What’s Worth Seeing in October: Neil Young, Thurston Moore, Midtown Village Fall Festival, and More

neil young

Neil Young

Neil Young
October 8th and 9th
Academy of Music
The gritty Canadian singer and guitarist has always had a huge Philadelphia fan base, and his shows here are the stuff of legend. He performed a solo set and one with Crosby, Stills and Nash at Live Aid, he headlined a special 2008 concert to commemorate the end of the Spectrum, and his 2007 Tower shows were memorialized by filmmaker Jonathan Demme in the documentary Neil Young Trunk Show. If you don’t catch at least one of his two performances here this month, you’ll be missing out.

The Barber of Seville
October 1-5
Academy of Music
Rossini’s most crowd-pleasing classic (think “Figaro”), presented by Opera Philadelphia.

October 3rd
The Fire
Opening night of the debut photo exhibition from Joshua Scott Albert (yes, the guy behind the notorious Staphmeal blog), who takes captivating photos of Philadelphia. With a performance from veteran local punk act Thorazine.

"Saint Joan, Betrayed"

“Saint Joan, Betrayed”

Saint Joan, Betrayed
October 3-4
Annenberg Center
The inventive 2013 Fringe hit from Philly theater-makers Aaron Cromie and Mary Tuomanen.

Midtown Village Fall Festival
October 4th
13th Street
The city’s funnest street throws a big old party.

Bryan Ferry
October 4th
Tower Theater
As in the mastermind of the groundbreaking 1970s British outfit Roxy Music.

Philadelphia Orchestra
October 8-11
Kimmel Center
An all-Rachmaninoff program, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. (For our interview with him, go here.)

Rapture, Blister, Burn
October 8th to November 2nd
Wilma Theater
The New York Times called this 2012 work from the playwright behind Becky Shaw “intensely smart” and “immensely funny,” which seems like the best combination you could ask for on a stage.

Amy Schumer
October 11th
The Borgata
The Comedy Central star was voted both “Class Clown” and “Teacher’s Worst Nightmare” in school. Seems apt.

David Sedaris

David Sedaris

An Evening with David Sedaris
October 14th
Merriam Theatre
An NPR favorite.

Fleetwood Mac
October 15th and 19th
Wells Fargo Center
One of the few bands their age that have any business still touring.

The Philadelphia Film Festival
October 16-26
Various locations
From the folks behind Rittenhouse’s re-envisioned Roxy Theater. Expect everything from contemporary Francophone cinema to movies from homegrown Philadelphia talent.

Cornel West
October 17th
Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia
With his new book Black Prophetic Fire, which offers provocative (of course) perspectives on Malcolm X, MLK Jr. and Frederick Douglass, among others.

“Paul Strand:  Master of Modern Photography”
October 21st to January 4th
Philadelphia Museum of Art
More than 250 of the finest  prints from one of a handful of 20th-century photographers who turned the medium into a widely accepted art form.


Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe
October 24-25
The Borgata
Not your cup of tea? The good news for you, then, is that this is (supposedly) their final final tour. For the rest of you, rock on!

Bob Saget
October 25th
The Borgata
Did the guy with one of the filthiest mouths in comedy learn to talk that way at alma mater Abington High?

Thurston Moore
October 25th
Boot & Saddle
Of Sonic Youth fame.

24-Hour Horror-Thon
October 25th
International House
The eighth annual installment of Exhumed Films’ brutal (and all-night) scary-flick celebration.


9 to 5 musical

“9 to 5: The Musical”

9 t0 5: The Musical
Through October 19th
Panned by major critics wherever it goes. Take heed and spend your arts and entertainment money anywhere else.

Originally published as “What’s Worth Seeing in October” in the October 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.