Benefit concert, cheaper eats, and Easttown on HBO in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

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Patti Smith

Patti Smith performs in concert at The Met on Monday, April 29, 2019, in Philadelphia. She will be performing the songs of Bob Dylan for the "Best of 'The Music of' " livestream benefit concert. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

It looks like music festivals are making a long-anticipated comeback in the region, with both XPonNential Music Festival in New Jersey and Delaware’s Firefly Festival both announcing September dates. The Philadelphia Folk Festival is also happening August 19-22 but no definite word yet whether it will be virtual, in-person, or a combination. And the fate of this year’s Made in America, one of the area’s biggest events, remains unclear as no announcement has been made of its cancellation or return.

Media Film Festival

The 14th annual festival showcasing more than 90 short films from 20 countries winds down this weekend. Like most post-pandemic fests, this one is largely virtual but includes a drive-in movie screening. Films can be purchased in curated “blocks” or a virtual pass can still be purchased to see all of the films. Intriguing titles include “Crockpot,” “Las Vegas Bender,” “The Master,” “Sankofa,” “Swipe,” and “Burn”. The fact that they’re shorts, in our attention-limited world, makes them more easily digestible.

Michael Dorf Presents Best of… ‘The Music Of’ 2004-2020

City Winery Livestream (City Winery)

Knitting Factory and City Winery founder Michael Dorf has been putting on his “The Music Of” benefit concerts since 2004. The premise is that artists pay homage to their own faves by covering their songs. The livestream highlights performances from Bettye Lavette, Keb’ Mo’, Patti Smith, Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal, Bhi Bhiman, Shawn Colvin and Low Cut Connie, interpreting the music of Prince, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, and more.

Collingswood Restaurant Week

An array of sandwiches from Haddon Culinary
An array of sandwiches from Haddon Culinary in Collingswood, New Jersey. (Haddon Culinary/Facebook)

In 2018, the pretty borough of Collingswood was rated the #1 small town food scene by USA Today due to the variety and quality of its cuisine and its famed restaurant row on Haddon Avenue. It has a chance to show that off through Saturday during its restaurant week.

  • What: Discounted restaurant fare
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Through Saturday, April 16
  • How Much: Various prix fixe menus

King of Prussia Restaurant Week

True Food Kitchen (Courtesy KOP District)

A second restaurant week this month for KOP includes a charitable opportunity. Not only can you enjoy discounted meals at the area’s restaurants, the Shops for CHOP campaign donates proceeds from selected retailers to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. And if you opt for a quick takeout meal, you can enjoy it at the Takeout Under the Tent, which offers entertainment and the chance to secure an igloo via reservation and a donation to CHOP.

  • What: Discounted restaurant fare
  • Where: Various locations in King of Prussia
  • When: Sunday, April 18 – Thursday, April 22
  • How Much: Prix fixe lunch, $10, $15, and $20. Prix fixe dinner $20, $30, and $40.

Penn Museum: Jazz Combos

Jazz Combos: Pushing the Limits (Penn Museum)

As part of their celebration of jazz music, the Penn Museum has held a series of conversations curated by undergraduates. In this virtual conversation, Dr. David Cutler (the director of music entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina and a jazz performer, composer and arranger) and Dr. Roger Beaty of Penn State (the principal investigator of the Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity Laboratory) come together to discuss the role jazz has played in their personal, professional, and creative lives.

Franklin Institute: Meet Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett (Courtesy of the Franklin Institute)

Many of us have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, their efficacy and the long-term impact. Via the Franklin Institute, some of those questions can be answered by the doctor who helped create the Moderna vaccine. Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist and the recipient of the inaugural Ben Franklin NextGen Award was the lead scientist in the development of the Moderna mRNA vaccine. She joins Franklin Institute chief bioscientist Dr. Jayatri Das and STEM scholar Taleen Hamad for a wide-ranging discussion followed by an audience Q&A.

Mural Arts Philadelphia: Walking the Poetic Path

Sonia Sanchez (Jana Shea for WHYY)

Poetry and activism often go together, particularly in the work of poets like the city’s own Sonia Sanchez. In a conversation hosted by Mural Arts Philadelphia, Sanchez and Philadelphia’s 2020-2021 poet laureate Trapeta Mayson, along with arts curator and HAHA magazine founder Ginger Rudolph discuss how art and activism are intertwined.

HBO: Mare of Easttown

Mare of Easttown (HBO)

Kate Winslet stars as Mare Sheehan, a small-town detective in a town that happens to be real-life Easttown Township in Chester County. U.K. actress and Oscar winner Winslet however, learned a Delco accent for the role, one she’s said was the most challenging of her career. On the seven-episode limited series, also starring Guy Pearce and Jean Smart, Sheehan, a former high school basketball star, investigates the murder of a teen mother while contending with her own issues.

  • What: TV premiere
  • Where: HBO
  • When: Sunday, April 18, 10 p.m.
  • How Much: HBO subscription required

Reopen House Day: National historic landmarks

Phil Forsyth takes visitors on a tour of the orchard surrounding Woodford Mansion, where apple, peach, persimmon and other fruit bearing trees can be found. (Kriston Jae Bethel for WHYY)

Sunday, April 18 is the International Day for Monuments and Sites, with special programming celebrating the varied array of historical buildings, monuments, landmarks, and sites around the globe. This year’s theme is “Complex Pasts, Diverse Futures.” In Philadelphia, Reopen House Day, in conjunction with the worldwide celebration, features special events, both virtual and in-person, at more than 20 places around the city. These include The Woodlands, Stenton, Cliveden, The Woodford Mansion, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the Beth Sholom synagogue.

  • What: In-person tours, virtual events
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Sunday, April 18 various times
  • How Much: Most locations free, but some have entrance fees or suggested donations

Theatre Exile: Zoo Motel

Zoo Motel (Courtesy of Arts at the Palace)

Somewhere in a South American village, Thaddeus Phillips is performing theater and you can be a part of it. Phillips wrote and stars in a quarantine version “Zoo Motel” put on by Theatre Exile. Only 25 attendees can join the interactive performance which takes place live and from one room. According to the production’s website, since its debut in September 2020, it has become the longest-running live theater production in the world.

  • What: Virtual theater performance
  • Where: Via Zoom link provided to ticketed attendees
  • When: Thursday, April 15 – Sunday, May 2
  • How Much: $40

Keep checking with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 recovery. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

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