Enchanted comedies, fractured fairy tales, ancient magic and more. Robin Bloom shares her picks for this week.
Independence Seaport Museum’s “Patriots & Pirates”
Independence Seaport Museum explores Philadelphia’s connection to the founding of the United States Navy with its newest, permanent exhibition Patriots & Pirates. At the end of the Revolutionary War in 1793, our nation was no longer under British rule and our ships were no longer guarded from piracy by the British Navy. To defend ourselves, a six-frigate fleet was built in Philadelphia, the nation’s premier shipbuilding port. The unique exhibit, developed by Chief Curator Craig Bruns, delves into the founding story of the U.S. Navy through never before or rarely seen artifacts, personal accounts of the sailors taken by pirates, the designers and craftspeople who built the ships, and various interactives such as Schooner Diligence, a full-size waterline model of Diligence of 1797, built by staff and volunteers from Workshop on the Water, a traditional boat shop located inside the Museum, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Independence Seaport Museum.
“The Stinky Cheese Man and other fairly stupid tales” at Arden Theatre Company
Join the madcap musical adventure with Arden Theatre Company’s spring family production The Stinky Cheese Man and other fairly stupid tales, the unique, Caldecott Award-winning collection of twisted, humorous parodies of famous children’s stories and fairy tales based on the book by John Scieszka and Lane Smith, adapted by John Glore, and directed by Arden’s Associate Artistic Director Matthew Decker. Jack (of the Beanstalk), Chicken Licken, the Really Ugly Duckling and the Stinky Cheese Man are brought to life by Rachel Camp, Doug Hara, Ashton Carter, Scott Sheppard, and Leah Walton, through June 12 at 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Mark Garvin.
ArcheDream for HUMANKIND
ArcheDream for HUMANKIND returns to its hometown of Philadelphia with its newest show, ArcheDream in Technicolor, April 15-17. The internationally touring black-light mask and dance theater company communicates universal ideas and emotions by merging ancient ritual and magical storytelling with modern technology. This performance explores the color wheel and is inspired by founder Alan Bell, a South African native who fled Apartheid and began exploring the use of black light to create a ‘raceless’ art where skin color was not distinguished. Accompanying the performance is an exhibit of Bell’s masks and black light art work from over the decades, “20 Years of Masks in the Making,” Shiloh Baptist Church, 21st and Christian Streets, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of ADHK.
“Magic in the Ancient World” at Penn Museum
Penn Museum explores Magic in the Ancient World with a new exhibit opening April 16, featuring magical objects, words, and rituals used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. Magic was a real and every day part of life for many ancient civilizations and the museum has pulled 81 artifacts from its collection, including protective amulets, incantation bowls, curse tablets, powerful rings, magical stones, and anatomical votives that represent the diverse use of magic for protection, health and healing, curses and counter curses, wielding secret power, and help in the afterlife, through April 2017, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. Find out about the Penn Museum/Mütter Museum joint ticket and visit Grimms’ Anatomy: Magic and Medicine, exploring real world examples of fairy tale medicines and magical transformations at the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia College of Physicians, 19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: Gorgon and Nike Coin Silver 411–350 BCE Mediterranean (Macedonian) Greece, Neapolis. The Gorgon, often depicted with a toothy smile and outstretched tongue, was a monster so ugly its gaze could turn men to stone. With its snake hair and frightful gaze to scare away enemies, the Gorgon was a common protective image. On the reverse depicts Nike, Greek goddess of victory. Photo courtesy of Penn Museum.
Media Theatre’s “Sleeping Beauty”
Sing along to “Love Is,” “Merricore,” and “Spinning,” in Media Theatre’s fast-paced musical Sleeping Beauty. Designed for children ages 4 and up and featuring a cast made up of students from the Media Theatre’s New School and acting classes, the comedic version of the classic fairy tale by R. Eugene Jackson and Patsy Pollard is onstage Saturdays and Sundays through May 22. The performances is one hour in length with colorful costumes, kid-friendly props, and silly sound effects, 104 E. State Street, Media, PA. Photo courtesy of Media Theatre.
