Weekly Entertainment Guide – Women and comedy, ‘Arms and the Man,’ and PIFA Street Fair

    Looking for something to do this week? WHYY’s Robin Bloom has some recommendations on what’s happening in the Philadelphia region. Here are her picks:


    “It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project”

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    Onstage at 1812 Productions is the world premiere comedy “It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project,” created by Artistic Director Jennifer Childs, examining how women use comedy and how it changes as they age. The show takes its title from the Lesley Gore pop ballad and draws from over 100 interviews and personal stories and experiences taken from women along the East coast, including Lucie Arnaz, Peggy Orenstein, and Kambri Crews. Performed using several artistic styles including scripted play, collage, composition, stand-up, and cabaret, the play stars Susan Riley-Stevens, Drucie McDaniel, Charlotte Ford, Cathy Simpson, Bi Jean Ngo, Cheryl Williams, and Melanie Cotton, through May 19, Plays & Players Theatre, 1714, Delancey Street, Philadelphia.

    “Arms and the Man” and “The Misanthrope”

    Quintessence Theatre Group presents two comedies, “Arms and the Man” (pictured) and “The Misanthrope,” in The Chocolate and Champagne Repertory, with performances through Sunday, May 26. A romantic comedy of class-crossed lovers during the Serbo-Bulgarian War, George Bernard Shaw’s “Arms and the Man” argues the dangers of idealism, honor, and pride in both love and war. Martin Crimp transports Molière’s social satire from 17th century France to 21st century London in “The Misanthrope,” where a celebrated playwright uses his acerbic wit and scathing critiques to unleash his discontent at humanity. Directed by Alexander Burns and starring Khris Davis and John Williams, Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Avenue, Mt Airy, Philadelphia.


    “If She Stood”

    To commemorate the creation of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, the small band of women who used personal and collective action to make change, the Painted Bride Art Center hosts “If She Stood,” written and directed by Ain Gordon in collaboration with Nadine Patterson, Friday, April 26 through May 5, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia. The performance is part of the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.


    Turning Points: Civil War, 1863 – 1864

    Experience the most pivotal years of the Civil War through the eyes of local citizens and soldiers and through the images, artifacts and stories they left behind in Mercer Museum’s “Turning Points: Civil War, 1863 – 1864.” Interactive elements include casting a vote in the 1864 Lincoln-McClellan election, exploring a camp tent to see how soldiers lived, and spinning the draft lottery wheel. Based on the rich period collections of the museum and featuring related programs, the exhibit commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, opening Friday, April 26 through August 25, 84 South Pine Street, Doylestown, Pennsylvania.


    Coastal Impression: Painters of the Jersey Shore, 1880-1940

    Morven Museum & Garden highlights American impressionism and the timeless beauty of the Jersey shore in “Coastal Impression: Painters of the Jersey Shore, 1880-1940,” opening Friday, April 26. The close-knit New Jersey Shore art community painted dramatic scenes at Barnegat Bay, the Manasquan River, Sandy Hook, and other shore points, displaying their work at the most competitive nineteenth and twentieth century venues. The exhibition includes works lent by the Phoenix Art Museum, Hunter Museum of American Art, the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site and private collectors, on view through September 29, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, New Jersey. Enjoy “Morven in May,” a celebration of Art, Craft, and Garden, Friday through Sunday, May 3-5.

    The Art of Science: Cellular/Molecular

    On display at Breadboard’s EKG (Esther Klein Gallery) is “Cellular/Molecular,” connecting biology and organic chemistry to fine art. Coinciding with the Philadelphia Science Festival, the exhibit showcases local artwork that uses different media and abstraction to demonstrate our accidental and natural inclination to create cellular and molecular forms. Artists include Jessica Curtaz, Lori Evensen, David Foss, Rebecca Jacoby, Colin Keefe, Angela McQuillan, Dolores Poacelli, Bruce Pollock, Jacob Rivkin, Sarah Steinwachs, Kristen Tinari and Alice Whealin. Curated by Gaby Heit, the exhibit is on view through June 9, 3600 Market Street, Philadelphia.

    ICA Spring Exhibits

    The Institute of Contemporary Art opens two spring exhibits, “Karla Black” and “Each One as She May: Ligon, Reich, & De Keersmaeker.” In forms on the brink of collapse, Karla Black (pictured) renders the unremarkable and commonplace transcendent through size and scale. Her first solo museum exhibit in the United States, Karla Black attended the Glasgow School of Art and represented Scotland in the 54th Venice Biennale. Organized by Penn students in the Spiegel Contemporary Art Freshman Seminar, “Each One As She May” examines understanding through repetition. Glenn Ligon fades words into abstraction through coal dust and stick drawings and Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker makes language physical with dance choreographed to Steve Reich’s aural composition Come Out (1966). Both exhibits on display through July 28, University of Pennsylvania, 118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia.


