See Art in the Open, the outdoor showcase of working artists, plus the latest Cirque du Soleil show, the Dad Vail Regatta, the first Night Market of the season and more! Robin Bloom shares her picks.
Cirque du Soleil’s “Ovo”
Catch Cirque du Soleil’s latest show, Ovo, May 11-15, exploring a colorful ecosystem where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love with seven performances at the Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.
Night Market is back for 2016! Many of the city’s restaurants and street food vendors join together for the Night Market Roxborough, Ridge Avenue and Green Lane, Thursday, May 12, 6-10pm. Inspired by Asia’s lively outdoor markets, the event spotlights Philly’s best ethnic and regional restaurants and food trucks, along with live music, art, and more. Photo by Dave Tavani for The Food Trust.
First Person Arts’ “Grand Slam”
First Person Arts hosts Grand Slam, winners from monthly StorySlams competing for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia,” Thursday, May 12, 8pm (doors open at 7pm), World Café Live, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. This year’s theme is “Where I Come From,” hosted by comedian Chip Chantry and featuring Steve Clark, Greg Christie, Martha Cooney, Jackie Debellis, Lisa Dougherty, Mister Mann Frisby (pictured), Emma Hitchcock, Julian Jackson, Zeeshan Mohammed, Sara Ray, and Tim Sommers. Photo by Jen Cleary.
Cape Bank Jazz @ the Point
The South Jersey Jazz Society hosts Cape Bank Jazz @ the Point, May 12-15, with a diverse range of music by Chico Freeman Plus+tet, George Cables Trio, Eddie Henderson, The Cookers (pictured), Donald Harrison, Benedetto Guitar Artists, Jimmy Bruno, Francesco Cafiso and Andreas Varady, John Beasley, The Atlantic City Jazz Band, Gina Roche and more at various locations in Somers Point and Ocean City, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Cape Bank Jazz @ the Point.
For more music festivals within driving distance of Philadelphia from now through September, check out the Music Festival Guide.
Art in the Open Philadelphia
Art in the Open Philadelphia returns, the biennial public event offering an outdoor showcase of working artists extending along the Schuylkill River Banks from the Fairmount Water Works to South Street, featuring over 30 selected artists creating art outside in a range of media, May 13-15. On Saturday, May 14, 10:30am-2:30pm, take part in the Art in the Open Family Day, an opportunity to draw, paint, and sculpt your own creations outside in the free public art event. Produced in partnership with the Fairmount Water Works, the Center for Emerging Visual Artists and City Park Association, presented in collaboration with the Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture and the Creative Economy, Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, Schuylkill River Banks Association, and more. Photo courtesy of Art in the Open Philadelphia.
Dad Vail Regatta
The annual Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, with over 100 colleges and Universities from the U.S. and Canada, returns Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 on the Schuylkill River, named for Harry Emerson “Dad” Vail, coach at the University of Wisconsin between 1911 and the late 1920’s. There’s a free shuttle for spectators and the best place to watch is at the Grand Stand. Admission is free. Photo by Matt Slocum/AP.
My Life in 19inches
Improv actor and comic Craig Liggeons presents My Life in 19inches, a funny, thought-provoking one man show celebrating 40 years of television. Join Craig in his bedroom as the journey begins on a Saturday morning in 1973 and travels through the decades to modern times, Friday, May 13, 8pm, The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. For mature audiences only.
Rittenhouse Square will be transformed by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s annual Fine Craft Market, Friday, May 13, 11am-7pm, Saturday, May 14, 11am-7pm, and Sunday, May 15, 11am-5pm. The event brings to town 150 fine craftspeople from across North America with crafts ranging from ceramics to jewelry to handmade clothing to artisan furniture and more, along the sidewalks around Rittenhouse Square Park, 1800 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.The second Love on the Streets (LOTS) Festival takes place Saturday, May 14, 12pm-9pm at Paine’s Park, celebrating skateboard and urban culture with live music by Lithuania, Steady Hands, Jank, The Obsessives, Mumblr, and more, plus live arts, skateboarding, and skating demonstrations, N. 29th Street, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public. #SassySaysPlazapalooza is Saturday, May 14, 1pm-7pm, featuring live music by Tall Trees, Dreaming Tree, Kamara, and more along with food, beer, children’s activities, Grays Ferry Avenue between South & 23rd Streets at the Triangles Plaza, Philadelphia. Rain date May 15.
