Weekly Entertainment Guide – ‘Bootycandy,’ LOVE Your Park, and Night Market returns

    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:


    Art After 5

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art kicks off the Center City Jazz Festival with its “Art After 5” program featuring Venissa Santi, Friday, May 10, 5:45pm-8:45pm. Additional performances include PRISM Quartet (pictured), May 17, An Evening of Fado, May 24, Lee Smith, May 31, Bearded Ladies Cabaret, June 7, and more.


    The Wedding Singer at Grand Theatre

    The Road Company presents “The Wedding Singer,” the stage musical based on the Adam Sandler movie, starring Tim Rinehart as Robbie and Amy Sprouse as Julia, through May 18 at the Grand Theatre, 405 South Main Street, Williamstown, NJ.


    Amy Helm at Arden Club

    Amy Helm, daughter of music legend Levon Helm and the founding member of the roots band Ollabelle, performs this Friday, May 10, 8pm, with New Sweden at Arden Concert Guild, 2126 The Highway, Arden, DE.


    LOVE Your Park Week

    LOVE Your Park Week, a week-long, citywide celebration of Philadelphia parks is May 11-18, including service projects, events, educational programs, family activities, tours and more at over 100 parks throughout Philadelphia. Kick-off is Saturday, May 11, 9:30am.

    Dad Vail Regatta

    The 75th Dad Vail Regatta is this weekend, Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 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.


    Sister Cities Park International Festival

    Sister Cities Park International Festival is Saturday, May 11, noon-5pm, 18th Street & The Ben Franklin Parkway, a celebration of Philadelphia’s ten Sister Cities including Florence, Italy, Tel Aviv, Israel, Torun, Poland, Tianjin, China, Incheon, Korea, Douala, Cameroon, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Kobe, Japan, Aix-en-Provence, France, and the Abruzzo region of Italy. The festival if free and open to the public and includes dancing, music, cooking demonstrations, language lessons, and hands-on activities for all ages.


    Bird Fest at Academy of Natural Sciences

    “Bird Fest” returns for its second year at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Saturday, May 11, 10am-5pm. Learn about the feathered creatures from around the world and meet birds of prey from the Live Animal Center. Family-friendly activities include building nests and decorating model birds as well as participating in a scavenger hunt. Free with regular admission, Bird Fest celebrates the Academy’s research program and extensive Ornithology Collection of more than 200,000 specimens, including birds collected by John James Audubon, that date back to the earliest days of the institution’s founding, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.

    10th Annual Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar

    The 10th Annual Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar returns this Mother’s Day weekend featuring over a hundred local and national artists and crafters with high quality handmade goods that reflect the unique and quirky pieces found at Art Star Gallery & Boutique’s popular retail shop. With live music from local Philly bands, food, craft demonstrations and prizes (each day the first 150 shoppers receive 10th Anniversary Tote Bags with small goodies and coupons), rain or shine, Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12, 11am-6pm, Penn’s Landing Great Plaza, Columbus Boulevard between Market and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia.

    Nichole Canuso Dance Company

    Nichole Canuso Dance Company (NCDC) features local favorites with its 4th Annual Benefit Cabaret, Saturday, May 11, 6:30pm at the Latvian Society. Christina Zani hosts the Cabaret event that includes Ms. Martha Graham Cracker, El Malito & the 33rd Century and a special appearance by artistic director and founder Nichole’s alter ego, Giuseppe. Attend the Pre-Party with the artists for a sneak-peek of NCDC’s fall production “The Garden” and a new film by Canuso and multi-media director Lars Jan, 531 North 7th Street, Philadelphia.

    Celebration of the Roses at Wyck

    Wyck Historic House hosts a “Celebration of the Roses,” programs honoring the oldest rose garden and its history, with the Mother and Child Tea (Mother’s Day in the Rose Garden), Sunday, May 12, 2pm-4pm, Tours and Teas, May 13-31, Rose Symposium, May 18, workshops and more. The Wyck Rose Garden was designed and created in 1824 by Jane Bowne Haines, the wife of Reuben Haines III, co-founder of the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The garden features over 70 types of heritage roses, most of which bloom in May, 6026 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia.

    FringeArts’ “Jumpstart”

    FringeArts (formerly the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe) hosts the 2nd annual “Jumpstart,” May 13-14, a showcase of six artists performing original, completed works from 4 to 15 minutes in length. Artists include Ms. Wise (pictured), Seth Lepore, Groundswell Players, Jenna Horton, Magda San Millan, Chelsea Murphy, and Marina Libel, Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia. This series is part of FringeArts’ expanding year-round programming.

