Weekly Entertainment Guide – ‘Mary Poppins,’ “Henry V,’ and Halloween fun

     Disney's and Cameron Mackintosh's

    Disney's and Cameron Mackintosh's "Mary Poppins" opens November 4 at Walnut Street Theatre and promises to be "practically perfect." (Photo by Squid Ink Creative, courtesy of Music Theatre Wichita.)

    “Time warp” from Rocky Horror to Mary Poppins to War of the Worlds!  Halloween fun and much more this week. Robin Bloom shares her picks.


    Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s “Henry V”

    Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre takes a fresh look at an old classic with a contemporary version of Shakespeare’s well-known history play, Henry V. The inventive interpretation is directed by Aaron Cromie and shifts locations and characters. Set in the age-appropriate environment of a classroom, actors play students, learning about the life of King Henry V of England during the 100 Years War along with the audience, as advancing armies become schoolyard cliques. Set design by Dirk Durosette and Akeem Davis as Henry V, through November 16, 2111 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.

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    “Rocky Horror Show” at Bucks County Playhouse

    Catch The Rocky Horror Show at Bucks County Playhouse, now through November 2 – with 7:30pm and 11:30pm performances on Halloween and Saturday, November 1. Starring Kevin Cahoon as Frank ‘n’ Furter and Erik Altemus as Rocky, and directed by Hunter Foster. Time warp seats include front orchestra seating, free prop bag and invitation to go on stage and dance the “Time Warp” with the cast! Or, get a regular seat and follow Brad and Janet on that dark and stormy night, 70 S. Main Street, New Hope, PA. No outside props permitted in the theater. Show recommended for ages 17 and older. Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

    “War of the Worlds” at Drexel University

    Drexel University transforms the Black Box Theater into a radio studio for a special presentation of The War of the Worlds radio broadcast. Performed as a Halloween episode by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air in 1938, Drexel Co-Op Theatre Company, a resident, student-run theater, stays true to the original production, directed by Aaron Oster with sound design by Stefan Orn Arnarson. The sound effects will be performed by two student actors, Justin Allison and Natalie Juran. Performances October 30 through November 2 with a Halloween night show, Friday, October 31, 8pm. Those dressed in costume get in free for the Halloween performance, URBN Center Annex, 3401 Filbert Street, Philadelphia.

    InterAct Theatre Company’s “Caught”

    InterAct Theatre Company celebrates Asian American arts in Philadelphia with the World Premiere of Caught, by Christopher Chen. The provocative comedy makes it hard to tell the difference between the con and the conned as it exposes the thin line between truth and fiction at a renowned gallery when a Chinese artist arrives with a harrowing story. Directed by resident artist Rich Shiomi, co-founder of Mu Performing Arts and a leader in the Asian theatre movement, and starring local actors Bi Jean Ngo, Justin Jain, Ames Adamson, Christie Parker, and Jessica DalCanton through November 16 at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.

    “Mary Poppins” at Walnut Street Theatre

    Fly into Cherry Tree Lane and join Mary Poppins on adventures into imagination as the mysterious nanny changes the lives of the Banks family forever. Based on the books by P.L. Travers’ and on the classic Disney film, and adapted for the stage by Cameron Mackintosh, the award-winning Broadway musical opens at the Walnut Street Theatre on November 4. Wayne Bryan, who directed the successful show at Music Theatre Wichita, brings choreographer Linda Goodrich, set designer J Branson, Lindsey Bliven (making her Walnut debut as the enchanting Mary), and David Elder as Bert. Philadelphia actors Jeffrey Coon, Rebecca Robbins, Mary Martello, and Bill Van Horn join the cast along with an ensemble group comprised of area children. Expect all of the Sherman brothers’ iconic songs like “A Spoon Full of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” along with a new ones, through January 4 at 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

    Halloween Fun

    Halloween Organ Extravaganza

    Experience the Kimmel Center’s Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in a whole new way with the Halloween Organ Extravaganza, Friday, October 31, 9:30pm, performed by three organ virtuosos, Peter Richard Conte, Ken Cowan, and Paul Jacobs. Program includes Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette, Mussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain, Monster Mash, and more, including a posthumous performance by the orchestra’s late music director Leopold Stokowski. With theatrical lighting, dancers, and video projections, presented by but not including the Philadelphia Orchestra – who will be at Carnegie Hall performing Mahler’s Resurrection. Wear costumes and even go onstage to “feel” the low notes of the instrument after the show (bring a towel or blanket to lie on), Verizon Hall, Broad Street, Philadelphia.

    Halloween Dance Parties

    Candy Volcano (pictured) brings a glam rock costume party to FringeArts this Friday, October 31, 10pm (doors open at 9:30pm) with Halloween Jack’s Glamtasm Masquerade. The band features over 25 singers and performers paying tribute to the music of the 1970s, under the direction of Kevin Monko, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia.

    Musical director and trombone player Steve Tirpak brings together a funky 12 piece band for BOO2! Jazz Concert and Halloween Dance Party, Friday, October 31, 8pm, Temple Performing Arts Center. Wear a costume (prizes will be awarded) and enjoy refreshments and dancing. DJ Statik spinning before and after the show, 1837 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia.  

    International House Philadelphia hosts Night of the Philly Dead: Brews and Brains Halloween Party, the first Halloween craft beer and cocktail party, Friday, October 31, 9pm-2am. The zombie themed dance party features DJ Skeme Richards and pays homage to the cult-classic movies with food, craft beer, and dancing. Costumes encouraged (and prizes will be awarded). Or, get zombified onsite with makeup artistry by NickiRenee, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.  Ticket price includes drinks and food.

    Day of the Dead Events

    Penn Museum’s Día de los Muertos celebration

    Penn Museum’s 3rd annual Día de los Muertos celebration takes place Saturday, November 1, 11am-4pm, with traditional music and dance, storytelling, puppetry, paper maché artistry, sugar skull and mask making, face painting, special food and more. Check out the large ofrenda (altar) dedicated to Mexican poet, essayist and diplomat Octavio Paz, created by the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center with the help of local artist Cesar Viveros, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia.

    Fleisher Art Memorial’s Day of the Dead

    Fleisher Art Memorial celebrates the Day of the Dead with paper maché mask making, sugar skull decorating, paper flower folding workshops, a film screening, Aztec dance troupe, and more, Saturday, November 1, 6pm-9pm. Check out the wooden representation of The Tizoc Stone, carved by Fleisher artists in residence, Carlos Gonzalez and Francisco Garcia, 719 Catharine Street, Philadelphia.

    South Street Headhouse District’s Festival and Parade

    After twelve years, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival and Parade returns to South Street Headhouse District, Sunday, November 2. Expect giant puppets, dancing skeletons, traditional Mexican music, strolling costumed spirits, Frida Kahlo look-alikes and a funeral hearse. The parade route begins at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street, starting at 1:45pm and ends on the 400 block from 2pm to 7pm, with children’s activities, food, musical entertainment including a concert with Los Straitjackets. Free.

    Princeton’s Day of the Dead Celebration

    The Arts Council of Princeton hosts the annual Day of the Dead Celebration, Sunday, November 2, 3pm-5pm, with strolling mariachis, Mexican paper flower making, sugar skull decorating, face painting, and Mexican food in the Princeton Shopping Center Courtyard, 301 N. Harrison Street, Princeton, NJ. Bring your own ofrenda!

    With the Kids

    Bring the kids to Halloween @ PTM, Friday, October 31, 9am-5pm. Wear costumes, enjoy strolling puppet Buster the ghost, meet and greet and story times with Little Critter, Halloween dress up, dance party, treats and more at the Please Touch Museum, Memorial Hall, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.

