Weekly Entertainment Guide – ‘Coffin in Egypt,’ Sun Ra & First Friday

     Legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade makes her Opera Philadelphia debut in the East Coast premiere of

    Legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade makes her Opera Philadelphia debut in the East Coast premiere of "A Coffin in Egypt," June 6-15. (Photo by Lynn Lane)

    It’s June and with that brings First Friday and lots of festivals!  Robin Bloom offers her suggestions on what to check out this week.

    What’s Happening

    The Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF)

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    The Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF) returns to Long Beach Island, NJ for a sixth year, June 5-8, featuring award-winning films from around the world, along with nightly parties and panel discussions. Opening with This Time Next Year, a documentary featuring the stories and struggles of LBI residents post Hurricane Sandy, by Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman, who will be in attendance at the screening. Other filmmakers at the festival include Andrew Pearson, whose film Landfall: The Eyes of Sandy (pictured) will be screened on Saturday, June 7. Locations vary.

    The Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show

    The Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show once again “Circles the Square” June 6-8, featuring a diverse range of art for purchase. Originating as a “Clothesline Show” in 1932, it is now regarded as one of the most respected and active outdoor art shows in the country, 18th & Walnut Streets, Philadelphia. Hours: Friday and Saturday, June 6-7, 11am-7pm, Sunday, June 8, 11am-5pm.

    Opera Philadelphia’s “A Coffin in Egypt”

    Legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade makes her Opera Philadelphia debut in the East Coast premiere of A Coffin in Egypt. The new chamber opera in one act by composer Ricky Ian Gordon (who is also premiering another opera in Saint Louis later this month!), is the third production from OP’s American Repertoire Program and was written just for “Flicka,” who was enticed out of retirement for this role. Based on the play of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Horton Foote, “A Coffin in Egypt” follows the life of 90 year old Myrtle Bledsoe over the course of 40 years, through the death of family members, stories of adultery, deception, murder, and lost beauty. Directed by librettist Leonard Foglia and featuring four additional actors and a quartet of gospel singers for five performances, June 6-15, Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia. Performed in English with English supertitles. Approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Commissioned and produced with the Houston Grand Opera & the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

    “The Talkback” at FringeArts

    FringeArts continues its production residencies, offering mentoring and support for local artists and the unique opportunity for audiences to witness the development of their work. The Berserker Residents (Justin Jain, David Johnson, and Bradley K. Wrenn) revisit their 2013 Fringe hit The Talkback on three Sundays, June 8, 8pm, June 15, 7pm, and June 22, 7pm. Each week focuses on a different aspect of production including direction, improvisation, and comedic writing. The finished work will be presented at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world, in August as “The Postshow.” Performances are free and open to the public with no reservation required, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia.

    Festivals, Food & Fun

    Fete Day & Flag Festival

    Begin the summer season with events in Historic Philadelphia: Elfreth’s Alley Fete Day Open House on Saturday, June 7, offering the one-time opportunity to tour private historic homes, from 12-5pm, with colonial refreshments, music, storytelling, scavenger hunts, games, and an Irish band representing the many 19th century immigrant residents of the oldest residential street in the country, on 2nd Street between Race & Arch Streets, Old City, Philadelphia. The Betsy Ross House’s annual Flag Festival is June 8-14, a weeklong celebration including a flag retirement ceremony, flag history program, meet & greet with Ben Franklin and George Washington, drill with the Continental Army and more, culminating in Stars & Stripes Saturday on June 14, 230 Arch Street, Philadelphia. First Friday movie nights return to the Betsy Ross House with Movies Under the Stars & Stripes. This Friday, June 6 is “Attack of the Crab Monsters,” 7pm.Strawberry Festival at Linvilla Orchards

    Linvilla Orchards’ annual Strawberry Festival is Saturday, June 7 beginning at 8am. Pick your own, learn how to prepare homemade jam, enjoy family activities like story time, Makin’ Music, games, and the region’s largest Strawberry shortcake, 137 W. Knowlton Road Media, PA. Free. Rain date Sunday, June 8.