    “Bootycandy” at Wilma Theater

    The Philadelphia premiere of Robert O’Hara’s “Bootycandy” takes to the stage at Wilma Theater this Wednesday, May 15, the variety show that uses humor, spectacle and raw emotional spirit to test how we talk about human desire and racial stereotypes at home, in church and on the corner. Currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theater, playwright and director Robert O’Hara has recently been honored with an Obie Award, Helen Hayes Award, and the NAACP Best Director Award. Actors Phillip Brannon and Lance Coadie Williams reprise the roles they originated during Woolly Mammoth Theater Company’s inaugural production of “Bootycandy” in May 2011. Performances run through Sunday, June 16, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia.

    Theatre Horizon’s “Spring Awakening”

    Theatre Horizon presents “Spring Awakening,” a rock musical set in repressive 19th century Germany where adolescents collide with each other and the world that cannot contain their desires. Recipient of 8 Tony Awards, the production is directed by Matthew Decker, featuring a score by Grammy Award winner Duncan Sheik, Thursday, May 16 through Sunday, June 9, 401 DeKalb Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania.


    Thirdbird’s “Spring Trilogy”

    Thirdbird, known for bringing together music and movement in performances, workshops, and other adventures, presents “Spring Trilogy,” a three-part exploration of spontaneous art making that pairs musicians and dancers with performers they’ve never met onstage before an audience. Part of Thirdbird’s “Blind Dates” series, artists will be “matched” and encouraged to collaborate across disciplines in 28 performances that will unfold over three nights. Several generations of Philadelphia performers will participate, including David Brick, Manfred Fishbeck, Leah Stein, Chris Forsyth (pictured), Jamey Robinson, Zachary Fairbrother and more, Thursday, May 16 through Sunday, May 19 at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St., Philadelphia.


    Philadelphia Art Alliance’s summer exhibitions

    Three summer exhibitions at Philadelphia Art Alliance present clothing and other textiles in radically new lights. Sabrina Gschwandtner’s “Sunshine and Shadow” features quilts constructed from 16 mm film hung on lightboxes. The repurposed films were obtained from the Fashion Institute of Technology and reflect Philadelphia’s status as a global center of textile production until the 1960s as well as Pennsylvania’s heritage of Amish and Mennonite quilt making. Emily Spivak’s “Sentimental Value” considers how clothing sellers on eBay have made the apparently impersonal website into a repository of personal stories. Spivak has acquired and documented hundreds of items that were sold for their association with rich personal histories. “L Textile” surveys contemporary Lithuanian textiles that draw on the country’s rich tradition of textile production, which has been prized across Europe since the Renaissance, and that also make use of modern materials and celebrate freedoms acquired after the fall of the Soviet Union. The three shows will be on view from May 17-August 18 at Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 South 18th St., Philadelphia.

    Through the Looking Lens at the American Philosophical Society Museum

    The American Philosophical Society Museum opens “Through the Looking Lens: Cornelius Varley’s Wondrous Images of Art and Science, 1800-1860,” a new exhibition featuring watercolors by the British artist/inventor. Sixteen watercolors of microscopic algae recently unearthed from the APS Library simultaneously show the outside and inside of the algae, as well as the internal movement of fluids. The exhibit is the first to showcase Varley as an inventor and maker of special telescopic and microscopic drawing instruments that predated photography, with nearly 100 objects on view including one of the few remaining Patent Graphic Telescopes on loan from the Franklin Institute, Friday, May 17 through Sunday, December 29, 104 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia.

    Additional events and listings in the region:

    Friday, May 10 is National Public Gardens Day, created by The American Public Gardens Association to celebrate and promote awareness of public gardens in North America, and to encourage visitors to explore their local botanical gardens and arboreta to learn about new plants, get landscaping ideas for their yards, and appreciate the impact that gardens have in their communities and daily lives. Check the website for participating public gardens in the tri-state area.

    The Fitler Square Spring Fair returns this Friday, May 10, 10am-6pm and Saturday, May 11, 10am-4pm, with performances by Cris and Lou, Mummers String Band, Lewis Brothers Bluegrass Band, and more, along with a silent auction, flowers, herbs, baked goods, gently used books, children’s activities, vendors, and more, 23rd & Pine, Philadelphia.

