Travel from the Renaissance to the Antebellum South to the Jazz Age in one week. Robin Bloom offers her picks.
BlackStar Film Festival
The BlackStar Film Festival returns to Philadelphia for a 4th year, July 30 through August 2, celebrating film by and about people of African descent and the varied landscape of black life. The only event of its kind in Philadelphia features over 60 feature and short films from four continents. This year’s theme pays homage to the role of costume and production design in films as well as social justice. Opening film is Life Essentials with Ruby Dee, the 90 minute documentary about the grandson of iconic civil rights activists Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Closing film Treasure: From Tragedy to TransJustice, Mapping a Detroit Story, tells the story of a 19 year old transgender woman of color whose brutal murder was not tried as a hate crime. Events include Q&As with filmmakers (pictured), in-depth conversations and panels with artists and industry professionals, and more. Screenings take place at International House, World Café Live, and Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of BlackStar Film Festival.
You may also like…Youth Film Night at Ellarslie, Friday, July 31, presented by the Trenton Museum Society, the Trenton African American Cultural Festival and Both Hands the Artlet at Trenton City Museum, Cadwalader Park, Trenton, NJ. Screenings of a series of documentary, narrative and experimental films that were shown last year during the Trenton African American Cultural Festival take place at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm.
Riverfront Blues Festival
The Riverfront Blues Festival returns July 31 to August 2 to the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park in Wilmington, DE. This outdoor music festival features over 20 performances by artists such as Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues, Kenny Neal Family Band, Walter Trout (pictured), Li’l Ed and the Blues Imperials, the Lowrider Band, Mississippi Heat, and more. Festival doors open on Friday at 4pm. Bring lawn chairs and blankets! Photo by Alex Rice for CGFilm.tv.
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, celebrating its 35th season, storms the grounds of the Mount Hope Estate and Winery this weekend and continues on Saturdays & Sundays (including Labor Day Monday) through October 25. Travel back before the Elizabethan era to the year 1513. King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon arrive for opening weekend on Saturday, August 1 with over 90 shows daily, period food, crafts, children’s activities, Ultimate Joust, gaming village, and more. Each of the 13 Fair weekends has a theme including Time Traveler’s Weekend, Children’s Fantasy, Scottish & Irish weekends, Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights, and much more, Route 72, 15 miles north of Lancaster and 14 miles east of Hershey, one-half mile south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 266.
Jazz Age on the Delaware at Glen Foerd
The historic 19th century riverfront estate Glen Foerd on the Delaware brings together the best of 1920s fashion, food, drink, music, dancing and more with Jazz Age on the Delaware, Saturday, August 1, 11am-5pm. The “roaring Twenties” party offers vintage-inspired food and drinks, vintage shopping, mansion tours, lawn games, antique automobiles, a pie-baking contest, Charleston lessons, and live entertainment by the Red Hot Ramblers with Chelsea Reed, the Gin Canaries, the Minsky Sisters, Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society, The Old City Sweethearts, and Dandy Wellington. Bring a picnic lunch and blanket. 1920s attire encouraged. The fun takes place rain or shine at 5001 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia. Pictured: A Jazz Age reveler poses by “Little Ugly,” Glen Foerd’s most famous dog. The cast iron sculpture of the beloved dog was erected by his owner Charles Macalester, who established the estate. Photo by Annie Vickrey Photography.
Hagley Museum & Library’s “Water Works”
Examine the industrial and recreational use and scientific properties of water at Hagley Museum and Library’s Water Works event August 1, 10am-5pm, off Route 141 in Wilmington, DE. Special programming includes hands-on activities like water balloon games, wooden boat racing, “make your own water wheel,” a stream water testing workshop, fishing along the Brandywine, tours, refreshments and more, included with regular admission. Photo courtesy of Hagley Museum and Library.
