Weekly Entertainment Guide – Cirque Eloize, ‘Coppélia,’ and Chasing Dreams

     Jackie Robinson signs autographs at spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers, March 06, 1948, part of “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American,” opening March 13 at the National Museum of American Jewish History. (Photo courtesy of NMAJH)

    Jackie Robinson signs autographs at spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers, March 06, 1948, part of “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American,” opening March 13 at the National Museum of American Jewish History. (Photo courtesy of NMAJH)

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


    Pennsylvania Ballet’s “Coppélia”

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    The comic ballet “Coppélia” takes to the stage at the Academy of Music, presented by the Pennsylvania Ballet, Saturday, March 8, 2pm and 7pm and March 16, 2pm. The comic ballet for all ages tells the story of a toymaker, his doll, and a young couple in love. Mayor Michael Nutter joins the cast for the role of “The Mayor” at the 2pm Sunday performance. Special events include a Children’s Doll Party, Sunday, March 16, noon at the DoubleTree Hotel with lunch, crafts, and face-painting before the 2pm performance. Bring your favorite doll! Also, check out the

    “Pennsylvania Ballet at 50,” an exhibit celebrating a half century of one of the premiere ballet companies in the U.S with photos, vintage posters, costumes, programs, and artifacts. Many items on view for the first time through March 30, Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia. The exhibition was designed in partnership with graphic design students from Drexel University.

    Cirque Eloize – “Cirkopolis”

    One of the leaders in contemporary circus arts, the critically acclaimed, Montreal-based troupe Cirque Eloize brings their newest show “Cirkopolis” to the Merriam Theater as part of Broadway Philadelphia. The Philadelphia premiere blends circus arts, theater, and dance with twelve acrobats and multidisciplinary artists challenging the limits of the factory-city, set to an original music score and accompanied by video projections, March 11-16, Broad Street, Philadelphia.


    “Arsenic and Old Lace” at Walnut Street Theater

    The farcical black comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” takes to the main stage at the Walnut Street Theater, March 11 through April 27. The Broadway classic, written by Joseph Kesselring, originally opened in 1941 and ran for 1444 performances. Directed by Charles Abbott and starring Marty Martello, Jane Ridley, Paul L. Nolan, Ben Dibble, Damon Bonetti, Jennie Eisenhower and many more at 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.


    Resident Ensemble Players’ “Faust”

    The University of Delaware’s Resident Ensemble Players present Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “Faust.” Adapted and directed by Heinz-Uwe Haus, the tragic play, considered one of the greatest works of German literature, is onstage through March 23 in Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts, 110 Orchard Road, Newark, DE. Strong sexual content. Post-show talkback with the cast on Thursday, March 13. Pre-show discussion at 1:15pm on Saturday, March 15.


    Isis Productions’ “Accomplice”

    Go on a thrill ride with Isis Productions’ “Accomplice,” from the mind of Rupert Holmes (of the Piña Colada Song fame), opening Friday, March 7 at Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5. The show – that won an Edgar for Best Play – is directed by Neill Hartley and stars Rob Hargraves, Renee Richman-Weisband, Mark Knight and Kirsten Quinn through March 30 at 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.


    “Rock of Ages” at the State Theatre

    “Rock of Ages” hits the State Theatre in New Jersey for three performances, Friday, March 7, 8pm, and Saturday, March 8, 3pm and 8pm. The rockin’ jukebox musical is based on 28 arena rock tunes from the 1980’s by Journey, Twisted Sister, Asia, Poison and much more set in the year 1987 on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ.


    “The Mystery of Irma Vep” at Hedgerow Theatre

    Hedgerow Theatre takes on Charles Ludlam’s spooky, campy comedy “The Mystery of Irma Vep.” Set in Mandacrest, a likely-haunted British estate, the play spoofs horror movies, gothic mysteries, and “penny dreadfuls” through the exploits of Lord Edgar, a famous Egyptologist, his second wife Lady Enid, their loyal servants, and a surprising array of otherworldly creatures. For extra laughs, all these characters are played by two male actors (Joel Guerrero and Carl Smith) with more than 35 costume changes. Directed by Artistic Director Jared Reed through April 6 at 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA. Hedgerow Theatre is America’s first repertory theatre.

    SCUBA ’14

    Philadelphia Dance Projects hosts “Artists as Activists,” Monday, March 10, 6:30pm, an evening with Jose Navarrete and Debby Kajiyama, who traveled to North Japan as volunteers for the cleanup efforts in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster. They documented their experience and will discuss it and how artists have been responding to the event, PhillyCAM, 699 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia. The free event is in conjunction with SCUBA Touring Network, which helps local, emerging to mid-career dance artists begin national tours and offers audiences the chance to see work from around the country. Philadelphia is the second stop on a tour of all four partner cities. Performances by Nichole Canuso Dance Company of Philadelphia, Super Group of Minneapolis, Jose Navarrette of San Francisco, and Elia Mrak of Seattle will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 14-15, 7:30pm at Temple University’s Conwell Dance Theater, corner of Broad & Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia.

