Robin Bloom shares her recommendations for what to do this week in the Philadelphia region!
“The Light Princess” at Arden Theatre Company
Arden Theatre Company offers world-class theater for families with its children’s theatre series. Onstage now is the world premiere of The Light Princess, adapted from the Scottish legend by George MacDonald. The story of a teenager who has no gravity and floats in the air, unable to touch the ground and with no feelings for others, was written by local home-grown talent, Anthony Lawton with an original score by Alex Bechtel. Both Philly actors perform in the show along with Emily Gardner, Xu Hall, Brett Robinson, and Rob Tucker. The enchanting and clever show is directed by Steve Pacek and has already been extended through June 4, 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. Related programs and events include post-show question and answer sessions, ASL shadow interpreted performances, and the opportunity to meet the cast members in the lobby following each performance. Photo by Mark Garvin.
Philadanco’s “Black Steam”
Philadanco, the resident dance company of the Kimmel Center, showcases the favorite choreographers of founder Joan Myers Brown with Black Steam, a fast-moving and innovative spring program that includes revivals of two classic works: “A Rag, a Bone, and a Hank of Hair” by Talley Beatty, set to music by Prince and Earth, Wind and Fire. Also, choreographer Gene Hill Sagan’s “Sweet Agony” is set to the soulful sounds of Teddy Pendergrass. The production features two new works by acclaimed choreographers Dawn Marie Bazemore and Christopher L. Huggins. Four performances take place April 13-15 at the Perelman Theater, Broad Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Creative Outfit.
“Tone Poems & Light Stories: The Great Migration” at the African American Museum
Opening April 13 at the African American Museum in Philadelphia is Tone Poems & Light Stories: The Great Migration, in Collaboration with Scribe Video Center. Five artists were commissioned to create audio/video works that commemorate and celebrate five institutions that played a critical role in the first Great Migration to Philadelphia, a period between 1916 and 1929 when masses of African Americans left southern states in search of better economic opportunity and to escape racial oppression. Drawing inspiration from Mother Bethel AME Church (Julie Dash), Universal Negro Improvement Association (Kevin Jerome Everson), Tindley Temple (Mendi + Keith Obadike), The Wissahickon Boys Club (Lonnie Graham), and The Philadelphia Tribune (Tina Morton), the exhibition presents these contemporary artists’ perspective on the ways the Great Migration forged new black worlds, through June 4, 701 Arch Street, Philadelphia. An opening reception takes place Thursday, April 13, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Pictured: Tina Morton’s “When We Came Up Here.”
Cinedelphia Film Festival
Cinedelphia Film Festival, Philly’s alternative celebration of film, is back for a 5th year with an eclectic lineup of films showcasing interesting work rarely seen in Philadelphia. Highlights include the Philadelphia premieres of “The Challenge,” an examination of the interplay between tradition and technology set against a falconry tournament in Qatar, “The Lost Arcade,” a documentary eulogy and celebration of New York City’s gaming community, and “How to Build a Time Machine,” a documentary on time travel told through the lives of a theoretical physicist and hobbyist building a replica of an H.G. Wells time machine (pictured). All festival screenings April 13-29 are at PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th Street, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art is a multi-award-winning art and event space housed in a 100 year old former showroom for mausoleums. An exhibition of hand-painted Ghanaian movie posters on loan from Chicago’s Deadly Prey Gallery will be on display throughout the festival. Photo courtesy of the Cinedelphia Film Festival.
“The Journeys of John Laub: Fire Island and Beyond” at Woodmere Art Museum
Woodmere Art Museum continues its mission of telling the stories of the art and artists of Philadelphia with The Journeys of John Laub: Fire Island and Beyond. Laub (1947-2005) studied at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts) and is known for his richly colored paintings of landscape, beaches, and places of beauty, from Fire Island to Big Sur to Paris, France. The first major exhibition of his work – in more than twenty years – offers an overview and reappraisal of his talent with approximately 65 paintings, drawings, and printed works, through August 13, 9201 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. Pictured: “Villefranche,” 1995 Oil on linen, 46 x 78 in. Courtesy of Bruce Kingsley and the Estate of John Laub.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Spring Family Festival
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) hosts a Spring Family Festival at the National Constitution Center, Saturday, April 15, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. The lemonade stand-themed festival features an array of kid-friendly activities, colonial-era games, live music, food, water ice, and of course, lemonade! The joint effort with Northwestern Mutual takes place in Old City at 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Admission is free for kids 18 and under and all proceeds will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is a national childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research into new treatments and cures for all children battling cancer. Pictured: Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who held her first childhood cancer fundraiser in her front yard when she was just four years old. By the time of her death in 2004, she had raised $1 million and inspired a legacy of hope and cures for childhood cancer. Photo courtesy of ALSF.
