Robert N. Baldassano
R&B/gospel lady Mavis Staples — as in the Staple Singers — visits World Cafe Live (10/4); the Academy of Music welcomes folk legend Joan Baez (10/29); and at the Kimmel, it’s cellist extraordinaire Yo-Yo Ma (10/17) and the debut of fresh-faced Philadelphia Orchestra maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin (10/29-31).
After 31 years presenting almost exclusively new plays, the Wilma breaks tradition this month with the Bard’s 17th-century tragedy Macbeth. Artistic director Blanka Zizka says she’s considered Shakespeare in the past, but until recently, the language barrier proved too intimidating to the Czech émigré. Plus, she adds, she’s found that new plays seemed timelier. “Then I watched the cable television,” explains Zizka. “All the lies on Fox News. It’s like Macbeth. The witches whisper in the ears, and eventually what they say becomes a fixed idea. We’re all susceptible.” Opens October 6th.
FRIGHTS & SIGHTS
The Halloween Scene
No costume for the Henri David Ball (Sheraton City Center, 10/31)? Can’t deal with the crowds at Eastern State (through 11/6)? Try Brat Productions’ campy drag take on the creepy, pig-bloody 1976 horror classic Carrie (The Wolf Building, from 10/6).
Walk … Run … Harry Connick Jr.!
Time to get out the sneaks for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure (10/15-17). If you can’t commit to three days and 60 miles, how about the AIDS Walk Philly & 5K Run (10/17)? And if even that sounds too active, you can still do your part with a $150-and-up ticket to Harry Connick Jr.’s Academy of Music performance benefiting Breastcancer.org (10/30).
Need a laugh? One of the following should do the trick: Jerry Seinfeld (Borgata, 10/2), favorite This American Life contributor Mike Birbiglia (Keswick, 10/14), or Korean-American loudmouth Margaret Cho (Caesars, 10/30).
The Mural Arts Program has gone all 21st-century with a 6,500-square-foot color-changing LED mural at Broad and Vine and a revamped website just in time for Mural Arts Month. Check out the nifty new interactive Mural Explorer at Muralarts.org.
For Those About to Rock
While Mark Burnett’s reality show Rock ’N Roll Fantasy Camp premieres on VH1 Classic on the 16th — with Bret Michaels (Poison), Ace Frehley (KISS) and Michael Anthony (Van Halen) teaching regular folk the rock-star ropes — the real camp the show is based on comes to the Trocadero from October 22nd to 24th. If you’ve got at least two grand and a burning desire to learn how to properly trash a hotel room or swing a microphone around onstage without knocking yourself out, you can spend the weekend jamming, songwriting, and even eating lunch with founding Allman Brothers guitarist and “Ramblin’ Man” composer Dickey Betts, Hooters drummer Dave Uosikkinen, and onetime hair rocker Kip Winger, to name a few. If nothing else, you should get some good groupie stories. The whole thing culminates with a $30 performance at the Troc on the 24th. Rock on!