Weekly Entertainment Guide – First Friday, Fete, Femi, & Film Fests


    "Murder for Two," an homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries, takes to the stage at Philadelphia Theatre Company, June 6-28. Photo by Jim Cox.

    25 things to do this week in the Philly region.  Robin Bloom shares her picks.

    What’s Happening

    Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court

    Opening Friday, June 5 at the National Constitution Center is Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court, a new exhibition created by the William Way LGBT Community Center, chronicling the LGBT rights movement and the ongoing debate over how much the Constitution protects gay rights. Timed to honor the 50th anniversary of the first Reminder day demonstration, the earliest LGBT demonstrations in the United States which took place in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, through January 3, 6th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia. Ribbon cutting ceremony on June 5, 10am. Photo by Jeff Fusco Photography.

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    Enjoy 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.  Learn the basics of working with clay with The Clay Studio’s Hands on Clay, First Fridays, 5pm-8pm, 137-139 North Second Street, Old City. Free and open to all ages. Pictured: Rebecca Hutchinson: Abundance, on display June 5-28.  Vox Populi Gallery presents With For And Against, the exhibition debut of the 2014 members of the artist collective, on view June 5-28 with an opening reception June 5, 6pm-10p, 319 N. 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA.  Chemical Heritage Foundation’s First Friday event Cheese, Chocolate, and Fermentation is Friday, June 5, 5pm-8pm, with talks taking place at 5:30pm and 6:45pm and tasting activities to follow, 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public with no registration required.  Fragments by Matthew Hall and In Catacumbis New Prints and Paintings by Nicole Patrice Dul – on display at 3rd Street Gallery on 2nd Street, 45 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. First Friday opening June 5, 5pm-9pm.  Jane Doyle – Front to Back at Gallery51, 51 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, June 5 through July 15.

    Philadelphia Folklore Project’s annual Birthday Bash

    Philadelphia Folklore Project’s annual Birthday Bash takes place Friday, June 5, 6pm-9pm, celebrating 28 years of cultivating folk arts and social change. Honorees include Dorothy Gordon Wilkie & John Wilkie, Artistic and Musical Director of Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble, and Kormassa Bobo, Liberian dancer. Performances by Kulu Mele African Dance and Drum Ensemble, the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, plus food and more, Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia.  Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

    Prison Food Weekend at Eastern State Penitentiary

    Eastern State Penitentiary brings back the popular Prison Food Weekend, offering visitors a taste of prison life with samples of meals served to inmates throughout prison history, Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7,11am-4:30pm, catered by Freestyle BBQ, owned by a correctional officer, 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary.

    The Princeton Festival

    The Princeton Festival returns June 6-28 with 23 performances in 11 musical genres including opera, musical theatre, chamber music, piano, vocal concerts, and more including country music by the guitar duo Striking Matches, traditional Indian music and dance by Pradhanica, Concordia Chamber Players, Mozart’s “Le Nozze de Figaro,” (pictured) and more, at various locations in the Princeton, NJ area. Photo courtesy of Piedmont Opera.

    Fete Day at Elfreth’s Alley

    Tour the private historic homes on Elfreth’s Alley with the annual Fete Day Open House on Saturday, June 6, from 1-5pm, with colonial refreshments, music, storytelling, scavenger hunts, games, and 18th century family photos on the oldest residential street in the country, on 2nd Street between Race & Arch Streets, Old City, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Elfreth’s Alley.

    Strawberry Festival at Linvilla Orchards

    Linvilla Orchards’ annual Strawberry Festival is Saturday, June 6 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. Rain date Sunday, June 7. Photo courtesy of Linvilla Orchards.

    Celebrate “Bloomsday” in Philadelphia

    The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia celebrates author James Joyce with the annual Bloomsday Festival, June 9-16. Events include a Pub Quiz at Fergie’s Pub, the opening of the exhibit “Deciphering Ulysses: A Playful Introduction to Joyce’s Novel,” performances, and Bloomsday, all-day dramatic readings from Ulysses by Joyce enthusiasts at three locations in Philadelphia including the Parkway Central Library, Rittenhouse Square and in front of the museum on Delancey Place, 9:30am-7:30pm on June 16 (free). Joyce’s manuscript for Ulysses is housed at the Rosenbach. Photo courtesy of the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

    Philly Fests

    The Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show once again “Circles the Square” June 5-7, 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 5-6, 11am-7pm, Sunday, June 7, 11am-5pm. Pictured: Seventy-Six by Jane Miluski, one of the artists featured in the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show.Fairmount Avenue Arts & Culture Day is Saturday, June 6, 11am-3pm, with live entertainment by Dance Philadelphia, Xande Cruz, Giles Jazz Band, Two Are Greater, Frontyards Band, and more, along with art, craft booths, and food trucks, Fairmount Avenue between N. 22nd and Corinthian Streets (in front of Eastern State Penitentiary), Philadelphia.Philly Veg Fest is back for a second year Saturday, June 6, 11am-4pm, with live music, speakers, cooking demonstration, food vendors, children’s activities, and a dog station, “The Plaza” at Headhouse Square, 2nd Street between South & Lombard Streets. Free and open to the public. #SassySaysEast Passyunk celebrates Italian National Day Festival, Sunday, June 7 starting at 11am. The Filitalia La Festa della Repubblica offers fun for the whole family, with a spaghetti eating contest, music, children’s activities, food, and more, East Passyunk Avenue between Broad and Moore streets, Philadelphia. Rain or shine. Free.The annual Irish American Festival takes place Sunday, June 7, 1pm-8pm, Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, celebrating Ireland with live music, dancing, traditional foods, crafts and more.

