Weekly Entertainment Guide – ‘Book of Mormon,’ Philadelphia Dance Day & Balloons!

    "The Book of Mormon" takes to the stage July 29 through September 14 at the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia. (photo courtesy of the Kimmel Center)

    Balloons, films, free Shakespeare, a Century in Art, a Night in Venice, festivals, concerts and more this week. Robin Bloom shares her picks.

    What’s Happening

    XPoNential Music Festival

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    The XPoNential Music Festival returns this weekend, July 25-27, featuring a lineup of established and up-and-coming artists, including Beck, Ingrid Michaelson, Old 97s, Man Man, Rodrigo y Gabriela (pictured), Houndmouth, Strand of Oaks, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, and more along the Camden waterfront on the River Stage and Marina Stage at Wiggins Park and on the Main Stage at Susquehanna Bank Center. In addition to continuous music, the family-friendly festival offers food and craft vendors along with the Kids Corner area in the Children’s Garden from 11:30am-6pm Saturday and Sunday.

    New Hope Film Festival

    Touted by the Huffington Post as the “emerging Sundance East,” the New Hope Film Festival screens 103 films from 16 countries including the USA, Israel, UK, Canada, Honduras, India, Venezuela, France, Italy, Russian Federation, Australia, Belgium, China Swaziland, Mexico and Uganda. Independent films, art house features, documentaries, Mid-Atlantic films, short films, student films, TV pilot, webisodes and music videos are all on the program along with 50 screenplays and 3 teleplays, many of which are U.S. and world premieres. Filmmakers will be in attendance too, July 25-August 3, at New Hope Arts Center and New Hope-Solebury High School. Pictured: Recursion, short film directed by Sam Buntrock, a modern day time travel adventure.

    32nd Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

    It’s “love at first flight” at the 32nd annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in the country, July 25-27, with morning and evening ascensions (6:30am & 6:30pm) of more than 100 balloons from around the world. Signature special shaped balloons include the QuickChek “Flighthouse,” a 115 foot tall flying lighthouse to promote the “restore the shore” efforts. Also, the world’s largest American flag that commemorates 9/11. New this year, an 85-foot-tall Angry Birds balloon, a 100-foot-tall brightly colorful hummingbird, the 100-foot-tall Unique Photo panda bear, and much more. Catch a taste of ballooning with a tethered ride in a balloon that stays close to the ground and overlooks the entire festival grounds. Or, go all the way up with a pilot! Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, America, 3 Doors Down and Hot Chelle Rae perform, plus a 5K race, fireworks, a nighttime balloon glow, arts and craft vendors, food, children’s activities and more, at Solberg Airport, Readington, NJ, north of Princeton. On-site parking available.

    40th Street Summer Series continues

    The 40th Street Summer Series continues this Saturday, July 26, 6pm, with Raphael Xavier W.O.R.X. Meets Bobby Zankel & the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, along with complimentary ice cream and family activities. Upcoming performances include the Avalon String Band, and Nation Beat, behind the Walnut Street Free Library, 40th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia. Free.

    Night in Venice

    Ocean City’s annual Night in Venice returns this Saturday, July 26, 7:30pm, modeled after the traditional boat parades in Venice, as owners decorate their boats and parade through the city’s lagoons and back bays, from Longport Bridge to Tennessee Avenue, Ocean City, NJ, with live music, children’s activities and food. This year’s theme is “Night at the Oscars.” Admission fee for Bayside Center and Grand Stand Seating is Free. Gates open at 5pm. Free parking and shuttle service available.

    East Passyunk Car Show & Street Festival

    The 9th Annual Car Show and Street Festival (formerly known as the Doo Wop Festival) rolls into East Passyunk Avenue this Sunday, July 27, noon-5pm, one of South Philly’s largest outdoor festivals, as more than 140 cars, motorcycles and trucks line the five blocks between Broad and Dickinson Streets and compete for Best of Show and other honors. The accompanying free street festival features continuous live music, circus performances, street vendors, rack sales, children’s activities and a craft show. Food and drink specials offered. Rain date is Sunday, August 3.

