Weekly Entertainment Guide – The Shoplifters, Lyle, Lyle, & Invisible River

     The first major exhibition to explore the life and career of children's book writer, illustrator, and Philadelphia native Bernard Waber opens at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Pictured: Animals in Bed, U.S. Illustration, 1997 by Bernard Waber. Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American Jewish History.

    The first major exhibition to explore the life and career of children's book writer, illustrator, and Philadelphia native Bernard Waber opens at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Pictured: Animals in Bed, U.S. Illustration, 1997 by Bernard Waber. Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American Jewish History.

    Learn about podcasting, boat to the Schuylkill River Arts Festival, catch a live late night talk show, enjoy a concert or exhibit.  Robin Bloom shares her picks.

    What’s Happening

    1812 Productions’ “The Shoplifters”

    1812 Productions, Philadelphia’s All Comedy Theatre Company, starts a new season with The Shoplifters by Morris Panych, August 27 through September 20. The Philadelphia premiere is once again part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and stars veteran actor Mary Martello with Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. (pictured), Marla Burkholder, and Daniel Fredrick making their 1812 debuts. The comedy about society’s haves and have-nots and how much they might actually have in common is directed by Jennifer Childs on the Arcadia Stage at Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd Street, Old City, Philadelphia. Photo by John Flak.

    “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and Friends: The Art of Bernard Waber” at NMAJH

    The first major exhibition to explore the life and career of children’s book writer and illustrator Bernard Waber (1921-2013) opens August 27 at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and Friends: The Art of Bernard Waber features more than 90 original illustrations and preliminary sketches, dummy books, fables, satires, art supplies, and other memorabilia, and is named after his best known children’s series. Over his 50 year career, the Philadelphia native created more than 30 picture books which sold over 1.75 million copies. His character Lyle was inspired by art school sketching trips to the Philadelphia Zoo (Waber attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art which became the University of the Arts). The installation originated at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and contains previously undiscovered illustrations from his earliest works, including the first Lyle book The House on East 88th Street, through November 1, 101 South Independence Mall East, 5th and Market Streets, Philadelphia. Related programs include a Grandparents Day celebration on September 13, Croctober, October 11, Curator and Friends Conversation, October 25. Pictured: Owl, Illustration, 1970 by Bernard Waber. Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American Jewish History.

    Philadelphia Podcast Festival

    Learn all about podcasting at the Philadelphia Podcast Festival, back for a third year, August 28 through September 6, showcasing 27 Philadelphia podcasts over two weekends of live episode recordings, designed to entertain and educate through the digital medium. Podcast participants include Story Shuffle, Black Tribbles (pictured), Comedy Food Sports, Technical.ly Philly, and more. Hosted by Philadelphia Podcasting Society in partnership with Tattooed Mom, 530 South Street, which hosts most events along with Bridgeset Sound, 710 South Street, and Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 Front Street. All shows free; $7 at Kung Fu Necktie. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Podcast Festival.

    Two Late with Rob and Joe

    Stay up “Two Late” an join the comedy duo Rob Alesiani and Joe Tuzzi to celebrate the first anniversary of their late night comedy talk show Two Late with Rob and Joe, Friday, August 28, 11:55pm, Philly Improv Theater, Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. The local comedians offer humorous commentary on current events, video sketches, audience participation games, and a range of local guests including sports radio legend Tony Bruno, Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse founder and president Ariell Johnson, and Tim Butterly of local comedy group Delco Proper. Tickets $5. Photo by Sam Abrams Photography.

    “The Past is a Foreign Country” at Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery

    The Ivorian artist François-Xavier Gbré’s photographs from West Africa and France were commissioned for the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College and have been curated by Brendan Wattenberg, director of exhibitions at The Walther Collection in New York for the artist’s first solo exhibition in North America. The Past is a Foreign Country surveys relics and narratives of the built environment and features site-specific installations of immersive wallpaper prints and a highly detailed network of more than 50 studies of buildings and architectural fragments, as well as imposing governmental structures, shuttered factories, and unfinished homes. On display August 28 through October 9. A gallery talk with the artist and curator takes place on Friday, September 4, at 4:30pm, followed by an opening reception, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA. Pictured: Cité Espérance #2, Route de Bingerville, 2013. © François-Xavier Gbré / Courtesy Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan. Photo courtesy of Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery.

