Weekly Entertainment Guide – To the Moon, Because of Winn Dixie, & Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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     Delaware Theatre Company explores the bond between animals and humans with the new musical, Because of Winn-Dixie, onstage through May 3. Photo by Matt Urban, Mobius New Media.

    Delaware Theatre Company explores the bond between animals and humans with the new musical, Because of Winn-Dixie, onstage through May 3. Photo by Matt Urban, Mobius New Media.

    Looking for something to do this week?  Robin Bloom shares her picks.

    What’s Happening

    Daffodil Day at Winterthur

    Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library hosts the inaugural Daffodil Day and Children’s Daffodil Show, Saturday, April 18. Children ages 5-14 can bring their best cut daffodils between 10am-11am (with judging at 11am) with prizes awarded. Categories include “Daffodil Specimen,” “3 Daffodils,” and “Daffodil et al” with special awards for largest, smallest and “yellowest” flowers. Glass bud vases will be provided to display. Also, enjoy daffodil-themed events, workshops, Tea (reservations required) and guided tours of Sycamore Hill (pictured), where Henry Francis du Pont arranged hundreds of heirloom bulbs that cascade down the hillside. While there, enjoy the Enchanted Woods children’s garden, 5105 Kennett Pike north of Greenville, DE. Photo courtesy of Winterthur.

    Grounds for Sculpture’s “A Day at the Fair”

    Grounds for Sculpture celebrates its roots as the site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds with the annual Day at the Fair, Sunday, April 19, 11am-4pm. The park is turned into a fun-filled fantasy fair with children’s activities, music, workshops, favorite fairground food, reenactments, and more special events, rain or shine, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, NJ. Photo by Zach Teris.

    Onstage

    1812 Productions’ “To the Moon”

    Don’t miss To the Moon, 1812 Productions’ world premiere comedy inspired by the life and work of Jackie Gleason, April 16 through May 17. Featuring an original script by Jennifer Childs (Producing Artistic Director and Co-Founder of 1812 Productions), and starring Scott Greer as Scottie, whose fantasy life frequently invades his real one while he dreams of becoming like his idol, the legendary performer Jackie Gleason. Anthony Lawton plays his neighbor and sidekick, with Tracie Higgins, and Sean Roach, as a dozen comedic characters. Directed by Matt Pfeiffer with choreography by Tony Award winning actor and physical performer Bill Irwin, original music by Alex Bechtel, and an integrated landscape of set, lights, video, and sound that takes Scottie from everyday life to his wildest dreams. Known for creating original comedies in classic styles inspired by different eras of comedic history, 1812 pays homage to the sharp writing and physical comedy of “The Great One” with help from Greg Marx, son of Marvin Marx, award-winning comedy writer for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, and renowned playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street, Philadelphia. Photo by John Flak.

    Inis Nua Theatre Company’s “Penelope”

    Inis Nua Theatre Company continues its tradition of presenting contemporary plays from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales with the Philadelphia premiere of Penelope by Enda Walsh. What will happen when Odysseus returns from the Trojan War and finds four suitors in competition for the affections of his wife, Penelope? Find out in this black comedy – complete with fighting and a swimming pool – based on the final chapter of Homer’s The Odyssey, directed by Tom Reing and starring Adair Arciero, John Morrison, Leonard Haas, Griffin Stanton-Ameisen, and Jared Michael Delaney through April 26 at the Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Penelope won the 2010 Fringe First Award at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Catch “Setting the Scene,” a pre-show exploration of the play’s themes and relevant events with guest theater scholars and practitioners on Wednesday, April 22 at 7pm. Photo by Katie Reing.

    “Because of Winn-Dixie” at Delaware Theatre Company

    Delaware Theatre Company explores the bond between animals and humans with the new musical, Because of Winn-Dixie. The Broadway-bound musical about the intimate friendship between a young girl and her dog – based on the children’s book by Kate DiCamillo – stars a live dog as the main character. Originally staged at Arkansas Repertory Theatre in 2013, this production has been rewritten with a new director, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, and a score that mixes southern rock and gospel themes by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Nell Benjamin, through May 3. Related programs and events include post-show talkbacks with the stars, April 16, 23, and 30, and pre-show Viewpoints on April 22 and 29, 200 Water Street, Wilmington, DE. Photo by Matt Urban, Mobius New Media.

    Theatre Exile’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

    Edward Albee’s iconic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? takes to the stage April 16 through May 17, following Theatre Exile’s two year process to secure the rights from the American playwright. The Tony Award-winning psychological drama features Pearce Bunting (Boardwalk Empire, Law and Order SVU, Mamma Mia on Broadway) and Catharine Slusar as a dysfunctional middle-aged couple, with Emilie Krause and Jake Blouch as the younger unsuspecting couple drawn into their complex and bitter relationship. Directed by Exile’s Founding Artistic Director Joe Canuso at Plays & Players Theater, 1714 Delancey Street, Philadelphia. Related programs and events include a Pay What You Can performance on April 21 and Talkbacks on April 26 and 30. Photo by Robert Hakalski.

