Weekly Entertainment Guide – Philadelphia Film Festival, ‘Detroit,’ & ‘Press Play’

    Philadelphia Theatre Company's 40th season opens with

    Philadelphia Theatre Company's 40th season opens with "Detroit

    22 things to do this week.  Robin Bloom offers her picks.

    What’s Happening

    Philadelphia Film Festival

    The Philadelphia Film Society presents the 23rd annual Philadelphia Film Festival, October 16-26, offering over 100 films from all over the world at venues throughout Philadelphia including Ritz East, Ritz at the Bourse, Prince Music Theater, Ambler Theater, PFS Roxy Theater, and Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center. “From the Vaults” celebrates David Lynch with screenings of Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, The Straight Story, and Mulholland Drive. Additional special programming includes Festival Lounge, Opening Night Party, Closing Night Party, Night Market, and more. Pictured: I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story, a look at the life of the master puppeteer and creator of Sesame Street’s Big Bird. The film will be screened October 22-24. Spinney will be in attendance on October 23-24. A Breakfast with Caroll Spinney (and a very special guest) is Saturday, October 25.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    FirstGlance Film Festival

    17th Annual FirstGlance Film Festival Philadelphia, known for supporting indie films, premieres over 35 independent films this weekend starting on Friday, October 17 through Sunday, October 19. Expect world and Philadelphia premieres and international projects from Canada, Israel, Australia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, as well as films shot locally, screened at The Franklin Institute’s Franklin Theater, 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia. After the late night screenings, join the cast, crew and filmmakers at parties beginning around 10:30pm each night. Pictured: On Blitzen, a tale of love and connection created by an almost human pure bred and the daughter of a champion dog breeder.


    The 3rd annual PHeaSt takes place Friday, October 17, 7pm-10pm, hosted by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to benefit the PHS City Harvest program that feeds more than 1200 families in need each week during growing season. Sample seasonal dishes and wines from growers and top chefs in a garden-to-table celebration in the PHS Warehouse at the Navy Yard, home to recycled props from the Philadelphia Flower Show, 5201 South 13th Street, South Philadelphia.

    Reading Terminal Market’s Harvest Festival

    Celebrate fall and the Pennsylvania harvest at Reading Terminal Markets 14th annual Harvest Festival, Saturday, October 18, 10am-4pm, with food, hay rides, pumpkin patch, corn stalks, hay bales, beer garden, live music, arts and crafts, and more, on Filbert Street by 12th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia.

    Ocean Fest featuring the Philadelphia Shell Show

    The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University hosts the Ocean Fest featuring the Philadelphia Shell Show, called the largest show of its kind in the Northeast, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-19, featuring seashell hunts, shark dissections, live animal shows, sea story readings, displays in judged categories that reflect various aspects of shell collecting, international shell market, and tours of the Academy’s Malacology Collection of about 10 million shells, and much more, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Included with museum admission.

    International Archaeology Day at Penn Museum

    Indulge your inner Indiana Jones with Penn Museum at International Archaeology Day this Saturday, October 18, 1pm-4pm, and behind the scenes new lab tours, talks on recent discoveries, games, encounters with mummies and ancient skeletons, tours, a simulated archaeological dig, and more, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. Co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Archaeological Institute.

    Lighthouse Challenge

    Tour the New Jersey coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May with the Lighthouse Challenge, Saturday and Sunday, October 18-19, and the opportunity to climb the Garden State’s maintained lighthouses to help fund their preservation. The event includes a number of participating lighthouses, including Barnegat Light (pictured) and many more. Fees or donations differ for each location.

    Batsto Village’s Country Living Fair (as heard on WHYY-FM’s Morning Edition)

    Batsto Village’s annual Country Living Fair is Sunday, October 19, 10am-4pm, with exhibits, music, crafts, antiques, quilting, old-time engines and cars, food, children’s activities and more, in the Wharton State Forest in the South Central pinelands of NJ, 31 Batsto Road, Route 542, Hammonton, NJ. Free admission and parking.

    Harvest Festival and River Adventure Day at Bartram’s Garden

    Bartram’s Garden hosts a Harvest Festival and River Adventure Day, Sunday, October 19, 1pm-4pm, featuring hay rides, food, youth fishing derby, free public paddling on the Canoemobile, and activities at the Community Farm and Food Resource Center, a 3.5 acre farm and greenhouse at the oldest botanical garden in the United States, spanning over 45 acres along the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park, 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia. Founded by father and son botanists John and William Bartram, the site includes the Bartram house, botanical garden, meadow, parkland and a wetland. Check out the “Franklinia” tree, the pair’s famous discovery, named for family friend Ben Franklin.

    Forbes’ Under 30 Music Festival

    Forbes’ first ever Under 30 Summit kicks off with the Under 30 Music Festival, Sunday, October 19, presented by Global Citizen Nights. Headliners include Afrojack, Wiz Khalifa (pictured), LP and OCD: Moosh and Twist. The event is free but a ticket is required and available to those who “take action to end extreme poverty.” The festival begins at 8pm at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in Northern Liberties.


    “Detroit” at Philadelphia Theatre Company

    Lisa D’Amour’s Pulitzer Prize nominated and OBIE Award-winning tragicomedy Detroit opens Philadelphia Theatre Company’s 40th season. The play examines the effect of the Great Recession on suburbia as two couples in a first-ring suburb (ostensibly outside Detroit) are brought together at backyard barbecues through their common worries and need for friendship. Directed by Maria Mileaf with an all Philadelphia cast including Genevieve Perrier, K.O. DelMarcelle, Tom McCarthy, Steven Rishard, and Matteo J. Scammell, through November 9. Related programs and events include Meet-the-Artist Talk Backs, Wine Tasting, Book Club, Backstage Tours, LGBT night and more, at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad & Lombard Streets, Philadelphia.

    Pennsylvania Ballet’s “Press Play: The Directional Debut of Angel Corella”

    For their 51st Season, Pennsylvania Ballet celebrates the arrival of a new era with Press Play: The Directional Debut of Angel Corella. The mixed repertory program, a taste of the Company’s new artistic director’s esthetic point of view, opens with the sounds of Tchaikovsky in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, then shifts to the Company premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Liturgy, a duet of continual transformations, and moves through a piano score by Chopin in Jerome Robbins’ folk-infused pas a deux, Other Dances, with an onstage piano. The finale features the first performance outside Russia of the Stravinsky-inspired Jeu de Cartes by Alexei Ratmansky. The new season also marks the debut of three new dancers Etienne Diaz, Olivia Hartzell, and Mayara Pineiro with six performances October 16-26, the Academy of Music, Broad and Locust Streets, Philadelphia. Pictured: Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancers Lauren Fadeley and Jermel Johnson in Alexei Ratmansky’s Jeu de Cartes. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

    “Rapture, Blister, Burn” at Wilma Theater

    Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn takes to the stage at the Wilma Theater through November 2. The show follows the reunion of a celebrity professor with her married best friends from graduate school and highlights the generational differences in expectations for women and how much (and how little) women’s lives have changed over the past century. Directed by Joanna Settle and starring local actors Krista Apple-Hodge, Nancy Boykin, Maia DeSanti, Campbell Meaghan O’Hare, and Harry Smith, with original music by Tony Award-winner Stew, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Related programs and events include post-show chats, Young Friends Night, Coffee Chat and open captioning.


    Red Baraat

    The Brooklyn band Red Baraat brings their unique blend of traditional Indian bhangra and New Orleans jazz to the region with performances on Thursday, October 16, 8pm, at Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia with West Philadelphia Orchestra. On Friday, October 17 they’ll make their Zoellner Arts Center debut at 8pm, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. Saturday, October 18, they’ll be at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton at 8pm. Since 2008, the band has been creating a unique groove that mixes funk, go-go, Latin and jazz, making their live performances a blur of concert and party.

    Sam Amidon and Bill Frisell

    Folk singer, fiddler, banjoist and guitarist Sam Amidon performs in Philly with his musical mentor, jazz great Bill Frisell on their album release tour of reimagined folk songs. The two worked together on Lily-O and are joined by other frequent collaborators Shahzad Ismaily (on bass) and Chris Vatalaro (on drums), Friday, October 17, 8pm, FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard at Race Street, Philadelphia. A co-presentation with Ars Nova Workshop.  ** UPDATE – this concert is SOLD OUT.

    Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Concerts

    The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society opens its new season with the Belcea Quartet (pictured), Friday, October 17, 8pm, Kimmel Center; soprano Dawn Upshaw and Gilbert Kalish, piano, Tuesday, October 21, 8pm, American Philosophical Society; Juilliard Quartet, Friday, October 24, 8pm, American Philosophical Society; Yefim Bronfman, piano, Friday, October 31, 8pm, Kimmel Center.

    Fall Festivals and Freaky Fun

    Pumpkins, hayrides & spooky creatures

    Tyler Arboretum hosts Pumpkin Days Celebration, Saturday and Sunday, October 18-19, 10am-5pm, with family activities including crafts, games, hay wagon tours, food, live music, and pumpkins, 515 Painter Road, Media, PA.  The Hagley Craft Fair is back this weekend, Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19, 10am-5pm both days, featuring works on display and for sale in wood, pottery, jewelry, fibers, metal, and other media. Continuing this year is a specialty market featuring gourmet food vendors, Buck Road east entrance off Route 100, Wilmington, DE. Bring the kids and enjoy Hayrides at Hagley, Saturdays in October from 11am-4pm with family activities, a gunpowder explosion, the roll mill in action, working nineteenth-century machines, and more.  Wagner Free Institute of Science hosts Animals in Costumes: A Spooky Creature Feature (pictured), a Halloween family open house featuring live animals from the Elmwood Park Zoo, Saturday, October 18, 12pm-4pm, with activities and crafts and more. Kids are encouraged to come in costume, 1700 West Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia. Free. Geared toward children ages 6-12 with all ages welcomed.


    Murder mystery, Haunting of Hill House and Shakespeare/Poe

    The Delaware Shakespeare Festival presents Shakespeare/Poe, a night of readings from “the dark side,” by two masters of the macabre, Friday, October 17 through Sunday, October 19 and Friday, October 24 through Sunday, October 26 now in three locations at the Rockwood Mansion in Wilmington, Stone Stable in historic Odessa, and the Read House and Gardens in New Castle. Only 30 seats available each night.  BrainSpunk Theater takes on Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, widely considered to be the best horror novel ever written. Adapted by F. Andrew Leslie and directed by Christopher King, the interactive production about a group of people with past experience with the supernatural who gather to explore a mysterious mansion (pictured) takes to the stage October 18 through November 1 at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street, Old City, Philadelphia.  Join in a live murder mystery! Examine the rooms, discover the clues, and solve the crime at the Victorian Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.  Diary of a Murder takes place Saturday, Oct. 18, 5:30pm, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2:30pm, Saturday, Oct. 25, 5:30pm, and Sunday, Oct. 26, 2:30pm, 200 W. Tulpehocken St., Philadelphia. Reservations required.



    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.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal