Weekly Entertainment Guide – Figaro, Festivals, & Farces

     The highly acclaimed production of Mozart's comic opera

    The highly acclaimed production of Mozart's comic opera "The Marriage of Figaro" closes Opera Philadelphia's season with five performances April 28 through May 7 at the Academy of Music. Photo by Dana Sohm for Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

    Robin Bloom shares her recommendations for what to do this week in the Philadelphia region!


    Opera Philadelphia’s “The Marriage of Figaro”

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    Mozart’s comic opera The Marriage of Figaro closes Opera Philadelphia’s season with five performances April 28 through May 7 at the Academy of Music. The new production, which premiered in November at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, is directed by Stephen Lawless and features real-life couple John Chest (baritone) and Layla Claire (soprano) making their company debuts as Count and Countess Almaviva. Cast also includes soprano Ying Fang, bass-baritone Brandon Cedel, mezzo Cecelia Hall, bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi, tenor Jason Ferrante, and Grammy-winning mezzo Lucy Schaufer, under the musical direction of Corrado Rovaris. Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, performed in Italian with English Supertitles, 240 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. The opera will travel next to San Diego Opera and Palm Beach Opera. Photo by Dana Sohm for Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

    1812 Productions’ “Happy Birthday”

    It’s a comedy of infidelity and a case of mistaken identities with Happy Birthday, onstage at 1812 Productions, the all comedy theatre company, April 27 through May 21. The Philadelphia premiere, written by Marc Camoletti, features a director and cast of all real married couples! Trey Lyford directs spouse Suli Holum as well as Jennifer Childs and Scott Greer, and Greg Wood and Susan Riley Stevens in the bedroom farce of twists, turns and intrigue, as each tries to keep the others from discovering his or her own scandal, Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Center City Philadelphia. Related programs and events include an open captioned performance in English on May 7 and an open captioned performance in Spanish on May 10. Photo by John Flak.

    Curio Theatre Company’s “The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary”

    Curio Theatre Company presents The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary, by Peepolykus. The British group, known for its sublime style of anarchic comedy, adapted Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel “Madame Bovary” and the production has its North American premiere April 26 through May 20. The bright and tragic life of a doctor’s wife, Emma Bovary, is hilariously derailed by a comic ensemble of actors including Andrew Blasenak, Chase Byrd, Aetna Gallagher and Doug Greene, directed by John Bellomo, at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community, 4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. Not recommended for children under the age of 16 due to adult content. Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas.

    “WHITE” at Theatre Horizon

    Barrymore Award-winning actor, director, and Philadelphia based playwright James Ijames’ new play WHITE opens at Theatre Horizon April 27. Winner of the 2015 Terrence McNally New Play Award, the smart and funny world premiere challenges assumptions about race, gender, identity, and art. Inspired by New York based artist/sculptor Joe Scanlan, Ijames examines cultural appropriation and black female stereotypes and satirizes the art world to expose how society in general often confuses diversity with inclusion. Directed by Malika Oyetimein and starring Jessica Bedford, Jamison Foreman, Justin Jain, and Jaylene Clark Owens through May 21, 401 Dekalb Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania. Photo by Plate 3 Photography.

    Beacon Theatre Productions’ “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure”

    Beacon Theatre Productions presents Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, through May 7. Adapted by Steven Dietz and based on an 1899 script by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about a case that tempts the “world’s greatest detective” at the end of his career, the play is directed by Stephen Underwood at Olivet Covenant Presbyterian Church Theater, 608 N. 22nd Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Lydia Kincaid.


    BalletX’s Spring Series

    BalletX’s Spring Series 2017 offers an innovative program of performances, April 26 through May 7. Catch the U.S. premiere of Barcelona-based choreographer Cayetano Soto’s “Schachmatt,” the return of (BalletX co-founder) Matthew Neenan’s “The Last Glass,” which draws inspiration from the wild street parade sound of American indie rock band Beirut, and the world premiere of “In Between the Passing” by Choreographic Fellow and PHILADANCO alum Tommie-Waheed Evans, at the Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Go behind the scenes with the X-Process, interactive lectures and events, conversations with the artists, and more. Photo by Bill Hebert.

    Noche Flamenca’s “Antigona”

    Noche Flamenca: Soledad Barrio and her husband (and artistic director) Martin Santangelo perform a 90 minute adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone (Antigona in Spanish) with their company of 18 musicians and dancers. The performance fuses the Greek tragedy with Spanish flamenco in a powerful dance-theater piece, Friday, April 28, 8 p.m., McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton, New Jersey. Photo by Zarmik Moqtaderi.

    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. The performance is hosted by Martha Graham Cracker, Saturday, April 29, 8 p.m., Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. New this year, the dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet open their doors for the final rehearsal on Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m., at the Louise Reed Center, 323 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Kelly Leggett.