“Detroit ’67” at Stagecrafters
The Philadelphia premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit ’67 takes to the stage at Stagecrafters. The award-winning, challenging, and historically significant play is about two African American siblings who are struggling to make ends meet by running an after-hours “night spot” in the basement of their family home. They unexpectedly find themselves in an improbable encounter that puts them at personal risk and challenges them to make the right moral choices. Directed by Jane Toczek with Kash Goins in the lead role of Lank, the compelling play is the first of a three play cycle called “The Detroit Projects,” about the playwright’s home city, through April 23 at 8130 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. A “Meet the director and cast” Q&A takes place after the show on April 21. Photo by Sara Stewart.
“Thank You for Coming: Play” at FringeArts
The second installment of Bessie award-winning choreographer Faye Driscoll’s popular “Thank you for Coming” trilogy comes to FringeArts April 14-15. Thank You for Coming: Play uses the ritual of storytelling to explore our human reliance on stories to relate to one another and form identities as individuals and citizens. The semi-fictional collective autobiography is a unique sensorial experience employing a collage of gesture, image, voice, and persona, exploring “who we are” as mythically urgent and elusively empty, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard at Race Street, Philadelphia. Post-show conversation with the artists on April 14. Photo by Whitney Brewer.
“Reveries” at Gross McCleaf Gallery
On display at Gross McCleaf Gallery is Patrick Connors’ Reveries, through April 28. The PAFA grad’s work has been exhibited internationally and is included in private and public collections and reflects the beauty of Philadelphia through colorful and luminous daydreams. The artist paints plein air, responding to the light and space of a place, 127 S. 16th Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: “Late Winter, Schuylkill River Viaduct, View from the East River,” oil on linen, 6 x 7 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.
American Masters: Art of the 19th-20th Centuries at Somerville Manning Gallery
Somerville Manning Gallery, known for almost 35 years for specializing in paintings by the Wyeth family, presents American Masters: Art of the 19th-20th Centuries. The exhibit was designed to run concurrently with “From Homer to Hopper” at the Brandywine River Museum of Art and juxtaposes the artworks of N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth with the artists of their respective eras. Original pieces by Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Wolf Kahn, and many more span over 100 years of masters in the American art world, through May 27, Breck’s Mill, 101 Stone Block Row, Greenville, DE. Pictured: John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), “River Bank, Near Oxford,” c. 1888, oil on canvas, 17 x 21 1/2 inches. Photo courtesy of Somerville Manning Gallery.
The Ladybug Festival is an annual celebration of women in music in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. Rachael Sage and Nalani and Sarina (pictured) perform an intimate night of music at the World Café Live Upstairs, Friday, April 14, 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.), all ages, 500 North Market Street.
One of Philadelphia’s oldest Easter traditions returns on Sunday, April 16, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. The 86th Annual Easter Promenade is rain or shine, with a parade (5th and South), costume contest, food, live music by the Philadelphia Freedom Band, dancing and more, including a visit by the Easter Bunny, South Street Headhouse District (Passyunk and South Street), Philadelphia. Free. Photo courtesy of South Street Headhouse District. Additional Easter activities include the Great Egg Hunt at Franklin Square, Saturday, April 15, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., the Stenton Annual Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday, April 15, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and the Awbury Arboretum Egg Hunt is Saturday, April 15, 10 a.m.
Grammy Award-winning classical pianist Emanuel Ax comes to Philadelphia to perform as part of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s concert series on Wednesday, April 19, 8 p.m., Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Urs Flueeler/AP.
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 email@example.com.