Weekly Entertainment Guide – ‘Emma,’ ‘Bunny Bunny,’ and Malcolm X

     Carlos Bosualdo, curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, leads visitors through The Malcolm X Steles by Barbara Chase-Riboud. (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

    Carlos Bosualdo, curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, leads visitors through The Malcolm X Steles by Barbara Chase-Riboud. (Emma Lee/for NewsWorks)

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

     Art Appreciation

    The Malcolm X Steles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents “The Malcolm X Steles,” the first comprehensive survey of the iconic pieces by Philadelphia born artist Barbara Chase-Riboud. Chase-Riboud’s sculptures, inspired by and dedicated to the civil rights leader, are cast from cut and folded sheets of wax, combining bronze with knotted and braided silk and wool fiber. The exhibition brings together more than 40 works from the United States and Europe with other related sculptures and drawings, September 14 through January 20 in the Modern and Contemporary Galleries, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Pictured: Malcom X #3, 1969.

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    Femfolio – Delaware Art Museum

    The Delaware Art Museum focuses on a significant moment in the history of contemporary art with the new exhibit “Femfolio,” September 14 through January 12. Beginning in the late 1960s, feminist art came to maturity around the concept of identity and political activism and led to the formation of women-only collectives, galleries, programs and publications. The exhibition assembles pieces by twenty women who played an important role in the feminist art movement of the 1970s, including Eleanor Antin, Joyce Kozloff, Faith Ringgold, Miriam Shapiro, Carolee Schneemann, Nancy Spero, June Wayne, Emma Amos, and Martha Wilson, at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington. Pictured: Identity, 2006 by Emma Amos.




    “Places and Faces” at Villanova University Art Gallery

    On display at Villanova University Art Gallery is “Places and Faces,” a solo show by former architect, designer, builder and developer Lester Glass. The exhibit features 53 watercolors, oils and acrylics, plus drawings in ink and graphite, and depict whimsical scenes, including “Empire State” (pictured), through October 3, St. Mary Hall, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA.






    “Emma” at Lantern Theater Company

    Lantern Theater Company takes on Jane Austen with an adaptation of the author’s 1815 classic novel “Emma,” September 19 through October 27. Created specifically for the stage by Michael Bloom (no relation!), the story of a young, precocious and meddlesome matchmaker who Austen herself described as “a heroine whom no one but myself will much like,” kicks off Lantern’s 20th anniversary season. Leading a cast of nine, Lauren Sowa plays the role of Emma, with Harry Smith, Charlotte Northeast, Nathan Foley, Angela Smith, Trevor Fayle, Lee Minora, and Lantern favorites Peter DeLaurier and Jake Blouch. Set design by Dirk Durossette, original music and sound by Christopher Colucci, and direction by Kathryn Macmillan at St. Stephen’s Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia. To coincide with this production, Lantern also hosts “Regency and Revelry: The Jane Austen Festival,” taking place during the worldwide celebration of Pride and Prejudice’s 200th anniversary, October 11-15, a five-day celebration of readings, lectures, performances, food, and dancing.



    Bunny Bunny – Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy at 1812

    1812 Productions continues its mission to explore and celebrate the history of comedy and great comedians with “Bunny Bunny – Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy,” a sarcastic, quick-witted biography of one of television’s funniest ladies. The play, written by Alan Zweibel (one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live), is a fast-paced tour of the 15 years that Alan and Gilda spent together, beginning in the writer’s room at SNL to Radner’s death in 1989. The show stars Leah Walton in her 1812 debut as Gilda and Matt Pfeiffer as Alan, with Noah Herman making his directorial debut, September 19 through October 27 at Independence Studio on 3 at Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.




    You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! at Penn’s Landing Playhouse

    The national tour of “You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!,” the relationship comedy based on the memoir by real-life married couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn, makes a stop in Philadelphia. The show stars Robin Abramson and Gregory Johnstone and is directed by Van Kaplan. Beginning previews September 18 and onstage through December 29 at the new Penn’s Landing Playhouse, the 500 seat theater inside Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard and Walnut Street, Philadelphia.





    “Miles and Ellie” at Montgomery Theater

    The modern comedy “Miles and Ellie” is onstage at Montgomery Theater through September 29. The “rolling” world premiere production kicked off in Michigan, makes a second stop in Souderton, PA and next heads to Indiana. The new play by playwright and screenwriter Don Zolidis (and professor of playwriting at Ursinus College), stars Rachel Brennan as Ellie and Sean Close as Miles, two teenagers whose relationship is ended by a misunderstanding. Montgomery’s Artistic Director Tom Quinn directs at 124 Main Street. Opening night, September 13 features a post-show party featuring Free Will’s beer, open to all audience members.





    “Superior Donuts” at Stagecrafters Theater

    The Stagecrafters Theater opens a new season with “Superior Donuts,” by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tracy Letts. The dramatic comedy about human hopes, setbacks and triumphs is directed by Jane Toczek, stars John Devennie as Arthur Przybyszewski and Devin Oliver as Franco Wicks, and is onstage September 13-29 at 8130 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. A “Meet the cast and director” Q&A session will be held following the performance on Friday, September 20.




