Puppet Festival, ‘Broadway on the Beach,’ and Mess Fest — 20 events to do in Philly region this week

     Puppeteers from

    Puppeteers from "Avenue Q," "Sesame Street" and The People's Puppets of Occupy Wall Street perform and present workshops open to the public at Swarthmore College, August 5-10.

    Looking for something to do this week? WHYY’s Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what’s happening in the Philadelphia region. Here are her picks:

    In Philly


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    Mess Fest at Franklin Institute

    Bring a change of clothes and prepare to get messy at the Franklin Institute’s “Mess Fest,” Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4, noon-4pm, offering the best in slimy, oozing, exploding, and gooey science with fun demonstrations and “make-n-take” activities in the Bartol Atrium, on the front steps, and in the front yard, 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia. Included with museum admission. The fun continues next weekend as well, August 10-11. Check website for details.


    ACANA Festival at Penn’s Landing

    The 6th Annual ACANA Festival features nonstop music, food, games, and activities for the whole family, Saturday, August 3, 2pm-8pm. This year’s festival includes artists from all over the world such as Rafiya, Jodi, Joanne Tigress Rowley, Rotimi & De Afrophonik Crew, Universal Dance Ensemble, Moses Swaray, Jay Q, the Chillton Jah James Reggae Band and more at Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia.


    Mural Arts “What We Sow” tour

    Join the “What We Sow” Mural Arts Tour this Sunday, August 4, 9:30am-12pm, including a stop at Growing Home, a garden cultivated in partnership with the neighborhood’s Burmese and Nepali community.  Also, visit the Food Trust’s farmer’s market at Headhouse Square for an insider’s tour, and hear from special guest muralist Shira Walinsky about Southeast by Southeast, her project which celebrates the diversity of new immigrants from all over the world, focusing on South Philly’s growing Bhutanese and Burmese populations.  Board the trolley for a tour of Southeast Philadelphia at 2nd and Lombard Streets.


    2nd Street Festival

    The 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties brings the community together for a 5th year this Sunday, August 4, noon-10pm, encouraging a positive, healthy lifestyle in a growing neighborhood. This year, music organized by the Philadelphia Folksong Society includes Banned Books, Angela Sheik and The Bailey Hounds, Kuf Knotz, West Philadelphia Orchestra and much more, along with workshops, art, food, beer, and vendors lining North 2nd Street between Germantown and Green Streets, Philadelphia.


    Reggae in the Park

    The Mann Center’s 2nd annual Reggae in the Park is this Sunday, August 4, 1:30pm. Enjoy the sounds of Beres Hammond, Jimmy Cliff (pictured), Tarrus Riley, Shaggy, Maxi Priest, Yellowman and more performers on both the Mann’s Main and Skyline stages. Also, live DJ sets at the top of the hill, arts & crafts vendors and Caribbean & global cuisine, 5201 Parkside Avenue, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Kids 12 and under enter for free with a parent or guardian.


    Sejong International Music Festival

    The Sejong International Music Festival travels from Seoul, South Korea to the Curtis Institute for its first annual summer festival in Philadelphia this August, led by Artistic Director Hsin-Yun Huang (pictured). Bridging East and West, the festival will host forty students in violin, viola, cello and piano, performing free concerts of solo and chamber music, August 7-17. Also featuring a Faculty Showcase Concert of world-renowned performers on August 10 and 17, a Rising Star Recital with pianist and composer Matan Porat on August 12, and a free screening of Buster Keaton’s 1926 classic silent film “The General” with improvised musical accompaniment by Porat on August 13. All concerts take place in Gould Hall at the Curtis Institute, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia.


    GDP Productions’ “Noir”

    If you’re looking for twisted, affordable theater, GDP Productions presents “Noir,” with intrigue, suspense, thrills, and chills. A multi-disciplinary production, which highlights the hidden, seedy, overlooked aspects of the urban landscape, features dance choreographed by Melissa Forgione, fights by Oliver Donahue, live jazz trumpet played by Jess Brownell, and original stories by local playwrights Annie Such, Cubby Altobelli, and Shoshana Ruth, Wednesday, August 7 through Sunday, August 11 at the back lounge at Roosevelt’s Bar, 2222 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Seating is very limited, reservations are recommended.


    Pennsylvania Dutch Festival at Reading Terminal Market

    The 24th Annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival returns to Reading Terminal Market, Thursday, August 8 through Saturday, August 10, 8am-5pm, featuring handmade crafts and traditional foods. Enjoy Amish buggy rides and horse drawn wagons, a farm animal petting zoo, and live bluegrass music on Saturday as the festival moves outside for a country fair in the city, 12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia.


    This is Hardcore Festival

    The “This is Hardcore Festival” hits Philly Thursday, August 8 through Sunday, August 11 with dozens of bands performing including Kid Dynamite (pictured), Blacklisted, Black Train Jack, Cold World, Striking Distance, Truth, and more at Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street, Philadelphia.



