Weekly Entertainment Guide – Spring Fling

     Tickets are going fast for Disney's The Lion King as the Broadway tour comes to Philadelphia, May 20 through June 14 at the Academy of Music. Photo by Joan Marcus © Disney

    Tickets are going fast for Disney's The Lion King as the Broadway tour comes to Philadelphia, May 20 through June 14 at the Academy of Music. Photo by Joan Marcus © Disney

    25 things to do this week before the start of the summer season. Robin Bloom shares her picks.

    What’s Happening

    The return of Night Market

    Night Market is back for 2015! Many of the city’s restaurants and street food vendors join together for the Night Market South Street West – in a new location – from Broad to 18th Street, Thursday, May 14, 6-10pm. Inspired by Asia’s lively outdoor markets, the event spotlights Philly’s best ethnic and regional restaurants and food trucks, along with live music, art, and more. Photo by Tug Haines for The Food Trust.

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    First Person Arts’ “Grand Slam”

    First Person Arts hosts Grand Slam, winners from monthly StorySlams competing for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia,” Thursday, May 14, 8pm (doors open at 7pm), Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, 1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia. This year’s theme is “Go For It,” hosted by comedian Dave Hill. Pictured: Marjorie Winther, competitor in this year’s Grand Slam. Photo by Darragh Dandurand.

    “Animal Grossology” at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

    Follow the unlikely cycle of elephant poop and meet slimy live animals with Animal Grossology, opening Saturday, May 16 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Hands-on fun includes sea urchin dissections, live cockroaches, smelly live animals, animatronics, crafts and more with live animal shows on opening weekend at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Based on the best-selling Grossology children’s book series by Sylvia Branzei, through August 30, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Advanced Animations, LLC.

    “Genghis Khan: Bring the Legend to Life” at the Franklin Institute

    Explore life in 13th century Central Asia with Genghis Khan: Bring the Legend to Life, a comprehensive exhibition at the Franklin Institute that puts a spotlight on the lasting influence of the great conqueror and his legendary empire. More than 200 artifacts and imperial treasures – gathered from private collectors in Mongolia, Azerbaijan, and the United States – are on display including jewels, silk robes, ceramics, religious relics, weaponry, one of the world’s earliest guns, and more (many never before seen). Also, interactive elements such as sets, murals, and video projections capture the sights and sounds of the Khan empire, at the Franklin Institute, the first Northeast stop on the exhibit’s international tour, through January 3, 222 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Emma Lee/NewsWorks.


    CRAFT PHILA-Liberty Bell Fair returns to Independence Mall with a juried, open air festival, Saturday, May 16, 10am-7pm and Sunday, May 17, 10am-5pm, showcasing handmade in the U.S.A pieces by dozens of jewelers, fiber, glass and leather craftspeople, painters, printmakers, and more. Also, food and live music, circus performances, art lessons, children’s activities and more, 6th and Market Streets between Chestnut and Market, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of CRAFT PHILA.

    Philly Fests

    The 9th Street Italian Market Festival (pictured) is this Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, 10am-5pm, rain or shine, with 100 outdoor vendors, live music on several stages, Procession of the Saints, children’s activities and more, along South 9th Street, from Fitzwater to Federal Streets, in South Philly’s Italian Market, the nation’s oldest outdoor market. Photo courtesy of the 9th Street Italian Market Festival.

    The inaugural Heartwood Music Festival takes place on Saturday, May 16, 11am-6pm, with food, crafts and live music on two stages with Kuf Knotz, Full Frontal Folk, Lizanne Knott and more at Awbury Arboretum in Philadelphia’s historic Germantown.

    The 10th annual Trenton Avenue Arts Festival is Saturday, May 16, 12pm-6pm, celebrating East Kensington’s mix of local artists, musicians and eateries. Organized by the volunteers of the East Kensington Neighbors Association and featuring over 200 local arts and food vendors, the festival is free and open to the public at Trenton Avenue and East Susquehanna, Philadelphia and is held in conjunction with the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a design competition and parade of human powered vehicle floats, beginning at noon at Trenton Avenue and Norris Street, Philadelphia.

