Looking for something to do this week? WHYY’s Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what’s happening in the Philadelphia region. Here are her picks:
Opening this weekend at the National Constitution Center is “The 1968 Exhibit,” a multimedia, multi-generational focused exhibition that brings one of the most interesting years in American history to life. 1968 was a turning point for an entire generation coming of age and a nation engaged in war, a year that included the peak of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, riots at the Democratic National Convention, Black Power demonstrations at the Summer Olympics, and much more. The 5000 square foot display features over 100 artifacts plus 3 interactive “lounges” focusing on movies, music, television and design from that year, through September 2. The exhibit launches on Flag Day, June 14, with a flag raising ceremony, a ribbon-cutting, patriotic parade, and more on the lawn, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia.
The five time 2009 Tony nominee “Rock of Ages” arrives in Philadelphia, June 14-16, with five performances of the arena-rock love story told through the hits of Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and more, Merriam Theater, Broad Street, Philadelphia.
The “Awesome Fest” is a year-long roaming film series that combines independent films and Hollywood’s finest “just plain awesome” film titles. Known for its cutting edge programming and innovative events, the “Awesome Fest” shows films at non-traditional venues throughout Philadelphia. Parx Casino and CityPaper partner with the “Awesome Fest” this year to announce the 10-week summer line up from June 14 through August 17, celebrating the 1980s. Included in the summer line up are screenings of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Rewind This! and Valley Girl, with concert events and an ’80s style prom. All outdoor screenings are free of charge.
The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University hosts “Serpentine,” a photographic exhibit of some of the deadliest and most beautiful snakes found in nature, opening Saturday, June 15. A dozen photographs, taken in Central America by fine-arts photographer Mark Laita, are featured each on a black background to emphasize the vivid colors, making them look like three-dimensional sculptures, on display through September 15, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Free with museum admission.
Opening this weekend at the Delaware Museum of Natural History is “Water’s Extreme Journey,” taking visitors on a quest for clean water while exploring how the water cycle works. The exhibition features a 24-foot zip line that transforms visitors into water droplets before releasing them into the watershed, a game that explains how choices made in everyday life can lead to clean and dirty water, a trip through the “Slow Zone,” a wetland experience that demonstrates how grass and other plants naturally filter water, and more, through September 2, 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE.
Exhibitions that celebrate skating culture and manipulate “dazzle camouflage” open this weekend at Asian Arts Initiative. “Skate Shop / 676 Skate” is a pop-up skate shop featuring youth-designed skateboards, stickers, and tees made in collaboration with Seattle-based artist Nin Truong of WKND Studio and Asian Arts Initiative teaching artist Nicole Schaller. “In Plain Sight: Isaac Lin” shows the work of the Philadelphia-based artist, whose paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations are informed in part by an inverted form of camouflage that was painted on the sides of warships during WWI and WWII. Lin’s technique explores how something or someone can be simultaneously highly visible and invisible, which he has experienced as Asian American. Both exhibitions run through Sept. 28, 1219 Vine Street, Philadelphia.
Woody Allen’s comedy, “Play It Again, Sam,” opens this weekend at The Stagecrafters Theatre, telling the story of Allan Felix, a movie buff and professional critic who has just been dumped by his wife and is desperate to connect with another woman. In order to combat some of his neuroses, awkwardness, and insecurity about the opposite sex, he tries to tap into the machismo and cool of one of his heroes, Humphrey Bogart, through June 30 at 8130 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. The play’s 1969 premier starred Woody Allen himself with Diane Keaton and Tony Roberts, and ran for 453 performances.
The 40th Street Artist in Residence program (AIR) presents “The Past is Over: An Exhibition of Illuminated Assemblages by Mike Harping,” opening June 14-29. Artist in Residence Mike Harping incorporates reclaimed materials and traditional printmaking practices in his illuminated assemblages in order to subtly complement his message of embracing the future and acknowledging the past. Laser engraved acrylic panels that glow from internal LED light sources give this exhibition a unique twist. Exhibition opening and meet the artist is Friday, June 14, 6pm-9pm at the 40th Street Airspace Gallery, 4007 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
Treat Dad to a Father’s Day Weekend Mural Tour, Saturday, June 15, 10am, a 2 hour trolley tour showcasing great sports legends and traditions, including famed murals of Jackie Robinson, Dr. J, Wilt Chamberlain, the Blue Horizon boxing arena (pictured), and more, departing from the Mural Arts Studio at the Gallery, 9th and Market Streets, Level 2, Philadelphia.