    Shakespeare in Clark Park

    Shakespeare in Clark Park brings free productions of the Bard’s plays to the West Philadelphia park each summer. July 30 through August 3, the epic production Henry IV: Your Prince and Mine combines aspects of both Henry IV: Parts 1 and 2, collaborating with Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. The play includes a 100 person battle scene featuring a diverse array of Philadelphians ranging in age from 13-59 and representing 36 neighborhoods. The cast includes Brian Anthony Wilson, Charlie DelMarcelle, and Brian Ratcliffe and is directed by Alex Torra. Performances at 7pm at “The Bowl,” 43rd Street & Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. Free. Bring chairs and blankets and flashlights! Rain location at University of Pennsylvania Ice Rink.  Also offered, free community activities before each performance including the Pub Prelude and Conversation Stations.

    KidFest at Abington Art Center

    The annual KidFest returns to Abington Art Center, Thursday, July 31, 5:30pm, celebrating family, community and art with an exhibition of works created entirely by children, interactive and hands on projects and workshops, lawn games, food, the Great Vindini, children’s activities, vendors, and a performance by the Philadelphia Caribbean music ensemble Trinidelphia (pictured), 515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown, PA.


    “Didn’t Your Father Have This Talk with You?”

    Tony Braithwaite’s Didn’t Your Father Have This Talk with You? returns to Act II Playhouse July 24 through August 3. The one-man show includes storytelling, stand-up comedy, personal testimonies, one-liners, improvisation, audience interaction and more, based on the experiences Braithwaite, the theater’s artistic director, had as a religion and sex education teacher at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia. Directed by Mary Carpenter, the show is onstage at 56 E. Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA.

    “The Book of Mormon”

    The Broadway tour of The Book of Mormon takes to the stage July 29 through September 14 at the Forrest Theatre. The Tony Award winning musical is a religious satire about two young Mormon missionaries who are sent to a remote village in northern Uganda. By the creators of South Park – Trey Parker and Matt Stone – along with Robert Lopez, who recently won an Oscar for the music from the Disney movie Frozen, 1114 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

    “Eugene Onegin”

    Russian Opera Workshop offers a free production of Tchaikovsky’s unique psychological opera Eugene Onegin, July 29-31, at the Academy of Vocal Arts’ Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Sung in Russian with English supertitles with founder and music director Ghenady Meirson at the piano. Preceded by a concert of Russian Romance songs on Monday, July 28, including a forward by American composer Daren Hagen. All shows start at 7:30pm. No tickets, reservations or subscriptions required. Seating on first come, first served basis.

    “Love’s Labour’s Lost”

    Classical Acting Academy, a free program of the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre performs Love’s Labour’s Lost, July 30 through August 17. Directed by Aaron Cromie, the lively comedy about men who take vows to avoid women for 3 years in order to pursue lives of study, is onstage Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7pm and Sunday matinees at 2pm, URBN Annex on Drexel University’s Campus, 3401 Filbert Street, Philadelphia. Admission is free with a 4 ticket limit.

    “The 39 Steps” at Hedgerow Theater

    Hedgerow Theatre’s summer farce is onstage through August 17. Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps promises to deliver the laughs. Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan, the fast-paced romp features four actors playing more than 150 characters. Directed by Damon Bonetti and starring Matt Tallman, Rebecca Jane Cureton, Joel Guerrero and Andrew Parcell, 64 Rose Valley Road, in Rose Valley, PA. Hedgerow Theatre is America’s first repertory theatre.

