MLK Day celebrations, Peabo Bryson, Ardmore Winter Beer Fest and ‘Love Notes 3’ in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

Jan. 11 - 15: MLK Day in Philly, Marshall Charloff and the Purple Xperience in N.J. and a Whitney Houston tribute concert in Delaware are among the weekend’s highlights.

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The scene at Girard College on MLK Day in 2018.

The scene at Girard College on MLK Day in 2018. (MLK Day of Service/Twitter)

The King Holiday is celebrated worldwide, but the celebration in Philadelphia is one of the largest anywhere. The hub of the MLK Day of Service is Girard College, which hosts a variety of service and community organizations and a tribute concert courtesy of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The African American Museum in Philadelphia’s array of events begins on Saturday with a dance and music performance. And tribute, anyone? Marshall Charloff channels Prince with the Purple Xperience in New Jersey and South African singer Belinda Davids pays homage to Whitney Houston in Delaware.

New Jersey | Delaware | Special Events | Arts & Culture | Food & Drink | Kids | Music

New Jersey

Marshall Charloff & The Purple Xperience

Prince sings into a microphone while performing
File photo: In this Feb. 18, 1985 file photo, Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing, File)

Prince may have passed on, but his music still resonates with many, including tribute performers. While it may seem daunting to try to take on the work of such a singular artist, Marshall Charloff and The Purple Xperience have an edge. Charloff co-founded the band with Revolution keyboardist Matt Fink. They’re at the Scottish Rite Auditorium Friday night.


Greatest Love of All

While her promotional materials are careful to say she’s not affiliated with the Whitney Houston estate, South African artist Belinda Davids’ performance is authentic to the late icon’s music. While no one can truly duplicate Houston’s once-in-a-generation vocals, Davids is a powerful singer in her own right. Her “Greatest Love of All” is a worthy entry in the increasingly crowded world of tribute performers. She’s at the Grand in Wilmington Thursday.

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Special Events

MLK Weekend Roundup

Matt Kuentzler and other volunteers help clean up tires by Tacony Creek Park
Matt Kuentzler, of Philadelphia (left), and other volunteers help clean up hundreds of tires that were dumped into a ravine near the Cheltenham Avenue entrance to Tacony Creek Park. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
  • Where: Multiple venues
  • When: Through Monday, Jan. 15
  • How much: Free – various prices

A comprehensive list of MLK Day events below:



Philadelphia Auto Show

Classic cars fill the Great Hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
Classic cars fill the Great Hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the 2022 Philadelphia Auto Show. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
  • Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. 
  • When: Saturday, Jan. 13 – Sunday, Jan. 21, varied hours depending on day.
  • How much: $12 – $20 

Always one of the most anticipated tentpole events on the calendar, the Philadelphia Auto Show motors into the Pennsylvania Convention Center Saturday. The event is going big on EVs this year, but Stellantis (Dodge, Jeep, Ram and other brands) is sitting this one out as they regroup after settling the United Auto Workers strike. That means no Camp Jeep where you could ride in a Wrangler tilting precariously to the side of the indoor track to demonstrate its off-road capabilities. But you can take selected vehicles “off-campus” for a test drive, and there are still tix for Friday’s Black Tie Tailgate with a show preview that benefits CHOP.

Arts & Culture

Cascade of Colors Art Exhibition

  • Where: Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, 1201 Market St. 
  • When: Friday, Jan. 12, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • How much: $10

Fourteen Philly artists showcase their work at the Cascade of Colors Art Exhibition. Organized by the Community Art Gallery, the event aims to get artists in front of buyers at a reasonable price with the added entertainment incentive. In this case, that includes a tribute to Dr. King, with a special display by Chuck Styles and a spoken word performance by Emerson Ruffin. After the show, there’s an afterparty at Liberty Lanes.

And Then There Were None

Despite its offensive original title, “And Then There Were None” became British mystery writer Agatha Christie’s bestselling novel and ultimately the best-selling crime novel of all time. The stage adaptation is being put on by the Old Academy Players at their East Falls location.

 Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

Edward Albee’s 1962 play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” won a Tony for Best Play in 1963. But the film adaptation underscored the genuine tension between star-crossed real-life husband and wife Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the lead roles. It worked because Taylor won her second Oscar as frustrated wife Martha to Burton’s George. The stage version gets a four-week run at the Walnut Street Theater.

Love Notes 3: Notes to Self

Performers onstage
(Courtesy of Aversa PR)
  • Where: Society Hill Dance Academy, 1919 E. Passyunk Ave. 
  • When: Saturday, Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • How much: $35 (includes two cocktails) $50 VIP

The East Passyunk Opera Project serves up opera and cocktails in conjunction with Top Dog Cocktails and Society Hill Dance Academy at the third incarnation of their “Love Notes” series. It started during the pandemic and continued virtually and in person to bring audiences closer to opera. “Love Notes 3: Notes to Self” combines opera, musical theater and art songs performed by artists who’ve been on stages from the Metropolitan Opera to The Hollywood Bowl.

Food & Drink

Ardmore Winter Beer Fest

Over 20 local breweries will have beers on tap at the Ardmore Winter Beer Fest. Musical accompaniment will be provided by Dad & Company, who promise a day full of patented “dad funk.” VIP tickets include brunch, early entry and 20% off future shows at the venue.


Up Late With the Sphinx

Two kids with a flashlight look at engravings on display at the Penn Museum
(Courtesy of Penn Museum)
  • Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 
  • When: Saturday, Jan. 13, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • How much: $30 per person, advance registration required, no tickets will be sold at the venue.

A real-life night at the museum is something many kids dream of. Penn Museum is hosting Up Late With the Sphinx, which gives kids 6-12 the chance to realize that dream. The evening includes games, activities, make-and-take projects and a flashlight tour.


Peabo Bryson

Peabo Bryson sings into a microphone.
Peabo Bryson performs during the Centennial Olympic Park’s 4th of July Celebration at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Atlanta. (Photo by Robb D. Cohen/Invision/AP)

Crooner Peabo Bryson went mainstream when he sang “A Whole New World” with Regina Belle for the “Aladdin” soundtrack. But he wasn’t new to R&B fans who already loved him for hits like “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” with Roberta Flack. Although he won two Grammys for his Disney duets (the other with Celine Dion for “Beauty and the Beast”) he’ll be solo on Sunday night at the Keswick Theater.

Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper performs onstage
Robert Glasper of Dinner Party performs at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
  • Where: City Winery, 990 Filbert St. 
  • When: Friday, Jan. 12, 6 p.m., 9:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13, 6 p.m., 9:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 14, 6 p.m., 9:30 p.m.
  • How much: $45 – $85

Six City Winery shows in three nights — that’s sort of a residency and one befitting an artist as beloved as jazz pianist Robert Glasper. He’s a Grammy, Emmy and Peabody Award winner who successfully crossed over from jazz to R&B and back. Last year, he received even more accolades when Chris Brown lost a Best R&B Album Grammy to him and famously posted, “Who the f— is Robert Glasper?” Fans of real music been knew, and Glasper seized the moment by creating T-shirts with the phrase. The shows are mostly sold out, but you can still get on the waiting list.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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