Cape May’s Harbor Fest is a celebration of the sea: its culture, economy, and ecology. The festival includes arts and crafts vendors, kids’ activities, a scallop challenge, kayak and boat tours, and live music on Saturday, June 15, 10am-5pm. Outdoor activities at Cape May’s harbor; Indoor activities in the Nature Center, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ. Free.
Winterthur hosts an “Enchanted Summer Day,” Saturday, June 15, 11am-3pm, with entertainment, crafts, treats and activities for the whole family including magic, roving Celtic musicians and more, rain or shine, Winterthur, DE. While you are there, take the Once Upon a Family Tour of the museum and visit the Touch-It Room.
The Brandywine River Museum examines the fascination held by two American artists of Monhegan, a small island ten miles off the coast of Maine, with “Jamie Wyeth, Rockwell Kent, and Monhegan,” opening this Saturday, June 15. The exhibit features paintings that depict Monhegan life and natural beauty, from the culture of its inhabitants to its rugged landscapes. While the two artists never met, their works, often from different vantage points, together create an artistic journey through a century of Monhegan life. Also on view, more than a dozen additional works by Wyeth, as well as the debut of a new painting, through November 17 with related programs and events, Route 1, Chadds Ford, PA. Free admission on most Sunday mornings from 9:30am-noon.
The Trenton City Museum/Ellarslie presents “Memories of Warsaw: Paintings and Drawings,” Kyle Hamilton’s one-woman show depicting an expressionist urban landscape that often includes a young girl as a witness to a post-apocalyptic world. Through her work, Hamilton conveys the message “out of calm reflection comes wisdom, kindness, and beauty.” The exhibit is on display Saturday, June 15 through July 28, Ellarslie Mansion in the heart of Cadwalader Park in Trenton, New Jersey. Also opening this weekend, Delaware Valley Fine Crafts Invitational, featuring more than 70 works by 18 fine craft professionals from across the Delaware Valley, representing an array of styles and materials including ceramic, fiber, jewelry, paper, and wood, through July 28.
Premiering this weekend, “The Last Plot in Revenge,” a spaghetti-western dinner-theater musical by Brat Productions. The story takes place in Revenge, Montana, a truly wild western town, where only one spot remains in the cemetery. The Scrapfields and MacGruels, local families, contend with an outsider, the Nameless Gunman, for rights to the spot. Brat Productions’ Resident Artist Brian Grace-Duff wrote the play, and co-founder of the New York International Fringe Festival John Clancy directs. New music by Peter Gaffney, innovative puppetry, and in-your-face fight choreography are all part of the show. Nick’s Roast Beef with support of Esposito’s Meats cater a real spaghetti dinner, June 15-29 at the Archive Space at Lucy’s Hat Shop, 247 Market Street, Philadelphia.
The Rosenbach Museum & Library celebrates author James Joyce with the annual “Bloomsday” celebration, Sunday, June 16, noon-7:30pm, an open-air festival featuring dramatic readings from Ulysses by Joyce enthusiasts in front of the museum. Free and open to the public, 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia. Rain location is the Trinity Center for Urban Life, 22nd & Spruce Streets, Philadelphia. Get started early with “Bloomsday 101,” Saturday, June 15, 5:30pm-7pm, Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia.
Join Alie and the Brigade Dance Company to ring in summertime with “Invisible River,” a public aerial dance and music concert like no other on Sunday, June 16 and 23, 8pm at the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and the adjacent parking lot in Fairmount Park. Enjoy an aerial dance performance from 40 feet above the Schuylkill River to the sounds of Elliott Harvey’s haunting choral compositions. Following the performance, choreographer Alie Vidich speaks about her vision of a future annual Schuylkill River performing arts festival, then stay in the park for a post performance celebration with DJ Maggy’s Rooftop Aerial. Audience parking available at 2200 Kelly Drive in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. The show is free and open to the public.
The DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, called the “largest free jazz festival on the East Coast,” celebrates 25 years, June 19-22, with the Benny Golson Quartet (pictured), Buster Williams, Jessy J, BWB, JD3, Lalah Hathaway, Peditro Martinez, and To The Max, Rodney Square, 11th and Market Street, Wilmington, DE.