    Film Festivals

    The Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF)

    The Lighthouse International Film Festival (LIFF) returns to Long Beach Island, NJ for a seventh year, June 4-7, featuring over 50 award-winning films and shorts from around the world, along with nightly parties and panel discussions. Opening with Finders Keepers, a documentary that follows the ownership battle over one man’s severed leg that was accidentally bought at a storage locker auction, by Clay Tweel and Bryan Carberry, who will be in attendance at the screening. Other filmmakers at the festival include Onur Tukel, whose film Abby Singer, Songwriter has its East Coast premiere on June 5. Local New Jersey filmmakers and New Jersey themes explored. Locations vary. Pictured: Applesauce, closing night film, June 7. Photo courtesy of LIFF.

    Trenton Film Festival

    The Trenton Film Festival comes to the Mill Hill Playhouse, June 10-14, with 53 films from 16 countries, showcasing emerging filmmakers and offering a mix of narrative and documentary features, and short films as well as animation, music video and new media, 205 East Front Street (at Montgomery Street), Trenton, NJ. Pictured: Failure Groupies (New Jersey, US, Dir. Mandira Chauhan, 13m). Photo courtesy of Trenton Film Festival.


    The annual Chester County Blues Barbeque

    The annual Chester County Blues Barbeque returns on Saturday, June 6, 2-7pm, with Duke Robillard (pictured), Debbie Davies, Mikey Junior, and Vanessa Collier, Wyndsor Farm, 2550 Ridge Road, Elverson, PA. Photo by Peter Dervin Photography.

     Dock Street Music Fest

    The Dock Street Brewery celebrates the end of Philly Beer Week with the 7th annual Dock Street Music Fest, Sunday June 7, 4pm-8pm, including beer, pizza and local bands like Flightschool, Honey Radar, Pushin’ It 2 the Limit, The Women’s Revolutionary Vagime, and Rosemary Fiki. 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 and artwork, 50th & Baltimore. Pictured: Made-in-house sausages from Whole Foods Market Callowhill (photo courtesy of Dock Street Brewery).

    Femi Kuti and the Positive Force

    Femi Kuti brings his big sound to World Café Live, Tuesday, June 9, 8pm (doors open at 7pm). First known mostly as the son of Nigerian great Fela Kuti – considered the pioneer of Afro-Beat music that became popular world-wide – Femi, along with his band, The Positive Force, has developed his own widespread critical acclaim, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Philip Ryalls/Redferns.


    “Murder for Two” at Philadelphia Theatre Company

    Opening June 6 at Philadelphia Theatre Company is Murder for Two, by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, blending music, mayhem and murder. Two performers play 13 roles (and the piano) in an homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries through June 28. Directed by Scott Schwartz and starring Kyle Branzel, Ian Lowe (through June 21) and Brandon Lambert (beginning June 23), Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets, Philadelphia. Related programs and events include Meet-the-Artists talk back on June 11 and 25, Backstage tour on June 20, and book club. Photo by Jim Cox.

    Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD

    The five performances of Opera Philadelphia’s Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD are already sold out at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater, June 5-14. The world premiere about the legendary jazz saxophonist was created for tenor Lawrence Brownlee, with a libretto by award-winning poet and playwright Bridgette Wimberly, and was co-commissioned and co-produced with Gotham Chamber Opera. Set in New York City on the day the iconic musician died (March 12, 1955), the production also stars soprano Angela Brown, baritone Will Liverman, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford. Audiences can still engage with the production in several ways including Spiritual Sketches with Lawrence Brownlee and Damien Sneed on June 8, 7pm, Union Baptist Church, Philadelphia, and a radio broadcast of the show on July 4, 12pm-2pm on WRTI-FM. Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD heads to New York City for a premiere next year at the Apollo Theater. Photo by Dominic M. Mercier.

    “Company” at Bucks County Playhouse

    Bucks County Playhouse presents Stephen Sondheim’s Company, onstage through June 21 featuring Broadway star Candy Buckley, along with John Bolton, Jennifer Cody, Steve Rosen, and Max Kumangai. Centered on 35 year old Bobby (Justin Guarini), the five married couples who are his best friends, and his three girlfriends, the 1970 comedic concept musical of short vignettes was among the first musicals to deal with adult themes and relationships, 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA. Photo courtesy of Bucks County Playhouse.



    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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