     Festivals, Fairs & More


    Arts & Jazz Festival at Freeman Stage

    The Freeman Stage at Bayside, the outdoor performing arts venue in Selbyville, Delaware, hosts an Arts & Jazz Festival, Saturday, September 14, 10am-6pm, featuring artwork by Delmarva artists, jazz by Joe Baione, TIZER, The Allan Harris Band, and more, 31750 Lake View Drive, just 4 miles west of Fenwick Island at the intersection of Route 54 and Route 20. Free. Bring lawn chairs.





    Mexican Fiesta at Penn’s Landing

    Celebrate Mexico’s Independence with a fiesta this Sunday, September 15, 1pm-7pm, with a day of food, crafts, and music at Penn’s Landing’s Great Plaza. Entertainment includes Mariachi Flores, Folkloric Dancing by Ballet Folklórico Nuevo México, Pedro Villaseñor y su Mariachi, Grupo Cenzontle Cuicatl, Ballet Xochiquetzal of Delaware, Brazeros Musical de Durango and Stars of the Future Rosita y Hermanos Montero. Authentic Mexican food and crafts, along with children’s activities. Dress in authentic Mexican attire for prizes. Presented by the Mexican Cultural Center.





    Street Fare: Sip, Savor, Stroll in Mt. Airy

    Street Fare: Sip, Savor, Stroll features world sounds, craft vendors, craft brews, and gourmet offerings from over 40 food trucks on Thursday, September 19, 6pm-10:30pm in Mt. Airy. Sharon Katz & The Peace Train, Lil Pookie & The Zydeco Sensations, Lisa Chavous & the Second Line, the GTV’s and the Gin Canaries perform on two stages with a family activity zone and more along Germantown Avenue between Sedgwick and W. Mt. Airy Avenue. Don’t worry sports fans! There will be an outdoor simulcast of the Eagles/Chiefs game. Rain date September 26.





    Wildwood Irish Fall Festival

    The annual Irish Fall Festival in North Wildwood, said to be the largest Irish Festival on the East Coast, returns with four days of music, dancing, food, vendors, crafts, golf tournament, parade, and more, September 19-22, 8am-11pm daily, Olde New Jersey Avenue, North Wildwood. Free.






    Park(ing) Day Philadelphia

    Go green and convert a metered parking space into a temporary park in this year’s Park(ing) Day Philadelphia, Friday, September 20. Philadelphia joins with cities all over the world in an effort to raise awareness for the need for more green and pedestrian-friendly urban open spaces. See dozens of interactive parks on the city streets from approximately 9am-5pm and finish up at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop-Up Garden for a reception. Visit the website to sign up for your own parking space and for a printable Google map.






    Aaron Neville in concert

    Zoellner Arts Center welcomes the iconic, Grammy Award-winning soul and R&B artist Aaron Neville to kick off their 17th anniversary season on Saturday, September 14, 8pm in Baker Hall, at Lehigh University, 420 E. Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA. Neville performs songs from “My True Story,” his doo-wop inspired album along with his greatest hits.





    Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia’s Mendelssohn/Beethoven

    The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia introduces a fresh new season, under the baton of Maestro Dirk Brossé, Sunday, September 15, 2:30pm and Monday, September 16, 7:30pm. On the program is Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Op. 21,” created by the composer when he was just 17 years old. HJ Lim, also a musical prodigy (at age 24 she became the youngest artist to ever record the Beethoven complete sonatas), joins the orchestra for Mendelssohn’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25.” The performance concludes with Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 60,” in the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater, Broad Street, Philadelphia.






    Opera Macabre: Edgar Allan Poe

    The Philadelphia Opera Collective brings the tales of Edgar Allan Poe to life with unique performances of “Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Black Cat” as part of this year’s FringeArts. With the goal of engaging new and younger audiences, the production pushes the boundaries of what defines opera. Directed by Brenna Geffers, with music by Reese Revak that includes a trio of accordion, piano and upright bass, along with puppetry, “Opera Macabre: Edgar Allan Poe,” takes to the stage September 13-19 at the Playground at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.





    Jennifer the Unspecial: Time Travel, Love Potions, & 8th Grade

    The Penn Museum’s dramatic Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery is the setting for three performances of the award-winning new musical “Jennifer the Unspecial: Time Travel, Love Potions, and 8th Grade,” as part of this year’s FringeArts. The show tells the story of Jennifer, an awkward, clumsy eighth-grader, and her three classmates as they go on a journey through time. After getting marooned in ancient China and meeting historical figures ranging from Shakespeare, to Da Vinci, to members of the Women’s Suffrage movement, she soon realizes she doesn’t need approval from others to be a confident young woman, September 13, 7pm and September 14, 2pm and 7pm, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia.




    BrainSpunk Theater’s “Lucinda’s Bed”

    BrainSpunk Theater, formerly of New York City, presents its first show in Philadelphia as part of this year’s FringeArts. “Lucinda’s Bed,” by Mia McCullough, tells the story of a young girl and the interactions with the monster under her bed, who turns up in the most peculiar places at the most awkward and inopportune moments. The show premiered at Chicago Dramatist and makes its East Coast debut starring Sarah P. Robinson, Geoff Bruen, and Brendan Whelan, directed by Christopher King, September 18-22, Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. For mature audiences only.



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

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