Looking for something to do this winter season? WHYY’s Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what’s happening around the Philadelphia region. Here are her picks:
Punk didn’t just rock the music industry, it also transformed graphic design. “Pretty Vacant: The Graphic Language of Punk,” opening January 24 at The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design, surveys punk and post-punk graphic design through posters, fanzines, record sleeves, and more. The exhibition showcases several hundred works on loan from New York collector Andrew Krivine, through March 15, Race Street, between 19th and 20th Streets, Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Theatre Company’s production of Nina Raine’s award winning play “Tribes” opens on January 24. The show follows Billy, a young deaf man with no knowledge of sign language, as he explores the possibilities of language and the kinship of the deaf community through his relationship with Sylvia, a young woman who is losing her hearing. A co-production with Pittsburgh’s City Theatre Company, “Tribes” is directed by Stuart Carden through February 23 at the Suzanne Roberts Theater, 480 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia. Three special performances will feature American Sign Language interpreters and post-show events, February 1, 2pm, February 4, 6:30pm, and February 13, 8pm.
The Barnes Foundation welcomes Yinka Shonibare and an exhibit of his work, opening this weekend through April. A British artist of Nigerian descent, Shonibare’s sculptures – life-sized mannequins clothed in the Dutch wax fabrics associated with Africa, offer a provocative examination of European colonialism and European and African identities. The display celebrates education, enlightenment, and opportunity, in keeping with the ideals of Dr. Barnes. Also on view, paintings and photographs. Meet the artist at the opening, Friday, January 24, 6pm-9pm, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.
The Arden Theatre Company presents “Water by the Spoonful” a Pulitzer Prize winning play by Philadelphia playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes. Hudes draws on her local roots as she explores the quirks of family and relationships in this drama set in Philadelphia. “Water by the Spoonful” is the second installment in “The Elliot Trilogy,” Hudes’ series that follows an American soldier and his extended family. Directed by Lucie Tiberghien through March 16 at Arden’s Arcadia Stage, 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia.
The powerful and provocative “Bee-luther-hatchee” opens Friday, January 24 at Stagecrafters. The play, by Philadelphia native Thomas Gibbons, is centered on an African American book editor, raising the issue of racial identity and posing the ultimate question, “Who owns the story of one’s life?” Directed by Barbara Mills and starring Tiffany Barrett and Susan Matson (pictured) through February 9, 8130 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. Gibbons will be in attendance Friday, January 31 for a Q&A session following the evening’s performance.
Chinese New Year
Welcome the Year of the Horse at Penn Museum’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration, Saturday, January 25, 11am-4pm with performances by the Penn Chinese Dance Club, MeiMei Dance Troupe, Qin Qian and Kurt Jung on traditional instruments, martial arts demonstrations, Calligraphy, paper cutting, art marketplace, and many more activities for all ages, culminating with the Grand Finale Lion Dance to chase away evil and usher in a year of good luck, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. If you were born in the year of the Horse, get free admission with at least one non-Horse paying guest.
And celebrate the Chinese New Year with the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation’s Flower Market, Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26, 10am-3pm, 10th Street Plaza, 10th and Vine Street. On Thursday, January 30 at 11:30pm is the Midnight Lion Dance Parade, 10th and Race Streets.
Princeton University Art Museum focuses on Italian draftsmanship from the early Renaissance to early Modernism with “500 Years of Italian Master Drawings from the Princeton University Art Museum.” The exhibit features more than 90 rarely seen masterworks by legendary artists such as Carpaccio, Michelangelo, Modigliani, Bernini (pictured), and more, opening January 25. The display is accompanied by an extensive scholarly catalogue and unveils significant new research and insights on the museum’s collection of over 1000 drawings, widely considered to be one of the finest collections of its kind in the United States, through May 11, Princeton, NJ.
Brandywine River Museum unveils two new exhibits this weekend that focus on calendar art. “A Date with Art: The Business of Illustrated Calendars” introduces visitors to that once thriving business, which served as a way for some of the foremost illustrators in the first half of the 20th century – Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parrish (pictured), Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth – to disseminate their work to a much broader audience. “N.C. Wyeth’s America in the Making” features images of inspirational and patriotic events in U.S. history, including 12 dramatic paintings created in the late 1930s for a popular advertising calendar. Paintings on loan from the collection of the Brunnier Art Museum of Iowa State University, January 25 through May 18, U.S. Route 1, Chadds Ford, PA.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin debuts with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, January 26, 3pm. The Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director leads 100 young musicians in a program of Glinka, Bartók, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 (“Leningrad”), with Natalie Zhu, piano, (’97), Benjamin Hochman, piano (’01), Don Liuzzi, percussion, Mari Yoshinaga, percussion, and conducting fellow Kensho Watanabe, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad Street, Philadelphia.
Theatre Exile takes on Sam Shepard’s dark drama “True West,” January 30 through February 23 at a new location, Plays and Players Theatre. Directed by Associate Artistic Director Matt Pfeiffer, the play stars Jeb Kreager and Brian Osborne as brothers who have taken different paths and when reunited, collide in a bitter sibling rivalry and “dangerously” funny family struggle, 1714 Delancey Street, Philadelphia.
FringeArts continues its mission to present provocative, experimental, and contemporary work with a surreal fever dream from avant-garde Japanese theater company Niwa Gekidan Penino, January 30 through February 1. The Philadelphia premiere explores the bizarre fantasies of two brothers living in close quarters – played out on a comically claustrophobic set. “The Room Nobody Knows” was created by psychiatrist-turned-playwright Kuro Tanino, performed in Japanese with English subtitles, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia. For mature audiences.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo brings their South African a cappella sound to the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Friday, January 31, 8pm. Known for collaborating with Paul Simon on his Graceland album, the group has also performed with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, and many more, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.
Marissa Nicosia contributed reporting to this week’s guide.
To submit an event to be considered for the Weekly Entertainment Guide email Robin Bloom at email@example.com.
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