Things to Do in Philly in February: Ursula Rucker, Wonder Years, Jerry Seinfeld and More
Pennsylvania Ballet at Merriam Theater
Featuring performances of George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, and a world premiere from locally based choreographer Matthew Neenan, whom the New York Times called “one of today’s foremost dance poets.”
February 5-March 1
Into the Woods at Theatre Horizon
Barrymore-winning Matt Decker directs the Sondheim musical for the Montco theater company.
Ursula Rucker at Annenberg Center
If the phrase “spoken word” makes you yawn, you’ve probably never seen this Philly-born-and-bred poet-activist, whose visceral live performances elicit chills, not eye-rolls. Rucker got her start 20 years ago at the old Zanzibar Blue and has since teamed up with local talent like King Britt and the Roots. Now 47 and a mother of four boys, she’s looking into the past for her newest work, My Father’s Daughter, an “epic poem” with live music that serves as a memoir of her mother’s life. “When I was 20, my parents and I were arguing, and my father said to me, ‘You’re your father’s daughter,’” she recalls from her Germantown home. “And my mother said to him, ‘But what about my father’s daughter? You never took care of her.’” In addition to the new work, Rucker promises an album — her sixth — in 2015. “The motherhood thing keeps me doing this,” she says. “Hustling new ways to keep doing what I do, so I don’t have to go punch a clock.”
Wonder Years at Union Transfer
The Lansdale-born punk outfit celebrates 10 years with a three-night run.
Oscar at the Academy of Music
Oscar Wilde gets the biographic- opera treatment in this East Coast premiere from Opera Philadelphia.
Rodin reopens at Rodin Museum
After being closed for a month for a re-installation, the museum shows off its new look with a series of portraits by the artist best known for his sculptures.
February 11-March 1
Stairs to the Roof at The Latvian Society
EgoPo tackles one of Tennessee Williams’s most rarely performed plays.
David Axelrod at the Free Library
Political wonks won’t want to miss the man who helped President Obama get elected twice—interviewed by Washington Post columnist and Sunday morning talk-show regular E.J. Dionne.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at Merriam Theater
It’s hard not to love these soul-funk revivalists.
February 13-May 24
“The Artist’s Garden” at PAFA
In the early 20th century, impressionists loved to paint gardens. See some of the best examples of the genre here.
The Peek-a-boo Revue at World Cafe Live
It’s practically obligatory for a burlesque troupe to put on a Valentine’s Day performance.
E.T. at International House
We know at least one staffer who’ll be bringing his kids to see the modern classic on the big screen.
Lisa Lampanelli at The Borgata
Slimmed-down but still hilariously brutal.
February 15George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic at the Ardmore Music Hall
We heard his 2014 show at the newish Main Line spot was ridiculous … in a good way.
Jerry Seinfeld at the Academy of Music
Still married, still filthy stinking rich, and still talking about nothing.
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the TLA
A.k.a. the Black Crowes side project.
Bettye LaVette at World Cafe Live
Her soulful rendition of the Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me” brings down the house.
Hall & Oates at Sands Bethlehem
Worth the drive.
The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center
Our symphony presents two compositions by Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon (below), including her Pulitzer Prize-winning violin concerto. (Yes, they actually give Pulitzer Prizes for violin concertos. Who knew?)
The Musical Box at the Keswick Theatre
The well-established Genesis tribute band does Foxtrot (27th) and Selling England By the Pound (28th) in their entirety. Hey, it’s not like Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins are getting back together anytime soon. Or ever.
Originally published in the Ticket section in the January 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.