Lunar New Year, Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and avant-garde Philly in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

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A woman blows a kiss to one of the lions dancing on Race Street during the Chinese New Year celbration. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

A woman blows a kiss to one of the lions dancing on Race Street during the Chinese New Year celbration. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

Celebrations abound this week with the kickoff to Chinese New Year, Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and accessible opera performances in this iteration of “Things To Do.”

Lunar New Year
Various dates, venues, prices
Through February 8

The Lunar New Year is celebrated all over the Delaware Valley in various incarnations. The annual celebration, also known as Chinese New Year, runs from Saturday, Jan. 25 through Feb. 8. The traditional Midnight Lion Dance in Chinatown on Friday night is performed by the Philadelphia Suns, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering young people in the city’s Chinese community through athletics and educational support. It officially starts at 11:30 p.m., but you may want to get there early to beat the crowds. If that’s too late for you, the 2020 Lion Dance Parade also takes place in Chinatown on Saturday morning. The Philadelphia Suns will be back for that. The parade starts at 10th and Spring streets and winds its way through several Chinatown blocks from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dilworth Park’s Chinese New Year Celebration also goes from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday. The first 50 people there will receive a traditional red envelope with varying surprises inside. In the Chinese celebration, it’s usually money, but don’t count on it there. Kids can celebrate at the Please Touch Museum with events happening on Saturday and Sunday including lion dances with the Penn Lions. In Malvern, the Main Line Chinese Culture Center offers a Chinese New Year Gala and Culture Fair with music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, and crafts and game stations on Sunday evening.

“A Woman of No Importance”
Walnut Street Theater
825 Walnut St.
Through Sunday, March 1
$27 – $77, premium tickets (including donation) $175

A gorgeous American woman with her own fortune travels to Britain in search of a man with a title to marry. Does that sound familiar? Nope, it’s not about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, it’s the plot of a play Oscar Wilde wrote in 1893. My, how things haven’t changed. Wilde’s play “A Woman of No Importance” is at the Walnut Theater through March 1. Like his other works, this play explores class divisions and petty social climbing in British culture while celebrating the informality of American values. Look for the acerbic comedy Wilde is known for to be at the center of the drama. A study guide is available on the website if you want to dig even deeper into the world of Wilde before and after you see the play.

Opera Jukebox
OperaDelaware Studios
4 S. Poplar St.
Wilmington, Del.
Friday, Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.
$49 – $59

If you’re not already a fan, opera often seems an inaccessible, elitist form of music. OperaDelaware aims to make it inviting and interactive with its popular OperaJukebox performances. Soprano Victoria Cannizzo, mezzo-soprano Gina Perregrino, tenor Kirk Doughtery and baritone Steven Condy will perform some of your favorite arias. You’ll even have the chance to make requests. How’s that for a night at the opera? At the performance, OperaDelaware will announce which major opera they will stage this fall as part of their expanded programming this season.

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Academy Of Music
240 S. Broad St.
Thursday, Jan. 23 – Sunday, Jan. 26, various times
$39 – $170

Beethoven’s 250th birthday is celebrated by the Philadelphia Orchestra this weekend. Pianists Daniil Trifonov, Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman are slated to perform Beethoven’s five piano concertos. Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 will be performed at intermission and the program will be conducted by Yannick Nèzet-Sèguin. This is the first of the orchestra’s subscription concerts at the Academy of Music since its move to the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall in 2001.

The Ultimate ‘80s Party with Tiffany
The Queen Wilmington
500 N. Market St.
Saturday, Jan. 25, 8 p.m.

The ‘80s was a decade that lives on in the popular imagination, inspiring TV shows like Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and ABC’s “The Goldbergs” as well as the book and movie versions of “Ready Player One.” Popular culture icons created in the ‘80s include Prince, Madonna, Janet Jackson and many more, including a teenager named Tiffany, no last name needed. She had four hits in the span of four years, including her cover of the Tommy James and the Shondells 1967 hit “I Think We’re Alone Now.” Tiffany’s version went #1, and in quintessential ‘80s fashion, both the video and a subsequent tour took place in malls around the country. Tiffany continued her career as a songwriter, recording artist, TV personality and now host of the Ultimate ‘80s party which stops in Delaware this weekend. Previous tour stops have featured video, bands, deejays, ‘80s contests and more.

The Mid-Winter Antique Show
WheatonArts Events Center
1501 Glasstown Rd.
Millville, N.J.
Saturday, January 25, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, January 26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

South Jersey’s WheatonArts Events Center welcomes over 40 antique dealers to its Millville location for a show including books, toys, pottery, jewelry, linens, memorabilia, furniture, ceramics and more. While there, patrons can also view the exhibits at the Museum of American Glass. Some of the vendors appearing at the show include Old Dog Antiques, Overstockdotmom and Uniques and Antiques.

Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-Garde
University of the Arts, various venues
Through Saturday, April 4
Free, depending on the venue, call ahead

Between 1956 and 1976, Philadelphia artists, writers, architects and musicians made significant contributions to the avant-garde genre. “Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-Garde” showcases artists including Rafael Ferrer, Ray Metzker, Ree Morton and Italo Scanga. Displayed across four Philadelphia venues – three at the University of the Arts and one at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts – the exhibit invites you to view Philadelphia as a city of firsts. The city’s contributions to rock music, the Philly Sound, its pop art exhibitions and the strides Philadelphia has made in arts education, architecture and urban planning are displayed via posters, pamphlets, films and more. Special events through the exhibit’s run include discussions, a walking tour, a film screening and a poetry performance.

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