Johnathan Blake, The Dead Milkmen, Philly food fests, and roller skating in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

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The Dead Milkmen

(The Dead Milkmen/Facebook)

Two big spring food fests in South Philly and Manayunk anchor weekend events that include concerts from Dianne Reeves, the Dead Milkmen, and Johnathan Blake. Earth Day is celebrated in the area with the kid-friendly Naturepalooza event.

Dilworth Park roller skating rink

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The city’s central outdoor skating rink turns to wheels this spring with Dilworth Park reopening its roller rink. Visitors can (and should) pre-register for one-hour sessions. Skate rental is just $5 or, you can, of course, bring your own skates. Beer, cocktails and ‘light fare’ are available on-site.

  • What: Outdoor activity
  • Where: Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th
  • When: Through Sunday, July 17. Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 8:45 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11:15 p.m.
  • How much: Kids 10 and under $8, $10 adults, $5 skate rental

Philly food festivals

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Sunday is a good day to be hungry in Philadelphia, as the city hosts not one, but two, major food festivals for the first time since COVID shut large-scale activities down. If you were hoping to make both, you’ll have to plan, as they are happening on the same day at the same time. The Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival on Main St. from Shurs Lane to Green Lane, features over 50 food trucks and gourmet food purveyors, along with local vendors and live music. The Flavors on the Avenue festival, in and around East Passyunk from Broad to Dickinson, features much of the same with local vendors and kid-friendly activities.

  • What: Street festivals
  • Where: Manayunk, East Passyunk 
  • When: Sunday, April 24, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: Pay as you go

Naturepalooza

  • What: Outdoor Earth Day event
  • Where: Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Rd. 
  • When: Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • How much: Free

Me, Myself and Shirley

Classic TV shows last forever, especially those that were universally watched in the era before streaming. The 70s/80s sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” was one of those shows, making stars out of Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall. Williams, now 74, recounts her time on the show, her roles in the acclaimed films “American Graffiti” and “The Conversation” and the ups and downs of her life and career.

  • What: One-woman show
  • Where: Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main St., New Hope, Pa.
  • When: Saturday, April 23, 2 p.m., 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 24, 2 p.m.
  • How much: $45 and up, VIP tix include a drink ticket and meet and greet with Williams

Sister Act The Musical

The exuberant stage play “Sister Act” stemmed from the movie franchise starring Whoopi Goldberg as Deloris Wilson, a singer who hides in a convent after testifying against her mobster ex. The musical, launched in 2006, uses that premise as an excuse for a whole new slate of music that has become just as popular. You can see it on stage at the Media Theater, starring Dené Hill in the role that Goldberg made famous.

Johnathan Blake and Pentad

So you thought Questlove was the only accomplished drummer out of Philly? Blue Note artist Johnathan Blake, who hails from Germantown is building his reputation as a homegrown talent as well. (We should also acknowledge Philly-born veteran drummer Lil John Roberts). Blake’s Blue Note debut “Hometown Bound” was released last year. He and his band Pentad are the featured artists in the Clef Club’s Jazz Cultural Voices series which kicks off the venue’s reopening on Saturday night.

  • What: Concert
  • Where: The Philadelphia Clef Club, 736 S. Broad St. 
  • When: Saturday, April 23, 7:30 p.m.
  • How much: $35

The Dead Milkmen

(The Queen)

Founded in Philly in the 80s, The Dead Milkmen have been through a number of trials including the loss of an original member, bassist Dave “Dave Blood” Schulthise, and a breakup in 1995. But after reuniting in 2008, they’ve released two albums and continue to record and tour. Their last studio album, “Pretty Music for Pretty People” came out in 2014.

  • What: Concert
  • Where: The Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, Del.
  • When: Friday, April 22, 8 p.m.
  • How much: $25

Dianne Reeves

(Kimmel Center)

It’s safe to say that five Grammys and being honored as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts gives you bragging rights. It also cements the legacy of Diane Reeves, who over the last thirty-plus years has earned her place at the top of the jazz pantheon. Reeves, still known best to non-jazz fans for her 1987 debut hit “Better Days”, one of the most moving tributes to grandmothers ever recorded, is at the Miller Theater on Thursday night. Her latest release, “Light up the Night: Live in Marciac” came out in 2019.

The All-Star Purple Party Tribute to Prince featuring Junie Henderson

(City Winery)

Amazingly, it has been six years since Prince passed but the tributes, celebrations, and releases keep his legacy alive. Edward “Junie” Henderson has fronted a Prince tribute band for several years and he’s bringing his All-Star Purple Party to Philly. Expect an energetic set of Prince’s hits from Henderson’s full band, which includes some former members of the New Power Generation.

Philadanco: RE-vived and Archived, RE-visited and RE-constructed 

Philadanco is 51 years old and counting, and this season, they’re debuting a newly configured performance that takes elements of, per their publicity materials, “Ulysses Dove’s “Bad Blood,” Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s “The Walkin’, Talkin’,” “Signifying Blues Hips,” “Lowdown Throwdown,” Rennie Harris’ “Wake Up,” and Ray Mercer’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

  • What: Dance performance
  • Where: Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad St., inside the Kimmel Center
  • When: Friday, April 22, 7:30, Saturday, April 23, 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 24, 2 p.m.
  • How much: $29 and up

Family Day: Celebrating Puerto Rican Culture

In conjunction with its latest exhibit, “La Brega: Art for Reimagining the World” the National Liberty Museum is partnering with Taller Puertorriqueño for a family day celebrating Puerto Rican culture. “La Brega” artist Johnny Irizarry, UPenn music ensemble Fuerza and jewelry designer Adia DeVine will all be on hand, and there will be games, including dominoes, hosted by Queen and Rook.

  • What: Cultural celebration
  • Where: National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut St.
  • When: Saturday, April 23, noon – 4 p.m.
  • How much: $12 adults, $10 seniors, $8 students with ID, kids 6-17 with registration

Philly Night Out at the Philadelphia Orchestra

College students and recent graduates are welcome to attend Campus Philly and the Philadephia Orchestra’s mashup “Philly Night Out.” The free concert is a performance by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, playing Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto and Strauss’ “Ein Heldenleben.”

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.

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