2nd Street Festival
The 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties brings the community together for another year this Sunday, August 2, noon-10pm. Expect great live music with Band of Rivals, JaE, Marques Wyatt, New Sound Brass Band, The Extraordinaires and much more. The free event includes restaurants and beer gardens, children’s activities, workshops, and over 200 vendors on 6 blocks lining North 2nd Street between Germantown and Green Streets, Philadelphia. New this year is the Art Star Pop Up Market. Photo by Danya Henninger. #SassySays
The 8th Annual ACANA Festival features nonstop music, food, games, and activities for the whole family, Sunday, August 2, 2pm-8pm. This year’s performers include artists from all over the world including Universal Dance Ensemble, Rafiya (pictured), Rotimi, Sharon Katz, Soul on Demand, Chilton Reggae Band, and more at Great Plaza, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia. Free. ACANA is the African Cultural Alliance of North America. Photo courtesy of MJoTA.org.
Family Festival at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts a Family Festival: The Great Outdoors, Sunday, August 2, 10am-5pm, with art-making, family tours, and performances by the Grammy Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers at 11:30am and 1:30pm. Included with admission, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of the Okee Dokee Brothers.
“The Actor’s Nightmare” & “The Real Inspector Hound” in Princeton
Princeton Summer Theater lampoons the world of theater with a double header of comedic one-acts: The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang (pictured), about a man who finds himself trapped in his worst fear of being thrown onstage unprepared for a performance and The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard, a play-within-a-play parody of the murder mystery genre. Starring Evan Thompson, Ross Barron, Maeve Brady, Sarah Cuneo, David Drew, Caroline Hertz, Bits Sola, Dan Caprera, and Phil Rosen and directed by Brad Wilson, through August 2. Talkback with the cast following the Friday evening performance, Hamilton Murray Theater, Princeton University Campus, Princeton, NJ. Photo courtesy of Princeton Summer Theater.
One-Minute Play Festival
The 3rd Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival comes to Plays & Players Theater, Sunday, August 2, Monday, August 3, and Tuesday, August 4, all at 8pm. The New York based company The One-Minute Play Festival has collaborated with Plays & Players to feature brand new one minute plays by over 35 Philadelphia playwrights, selected by invitation. Playwrights include Seth Bauer, Seth Rozin, Bill D’Agostino, Jacqueline Goldfinger, Jim Christy, Michael Hollinger, and many more, directed by Nick Anselmo, Leigh E. Bicica, Carly Bodnor, John Doyle, Amber Emory, Christina Franklin, Christine Freije, Craig Getting, Kristen Hammond, & Sarah Mitteldorf. The plays, curated by 1MPF Producing Director Dominic D’Andrea and Caitlin Wees, are organized thematically to explore the relationship of the individual voice to the spirit of a specific region, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of One-Minute Play Festival.
“Huckleberry Finn” at East Lynne Theater Company
Join Huck and Jim as they drift down the Mississippi River in the world premiere of Huckleberry Finn at East Lynne Theater Company, July 29 through September 5, First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street, Cape May, NJ. Based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, first published in 1885, the show was adapted by James Rana and directed by Gayle Stahlhuth and stars Beckley Andrews, Samuel Douglas Clark, Leon Morgan, Thomas Raniszewski, Evan Smilyk, and Marcia Sofley. Related special events include an after-show opening party at the Washington Street Inn on July 29, After-show Q&A on August 7, and ASL Performance on August 28. Photo by Gayle Stahlhuth.
Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival
The inaugural Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival celebrates the valuable and diverse voices women contribute to the artistic community with a showcase of Philadelphia’s women in theatre, July 31 through August 2. Featured production is Other Tongues by Alisha Adams (pictured), with staged readings of Wide Open Spaces by Lindsay Harris-Friel and Pancake Queen by Brie Knight. Plus, Women’s Performance Showcase and Viewpoints Workshop, Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival.
Kollner’s View: Philadelphia and Beyond in the 19th Century
On display at the Free Library of Philadelphia is Kollner’s View: Philadelphia and Beyond in the 19th Century, watercolors of Philadelphia locations by the German-born artist Augustus Kollner (1813-1906), who settled in Philadelphia in 1840 and spent the next 50 years producing lithographs and watercolors as he traveled throughout the region. Scenery ranges from the Fairmount Waterworks to Germantown, along with places outside Pennsylvania, August 1 through September 6, Print & Picture Collection Hallway Gallery, Second Floor, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: Augustus Kollner. Fairmount Waterworks, watercolor, 1848. Photo courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.