Weekly Entertainment Guide - Philadelphia Flower Show, First Friday, and 'Midsummer Night's Dream'
March 1, 2013By Robin Bloom
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:
The world-renowned Philadelphia Flower Show, produced by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, makes its way back to the Pennsylvania Convention Center with the theme, "Brilliant!," inspired by the majestic beauty and creative genius of Great Britain and promising to "wow" audiences as it has since it began in 1829. Magnificent floral and garden exhibits, special programming and new attractions will pay tribute to centuries of influential British culture. New this year, an extra day has been added to provide greater opportunity for visitors to experience the world's longest-running and largest indoor flower show. Also, a "New Plant Showcase," make and take workshops, "The Backyard," and more. The Camden Children's Garden also presents "Magical in Camden: An Enchanted Children's Allotment Garden," with interactive activities. The Flower Show runs March 2-10, 12th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia.
Opening this Friday, March 1 at Gross McCleaf Gallery is Max Mason's solo exhibit "Great American Landscape," with a focus on baseball. Half of the show features large panoramic "ballparkscapes", as part of the "BallPark Project," Mason's effort to describe and document all thirty Major League Baseball stadiums. The other half of the exhibit consists of smaller works centered on Philadelphia's Citizen's Bank Park, on display through March 30, 127 S. Sixteenth Street, Philadelphia. Opening reception, Friday, March 1, 5-7pm.
Vox Populi's newest exhibit, "Collection," opens this weekend, featuring more than 60 works of art that were lovingly hung in the homes of Vox Populi members and board members. The gallery explores the relationship between collection and collector, offering a personal look at the emotional values these pieces hold. Furniture from the houses of Vox Populi members has been added to the gallery to add a familiar feel. "Collection" includes works by Amy Adams, Matt Giel, Jocelyn Lee, Tristin Lowe, and many more, through March 31, 31 North 11th Street, 3rd floor, Philadelphia. Opening reception Friday, March 1, 6pm-11pm.
The Betsy Ross House kicks off Women's History Month with an opening reception for "Flags to Riches: The Stories of Rebecca Franks and Betsy Ross," a new exhibit examining the very different lives of a Jewish Loyalist and a Quaker Patriot during the American Revolution. First Friday opening reception on March 1, 5-8pm, 239 Arch Street, Old City, Philadelphia. Tickets $5 and include private tour of exhibit and the House, along with light refreshments.
The Biggs Museum of Art brings the nationally acclaimed exhibition, "The Projectionist" to the First State this weekend, based on the documentary by Delaware native Kendall Messick. The exhibit looks into the life of projectionist and film fanatic, Gordon Brinckle, with a fully operational 1920s style movie theater, a recreation of the one in Brinckle's basement. An opening reception will be held Friday, March 1, 5pm-7pm, with Kendall Messick. "The Projectionist" runs through June 23, with a schedule of related educational programs including lectures on costume design, children's activities, and film screenings, 406 Federal Street, Dover, DE.
Celebrating 90 years, the Old Academy Players presents "Wedding Belles," a comedy by Alan Bailey and Ronnie Claire Edwards, directed by Helga Krauss and produced by Carla Childs and Linda Marie Bell, March 1-17, 3544 Indian Queen Lane, East Falls.
See all thirty-seven of the Bard's plays in under 97 minutes in "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)," at the Eagle Theatre, featuring Kevin Hurley, Ed "Ricco" Santiago, and Jonathon Fink. Since its debut in 1987, the production holds the self-proclaimed record for the fastest performance of Hamlet (43 seconds) as well as the fastest performance of Hamlet backwards (42 seconds), onstage this weekend through March 23, 208 Vine Street, Hammonton, New Jersey.
The 17th Annual Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia kicks off Saturday, March 2, celebrating Israeli cinema and screening seven prize-winning films and shorts by Israeli filmmakers with the theme of relationships. Nominated for fifteen Israeli Academy Awards, "The World is Funny" (pictured) opens the festival with an appearance by Director Shemi Zarhin, relating a quirky drama where a young housekeeper in Tiberias writes about three estranged siblings and their family secrets. The festival also offers an evening of the best short films by student filmmakers, Sunday, March 3, 5pm. With screenings throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs through March 17, the IFF's aim is to enrich the American vision of Israeli culture and society through film.
