Weekly Entertainment Guide: Summer concerts and Neon Art
June 15, 2012By Robin Bloom
From Center City to the Jersey Shore, we've got your weekend covered. 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.
The Rosenbach Museum & Library celebrates author James Joyce with the annual “Bloomsday” celebration, Saturday, June 16, noon-7pm, an open-air festival featuring dramatic readings from Ulysses by more than 75 Philadelphians in front of the museum. Free and open to the public. While at the museum, check out the new exhibit “Maurice Sendak: A Legacy,” a yearlong celebration of Sendak’s life and work, the most comprehensive exhibition ever on view, 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia.
Or celebrate “Bloomsday” down the shore as the Ocean City Repertory Theater hosts its annual staged reading of Ulysses with events at different locations from noon-midnight throughout Ocean City, NJ. Free and open to the public.
Historic Germantown: Freedom’s Backyard celebrates the 147th anniversary of “Juneteenth,” the passage and ratification of the 13th Amendment commemorating the end of slavery, with a festival, Saturday, June 16, 10am-4pm, with music, dance, re-enactors including Harriet Tubman, children’s activities, and more on the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia.
Winterthur hosts an “Enchanted Summer Day,” Saturday, June 16, 11am-3pm, with entertainment, crafts, treats and activities for the whole family including magic, roving Celtic musicians and more, rain or shine, Winterthur, DE. Included with museum admission: Adults $18, Students and Seniors $16, Children (2-11) $5, Children 2 and under free. While you are there, take the Once Upon a Family Tour of the museum and visit the Touch-It Room.
Neon artist Len Davidson and The Center for Architecture present “Neon Art: Folk, Found, and Fine,” an exhibit showcasing three unique types of neon art - Folk, pieces often used as gifts or for amusement made by “tubebenders” or “tinkers” that are usually self-taught; Found, pieces that contain new neon with found pieces that can be created by trained or self-taught artists; and Fine, pieces that embody fine art that are usually made by trained fine artists. The exhibit features 13 local and national artists alongside an antique collection of 13 commercial neon signs from Len Davidson’s Neon Museum of Philadelphia, on view now through July 27 at 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA. Admission is free.
The Delaware Museum of Natural History’s latest exhibit, “Earth from Space,” opens Saturday, June 16, showcasing Delaware’s role in space exploration, images of the planet’s surface through the eyes of space satellites, as well as a Magic Planet digital video globe, on display through September 3 at 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE. Admission: Adults $9, Seniors $8, Children (3-17) $7, Museum Members Free.
Dale Wasserman’s adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” takes to the stage at the Eagle Theatre June 15-30, 208 Vine Street, Hammonton, NJ. Tickets: $22. Before the show, stop by the opening of Hammonton’s Farmers’ Market, only one block away from the Eagle Theatre.
“Jambalaya Jam” returns to The Mill at Anselma on Saturday, June 16 at 6pm, featuring live Zydeco music by Johnny Ace & Sidewalk Zydeco. The night continues with Zachary’s BBQ, Victory Brewery, and a raffle including a trip to New Orleans, as well as a tour of the National Historic Landmark grist mill, on 1730 Conestoga Road, Chester Springs, PA. Tickets: $55, reservations are required.
Bristol Riverside Theatre hosts summer events including comedian Charles Ross condensing the entire Star Wars series into 60 minutes in “One Man Star Wars Trilogy,” Saturday, June 16, 8pm and Sunday, June 17, 3pm, Tickets $30 adults, $15 students; The Summer Musicale series opens with “Hooray from Hollywood: Music from the Silver Screen” June 21-July 1, featuring Keith Baker and the BRT Band performing a range of Tinsel Town’s greatest musicals, from “Mary Poppins” to “Fame,” at 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA. Season Subscriptions: $78. Single Tickets: $33.
Casa de Venezuela presents “Venezuelan Expressions 2012,” a program created to enhance the cultural diversity of Latinos/Hispanics in the Greater Philadelphia region, Sunday, June 17, 3pm, featuring The Saul Vera Ensemble, Mandell Theater, Drexel University, 33rd & Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets: $20 regular admission, $10 children 12 and under & students.
The DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival returns June 18-23 to Rodney Square, Wilmington, DE with performances by Randy Weston’s African Rhythm’s, Christian McBride Big Band, the Ernie Watts Quartet, Dee Dee Bridgewater and more. Locations vary. Free.
