Freshly awarded "Best Female Solo Act" at the Brit Awards, singer-songwriter and pop icon[oclast] Ellie Goulding makes the second stop on her spring tour of the U.S. right here in Philadelphia. The reigning princess of electro-pop brings her uh, divergent, brand of Top 40 to the Liacouras Center this Friday. Friday, March 14th, 8 p.m., $35-45, The Liacouras Center, 1776 North Broad Street.
Multi-disciplinary theater piece The Clothesline Muse takes its title and content from, yes, the iconic lawn decoration, as it weaves its way through the stories and sentiments of the African-American community. The much-buzzed piece comes to the Painted Bride, featuring spoken word, percussive music, dance, interview text, drama, interactive art, and jazz vocals from "The Muse," Nnenna Freelon. Friday to Saturday, March 14th and 15th, 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 16th at 3 p.m., $25, The Painted Bride, 230 Vine Street.
National dance project SCUBA comes to Philadelphia for its 2014 tour, bringing with it performances from all four of its partner cities. Philadelphia choreographer Nichole Caruso gives a rare solo performance with an exclusive preview of upcoming Midway Avenue, premiering this spring at FringeArts. Other performances come from Minneapolis's Super Group and Elia Mrak of Seattle. Friday, March 14th to Saturday March 15th, 7:30 p.m., $5-20, Conwell Dance Theater, 1801 North Broad Street.
Catch Quiara Alegría Hudes' 2012 Pulitzer winner, Water by the Spoonful, in its final weekend in town. The story of a Puerto Rican Iraq War veteran re-adjusting to civilian life in Philadelphia runs parallel to the struggle of four chatroom-goers battling drug addiction. The plot is purely Hudes, but the themes are universal: love, loss, redemption and the war within. Is Water shorthand for 'tears?' Friday March 14th to Sunday March 16th, The Arden Theatre, 40 North 2nd Street.
Philadelphia Photo Arts' new group exhibition deconstructs the portrait, and challenges the constructs of beauty and authorship seemingly endemic to this artistic staple. Contributors Dru Donovan, Amy Elkins, Tarrah Kranjak, Laurel Nakadete, and Pinar Yolacan use unconventional techniques (text photos, collage, analog manipulation) and subjects (othered bodies, death-row inmates, caregivers/takers) to cast new light on the seated ladies of yesteryear. Friday, March 14th through May 17th, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, 1400 North American Street.
The Penn Museum's annual Maya Symposium returns Saturday, for a full day of lectures and discussion surrounding the ancient culture. Kicking off at 9 a.m. and running until 6 p.m., the event features a dozen scheduled programs (and plenty of coffee breaks), with topics ranging from pre-Columbian glyph-making to Mayan art and sexuality. Saturday, March 15th, 9 a.m., $40, The Penn Museum, 3260 South Street.
To start off its Korean film series, the Philadelphia Museum of Art screens documentary A State of Mind.The film follows two girls and their families as they train for North Korea's Mass Games, the world's largest choreographed gymnastic event. The director, Daniel Gordon, will be in attendance, offering comments on his film. The screening is the first in the series, running Wednesdays in April, accompanying the museum's "Treasures from Korea: Art and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910." Reservations required. Sunday, March 16th, 1 p.m., $8, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.