Weekly Entertainment Guide – Mom, Music & May Fair

     The creative and physically daring dance troupe Pilobolus returns to Dance Celebration at Annenberg Center Live, with performances May 7-10, including with the Philadelphia International Children's Festival. Photo by Grant Halverson.

    The creative and physically daring dance troupe Pilobolus returns to Dance Celebration at Annenberg Center Live, with performances May 7-10, including with the Philadelphia International Children's Festival. Photo by Grant Halverson.

    Love your park, mom, and May merriment!  Robin Bloom offers recommendations on what to do this week.

    Look for #SassySays for pet friendly events.  Let us know if your event is pet-friendly!  Email artscalendar@whyy.org and put #SassySays in the subject line. 

    National Public Gardens Day

    Friday, May 8 is National Public Gardens Day, created by The American Public Gardens Association to celebrate and promote awareness of public gardens in North America, and to encourage visitors to explore their local botanical gardens and arboreta to learn about new plants, get landscaping ideas for their yards, and appreciate the impact that gardens have in their communities and daily lives. Philadelphia has over 30 gardens within a 30-mile radius – the largest concentration of gardens in the U.S. Participating gardens in the region include Shofuso Japanese House and Garden (pictured), Scott Arboretum, Tyler Arboretum, Welkinweir, and Mt. Cuba Center. Photo courtesy of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

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    Dad Vail Regatta

    The annual Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, with over 100 colleges and Universities from the U.S. and Canada, returns Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 on the Schuylkill River, named for Harry Emerson “Dad” Vail, coach at the University of Wisconsin between 1911 and the late 1920’s. There’s a free shuttle for spectators and the best place to watch is at the Grand Stand. Admission is free. Photo by Matt Slocum/AP.

    Philly Fests, Food & Fun

    The annual Philadelphia International Children’s Festival returns to Annenberg Center Live, May 7-9, with accessible and affordable performances for all ages. Highlights include audience favorite Pilobolus Dance Theater, “Lifeboat,” by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Orchestra of Life, Playing By Air, Circo Comedia (pictured), Watermelon Magic, and the FUN ZONE, interactive performances and activities open 9am-2pm, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Andre LéFort.      

    The inaugural Love on the Streets (LOTS) Festival takes place Saturday, May 9, 12pm-8pm at Paine’s Park, celebrating music, arts and skateboarding with a live music stage, skating demonstrations, performances by students from the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, art displays, food trucks and more, N. 29th Street, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public. #SassySays      

    Taste of 3 Cities Food Truck Festival offers over 60 restaurants on wheels from Philly, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., competing for each city’s Mayor’s Cup Competition and the Triple Crown Championship, Saturday, May 9, 12pm-9pm, XFINITY Live! Philadelphia. Also, local breweries, wineries, live local music throughout the day, vendors, children’s activities and more, 100 Pattison Avenue. Free parking before 2pm.

    LOVE Your Park Week

    LOVE Your Park Week, a week-long, citywide celebration of Philadelphia parks is May 9-16, including service projects, events, educational programs, family activities, tours and more at over 100 parks throughout Philadelphia. Kick-off is Saturday, May 9. Find out what is happening near you and volunteer. Presented by the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks and Recreations (photo by Albert Yee). Events include:The Fitler Square Spring Fair is Friday, May 8, 10am-6pm and Saturday, May 9, 9am-4pm, with live music, a silent auction, flowers, herbs, baked goods, gently used books, children’s activities, vendors, and more, 23rd & Pine, Philadelphia.The annual May Fair in Clark Park returns Saturday, May 9, 10am-4pm, with music by local bands, food from some of the favorite vendor trucks in University City, crafts, children’s activities, book sale and more, 43rd & Chester Avenue, Philadelphia.Rittenhouse Square will be transformed by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s annual Fine Craft Fair, Friday, May 8, 11am-7pm, Saturday, May 9, 11am-7pm, and Sunday, May 10, 11am-5pm. The event brings to town 150 fine craftspeople from across the country and from Canada. Crafts on display range from ceramics to jewelry to handmade clothing to artisan furniture and more, along the sidewalks around Rittenhouse Square Park, 1800 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.Historic Germantown’s Second Saturday Community Festival is Saturday, May 9, 11am-2pm, with live music, historic site tours, family activities, food and more, Market Square, 5501 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia.The annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Festival takes place at Franklin Square, Saturday, May 9, 1pm-9pm, featuring short films from Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, health fair, Asian food trucks, beer garden, children’s activities, performances, and more, 6th & Race Streets, Philadelphia.

    Fun with Mom

    The 12th Annual Spring Art Star Craft Bazaar returns this Mother’s Day weekend with over a hundred local and national artists and crafters offering high quality handmade goods that reflect the unique and quirky pieces found at Art Star Gallery & Boutique’s popular retail shop. With live music from local Philly bands, food, craft demonstrations and more, rain or shine, Saturday and Sunday, May 9-10, 11am-6pm, Penn’s Landing Great Plaza, Columbus Boulevard between Market and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Art Star Gallery & Boutique.The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia performs its 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert, Sunday, May 10, 2:30pm. Program includes Music Director Dirk Brossé’s The Philadelphia Overture, Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano and Symphony No. 5, and Barber’s Toccata Festiva, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad Street, Philadelphia. Special guests include Marc Mostovoy, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Marie Elisabeth Hecker, Soovin Kim, and Alan Morrison.The annual Sheep Shearing Day at Hopewell Furnace is Sunday, May 10, as costumed park staff, volunteers, and professional sheep shearers demonstrate the process of shearing sheep and explain the importance of farming. Observe both the modern method of harvesting wool with electric powered clippers and the 19th century method of using hand shears, along with farm related demonstrations, and historic charcoal making, blacksmithing, cloth dyeing, cooking, and historic crafts demonstrations. The program is 12pm-4pm rain or shine and is free and open to the public. Explore the old structures, check out the livestock and visit the village store at one of the most thoroughly preserved examples of a 19th century iron-making community. The national historic site (pictured) is surrounded by the 73,000 acre Hopewell Big Woods, the largest forest in Southeastern Pennsylvania, 5 miles south of Birdsboro, PA on Route 345. The park is open from 9am-5pm.

    More Mother’s Day ideas – take a boat ride to Bartram’s Garden for special art activities, plant sale, and tours. Also, enjoy a Mother’s Day traditional Japanese tea ceremony at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

    Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus XTREME

    If you missed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus XTREME in Philly, you can catch the show in Trenton at Sun National Bank Center, May 13-17. Look for high-wire wizards, powerful strongmen, BMX trick riders, trampoline daredevils, contortionists, human cannonball, and more including circus animals off Route 129 on the corner of Hamilton Avenue and South Broad Street in Trenton, NJ. Photo courtesy of Sun National Bank Center.


    Orgone stops in Philly on their tour this Tuesday, May 12, 8pm. The energetic, fun, California funk band performs at Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia. 21 and over event. With Sophistafunk. Photo by LeAndra Madalena.



    “brownsville song (b-side for tray)” at Philadelphia Theatre Company

    Onstage at Philadelphia Theatre Company is brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee. The play, co-produced with Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT, tells the story of how a family copes when a young man’s life is tragically cut short. The moving and universal tale of love and redemption stars Sung Yun Cho, Curtiss Cook, Jr., Catrina Ganey, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, and Kaatje Welsh and is directed by Long Wharf Theater’s Associate Artistic Director Eric Ting through May 31, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets, Philadelphia. Related programs and events include post-show Talkbacks with the artist on May 7 and 28 and a backstage tour on May 16. Photo by Paola Nogueras.

    “Biloxi Blues” at People’s Light

    People’s Light celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Broadway debut of Biloxi Blues with their first Neil Simon production. The Tony Award-winning semi-autobiographical play (the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound) is a funny and touching coming of age story, inspired by the prolific playwright’s own experiences in World War II.  Biloxi Blues stars James Michael Lambert as Eugene with Samantha Bellomo directing through May 24, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA. Related programs and events include Canteen Nights – talkbacks with the director and cast. Also, Scoop on Wednesdays: History, Context, and Gossip before every Wednesday performance. Ask about the Mother’s Day Brunch package. Photo by Mark Garvin.

    Curio Theatre Company’s “Noises Off”

    Noises Off, a play by award-winning playwright Michael Frayn, is onstage at Curio Theatre Company through May 30. Inspired by Frayn’s experience of watching one of his own plays from backstage, the comedy is about of a group of dysfunctional actors who flub lines, forget props, and miss cues as they prepare for the play-within-the-play, “Nothing On.” The production stars Kyra Baker, Newton Buchanan, Steve Carpenter, Andrew J. Carroll, Isabella Fehlandt, Rachel Gluck, Aetna Gallagher, Doug Greene, and Len Kelly with Peter Reynolds making his directorial debut. Come dressed in 1980s style on opening night, May 8, for a chance to win two season passes for next year, Calvary Center for Culture and Community, 4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

    Azuka Theatre’s “Speech & Debate”

    How far will a budding journalist go in pursuit of a story? Find out in Azuka Theatre’s Speech & Debate, May 6-24. The dark high school comedy by Scranton born playwright Stephen Karam focuses on Solomon, who uncovers a sex scandal at his high school and sets out to expose the truth. The Philadelphia premiere is directed by Producing artistic director Kevin Glaccum and stars Dane Eissler, Bryan Black, Rebekah Sharp, Zoe Richards, Studio X, 1340 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia. Catch “Geek Week,” May 13-17, with talkbacks, Geekadelphia Night, and Friday Night Social. Photo by Johanna Austin/AustinArt.org.

    Curtis Opera Theatre’s “The Rake’s Progress”

    Curtis Opera Theatre performs Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, the neoclassical masterwork based on the painting A Rake’s Progress by the 18th century British artist William Hogarth. The fully staged production is sung in English with supertitles, accompanied by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra (with Mark Russell Smith conducting). Directed by Jordan Fein and starring Rachel Sterrenberg (pictured), Elena Perroni, Roy Hage, Jean-Michel Richer, and more, May 7-10, Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Karli Cadel.

     Look for #SassySays for pet friendly events.  Let us know if your event is pet-friendly!  Email artscalendar@whyy.org and put #SassySays in the subject line. 



    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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