The Bryn Athyn Historic District hosts “Landmarks in Lights: A Celebration of Faith,” an opportunity to visit three Beaux Arts and Medieval-style buildings and their grounds as they are illuminated for nighttime tours, Wednesday, June 18 from dusk to 11pm. Free to tour grounds and some interiors at Bryn Athyn Cathedral, Cairnwood Estate, and Glencairn Museum, all on Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, PA. Ride to the top of Glencairn’s 149-foot tower to view the Philadelphia skyline. $5 per person, $10 for a group of 3. Dessert and coffee at Cairnwood $5. Rain date Wednesday, June 20.
Penn Museum hosts summer concert events on Wednesdays throughout the summer with P.M. @ Penn Museum Summer Nights Music Series: June 20: Barakka; June 27: Tres Compadres; July 11: Zydeco-A-Go-Go. The series offers drinks and light fare from the Pepper Mill Café’s garden bar, 3620 South Street, Philadelphia. Admission: $5 (includes Museum entry fee); Penn Museum Members and PennCard Holders Free.
And “Summer Wonder,” international music and performances for kids and families every Wednesday morning from 10:30-11:30am (except July 4). June 20: Phil-A-Rhythm—Shake, Scrape and Strike; June 27: Doc Gibbs Ensemble—African Percussion and Dance; 3620 South Street, Philadelphia. Tickets free with museum admission donation.
The monthly summer concerts in Louis Kahn Park continue this year with a performance by The Fabulous Shpielkes, this Wednesday, June 20, 7:30pm, 11th & Pine Streets, Philadelphia. Rain date, Thursday, June 21. Free and open to the public.
Other events and listings happening throughout the region:
The Mt. Airy Artz and Groove Festival is June 15-17 behind the Sedgwick Theater, from 10am-7pm, with an outdoor marketplace, huge lineup of indoor and outdoor live entertainment throughout the weekend, 7100 block Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. Free admission (excluding some performances).
Commotion, an initiative of the University of the Arts, has created the “Commotion Festival,” a series of community art workshops and site-specific events showcasing the work of noted area artists and local residents in the Grays Ferry, Point Breeze and South of South Street neighborhoods, June 16-30. Events include Ed Shockley’s new theater work, the raising of Jebney Lewis’ 20-foot high Super Creature, a night of performance and food with Subcircle and Team Sunshine, and more. Free.
Sister Cities Park hosts upcoming events: “Nature in the Park” presented by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Tuesdays at 11am through August 28, designed for children ages 8 and under; “Story Art,” Mondays at 10:30am through August 13, designed for children ages 4 through 6; “Urban Treasure Hunt,” designed for tweens, teens and families, Friday, June 22, 2pm; “The World We See: Nature, Poetry and Me,” Mondays at 2pm beginning June 25 through August 20, designed for children ages 6-10, 18th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.
The 3rd Annual SoLow Festival is underway through June 24, dedicated to new, experimental work focusing on solo performance at various venues in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus concludes their 30th season with “Legacy: Celebrating 30 years Towards Harmony,” featuring previously performed selections and the world premiere of “Raise Our Voice,” a piece developed from the stories of the Chorus’ own singers, composed by Michael Djupstrom with libretto by Chip Alfred, Friday, June 15, 8pm and Saturday, June 16, 2pm & 8pm at the Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets: $25-$55.
The Portuguese Heritage Festival is Sunday, June 17, 1-7pm, beginning with a flag ceremony and national anthem of Portugal, followed by a full day of stage entertainment at Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, Columbus Blvd and Market Street, Philadelphia. Free.
Azuka Theatre dedicates their newest production "Hazard County" to launching the careers of recent college graduates who designed and perform in this Philadelphia Premiere by Allison Moore and directed by Allison Heishman, influenced by true events and the TV series, "Dukes of Hazzard." The play is in previews and opens on Wednesday, June 20 and runs through July 1 at The Off-Broad Street Theater, First Baptist Church, 1636 Sanson Street, Philadelphia. Tickets: $15-$27.
City Hall Presents is a new series of free events welcoming performing arts into the spaces of City Hall on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30pm: The Kimmel Center Creative Music Program, June 20; Ballet X, June 27; Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, July 11; City Hall Courtyard, Broad & Market Streets, Philadelphia.
The 5th Annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival is June 20-24, with screenings at various venues in Philadelphia including the Franklin Institute's Franklin and IMAX Theatres, National Constitution Center, and more.
