-style performance by Manzairaku at the International House on March 26, including a rendition of the famous traditional tale Tenshu Monogatari narrated by actress Keiko Matsuzaka and much more.

Celebrating Two Centuries of Science Exploration

The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University, the nation’s oldest natural history museum, kicks of its 200th birthday celebration this weekend with a two-day festival filled with bright lights, music and enticing events for all ages.  Events include The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery, an exhibit showcasing two centuries of scientific exploration, highlighting the museum’s revolutionary discoveries of past and present and also providing a unique “glimpse into the future,” performances by The Diggity Dudes filled with science-themed music and skits on topics from pet rocks to presidential fitness, pop-up tours of the Dinosaur Hall, behind-the-scenes tours of its world-renowned scientific collections, and more, Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25, 10 am-9pm, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. Admission: adults $12; children 3-12 $10; children under age 3 free; seniors $10; military and students w/ ID $10.

God of Carnage

Walnut Street Theater presents: the comedy “God of Carnage,” through April 29 on the main stage; John Patrick Shanley’s Tony Award-winning Broadway play “Doubt – A Parable,” opening March 29 through April 15 in Independence Studio on 3; “Miss Nelson is Missing!” Theatre for Kids, March 28 through April 14; Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

 

The Golem

EgoPo Classic Theater continues their tradition of producing year-long festivals celebrating a specific genre or playwright with the Festival of Jewish Theater and the world premiere of “The Golem,” March 28 through April 15. A unique theatrical event directed by Brenna Geffers and crafted by the ensemble of artists including Ross Beschler, Kevin Chick, David Jadico, Lorna Howley, Genevieve Perrier, Sarah Schol, Griffin Stanton-Ameisen and Josh Totora, the production features puppets by Martina Plag and original live instrumental and vocal music by Andrew Nelson, inspired by Klezmer and Eastern European folk music. Audience invited to Passover seders on April 6 & 7, Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Show tickets $20-$50; Seder $40 with show ticket & $50 general admission.

 

Let’s Start a War

Brat Productions continues their season with “Rock and Awe: Let’s Start a War,” a punk rock inspired rock-cabaret scrutinizing politics and class warfare and blending a diverse assortment of musical styles, created by Jess Conda and directed by John Greenbaum, March 29-31, 10pm at Ruba Club Studios, 416 Green Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $12

 

Sendak in Spring

The Rosenbach Museum & Library’s annual Sendak in Spring festival is this weekend, March 24-25, noon-4pm, with events for the whole family including bookmaking, storytelling, and an interactive children’s opera The Wild Things Whirlgig, inspired by the work of Maurice Sendak, coinciding with the exhibition “Pen to Publisher: The Life of Three Sendak Picture Books,” on display now through July 15, 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia. Included with admission: $10 adults, $8 seniors, $5 students, children 5 and under free.

Shut Up and Dance

Shut Up and Dance is back with a one-night only performance of original works choreographed and performed by dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet for the benefit of MANNA, this year celebrating “20 Years of Tears and Cheers,” Saturday night, March 24, 8pm, Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show

The 18th annual Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show brings together artists and patrons from around the world, showcasing unique pieces of furniture art including traditional tables, chairs, beds, desks, lighting and table top items, Friday, March 23, preview party from 6-9 pm, Saturday, March 24, 11am-7pm, and Sunday, March 25, 11am-5pm, 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd Street, Philadelphia.

 

On display at The Clay Studio is “…Gently Down the Stream…” by figurative sculptor Andrea Keys Connell. Keys Connell’s work is influenced by Hummel Figurines and examines how an individual’s personal history affects their identity, behaviour and actions, through April 15 at 137-139 North Second Street, Old City, Philadelphia.

 

 

On display at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (DCCA) is “Contraption: Devices in Art,” an exhibit featuring wearable, audible, usable, sculptural works by artists Tim Eads, Tracy Featherstone, C. Grant Cox III, Tyler Held, Cynthia Norton, Lauren Ruth, and Joanie Turbek, through June 24 at 200 South Madison Street, Wilmington, DE.

 

 

The Main Line Art Center’s Outreach exhibition “A Celebration of Voices,” is on display now through April 4, highlighting the inspiring and colorful work created by participants in the Center’s outreach programs that make art accessible to diverse groups in the community at 746 Panmure Road, Haverford, PA.

