Weekly Entertainment Guide – Bastille Day, Blobfest, and ‘I Love Lucy’

     The Bastille Day Block Party kicks off Saturday, July 13, in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia.

    The Bastille Day Block Party kicks off Saturday, July 13, in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia.

    Looking for something to do this week? WHYY’s Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what’s happening in the Philadelphia region. Here are her picks:


    Vive la France! Celebrate Bastille Day with parties around the region:

    Put on your best 18th century French peasant clothes and join the 19th annual Bastille Day Block Party, this Saturday, July 13, beginning at 10am with French-themed entertainment, food and drink specials in the Fairmount Neighborhood of Philadelphia. Eastern State Penitentiary teams up with the experimental cabaret troupe, The Bearded Ladies, once again to present the entire French Revolution in an hour-long spectacle of song and dance all culminating in a playful re-enactment of the Storming of the Bastille at the historic prison, 4:30pm-6:30pm. Dozens of French revolutionaries will capture Marie Antoinette and, ignoring her mocking cries of “Let them eat Tastykake!,” will drag her to a real, functioning guillotine as 3,000 Tastykakes are flung from the prison’s towers. The performance, as always, is free and open to the public, with exclusive VIP seating available, that includes beer, refreshments, heckling from the lower classes, and revolution goodie bags. Then, dancing in the street, French-themed entertainment, as well as twilight tours at the penitentiary, 22nd & Fairmount, Philadelphia. Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!

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    Check out the tallest Eiffel Tower sculpture in Pennsylvania at Media’s 7th annual Bastille Day Celebration, Saturday July 13, beginning at 6pm with something for everyone – vendors, dancing in the street to the sounds “The VooDUDES,” performing styles of Southern soul, New Orleans Funk and Caribbean party music, Woodworker Bok Read’s 25 foot Eiffel Tower sculpture made of cedar, and the reenactment of the “Storming of the Bastille” at State and Olive at 6:30PM. Admission to Media’s Bastille Day is free of charge.

    Grounds for Sculpture hosts a Bastille Day celebration, Sunday, July 14, 1pm-4pm, rain or shine, included with park admission. Enjoy French Impressionist sculptures, French-inspired melodies, wine, refreshments, children’s activities, and more at the 42 acre sculpture park, Hamilton, NJ.

    Blobfest in Phoenixville

    Since its first stage show in 1903, the Colonial Theatre carried on through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and in 1957, was featured in the movie “The Blob,” starring Steve McQueen. Phoenixville, PA celebrates its role in the film with the annual “Blobfest,” a kitschy, family-friendly event saluting the classic sci-fi movie, filmed in and around the town. Friday night, July 12, 7:30pm is the Run Out (sold out but you can still enjoy the parade & watch the Run out), the street fair, Saturday, July 13, 11am, as well as screenings of the movies, 227 Bridge Street. Tickets required for movies and street fair is free.

    Summer Festivals


    Delaware River festivals

    The Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations, Inc. (Concilio) hosts the Annual Hispanic Fiesta, part of the PECO Multicultural Series, Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, 2pm-8pm, with music, dance, entertainment, and authentic Latin American cuisine, Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia. Free, rain or shine.The 13th Annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival is Saturday, July 13, 12pm-8pm, a free family event showcasing art, music, food, and dance of the islands, featuring Steel Pan, Reggae, Latin and Soca Music, along with children activities, community information, health screenings, cultural arts and crafts vendors, at Wiggins Park on the waterfront in Camden, NJ.

    Reading Terminal Market’s Sidewalk Sizzle & Ice Cream Freeze

    Reading Terminal Market’s Sidewalk Sizzle & Ice Cream Freeze returns Saturday, July 13, 10am-4pm, offering special foods from a selection of market merchants including $1 hot dogs, turkey legs, kabobs, shrimp skewers, grilled pizza, hamburgers, Amish sausages, Bavarian pork sandwiches, and samples of delicious frozen desserts and other treats, live music, arts and crafts for the kids, games, and more, Center Court, 12th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia, on the what was the ground floor of the former Reading Terminal train shed. The historic market first opened its doors in 1892 on the site of what had been an open air market from the late 17th century.

    Haddonfield Fine Art & Craft Festival

    Celebrate Haddonfield’s 300th birthday at the 21st annual Haddonfield Fine Art and Crafts Festival, Saturday July 13, 11am-7pm and Sunday July 14, Noon-5pm. Count on local and national artisans showing different styles and artistic techniques, from ceramics, metal, and photography to glass, fiber and wearable art. Also, musical entertainment, outdoor cafés, activities for the kids and more, along Kings Highway between Washington Avenue and Haddon Avenue and along Tanner Street to Euclid Avenue. Free parking and admission.

