Robin Bloom offers 14 suggestions for what to do this week!
Sweep the Country: Political Conventions in Philadelphia
The Abraham Lincoln Foundation of the Union League and the Philadelphia History Museum at Atwater Kent have partnered together on a new exhibit that highlights the 11 political conventions held in Philadelphia between 1848 and 2000. Sweep the Country: Political Conventions in Philadelphia includes items from the Union League and Philadelphia History Museum collections as well as private and institutional collections from the Philadelphia region that give context to the issues of the time that shaped our nation and world, including slavery, immigration, civil rights and the role of business and government, on display through early 2017, the Heritage Center of the Union League, 140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Objects, images, and stories for the 12th Convention, the Democratic National Convention, held in Philadelphia July 27-31, will be added to the exhibition in September. Open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3pm-6pm and the second Saturday of every month, 1pm-4pm. Photo by Emma Lee/NewsWorks.
Moorewomenartists Film Festival
Moorewomenartists Film Festival focuses on films by and about women artists at Moore College of Art and Design, the first and only women’s visual arts college in the United States for undergraduates. Look for six films about women artists, five directed by women, with introductory talks by women who are esteemed professionals in their fields. Films include “Conjure Women” by Demetria Royals, “Guerillas in Our Midst” by Amy Harrison, “The Heretics” by Joan Braderman, “Artist” by Tracey Moffatt, “Learning to Swallow” by Danielle Beverly, and “Alice Neel” by Andrew Neel (pictured). Free and open to the public Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3 in the College’s Stewart Auditorium 20th Street and the Parkway, Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Art Book Fair
The Philadelphia Art Book Fair takes place Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, featuring new releases from photo and art book publishers, as well as artist books, zines, publications from art institutions, conversations, and a keynote lecture by Doug DuBois. With more than 60 exhibitors from around the country and the region at the Annex on Filbert, 830 Filbert Street, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public. Presented by Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and The Print Center. Pictured: Colette Fu, exhibiting her pop-up books. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.
Sing Along with The Muppet Movie!
Sing Along with The Muppet Movie! Heather Henson’s IBEX Puppetry brings the timeless, classic film to life with puppetry, kiting, and shadow acting. Expect interactive surprises like bubbles, streamers, kites, confetti pops, and characters coming right out of the screen into the audience with two family friendly experiences in our region – Sunday, April 3, 3pm at the State Theatre, 453 Northampton Street, Easton, PA and a relaxed performance takes place Saturday, April 2, 2pm at McCarter Theatre Center in observance of World Autism Awareness Day, 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ. Photo courtesy of IBEX Puppetry.
Philly Wine Week
Philly Wine Week is back, bringing together the city’s best wine bars, restaurants and boutique shops to showcase the region’s diverse and evolving wine scene, April 3-10. The week kicks off with Opening Corks, a wine tasting event showcasing premium pours from over 25 local and national wine vendors and importers. Additional events include dinners and tastings, wine pairings and competitions, specials, happy hours, wine-centric trivia contests, and bar crawls. Photo by Ralph Radford/AP.
“Breaking Ground” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art explores the variety of ways in which artists in the 1940s and 1950s pushed the boundaries of printmaking with a selection of innovative prints as well as ceramics, textile, and sculpture, all drawn from the museum’s collection. Breaking Ground: Printmaking in the U.S., 1940-1960 focuses on a time when color printmaking first became popular in the United States, following the establishment of the Graphic Arts Division of the Federal Art Project (FAP), a branch of the Work Progress Administration that provided jobs to artists during the Depression. Artists featured include Anni Albers, Antonio Frasconi, Stanley William Hayter, Alice Trumbull Mason, Gabor Peterdi, Robert Rauschenberg, and June Wayne, through July 24, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Pictured: Robert Blackburn, Strange Objects, 1959, Color lithograph, Image: 15 3/4 × 21 1/2 inches, Sheet: 19 15/16 × 26 1/16 inches, Gift of the Print Club of Philadelphia, 1960. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“The Sister Chapel” at Rowan University Art Gallery
The Sister Chapel: An Essential Feminist Collaboration opens at the Galleries at Rowan, showcasing the first public exhibition since 1980 of an historic collaboration created at the height of the women’s art movement. Conceived by Ilise Greenstein in 1974 and first exhibited in 1978, the installation’s name is a pun on Michelangelo’s famous Sistine Chapel ceiling, inviting viewers to reconsider familiar and often unconscious presumptions about gender roles and women’s achievements. In its final form, the installation consisted of Greenstein’s eighteen-foot abstract ceiling suspended above a circular arrangement of eleven nine-foot canvases, each depicting the standing figure of a heroic woman. The exhibit features contemporary and historical women, deities, and conceptual figures including Bella Abzug – the Candidate, painted by Alice Neel, Betty Friedan as the Prophet, by June Blum, and other works by Betty Holliday, Shirley Gorelick, May Stevens, Elsa M. Goldsmith, Sylvia Sleigh, and Ilise Greenstein through June 30, Rowan University Art Gallery, Lower level of Westby Hall, Route 322, Glassboro, NJ. A panel discussion and opening reception takes place Thursday, March 31, 5pm-8pm with five of the contributing artists: Maureen Connor, Martha Edelheit, Diana Kurz, Cynthia Mailman, and Sharon Wybrants. Photo courtesy of Rowan University.
Philadelphia Artist Collective’s “He Who Gets Slapped”
Philadelphia Artists Collective captures the spirit of the early 1900s French circus with the Philadelphia premiere of He Who Gets Slapped. A unique collaboration with the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, the production is based on a 1914 play by Russian writer Leonid Andreyev and integrates real circus arts into the performance, with an ensemble cast that has honed their skills with training from PSCA’s Circus Art/Movement Choreographer Terry Brennan. A cast of clowns, lion tamers, and ringmasters perform their routine under a striped awning and glowing lights, telling the story of a heartbroken writer who tries to escape his past by becoming a clown. Directed by PAC’s co-founding Artistic Director Damon Bonetti and accompanied by live music, through April 16, Broad Street Ministry, 315 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Ashley LaBonde and Wide Eyed Studios.
“Always…Patsy Cline” at Walnut Street Theatre
Take a nostalgic journey back to the early 1960s with Always…Patsy Cline, based on a true story about the friendship between the legendary singer and a fan from Houston named Louise Seger who befriended the star in 1961 and stayed in touch with her until her death in 1963. The show opens at Walnut Street Theatre in previews April 5 through July 3 on the Independence Studio on 3. Featuring 27 of Cline’s iconic hits, the show is directed by Debi Marcucci, with Jenny Lee Stern as Patsy and Denise Whelan as Louise, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Nancy Anderson Cordell, courtesy of Infinity Theatre Company.
“Number the Stars” at Haddonfield Plays & Players
Haddonfield Plays & Players’ annual tradition, Number the Stars, returns with music and lyrics by Sean Hartley, based on the book by Lois Lowry about the rescue of Danish Jews during World War II. Seven performances take place April 6-14 at 957 East Atlantic Avenue, Haddonfield, NJ. Photo courtesy of Haddonfield Plays & Players.
Jazz Appreciation Month
Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month in Philadelphia! Famed for fostering jazz icons like John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Eddie Lang, Joe Venuti and Dizzy Gillespie, the city is currently home to a thriving contemporary jazz scene. Enjoy live performances, panels, films, and art exhibitions including Live Philly Jazz – Through the Photographic Lens, on display through May 6 in the Art Gallery at City Hall, 2nd & 4th floor, NE corner. Also on view, The Clef Club at 50, a selection of photographs and memorabilia from the club’s collection. Activities continue at various venues, culminating in International Jazz Day on April 30. Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month is a project of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Pictured: Emannuel Ohemeng, Esperanza Spalding at the Keswick Theatre, photography 16 x 20 – for Live Philly Jazz.
“Composing Our Lives: A First Person Arts Production” with the Curtis Institute of Music
Curtis Institute of Music joins forces with First Person Arts for a unique musical storytelling event, Composing Our Lives: A First Person Arts Production with the Curtis Institute of Music. Seven Curtis students tell their own stories on stage along with a musical excerpt, Thursday, March 31, 8pm, Upstairs at World Café Live, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Students include Tessa Ellis, trumpet, Vartan Gabriellian, bass-baritone, Linzi Pan, piano, Neil Rao, percussion, Ashley Robillard, soprano, Sarah Tako, bassoon, and Yibing Wang, percussion (pictured). Photo courtesy of the Curtis Institute of Music.
The Grammy-nominated chamber music ensemble Imani Winds performs Considered (Mostly) Modern, Friday, April 1, 8pm as part of the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series. Program includes works by Imani Winds member Valerie Coleman, as well as Elliott Carter, Heitor Villa-Lobos, John Cage, Danilo Perez, Thierry Escaich, in Thomas Great Hall, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA. The premier wind collective will also perform at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sunday, April 24, 3pm, as part of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Concerts (rescheduled from January 24, 2016). Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Lyric Fest’s “Sincerely Yours – Letters Set to Music”
Sincerely Yours – Letters Set to Music, the final Lyric Fest concert of the season, premieres newly commissioned works by Philadelphia composers Benjamin C.S. Boyle, John Conahan, and Thomas Lloyd, as well as Abbie Betinis, Daron Hagen, Lori Laitman, and Logan Skelton, Saturday, April 2, 8pm, Marshall Auditorium in Roberts Hall, Haverford College, Haverford, PA and Sunday, April 3, 3pm, Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Handwritten letters by Abigail Adams, Zelda Fitzgerald, Amelia Earhart, Emily Dickinson, and others will be sung by Kelly Ann Bixby, Andrew Fuchs, Katy Pracht and Keith Phares, with Laura Ward on piano. Also featured is the winner of Lyric Fest’s young composer competition, Isabella Ness, who set a letter of Vincent Van Gogh written to his brother, describing the colors of the Mediterranean.
Each week, the Entertainment Guide spotlights interesting local arts offerings happening now, including music, dance, theater, museums, special exhibitions and other arts events from across the region.
To submit an event to be considered, email Robin Bloom at email@example.com.