Egyptomania, Five Dollar Comedy, Philly Wine Week, Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Shut Up and Dance and Dirty Dancing – and more! Robin Bloom shares her picks.
Philadelphia Debut of Jessica Lang Dance
NYC based Jessica Lang Dance makes its Philadelphia debut with striking design elements and emotionally engaging dances for Dance Celebration, presented by Annenberg Center and Dance Affiliates, Thursday, March 19, 7:30pm, Friday, March 20, 8pm, and Saturday, March 21, 2pm and 8pm. Program includes Lines Cubed (2012), a full-ensemble five-section work, Mendelssohn/Incomplete (2011) set to and based on Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 1, a romantic duet Among the Stars (2010), a powerful elegant solo The Calling, and i.n.k., an ensemble work framed by Shinichi Maruyama’s video projections of ink and paint moving in slow motion to Jakub Ciupinski’s original electronic score (pictured). Outreach activities include a Student Discovery program on Friday, March 20, 10:30am, Curtain Talk after the Friday, March 20 performance, and a free master class with Jessica Lang on Friday, March 21, 1pm, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Lang, a Doylestown native, is a former member of Twyla Tharp’s company THARP! Photo by Todd Burnsed.
Garden State Film Festival
The Garden State Film Festival, in its 13th year, returns to Atlantic City, March 19-22. Offering over 180 film screenings from over 19 countries, the festival features panel discussions, book signings, a cocktail party, Q&A sessions, open casting call, black tie awards ceremony, and more. Honorees attending are Ed Asner, Armand Assante, and many more featured actors from the presented films along with directors, cinematographers, composers and producers. Various locations. Pictured: The documentary Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story, the untold story of the real “Gidget,” Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, and her account of surfing Malibu in the mid-50’s, by Brian L. Gillogly (feature documentary). Photo by Ernest Lenart.
One Book One Philadelphia’s Grand Finale
The 13th season of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s One Book One Philadelphia literacy program concludes with a grand finale event on Thursday, March 19, 7:30pm, at the Parkway Central Library. Christina Baker Kline (pictured), author of the 2015 One Book selection Orphan Train, will be in attendance. Enjoy performances by Udi Bar-David, world renowned cross-cultural performer and cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and composer and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos, Montgomery Auditorium, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Jules Vuotto.
Imagination Playground and Spring Celebration at Please Touch Museum
Please Touch Museum unveils its newest exhibit, Imagination Playground, a world of unstructured play with giant foam blocks, opening Friday, March 20. Sign up for free admission to Learn & Play dates, March 26-28. On Saturday, March 21, 10am-5pm, enjoy a Spring Celebration with performances by the children’s band The Plants and visits from the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Dance, make crafts, decorate the Museum and prepare seeds for the outdoor garden, Memorial Hall, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Photo courtesy of Please Touch Museum.
Wilmington Winter Bluegrass Festival
The Wilmington Winter Bluegrass Festival kicks off this weekend, Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22, with over two dozen bands on two stages, including Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen (pictured), Special Consensus, Donna Ulisse and more, along with Gospel Sunday, instrument workshops, children’s activities, jamming, and more, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 630 Naamans Road, Claymont, DE. Photo by The McTell Brothers.
66th Annual Chadds Ford Art Sale and Show
For two days only, new works by over 70 professional artists from the Brandywine Valley and beyond are on display at the 66th Annual Chadds Ford Art Sale and Show, March 20-21, established by Betsy Wyeth in 1949. This year’s show includes works by featured artist Shawn Faust and donating artist Ana Delia McCormack. Special events include a Friday evening reception on March 20, 7pm-10pm, as well as an artisan showcase, tours, children’s activities and more on Saturday, March 21, at the Chadds Ford Elementary School, 3 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA. Pictured: Fall Trio by Shawn Faust, Oil on Panel.
Egyptomania! and Modern Native Voices: The Medium of Hip Hop
Make it a day at the Penn Museum with activities for all. Consider 5000 years of history and culture with Egyptomania! Saturday, March 21, 11am-4pm. Take part in mummification workshops, hieroglyph classes, tours, games, presentations by curators and archaeologists, traditional drum circle, Egyptian folk dances, and more family friendly activities that explore one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Set throughout the museum’s world-renowned ancient Egyptian galleries. Included with museum admission. Beginning at 3pm, Frank Waln, Def-I, Tall Paul, and Wake Self, four nationally known Native American rap and hip hop artists, offer spoken word performances, a panel discussion and an evening concert – Modern Native Voices: The Medium of Hip Hop – in conjunction with the five year exhibition Native American Voices: The People – Here and Now, 3260 South Street on Penn’s Campus (across from Franklin Field), Philadelphia. Pictured: Sphinx of Ramesses II, 19th Dynasty, (ca. 1293–1185 BCE), Memphis, Egypt, excavated by the Penn Museum in the 1920s. Photo courtesy of Penn Museum.