 

 

ConcertOPERA, Philadelphia (COPA) presents Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” sung in French with recitatives, accompanied by English supertitles, Friday, March 23, 8pm, St. Monica Parish Auditorium, 601 First Avenue, Berwyn, PA, Sunday, March 25, 3pm, International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and Saturday, March 31, 8pm, Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. Tickets $25-$30

 

 

The Blockley hosts spring concerts: Toots and The Maytals, Saturday, March 24, 9pm; Jimkata, Tuesday, March 27, 8pm; Trevor Hall, Cas Haley, Jason Ager, Friday, March 30, 8:30pm; New Wave Concert featuring Moosh & Twist, Young Savage, DJ Afrodijiak, Sunday, April 1, 7pm; 38th & Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia. Tickets $8-$35

 

 

Other events and listings happening throughout the Philadelphia region:

Opening this weekend at Philadelphia Theatre Company is the East Coast premiere of “The Outgoing Tide,” a new play by acclaimed Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham, directed by James J. Christy, through April 22, at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad & Lombard Streets, Philadelphia. Tickets starting at $25

Onstage this weekend at Barnstormers Theater is “An Angel in the Park,” written and directed by R. Bruce Warren, March 23 through April 7, corner of Ward and Tome Streets in Ridley Park, PA. Tickets $10 adult, $8 seniors and youth under 18.

Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre presents Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” directed by Carmen Khan, March 23 through May 20 at 2111 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $25-35

The Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble celebrates its 35th season Friday, March 23, 8pm and Sunday, March 25, 2pm with a program of Devienne, Debussy, and Beethoven, Old Pine Street Church, 412 Pine Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $5-$25

Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra Tempesta di Mare celebrates their 10th anniversary and continues the tradition of choosing music that hasn’t been heard for centuries with “Party of the Muses,” a program of premieres, Saturday, March 24, 8pm, Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch Street, Philadelphia and Sunday, March 25, 4pm, Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, featuring the music of Fasch and Locatelli and modern premieres of a sinfonia by Endler and a concerto grosso by Stölzel.  Tickets $10-$35

The Cheltenham Center for the Arts kicks off their annual Children’s Art Show this Sunday, March 25 with a Family Fun Day, 11am-4pm, with a performance by Storybook Musical Theatre, art activities and more including the exhibit that features the works of over one hundred local, regional elementary and middle school students, on view through April 20 at 439 Ashbourne Road, Cheltenham, PA. Open to all

The Rodgers & Hammerstein classic “Carousel” takes to the stage at Villanova Theatre March 27 through April 22, directed by Valerie Joyce, Vasey Hall (at Lancaster & Ithan Avenue), Villanova, PA. Tickets $21-$25

Bach Festival of Philadelphia hosts the 2012 Festival: Three Leipzig Masterpieces, focusing on J.S. Bach’s Leipzig period with “The Musical Offering,” March 30, 8pm, “Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes,” March 31, 8pm, “The Passion According to St. John,” April 1, 3pm with Choral Arts Philadelphia, performed in their entirety at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1625 Locust Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $10 student, $20 senior, $30 general admission, $45 premium seating (April 1)

Onstage at Clear Space Theatre Company is the classic “My Fair Lady,” through April 1, 20 Baltimore Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE. Tickets $15-$25

The Ritz Theatre Company presents “The Children’s Hour,” by Lillian Hellman, directed by Esther Flaster, through March 31 at 915 White Horse Pike, Haddon Twp, NJ. Tickets $25-$35

The Independence Seaport Museum presents “Home of the Brave: The War of 1812 in Art, Story & Song,” an exhibit exploring the naval aspect of the war through art, material and popular culture, and first-hand accounts of participants and on-lookers, and includes objects from the Museum’s collection, loans from the Dietrich American Foundation and other private collectors. The exhibit also focuses on Philadelphia’s hometown heroes – Stephen Decatur, William Bainbridge and Stephen Girard, along with an interactive cannon battle, a focus on the war inspired poem “The Star-Spangled banner,” and much more, through December 31 on the waterfront at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia.