    Fleisher/Ollman opens a new gallery space with “Outsiderism,” exploring outsider and self-taught art in a contemporary context. The exhibit features works by artists with developmental disabilities and behavioral health issues from studio programs in Melbourne, Australia (Arts Project Australia) and Wilmington, Delaware (The Creative Vision Factory) as well as paintings by Paul Laffoley, drawings by Gregory Blackstock and Michael Patterson-Carver, and Harrell Fletcher and Chris Johanson’s video collaboration with David Jarvey, on display through June 8, 1216 Arch Street, 5th Floor, Philadelphia.

    Cape May’s Spring Festival

    Cape May celebrates the season with the annual Spring Festival, April 26 through May 5, including private home tours, ghost tours, murder mystery dinners and luncheons, Civil War vintage dance workshops and ball, food and wine events, living history programs and more, along with the exhibit “Cape May’s Chalfonte Hotel: A Living National Landmark.” Built by Civil War hero Henry Sawyer, the hotel has hosted guests continuously for over 137 years. An opening reception is Friday, April 26, 7pm with Karen Fox, author of The Chalfonte, Carriage House Gallery at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. The exhibit will be on display through November 10.

    Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Yeomen of the Guard”

    Get transported back to 16th century London with The Ardensingers’ spring musical production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Savoy Opera “Yeomen of the Guard,” Friday, April 26 through May 4, directed by Julie May with music direction by Bob Binkley, Gild Hall, The Highway, Arden, DE.


    Remembering the Battle of Gettysburg: The Civil War Art of Mort Künstler

    Reading Public Museum honors the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address with “Remembering the Battle of Gettysburg: The Civil War Art of Mort Künstler.” The exhibit includes nearly 30 paintings, etchings, and sketches by the artist, including his newest work, Mr. Lincoln Comes to Gettysburg, November 18, 1863. Having painted America’s story through prehistoric life to the odyssey of the space shuttle, Künstler was already renowned as “the premier historical artist in America” before he began his current emphasis on Civil War art in the early 1980s. The Opening Reception Friday, April 26 from 5:30pm-7:30pm, features a “meet and greet” with the artist, lecture on Art of the Civil War and book signing. The exhibit is on display through July 28, 500 Museum Road, Reading, Pennsylvania.


    Naturepalooza, a Philadelphia Science Festival Discovery Day, is Saturday, April 27, 10am-2pm, a family-friendly Earth Day celebration with free fun including musical performances, live animal shows, a giant outdoor art project using natural materials, citizen science projects, guided nature walks and excursions, and craft workshops, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia.


    PIFA Street Fair

    The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts closes a month-long celebration with a Street Fair, Saturday, April 27, 11am-7pm, with food vendors, artisans, exhibitors, musicians, family activities and more, Broad Street, from Chestnut to South Street, Philadelphia.



    Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival

    The Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival opens its second year with Sundance winner “Violeta Went to Heaven,” the story of the iconic poet, musician, and folk singer Violeta Parra (pictured), Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28. The festival also includes the premieres of “The Unique Ladies,” “7 Cajas,” “Lemon,” “America” and more, along with discussion and receptions at International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia and Gershman Hall, University of the Arts, 401 South Broad Street, Philadelphia.


    Communiversity Festival of the Arts

    Communiversity Festival of the Arts, a “town-gown” event presented by the Arts Council of Princeton and the students of Princeton University, returns this Sunday, April 28, 1pm-6pm, rain or shine, with more artists, crafters and merchants with activities for all ages. Events include live entertainment including Daniela Cotton (pictured), children’s activities and games, food from around the world and wide representations of the communities and organizations that help the Princeton community thrive, in downtown Princeton, Nassau and Witherspoon Streets, Palmer’s Square (on the Green), and throughout Princeton University’s campus.


    “Xanadu” at City Theater Company

    “Xanadu” takes to the stage this weekend at City Theater Company, the 1980s cult favorite brought to life on skates with hit songs like “Magic” and of course, the title song, directed by Michael Gray with music direction by Joe Trainor and starring Melissa Leigh Elizabeth Baker, Tommy Fisher-Klein, Dylan Geringer, Billy Kametz, Jenna Kuerzi, Greg Murphy, Ann Pinto, Ricky Rotandi, and Joanna Volpe, through May 11, Black Box at OperaDelaware, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE.