    Art Appreciation

    “Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art” at Woodmere Art Museum

    Woodmere Art Museum focuses on Philadelphia painter Theresa Bernstein (1890-2002) with the first retrospective of the pioneering artist who chronicled 20th century urban life. Theresa Bernstein: A Century in Art features more than 50 works on paper and paintings, including images of immigrants, suffragettes, parks, music halls, wartime rallies, and more, revealing the major issues of her time from the perspective of being both a woman and Jewish, having been praised for “painting like a man.” Bernstein was originally from Poland, immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Philadelphia. She attended the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art & Design) and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The exhibit opens on Saturday, July 26 with a lecture by Michele Cohn, Ph.D., a close friend of the artist, and is on view with related programs and events through October 26, 9201 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. Organized by Gail Levin, professor at Baruch College. Woodmere offers free admission on Sundays and is always free for students. Pictured: Verdi’s Requiem, 1930.

    Pennsylvania Guild of Fine Craft Fair

    The Brandywine Valley’s largest fine craft fair, the Pennsylvania Guild of Fine Craft Fair, returns this weekend to the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, DE. More than 190 independent local and regional craft artists showcase their work, which includes furniture, clothing, jewelry, pottery, woodturning, sculpture, photography, and fine art, Saturday, July 26, 10am-6pm and Sunday, July 27, 10am-5pm.


    Remembering Bob Marley

    The 20th annual Peoples’ Festival pays tribute to Bob Marley in his first American hometown, Wilmington, Delaware, Saturday, July 26. Gates open at noon with live music, international food, worldwide arts and crafts, and performances by Third World, IOctane, Spokey Speaky, and more, hosted by Mutabaruka, Tubman-Garret Riverfront Park, Water Street.Ziggy Marley comes to Philly this Sunday, July 27 to perform at the TLA. Doors open at 7pm and concert starts at 8pm, 334 South Street.


    Orgone stops in Philly on their tour this Saturday, July 26, 8pm. The energetic, fun, California funk band performs at the North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar Street, Philadelphia. 21 and over event.


    MarchFourth Marching Band

    MarchFourth Marching Band brings their big band sound to the World Café Live at the Queen, Wednesday, July 30. Expect an entertaining show with stilt-walkers, dancers, flag twirlers, clowns, and acrobatics. Doors open at 7pm and show at 8pm. Zach Deputy opens, 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE.


    Delaware County Summer Festival

    Delaware County Summer Festival continues with a performance by the Brandywine Ballet Company Friday, July 25, 7:30pm. The mixed classical and contemporary program features excerpts from Colour Brillanté by resident choreographer Nancy Page, set to the music of Antonin Dvorak. Also, two original works by Tim Early incorporating modern, jazz and lyrical dance. Free and open to the public at Rose Tree Park’s hillside Amphitheater, Route 252 & Rose Tree Road just off Route 1, Media, PA.Bring blankets or lawn chairs.

    Philadelphia Dance Day

    Put on your dancing shoes and join in the fun with the 5th annual Philadelphia Dance Day, Saturday, July 26, beginning at 9am and featuring free workshops, live performances by some of Philadelphia’s best dance instructors at venues across the city, culminating in an evening dance party at the Ethical Society Building on Rittenhouse Square ($5). The event is designed for dance enthusiasts of all ages, dance specialty and skill level, with an array of workshop options from Indonesian to tap, Tango and striptease! A detailed schedule of events and venues is available online.

    Ragas and Airs

    Usiloquy Dance Designs perform their latest Bharatanatyam work Ragas and Airs, a cross-cultural, site-specific and multidisciplinary free performance, Saturday, July 26, 4pm and 7pm. The 45 minute original Indian classical dance features 6 dancers touching on themes of Irish immigrants and early textile industry in Kensington and 18th century Sanskrit texts with Irish ballads by contemporary Pennsylvania based Celtic band Burning Bridget Cleary at the Irish Memorial, S. Front Street & Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. The performance is followed by an interactive segment engaging audience members in a demonstration of dance techniques and information about the commemorative Irish sculpture by Glenna Goodacre.




    Tricia Whiting 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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