“Sleeping Handsome” at Act II Playhouse
Sleeping Handsome, a magical new comedy for young audiences, takes to the stage at Act II Playhouse April 16-24. Written by Bill D’Agostino (who brought you the popular Murray the Elf mysteries) and directed by Tony Braithwaite, Act II’s Artistic Director, the world premiere “sort of” sequel to the Sleeping Beauty story is a new twist on the classic story with Eileen Cella and Andy Shaw playing all of the characters – including a loyal dog, magical fairies, a queen, and a prince – in a new tale about an unlikely heroine in a far-away kingdom, 56 E Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA. Photo by Bill D’Agostino.
The Please Touch Museum’s “Storybook Ball”
The Please Touch Museum hosts its annual Storybook Ball, Sunday, April 17, 4pm-7pm, celebrating its 40th birthday year, with horse and carriage rides, visits from characters such as Elsa from “Frozen,” an epic dance party and more. Dress as your favorite character and enjoy special treats, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Photo courtesy of the Please Touch Museum.
First State Ballet Theatre’s “Don Quixote”
First State Ballet Theatre brings Miguel de Cervantes’ classic comedy, Don Quixote, to life, Saturday, April 16, 7pm and Sunday, April 17, 2pm, staged by Kirov trained artistic director Pasha Kambalov, at the Baby Grand Theater, 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE. Photo by Tisa Della-Volpe.
Heart of Gold Festival
The Heart of Gold Festival, a two day family friendly music and camping festival featuring a variety of bands, food and craft vendors, returns to South Jersey Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17. Bands include Mason Porter (pictured), Mark Diomede & The Juggling Suns Project, Steal Your Face, Only Footprints, Wood Sounds, Jersey Pearl, Boy Wonder, Mia Johnson, Bobby Beatcut, and more at The Plateau, 139 Marl Road, Harrisonville, New Jersey. Presented by Trust Productions.
Daffodil Day at Winterthur
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library hosts Daffodil Day and Children’s Daffodil Show, Saturday, April 16. Children ages 5-14 can bring their best cut daffodils between 10am-11am (with judging at 11am) with prizes awarded. Also, enjoy daffodil-themed events, workshops, Tea (reservations required) and guided tours of Sycamore Hill (pictured), where Henry Francis du Pont arranged hundreds of heirloom bulbs that cascade down the hillside. While there, enjoy the Enchanted Woods children’s garden, 5105 Kennett Pike north of Greenville, DE. Photo courtesy of Winterthur.
The Motet at the TLA
The progressive funk collective The Motet stops in Philly on their nationwide tour this Saturday, April 16 at the Theatre of the Living Arts, bringing along their unique mix of funk, afrobeat, disco, jazz and soul and welcoming new lead vocalist Lyle Divinsky and saxophonist Drew Sayers to the band. Doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm with the Nth Power opening, 334 South Street, Philadelphia. All ages.
“The Country Girl” at Stagecrafters
Stagecrafters takes on The Country Girl by Clifford Odets. The compelling drama depicts a love/dependency triangle featuring a young theater director Bernie who is determined to give a second chance to a once-acclaimed, now washed up alcoholic actor Frank and finds himself in a confrontation with Frank’s wife Georgie. The play started on Broadway and was adapted in 1954 as a film by the same name starring Grace Kelly, who won an Academy Award for her role as Georgie. Directed by Loretta Lucy Miller and starring Patrick Cathcart, Mort Paterson, and Pierlisa Chiodo Steo, through April 24, 8130 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. Meet the director and cast at a Q&A after the show on April 15. Photo by Gil Todd.
Villanova Theatre’s “Translations”
Villanova Theatre honors the life and legacy of Irish playwright Brian Friel with Translations, the celebrated play by the dramatist, short story writer and founder of the Field Day Theatre Company, who died in October 2015. Follow an English soldier and cartographer George Yolland to the fictional town of Baile Baeg, where he finds himself falling in love with the local language and a local girl. Can their love flourish as Empire and colony collide? Find out while transported to 1833, a time when the Gaelic language is still alive in the hearts, minds and voices of the Irish, through April 24. Directed by Villanova professor Valerie Joyce and commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the Ireland’s 1916 Rising and the quest for independence with a series of related events, Villanova University’s Vasey Hall, Lancaster and Ithan Avenues, Villanova, PA. April 21 is Speaker’s Night, offering a post-show discussion with the director, cast, crew, and Villanova Theatre Department Chair and Irish Studies Scholar Rev. David Cregan. Free parking in VU’s main lot. Photo by Kimberly Reilly.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.