Shut Up & Dance
MANNA hosts the annual Shut Up & Dance, a one-night only performance by dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet to benefit Metropolitan Area Nutrition Alliance’s meal and nutrition program, featuring original pieces choreographed by the dancers. This year’s performance marks the 23rd anniversary, Saturday, March 21, 8pm, Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. After party at Tabu, 200 S. 12th Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of MANNA.
Emerging Artist Showcase
Get a first-hand look at developing talent in Philly with the Emerging Artist Showcase, Saturday, March 21, 8pm. This premiere is the first showcase of its kind, offering a platform for new Philadelphia theater artists to demonstrate their artistic abilities to professionals, held at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia. Artists include Jessica Tanksley, Ali Vreeland, Julee Mahon and Emma MacDonald (pictured) of Coaction Dance Collective. Produced by Morgan Doman. Note: Parts of the show contain adult content and language. Photo by BH Photos.
Five Dollar Comedy Week
For off-beat and experimental fun, don’t miss Five Dollar Comedy Week, March 23-29, seven days of over 30 original comedy shows in every variety including stand-up, sketch, improv, storytelling, music, and more. Highlights include Pitch Bucket, a show where comedians pitch ideas and products to some of Philly’s top entrepreneurs, It’s My First Time, Doogie Horner plucks regular people from the crowd and turns them into stand-up comics, Astromedy, where comics, astrologists, palm readers and psychics collide, and Just Dance, a dance-filled comedy show. Each show only $5, Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: Andrew Jeffrey Wright performs stand-up as a dad in Worldwide Comedy Explosion. Photo courtesy of Five Dollar Comedy Week.
Have the time of your life with the North American tour of Dirty Dancing, coming to Philadelphia March 24 through April 5. Join Baby (Jillian Mueller) and Johnny (Samuel Pergande) for the stage adaptation of the hit movie with all of the favorite songs including “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?,” “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” Academy of Music, Broad Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Walnut Street Theatre’s “And Then There Were None”
Onstage at Walnut Street Theatre is Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, through April 26. Based on the author’s best-selling novel (with over 100 million copies sold, making it the world’s best-selling mystery, and one of the best-selling books of all time), the show tells the story of ten strangers lured by a mysterious host for a relaxing weekend at a remote island resort. Once they arrive, there is a suspicious death and the guests are trapped. Unable to leave, they begin to share their darkest secrets until they begin to fall, one by one. Directed by Charles Abbott and starring Jessica Bedford, Damon Bonetti, Sharon Alexander, John-Charles Kelly, Greg Wood, Laurent Giroux, Paul L. Nolan, Peter Schmitz, Wendy Scharfman, and Harry Smith, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Mark Garvin.
Sherlock Holmes Weekend
It’s the annual spring edition of Sherlock Holmes Weekend in Cape May, New Jersey, March 20-22. Visitors can try and solve this year’s mystery, “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silver Fox” and win a variety of prizes. The weekend includes a “Search for Clues Tour” on Saturday that traverses the inns of Victorian Cape May in a hunt for clues. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. Photo courtesy of MAC.
East Lynne Theater Company’s “Holmes and Carter Mysteries”
Also in Cape May, step back in time for two different “who-dun-its” presented as radio-style broadcasts, complete with live sound effects and commercials with the Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company’s Holmes and Carter Mysteries. In “Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Copper Beeches” and “Nick Carter and the Strange Dr. Devolo,” six actors portray the different characters in two performances, March 20-21 at 8pm at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street. Photo courtesy of East Lynne Theater Company.
Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at McCarter
McCarter Theatre Center and New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s 18th annual Stages Festival present Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1901 mystery The Hound of the Baskervilles. The funny and inventive new take by playwright Ken Ludwig comes directly from its world premiere run in Washington D.C. Directed by Amanda Dehnert with a cast of five actors playing 40 roles with imaginative non-traditional staging through March 29 at 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ. Co-production with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Photo by Margot Shulman.
Want more intrigue?
Emlyn Williams’ A Murder Has Been Arranged is onstage at Hedgerow Theatre Company, through March 29, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA.
A Murder in Paris, an improv murder mystery wine three course dinner takes place at London Grill’s Paris Wine Bar, March 26 and 27, 7pm, coinciding with Philly Wine Week. Presented by Blue Suede Productions, 2303 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia.
To submit an event to be considered, email Robin Bloom at email@example.com.