    Woodmere Art Museum hosts Fright Night: Playing the Boos, Friday, October 31, 5:30pm-8pm, a Halloween take on Friday Night Jazz with jazz riffs on “Ghostbusters,” Monster Mash,” “Thriller,” and themes from The Munsters and The Addams Family. Bring the family and come in costume to enjoy some jazzy Halloween tricks and treats and see the special exhibit Things That Creak in the Night: Selections from the Halloween Collection of Peter Paone, on view through November 2, 9201 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill.  

    Join Alex & the Kaleidoscope Band (pictured) for a Halloween Costume Party, Saturday, November 1, 11:30am (doors open at 11am) at World Café Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE. Costumes are welcome and encouraged!  

    Explore music with an interactive family concert Under the Sea, Sunday, November 2, 2pm and 4pm at Curtis Institute of Music. The hour-long concert features Michael Djupstrom’s musical fairytale, The Seahorse and the Crab, an underwater adaptation of The Tortoise and the Hare, with the trumpet and cello as the story’s two main characters. Narrated by Curtis alum and acclaimed baritone Allen Boxer and performed by Curtis students: the trumpet (Alexander Greene), cello (Timotheos Petrin), as well as the flute (Lydia Roth), piano (Yijia Wang), and percussion (Won Suk Lee), Field Concert Hall, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia. Best for children 5 and older.

    Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival

    The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival kicks off its 34th season November 1-16, highlighting the diversity and commonality of the human experience with over 25 films from 9 countries at 7 different venues including the Gershman Y, International House, Ritz, and Bryn Mawr Film Institute. Look for almost all Philadelphia premieres, documentaries, dramas, short films, a family film day, and more covering a wide range of topics, including food, a look at an iconic figure in the women’s rights movement, anti-Semitism in France, Jewish involvement in the March on Washington, and the genesis of the Israeli Air Force, with post-film talkbacks, special guests and panel discussions. Films include Famous Nathan, Regarding Susan Sontag, and Sderot: Rock the Red Zone (pictured), closes the festival on Sunday, November 16.

    You might also like… Old Jews Telling Jokes at the Penn’s Landing Playhouse through November 30. Co-created by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent, the show features five actors in a revue that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present with comical songs and more, inside the Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Columbus Boulevard and Walnut Street, Philadelphia.  

    The 7th annual Israeli Jazz Phest is November 7-16, at various venues including the Painted Bride Art Center and World Café Live, with Oran Etkin, Yemen Blues, and more.

    Main Line Art Center’s “Face Value”

    Main Line Art Center’s Face Value explores the power of the portrait with three artists who have embraced new technologies and take a unique approach to portraiture and social commentary through the use of packaging tape, computer cut stencils, and printed glass. Philadelphia artist Nick Cassway exhibits a new series based on a civil war drama, created with his analog-to-digital-to-analog process. Ukrainian-born artist Mark Khaisman exhibits his signature light boxes as well as site specific tape works (pictured), and local artist Steven Earl Weber shows new work on glass through November 5. Curated by Amie Potsic.  Visit the exhibit on Sunday, November 2, 1pm-4pm, and enjoy the Art of Giving Thanks Family Art Festival, 746 Panmure Road, Haverford, PA.

    First Person Arts Festival

    The 13th annual First Person Arts Festival is back November 4-15, with a variety of events that feature prominent artists from Philadelphia and across the country. Have dinner with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, see Earth Wind and Fire lead singer Philip Bailey, spend an Evening with Ira Glass, watch Stripped Stories with Margot Leitman and Giulia Rozzi (pictured), and enjoy the 13th Grand Slam hosted by Dave Hill. Also, First Person Arts Raw, shows that push the boundaries of traditional memoir and documentary storytelling. Venues include Christ Church Neighborhood House, Underground Arts, Merriam Theater, and Prince Music Theater.



    Christine Kelley contributed reporting to this week’s Guide.

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

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