NoLibs restaurant week, classic guitar fest, Low Cut Connie, and empanadas at home in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

People dine outside in Northern Liberties. (Courtesy of Northern Liberties Business Improvement District)

People dine outside in Northern Liberties. (Courtesy of Northern Liberties Business Improvement District)

In a boost to the region’s arts and culture community, the Kimmel Center announced this week that they plan to reopen their campus this fall. They are set to start with Broadway shows including “Hamilton” in October, but no dates as of yet for the return of Opera Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the other organizations that share the cultural campus. But the announcement is a hopeful sign of the gradual rebound of arts and culture in the city.

Northern Liberties Restaurant Week

Añejo, in Northern Liberties (Courtesy Anejo/Aversa PR)

Northern Liberties is already known for a wide variety of eateries and this weekend, they’re kicking off their first annual restaurant week. Twenty restaurants — including Love and Honey Fried Chicken, North Bowl, Germantown Garden, Añejo — will offer two-course lunch menus for $10-$15 and a three-course dinner menu for $15, $20, and $25. Dining will be available both inside and outside with social-distancing protocols in place.

  • What: Discounted restaurant fare
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Friday, April 9 – Saturday, April 18
  • How Much: two course lunch menus $10 – $15, three-course dinner menu $15, $20, $25

Fête 2021

Adam Weiner (right) and Will Donnelly of Low Cut Connie. (Emad Hasan)

Theaters in the area have been shuttered for most of the last year, although many have responded to the pandemic in creative ways without being able to have audiences in-house. The Wilma Theater’s annual fundraising event will be held online this year, but it’s still packing local star power. HotHouse company members Jaylene Clark Owens and Justin Jain will co-host the night, which includes a performance by Pandemic Performer of the Year Low Cut Connie, other surprise performances, and a virtual dance party.

East Coast Reptile Expo

Green iguana
Green iguana (BigStock / Zoran Photographer)

Reptiles, amphibians and arachnids? If that sounds appealing to you, then Oaks, Pa. is the place you should be this weekend. The expo includes all of those creatures as well as the cages, aquariums, and other supplies that will help keep them healthy.

Empanada Alley

Empanada platter (Courtesy Empanada Alley)

Thursday, April 8 is National Empanada Day. The folks behind Cuba Libre, including two-time James Beard award winner Chef Guillermo Pernot, are celebrating the tasty turnovers by launching Empanada Alley, a new delivery-only spot. It will offer six different empanadas — beef, chicken, pork, sweet, tuna, and even a vegan option. Empanadas start at $5 and a portion of each sale will be donated to Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE) a national foundation that provides financial assistance to restaurant workers and their families.

  • What: Delivery-only restaurant
  • Where: Via their website
  • When: Ongoing
  • How Much: Empanadas start at $5

The Decemberists 20th anniversary celebration

The Decembrists (promo shot)

The Portland, Oregon-based rockers will be performing live from their home base the next three Sundays in April. They’re celebrating 20 years together and their latest EP, “Traveling On,” released in 2018. The band — now composed of Colin Meloy, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, John Moen, and Nate Query — is known for their interactive live shows, so expect them to keep that same energy even through a screen.

  • What: Virtual live concerts
  • Where: Online
  • When: Sunday, April 11, 8 p.m., (other shows on April 18, April 25)
  • How Much: $25 standard single ticket, tiered options include a pass for all three shows and VIP tickets that include signed poster and other perks

Philadelphia Classical Guitar Festival

Beijing Guitar Duo (Sophie Zhai)

There are few sounds more beautiful than the ones emanating from a classical guitar. Some of its best practitioners will appear at this year’s virtual festival that includes workshops, masterclasses, student recitals, and performances by Beijing Guitar Duo and Grammy-nominated lutenist Ronn McFarlane.

  • What: Online music festival
  • Where: Via YouTube and Zoom
  • When: Saturday, April 10, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 11, 8:30 p.m.
  • How Much: $25 registration required

Inter-generational Jazz Jam

Intergenerational Jazz Concert (Courtesy AAMP)

April is Jazz Appreciation Month in Philadelphia, a series of concerts and events throughout the month to celebrate America’s homegrown classical music. As part of the seven Neighborhood Jazz Performances around the city this month, the Inter-generational Jazz Jam stops at the Horticulture Center in Fairmont Park this weekend. Scheduled players include Mike Boone with Elliot Bild, Mollie Ducoste, Ella Gahnt, Matthew Green, Jim Holton, Leon Jordan Jr., Rob Landham, Greg Kettinger, and Maria Marmarou. Parks on Tap has returned to the center as well, so after the show you can stay, hang out a while and see the beautifully blooming cherry blossom trees.

  • What: Outdoor concert
  • Where: Horticulture Center, Horticulture Center, 100 N. Horticultural Dr.
  • When: Saturday, April 10, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
  • How Much: Free

Griot Tale Saturdays

Text Rich Ali (promo)

The African American Museum in Philadelphia hosts the storytelling event twice this month at Franklin Square. On Saturday, April 10, the focus will be Jazz Appreciation Month and Text Rich Ali will explore jazz musicology. During Earth Week on April 24, Keepers of the Culture will discuss the importance of sustainability and environmental protection.

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.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal