Weekly Entertainment Guide -10 New Things to do in the New Year


    "The Body of An American," onstage at Wilma Theater, was inspired by an interview playwright Dan O'Brien heard on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Pictured: Harry Smith, Ian Merrill Peakes (photo by Alexander Iziliaev).

    It’s cold outside but inside “It’s Delovely!” A selection of winter theater shows, including one featuring the songs of Cole Porter.  Also, the art of Oleg Vassiliev, all-Brahms and all-Schubert recitals and more.  Robin Bloom shares her picks.


    “The Body of an American” at Wilma Theater

    Opening this week at Wilma Theater is The Body of an American. After hearing an interview with Paul Watson (on Fresh Air with Terry Gross in 2007) about taking the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of a dead American soldier being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, Dan O’Brien befriended the Canadian photojournalist. The award winning play is based on the friendship between the two men and Watson’s book Where War Lives, with two actors (Ian Merrill Peakes as Paul and Harry Smith as Dan), who also play over twenty other characters, directed by Michael John Garces, January 7 through February 1. Special events include a Beer Tasting pre-show reception, January 9, post-show chats, Directors Gathering Dialogue, film screenings, opening captioning and more, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia.

    “Agnes of God” at South Camden Theatre Company

    South Camden Theatre Company takes on Agnes of God by John Pielmeier, as part of their “Season of Faith,” January 9-25. Directed by Producing Artistic Director Joseph M. Paprzycki and starring Susan Dewey as Mother Miriam Ruth, Dana Haberern as Agnes and Nancy Bennett as Dr. Livingstone, the moving play is about a young nun who gives birth to a baby who is found dead and the investigation that follows, Waterfront South Theater, 400 Jasper Street, Camden, NJ. Post-show discussion “Spiritual Signs and Symbols” with Camden author and artist Brother Mickey O’Neill McGrath on January 17. $5 tickets available to Camden City residents with proof of residency.

    “Fools” at Players Club of Swarthmore

    Neil Simon’s comedy Fools opens at Players Club of Swarthmore, Friday, January 9.  Directed by Jim Carroll and featuring a cast from around the region, the play, about a schoolteacher who falls in love with his student while their town in Russia is under a curse that makes everyone stupid, can be seen through January 24 at 614 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, PA. Post-show discussion and artist meet and greet on January 18.

    “Fest” at FringeArts

    FringeArts continues to push the boundaries of theater, art and music with Fest by International performance artist Ivo Dimchev. With two shows on January 13 and 14 at 7pm (the only U.S. performance outside of New York), Dimchev’s darkly funny, sexual, and intensely physical production is about a performer at an imaginary arts festival in Copenhagen, who attempts to persuade administrators to present his latest show. Created and performed by the Bulgarian artist, known for his extreme and colorful mixture of performance art, dance, theater, music, drawings and photography. Also, featuring Nicola Schoessler, Annina Machaz, and Mirko Feliziani, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia. For mature audiences only!

    “Hot ‘N Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration”

    “Anything Goes” with Mauckingbird Theatre Company’s production of Hot ‘N Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration, January 13 through February 1. Conceived by David Armstrong, Mark Waldrop, and Bruce W. Coyle, the cabaret features new arrangements of over 50 classics by the great American songwriter, with a contemporary twist, and with a gay perspective. Six singers – Luke Brahdt, Michelle Eugene, John McCarthy, Nicole Renna, Jenna Rogalski, and Phillip Anthony Wilson – perform musical arrangements by Bruce W. Coyle, directed by Producing Director Brandon McShaffrey, with musical direction by Hana Cai and David Jenkins accompanying on piano, Skybox at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.

    “Private Lives” at Walnut Street Theatre

    Noël Coward’s comedy Private Lives takes to the stage at Walnut Street Theatre, celebrating the 85th anniversary of its world premiere. The award winning show by the witty English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer tells the story of a divorced couple honeymooning at the same resort with their new spouses whose feelings for each other are rekindled. Directed by Bob Carlton and starring Dan Hodge, Clare O’Malley, Lauren Sowa, Kathleen Wallace, and Greg Wood. In previews January 13 and onstage through March 21, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Also on stage is A Life in the Theatre by David Mamet in the Walnut’s Independence Studio on 3.


    Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Concerts

    The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society starts the new year with concerts: An All Schubert Recital* with soprano Susanna Phillips, bass-baritone Eric Owens, and pianist Myra Huang with Ricardo Morales on clarinet and Jennifer Montone, horn, January 9, 8pm, Perelman Theater; Pianist Seymour Lipkin, January 14, 8pm, Philosophical Society; Violinist Catherine Cho, cellist Peter Stumpf, and pianist Cynthia Raim, January 15, 8pm, Perelman Theater; Soprano Sarah Shafer and pianist Lydia Brown, January 20, 8pm, Philosophical Society; Pianist Jonathan Biss (pictured), January 22, 8pm, Perelman Theater; Juilliard Quartet with pianist Leon Fleisher, January 25, 8pm, Perelman Theater; Pianist Kuok-Wai Lio, January 27, 8pm, Philosophical Society; St. Lawrence Quartet, January 28, 8pm, Perelman Theater.

    * UPDATE: The All Schubert recital has been postponed to April 2015

    All-Brahms recital

    The Academy of Vocal Arts celebrates its 80th anniversary season with a free, one night only All-Brahms recital, Sunday, January 11, 3pm. Resident artists perform vocal quartets by the German composer at the Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Performers include Vanessa Vasquez, Hannah Ludwig, Galeano Salas, Daniel Noyola, Alexandra Nowakowski, Alexandra Schenck, Jonas Hacker, Anthony Schneider, Huanhuan Ma, and Mackenzie Whitney, accompanied by Anne Faulkner-Schoemaker on piano, Pamela Fay on violin, and Robert Kahn on clarinet. Musical direction by Luke Housner. Reservations are required.

    Art Appreciation

    “Oleg Vassiliev: Space and Light” at the Zimmerli Art Museum

    On display at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University is Oleg Vassiliev: Space and Light, the first museum exhibition featuring the art of the Russian contemporary artist since his death in 2013. The display features 83 works from the museum’s collection and on loan from private collections in the United States (many rarely exhibited), examining the artist’s ability to evoke ethereal space, with drawings and paintings dating from the 1950s to his death. Organized by Julia Tulovsky, Associate Curator of Russian and Nonconformist Art at the Zimmerli, and accompanied by a major catalogue, extended through January 18, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ. Free admission. Pictured: A House on the Island Anzer, 1965

    “Constructing Play” at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture

    On display at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture is Constructing Play: Classic Building Toys, an exhibit that recounts the development of classic children’s building toys over the past 150 years. Play at the hands-on maker stations and join in on a 90 minute instructor led family workshop on Saturdays for children in grades 2-6. January 10, 1pm-2:30pm is “Upcycled City,” and January 17 is “Stick-let Structures,” 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia.



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

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