Weekly Entertainment Guide – BalletBoyz, 215 Festival & ‘Great Expectations’

     Dance Affliates and Annenberg Center Live opens the 32nd Season of Dance Celebration with a performance by BalletBoyz/the Talent, kicking off their seven-city North American tour at Annenberg Center October 23-25. (Photo courtesy of the Annenberg Center)

    Dance Affliates and Annenberg Center Live opens the 32nd Season of Dance Celebration with a performance by BalletBoyz/the Talent, kicking off their seven-city North American tour at Annenberg Center October 23-25. (Photo courtesy of the Annenberg Center)

    20 things to do this week in the Philly region. Robin Bloom offers her picks.

    What’s Happening

    215 Festival

    215 Festival celebrates Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and literary scene and this year puts the spotlight on South Street, home to more independent bookstores than any other area in the city. Look for diverse events that highlight the written, spoken and visualized word, from readings to performances to writing clinics to parties. Festival kicks off Thursday, October 23 with Philadelphia poet laureate Frank Sherlock at Headhouse Square and events continue through Sunday, October 26.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Locust Moon Comics Festival

    The Locust Moon Comics Festival is Saturday, October 25, 10am-6pm, an annual celebration of comics, illustration, and graphic arts. This year’s event highlights the release of Locust Moon’s Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, a giant book featuring contributions from over 100 artists, many of whom will be in attendance at the festival. Guests include Bill Sienkiewicz, Paul Pope, Mark Schultz, Box Brown, Rebecca Mock, Farel Dalrymple, Dean Haspiel, J.G. Jones, Denis Kitchen, Tom Scioli, Jose Villarrubia, Dave Bullock, Ronald Wimberly, Yao Xiao, and Nathan Fox. Events include workshops, children’s activities, panels and discussions on the art, business, and history of comics, at The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

    Philadelphia Open Studio Tours East of Broad Street

    Philadelphia Open Studio Tours East of Broad Street is this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, noon-6pm. Neighborhoods include Center City East plus Callowhill, Kensington, Fishtown, and Port Richmond, Northern Liberties, Old City, Queen Village, Bella Vista, South Philadelphia, Pennsport, and East Passyunk. Professional visual artists open their studios to the public for the display and sale of their artwork, with guided tours, workshops, artist talks and more. A list of participating artists, neighborhood maps, and free mobile app and smartphone guide available online to plan your own itinerary. Guided trolley tours available October 26, 1pm. Presented by the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA). Pictured: The Fugue by Lauren Boilini, Metropolitan Gallery 250, 250 South 18th Street Unit 102, Philadelphia.

    South Street Pumpkin Fall Fest

    South Street Headhouse District’s annual Pumpkin Fall Festival returns for a 6th year Saturday, October 25, noon-5pm, with pumpkin decorating, aerial circus performances, live music, hay rides, a PHAIR fall bazaar and more including arts and crafts with Fleisher Art Memorial’s ColorWheels mobile art studio, at the historic Headhouse Square Shambles, 2nd Street between Pine and Lombard, Philadelphia.

    Freaky Fall Fun

    In the mood for spooky, creepy fun? Experience Lon Chaney’s classic 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera (pictured) with live, improvised musical accompaniment by Paul Flackenstein, original organ literature, opera arias, and popular songs, Saturday, October 25, 7:30pm, First and Central Presbyterian Church, 1100 Market Street, Rodney Square, Wilmington, DE.  Spend an Evening of Edgar Allan Poe with historic interpreter Anne Louise Williams and dramatic recitations of several of the “Master of Macabre’s” writings, along with readings from newspapers, letters and observations of his contemporaries, Thursday, October 23, 6:30pm, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia.  Graeme Park celebrates Halloween with Moonlight Tales, two age appropriate events that include Haunted Tales, Friday, October 24, 7pm and 8pm with author, paranormal investigator and Grim Philadelphia Tour guide Laurie Hull. Admission includes snacks and a bonfire. On Sunday, October 26, at 2pm, enjoy a Mini Moonlight program with scary stories for kids (ages 4-9), crafts, ice cream sundae bar and more, in the Keith House, the only surviving residence of a colonial Pennsylvania governor, 859 County Line Road, Horsham, PA.