    For three days, Rittenhouse Square will be transformed by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s annual Fine Craft Fair, Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12. The event brings to town 145 fine craftsmen from across the country and from Canada. Crafts on display range from ceramics to jewelry to handmade clothing to artisan furniture and more, handmade by the craftspeople manning their booths, Friday, May 10, 11am-7pm, Saturday, May 11, 11am-7pm, and Sunday, May 12, 11am-5pm, along the sidewalks around Rittenhouse Square Park, 1800 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

    Bryn Mawr Film Institute hosts “Critically Acclaimed,” an evening with four film critics, Friday, May 10, 6pm.  A.O. Scott, Carrie Rickey, Steven Rea, and Lisa Schwarzbaum will compare notes on favorite films, debate the future of film criticism, and answer questions, 824 W. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA. Dedicated to Roger Ebert, there will also be a private dinner with the critics where guests can challenge them one on one at Merion Cricket Club.

    Acclaimed music director Peter Nero, who founded the Philly POPS and directed the group for 34 seasons, conducts his last concert with the group, “Super POPS! Broadway,” this weekend. A giant of jazz piano, lauded conductor, and master showman, Nero will perform unique arrangements and conduct the POPS from the piano. The program features big Broadway hits performed in the POPS’ signature virtuoso style, Friday, May 10, 8pm, and Saturday May 11 and Sunday, May 12, 3pm, at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia.

    The Philly Improv Theater (PHIT) debuts “The Bat,” an improvised show that takes place in complete darkness, a spontaneously created comedy that unfolds like a radio play, allowing the audience to use their imagination. The cast includes Joe Coughlin, AJ Horan, Sue Jahani, Molly Pace, Marc Reber, Rachel Semigran, Amy Siry, Lizzie Spellman, Becca Trabin and Corin Wells, and is directed by Jason Grimley, onstage at the Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia through May 19.

    Old Pine Street Church hosts the 40th Annual Neighborhood Festival and Craft Market, Saturday, May 11, 9am-4pm, with over 30 local crafters, plant sale, food, activities for kids and more, Pine and Lombard Streets between 4th and 5th and 4th Street between Pine and Lombard Streets, Philadelphia.

    The Spruce Hill Community Association hosts the annual May Fair in Clark Park, Saturday, May 11, 10am-4pm, with music by local bands, food from some of the top vendor trucks in University City, crafts, children’s activities, book sale and more, 43rd and Chester Avenue, Philadelphia.

    The Spirit of the Jerseys State History Fair is Saturday, May 11, 11am-5pm, rain or shine, with activities for the entire family including colonial-era activities, music, performances and more, Washington Crossing State Park, 355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ.

    Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra Tempesta di Mare presents “Great Books,” a journey through Western literary classics such as Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Molière’s The Hypochondriac and Ovid’s Pygmalion, in orchestral renditions by Telemann, Purcell, Charpentier and Rameau. Performances are Saturday, May 11, 8pm at Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch Street, Philadelphia and Sunday, May 12, 4pm at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia.

    Philadelphia Open House Tours kick off May 13-19, behind-the-scenes and “special access” tours showcasing Philadelphia’s architectural, historical and cultural landmarks, museums and private homes, designed to engage visitors with some of the city’s hidden treasures. Special tours include the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Wanamaker Organ, 18th century operating amphitheatre at Pennsylvania Hospital, and much more, led by knowledgeable experts, including architects, designers, and historians.

    The Wagner Free Institute of Science host the final Weeknights at Wagner lecture for the program year, “Philadelphia, The Museum City,” Wednesday, May 15 at 5:30pm. Dr. David Brownlee of the University of Pennsylvania explores the forces that made Philadelphia a city of museums, from the opening of Charles Willson Peale’s Museum in 1786 to the inauguration of the new home of the Barnes Foundation on the Parkway in 2012. The annual Wagner Member Reception follows the talk at 7pm with light refreshments and prizes, 1700 West Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia.

    Night Market is back for 2013! Fifty-four of the city’s restaurants and street food vendors join for the “Night Market Fairmount Avenue,” Thursday, May 16, 6-10pm, including Fairmount favorites like Alla Spina, Lemon Hill, Rembrandt’s and Urban Saloon and new vendors like The Tot Cart, Poi Dog Snack Shop and The Cow and The Curd. Inspired by Asia’s lively outdoor markets, the event spotlights Philly’s best ethnic and regional restaurants and food trucks, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia.

    “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy!” is onstage at Delaware Theatre Company through May 26, Steve Solomon’s comedic one-man show based on his life, 200 Water Street, Wilmington, DE.

    Sarah Pike and Cecily Garber 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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