    Invisible River

    Invisible River, a performance journey on the Schuylkill River, returns to Fairmount Park on Saturday, August 29. The fun starts at 2pm at the Mander Recreation Center, 2140 N. 33rd Street, East Fairmount Park with a kick off drum line processional led by Positive Movement and Ecstatic Drum Line to lead the audience from the gateway of Fairmount Park to the Schuylkill River. The arts festival features public boating, interactive art installations, dance, yoga, circus, fishing, environmentalism, and more. Grand finale performance of a multigenerational ensemble of 22 dancers on paddleboards with two aerialists descending from above is at 5:30pm and festivities continue until 8pm. Bike racks and Indego docking station available. Parking is limited. Free. Invisible River aims to celebrate the importance of waterways through the act of live performance, advocacy and educational outreach programs. Photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou.

    Reggae in the Park at the Mann

    The Mann Center’s annual Reggae in the Park is this Saturday, August 29. Doors open at 2:30pm, show at 3pm. Enjoy the sounds of Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley (pictured), Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Morgan Heritage, Spokey Speaky, & more performers on both the Mann’s Main Stage and Crescendo tent. Also, live DJ sets, arts and crafts vendors and Caribbean and global cuisine, 5201 Parkside Avenue, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Kids 12 and under enter for free (lawn only) with a parent. Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage.com.

    Sun Ra Arkestra at 40th Street Summer Series

    University City District’s 40th Street Summer Series continues the last Saturday of the month with a performance by the Sun Ra Arkestra and the South Pacific Island Dancers, August 29, 6pm, behind the Walnut Street Free Library, 40th and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia. Free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and soft pretzels while supplies last. Photo by Suso Navarrete.

    Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers at World Café Live

    Catch the soulful Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers this Saturday, August 29, 8pm at World Café Live. Doors open at 7pm at 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. All ages. Andrew Combs opens. Photo by Tim Parsons.

    Prelude to a Memory at Wagner Free Institute of Science

    Wagner Free Institute of Science steps into its past with Prelude to a Memory, a Victorian-era concert in a style reminiscent of Mexico’s Afro-Amerindian traditions, with the band Jarana Beat (pictured), Wednesday, September 2, 7pm-9pm. Part concert, part film set, the evening, organized by artists Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, revisits the 19th century “musicales” that were performed in Wagner’s historic hall. Wagner is the subject of an upcoming film by Nevarez and Tevere, Memory of a Time Twice Lived, to be screened there on November 5. Free and open to the public with registration encouraged. Reception with artists and band follows the performance, 1700 West Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Wagner Free Institute of Science.

    “Sacred Stories: The World’s Religious Traditions” at the Free Library of Philadelphia

    Opening August 31 at the Free Library of Philadelphia is Sacred Stories: The World’s Religious Traditions, an exhibit that showcases a unique collection of sacred works that share messages of belief, faith and worship through written word. Items include scripture from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, printed and handwritten texts, illuminated manuscripts from Europe and the Middle East and notable books such as the first Bible printed in North America, Martin Luther’s first German New Testament printed in 1522, the first translation of the Koran into English and printed in 1649, on display through January 30, Parkway Central Library’s Rare Book Department, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia. Extended viewing hours on Sunday, September 20, Tuesday, September 22, and Wednesday, September 23. The Parkway Central Library will be closed September 26 and 27 during the Pope’s visit. Pictured: The Annunciation, Pictorial Bible, Ethiopia, ca. 18th century. Photo courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

    Many of Philadelphia’s renowned and historic arts and culture organizations host special events to mark the inaugural visit of Pope Francis.  Check out the Pope in Philly Entertainment Guide for more information.


    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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