    Bach Festival of Philadelphia

    The Bach Festival of Philadelphia features a number of unusual performances of Bach’s music. Artistic Director Matthew Glandorf opens the festival with an improvisational organ recital that incorporates musical styles from the Baroque to the Modern eras. United in a quartet for the first time, the “fabulous four” principal players of the Philadelphia Bach Collegium play sonatas, suites, solos, and trios by Bach and Telemann. The Renaissance Band Piffaro pipe tunes and chorales from the late 15th to the early 18th century using dulcians, recorders, sackbuts, bagpipes, and other instruments of the period. Capping off the festival is a performance of Bach’s greatest masterpiece, B-Minor Mass, Sunday, April 28 through Sunday, May 5 at two locations: Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1625 Locust Street, Philadelphia and First Baptist Church, 17th & Sansom Streets, Philadelphia.


    29th Philadelphia International Children’s Festival

    The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents the 29th Philadelphia International Children’s Festival, Tuesday, April 30 through Saturday, May 4. Five days of performances include Theatre Lovett’s The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly; C!RCA’s 46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes; Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle; Perth Theatre Company’s The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer, Reading in Concert: the Hip H’Opera Project; and Trout Fishing in America. In FUN ZONE, hands-on activities for the whole family including crafts, face painting, jugglers, musicians and more, open daily at 10am. Founded in 1985 by Catherine Marshall, the festival was the first of its kind in the country, aiming to provide Philadelphia area families with an easy and affordable way to experience international performance and visual art, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.



    The Smithereens come to the Garden State to perform their hits including “Blood and Roses,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” “A Girl Like You,” and more Friday, May 3, 8pm, Landis Theater, 830 E. Landis Avenue, Vineland, NJ.


    “We Are All”

    Asian Arts Initiative and The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program presents “We Are All,” an exhibition showcasing artwork by the city’s young artists. On display are portraits, interactive works, and collaborative projects that incorporate mural-making, digital photography, tape art, and product design. The work was created over the course of the school year by students from diverse backgrounds and explores personal, collective, geographic, and cultural identities across the city. The opening reception on Friday, May 3 features special guest Jane Golden, founder of the Mural Arts Program, and an expert on transforming urban space through art, 4-8pm. The exhibition runs from May 3-June 7 at Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St., Philadelphia.

    Additional events in the region:

    Catch “Bond and Beyond,” as Philly POPS’ Music Director Designate Michael Krajewski takes the baton for an evening of espionage themes from the brand-new “Sky Fall” to hits of the 60s like “Secret Agent Man,” Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28 with Peter Nero and the Philly POPS. Featuring vocalist Debbie Gravitte and the Philadelphia premiere of the “Concerto for Cell Phone,” in Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. The performance is part of the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.

    The Sensational Spring Concert Weekend in Wildwood kicks off Friday, April 26 with a Dance Party with the Sensational Soul Cruisers in the Wildwoods Convention Center from 7pm-11pm. On Saturday from 11am-5pm is a free street fair at Fox Park with food, crafts, live entertainment, classic cars, and more, culminating in a Saturday night concert in the Oceanfront Arena at the Wildwoods Convention Center featuring Tommy James & The Shondells, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night, and The Happenings. Doors open at 6pm, concert begins at 7pm, Wildwood, NJ.

    The 9th Annual West Chester International Short Film Festival kicks off this Friday, April 26-28 with screenings of short films up to 30 minutes in length submitted by independent filmmakers from around the world, along with workshops, special events and more, in downtown West Chester, PA.

    Awbury Arboretum hosts an Arbor Day Celebration, “Nature can Nurture,” Saturday, April 27, 10am-3pm, with a garden fair, orchard planting, educational activities, games, food and more, including an opportunity to explore the arboretum, One Awbury Road, Philadelphia.

    Art Blooms in Cherry Hill beginning this Saturday, April 27 with an Earth Day Festival, 10am-2pm, including a family bike ride, entertainment, vendors, crafters, food, a visit by the Phillies Phanatic, and more, along with the opportunity to see the annual juried art exhibit featuring original two-dimensional works in watercolor, pastels, oils and more. The Art Blooms opening reception is at 6pm, Croft Farm Arts Center, 100 Bortons Mill Road, Cherry Hill, NJ.

    The annual New Jersey Folk Festival is this Saturday, April 27 from 10am-6pm, rain or shine, celebrating the culture of Garifuna traditions with music stages, artists & crafters, food, and more all part of Rutgers Day at the Eagleton Institute Grounds on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

    “Flavors of the Avenue” returns this Saturday, April 27, 12pm-4pm, South Philadelphia’s largest outdoor food and drink festival, as renowned restaurants and bars offer samples of their signature dishes and drinks, accompanied by a street festival with vendors, live music, craft market and more, rain or shine, between Morris and Dickinson Streets, Philadelphia. Presented by East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District.