    Jam On the River is back at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, Saturday, May 16, 1pm with LOTUS, Papadosio, Electron, Savoy, Dopapod, The Werks, Twiddle, Flux Capacitor, and more, rain or shine, standing room only.

    Plazapalooza is Saturday, May 16, 1pm-7pm, featuring live music, food, beer, children’s activities and more, Grays Ferry Avenue between South & 23rd Streets at the Triangles Plaza, Philadelphia.

    PLAY Manayunk takes place Saturday, May 16, rain or shine beginning with a 1 mile “fun run” along Main Street starting at 8am, followed by outdoor activities including the Guinness World Record sit-up challenge, children’s activities, crafts, live music, food and more at the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center, 7 Lock Street, Philadelphia.

    Regional Festivals

    Get a front row seat to witness the amazing spectacle of shorebird migration and horseshoe spawning season with the 3rd annual Spring Shorebird & Horseshoe Crab Festival, Saturday, May 16 through Sunday, May 17, 9:30am-4:30pm, including guided shorebird viewings, horseshoe crab workshops, walks, and many other conservation-based, hands-on, interactive activities for all ages at the Wetlands Institute, 1075 Stone Harbor Blvd, Stone Harbor, NJ. Photo courtesy of the Wetlands Institute.

    The annual Peace, Love & Horseshoe Crab Festival is Saturday, May 16, 10am-3pm, celebrating the spring spectacle of migrating shorebirds and spawning horseshoe crabs. Festivities include live music, crafts, vendors, food, family activities and more at DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve, Milford, DE. Rain or shine, free and open to the public.

    Salem County’s annual Arts in Bloom is this Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, 10am-5pm. Art With Roots: Works Created from and Inspired by the Salem Oak showcases new work by over 40 artists including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, collage, glass art, ceramics, furniture making, woodworking, leatherwork, fashion design, fiber arts and more, along with family activities at more than 30 locations in Salem County, NJ.

    Catch the New Hope Pride Parade on Saturday, May 16, starting in Lambertville at 11:30am, crossing the bridge and traveling down Main Street in New Hope, concluding at approximately 1pm. A Block Party follows, headlined by Antigone Rising, on the outdoor stage at the Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, PA.

    The Philadelphia Singers Farewell Concert

    The Philadelphia Singers perform a Farewell Concert on Saturday, May 16, 7:30pm. A Quintessential Program showcases the ensemble’s artistry and history with Jennifer Higdon’s setting of Amazing Grace, commissioned by the Philadelphia Singers, Great American Folk Hymns, (Robert Shaw and Alice Parker) which was on the group’s very first program in 1972, Singet dem Herrn by J.S. Bach, which was on the program for David Hayes’ first concert as Music Director in 1992. The final performance will be held at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. After over 40 years, the chorale will close due to financial impediments. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Singers.


    “Memphis” at Walnut Street Theatre

    The musical Memphis bursts onto the Walnut Street Theatre stage through July 12. The Tony Award-winning production, with an original score by Joe DiPietro and Bon Jovi’s David Bryan, was inspired by the true story of Disc Jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in Memphis during the 1950s. Directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford and starring Christopher Sutton, Kimber Sprawl (making her Walnut debut), Philip Michael Baskerville, Mary Martello, and more, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Mark Garvin.

    Theater in the Wild

    The Jungle Book at Arden Theatre Company

    Arden Theatre Company’s spring family production, The Jungle Book, is a world premiere, brand new play based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling, written by Greg Banks and directed by Matthew Decker. Bagheera, Shere Kahn, the python Kaa, Baloo the Bear, and Mowgli are brought to life by five actors: Taysha Canales, Charlie DelMarcelle, Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Sean Lally, and Nikki E. Walker, set to original music, through June 21 at 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Mark Garvin.

    Disney’s The Lion King

    Tickets are going fast for Disney’s The Lion King as the Broadway tour comes to Philadelphia, May 20 through June 14 at the Academy of Music. Feel the love onstage with the magical musical phenomenon based on the 1994 Disney animated film. Travel to the African Pride lands with direction by Julie Taymor, all the beloved hits like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life” by Elton John and Tim Rice, and a musical score created by Hans Zimmer, Broad Street, Philadelphia. Look for Philadelphia’s own Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa!  Photo by Joan Marcus.