    Mendelssohn Club prepares for their North American premiere of Felix Mendelssohn’s edition of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Big Sing! Mendelssohn, Bach and the Chorale. You can sing along (pictured) with the chorus on select chorales (music can be found here), Sunday, October 26, 4pm, Girard College Chapel, 2101 S. College Avenue, Philadelphia. Alan Harler conducts.

    “The Voices” – Sopranos from the Academy of Vocal Arts – Anush Avetisyan, Chloe Moore, and Julia Dawson – perform on Sunday, October 26, 3pm at the Croft Farm Arts Center, 100 Bortons Mill Road, Cherry Hill, NJ as part of the Cherry Hill Ensemble Series.  They’ll be accompanied on piano by Luke Housner and with special guests from Cherry Hill High School East, sopranos Patricia Irwin and Abigayle Stoetzer (who have been mentored by AVA).

    Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra Tempesta di Mare opens their new season with Tempesta Sings…Bach and Praetorius. The program includes J.S. Bach’s birthday serenata Durchlauchtigster Leopold!, the US premiere of Johann Rosenmüller’s wedding cantata, Es muß dir, wertes Paar, and Bach’s embrace of earthly life’s end, Komm, du süße Todesstunde, with vocal concertos by Michael Praetorius: Nun helft mir Gottes Gütes preisen and Das alte Jahr ist nun vergahn, performed by vocal quartet Laura Heimes, Drew Minter, Aaron Sheehan and David Newman. Performances take place Saturday, October 25, 8pm, the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue and Sunday, October 26, 4pm, American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.

    A Taste of Southern Culture

    Charlie Daniels Band

    The legendary Charlie Daniels Band makes a very rare, Philly-area appearance at the Keswick Theatre, Thursday, October 23, 8pm, with their blend of rock, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and local bluegrass band Mason Porter opening, 291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, PA.

    Southern Culture on the Skids

    Join the party with Southern Culture on the Skids, Saturday, October 25, and their blend of Americana – rockabilly, surf rock, country and more – with their signature humor and onstage antics. Doors open 7:30pm and show is at 8pm, with the Sharkskins opening, Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Avenue, Sellersville, PA.  ** UPDATE – this concert is SOLD OUT **


    “Great Expectations” at Arden Theatre Company

    Arden Theatre Company presents Great Expectations, Charles Dickens’ classic coming-of-age story about the orphaned Pip, who inherits a fortune from a mysterious benefactor, assumes the life of a gentleman and moves to London, where he realizes the difficulty of leaving behind his past. Adapted for the stage by Milwaukee-based playwright, Gale Childs Daly, the play tightens the novel’s winding plot without losing suspense. All 40 characters are performed by a six-person ensemble cast featuring Josh Carpenter, Kate Czajkowski, Doug Hara, Brian McCann, Sally Mercer, and Lindsey Smiling. Directed by Matthew Decker on the Arcadia Stage, 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, through December 14. Special events and performances include a Pay What You Can on October 22, post-show discussions on October 30, November 9, 12, 19, and December 7, plus open captioned and audio described performances on November 14-15, and Teen Arden, November 16.  Photo by Mark Garvin.


    Cutting edge London-based dance company, BalletBoyz/the Talent, kicks off a seven-city North American tour at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, presented with Dance Affiliates and Dance Celebration. The all-male dance troop examines masculinity in their performance, fusing energy and grace, as the men move together and alone to two works by well-known choreographers. In Liam Scarlett’s Serpent, the athletic dancers show off their physiques in flesh-colored attire set to Max Richter’s Memoryhouse. In contrast, Russell Maliphant’s Fallen offers a muscular, martial art-influenced dance. Four performances on Thursday, October 23 through Saturday, October 25 at 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Talk backs with the company follows the Friday performances and BalletBoyz will conduct two master classes on Friday, October 24, 11am and 2pm.  