Center City District hosts lunchtime concerts every Wednesday at noon at various outdoor locations in Philadelphia: Minas, Café Cret, 16th Street & Ben Franklin Parkway, June 20; Chris Despo, The Shops at Liberty Place, 16th & Market Streets, June 27; Mark Stinger Band, July 11, Bellevue, 200 S. Broad Street; Randy Lippincott Band, July 18, 1700 Market Street; Life's A Beach, July 25, Three Logan Square, 1717 Arch Street; Kiwi Band, Aug. 1, Sister Cities Park, 18th Street & Ben Franklin Parkway. Free.
Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation presents the second annual Philly Music Appreciation Celebration, Thursday, June 21, 5:30pm, to honor Senator Shirley Kitchen, Earl Young, Will Smith, and more. Tickets: $25. The celebration continues on June 23 with tours of The Uptown Theater and a BBQ fundraiser from 11am to 5pm at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia, 1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. Tickets: $20.
Take a trip down Memory Lane with 11th Hour Theatre Company's production of "The Marvelous Wonderettes," as jumping tunes from the 50's and 60's fill the Skybox at the Adrienne Theater sung by a quartet - Kat Borelli, Laura Catlaw, Colleen Hazlett, and Janet Rowley - who escort the audience back in time to the group's high school prom, and later to its ten year reunion. Through a delightful selection of "oldies but goodies," the songs that thrilled a generation provide the center thread along which the story is told. Great voices and high energy combine for a fast-paced, charming show onstage through June 24 at 2030 Sansom Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia. Tickets: $28.
Onstage at Philadelphia Theatre Company is "reasons to be pretty," a play focusing on America's modern day obsession with physical appearance and what is considered "pretty." With superb direction by Maria Mileaf and excellent acting by Daniel Abeles, Paul Felder, Genevieve Perrier, and Elizabeth Stanley, this story about four ordinary young people who feel they are missing out on something in their lives will make you laugh and feel uncomfortable at the same time in classic Neil LaBute style. "reasons to be pretty," the final installment in his critically acclaimed trilogy, is onstage through June 24 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets, Philadelphia. Tickets start at $25.
University City District presents "Heart & Soul: The University City Public Piano Project," a public art exhibition intertwining visual and performance art through 8 artist-decorated pianos distributed among 8 locations. Musicians of all backgrounds are invited to share their creativity through impromptu performances in various spaces through June 17. Check the website for a map of piano locations.
Get your nostalgia on with the crowd-pleasing production of "Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story," onstage at Walnut Street Theatre, directed and choreographed by Casey Hushion, with the music and lyrics of Buddy Holly. The play that has toured world-wide is in town through July 22 paying tribute to the seminal musician who at the young age of 22 had an immense impact on the music industry and changed the face of popular music. Featuring a host of his greatest hits including Peggy Sue, That'll be the Day, Oh Boy, Maybe Baby, Not Fade Away, and much more - performed live onstage by a talented cast of actors/musicians - "Buddy" tells the story of the three years in which Buddy Holly became a music legend, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $10-$95
Wilma Theater concludes its season with the Tony Award winning epic "Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches," by Tony Kushner, directed by Blanka Zizka, through July 1, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Tickets $39-$66.
PA Suburbs & Delaware
The Delaware Chamber Music Festival's 27th season, "At Your Request," is June 15-24 and features an all Beethoven evening on opening night, followed by performances of Debussy, Schubert, and Mozart throughout the week along with composer Vivian Fung's world-premiere piece, "And This is My Beloved: For Julian" on June 22, in memory of her husband. All performances at the Music School of Delaware, 4101 Washington Street, Wilmington, DE. Admission: Adult Subscription $80/Single Ticket $22, Senior Subscription $70/Single Ticket $20, Student Subscription $36/Single Ticket $10.
Bootless Stageworks presents "Star Wars, A New Musical Hope," a parody with original songs, light sabers, dancing Stormtroopers, and more for all ages, through June 17 at OperaDelaware Black Box Theater, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE. Tickets $5-$18, family fun pack available.
Longwood Gardens hosts special events and concerts: Light: Installations by Bruce Munro, a debut exhibition illuminating the gardens with large-scale, site-specific installations; Fireworks and Fountains, illuminated fountain shows, fireworks and concerts scheduled throughout the summer on Route 1, Kennett Square, PA: Swan Lake, July 21, September 1, Stars and Strips, July 3, The Amazing '80s!, August 11, September 29. Ages 16 and over $38 (members $31), Ages 15 and under $22 (members $18), 0-12 months free.