Pasión y Arte, Philadelphia’s all-female flamenco dance company, hosts the First Philadelphia Flamenco Festival through April 1, featuring the work of internationally renowned Spanish dancer/choreographer Rosario Toledo, as well as film screenings, master classes, a symposium of expert panelists and post-performance discussions and receptions, at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 North American Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $10-$25

Watercolors and ink depictions of everyday scenes and recent events by New Jersey artist Jen Tracy are on display at the Ocean City Arts Center through March 31 in the Community Center, 1735 Simpson Avenue, Ocean City, NJ.

The Stockton Performing Arts Center hosts spring performances: Forbidden Broadway “Dances with the Stars,” March 24, 7:30pm; Bay-Atlantic Symphony “Sebelius and Lee Pui Ming,” March 25, 2pm; Sherri Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, March 26, 7:30pm; Sing along Sound of Music, April 1, 2pm; South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble “Synergy,” April 16, 7:30pm; 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, NJ. Tickets $10-$40

Colonial Theatre hosts spring concerts: Spring Pipe Organ Concert, Sunday, March 25, 3pm; Leon Redbone, Friday, March 30, 8pm; Leo Kottke, Friday, April 13, 8pm; Suzanne Westenhoefer, Saturday, April 14, 8pm; 227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA. Tickets $5-$39.50

The Kennett Flash hosts a concerts and events: Lucy Kaplansky, Friday, March 23, 8pm; Mad-Sweet Pangs, Saturday, March 24, 8pm; Kevin Gordon, Wednesday, March 28, 8pm; Ethan Pierce & Sarah Donner, Friday, March 30, 8pm; Marshall Crenshaw, Saturday, March 31, 8pm; 102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, PA. Tickets $10-$28

Appel Farm hosts spring concerts: Southside Johnny & The Poor Fools, Saturday, March 24, 8pm, tickets $30; John Lennon Imagined: The Beatles & Solo Years, Saturday, April 14, 8pm, tickets $27.50; 457 Shirley Road, Elmer, NJ.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts presents upcoming concerts and events: Kabuki Dance, Sunday, March 25, 3pm; Wynton Marsalis and members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Tuesday, April 3, 7:30pm; Paco de Lucia, Tuesday, April 10, 8pm, Broad Street, Philadelphia.

Onstage at Wilmington Drama League is “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” by Steve Martin, directed by Jean Eggen, through March 31, 10 West Lea Blvd, Wilmington, DE. Tickets $10-$17

The Drama Group presents “The Importance of Being Earnest,” by Oscar Wilde, directed by Angela Anderson, through March 31 at The First United Methodist Church of Germantown, 6001 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. Tickets $10-$15, 2 for 1 on opening night

The Centre Theater and Iron Age Theatre present “Fool for Love,” by Sam Shepard, through March 25, 208 DeKalb Street, Norristown, PA. Tickets $20

The annual production “Number the Stars,” takes to the stage at Haddonfield Plays and Players Tuesday, through March 29, by Sean Hartley, based on the book by Lois Lowry, 957 East Atlantic Avenue at Crows Woods, Haddonfield, NJ. Tickets $10

Indigenous Pitch Dance Collective presents “Reflexions,” six evenings of dance/theater, at the Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia, through March 31, reflecting outreach IPDC has done in Haiti, North Philly, and New Orleans with children in need. Tickets $20 at door, $15 in advance, $10 student rush

Lyric Fest performs “A Very Good Year ~ Happy Birthday to 1912,” a historical snapshot of the world the year “Happy Birthday” first appeared in print, as well as songs and opera composed during that year all over the world, featuring Meagan Miller, Randall Scarlata, Zach Borichevsky, Suzanne DuPlantis, Randi Marrazzo and The Chamber Singers of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, under the direction of Thomas Lloyd, with pianist Laura Ward, Friday, March 23, 8pm, Haverford College, and Sunday, March 25, 3pm, The Academy of Vocal Arts. Tickets $5-$25

1812 Productions presents the newest comedy from Tony Braithwaite and Jennifer Childs, Let’s Pretend We’re Famous, through March 25, with unique interpretations of songs and dissections of American celebrity, at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street, Center City, Philadelphia. Tickets $20-$36

Lantern Theater Company continues its 18th season with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, under the direction of Artistic Director Charles McMahon, through April 1 at St. Stephen’s Theater, 10th & Ludlow Streets, Center City, Philadelphia.  Tickets $20-$36, $10 student rush 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID/cash only.


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Pamela Seaton contributed reporting to this week's guide.