    Philadelphia Folklore Project’s annual Birthday Bash

    Philadelphia Folklore Project’s annual Birthday Bash takes place this Saturday, June 7, 6pm-9pm, celebrating 27 years of cultivating folk arts and social change. This year, they say goodbye to PFP founder and director Debora Kodish and welcome incoming director Selina Morales. Performances by Kulu Mele African Dance and Drum Ensemble, the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change (pictured), along with food by Southern Dwight’s Bar-B-Que, SangKee Restaurant, YARDS Brewing and more, and honoring percussionists Nana Korantema Ayeboafo and Elaine Hoffman Watts, Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia

    39th annual Odunde Festival

    The Odunde Festival is back for the 39th year on Sunday, June 8, 10am-8pm, offering an authentic African marketplace with vendors selling merchandise from many African nations, the Caribbean, and South America, live music and dance and entertainment by Kulu Mele, Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, and much more, covering 12 city blocks around 23rd and South Street, Philadelphia.


    PrideDay 2014, the 26th Annual LGBT Pride Parade & Festival, is Sunday, June 8, beginning at noon at 13th & Locust Streets. The parade leads to the festival at Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing (around 1:30pm) and the Village People are the headliners, Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia. Gay Pride events are often held in June to commemorate the Stonewall Inn riots which occurred in June 1969, and marked the beginning of the gay (LGBT) rights movement.

    The Princeton Festival

    The Princeton Festival is June 9-30 with jazz, opera, musical theatre, chamber music, piano, vocal concerts, and more including Paper Moon Puppet Theatre’s Goldilocks (pictured), the Keystone State Boychoir, Evan Wong, Concordia Chamber Players, Ola Fresca, Porgy & Bess, and Martin Wind Quartet at various locations in the Princeton, NJ area.


    The Motet at North Star Bar

    The progressive funk collective The Motet stops in Philly on their nationwide tour this Friday, June 6 at the North Star Bar, bringing along their unique mix of funk, afrobeat, disco, jazz and soul. Following recent sellout shows, the group is promoting their self-titled 7th release of original songs, using traditional analog recording methods including tape, tubes and transistors. Doors open at 8pm with Cory Henry of Snarky Puppy opening, 2639 Poplar Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: the group at Summer Camp Music Festival (photo by Brian Spady).

    The annual Chester County Blues Barbeque

    The annual Chester County Blues Barbeque returns on June 7, 2-7pm, with Voodoo DeVille, Nate Myers & the Aces, and Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials (pictured), Wyndsor Farm, 2550 Ridge Road, Elverson, PA.



    Tempesta di Mare’s “Elements”

    Tempesta di Mare continues its tradition of presenting lost or forgotten baroque masterpieces with Elements, Saturday, June 7, 8pm at the Kimmel Center. This season focuses on the many facets of French baroque music and the program includes Marin Marais’ Music from Alcyone (1706), Georg Philipp Telemann’s Orchestra suite in C, Hamburger Ebb’ and Flut (1723), and Jean-Féry Rebel’s Les Éléments, Symphonie Nouvelle (1737-1738), orchestral riffs on earth, wind, fire and water. The full baroque orchestra is led by directors Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone with concertmaster Emlyn Ngai.

    Dock Street Music Fest

    The Dock Street Brewery celebrates the end of Philly Beer Week with the 6th annual free Dock Street Music Fest, Sunday June 8, 4pm-8pm, including beer, pizza and local bands like Grandchildren, West Philadelphia Orchestra (pictured), and Gliss. For a pre-festival workout, there’s the Dock Street Scavenger Run, a light race through West Philly and University City that ends back at Dock Street Brewery. Participants receive one free beer coupon and a Dock Street t-shirt, 50th & Baltimore.

    First Friday

    First Friday in Old City

    40 plus galleries, shops and museums in Old City – from Front to Third and Market to Vine – open their doors from approximately 5pm-8pm the first Friday of every month. Come down this Friday, June 6 and enjoy the arts scene and say hi to me – I’ll be at the NewsWorks table on 2nd Street!