The monthly summer concerts in Louis Kahn Park continue this year with a performance by Polkadelphia, performing traditional oompah tunes and modern cover songs by artists like Radiohead and the Beatles, Wednesday, June 19, 7:30pm, 11th & Pine Streets, Philadelphia. Rain date, Thursday, June 20. Free and open to the public.
“The Last Five Years” chronicles the heartbreaking and hopeful life of a marriage, from falling in love to falling apart, or from falling apart to falling in love, depending on how you look at it. The 11th Hour Theatre Company presents this contemporary, intimate chamber musical by Jason Robert Brown, that looks closely at love, ambition, and the challenges of marriage, directed by Megan Nicole O’Brien and starring Cara Noel Antosca and Michael Philip O’Brien in the two-person play, June 20-30, University of the Arts, Caplan Studio Theatre, 211 South Broad Street, 16th Floor, Philadelphia.
From classic rock to “Oliver,” Broadway music fills the stage at Bristol Riverside Theatre this summer. “Up, Up and Away,” onstage June 20-30, relives soul, disco, and classic rock music from the 70s. “Ol’ Man River,” July 18-28, pays tribute to African American leading men and includes songs from “Show Boat,” “Man of La Mancha,” and “Porgy & Bess.” The “BRT Broadway Collection” wraps up the season August 15-25 with hit songs from favorite musicals “Oliver,” “My Fair Lady,” “Wicked,” and more, 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA.
Morris Arboretum hosts a Summer Solstice Salsa Party, Thursday, June 20, 7pm, with Café Con Pan Band, Salsa dance lessons, salsas and brews to sample, and more, set amidst the garden at 100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill.
“Make Music Philly” the inaugural citywide day of music, is Friday June 21, from 8am-8pm, “all day, all over, all free,” with performances of all genres, ages and levels of expertise. Folk musicians David Falcone and Ryan Tennis at the National Constitution Center, “Bring Your Sing” with the Philadelphia Singers at the Friends Center, and Rock to the Future House Band at Commerce Square are just a few of the events featured. See website for schedule and map.
“Gritty Semiotics: A History of Design in Philadelphia,” an exhibit that explores the soul of a place through the historical context of graphic design in Philadelphia, is on display at AIGA Philadelphia SPACE, 72 N. 2nd Street through June 28.
Cape May Stage presents “Lend Me a Tenor,” winner of 3 Tony Awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards, onstage through July 26 at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse, corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets, Cape May, NJ.
Additional events in the region:
The 28th Delaware Chamber Music Festival kicks off this weekend, blending traditional and contemporary music, with performances by Pyxis Piano Quartet, Marcantonio Barone on piano, Clancy Newman on cello, Christiaan Taggart on guitar and much more, June 14-23 at the Music School of Delaware, led by Music Director and Philadelphia Orchestra first violinist Barbara Govatos. All concerts followed by a reception with the artists, 4101 Washington Street, Wilmington, DE.
The LBI Fest is back as a “Thank You Fest” this weekend, June 14-16, celebrating the 194 agencies such as the N.J. National Guard and Louisiana State Police, who helped save Long Beach Island from Super Storm Sandy and protected homes and business for months following. The Fest features music, crafts, food, children’s activities and more throughout the island.
The Savoy Company continues to honor the wit and work of Gilbert and Sullivan with this year’s production of “The Gondoliers” or “The King of Barataria,” directed by Peter Hilliard. Performances take place June 14 & 15, 8:30pm at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA.
Sea Isle City, NJ hosts a “Skimmer Festival,” Saturday, June 15, 9am-4pm, with sand sculpting, children’s activities, live music and more, rain or shine, JFK Blvd & The Promenade.
Historic Germantown: Freedom’s Backyard celebrates the 148th anniversary of “Juneteenth,” the passage and ratification of the 13th Amendment commemorating the end of slavery, with a festival, Saturday, June 15, 10am-4pm, including a “Freedom Walk,” exhibits from the Lest We Forget Traveling Slavery Museum, music, dance, re-enactors including Harriet Tubman, children’s activities and more, at the Johnson House, which was a stop on the Underground Railroad, 6300 block of Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia.
The Betsy Ross House hosts Stars & Stripes Saturday, June 15, 10am, with performances, carnival games and more, 230 Arch Street, Philadelphia.
