Pocket guide to must-see events this week in the Philadelphia region
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:
For the kids:
Take the kids to see the "Big Bugs" at Morris Aboretum. This Saturday, July 6, 11am-3pm, the 92-acre garden hosts "Discover Fireflies," a fun and educational event for families. Visit the Discovery Table to learn all about fireflies, Read The Very Lonely Firefly and make your own firefly craft to take home. See the 16-foot praying mantis, a parade of 25-foot long ants, and the other whimsical sculptures created by David Rogers, made from natural materials, on display through August 31, as well as the summer garden railway display, 100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia. "Discover Fireflies" is included with admission.
Do you love cats? Don't miss the Acro-Cats, a performing house-cat troupe, featured on Animal Planet and in National Geographic. They're coming to Philadelphia to ride skateboards, roll barrels, ring bells, turn on lights, walk tight ropes, and perform as part of the "Rock-Cats" combo, July 11-14 at The Painted Bride Art Center. In addition to providing entertainment and spectacle, the shows, under the direction of trainer Samantha Martin, raise awareness and helps to place cats and kittens looking for human homes, 230 Vine St., Philadelphia.
The annual Taste of Philadelphia returns this weekend with restaurants and food trucks offering dishes at affordable prices, along with beer, wine, live music all day, Friday, July 5, noon-10pm, Saturday, July 6, noon-10pm, and Sunday, July 7, noon-3pm. Marsha Ambrosius performs Saturday, July 6, 8pm at the Riverstage at Penn's Landing's Great Plaza, followed by a fireworks show presented by Adventure Aquarium over the Delaware River, beginning at approximately 9:30pm. Festival is free; Tickets available for food purchase. Also, catch the Camden Waterfront Freedom Festival, Friday, July 5-6.
The Princeton University Art Museum hosts a summer exhibition, "Faces and Facets," showcasing 50 special recent acquisitions from the past few years. Pieces by Rembrandt, Kurt Schwitters, Robert Smithson, John Trumbull, Hannah Wilke (pictured) and more are featured, divided into four thematic sections, as well as Greek, Japanese, and Native American ceramics, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and African works on paper; French, British, and American photography, and much more, on view July 6 through August 18, Princeton, New Jersey. Enjoy a celebration of the museum's summer exhibitions, Thursday, July 11, 5:30pm-8:30pm.
Inspired by the many collaborations between painter Robert Rauschenberg and choreographer Merce Cunningham that combined visual arts and dance, the Bridgette Mayer Gallery has assembled an expansive group exhibition to benefit BalletX, Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet company. 400 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and collages by more than 200 artists are on view July 9 through August 9. Each artist works on one or two ten-inch square panels, all of which will be sold to benefit BalletX, 709 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.
Mazeppa Productions brings the Broadway hit "Avenue Q" to Philadelphia, July 10-27, telling the story of a recent college grad who moves to a tiny New York apartment where his naughty neighbors offer different perspectives as he searches for a purpose in life. Directed by Rob Henry, choreographed by Robert Harris, with music direction by Eric Thompson, the eleven person company stages this funny musical that is "part flesh, part felt, and full of heart." Parental discretion is advised, Christ Church Neighborhood House Theatre, 20 North American Street, Philadelphia.
For the 12th year, Hedgerow Theater stages its summer Ray Cooney farce. This Thursday, July 11, catch "Run for your Wife!," considered the English playwright's biggest success, having run for nine years in London's West End. The slapstick, door-slamming, frenzied comedy about a taxi driver who tries to manage two wives and two very different lives can be seen through August 18, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA.
The Freeman Stage at Bayside, the outdoor performing arts venue in Selbyville, Delaware, hosts its 6th season of arts and entertainment events with Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group on Wednesday, July 10, 8pm. Concerts continue through the summer with concerts, theater productions including "The Sound of Music" and Delaware Shakespeare Festival, family events, festivals and more, with a Fireworks Season Finale, 31750 Lake View Drive, just 4 miles west of Fenwick Island at the intersection of Route 54 and Route 20.
For film fans:
The 19th annual QFest kicks off July 11-22, with over 100 pictures – including feature films, documentaries, short films, world, east coast, and Philadelphia premieres, showcasing the best in LGBT cinema. Themes range from the opening night light-hearted comedy "G.B.F.," Thursday, July 11, 7:15pm, to films that touch on hot button topics facing the LGBT community such as immigration, sexual identity, addiction and marriage equality. The East Coast's largest LGBT film festival offers meet and greets with actors and filmmakers, themed parties, and other special events for 12 days at various venues in Philadelphia.
The best of 1980s films as well as some of the decade's favorite guilty pleasures are screened at International House Philadelphia's Outdoor Movie Series. "Totally Terrible 80s!," begins Friday, July 12, 7pm, with the disco-musical "Xanadu," and continues through the summer with "Electric Dreams," "The Legend of Billie Jean," and more through September 13. A disco dance party opens the series at the International House Courtyard if the weather is good, or the Ibrahim Theater in case of rain, 3701 Chestnut Street Philadelphia. All screenings are free. Bring chairs and blankets.
Touted by the Huffington Post as the "emerging Sundance East," the New Hope Film Festival screens 111 films from 17 countries and Antarctica. Some highlights include "My Way," a documentary about a small-town woman working in corporate America who leaves her job to pursue her dreams of making it in the music industry, and "Three Secrets for Success," a black comedy about contemporary Chinese society. Feature films, music videos, screenplays, student films, and shorts are all on the program, July 12-21 at multiple locations in New Hope and Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Cecily Garber and Ilana Levinson contributed reporting to this week's guide.
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