Fall fun for families and furry friends. Robin Bloom shares her picks.
Terror Behind the Walls
The 23rd annual Terror Behind the Walls, the massive haunted house inside the castle-like walls of the abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary, is back and scarier than ever with Hollywood-quality sets, custom-designed props, animatronics, digital sound effects and a cast of more than 200 performers in a theatrical production that consists of six haunted attractions including “Detritus,” “Lock Down,” “Infirmary,” “The Experiment,” “Night Watch,” and the new interactive “Machine Shop.” Visitors can choose whether to explore the prison passively or actively. Try the hour-long, After Dark VIP guided tour by flashlight (visiting Death Row and Al Capone’s cell), experience the show in complete darkness with just the light of a glow stick, or bring the kids (ages 7-12) on Family Nights. Ranked among the top 10 haunted attractions in the country, “Terror Behind the Walls” is the largest and runs on select evenings through November 8 at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia.
DesignPhiladelphia Festival celebrates 10 years with more than 120 events and over 450 emerging and established designers and creative thinkers at venues across the city, October 9-17. “A Decade of Design” features non-stop programming seeking to unite the region’s dynamic creative community by bringing together individuals and organizations from across the design spectrum, placing a spotlight on Philadelphia’s rich design history and creative industries at work. With a mix of open studios, exhibitions, lectures, tours, workshops, and more, most events are free and open to the public, including the Old City Fest, October 12, noon-6pm with live music and performances, design showcase, food and more, Arch Street between 2nd and 4th, and 3rd Street between Race and Market Streets. Festival kicks off with a PopUp Place, October 8. Presented by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture.
Philly Photo Day (as heard on WHYY-FM’s Morning Edition)
Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, a community hub for contemporary photography, presents the 5th annual Philly Photo Day, Friday, October 10. Take pictures, select your favorite and submit it online to be included in an immense portrait of Philadelphia, online and in a gallery exhibit at Crane Arts November 13 through December 28 and an outdoor exhibition at Dilworth Park in April. See website for rules. Photos can only be in Philadelphia.
Full Circle: Works on Paper by Richard Pousette-Dart
On display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is Full Circle: Works on Paper by Richard Pousette-Dart. The exhibit follows the prolific career of the Abstract Expressionist, founder of the New York School of painting, and one of the most inventive draftsmen of the twentieth century, with 65 of his finest works on paper – including six watercolors on handmade paper from a series produced in the 1940s – as well as six of the artist’s notebooks. On loan from the artist’s estate and public and private collections through November 30 in the Honickman and Berman Galleries, Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Pictured: Garnet Realm by Richard Pousette-Dart, recently acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Cape May Victorian Weekend
Learn about local Victorian heritage at the 42nd annual Victorian Weekend, Friday, October 10 through Monday, October 13, as the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities hosts events including house tours, living history programs, food and wine events, a crafts and antiques show, murder mystery dinners and more in Cape May, NJ. While there, check out “Scarecrow Alley” on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street.
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours
The annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours returns for the 15th year, October 11-12 for studios West of Broad Street and October 25-26 for studios East of Broad Street, as hundreds of professional visual artists in several dozen Philadelphia neighborhoods open their studios to the public for the display and sale of their artwork, guided tours, workshops, artist talks and more, noon-6pm each day. Free. A list of participating artists, neighborhood maps, and free mobile app and smartphone guide available online to plan your own itinerary. Guided trolley tours available October 12 & 26, 1pm. Kick-off event on Thursday, October 9, 6pm-9pm at Sonesta Hotel Art Bar. Presented by the Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA).
Explore the history behind the “food of the gods” and its impact across the world in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University’s Chocolate: the Exhibition, opening Saturday, October 11. Tour the historical journey of the cocao plant from its origins in the tropical Central American rainforest, to a sacred drink and currency used by the Aztecs, to the Spanish mixture of sugar with ground cocoa, and through the emergence of the treat now enjoyed worldwide. Opening weekend festivities include live animal shows, chocolate sampling, stories, crafts, and Hispanic Heritage Month activities, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Planned tasting events will occur throughout the exhibition’s run including Sustainable Chocolate Day on November 2, Hot Chocolate Bar, and a beer and chocolate tasting.For more chocolate fun, visit the Betsy Ross House on Sunday, October 12, 11am-4pm, for Colonial Chocolate Making and enjoy the tasty treat as our Founding Fathers did with Mars Chocolate History Ambassadors and hands-on demonstrations, chocolate tastings and more, 239 Arch Street, Old City, Philadelphia.
