Looking for something to do this winter season? WHYY’s Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what’s happening around the Philadelphia region this week. Here are her picks:
The Curio Theatre Company’s production of Brian Friel’s Tony Award-Winning play, “Dancing at Lughnasa,” opens Friday, February 21 in West Philadelphia. In this memory play, the narrator, Michael Evans, recalls a summer during his boyhood when the five unmarried Mundy sisters had high hopes. Through economic hardship, Irish dancing, religious quandary, popular music, and family strife, these sisters look for love and stability during the Celtic harvest festive, Lughnasadh. Directed by Curio’s managing director and founder Gay Carducci and starring company members Eric Scotolati, Jennifer Summerfield, Trice Baldwin, Aetna Gallagher, Colleen Hughes, Isa St. Clair, Steve Carpenter, and Len Kelly, the production runs through March 15 in the sanctuary space at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community, 4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia.
EgoPo Classic Theater continues its Henrik Ibsen Festival with “The Lady from the Sea.” Ellida, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper – played by Philadelphia favorite and Barrymore Award-Winner Genevieve Perrier – longs for the sea even though she is happily married and settled in the mountains. When a sailor and former suitor arrives on her doorstep, Ellida is forced to reconsider her desires. This is a unique opportunity to see a celebrated but rarely performed lyrical play by the renowned Norwegian playwright. Directed by Brenna Geffers through March 2 at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 North American Street, Philadelphia.
On March 26, 2013, Senate Bill 19, an act to repeal the death penalty in Delaware, narrowly passed the State Senate with a vote of 11-10. Since then, the bill has been tabled in the House of Representatives. As supporters wait to see if the bill will make its way out for a vote, Delaware Theatre Company’s timely production of “The Exonerated” opens, bringing to life the stories of innocent people who spent time on death row. Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s critically acclaimed documentary play draws on forty interviews they conducted with exonerees who were unjustly sentenced to death. Directed by David Bradley through March 9 at 200 Water Street, Wilmington, DE. The company has scheduled a series of events to engage the public in conversations about the criminal justice system and the pending Delaware repeal. Witness to Innocence will host exonerees for a pre-show event on February 21 and Kerry Max Cook, an exoneree whose story is included in the play itself, will participate in a talk-back following the 7pm performance on February 27. “Justice for All” a panel discussion featuring Senator Karen Peterson, Solomon Jones, and other participants from the Public Defender’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General will address a range of topics surrounding legal representation, incarceration, and capital punishment at 4pm on March 1.
Bring your “Dancing Queen” to see the national tour of “Mamma Mia!” at the Academy of Music. The hit jukebox musical is onstage February 25 through March 2 and features ABBA songs like “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “The Winner Takes It All,” and of course, “Dancing Queen,” composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band, Broad Street, Philadelphia.
The 3rd annual Bierfest returns to the German Society of Pennsylvania Saturday, February 22, 1:30pm-5:30pm, celebrating Pennsylvania’s rich heritage of German beer brewing. The afternoon offers German-style beer from over three dozen brewers from Pennsylvania and Germany, German cuisine, bluegrass music by the Keystone Mountain Boys, the Philly Roller Girls, a “Learning Lounge,” Cabaret Stage, discussion panel, and more. Participating brewers include Lion Brewery, Yards Brewing Company, Straub Brewery, Yuengling & Sons Brewery, and more, at the Spring Garden and 7th Street Buildings, Philadelphia. The GSP is celebrating their 250th anniversary year.
Philadelphia’s murals are a signature element of the city’s artistic landscape. A new exhibition, “Cut from the Same Cloth: Classroom Collaboration in the Mural Arts Program” highlights the impact of the nation’s largest public art program on the lives of young Philadelphians. The works on display were all produced by over 1500 under-served youth aged 10-22 who attended free art classes offered by the program. From large projects composed by groups to small scale works made by individuals, these pieces show the connections forged between students and teachers and reveal the shared experiences of city residents. On display through April 18 at the Community Art Gallery of The Philadelphia Foundation, 1234 Market Street, Suite 1800, Philadelphia. Free and open to the public. Pictured: Pop Star, Lainey Jenkins, Photography, Student, 2013.
Vox Populi Gallery continues to provide a forum for challenging and experimental work of under-represented artists with the first solo exhibition of its newest members, on view through March 2. Featured artists include Maria Dumlao, “Expanded Earthly World” (pictured), Jay Muhlin, “Sleeve on my Heart,” Erica Prince, “To Sit Rather Than Slip In,” and Leigh Van Duzer, “Two by Two,” as well as Fourth Wall contributor Sunita Prasad, 319 North 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia. Guided meditation and talk on Sunday, February 23, 3pm-6pm and gallery talk on Sunday, March 2, 3pm.
“FreshPAINT: African Art at UD” highlights paintings from the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art, alongside new acquisitions and work by faculty. Showcasing a range of styles from the narrative to abstract, the exhibit documents a century of paintings by artists from America and the African diaspora including Hale Woodruff, Felrath Hines, Frank Bowling, Jack Whitten, and Margaret Burroughs. The exhibition features two recently bequeathed streetscapes by celebrated Delaware artist Edward L. Loper. Sr. (1916-2011) alongside more recent work like the comically abstract “Absolutely Hilarious” (1997) by UD Professor Peter Williams (pictured). On view through June 28 at the University of Delaware, Mechanical Hall Gallery, 30 North College Avenue, Newark, DE. Co-curators Julie L. McGee and Robert Straight will discuss the exhibition as part of the University Museums’ “Perspectives” midday gallery talk series, presented in conjunction with Department of Black American Studies’ “Black Studies All Day All Night” series, Monday, February 24, 12:30-1:15 pm Mechanical Hall Gallery, 2nd floor.
Miller Rothlein (MIRO) continues their tradition of urging audiences to reconsider and reevaluate what art and performance can be with the world premiere of “From the Spot Where We/You/I Stand (Stood),” the latest work by MIRO Producing Artistic Director Tobin Rothlein. The new piece blurs the lines between sculpture, performance and dance and in addition to MIRO’s four professionals – Beau Hancock, Amanda Miller, Chandra Moss, and Paul Struck – incorporates students from the company’s educational program at Girard College, Friday, February 21, 7:30pm, Saturday, February 22, 7:30pm, and Sunday, February 23, 2pm, White Space at the Crane Arts Old School, 1417 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia.
Pages to Pirouettes’ public premiere of “Sleeping Beauty” ballet for young audiences is Saturday, February 22, 11am, as the story is shared and then brought to life through dance, costumes and music, Trinity Center for Urban Life, 2212 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Meet the dancers at an ice cream social after the performance.
Usiloquy Dance Designs and The Lady Hoofers present a split bill that pairs two percussive dance forms – rhythm tap and Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam – together for “Feet!,” Saturday, February 22, 7pm, and Sunday, February 23, 2pm and 6pm at the Painted Bride Art Center. Choreography by Shaily Dadiala, Kat Richter, Katie Delhagen, Becky Mastin, Amy Smith, and Theresa DiSipio, whose “Soles in the Raw” features the Lady Hoofers tapping a cappella and barefoot. The program includes favorites from each company’s repertoire along with new works set to diverse musical selections ranging from Carnatic, jazz and soul to rock, 230 Vine Street, Old City, Philadelphia.
Two choreographers premiere work in a shared program presented by Philadelphia Dance Projects. Nora Gibson’s debuts her newest work “Temporal Objects,” a collaboration with long time artistic partner and Philadelphia lighting designer Clifford Greer. Irish Modern Dance Theatre’s John Scott’s Philadelphia premiere of “Body Duet” is set to the music of Blackfish and is performed by Michelle Boulé and Philip Connaughton, February 27 through March 1, 7pm, Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia. An open workshop will be held on Saturday, March 1 for dancers and non-dancers alike.
Catch the Philadelphia area premiere of the critically acclaimed, New York based Liz Gerring Dance Company’s “glacier,” Friday, February 28, 8pm as part of Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series. The athletic choreography features eight dancers performing to Glacier by composer Michael J. Schumacher, Goodhart Hall at Bryn Mawr College, 150 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA.
Texas blues shred guitarist Lance Lopez comes to the Arden Gild Hall, Saturday, February 22, 8pm, with master harp-master Mikey Junior Band, 2126 The Highway, Arden, DE.
Gaelic Storm brings their blend of indie-folk and world grooves with Celtic tradition to the Colonial Theatre, Thursday, February 27, 8pm, 227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA.
The Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA hosts Friday Night Live Concerts each month bringing together live music and live art. Friday, February 28, 7pm-10pm, Sharon Katz & the Peace Train perform. The multicultural experience that incorporates the harmonies of South African music and dance features artists Olga Nielsen and Will Kasso Condry creating art that responds to the music, 414 Plush Mill Road.
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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