    Enjoy lip smackin’ barbecue and smokin’ hot blues at the Angleasea Blues Festival, this weekend, July 12-14 in Wildwood, New Jersey. Rows of food vendors, a craft beer station and live cooking demonstrations as well as the New Jersey State Barbeque Championship give the festival a tasty edge and a chance to try ribs, chicken, pork and brisket made by barbeque competitors from across the country. On the outdoor main stage, hear Bluebone, April Mae and the June Bugs, Frank Bey & The Anthony Paule Band, and more, 2nd and Olde New Jersey Avenues, North Wildwood, NJ.“Float in” to the Nanticoke Riverfest, Seaford, Delaware’s annual two-day summer celebration, July 12-13, for food, live music, tubing on the river and more river-oriented events. The float begins at 10am on Saturday (registration at 8am) so bring a tube or buy one on-site and glide along the water to live music. Visit “Artist Alley” on Pine Street, enter canoe and kayak races, the “Duck Dash,” and so much more.

    Peddler’s Village hosts their first “Bluegrass & Blueberries” Festival, Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, 10am-6pm both days with a weekend full of blueberry treats and live bluegrass and country music, children’s activities, and more, Routes 202 & 263, Lahaska, PA.

    Shakespeare in the park

    Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company continues their Free Theatre in the Parks series with “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged,” and performances July 12, 7pm at West Pikeland Cultural Center, Saturday, July 13, 7pm, Auburn Road Vineyard, Sunday, July 14, West Chester Everhart Park, Wednesday, July 17, 7pm, McMichael Park, Thursday, July 18, 6:30pm, Abington Arts Center. Concerts continue through July 27 with rain or shine locations.


    Delaware Shakespeare Festival performs “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” July 12-28, featuring five dogs from Faithful Friends animal shelter providing comic relief as “Crab,” at Rockwood Park, 4651 Washington Street Extension, Wilmington, DE. Bring blankets or chairs and enjoy pre-show entertainment including music, wandering Bards, children’s activities and more along with food trucks on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights of the festival. Rain dates on Tuesday, July 16 and July 23.

    Art appreciation


    The Bucks County Audubon Society’s “Art of the Barn Tour” is July 12-14, honoring Bucks County and their environmental preservation efforts by taking visitors around the county to the various old barns and green fields that have inspired artists for centuries and featuring a selection of their work. Kicking off Friday evening with a lecture and art preview, tours start 9:30-4:30pm on Saturday, followed by a Castles in the Fields Reception in the evening. Tours continue from 12-4pm on Sunday, 2877 Creamery Road, New Hope, PA. Artists featured include Harry Boardman, Ron Bevilacqua, Peg Cavanaugh, Gabriel Franklin, and more.

    Celebrate art and support a good cause with the Philadelphia Draw-a-thon, a 24-hour event, beginning Saturday July 13 at noon all the way through Sunday July 14! Designed to give artists a way to use their talent to give back to the community, participants will draw as many sketches as they can to be sold at the end of the marathon for $10 each, with all of the proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia via Child’s Play Charity. Throughout the day into the night, activities include the Super Smash Bros Brawl Tournament, live musical performances, Mario Party Jam!, and more, at the University of the Arts’ Solmssen Court, 320 South Broad Street at the corner of Broad & Pine Streets, Philadelphia. All ages and skill levels are welcome to take part.

    Onstage this week


    BalletX performs their first full-length work, complete with costumes and set, with the world premiere of “Beautiful Decay,” choreographed by Nicolo Fonte, exploring through dance what it means for an individual to grow older, Friday, July 12, 8pm, Saturday, July 13, 8pm, and Sunday, July 14, 2pm, The Wilma Theater, Broad Street, Philadelphia.



    “Noises Off,” a play by award-winning playwright Michael Frayn, is onstage at People’s Light & Theatre Company through August 1. Inspired by Frayn’s experience of watching one of his own plays from backstage, “Noises Off” is a comedy about of a group of dysfunctional actors who flub lines, forget props, and miss cues as they prepare for the play-within-the-play, “Nothing On.” The production stars eight long-term company members and six guest actors. Set designer Tony Straiges has designed for Broadway’s “Into the Woods” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” For audiences 12 and up, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, Pennsylvania.


    The national tour of “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” kicks off Wednesday, July 17 at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. The brand-new hit stage show is adapted from the television program, including the beloved foursome, Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel, through August 4. The production heads to Philadelphia December 26-29 at the Merriam Theater.



    Act II Playhouse presents “Summer Flings,” a three-week festival of music, comedy, and improvisation to celebrate the start of the company’s 15th anniversary season. Some of Philly’s funniest improvisers take the stage in “Just Wingin’ It,” from July 18-21. Tony Braithwaite interviews a different guest each night in “Heeere’s Tony!,” from July 25-28. Singing and dancing are the main acts of “Broadway on Butler,” from Aug 1-4, which features Broadway hits from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and today, 56 E. Butler Avenue, Ambler, Pennsylvania.



    Music in Kahn Park

    The West Philadelphia Orchestra performs as part of the Kahn Park Summer Concerts, Wednesday, July 17, 7:30pm-9pm, 11th and Pine Streets, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public. Rain date Thursday, July 18.



    Cecily Garber and Ilana Levinson 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.

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