    The 15th Annual Manayunk Brew Fest is Saturday, April 27, 1pm-5pm, a four hour craft beer-tasting event with more than 50 unique craft beers from around the world, rain or shine, Manayunk Brewing Company, 4120 Main Street, Manayunk.

    Philabundance hosts the 3rd annual Cupcake Smash at The Piazza at Schmidt’s Saturday, April 27, 2-5pm, as professional and amateur bakers vie for the tastiest cupcake to be deemed #1 by celebrity judges and the “People’s Choice,” 1050 N. Hancock St, Philadelphia. All proceeds go to Philabundance.

    Celebrate the “Year of the Bard” with Market Street Music’s Mastersingers, a 28 voice choral ensemble and “Rich Increase: Shakespeare to Spirituals,” featuring guest artists Anne Sullivan, harp, and Christiaan Taggart, guitar, with music inspired by the texts of Shakespeare, directed by David Schelat, Saturday, April 27, 7:30pm, First & Central Presbyterian Church, Rodney Square, Wilmington, DE.

    The Academy of Vocal Arts presents Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Un ballo in maschera,” based on the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden. When a king falls in love with the wife of his best friend and most trusted advisor, the ensuing love triangle turns deadly with conspiracy, murder, and betrayal at a masked ball. Conducted by Music Director Christofer Macatsoris and staged by Tito Capobianco, the production is fully-staged and costumed, sung in Italian with English supertitles, Saturday, April 27 through May 11 at the Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce Street Philadelphia, with performances at May 8 at Centennial Hall at The Haverford School, 450 West Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, Pennsylvania and May 11 at Central Bucks South High School, 1100 Folly Road Warrington, Pennsylvania.

    Dust off the winter cobwebs with the 4th Annual “World Dance Day,” presented by the 954 Dance Movement Collective, Sunday, April 28, 12pm-3pm outside The Piazza at Schmidt’s. The celebration was established in 1982 by the International Dance Council of UNESCO to spread to joy of dance to the public. Try different dance disciplines including Flamenco, Line Dancing, Modern, Yoga, Rhumba, Salsa, Hip Hop, Belly dance and more. All performances and mini-dance lessons are free, North 2nd Street & Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. Rain date Sunday, May 12.

    The Fairmount Arts Crawl is Sunday, April 28 from 2-6pm, as Fairmount restaurants and businesses open their doors and highlight the work of a wide variety of artists and their mediums, along with outdoor musical performances, family activities, and more, centered around 22nd & Fairmount Avenues in Philadelphia. New this year, a Fairmount Arts Crawl artist will discuss her work at The Barnes Foundation as part of “Conversations with the Collection.”

    The Philadelphia Singers perform “Tchaikovsky and Schnittke, The Rising Voices of Two Russian Composers,” Sunday, April 28, 3pm, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Spanning 100 years of Russian choral music, the Philadelphia premiere presents two different worlds of sacred composition, one commissioned by the Tsar, the other composed under communist rule while struggling to achieve artistic freedom. Music Director David Hayes conducts Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and Alfred Schnittke’s Choir Concerto, with a pre-concert panel discussion on the composers and Russian choral music, 1723 Race Street, Philadelphia.

    The Gershman Y hosts the Philadelphia Jewish Music Festival, May 1-9, nine days of local and internationally recognized musicians including Saul Kaye, Chana Rothman, Michael Feinstein, and more, plus book readings and workshops at five venues in Philadelphia.

    Koresh Dance Company celebrates dance in Philadelphia with “Come Together,” a festival showcasing a diverse group of choreographers such as Raphael Xavier, Rennie Harris Pure Movement, Brian Sanders’ JUNK, SHARP Dance Company, Evolution Dance Company, and many more, with performances Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 12, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia.

    Center City Opera presents La Traviata, Verdi’s classic opera, with a twist: it’s set in 1930s France. Violetta, a young courtesan, is sick and lonely, longing for a change. Seeking comfort, she becomes obsessed with the American movie, “Camille,” and soon events in her life begin to mirror those in the film. She falls in love with a dashing gentleman, Alfredo, who returns her affections, but Alfredo’s father disapproves of the relationship. The hard choices that the young lovers must make are played out on the eve of World War II. This production is fully staged and features Center City Opera’s Young Artists, who are internationally renowned as emerging singers and opera professionals, May 2-5, Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.

    Sarah Pike contributed reporting to this week’s guide.

    To submit an event to be considered for the Weekly Entertainment Guide email Robin Bloom at artscalendar@whyy.org.

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