    A Decade of Fiber Arts by Melissa Maddonni Haims, in retrospect, is on display at the Painted Bride Art Center (pictured) through June 22 with a First Friday reception on Friday, June 6, 5pm-7pm, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia.F.A.N. Gallery hosts an exhibit of recent paintings by Charles Newman, opening this Friday, June 6, 5pm-9pm, and on display through June 28, 221 Arch Street, Philadelphia.Vox Populi Gallery presents the first solo exhibitions of its newest members – Robert Gonzales, Will Haughery, Beth Heinly, Ben Will, and Peter Rose. Opening with a reception on Friday, June 6, 6pm-10pm and a walkthrough from 6:30pm-7pm led by Stephanie Bursese and the artists, 319 N. 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA. On display through June 29. Exhibit and related events are free and open to the public.Chemical Heritage Foundation’s First Friday event Cider, Cyder, or Cidre? features Michael McCaulley, wine director of Tria, talking about cider, the cider-making process and offering cider varieties from around the world to taste (while supplies last & for those 21 and over!), June 6, 5pm-8pm. While there, check out the new exhibit “Suited for Space,” 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public with no registration required.110 CHURCH Gallery showcases drawings by Stella Untalan, an installation by sculptor Amy Ralston, and sound by Lesley Tao Mowat with Soundings, opening First Friday, June 6, 5pm and on display through July 26, 110 Church Street, Old City, Philadelphia.The Clay Studio offers three exhibits – Jessica Brandl, Edge: Brett Freund and Edgar Franceschi, and Made at The Clay Studio: Guest Artists in Residence 2010-14, opening June 6, 137-139 North Second Street, Philadelphia.New work by painters Carol Albrecht and Rex Sexton are on display at 3rd Street Gallery on 2nd Street‘s new location at 45 N. 2nd Street. Showing at the gallery’s old location – paintings by Justin Snow, “From Yesterday til Today,” through June 28 (First Friday, June 6, 3pm-9pm), 58 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia.

    The Beautiful Noise: A Special Tribute to Sun Ra

    After your Old City First Friday activities, check out The Beautiful Noise: A Special Tribute to Sun Ra, an event that fuses local and international artists who are heavily influenced by the legendary jazz performer and Afro-futurist, Friday, June 6, 8pm. The interdisciplinary, improvised performance includes video and dance curated by composer King Britt and artist Kate Watson Wallace and the artistic synergy of Tendai Maraire, percussion, Vernon Reid (of Living Color), guitar, Imani Izuri, vocals, Marlo Reynolds, keyboards/electronics, King Britt, keyboards/electronics, and Anthony Tidd, bass. Dance choreography by Jaamil Kosoko and live video mixing by Jason Senk. After the performance, stay for a dance party celebration with the artists and HPrizm, FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia.

    First Friday Beyond Old City


    Head over to the Ben Franklin Parkway for the public celebration of the arrival of Symbiosis in Philly. The free event, presented by the Association for Public Art Public Art, offers a close up look at the new sculpture, a chance to meet the artist Roxy Paine, and light refreshments, Friday, June 6, 5pm-7pm, rain or shine at Iroquois Park, Pennsylvania Avenue at 24th Street, Philadelphia. Pre-registration is required.

    Barnes Foundation’s Summer Chill

    The Barnes Foundation hosts First Friday Summer Chill with singer Carla Cook who blends jazz and R&B, European classical, Motown, blues and gospel, Friday, June 6, 6pm-9pm, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Get a preview of the upcoming Cézanne exhibition with chief curator Judith F. Dolkart.

    Wilmington’s Art on the Town& Riverfront Block Party

    Enjoy Wilmington’s First Friday Art on the Town, as artist studios and galleries open to the public on Friday, June 6, 5pm-11pm, along with live music, and parties. Pictured: Rebecca Jacob, a collection inspired by a painting by Van Gogh, on display through July 30 at the Grand Opera House Mainstage Gallery, 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE. Art Loop reception 5:30pm-8pm.The party continues on Saturday, June 7, 9am-4pm, for OperaDelaware’s Riverfront Block Party, with live performances, food trucks, children’s activities, and more, on the Christina River, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington.


    To submit an event to be considered for the Weekly Entertainment Guide email Robin Bloom at artscalendar@whyy.org.

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