Experience African cultures with music, dance, storytelling, art, crafts, games, and cuisine at Penn Museum's 23rd annual Celebration of African Cultures, this Saturday, March 2, 1pm-4pm, with traditional and original folk tales performed by Sarai Abdul-Malik, drum workshops by both Paul (Abba) Lucas, Cachet Ivey (pictured), and the ODUNDE 365 dance and drum instructors, and more. The museum will be available for visitors to explore art and artifacts from African in the "Imagine African with the Penn Museum" project, the "African Gallery," and in the "Egypt Galleries," 3260 South Street, Philadelphia.
Metropolitan Ballet Company's 30-member classical dance company and eleven students from Settlement Music School will perform Saturday, March 2, 7pm, with a program of musical ensembles, solos, original works for dance and music, and three contemporary and classical premieres, choreographed by Lisa Collins Vidnovic, at the Kurtz Center of William Penn Charter School, 3000 West School House Lane, Philadelphia.
The swinging 60s come to Haddon Township as "Boeing Boeing" takes to the stage at the Ritz Theatre Company this weekend through March 30, 915 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township, NJ. The play, written by Marc Camoletti and translated from French by Beverly Cross, was originally produced on the London stage in 1962 to widespread critical acclaim. The production stars local actors Ian Kimble and Craig Hutchings and is appropriate for ages 13 and up. Win a spot in an upcoming performance by purchasing a raffle during a performance.
Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul ignite the stage at Landis Theater this Saturday, March 2, 8pm, with a concert of Celtic and Irish music, 830 E Landis Ave, Vineland, NJ.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts "Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection," featuring over two hundred pieces by American self-taught artists, on display Sunday, March 3 through June 9. The twenty-seven artists, including William Edmondson, Elijah Pierce (pictured), and Bill Traylor, have worked outside the boundaries of the mainstream modern and contemporary art world, creating highly personal works with unconventional methods. The new addition to the museum's collection establishes the museum as one of the country's primary centers for the study of outsider art, Dorrance Galleries, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.
Cellist Nina Kotova joins The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for the world premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff's "Cello Concerto," featuring Antheil's "Serenade" and Mendelssohn's "Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11," conducted by Dirk Brossé, Sunday, March 3, 2:30pm, and Monday, March 4, 7:30pm, Kimmel Center, Philadelphia.
Lyric Fest presents "Journey Toward Freedom – A History of the Civil Rights Movement," Sunday, March 3, 3pm, The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, 201 S. 21st Street. The concert of songs and spirituals tells the story of the bittersweet American journey toward freedom for all, featuring special guest artist Denyce Graves, bass-baritone Kevin Deas, soprano Lisa Daltirus, the Singing City Chamber Choir and Children's Choir, narrated by Reverend Charles Rice, and highlighting works by Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, as well as speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Richard Bean's "Under the Whaleback" makes its North American premiere at the Wilma Theater, directed by Blanka Zizka, Wednesday, March 6. Follow Daz through three periods of time aboard the Kingston Jet in Hull, England, the James Joyce in Icelandic waters and the Arctic Kestrel museum ship where a mysterious stranger begins a dangerous game of accusations. An onstage sidewinder trawler fishing vessel, designed by Matt Saunders, immerses the audience in the sights and sounds of dangerous North Sea fishing. The play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London and won the George Devine Award in 2002 for Best New Play and is onstage through April 7, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia.
Opening Wednesday, March 6 at Walking Fish Theatre is B. Someday Productions' "Criminal Genius," the fourth installment of Canadian playwright George F. Walker's Suburban Motel, a collection of six plays all occurring in the same seedy motel room. Shirley enlists a father/son petty crook team to torch a restaurant but instead they kidnap Amanda, the chef, whose father Mike hired Shirley, through March 30, 2509 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia.
The international hit "Love, Loss and What I Wore" comes to the Delaware Theatre Company, an intimate collection of stories by Nora and Delia Ephron, based on the best-selling book by Ilene Beckerman, showing how clothing and accessories trigger memories to which all women can relate. Presented by Daryl Roth and starring Sabrina LeBeauf (The Cosby Show), Sonia Manzano (Sesame Street), Karyn Quackenbush (Broadway's Annie Get Your Gun), Erica Watson (Precious) and Dawn Wells (Gilligan's Island), performances run Wednesday, March 6 through March 17, 200 Water Street, Wilmington, Delaware.