    “Now Now Oh Now” at FringeArts

    Austin’s Rude Mechanicals uses play to make performance with Now Now Oh Now, April 22-25. The roaming theater piece blends science, puzzles, gaming and Murder Mystery Theatre including a lecture on evolutionary biology, and the world’s weirdest night of Dungeons and Dragons with intimate performances seating only 30 people at FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard at Race Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Jeremy M. Lange.

    Art Appreciation

    The Artists Circle Annual Art Show and Sale

    The Artists Circle Annual Art Show and Sale is April 17-19, celebrating its 30th year showcasing hundreds of original works and signed quality prints by members of one of the region’s largest professional artist’s collectives, along with live demonstrations of painting styles and media. Artists include Judy Antonelli, Lin Webber, Maureen O’Neill, Myra Ryan and more. The show opens on Friday, April 17 at 1pm, with a Meet-the-Artists reception from 6pm-9pm. Free to the public with free parking, St. Luke Lutheran Church, 203 North Valley Forge Road, Devon, PA. Pictured: September Beach by member artist Wendy Scheirer, offered as a prize to a lucky visitor.

    Wharton Esherick (1887-1970): The Rose and Nathan Rubinson Collection

    Moderne Gallery offers the opportunity to see and purchase furniture, sculptural objects and woodcuts by the “Dean of American Craftsmen” with Wharton Esherick (1887-1970): The Rose and Nathan Rubinson Collection, April 17 through September 6. Featured items include the first iconic Music Stand, made in 1951 for Rose Rubinson and exhibited at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Also, chairs, a dining table, cabinets, coffee tables, wall lights and more, 111 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia. Moderne Gallery presented the first comprehensive gallery show and sale of Esherick’s work in 1996, featuring many pieces from the Rubinson collection in Merion, PA. Pictured: The Actress, 1939. Originally sculpted in cherry in 1938, this is one of two bronze 1939 castings of Esherick’s most famous sculpture. The other example is in the Wharton Esherick Museum collection. It was inspired by a photograph of his daughter Mary in her dressing room at the Hedgerow Theatre. Photo courtesy of Moderne Gallery.

    Music

    Uri Caine & PRISM Quartet

    LiveConnections presents a fusion concert of jazz, classical and contemporary styles with PRISM Quartet and pianist and composer Uri Caine (pictured) debuting the world premiere of his “The Book of Days” for saxophone and piano, Thursday, April 16, 7:30pm, World Café Live, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Giancarlo Belfiore.

    Tower of Power

    Tower of Power brings their funky soul sound to the Philly region on Friday, April 17 at the Scottish Rite Auditorium, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, NJ and Sunday, April 19, 7:30pm with Average White Band at the Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA. Photo by Steve Trager Photography.

    Singing City Spring Concert

    Singing City joins with Lyric Fest for a Spring Concert, I’ll Make Me a World, Sunday, April 19, 3pm. Inspired by James Weldon Johnson’s poem The Creation, the collaborative concert explores the gifts of the natural world and the art that reflects those gifts. Works include Sure on this Shining Night by Morten Lauridsen, Don’t Fence Me In by Cole Porter, Cloudburst by Eric Whitacre, and more, including a new work by Lyric Fest’s composer in residence Kile Smith, scored for audience participation. Directed by Jeffrey Brillhart and featuring baritone Randall Scarlata, Elizabeth Weigle, and Chrystal Williams with Laura Ward at the piano, The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, 1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Singing City.

    Dance

    RUBBERBANDance Group

    RUBBERBANDance Group Brings its innovative blend of hip hop, classical, and contemporary dance to Dance Celebration with the local premiere of Empirical Quotient, a 70 minute work exploring human relationships and the effects of time and experience on self-perception and identity, Thursday, April 16, 7:30pm, Friday, April 17, 8pm and Saturday, April 18, 2pm and 8pm, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Outreach activities include a Student Discovery Program on Friday, April 17, 10:30am, free Master Class by artistic director Victor Quijada, Friday, April 17, 1pm, and a Curtain Talk following the Friday, April 17, 8pm performance. Photo by Tim Forbes.

    American Repertory Ballet

    American Repertory Ballet performs Douglas Martin’s Romeo and Juliet Thursday, April 16, 7:30pm. The full length dance adaptation is set to Prokofiev’s score performed by a company of 30 dancers, with sets by scenic designer Kevin Lee Allen and costumes by Michelle Ferranti, McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton, NJ. Photo courtesy of American Repertory Ballet.

     

     

    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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