Robin Bloom shares her recommendations for what to do this week in the Philadelphia region!
“The Freedom Principle” at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now concludes its six month run at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania, March 19. The large-scale group exhibition links the vibrant legacy of avant-garde jazz and experimental music of the late 1960s – particularly within the African American arts scene on the South Side of Chicago – and its continuing influence on contemporary art and culture today. The exhibit focuses on artist-driven movements such as the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA). Organized by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, 118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: Wadsworth Jarrell, group photo of AACM members, taken in the artist’s backyard, c.1968/printed 2015, archival pigment print, courtesy of George Lewis. Photo by Robin Bloom.
“Object Temporarily Removed” at Fabric Workshop and Museum
Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM), known for creating work in new materials and new media in collaboration with artists from diverse artistic backgrounds, presents Object Temporarily Removed by Lenka Clayton, opening March 17. The British born artist’s work transforms and subverts pre-existing ideas or norms to create artwork that challenges and expands our perceptions of the every day. With Sculpture for the Blind, Clayton responds to the 1920 piece by Constantin Brancusi, “Sculpture for the Blind,” in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art that is paradoxically unable to be touched by blind visitors. She invited members of the city’s blind community to make their own sculptures based on a verbal description of the original sculpture. Seventeen blind and visually impaired artists took part and the results are on display. While researching the sculpture, the artist came across a letter written to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s chief curator Anne D’Harnoncourt in 1978 by a member of the public referring to Brancusi’s sculpture. Clayton invited 1000 museum directors and curators from around the world to respond and the results are displayed in “Unanswered Letter,” all on view through July 9 along with a small survey of recent works by Clayton made since 2012, 1214 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Also running concurrently is another exhibit by Lenka Clayton at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Opening Reception with artist talk takes place Friday, March 17, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Pictured: Pamela Howell and Robert Sulkin in collaboration with Sculpture for the Blind, by the Blind, photo by Lonnie Graham.
“1917: How one Year Changed the World” at NMAJH
Opening March 17 at the National Museum of American Jewish History is 1917: How One Year Changed the World. The landmark exhibition looks back 100 years to explore three events – America’s entry into World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the issuing of the Balfour Declaration recognizing Jewish nationalism (Zionism) – and how they elicited fundamental changes that still impact the world today, as seen through the eyes of American Jews. Nearly 125 artifacts include uniforms, letters, photographs, posters, films, music, and interactive media. Two original drafts of the Balfour Declaration are on display – never before exhibited in the U.S. – as well as a decoded copy of the Zimmermann Telegram, 1919 copy of the Treaty of Versailles, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ judicial robes and chair nameplate, a letter from the newly formed Soviet government’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs Leon Trotsky, and a page from the original Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, an act to “limit immigration of Aliens into the United States.” Co-organized by the American Jewish Historical Society in New York through July 16, 101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia. The exhibit will travel to New York City September 1. Pictured: Poster for address by Louis D. Brandeis, Chair of the Executive Committee of General Zionist Affairs, at “The Aims of the Zionist Movement” at Hyperion Theatre on May 9, 1915, Boston, MA. National Museum of American Jewish History 1990.12.238 dedicated in honor of Maya Rosenberg’s recovery by Lyn and George Ross.
Wilmington Winter Bluegrass Festival
The Wilmington Winter Bluegrass Festival kicks off this weekend, Friday, March 17 through Sunday, March 19, with two stages, jamming, and workshops, gospel Sunday, and children’s activities. Bands include Blue Mafia (pictured), Sweet Yonder, Bluegrass Brothers, Moonshine Falls, and more, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 630 Naamans Road, Claymont, DE. Photo courtesy of Blue Mafia.
Philly Wine Week
Philly Wine Week is back, bringing together the city’s best wine bars, restaurants and boutique shops to showcase the region’s diverse and evolving wine scene, March 19-26. The week kicks off with Opening Corks at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Additional events include regional wine and cheese flights, mystery wine blind tastings, Woman in Wine, and more. Photo by Ralph Radford/AP.
qFLIX preserves the tradition of the exhibition of American and international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer independent films in the Philadelphia region. Opening night kicks off Tuesday, March 14 with the northeast premiere of Handsome Devil at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater. Screenings continue through March 19 and films include Fair Haven, The Lavender Scare, Suicide Kale (pictured), and The Freedom to Marry. Venues include the University of the Arts and the Prince Theater (festival headquarters).
“The Laramie Project” at Steel River Playhouse
Onstage at Steel River Playhouse is The Laramie Project, through March 26. In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a young gay man, was beaten and tied to a fence and left for dead in Laramie, Wyoming. Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the next year and a half during the trial and conducted hundreds of interviews with the people of the town and constructed a moving theatrical experience. Directed by Stacie Michaud with a cast that includes Sebastian Antonio, Andrea Cronin, Joe Donley, Ben Fried, Don Green, Marianne Green, Barb Hannevig, Dani Owen, Hannah Paczkowski, JJ Van Name and Stephen Waters, 245 East High Street, Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Photo by John Daggett.
Mysteries & Thrillers
“Murder on the Orient Express” at McCarter Theatre Center
The world premiere stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express takes to the stage at McCarter Theatre Center. Two-time Tony Award-nominated playwright Ken Ludwig collaborated with Christie’s estate to create a new version of the iconic classic with British stage and screen actor Allan Corduner as legendary detective Hercule Poirot. Emily Mann directs the mystery masterpiece starring Veanne Cox, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Julie Halston, Susannah Hoffman, Alexandra Silber, Juha Sorola, Samantha Steinmetz, Max von Essen, and Evan Zes through April 2 at 91 University Place, Princeton, New Jersey. Look for “Inside Story” talks led by the artistic staff, 45 minutes before performances, Pride Night, post-show discussions, Dialogue on Drama, and open captioning, audio described, and ASL interpreted performances. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.
“Coriolanus” at Lantern Theater Company
Lantern Theater Company presents its annual Shakespeare production with Coriolanus, the Bard’s tragedy based on the life of legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. The rarely performed political and psychological thriller takes place as famine threatens Rome, resulting in tensions between the governing elite and deprived masses. Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon directs a cast including internationally acclaimed actress, director, author, and Shakespeare and Company founder and former artistic director Tina Packer, Robert Lyons in his Lantern debut in the title role, Chris Anthony, David Bardeen, Mary Lee Bednarek, Kirk Wendell Brown, Charlie DelMarcelle, Leonard C. Haas, Adam Hammet, Brian McCann, Hannah Van Sciver, and Brock D. Vickers, through April 16, St. Stephen’s Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia. Special events include Lantern Pub Night and Artists in Conversation, post-show discussions with the artists. Photo by Mark Garvin.
Sherlock Holmes Weekend
It’s the annual spring edition of Sherlock Holmes Weekend in Cape May, New Jersey, March 17-19. Visitors can try and solve this year’s mystery, “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Discarded Woman” and win a variety of prizes. The weekend includes a “Search for Clues Tour” on Saturday that traverses the inns of Victorian Cape May in a hunt for clues. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. Photo courtesy of MAC.
East Lynne Theater Company’s “Holmes and Carter Mysteries”
Also in Cape May, step back in time for two different “who-dun-its” presented as radio-style broadcasts, complete with live sound effects and commercials with the Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company’s Holmes and Carter Mysteries. “Adventure of the Red-Headed League” is adapted from the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story by Gayle Stahlhuth. Aired on April 18, 1943, “The Voice of Crime” is the original script for the 2nd Carter radio show, written by Walter Gibson and Edward Gruskin, March 17-18 at 8pm at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street. Photo courtesy of East Lynne Theater Company.
St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Events
The Irish Tenors
The Irish Tenors – Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan – blend Irish music with charm and humor in their St. Patrick’s Day performance, Friday, March 17, 7:30 p.m., Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of the Irish Tenors.
Irish Music Festival at Bucks County Playhouse
The Galway Girls return to the Bucks County Playhouse as part of the Irish Music Festival, Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, with authentic Irish music celebrating the songs of the Emerald Isle, 70 South Main Street, New Hope, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of the Galway Girls.
Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies at Sellersville Theater
Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies perform with Donovan Woods, Friday, March 17, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) fusing traditional Celtic sounds with pop, Sellersville Theater, 24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, Pennsylvania. Photo by Sean Sisk Photography.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.