The 30th Street Craft Market returns this Saturday, June 15, 11am-4pm, with more than 50 local craft vendors, food trucks and live music, outside at The Porch, the station’s new public space for concerts and special events, 30th Street Station, Philadelphia.
Penn’s Landing hosts festivals this weekend: Finns and Swedes in America Since 1638 celebration, Saturday, June 15, noon-6pm, celebrating the 375th anniversary of Swedes and Finns landing in the Delaware Valley, concluding with a Jubilee Symphony Concert at 7:30pm, Independence Seaport Museum; Portuguese Heritage Festival, Sunday, June 16, 1pm-7pm, Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia.
Artworks presents “Art All Night Trenton,” Saturday, June 15, 3pm until Sunday, June 16, 3pm, 24 hours of special events, performances, and more, Roebling Wire Works, 675 South Clinton Avenue, Trenton, NJ.
Johnson’s Popcorn Father’s Day Family Fun Fest is Sunday, June 16, 1-3pm, with music, magicians, pony rides and more, 11th Street and Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ.
The Folk Factory Coffeehouse People’s Choice Concert is Sunday, June 16, 7:30pm, featuring top vote-getters from this year’s Open Stages, with eclectic traditional folk, songs of social concern, and contemporary singer/songwriter music, Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, 6900 Stenton Avenue at Gorgas Lane, Philadelphia.
New Freedom Theatre partners with Project1Voice to present a staged reading of, “A Soldier’s Play,” a drama written by Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Fuller and directed by Johnnie Hobbs, Jr., Monday, June 17, 8pm. The play is loosely based on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd. New Freedom Theatre is Pennsylvania’s oldest African American theater, 1346 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia.
Penn Museum hosts summer concert events on Wednesdays throughout the summer from 5pm-8pm with P.M. @ Penn Museum Summer Nights Music Series: June 19: Animus; June 26: Barakka; July 3: Magdaliz and Her Trio Crisol; and more through September 11. The series offers drinks and light fare from the Pepper Mill Café’s garden bar and the opportunity to explore the Museum’s galleries at night, 3620 South Street, Philadelphia.
Iron Age Theatre celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with the 4th annual “Juneteenth” production, June 19, 7:30pm, including readings from Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, and more, along with musical selections and poetry, at Centre Theater, 208 DeKalb Street, Norristown, PA.
Quince Productions presents its fifth annual “Full House: A Series of Cabarets,” June 19-23. Over twenty performers take to the stage in the Red Room at Society Hill playhouse, from the well known, such as Deborah Billups and Derrick Baldwin in “I’m forever Still…Just Sayin” to new faces like Sean Thompson in “I Need a Sunburn: A Solivagant’s Cabaret” who will donate all of the proceeds of his Cabaret to Equality PA. Tickets include a free drink, 507 S. 8th Street (between Lombard and South Streets), Philadelphia.
The Camden County Library system announces a free summer music festival featuring genres of jazz, pop, rock, classical and more. Kicking off the festival on Wednesday June 19 is “The World of Music,” a performance of light classical music from around the world by the Haddonfield Cello Society at the Haddon Township branch. Events continue at various venues in Camden County, NJ, through August 12 featuring Singer and Songwriter Sara O’Brien whose performances promote cross-cultural understanding, the modern jazz musicians of the New Earth Trio and Mark Carroll who performs traditional Irish music. Events are family friendly and appropriate for all ages.
The 4th Annual SoLow Festival, “Loners and Rebels,” is June 20-30, dedicated to new, experimental work focusing on solo performance at various venues in Philadelphia. This year’s festival is the biggest ever with over 40 participants.
Night Market Philadelphia is back at West Oak Lane, Thursday, June 20, 6pm-10pm, a street food festival spotlighting more than 45 of the city’s best ethnic and regional restaurants and food trucks, plus music and more, 72nd and Ogontz Avenues. Presented by the Food Trust.
Silliness, sensuality, slapstick violence, and angst are all ingredients of Alchemy Dance Company’s show “One Night Only.” Alchemy reinvents their 2013 Premier of “Follies,” performing old and new works that are about laughter in the face of adversity, excitement, and danger. Technical Director Jonathan Bowles composed original music for the performance. Local dance companies Danse4Nia, Roger Lee Dance Company, and Melissa Chisena also perform, Friday, June 21, 7:30pm, at the Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St., Philadelphia.
Cecily Garber and Ilana Levinson 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.
Like us on Facebook to add the Weekly Entertainment Guide to your News Feed.