Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday will be observed Monday, and the greater Philadelphia region is home to the largest commemoration in the nation. From special programming at various sites around the area to an array of volunteer opportunities, the region is committed to preserving the ideals and service embodied by King’s life. You can still sign up for volunteer projects.
MLK Celebration at African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
$2 general admission through the weekend
The museum’s MLK Celebration starts Friday and continues throughout the weekend. There’s a free screening of the documentary “Whose Streets?” on Friday; a calendar of family-friendly events on Saturday; and a performance by jazz artist Ruth Naomi Floyd Sunday. On Monday, you can hear a panel discussion, take part in a scavenger hunt, see the Phillie Phanatic, and explore a range of other activities for all ages. The museum’s three current exhibits, including “Photographic Memory,” will be open as well.
We Shall: A Lyrical MLK Celebration
The Museum of the American Revolution
101 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia
Jan. 19, 3 p.m.
Free with museum admission
Six local artists have formed an ensemble to pay tribute to King through words – including excerpts from his own speeches and sermons – and music. The group includes Kareem Idris, Toby VEnT Martin, James Solomon, Kendrah Butler-Waters, Jocko MacNelly and Kimpedro Rodriguez. Together they will use their artistry to express their admiration and appreciation for King’s service and sacrifice.
Dr. Martin Luther King Weekend At Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmont Ave., Philadelphia
Jan. 19- 21
Eastern State Penitentiary, viewed as the world’s first penitentiary, once housed notorious gangster Al Capone and bank robber Willie Sutton. Now a museum, one of its aims is providing information about the unintended scope of modern-day incarceration and its abuses.
Friday through Monday, the museum will host several readings by actors and community activists of King’s “Letter From A Birmingham Jail.” Written after his arrest for organizing nonviolent protests in 1963, the letter focuses on the importance of direct action, the impact of unjust laws and his disappointment with moderate whites who wanted to delay basic civil and human rights. On Monday, children from 7 to 12 and their families are welcome to create art inspired by the letter and to read stories about King and his legacy.
The Grand Opera House
818 N. Market St.
Jan. 18, 8 p.m.
John Oates and the Good Road Band
Ardmore Music Hall
23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore
Jan. 19, 8 p.m.
John Oates of Hall and Oates is a Grammy winner, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and half of the top-selling music duo of all time. Daryl Hall and Oates grew up in the Philly area, meeting while students at Temple University. Though he still tours with Hall, Oates now lives in Nashville and has moved into a new direction with his seventh solo release “Arkansas.” Inspired by the music of his idol, Delta bluesman Mississippi John Hurt, and recorded in Nashville, Oates describes the sound as “Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.”
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
915 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township, New Jersey
Through Feb. 3
This award-winning musical asks the question: If you thought you could kill your way into a lordship, would you consider it? That is the dilemma of Morty Navarro, a commoner who sees a chance at becoming upwardly mobile when he learns he’s descended from the British aristocracy. This news sets Navarro on a murderous course to claim his legacy while also looking to impress his true love, who won’t marry him due to his lowly position. The darkly comic musical won four Tony Awards in its Broadway run, including best musical.
25th Annual Hair O’ the Dog
Crystal Tea Room
100 E. Penn Square, Philadelphia
Jan. 19, 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Florida rapper T Pain, best known for his embrace of auto-tune and his hit “I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper)” is the featured artist at one of Philadelphia’s most beloved charity balls Hair O’ the Dog. It’s a massive annual party and one of the first on Philly’s crowded social calendar. The event benefits the Morris Annual Refuge, which was the nation’s first animal shelter. Deejays Party Favor, DJ K Styles, DJ Mr. Hollywood and DJ N9NE will provide the music to go along with the food, dessert, an open bar and afterparty.
Union De Grand Crus de Bordeaux
The Rittenhouse Hotel
210 West Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia
Jan. 20, 1-4 p.m.
Lovers of fine wine won’t mind the price tag as the entry fee means they will gain access to some of the premiere Grand Crus wines originating from France’s famed Bordeaux region. More than 70 chateaux will showcase their Bordeaux, focused on the 2016 vintage. Philadelphia is one of only eight U.S. cities on the North American tour.
Black Thought and Quincy “Q Deezy” Harris present Delirious
33 E. Laurel St., Philadelphia
Jan. 20, 8 p.m.
Philly’s own Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of the Roots and TV and radio host Quincy “Q Deezy” Harris are co-hosting a comedy show that will likely reflect a combination of their hometown roots, love of music and commitment to stellar entertainment programming. No artists have yet been announced, but we imagine some of their “special guests” may be drawn from among their celebrity friends.
Total lunar eclipse
Starts at 9:36 p.m., total eclipse at 12:12 a.m.
The moon will appear to be blood red during this total eclipse, which occurs during the first supermoon of 2019 when the moon appears slightly larger than normal. Since it’s happening at night, you won’t need special glasses, although a set of binoculars will help you see it more closely. With snow forecast for the Delaware Valley this weekend, clouds may obscure your view as the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. And if you miss this celestial performance, you’ll have to wait until May 26, 2021, for the next one.
Market to Table Chef Tour and Dinner
Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St., Philadelphia
Jan. 18, 5:30-8 p.m.
Hanging out with top chefs should wear off, right? That’s what Reading Terminal Market is hoping with its new after-hours dinner series. It matches aspiring cooks with chefs who not only show them how to shop for a meal, they help show them how to prepare it as well.
Since Reading Terminal was just named the country’s top farmers market, it’s a great place to improve your cooking skills. Chef Joncarl Lachman – executive chef and owner of Noord, executive chef at M Restaurant and the new breakfast lunch spot Winkel – will help you craft a meal that includes chicken, cream of celery soup, braised collard greens and dessert. Participants will then enjoy the fruits (and meat and veggies) of their labors by digging into the meal onsite.