Weekly Entertainment Guide – ‘Open Air’ and the Fringe

     From Center City to the Jersey Shore, we’ve got your week covered. WHYY’s Arts Calendar curator Robin Bloom searches hundreds of listings each week to find out what’s happening in the Delaware Valley. Here are her picks:

     Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show

    The Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show once again “Circles the Square” September 14-16, 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, September 14, 11am-7pm, Saturday, September 15, 11am-6pm, and Sunday, September 16, 11am-5pm.

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    Scarecrow Festival at Peddler’s Village

    Celebrate Fall’s arrival with the annual Scarecrow Festival at Peddler’s Village, Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16, 10am-6pm both days with pumpkin painting, pumpkin pie eating contests, live music, and a scarecrow-making workshop, Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, Bucks County, PA. Free admission and parking, $25 to make a scarecrow (reservations recommended).


    The Haverford Music Festival

    The Haverford Music Festival is this Saturday, September 15, noon-9:30pm, with 30 live bands on three stages for all ages with performers including Blackthorn, John Flynn (pictured), and more, plus a craft village, beergardens, food vendors, children’s activities and more, Eagle and Darby Roads, Haverford, PA. Free.



    Mexican Fiesta on Penn’s Landing

    Celebrate Mexico’s Independence with a fiesta this Sunday, September 16, 1pm-7pm, on the exact date when Father Miguel Hidalgo declared Independence from Spanish domination 202 years ago, with a day of food, crafts, and music at Penn’s Landing’s RiverStage. Entertainment includes music from Grupo Macao, Folkloric Ballet Yaretzi, Mariachi Flores, Fuego Nuevo, and Reencuentro Musical. Children age 6-12 can also participate in the “Little Stars” singing contest. Free.


    “Brighton Beach Memoirs” onstage at PCS

    The Players Club of Swarthmore kicks off their 102nd season with Neil Simon’s comedy, “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” The first in a trilogy of coming-of-age stories set in New York during the Great Depression, “Brighton Beach Memoirs” runs through September 29 with a special “Meet the Artists” post-show conversation on September 23, 614 Fairview Ave, Swarthmore, PA. Tickets: $15 with discounts available for students and seniors.


    Tony Braithwaite in “Gutenberg! The Musical!”

    Onstage at Montgomery Theater is “Gutenberg! The Musical!,” written by Scott Brown and Anthony King, starring Tony Braithwaite and Steve Pacek, a two-man musical spoof, recommended for ages 14 and older, through October 6 at 124 Main Street, Souderton, PA. A co-production with Act II Playhouse. Tickets: $25-$37.



    Irish Fall Festival in Wildwood

    Wildwood, New Jersey celebrates Celtic heritage with the 21st Annual Irish Fall Festival, said to be the largest Irish Festival on the East Coast – four days of music, dancing, food, vendors, crafts, golf tournament, parade, and more, September 20-23, 8am-11pm daily, Olde New Jersey Avenue, North Wildwood. Free.



    “Open Air” world premiere public art project in Philadelphia

    The Association for Public Art (aPA), formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association, presents “Open Air,” by media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a world-premiere public art project combined with mobile technology to create a spectacular, interactive experience that will illuminate the night sky from Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Parkway. Created specifically for Philadelphia, spectators can use a free mobile app to participate live in the project, to form a canopy of light over the city, seen up to 10 miles away. Commissioned in conjunction with the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and 2012 DesignPhiladelphia Festival, “Open Air” kicks off Thursday, September 20 through October 14 from 8pm-11pm each evening, located between 21st and 24th Streets on the Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.


    ‘Harsh Realities at Rowan University

    Rowan University Art Gallery presents “Harsh Realities,” an exhibit exploring strength of the human spirit through the use of stop motion animation. Co-curated by Jennie Thwing and Joshua Mosley, “Harsh Realities” showcases a number of media including clay, puppets, toys, and surface alteration. Artists include Martha Colburn (pictured), Eric Dyer, Laura Heit, Stacey Steers, Christopher Sullivan, and more, and is supplemented by workshops, lectures, and screenings with the participating artists, through October 6, 201 Mullica Road, Glassboro, NJ. Free.


    “Nature’s Skirt” at Rosemont College

     On display at the Lawrence Gallery of Rosemont College is “Nature’s Skirt,” highlighting the drawings and paintings of artist Anne Milner, reflecting upon her passion for nature. Each painting is Milner’s search for an underlying essence within forms seen throughout nature. This journey within her artwork is also fueled by her own search for her biological family, which she credits as a driving force in her creative process. “Nature’s Skirt” runs through September 28 at 1400 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA.