    Brandywine Ballet performs Nancy Page’s Dracula (pictured), based on the Bram Stoker novel, set amidst eerily lit castles and terraces, and featuring principal dancers Tim Early and Hannah Telthorster reprising their roles as Dracula and Elizabeta/Mina, Friday, October 24, 10am, Saturday, October 25, 2pm and 7:30pm, and Sunday, October 26, 4pm, at Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, West Chester, PA.  

    Can’t get to West Chester? The Atlantic City Ballet’s annual presentation of Dracula is Friday, October 24 through Sunday, October 26, 7pm and Halloween night, October 31 at 10pm in the Celebrity Theater, Claridge Hotel, Park Place and Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ.

    EgoPo’s “Death of a Salesman”

    EgoPo Classic Theater opens a new season, “American Giants Festival,” exploring the promise of the American Dream through the work of three great American playwrights, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, and Arthur Miller, whose classic Death of a Salesman is being staged in honor of the playwright’s upcoming 100th birthday. The iconic play was seen in Philadelphia for the first time at the Locust Street Theater, 1411 Locust Street (where Estia is today) before its Broadway premier in 1949. EgoPo transports you back to 1940’s Brooklyn to the home of the Loman family and remains faithful to Miller’s script, honoring his working class background and Jewish roots with the Philadelphia revival. Directed by Lane Savadove and starring Ed Swidey as Willy, Mary Lee Bednarek as his wife Linda, Sean Lally as Bigg, Kevin Chick as Happy, and Russ Widdall, Steven Wright, Derrick Millard, Anna Szapiro, and Kaitlin Kemp, with set design by Dirk Durossette, through November 9 at the Latvian Society, 531 N. 7th Street, Philadelphia.

    Sassy Says…

    Halloween isn’t just for kids!

    Sassy offers the following recommendations for fun dog-friendly fall events this week!



    Halloween in Manayunk (as heard on WHYY-FM’s Morning Edition)

    Head to Manayunk for Halloweekend fun with family friendly activities kicking off on Thursday, October 23 with Manayunk Theatre Company’s one act thriller, “Splatter,” at Bourbon Blue. On Friday, October 24, Chew Philly haunted food tours start at 11:30am with Halloween movie night at 6:30pm. Follow the scarecrows for trick or treating on Saturday, October 25, 12pm-4pm, and enjoy a dog and kid Costume parade, bring-your-own carved pumpkin contest, and Zombie dance off. Also on Saturday, check out the fall festival in Pretzel Park from 12:30pm-6pm with live music, dance performances, food, Philadelphia Flea Market, and more. The evening concludes with Halloween fires on the canal!

    Fall Fest & Spooky Saturday

    East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District’s Fall Fest & Spooky Saturday is October 25, 11am-4pm, with free activities for all ages and dogs too. Expect trick or treating, food and drink offerings, a craft show, live music, costume contest for kids and dogs, pumpkin painting, and more, by the Singing Fountain, East Passyunk Avenue and Tasker and Mifflin Triangle, East Passyunk Avenue and Mifflin, South Philadelphia.

    Howl-O-Ween Hound Day

    The historic riverfront estate Glen Foerd on the Delaware hosts the first annual Howl-O-Ween Hound Day, Saturday, October 25, 10am-2pm, with a canine red carpet, costume contest, nail clipping spa, artisan doggy treats, training tips, medical advice, dog food trucks and more, 5001 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia. Benefitting the Philadelphia Police K-9 Unit and paying tribute to “Little Ugly,” Glen Foerd’s most famous dog. The cast iron sculpture of the beloved dog was erected by his owner Charles Macalester, who established the estate (pictured).



    Christine Kelley 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.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal