Enjoy spring blooms with the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, Longwood Gardens, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Morris Arboretum, and more. Robin Bloom offers suggestions for what to check out this week.
The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival
The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia returns for its 20th year to celebrate Philadelphia’s rich cultural connections with the art, music, food, natural beauty and industry of Japan and a week’s worth of events, April 1-9, in Philadelphia and throughout the region. Highlights include Japanese Culture Week at Liberty Place, the Cherry Blossom 10K/5K, “Sakura Under the Stars,” sushi making classes, amateur sushi making competition, film screening, and more, culminating in the annual “Sakura Sunday,” an all-day outdoor celebration featuring food, live music, dance performances, and activities for all ages on April 9 at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center. Presented by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, the festival began in 1998 to honor Japan’s sesquicentennial gift to Philadelphia with the planting of 1,000 cherry trees in Fairmount Park. Photo courtesy of the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival.
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, located in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park, was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials and moved to Philadelphia on the site of several previous Japanese structures continuously maintained since the 1876 Centennial Exposition. The traditional-style house with its hinoki roof, the only one of its kind outside of Japan, can be toured, along with the gardens, koi pond and island. Shofuso has merged with the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia and is now open for the season and offers one of the best viewing spots for cherry blossoms as well as tea ceremonies, workshops, and Sakura Sunday, on the grounds of the Horticulture Center, Lansdowne and Horticultural Drives. Additional cherry blossom viewing spots include Belmont Plateau and Memorial Hall/Please Touch Museum. Photo courtesy of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.
Japanese Cherry Blossom Celebration at Morris Arboretum
Morris Arboretum hosts its annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Celebration on two Saturdays this year, April 8 and 15 with traditional Japanese cultural activities, the “Cherry Walk,” Kyo Daiko Drumming Crew, and new this year, Pop-Up Cherry Blossom Tours, celebrating Japanese art, culture and gardens inspired by the 35 varieties of cherry trees that blossom each spring in the 92 acre horticultural garden at 100 East Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill. While there, check out the new exhibit, Morris Arboretum in Motion: The Kinetic Sculptures of Lyman Whitaker (pictured). Photo by Susan Crane.
Spring Blooms at Longwood Gardens
Take in this year’s Spring Blooms at Longwood Gardens as indoor and some outdoor gardens burst with seasonal color. Walk the grounds to see blossoming wisteria, crocus, daffodils, tulips, azaleas, and more, or visit the conservatory to enjoy lilies, echium, hydrangeas, delphiniums, and more. Peak bloom is mid to late April when the 600 foot long Flower Garden Walk boasts over 240,000 tulips and other seasonal flowers, at 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA. Photo by Daniel Traub/courtesy of Longwood Gardens.
Mural Arts Tours
Mural Arts, the nation’s largest public art program, kicks off a new season officially this month, with new tours and events, offering the opportunity to experience many of the thousands of public art pieces that make Philadelphia the “City of Murals.” Take a Masterpieces East Trolley Tour, Fishtown Street Art Walk Tour, train tours, Segway tours, and Murals to Mosaics guided tour that ends with a self-guided visit to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Pictured: “Garden of Delight” (photo by Steve Weinik for the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts).
Philadelphia Furniture Show
The Philadelphia Furniture Show returns to the historic 23rd Street Armory, Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 2, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. A preview party will be held Friday, March 31, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Bringing together patrons and artisans, the longest running exhibition of its kind features modern and traditional handmade furniture and furnishings – made in the U.S.A. – by 50 woodworkers, weavers, potters, and photographers, 22 South 23rd Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: The work of David Lee Moneypenny’s “Crashed Furniture” series (courtesy of the Philadelphia Furniture Show).
Ella, Louis and All That Jazz
The Philly Pops celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month and the centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with Ella, Louis and All That Jazz. Since the “First Lady of Song” frequently collaborated with Louis Armstrong, master jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling and R&B performer Marva Hicks join the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States for a program of Fitzgerald’s and Armstrong’s biggest solo hits and duets. Three performances take place March 31 through April 2 at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall, Broad Street, Philadelphia. Before each concert, the All-City Jazz Orchestra Combo performs on the Plaza Stage. Photo courtesy of Byron Stripling and Marva Hicks.
EgoPo Classic Theater’s “Anna”
EgoPo Classic Theater continues its Russian Masters festival season with Anna, a world premiere adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Written and directed by Brenna Geffers, the sweeping Russian epic is transformed into a make-shift travelling show by a wandering theater troupe armed with a collection of rickety antiques and instruments, through April 16. Ensemble cast includes Carlo Campbell, Andrew Carroll, Colleen Corcoran, Maria Konstantinidis, Lee Minora, Shamus Hunter McCarty, Amanda Schoonover, and Arlen Hancock at the Latvian Society Theater, 7th and Spring Garden Streets, Philadelphia. Photo by Dave Sarrafian.
“Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form” at Michener Art Museum
One of America’s most celebrated modernists is the subject of a new retrospective at the James A. Michener Art Museum. Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form was inspired by the Philadelphia native, former Doylestown resident, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts alumnus’ portrait and fashion work for Condé Nast from 1926 to 1931. The multimedia show features 85 newly discovered photographs as well as paintings and other photographs created by Sheeler, 1920s fashion ensembles, and Sheeler-designed textiles, evoking the exuberance and glamour of the Jazz Age. The groundbreaking exhibit aims to show that the commercial work of one of the founding figures of American modernism was instrumental in shaping his aesthetic vision, through July 9, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Pictured: Actress and Ziegfeld Dancer, Bobbe Arnst, Vanity Fair, July 1, 1928. © Condé Nast.
“Resistance After Nature” at Haverford College
Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery responds to ongoing ecological crises with the multimedia exhibit Resistance After Nature. Featuring a collection of works – sculptures, videos, photographs, installations, and workshops – by over a dozen artists and artist collectives who imagine alternative approaches to such entangled ecological, political, and economic issues as indigenous sovereignty and water rights, the fossil fuel economy, ocean acidification, global transport, mineral extraction, and deforestation. Curated by artists and writers Kendra Sullivan and Dylan Gauthier, the exhibit is on display through April 28, Whitehead Campus Center, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, Pennsylvania. Pictured: Cannupa Hanska Luger, “Mirror Shields for Standing Rock, N.D.,” 2016, masonite, mylar.
XPN Music Film Festival
WXPN and the Philadelphia Film Society joined together to celebrate the 25th anniversaries of World Café and the Philadelphia Film Festival with the XPN Music Film Festival, March 31 through April 2. The weekend features some of the best-loved music films of the past 40 years along with special events hosted by David Dye and other XPN staff. Films include “Stop Making Sense,” “Singles,” “Almost Famous,” “High Fidelity,” and “The Last Waltz” (pictured), Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
Trenton Film Festival
The Trenton Film Festival comes to the Mill Hill Playhouse, March 30 through April 2, with 38 films from 14 countries, showcasing emerging filmmakers and offering a mix of narrative and documentary and fiction features and short films as well as animation, spoken word, music video and more, 205 East Front Street (at Montgomery Street), Trenton, NJ. The festival opens with the full-length feature film “Pop-Up” (pictured) by Australian director Stuart McBratney (who will be in attendance to answer questions from the audience). Other films include the Hong Kong-based thriller “Jasmine,” “The Promise” by Serbian director Zelijko M. Mirkovic, “Mr. Gaga” by Israeli director Tomer Heymann, and a program of suspense and horror films. Photo courtesy of the Trenton Film Festival.
“I and You” at People’s Light
There’s more than meets the eye in Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, onstage at People’s Light. The sharp and funny Philadelphia premiere poses relevant questions while focusing on two quick-minded young people who are thrown together to complete a school report on Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and discover they have more in common than they had anticipated. Directed by Samantha Reading with Claire Inie-Richards as Caroline and Ricardy Charles Fabre as Anthony, through April 23, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, Pennsylvania. Related programs and events include AfterWORDS, a facilitated post-performance conversation with the cast after Thursday evening performances, Scoop on Wednesdays, and open caption performances. Photo by Mark Garvin.
“Once” the Musical
The national tour of Once arrives in our region with performances March 29-30 at the State Theatre in Easton, Pennsylvania and March 31 through April 2 at the Playhouse on Rodney Square in Wilmington, Delaware. Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, the musicians play their own instruments onstage, telling the tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. Photo courtesy of Once the Musical.
“Number the Stars” at Haddonfield Plays & Players
Haddonfield Plays & Players’ annual tradition, Number the Stars, returns with music and lyrics by Sean Hartley, based on the book by Lois Lowry about the rescue of Danish Jews during World War II. Seven performances take place through April 6 at 957 East Atlantic Avenue, Haddonfield, NJ. Photo courtesy of Haddonfield Plays & Players.
Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre’s “Hello, Dolly!”
Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre has been producing musicals since 1956 and has received national recognition for its annual plays. Opening March 31 is Hello, Dolly!, the Tony Award-winning musical by Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart that follows widowed matchmaker Dolly Levi as she meddles and stirs up romance and adventure. Featuring a cast of over 30 community members from throughout the Delaware Valley, the show is directed by Sam Frenkel through April 8 at Neshaminy High School’s auditorium, 2001 Lincoln Highway, Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Photo by Tom Urquhart.
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.