    The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival is underway with cutting-edge dance, theater, music, visual and interdisciplinary works by artists from the U.S. and international arts scene at various locations around Philadelphia. This week, highlights include:

    Underground Shakespeare Company’s “Antony & Cleopatra”

    The Underground Shakespeare Company, Penn’s only all-Shakespeare performance group, takes on the famous tragedy in the Philly Fringe production, “Antony and Cleopatra: Infinite Lives,” adapted by playwrights Pete Barry & J. Michael DeAngelis of The Porch Room, drawing parallels from Shakespeare’s text to today’s current events. Set to the majestic backdrop of the Museum’s Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery, with performances Friday, September 14 and Saturday, September 15, 8pm, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. Admission: $20, general public; $15, students with ID (non-Penn); $10, PennCard holders.



    Brian Sanders’ JUNK and “The Gate Reopened”

    Brian Sanders’ JUNK, an acrobatically audacious company known for its ingenious use of found objects and clever inventions that bridge the gap between dance and physical theater, presents “The Gate Reopened,” a larger-than-life reimagining of Sanders’ thrilling 2003 hit “The Gate,” September 14-22, Pier 9, 121 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia. Tickets: $28-$35.


    B. Someday’s “3 Wishes”

    Inspired by the success of “50 Shades of Grey,” Michelle Pauls (pictured) and Gerald van Wilgen of B. Someday Productions present “3 Wishes,” a play that revolves around 1950s female executive Cornella Jansen’s promise of three wishes to a janitor. The world premiere, adults-only play for Philly Fringe runs through September 23 at Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia. $10.


    7 Fingers’ “Sequence 8”

    Montreal-based 7 Fingers’ “Sequence 8” carries emotional dynamics and physical feats to a point of explosion and propulsion, incorporating the strongest of theatrical elements at an even higher acrobatic level. Using simple props such as mirrors, a tape deck with instructive recordings and a portable projector, this U.S. premiere tempts and tests the fine line between “self” and “other,” onstage September 18-23 at the Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia. A co-presentation of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. See website for ticket prices.

    Philadelphia’s New Paradise Laboratories’ world premiere of “27” considers the afterlife where life is brilliant and brief, the laws of the universe are ignored and warriors party hard, celebrating their way-too-early deaths, directed by Whit MacLaughlin with an “otherworldly” live score, through September 16, Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia. Tickets: $23-$35.

    Philadelphia’s Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental teams up with Minneapolis-based duo The Wilhelm Brothers for “RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE,” through September 16, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Directed and designed by Thaddeus Phillips and created in collaboration with Geoff Sobelle and Sophie Bortolussi, this musical investigates Edgar Allan Poe’s final days, before he was found unconscious on a Baltimore street, wearing a stranger’s clothing. Tickets: $28-$35.

    Other events in Philly

    Opening this weekend at Stagecrafters Theater is Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers.” Loretta Lucy Miller directs the hit “dramedy” about two teenage boys growing up in the care of their off-kilter grandmother and aunt in 1940s New York, September 14-30, 8130 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. $17 online, $20 at the door.

    Old Academy Players presents Shakespeare’s comedy “The Taming of the Shrew,” September 14-30, directed by Carla Childs and produced by Helga Krauss and Dale Mezzacappa, the company’s 479th production, 3544 Indian Queen Lane, Philadelphia. Free on-site parking. Tickets $15.

    Philadanco returns to the Painted Bride for the annual ‘Danco on ‘Danco, showcasing its next generation of talent, Friday, September 14, 7:30pm, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia. Tickets: $18.75-$30

    The West Philadelphia R&B Fest is Saturday, September 15, noon-6pm, with live music, food, shopping, Kids Zone, Car Show and more, on the 4000 block of Market Street, Philadelphia. Free.

    The Penn Museum offers an afternoon focusing on Africa and African Diaspora with “Imagine Africa,” Saturday, September 15, 1pm-5pm, and a variety of events including interactive storytelling, safari face painting, drum and hip hop dance workshops, and a screening/panel discussion titled, “Latin America’s African Heritage,” 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. Free.

    The German Society of Pennsylvania holds their traditional Oktoberfest celebration, Saturday, September 15, 2pm, with a menu of authentic German foods: wursts, potato salad, sauerkraut, and roasted pig, plus traditional German music, performances by the United German Hungarian Cultural and Schuhplattler Dance Group, a flea market and more, in the garden, 611 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia. $25 for members, $28 for non-members, $12 for children.

    The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is Thursday, September 20, 5:30pm-8:30pm, an outdoor street festival with more than twenty-five participating businesses offering $1 specials along with live music, street performances, and more, Baltimore Avenue from 42nd to 50th Streets, Philadelphia.

    Theatre Exile continues their legacy of introducing adventurous playwrights with the Philadelphia premiere of Adam Rapp’s “The Edge of Our Bodies.” Nicole Erb stars in the solo play about a sixteen-year-old girl’s trip to New York City to tell her boyfriend she’s pregnant. Matt Pfeiffer directs Rapp’s articulate, unapologetic drama, onstage through September 23 at Studio X, 1340 South 13th St, Philadelphia. $10-$25.

    “New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656” returns for a limited time to the Lantern Theater Company. Charles McMahon directs David Ives’ drama surrounding philosopher Baruch Spinoza’s relocation from Portugal to Amsterdam and how his revolutionary thinking put his Jewish community in danger, through September 23, 923 Ludlow Street, Philadelphia. $20-$38. Discounts available for students and seniors.

    Other events in the region

    The award-winning musical, “Next to Normal opens this weekend at the Steel River Playhouse. Directed by Kevin Laibson, the rock musical about a suburban family dealing with a mother’s bi-polar disorder runs through September 23 with a live orchestra and talkback with director and cast, Sunday, September 16 after the performance at 245 East High Street, Pottstown, PA. Tickets: $19 with discounts available for students and seniors.

    Hopewell Furnace hosts “Harvest Time,” Saturday, September 15, 10am-4pm, featuring activities of a 19th century “iron plantation,” with costumed volunteers demonstrating hearth cooking, apple butter making, baking, cloth dyeing, broom making, blacksmithing and more, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about early American autumn harvest activities, five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off Route 345. Free.

    Enjoy the artwork of local Delmarva artists and live jazz performances by Joe Baione, Grace Kelly, and Ron Carter at the Arts & Jazz Festival, Saturday, September 15, 10am-6pm, at the Freeman Stage at Bayside, 4 miles west of Fenwick Island, DE at the intersection of Route 54 and Route 20. Free.

    West Reading will host the 6th Annual Fall Festival on the Avenue, Saturday, September 15, 12pm-9pm, with live music along Penn Avenue, sidewalk sales, specialty foods, beer garden, children’s activities and more in West Reading, PA.

    The 5th Annual Drive-In Film festival is this Saturday, September 15 at the Delsea Drive-in. This year, the festival features two silent comedies by Harold Lloyd, “Safety Last!” and “Girl Shy,” as well as the independent film, “Submarine” from Executive Producer Ben Stiller. In addition to films, the festival also has games for kids and raffles for adults. Box Office opens at 6pm, 2203 South Delsea Drive, Vineland, NJ.

    The 13th Annual Ursinus Fringe Festival is September 19-23, featuring performances from the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, plus student and faculty performances including the staged reading of “8.” Domenick Scudera directs the reading of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s documentary play, which uses materials from California’s Proposition 8 case. The performance features Ursinus faculty and staff and includes a Q&A afterward, Thursday, September 20, 7:30pm, Kaleidoscope Performing Art Center’s Lenfest Theater, 610 East Main Street, Collegeville, PA. Free.

    East Lynne Theater Company presents the comedy “It Pays to Advertise,” September 19 through October 13, by Roi Cooper Mergue and Walter C. Hackett, First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, New Jersey at 500 Hughes Street. Tickets $0-$30.

    Onstage at MN Players is “Lend Me a Tenor” at the Swarthmore United Methodist Church. Tim Oskin directs Ken Ludwig’s Tony award-winning comedy about a 1934 production of “Otello” that quickly falls apart, through September 22, 129 Park Avenue, Swarthmore, PA. $12-$18.

    Kent County Theatre Guild presents Ken Ludwig’s “The Fox on the Fairway,” directed by Patti Gatto, through September 22, at the Patchwork Playhouse, 140 E. Roosevelt Avenue, Dover, DE.

    August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” is onstage at People’s Light & Theatre Company, through October 7 at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA. $25.The Biggs Museum of American Art showcases the work of fine art photographer Celia Pearson with “Glass Transformed,” an exhibit featuring translucent shapes that seem to come alive by light, spanning from sea glass still life works (pictured) to abstract studies, presented in forms that vary from framed prints to her more recent fiber installations, opening this weekend through October 28 at 406 Federal Street, Dover, DE. Free admission.

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

    Brett Rader contributed reporting to this week’s guide.



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