Things to Do in Philly in October

The Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival, Rizzo opens, a great still-life exhibit at PMA and more ways to spend this first full month of fall.

things to do october

Oct. 1

Marian Hill at Union Transfer
Sultry electro-poppy R&B from the Philly-based duo.


Oct. 1-Nov. 1

Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre
The Tony-nominated adaptation of the myths of Ovid.

Oct. 2

Kraftwerk at Electric Factory
Good luck getting tickets. The rare appearance by the German outfit has been sold out for months.

traviataOct. 2-11

La Traviata at Academy of Music
Cuban-American soprano Lisette Oropesa makes her Opera Philadelphia debut as lead Violetta in the Verdi masterwork.

Oct. 3

Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival at Kelly Drive
One of our favorite boating events on the Schuylkill.

Oct. 3

Madonna at Boardwalk Hall
The Energizer Bunny of pop music.

Oct. 6

Wendell Pierce at Central Library
6 ABC’s Tamala Edwards interviews the prolific actor—known best for his role as a homicide detective in The Wire—about his new memoir, The Wind in the Reeds.

Oct. 7

Stevie Wonder at Wells Fargo Center
A true American music legend.

Oct. 7-Nov. 8

Antigone at Wilma Theater
Eight Philly actors meet three Greek actors in this original adaptation of the Sophocles tragedy.

Oct. 9

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.50.23 PMKurt Vile at Union Transfer
B’lieve I’m Goin Down—his follow-up to the highly acclaimed 2013 album Wakin on a Pretty Daze—just came out on Matador Records.

Oct. 11

Jason Alexander at Harrah’s AC
Frankly, funnier than Seinfeld.

Oct. 15-Nov. 8th

Rizzo at Christ Church Neighborhood House
Play readings don’t normally culminate in shouting matches or near-fistfights, but leave it to this world premiere about our controversial late mayor to change that. Actor Scott Greer, playwright Bruce Graham and director Joe Canuso met with everyone from former mayor Wilson Goode to a Rizzo bodyguard to ex-con Vince Fumo to Rizzo right-hand man Marty Weinberg to develop the play, loosely based on Sal Paolantonio’s definitive biography.

Oct. 15

Chris Cornell at Merriam Theater
Turns out his 1994 Soundgarden hit “Black Hole Sun” is even better without the band.

johnny showcase

Oct. 16

Johnny Showcase at Underground Arts
The official record release party for The Octopus!, from the peerless Philly funk showman.

Oct. 17

Mark Knopfler at Academy of Music
Guitarists know: The understated Dire Straits co-founder is one of the best players in the business.

Oct. 22-Nov. 22

Dracula at Hedgerow Theatre
Just in time for Halloween, the suburban theater company goes dark and deep into Bram Stoker’s novel.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 3.51.46 PMOct. 23-Nov. 14

The Handmaid’s Tale at Calvary Center for Culture and Community
Curio Theater Company gives Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel the one-woman-show treatment featuring Philly talent Isa St. Clair.

Oct. 24

SportsZone at Franklin Institute
Opening day for the museum’s latest permanent exhibit, a 3,600-square-foot exploration of the intersection of sports and science.

Oct. 27-Jan. 10

“Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life” at Philadelphia Museum of Art
A wide-reaching survey of the genre, from the early 1800s to 1960s pop-art contributions.

Oct. 30

Ringo Starr at Tower Theater
He may not draw the Sir Paul crowds, but he’s still a Beatle.

Oct. 31

Sun Ra Arkestra at Johnny Brenda’s
One of the greatest — and certainly the strangest — big bands ever. A perfect Halloween, if you ask us.