    Spring Festivals, Flavors, & Fine Crafts

    Cape May celebrates the season with the 22nd annual Spring Festival, April 28 through May 7, with private home tours, ghost tours, murder mystery meals, Time Capsule Trolley Tour, food and wine events, and more, including a new Underground Railroad Trolley Tour, and the exhibit “Cape May’s Stormy Past: From the Pages of the First Resort,” at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, New Jersey. The exhibit will be on display through October 9. Photo courtesy of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities.  Flavors on the Avenue returns Sunday, April 30, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., South Philadelphia’s largest outdoor food and drink festival, as over two dozen restaurants and bars offer samples of their signature dishes and drinks, accompanied by a street festival with vendors, live music, craft market and more, rain or shine, near East Passyunk and Tasker Streets, Philadelphia. Presented by East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District.  The Haverford Guild of Craftsmen Spring Fine Craft Show is Friday, April 28, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., at St. George Episcopal Church, Darby Road and Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore, Pennsylvania. A chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, the group is one of the oldest professional craft guilds in the country and showcases the local handmade work of over 30 artists in media such as jewelry, leather, ceramics, glass, fiber, photography, painting, wood, illustration and mixed media, along with demonstrations. Free.

    Center City Jazz Festival

    Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month at the 6th annual Center City Jazz Festival, Saturday, April 29, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., showcasing Philly’s jazz scene with a “festival crawl” offering 20 bands at five venues all within walking distance. Artists include Eric Wortham II, drum legend George “Spanky” McCurdy, The Landham Brothers, Odean Pope, Monnette Sudler, Beats and Brew, Josh Lawrence and Color Theory, Adison Evans Quintet, James Santangelo Trio, Shakera Jones (pictured), John Yao Quintet, and more at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom Street, Milkboy Philadelphia, 1100 Chestnut Street, Franky Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor Street, Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom Street, and TIME, 1314 Sansom Street. All access ticket $20 in advance and $25 same day. Photo by Regina Lynn.

    Art Sanctuary’s Celebration of Black Arts Festival

    Art Sanctuary honors authors and institutions who have been major contributors to the proliferation of black literature and literacy with the 33rd annual Celebration of Black Arts Festival, one of the oldest and most prominent events of its kind, May 1-31. The month-long festivity features a range of events including workshops, discussions, performances, storytelling circle for children, film screening, and more including the Literary Arts Conference at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Award-winning writer and illustrator Bryan Collier exhibits his work with an opening reception on May 7 and Exploring Paul Robeson is on May 27. Photo courtesy of Art Sanctuary.

    Beer & Music Fests

    The 19th Annual Manayunk Craft Beer Fest is Saturday, April 29, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., offering tastings of more than 70 craft beers with live blues music at the Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant, 4120 Main Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of the Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant.  The Springfest Live! Philadelphia Craft Beer and Music Festival takes place April 29, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, 1100 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia.

    Fairmount Arts Crawl

    The Fairmount Arts Crawl is back, Sunday, April 30, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., as Fairmount restaurants and businesses open their doors and highlight the work of a wide variety of artists and their media along with outdoor musical performances, family activities, and more, centered around 22nd and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of the Fairmount Arts Crawl.

    New Jersey Folk Festival

    The 43rd annual New Jersey Folk Festival is held rain or shine Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., showcasing Turkish traditions. Performers include Whirling Dervish, Amir Vahab, and Pete Seeger protégé Spook Handy. Check out the juried craft market of 100 vendors, food vendors, folk music marketplace, children’s area, seminar tent and more at the Eagleton Institute Grounds on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. The NJFF is the only festival run entirely by students and is a part of Rutgers Day, with activities at all of the campuses. Free. Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Folk Festival.

    Communiversity ArtsFest in Princeton

    Communiversity ArtsFest, a collaboration between the Arts Council of Princeton and the students of Princeton University, returns this Sunday, April 30, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., rain or shine, with 200 booths showcasing original art and contemporary crafts, unique merchandise, six stages of continuous live entertainment for all ages, and food from around the world, representing the communities and organizations that help the Princeton community thrive, in downtown Princeton, Nassau and Witherspoon Streets, Palmer’s Square (on the Green), and throughout Princeton University’s campus. Photo courtesy of the Arts Council of Princeton.

    Bug & Bud Festival

    The annual Bug & Bud Festival buzzes back to downtown Milford, celebrating Arbor Day and Delaware’s State Bug, Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Enjoy a costumed parade for kids and pets, live entertainment, arts & crafts vendors, children’s activities including a children’s art show and nature related activities, paddle boat rides, games, and more, rain or shine and free along Walnut Street, Front Streets and the Mispillion Riverwalk. Photo courtesy of the Bug & Bud Festival.

    Wyebrook Music Festival

    Wyebrook Music Festival is back at the Wyebrook Farm, Saturday, April 29. Gates open at 10 a.m. with live sets by bands including Frog Holler, Mason Porter, Yarn, and Bakithi Kumalo and the South African All Stars. BYOB and bring lawn chairs or blankets and explore the grounds, 150 Wyebrook Road, Honey Brook, PA. On-site parking available. Photo courtesy of Wyebrook Music Festival.



    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 artscalendar@whyy.org.

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