Community Arts Center's first annual Summer Solstice Celebration is Friday, June 22, 8pm-midnight, a night of art making, live music (bring your own drum and BYOB), s'mores and more, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA. Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
The Silver Lake Nature Center and the Artists of Bristol present "Summer Sojourn," an exhibit featuring the works of artists from the Artists of Bristol on the Delaware, on view through June 24. Featured artists include Janice Rhodes, Dwight Harris and Marty Shively, including fascinating works of lakes, forests, city life and sunsets, 306 Bath Road, Bristol, PA.
Artworks presents "Art All Night Trenton," Saturday, June 16, 3pm until Sunday, June 17, 3pm, 24 hours of special events, performances, and more including the first annual Art All Night Film Festival, Roebling Wire Works, 675 South Clinton Avenue, Trenton, NJ.
The 17th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration at Solberg Airport is Saturday, June 16, 4:30pm until dusk (rain date Sunday, June 17), including a hot air balloon launching around 6:30pm, aircraft fly-ins, food, live entertainment and more, 39 Thor Solberg Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ. Bring blanket or lawn chair. Free.
Rutgers-Camden hosts free summer concerts on Tuesdays at noon: Pianist Graeme Burgan and soprano Serena Benedetti, June 19; John Giannotti and Quartet 33, June 26; Uptown Jazztet, July 3; Trautenberg Memorial Concert with pianist Andrew Willis, July 10; Pianist Bice Horszowki, July 17; Mallery Room, Fine Arts Complex, Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Ben Franklin Bridge, Camden, NJ.
The 3rd Thursday Camden Art Crawl continues this summer on June 21, July 19, and August 16, 5-9pm, with the chance to enjoy Camden's creative arts community in the secure/patrolled historic Cooper Grant Neighborhood on the campus of Rutgers University, Free.
The Princeton Festival is underway through June 30 with dance, jazz, opera, musical theatre, chamber music, cabaret, and more with Gamalan Dharma Swara, the Rodriguez Brothers, and the musical "Once upon a Mattress" at various locations in Princeton, NJ.
The Camden County June Theatre Festival continues with the Peanuts parody, "Dog Sees God," "Miscast Cabaret," "Classical Night," and "[title of show]" through July 1 at The Ritz Theatre Company, 915 White Horse Pike, Arts District, Haddon Township, NJ. Tickets: $10-$20.
"Down the Shore"
Sea Isle City, NJ hosts a "Skimmer Festival," Saturday, June 16, 9am-4pm, with sand sculpting, children's activities, live music and more, rain or shine, JFK Blvd & The Promenade.
Cape May's Harbor Fest is a celebration of the sea: its culture, economy, and ecology. The festival includes arts and crafts vendors, kids' activities, a scallop challenge, kayak and boat tours, and live music on Saturday, June 16, 10am-5pm. Outdoor activities at Cape May's harbor; Indoor activities in the Nature Center, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ. Free.
Johnson's Popcorn Father's Day Family Fun Fest is Saturday, June 16, 1-3pm, with music, magicians, pony rides and more, 11th Street and Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ.
East Lynne Theater Company presents "Ruth Draper's Company of Characters," through July 21 at First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, New Jersey at 500 Hughes Street. Tickets $0-$30.
Surflight Theatre presents "Annie," June 19 through July 21 at 201 Engleside Avenue, Beach Haven, NJ. Tickets $36-$54.
Ocean Professional Theatre Company presents the musical, "Man of La Mancha," opening June 19 through July 8, starring John Davidson as Don Quixote and featuring the classic song, "The Impossible Dream," at Barnegat High School, 180 Bengal Blvd, Barnegat, NJ. Tickets: Adults $35, Children under 12 $20.
Cape May Stage presents "God of Carnage," by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, June 20 through August 3, Robert Shackleton Playhouse, corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets, Cape May, NJ.
Chicken Bone Beach Concerts continue on Thursdays in Atlantic City, NJ: Michael Pedicin, June 21; Ella Gahnt, June 28 at Brighton Avenue and the Boardwalk. All shows at 7pm. Tickets $10.
The Franklin Institute presents "Identity: An Exhibition of You," focusing on how science can shed light on 2 areas of your identity: physical, psychological and social, open daily noon-7pm, through September 3, Trump Plaza, Boardwalk and Mississippi, Atlantic City, NJ. Tickets: Adults $10, children 12 and under $8.
Kelly Hagerty and Pamela Seaton contributed reporting to this week's guide.