Theatre Exile’s “The Invisible Hand”
Theatre Exile takes on the ideology of terrorism, religion and the financial markets with the timely and provocative political thriller The Invisible Hand, May 12 through June 5. The Philadelphia premiere by Pulitzer Prize winning Pakistani-American author and playwright Ayad Akhtar focuses on an American banker who is imprisoned by an Islamic terrorist group with no one negotiating for his release so he must take matters into this own hands. How far will he go to survive? Directed by Barrymore Award winning director Matthew Pfeiffer and starring Ian Merrill Peakes, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, J. Paul Nicholas, and Anthony Mustafa Adair at Studio X, 1340 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Robert Hakalski.
“The Secret Garden” at Arden Theatre Company
Arden Theatre Company shows how hope can bloom from the darkest of places with The Secret Garden, opening May 12. The heartwarming Tony Award-winning production – with book and lyrics by Marsha Norma and music by Lucy Simon – is a musical adaptation of the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett and was co-conceived by set/video designer Jorge Cousineau and Arden’s Producing Artistic Director Terrence J. Nolen (who directs the show). After the sudden death of her parents, ten year old Mary is sent to live with a cold and distant uncle she’s never met and finds solace in a hidden garden. Cast includes Jeffrey Coon, Elisa Matthews, Baily Ryon, Sarah Gliko, James Stabp, Hudson Orfe, Jim Hogan, Alex Keiper, Steve Pacek, Sally Mercer, Anthony Lawton, and Scott Greer, through June 19, 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. Related programs and events include post-show discussions on May 26, 29, June 1, 5 and 8 and open captioned and audio described performances on June 10-11. Pictured: 13 year old Bailey Ryon as Mary Lennox. Photo by Mark Garvin.
Brandywine Ballet’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
Brandywine Ballet brings back The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the popular production created by resident choreographer Nancy Page, blending professional and young dancers to tell the classic tales of the magical journey of Dorothy and her fellow travelers, with four performances, May 13-15, at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, 700 S. High Street, West Chester, PA. Photo courtesy of Brandywine Ballet.
Savoy Company’s “The Pirates of Penzance”
Catch The Pirates of Penzance, the Savoy Company’s fully-staged satirical musical comedy operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan with three performances at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on Friday, May 13, 8pm and Saturday, May 14, 2pm and 8pm. The beloved witty show of pirates, blundering policeman and zany adventures features professionally designed sets and costumes, accompanied by an orchestra performing some of Gilbert and Sullivan’s best loved songs. Performances for all ages and benefitting the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. Photo courtesy of the Savoy Company.
“Sister Act” at Walnut Street Theatre
Rejoice in Walnut Street Theatre’s Sister Act, the fun musical comedy adapted from the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg, opening in previews on May 17. Set in Philadelphia, the show tells the story of wannabe disco diva Deloris Van Cartier who witnesses a crime which leads the police to hide her in a convent for protection. While there, she helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she rediscovers her own. Directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford and starring Broadway actor Dan’yelle Williamson making her walnut debut as Deloris, Mary Martello as Mother Superior, along with Laura Giknis, Melissa Joy Hart, Diane J. Findlay, and Ellie Mooney through July 17 on the mainstage, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Open captioning, ASL and audio described performances available. Photo by Holly Porch.
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Check out the Music Festival Guide to the festivals within driving distance of Philadelphia from May through September from New York to Virginia.
Each week, the Entertainment Guide spotlights interesting local arts offerings happening now, including music, dance, theater, museums, special exhibitions and other arts events from across the region.
To submit an event to be considered, email Robin Bloom at email@example.com.