Philly Fall Festivals
The Independence Seaport Museum’s 3rd Old City Seaport Festival is this Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12 along the Museum’s waterfront. Explore tall ships along with music, crafts, food and more. A Parade of Boats opens the festivities on Friday with a Pirate Battle on Saturday, and Sunset River tours each day along with Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Tavern on the Museum’s 2nd floor outdoor terrace overlooking the Delaware River, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia. Bloktoberfest returns this Saturday, October 11, noon-8pm, offering a wide selection of beer by craft breweries from around the country, food from neighborhood vendors and food trucks, and multiple stages of live music on 4 blocks of South Street, between Broad Street and 18th Street, Philadelphia. Free to attend with beer proceeds going to local charities and programs. Celebrate historic Fishtown at the 7th Annual River City Festival, Saturday, October 11, beginning at noon with a 5K fun run through Fishtown, followed by live local music by Matt Pond, the Lawsuits, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Ginger Coyle, Pine Barons, Katie Barbato, and Levee Drivers. Fun for the whole family with food, drinks, crafts, and other activities, Penn Treaty Park, 1199 North Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia.
Collingswood Book Festival
Don’t miss the 12th Annual Collingswood Book Festival, Saturday, October 11, 10am-4pm as Haddon Avenue is filled with nationally recognized authors for adults and children including, Leigh Gallagher, Jay Paterno, Ray Didinger, Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker (pictured), singer-songwriter Wesley Stace, Katie Hafner, Jon McGoran, Dan Gutman, Amelia Bedelia’s 50th anniversary celebration, and many more as well as booksellers, storytellers, poetry readings, workshops, exhibitors, kid-friendly activities in Loompaland, and entertainment for all ages, Collingswood, New Jersey. All events are free. Rain or shine. In the event of rain, the festival moves inside to Collingswood High School, 424 Collings Avenue. Maps will be available to locate the authors.
Garden State Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest”
Get a taste of the Garden State Film Festival with a 90 minute screening of six shorts, the Best of the Fest, October 12, 3pm as part of the Fall into the Arts Festival at Croft Farm Arts Center, 100 Bortons Mill Road, Cherry Hill, NJ. Selections include Admissions (USA), The Wednesdays (Ireland), Jerome’s Bouquet (USA) (pictured), Un Peu Plus (France & Ireland), Miyuki’s Wind Bells (Japan), Death, Taxes & Apple Juice (USA). Tickets available at the door. This year’s GSFF takes place March 19-22 in Atlantic City, NJ.
Edgar Allan Poe: Master of the Macabre
Edgar Allan Poe: Master of the Macabre, a night of mystery and dread at the Woodlands, is Tuesday, October 14, 7:30pm-9:30pm, with literary historian and playwright Rob Velella returning to bring Poe’s work to life. After the performance, join in a cemetery walk to visit the grave of Timothy Shay Arthur, a contemporary of Poe’s, 4000 Woodland Avenue, University City in West Philadelphia.
Quintessence Theatre Group’s “As You Like It” and “Richard II”
Quintessence Theatre Group, known for adapting epic works of classic literature and drama for the contemporary stage, opens its 5th season with its first Shakespearean comedy, As You Like It, performed in rotating repertory with Richard II. Directed by Alexander Burns, both plays are performed as they were in the Bard’s day, by an all-male cast, starring Andrew Betz, Alan Brincks, Carlo Campbell, Ashton Carter, Sean Close, Lee Cortopassi, James-Patrick Davis, Connor Hammond, Alexander Harvey, Paul Hebron, Stephen Novelli, Matt Tallman, and Ryan Walter. A Pay What You Can preview of Richard II is Thursday, October 9 at 7pm. Post-Show talkbacks with the cast and director will take place on October 19, 23, 26, and 30. The productions can be seen through November 9 at the Sedgwick Theater in Mt. Airy, 7137 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia.
