Weekly Entertainment Guide – Bastille Day, Blobfest, & Perfect Blue

     Join the annual Bastille Day Block Party Saturday, July 15, as Eastern State Penitentiary and the Bearded Ladies cabaret troupe present the French Revolution in a spectacle of song and dance. Photo by Darryl Moran.

    Join the annual Bastille Day Block Party Saturday, July 15, as Eastern State Penitentiary and the Bearded Ladies cabaret troupe present the French Revolution in a spectacle of song and dance. Photo by Darryl Moran.

    Robin Bloom offers suggestions for what to do this week in the Philadelphia region!

    What’s Happening

    Vive la France! Celebrate Bastille Day

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    Put on your best 18th century French peasant clothes and join the 23rd annual Bastille Day Block Party, Saturday, July 15, beginning at 2 p.m. with a French Family Carnival 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 a spectacle of song and dance all culminating in a playful re-enactment of the Storming of the Bastille at the historic prison at 5:30 p.m. 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 more than 2,000 Tastykakes are flung from the prison’s towers. The performance, as always, is free and open to the public, with exclusive VIP seating available. Then, French-themed entertainment as well as twilight tours at the penitentiary, 22nd and Fairmount, Philadelphia. Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité! Photo by Darryl Moran, courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary.

    Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival

    The 11th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival hits Philly on Saturday, July 15, celebrating the “new wave of jazz.” The line-up includes headliner Jaleel Shaw, Josh Lawrence, Matthew Clayton, V. Shayne Frederick, Lee Mo, Nazir Ebo, Phoenix Mystique, and the Universal Dance and Drum Ensemble. The free jazz and arts celebration kicks off at noon at Saunders Park, 39th and Powelton, with food trucks, vendors, and family friendly activities. Hosted by the People’s Emergency Center, whose mission is to nurture and strengthen families and neighborhoods in West Philadelphia. Free parking. Photo courtesy People’s Emergency Center.

    Summerfest Live!

    Summerfest Live! Craft Beer Festival returns to South Philly this Saturday, July 15, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., with over 175 craft beers from over 75 breweries, live music all day, and more, XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, 1100 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia.


    “Bluegrass & Blueberries” Festival at Peddler’s Village

    Peddler’s Village hosts its Bluegrass and Blueberries Festival, Saturday and Sunday, July 15-16, beginning at 10 a.m. both days with a weekend full of blueberry treats and live bluegrass and country music, children’s activities, and more, Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, Pennsylvania. Performers include Ray Owen, Borderline, Mike Brill, the Hillbillies of Cohesion, Tino and Ashley, and more. Rain or shine. Photo courtesy of Peddler’s Village.

    Clark Park Festival

    The Dead Milkmen headline the Clark Park Festival, Saturday, July 15, beginning at 11 a.m. with live music through the day. Bands also include the West Philadelphia Orchestra plus local art, craft vendors, food trucks, and children’s activities, 43rd and Chester, West Philadelphia. Free. Photo by Jessica Kourkounis.

    Reggae in the Park

    The Mann Center’s annual Reggae in the Park is this Sunday, July 16. Doors open at 12 p.m., show at 1 p.m. Enjoy the sounds of Ziggy Marley (pictured), Beres Hammond, Sizzla, Capleton, and more performers on both the Mann’s Main Stage and Crescendo tent. Also, live DJ sets, arts and crafts vendors and Caribbean and global cuisine, 5201 Parkside Avenue, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Kids 12 and under enter for free (lawn only) with a parent. Photo courtesy of Ziggy Marley.


    Enjoy the “new sounds of Latin America” with Neuvofest, featuring 8 bands from 5 countries including Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Bands include Tribu Baharu (pictured), Javiera Mena, Buscabulla, Rubio, Mariachi Manchester, and more, Sunday, July 16, 2 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. rain or shine, on an outdoor stage against the backdrop of the Delaware River at FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia. Part of Latin Roots Live! Concert series produced by WXPN. Photo by David Gaar.