    “Spatial Translations” at Leonard Pearlstein Gallery

    “Spatial Translations,” an art exhibition at Drexel University’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery takes viewers on a visual journey through artistically rendered urban environments. Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York-based artists Annette Cords, William Cromar, Brent Crothers, and Paul Fabozzi question the relationship between organic and mechanized landscapes in drawings, paintings, sculptures, and installations. The artists make use of architectural models, new media, found objects, and more. Take a smart-phone guided tour to gain insights about the work from the artists themselves, through September 18, 3401 Filbert Street, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public. Organized in collaboration with the non-profit artists network InLiquid. Pictured: “Who Broke the World?” (2003) by sculptor Brent Crothers, in a response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.


    Shofuso, Japanese House and Garden

    Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, located in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park, was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials and moved to Philadelphia on the site of several previous Japanese structures continuously maintained since the 1876 Centennial Exposition. The traditional-style house with its hinoki roof, the only one of its kind outside of Japan, can be toured, along with the gardens, koi pond and island. Shofuso offers tea ceremony lessons, Japanese classical dance lessons, workshops, film screenings and more, on the grounds of the Horticulture Center, Lansdowne and Horticultural Drives.

    Pennsylvania Suburbs


    The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

    The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, in its 33rd season, storms the grounds of the Mount Hope Estate and Winery this weekend and continues on Saturdays & Sundays (including Labor Day Monday) through October 27. Each of the 13 Fair weekends has a theme and features a trip back to 16th century England with over 90 shows daily, period food, crafts, children’s activities, Ultimate Joust, Human Chess Match, Shakespearean plays in the three-story replica of London’s Globe Theater, and more, Route 72, 15 miles north of Lancaster and 14 miles east of Hershey, one-half mile south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 266.

    “A Year With Frog and Toad!” at Upper Darby Summer Stage

    Upper Darby Summer Stage entertains for another season, bringing children’s books to life, with “A Year With Frog and Toad!,” featuring the characters from the Arnold Lobel classic, August 7-9, 10:30am and August 8, 7:30pm. The show is approximately 70 minutes. Kids are invited to come early for pre-show activities before the morning performances and stay after the show to meet the cast members. Free babysitting is offered as well for those who may not be able to sit through the show, ideal for ages 4 and up. The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center is located in Drexel Hill at 601 N. Lansdowne Avenue. “Fiddler on the Roof” is on the main stage August 2-10.

    Puppet Festival (r)Evolution

    See puppets as you’ve never seen them before, in experimental and family-friendly performances, at the Puppet Festival (r)Evolution, the 2013 National Festival of the Puppeteers of America, at Swarthmore College, August 5-10. Hundreds of award-winning puppeteers from around the country present original works that range from lighthearted entertainment to profound explorations of the human condition. The performers and puppet makers have worked for shows such as “Avenue Q,” “Sesame Street,” and The People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street. Performances, talks, and workshops are open to the public at various venues, primarily on the school’s campus in Swarthmore, PA. On Saturday, August 10, the festival culminates with a puppet parade at 2pm, followed by outdoor performances and free films on the lawn.

    New Jersey


    Les Misérables at Surflight Theatre

    Enjoy Broadway at the Beach as Surflight Theatre takes on “Les Misérables,” starring Bart Shatto (Jean Valjean), who has played Jean Valjean on Broadway and in the show’s National Tour, and Todd Alan Johnson (Javert), who has played Javert on the National Tour. The production, directed by Norb Joerder, opens Friday, August 2 and is onstage through August 24 at 201 Engleside Avenue, Beach Haven, NJ.


    Summer Social at Grounds for Sculpture

    Grounds for Sculpture hosts a “Summer Social,” Saturday, August 3, 11am-4pm, celebrating the summer season with live music by Nassau Brass, vintage cars, art workshops, family activities, sculpture tours, refreshments, and more at 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, NJ. Included with park admission.


    “The Producers” at Haddonfield Plays and Players

    The Mel Brooks musical “The Producers” is onstage in South Jersey at Haddonfield Plays and Players, as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom scheme to get rich with a Broadway flop, through August 10, 957 East Atlantic Avenue next to the Crows Woods Recreational Complex, Haddonfield, New Jersey.




    Riverfront Blues Festival

    The Riverfront Blues Festival returns August 2-4 to the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park in Wilmington, DE. This outdoor music festival features over 20 performances by artists such as the James Cotton Band, Jimmy D. Lane (pictured), John Primer, Elvin Bishop, and more. Festival begins on Friday at 5pm, Saturday at noon and Sunday at 12:30pm.



    Buckweat Zydeco at World Café Live at the Queen

    Buckwheat Zydeco brings his unique sound to World Café Live at the Queen, Tuesday, August 6, doors open at 7pm, show at 8pm, 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE. Nat Osborn Band opens.



    DCCA summer exhibits

    The Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (DCCA) continues its legacy of presenting a wide-ranging view of contemporary art and culture with summer exhibits including “From Joy to Terror,” works by a diverse community of artists whose work suggest playful, poetic, and satirical survival strategies for social ills, through October 20. Also, as part of the CUR(EAT) exhibition, see Michael O’Malley’s “The Community Oven Project,” bread oven social sculpture, built onsite at the DCCA. Learn about the process of naturally leavened artisan bread-making at workshops, Friday and Saturday, August 2-3, 200 South Madison Street, Wilmington, DE.

    Cecily Garber and Ilana Levinson contributed reporting to this week’s guide.

    To submit an event to be considered for the Weekly Entertainment Guide email Robin Bloom at artscalendar@whyy.org.

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