    “Five Mile Lake” at McCarter Theatre

    McCarter Theatre Center continues its tradition of introducing major new plays and writers to the stage with Five Mile Lake by Rachel Bonds. The East Coast premiere is a funny and touching story about a group of young people embracing their thirties, trying to make the right choices, and coming to terms with the choices they have already made in a small Pennsylvania town. Directed by Artistic Director Emily Mann and starring Jason Babinsky, Kristen Bush, Nathan Darrow, Mahira Kakkar, and Tobias Segal through May 31, 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ. Related programs and events include Pride Night, May 14, post-show discussion on May 17, opening captioning performance on May 23, audio described performance on May 27, ASL interpreted performance on May 30. Enjoy a talk with artistic staff 45 minutes before each performance. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

    Passage Theatre Company’s “The Goldilocks Zone”

    Passage Theatre Company asks how life can be created when the universe is working against you with The Goldilocks Zone by Ian August, May 14-31. The playful and moving look at parenthood and the modern family is directed by Damon Bonetti, co-founding Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, at the Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street (corner of Montgomery Street), Trenton, NJ. Photo courtesy of Passage Theatre Company.

    Art Appreciation

    Mark Dion, Judy Pfaff, Fred Wilson: The Order of Things at the Barnes Foundation

    The Barnes Foundation encourages audiences to analyze the unique display system created by Dr. Albert C. Barnes with the new provocative exhibition Mark Dion, Judy Pfaff, Fred Wilson: The Order of Things, opening May 16. Three commissioned large scale installations by the internationally renowned artists respond to the Dr. Barnes’ “ensembles,” that overturned traditional categories of display and mixed together objects from different cultures, time periods and media, offering a new way to think about the art collection. Also part of the exhibit is a re-creation of The Dutch Room, a small space in the Merion gallery building that was removed to install an elevator in the 1990s and is renovated and presented to the public for the first time in over two decades. A sound collage incorporates music native of the African tribes that created many of the sculptures and masks in the Barnes African collection, through August 3, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Opening party Friday, May 15, 6pm-9pm. Pictured: Mark Dion, The Incomplete Naturalist, 2015.  Photo courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.

    Philadelphia Explained in Photos and Relics

    Philly Photo Day Exhibition at Dilworth Park

    Don’t miss the opportunity to see over 1900 photographs taken on Philly Photo Day last October at Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s Philly Photo Day Outdoor Exhibition. The center, a community hub for contemporary photography, invited anyone and everyone in the city to take a photograph anywhere in Philadelphia and submit it. Every single image has been included in a vast exhibit on display at Dilworth Park through June 18. Exhibition walk through on June 3, 3pm. Look for 40 selected photos to be displayed on billboards throughout the city from May 15 through June 15. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.

    “Relics” at the DCCA

    Explore a miniature view of Philadelphia at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts (DCCA) with a solo exhibition by Drew Leshko. Relics, architecturally based, miniature wall-hanging sculptures that document buildings in the Philadelphia-based artist’s Philadelphia neighborhood, compels the viewer to think about history, preservation, gentrification, and how aspects of our culture are constantly in flux. Three-dimensional building facades at a 1:12 standard dollhouse scale made by carving, cutting and layering varieties of paper and wood, on display through August 16, 200 South Madison Street, Wilmington, DE. Pictured: World Famous Set-It-OFF Go Go Bar, 2014. Photo courtesy of the DCCA.

    “Philadelphia Explained” at Temple Contemporary

    Tyler School of Art’s 2014/2015 Distinguished Alumni Mentoring Program exhibition is on display at Temple Contemporary. Paula Scher & Keith Hartwig: Philadelphia Explained is a multifaceted show of works that includes Scher’s immersive map of Philadelphia that has been produced specifically for the exhibit (pictured) and Hartwig’s snapshot into the intertwined lives of three Philadelphians, through July 17, 2001 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Sam Fritch.



    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 artscalendar@whyy.org.

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