    “Delaware Mudtub and the Mighty Wampum” at Plays & Players

    Plays & Players turns their space into the Delaware Valley during the time of the Lenni-Lenape with “Delaware Mudtub and the Mighty Wampum.” The show is the first in a new yearly series, P.L.A.Y. (Philadelphia Local Artists for Youth), dedicated to introducing young audiences to live theater by incorporating interactive, physical theater techniques, shadow puppetry, found object instrumentation and acro-yoga. The work was conceived by Producing Artistic Director Daniel Student and explores mythic animals local to the area such as the great blue heron, the red fox, and the box turtle, as well as the stories of the native people once indigenous to the Delaware Valley who passed down folktales about animals and crafted wampum beads that were strung together to create belts that told the stories of their families, March 13-29, 1714 Delancey Place, 3rd floor Skinner Studio, Philadelphia.

    “August: Osage County” at Steel River Playhouse

    Onstage at Steel River Playhouse is “August: Osage County,” the dark comedy by Tracy Letts. The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play is directed by Harland Meltzer and stars Mark Ayers, Paul Dake, Rachel Diamond, Donna Dougherty, Andrea Frassoni, Larry Gessler, Barbara Hannevig and more March 7-23, 245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA. For mature audiences with sexual content and adult language.

    Art Appreciation

    “Shattering Expectations: MOSAIC 2014” at Philly Magic Gardens

    Learn about the art of mosaic-making as Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens highlights the region’s most accomplished mosaic artists with a new juried exhibition “Shattering Expectations: MOSAIC 2014.” Featured artists include Karen Dimit, Yakov Hanansen (pictured), Yulia Hanansen, Samantha Holmes, Rachel Sager, Carol Stirton-Broad, Carol Talkov, and Brooks Tower. Works selected by Nanci Mills Pipgras, editor of Mosaic Art NOW and former president of the Society of American Mosaic Artists. Opening with a free First Friday reception, March 7, 6pm-9pm. On display through April 20, 1020 South Street, Philadelphia. In partnership with the Mosaic Society of Philadelphia.

    Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American” at NMAJH

    Explore America’s favorite pastime at the National Museum of American Jewish History. The brand-new, large scale exhibition, “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American,” opens March 13 and examines how baseball has been intertwined with the history of racial, ethnic, and gender integration in the U.S. and how the sport has impacted communities. While celebrating well-known Jewish heroes like Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax, the exhibit also focuses on iconic “game changers” like baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Roberto Clemente, Ichiro Suzuki, and so many others involved in the sport, as well as the fans, ideals, and culture they inspired. Featuring more than 130 original objects including game-worn uniforms, game-used objects, correspondence, newspaper accounts, board games, awards, nearly 100 original baseball cards, signed baseballs, and much more from the museum’s collection and loans from public and private collections (including the Baseball Hall of Fame). See original films and interactive displays including “Catching History” & “Koufax on the Koncourse,” offering fans of all ages to chance to don a reproduction jersey and then try their hand a pitching like the Dodgers’ ace, and many more programs and events through October 26, 101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia. With major support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in close collaboration with Major League Baseball, the exhibit will begin a nationwide tour after its run in Philadelphia.

    Photographs by Scott Heiser at Delaware Art Museum

    “Fashion, Circus, Spectacle: Photographs by Scott Heiser,” the first retrospective of the Wilmington native’s photography, is on display at the Delaware Art Museum. Heiser’s grainy, cropped fashion runway images ran in Interview between 1978-1987 and even caught Andy Warhol’s eye. His photographs depict the unique blend of art, fashion, and photography of the 1970s and 1980s downtown New York scene and document public entertainment events like The Big Apple Circus, the Miss America Pageant, and the Westminster Kennel Club Show. A scholarly catalog will accompany the exhibition of 80 black and white prints on view March 8 through June 1 at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE.

    “SS United States” at Independence Seaport Museum

    The Independence Seaport Museum celebrates the symbol of our country’s post WWII technological might with “SS United States: Charting a Course for America’s Flagship.” The famous passenger ship that captured the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage in 1952 was the largest ocean liner constructed entirely in the U.S. The engineering achievement of Philadelphia maritime architect William Francis Gibbs, the ship had its heyday during the 1950s and 1960s, was saved from destruction, and since 1996 has been docked on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. The exhibit features ephemera and items from the ship, on display Friday, March 7 through September 14 at 211 S. Columbus Boulevard & Walnut Street, Penn’s Landing. This Saturday, March 8 enjoy Seafarin’ Saturday from 11am-1pm.

    Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism at Michener Art Museum

    The James A. Michener Art Museum presents “Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism,” the first major retrospective of the artist, sculptor, and furniture designer’s internationally renowned work. Living and working in Bucks County, Evans (1931-1987) experimented with abstract and functional designs in metal. The exhibition traces Evans’s career from early jewelry and collaborative pieces made with Phillip Lloyd Powell to later sculptural works and the furniture he created as a featured designer at the Directional Furniture Company. More than sixty works plus a short-form documentary that includes interviews with Evans’ shop workers, family members, and contemporary collectors of his work (like Lenny Kravitz), on view through June 1 at 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA.

    “Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan, 1979-2014” at TCNJ

    “Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan, 1979-2014,” a new multi-media exhibition at The College of New Jersey, surveys artistic responses to thirty-five years of armed conflict in Afghanistan. The exhibition invites visitors to see the war torn nation through the eyes of its contemporary artists. From traditional Afghan embroidery and war rugs to contemporary video art, photography, painting, and installation pieces, the display shows an artistic community making sense of conflict through visual culture. To facilitate public discussion, programs accompanying the exhibition include lectures, film screenings, and forums with activists, veterans, curators, scholars, and filmmakers. Curated by Dr. Deborah Hutton and on view through April 17 at TCNJ Art Gallery, Art and Interactive Multimedia Building, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ.

    Recent digital prints of Sherman Aronson at Allens Lane Station

    Philadelphia architect Sherman Aronson’s recent digital art prints “Urban Views and Landscape Details” are on display at High Point Café at Allens Lane Station through April 30, 7210 Creshiem Road, Mt. Airy. Opening reception Sunday, March 9, 3pm-5pm.




    The Royal Southern Brotherhood

    The Royal Southern Brotherhood – featuring Cyril Neville, Devon Allman, Mike Zito, and Yonrico Scott – comes to the Philadelphia region with their legendary blues-rocking sound for two performances, Friday, March 7, at the Levoy Theatre, 126-130 N. High Street, Millville, NJ and on Saturday, March 8, 9pm (with Popa Chubby!), Ardmore Music Hall, 23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA.


    Celebrating Cecil

    Join an all-star quintet in “Celebrating Cecil,” Saturday, March 8, 8pm at the Painted Bride Art Center. Saxophonist Bobby Zankel, bassist William Parker, pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Andrew Cyrille gather for one night only in honor of Cecil Taylor’s 85th birthday and the 56th anniversary of his historic debut at the Newport Jazz Festival. The artists have all played a role in the last 50 years of jazz avant-garde and have been longstanding colleagues of the great pianist and poet, 230 Vine Street, Old City, Philadelphia. Presented in conjunction with Ars Nova Workshop and the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound.

    Tempesta di Mare’s “Apollo at Play”

    Tempesta di Mare continues its tradition of presenting lost or forgotten baroque masterpieces with “Apollo at Play,” March 8, 8pm, for the first time performing at the Kimmel Center. This season focuses on the many facets of French baroque music and the program spans over 250 years, inspired by the music of the great French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully, composer and music director for King Louis XIV of France. Featuring “Le Bourgeois gentilhomme,” Lully’s collaboration with Molière. Also, two non-French adopters of French styles, “The Tempest” by Matthew Locke and Suite IV from “Apollon enjoüé,” by Johann Sigismund Kusser, a student of Lully’s. And, the French baroque forms and rhythms of Igor Stravinsky with “Apollon musagète.” Led by directors Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone with concertmaster Emlyn Ngai.

    Ingolfsson-Stoupel Duo performs “Concert for Cal”

    The internationally renowned duo Ingolfsson-Stoupel performs a “Concert for Cal” at the Curtis Institute of Music’s Field Concert Hall, Tuesday, March 11, 8pm. Curtis graduate Judith Ingolfsson, violinist, and pianist Vladimir Stoupel perform a program of Prokofiev, Magnard, and Ysaye to benefit the Calliope Joy Foundation. The organization raises awareness for pediatric neurologic disease (a rare disease with no cure), works to attract the very best researchers and physicians to the field, and helps to support the families, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia.

    Kuf Knotz

    Kuf Knotz brings his unique blend of progressive hip-hop, soul, blues, jazz and rock to Burlap and Bean, Friday, March 14, 8pm. Joe Miller opens. Doors open at 7:30pm, the Shops at Springton Pointe, 203 South Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, PA.


    Film Fests

    Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia

    The 18th Annual Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia kicks off Saturday, March 8, celebrating the best of Israeli cinema. “Hunting Elephants,” starring Patrick Stewart, opens the festival. Other films include “Bethlehem,” “Kidon” (pictured), “Peeping Toms,” “The Wonders,” “Before the Revolution,” “Dancing in Jaffa,” “Cupcakes,” and more through April 6. With screenings at International House Philadelphia, Ritz East, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, and other regional venues, the IFF’s aim is to enrich the American vision of Israeli culture and society through film.

    The Gershman Y’s Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival presents PJFF CineMondays beginning Monday, March 10, 7:30pm, with “Fading Gigolo,” written and directed by John Turturro at the Prince Music Theatre. Films continue through April 28.

    Marissa Nicosia 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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