8 Performances to Catch This Week

Singing nuns, Shakespeare, and social justice top the bill this week.

Amir Randall in The Ballad of Trayvon Martin at New Freedom Theatre. (Photo by Ethimofoto.net) Read more at https://www.phillymag.com/ticket/2016/05/12/review-ballad-of-trayvon-martin-freedom-theatre/#kcVxkmUeYkoBsOrs.99

Amir Randall in “The Ballad of Trayvon Martin” at New Freedom Theatre. (Photo by Ethimofoto.net)

Sister Act @ The Walnut Street Theatre | May 17th–July 17th

In converting movies into musicals, some spectacles have proved better than others. Despite many film-turned-flops, the tale of a disco diva masquerading as a nun seems to resonate with audiences in all media, especially when accompanied by the whimsical scores of Broadway mogul Alan Menken.

Opera Philadelphia’s Double Exposure @ Arts Bank | May 18th

Experience alternative interpretations of an opera-in-the-making as two of the company’s composers in residence, David T. Little and David Hertzberg, stage the same scenes with two different casts. Audience feedback is welcomed after the performances.

“Sittin’ In” Hosted By Fresh Cut Orchestra @ The Kimmel Center | May 18th 

Once a month, a jam session swarms the sumptuous Commonwealth Plaza. May’s outing features Fresh Cut Orchestra — a band that blends jazz, contemporary classical, progressive rock, hip-hop, and modern electronica. Don’t forget your dancin’ shoes for this free event.

Deana Martin @ The Prince Theatre | May 20th–21st

The daughter of Dean Martin sings some of her father’s most timeless hits, like “Memories Are Made of This,” “That’s Amore,” and “Everybody Loves Somebody.” Between tunes, expect personal anecdotes, home videos, and private photos of the beloved “King of Cool.”

Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra: Tempesta di Mare, Handel and his Frenemies @ The Kimmel Center | May 21st

Transporting audiences to a period of petticoats and periwigs, the baroque troupe presents the harpsichord plucking of Handel and some of his greatest competitors, including composers Maurice Greene, Giovanni Bononcini, and Reinhard Keiser.

Philadelphia Young Arts Orchestra @ The Kimmel Center | May 22nd 

An ensemble of skilled musicians ages 6 through 21 perform in the orchestra’s 21st Annual Festival Concert. The youngsters will tackle the intricate instrumentals of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Hanson Symphony No. 2 in D-Flat Major, and Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo.

Twelfth Night  @ Philadelphia Shakespeare Company | Closes May 22nd

Though recently turning 400 years-old, the scripts of Shakespeare do not cease to please. In his comedic tale of miscommunication, deception, and cross-dressing, a series of mishaps unfolds when two twins, Viola and Sebastian, are separated after a shipwreck. Viola, disguised as a man, lusts after Duke Orsino, who only has eyes for Countess Olivia. But Countess Olivia falls in love with Viola, thinking she is a man. And it all goes downhill from there.

The Ballad of Trayvon Martin @ New Freedom Theatre  | Closes May 22nd

Written by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj and Thomas J. Soto, this poetic docudrama captures the final seven hours of Martin’s life before being shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. From the murder of Emmett Till to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, Martin’s story acts as an anchor to this theatrical portrayal of the nation’s discriminatory criminal justice system.

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