    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, Pennsylvania celebrates its role in the film with the annual Blobfest, July 14-16, a kitschy, family-friendly event saluting the classic sci-fi movie, filmed in and around the town. Catch special screenings of the Blob movies and on Friday night, July 14, 7 p.m., is the stage show and Run Out (sold out but you can still watch). The celebration continues with the street fair on Saturday, July 15, 11 a.m., with performances by Dibbs Preston and the Detonators, and more, emceed by Mr. Lobo, 227 Bridge Street. Tickets required for movies and some activities. Street fair is free. Photo courtesy of the Colonial Theatre.

    Tie-Dye Music Festival

    The annual Tie-Dye Music Festival returns to the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, uniting art, music and the community with a free, family event, Saturday, July 15, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. The afternoon features five local bands including Darlingtyn, Out of Order, Light Rail, Sonoma Sound and Lost Northern Tribe, plus vendors, raffles, and tie-dye activities! Bring your own items to tie-dye for a fee or buy t-shirts, aprons and scarves on site. Food and beverages available for purchase. Bring your own and set up chairs and blankets on the side lawn of the Center. The event is rain or shine and will be moved inside if it rains and parking is provided, 414 Plush Mill Road. Photo courtesy of the Community Arts Center.

    Shady Grove Music Fest

    The Shady Grove Music Fest, Delaware’s premier festival for local and original music, is this Saturday, July 15, beginning at 11 a.m. with 9 bands including Spokey Speaky, Hoochi Coochi, RFA, Rosu Lup, Church Girls, Stay Inside, Joe Trainor Trio, Carrier, and Acoustic Shadow, in the grove behind Gild Hall, at 2126 The Highway, Arden, Delaware. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Food and beverage available for purchase – no outside food or beverage permitted. Children 12 and under free. In the event of rain, performances move to Gild Hall.

    Shore Festivals

    The annual Atlantic City Caribbean Carnival Weekend takes place July 14-16, celebrating Caribbean traditions with events, parties, and the free costumed parade on Saturday, July 15 in Pleasantville, New Jersey with a carnival village, live music, beer garden, food and more. On Sunday, July 16 is the parade on the Boardwalk at 1pm.  Crabulous Crab Day is Friday, July 14 at the Wetlands Institute, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Learn about crabs with crabbing at the dock, tips and tricks, crab cake cook-off and cooking lessons, teaching tank, photos, scavenger hunt, crab races, games and more, 1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard, Stone Harbor, New Jersey.  Head to Cape May for the 13th annual Celtic Festival at Historic Cold Spring Village, Saturday and Sunday, July 15-16 and celebrate all things Irish and Scottish. Enjoy musical entertainment throughout the grounds with Nae Breeks Pipes & Drums Band (pictured), dancers, interactive demonstrations, a pub area, children’s activities and rescue dogs to adopt. The Village’s restored, historic buildings will also be open with historical interpreters demonstrating the trades and crafts of the 1800s, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., on Route 9, three miles north of Cape May City and four miles south of Rio Grande, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Historic Cold Spring Village.

    Camp Bisco

    The Disco Biscuits once again host Camp Bisco, three days of music, art, camping and water park fun at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain Waterpark, July 14-16, with the Disco Biscuits (pictured) Bassnectar, Pretty Lights Live, Griz, Lotus, Gramatik, Action Bronson, the Floozies, Turkuaz, Twiddle, and more, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo by Tim Dwenger.

    Tiny Dynamite’s “Perfect Blue”

    Tiny Dynamite brings an explosive and inventive piece of theater to Christ Church Neighborhood House with the U.S. premiere of G.S. Watson’s Perfect Blue, set in the near future after the beginning of The Sixth Great Extinction as huge biotech firms have found a way to replace lost species with genetic reproductions. As war wages between nations, aimed at destabilizing the food chain and weaponizing the planet’s ecology for commercial and territorial gain, a British scientist (Emma Gibson) working for a large Biotech in the U.S. communicates with her husband (Harry Smith), a geneticist in the U.K., via a transatlantic link. Their personal relationship, along with the situation in the U.K. are teetering in this dramatic production. Performed by two actors on two continents, connected by a live internet connection, the show is directed by David O’Connor, July 13-23, 20 N. American Street, Philadelphia. Photo by David O’Connor.

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