The Pennsylvania Ballet performs "A Midsummer Night's Dream," by George Balanchine, March 7-17, at the Academy of Music. Set to Felix Mendelssohn's score, the ballet brings William Shakespeare's classic comedy to life with more than twenty youth dancers from the Ballet's new school as fireflies and fairies, along with a choir, for all ages, Broad Street, Philadelphia.
Other events and listings throughout the region:
The 29th Annual Germantown Friends School Juried Craft Show is this weekend, as the nation's top craft artists once again exhibit their work, Friday, March 1, 6pm-9pm (preview party), Saturday, March 2, 10am-6pm, and Sunday, March 3, 12pm-5pm, on the campus of Germantown Friends School, at Germantown Avenue and Coulter Street, Philadelphia. Proceeds from the Craft Show benefit the GFS Community Scholars Program.
The Delaware College of Art and Design hosts the 9th Drawing Marathon, Saturday, March 2, 9am-9pm, a 12-hour event created to develop your artistic vision and sharpen your skills with the opportunity to work alongside DCAD's faculty, staff, students and artists of all levels, 600 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE. Advance registration strongly recommended. Bring your own drawing or painting supplies.
The Academy of Vocal Arts performs Jules Massenet's "Don Quichotte," a lyrical ode to the chivalrous idealist Don Quixote, loosely based on the popular Cervantes novel, where the tale of Don Quixote meets the music of Massenet, complete with windmills, Spanish serenades, and a poignant finale. Burak Bilgili returns for the title role, with stage direction by the legendary Tito Capobianco and music direction by Christofer Macatsoris, in a fully-staged and costumed production, March 2-14 at the Helen Corning Warden Theater, AVA, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia and Centennial Hall at the Haverford School, Haverford, PA. All performances start at 7:30pm.
The Kennett Symphony's annual children's concert, "Jack and the Beanstalk...and other Orchestra Favorites," is this Sunday, March 3, 2pm, at the International Cultural Center on the campus of Lincoln University and Sunday, March 10, 2pm, in Asplundh Hall, West Chester University. The program includes Handel's "Entrance of the Queen of Sheba," Copland's "Hoedown from Rodeo," and Chester County composer Melissa Dunphy's "Jack and the Beanstalk" with the Kennett Symphony Children's Chorus performing and narration by Lloyd Bankson Roach, under the direction of Maestra Mary Woodmansee Green. Also, and instrument "petting zoo" with short demonstrations of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion.
The Philadelphia Wind Symphony performs "Winds of the World," a musical adventure around the globe with Dr. Kraig Williams, Director of the Bands at Rutgers University and a program of Nelson, Bryant, Grantham, Grainger, Marquez, Kalinnikov, and Sousa. Andrew Lesser performs Martin Ellerby's Clarinet Concerto, Sunday, March 3, 3pm-5pm, Gershman Hall, University of the Arts, 401 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia.
The MidAtlantic Wine & Food Festival is March 6-20, in its second year, with 44 unique events ranging from small, intimate dinners to large events with international chefs and winemakers from across the world, at venues in Wilmington, Dover, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
The Rotunda kicks off its spring performance series, "Poet-Tree En Motion," Wednesday, March 6, 7pm, with the theme "Honoring Her-tories & the Femme-mynsitique's Fundraiser!" Music and dance performances by Blown Away, The Femme-mynistiques, Hooping by Sarah, Irene, and Foxy Rock, performing Hip-Hop, African & House Wackin' dance tribute, "Warrior Goddess." The night also includes an open mic, 4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The series continues on April 3, May 1, and June 29, with a different theme for each night. Free.
QUEST FEST! 2013 is Wednesday, March 6, 7pm featuring Japanese singer-songwriter Kumiko and classical pianist Yukino Kano, James Macfarlane with Sovereign, Jessica Pyrdsa, Caleb Hawley, and live art with William Butler, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia.
Isis Productions presents "Landscape of the Body," a witty thriller written by John Guare (The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation) and directed by Neill Hartley. A childlike woman comes to New York, searching for identity and fulfillment amid destruction and loss, onstage Thursday March 7 through March 31, Walnut Street Theatre, Studio 5, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.
Brett Rader and Sarah Pike contributed reporting to this week's guide.
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