March Madness, indeed! Not only does the NCAA tournament come through the city, so do musicians both aspiring and accomplished who highlight a busy weekend of varied events in the Delaware Valley.
Not everyone’s dysfunctional family makes it to a Tony-award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play. But writer/actor Tracy Letts’ family did in the intergenerational saga “August: Osage County” about what happens when a Midwestern family is forced to come together in the wake of tragedy. The award-winning play was made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in 2013. There are only six performances in a two-week run at Wilmington’s Drama League.
- What: Stage play
- Where: Wilmington Drama League, 10 W. Lea Blvd.,Wilmington, Del.
- When: Friday, March 25 – Sunday, April 3
- How much: $12 – $20
Morris Animal Refuge, founded in 1874 by Elizabeth Morris has been at its 12th and Lombard location since 1878. It’s one of the first shelters in the country to prioritize the care of needy animals, particularly cats. Their annual Fur Ball, now in its 25th year, raises money for the shelter and is among the social highlights on the Philadelphia event calendar.
- What: Charitable event
- Where: The Bellevue Philadelphia, 200 S. Broad St.
- When: Friday, March 25, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
- How much: $175 and up
Since it’s Women’s History Month, it’s worth mentioning that actress Halle Berry was the first Black woman to win a Best Actress Oscar 20 years ago today (March 24, 2002). This year, New Zealand’s Jane Campion is poised to make history again as her film “The Power of the Dog” is up for an Oscar for Best Picture and she’s nominated for Best Director. You can see it all play out at Philadelphia Film Society’s annual Oscars party. Attendees, who usually dress for the occasion, will hang out and watch the show and then party like the stars. If you missed any of the films nominated for Best Picture, PFS is screening them in person (except for “Drive My Car” which screened earlier this week) in a block of films from Thursday through Saturday.
- What: Event-themed party
- Where: Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut St.
- When: Sunday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. (VIP, A-List entry) 7:30 p.m. general admission
- How much: $60 and up
Octogenarians Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon may have officially split in 1970, but by then they had cemented themselves into a permanent place in the American music canon. The duo was officially recognized with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. As Simon has announced his retirement from touring (with the exception of certain charitable events) the duo will likely not be seen on stage together again. But in “Simon and Garfunkel” a biographical, multimedia tribute, stage actors perform many of the duo’s biggest songs.
- What: Musical theater
- Where: The Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.
- When: Friday, March 25, 7:30 p.m.
- How much: $35 and up
In a shameful time in American history, for many years women were denied the right to vote. It took an amendment to the Constitution to change that, something that scores of women suffragettes worked on for decades to make happen. Those women are recognized in an ongoing hybrid exhibit at the National Constitution Center. In celebration of Women’s History Month, admission is free on Saturday, March 26. Wawa is the sponsor, handing out free coffee, hot chocolate, pastries, and pretzels from 1 – 4 p.m., or while supplies last. Special programming includes a kid’s town hall, the “Four Harriets” program about four women named Harriet who fought slavery, and a scholar talk with West Chester University’s Tonya Thames-Taylor and Villanova’s Judith Giesberg.
- What: Hybrid historical exhibit
- Where: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St.
- When: Ongoing
- How much: Free with museum admission. In a special promotion, admission is free this Saturday (March 26) and can be reserved in advance.
It’s an art party at the venue most appropriate for it – the biggest art museum in the city. This event includes performances by local artists Beano French, who recently released his EP, “Just Beano” and Seraiah Nicole, whose debut album “The Truth” is a mixture of music and poetry. DJ AMH and DJ Caution will keep the party going until midnight while spinning the latest grooves. The open bar stocked with local wines and beers should make the night even more festive.
- What: Cultural event
- Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
- When: Saturday, March 26, 8 p.m.
- How much: $75 ($55 for members)
Singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin’s debut album “Steady On” established her as a singer/songwriter with a powerful voice and point of view. She’ll perform an acoustic rendition of the album in its entirety on her current tour, which begins its spring run at the McCarter Theatre Center. Raised in Illinois, the three-time Grammy-winner has released twelve albums and a memoir. In 1998, Colvin was inadvertently part of an infamous “viral” (if social media had existed then) moment with Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
- What: Live concert
- Where: McCarter Theater Center, 91 University Pl., Princeton, N.J.
- When: Friday, March 25, 8 p.m.
- How much: $25 – $60
Like so many annual events, last year’s Play-A-Palooza was a casualty of the pandemic. This year, it returns with a host of kid-friendly performances, games, activities, and giveaways. Among scheduled performers and organizations are Ballet SunMi; Philadelphia School of Circus Arts; Dancing Classrooms; the Academy of Natural Sciences; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion; Tree House Books; Awbury Arboretum, and Soccer Shots.
- What: Kid-friendly outdoor event
- Where: Smith Playground, 2100 S. 24th Street
- When: Saturday, March 26, noon – 4 p.m.
- How much: $10, (free with ACCESS card)
Happy birthday, Port Richmond! The traditionally Polish-American neighborhood with its history of dockworkers, tanners, and weavers is celebrating a major milestone with a community party. Stock’s bakery is providing the cake, there will be food and craft purveyors onsite throughout the day, and an (early) Easter egg hunt is scheduled, along with a Port Richmond-opoly tournament that will be played on neighborhood-themed boards.
- What: Community celebration
- Where: Cohocksink Recreation Center, 2901 Cedar St.
- When: Saturday, March 26, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- How much: Free
Rock to the Future provides free music education to Philly’s underserved youth. Their annual fundraiser/concert/showcase will happen Friday at World Cafe Live. William Tyrone Toms of REC Philly is the night’s MC and Georgie Bonds is the featured performer. The schedule for the evening includes food, drink conversation, and student performances. A livestream will be available for anyone who’d prefer to watch from home.
- What: Concert & fundraiser
- Where: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.
- When: Friday, March 25, 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
- How much: $75 – $150
Led by Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra boasts some of the best jazz musicians in the universe. As the ‘house band’ at Jazz at Lincoln Center since 1988, they’ve further expanded the genre’s reach by touring, educating, and recording. In 2015, they created Blue Engine Records, which has released 19 recordings featuring the JLCO.
- What: Concert
- Where: Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.
- When: Thursday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.
- How much: $55 and up
Gospel icons Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton, and Hezekiah Walker bring a joyful noise to The Met Philadelphia on Sunday night. They also bring a combined nine Grammy wins to the table, er, stage. (Houghton has the bragging rights as a six-time winner.) Expect songs from their latest releases: Hammond’s 2021 “Sunday Morning Fred,” Houghton’s “Feels Like Home Vol. 2” and Walker’s 2003’s “Nothing But the Hits.”
- What: Concert
- Where: The Met Philadelphia, 858 N. Broad St.
- When: Sunday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
- How much: $39 and up
Keep checking with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our weekend entertainment picks during the COVID-19 recovery. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.