Inis Nua Theatre Company’s “Ciphers”
Inis Nua Theatre Company continues its tradition of presenting contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales with the American premiere of Ciphers by Dawn King. The gripping and unsettling spy thriller about a new member of the British Security Services trapped in a shadowy world of surveillance and subterfuge is directed by Inis Nua founder Tom Reing and stars Isa St. Clair, Felicia Leicht, J. Paul Nicholas and John Morrison, through October 26 at Off-Broad Street Theater in the First Baptist Church, 1636 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. Catch “Setting the Scene,” a pre-show exploration of the play’s themes and relevant events with guest theater scholars and practitioners on Wednesday, October 15 at 7pm.
South Camden Theatre Company’s “Broken Glass”
South Camden Theatre Company celebrates its 10th anniversary with a “Season of Faith,” plays that explore belief and conviction in many different ways. Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass takes to the stage October 10-26 and juxtaposes the story of a Jewish couple in Brooklyn in 1938 whose marriage is in trouble with Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass” in Nazi Germany. Written later in the playwright’s career. Directed by Craig Hutchings and starring Lee Kiszonas, Michael Hicks, Pat DeFusco, Maria Panvini, Tami Gordon Brody and Dan Hickey at the 96 seat Waterfront South Theatre, 400 Jasper Street, Camden, NJ.
Candlelight Theatre’s “Fiddler on the Roof”
Enjoy dinner and toast “To Life” for the 50th anniversary of the beloved musical Fiddler on the Roof, onstage at the Candlelight Theatre. A proven hit, performed in the quaint old barn every ten years, the production features the favorite songs, directed by Artistic Director Bob Kelly, with David Wills starring as Tevye. Original Jerome Robbins choreography adapted and reproduced by Jody Anderson and Bob Miller with music direction by Betsy Conner. All tickets include dinner and the show through November 2, 2208 Millers Road, Wilmington, DE.
Sassy offers the following recommendations for fun dog-friendly fall events this week!
Man’s Best Friend: The Art of the Dog
Opening this weekend at Somerville Manning Gallery is Man’s Best Friend: The Art of the Dog, an exhibit featuring works that span about 100 years of art history with canine companions in all forms, October 10 through November 15. Opening reception Friday, October 10, 5:30pm-7:30pm, Breck’s Mill, 101 Stone Block Row, Greenville, DE. Pictured: That Dog’s House by Jamie Wyeth. Visit on Saturday, October 11 and head to the Rockwood Museum and Park for the Pet-A-Palooza, 10am-2pm, with pet competitions, behavioral demonstrations, and more, 4651 Washington Street Extension, Wilmington, DE. Free and pets are welcome.
South Jersey Pumpkin Show
The 11th annual South Jersey Pumpkin Show is Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12, with music, vendors, boo barn, dining, contests, kid’s craft making, costumed all breed dog parade, tales of the Headless Horseman (pictured) and more, rain or shine, Salem County Fairgrounds, Woodstown, NJ.
Fall Fun Day, PAWS Mutt Strut & Outfest
Celebrate Fall Family Fun Days this October in Sister Cities Park. This Saturday, October 11, 10am-2pm, enjoy music, family-friendly activities, pumpkins, Scarecrow Festival, and more, including animal rescue PAWS and Morris Animal Refuge on site, pet supplies, treats, and dog training demonstrations. Free and open to the public, 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. The 8th annual PAWS “Mutt Strut,” Dog Walk and Adoption Festival is Saturday, October 11, to raise funds and awareness for PAWS’ efforts to save Philadelphia’s homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals. Check-in begins at 9am, strutting starts at 11am, with music, food, pet costume contest (pictured), training tips, pet activities, grooming and more at the Navy Yard, 4747 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. If you don’t have a pet, you can “rent” a PAWS dog. Philly Pride’s biggest event of the year, Outfest, the 24th annual National Coming Out Day celebration, is Sunday, October 12, beginning at noon with all full day of entertainment plus vendors, groups, and activities including a pet show, 12th/13th and Locust Street in the “Gayborhood,” Center City, Philadelphia, Free.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.