54 Things to Do This Weekend

Iron Maiden, The Roots Picnic, Craig Robinson, West Philly Porchfest and lots more.

The 10th annual Roots Picnic is Saturday at Festival Pier. (Photo by: Mark Seliger/NBC)


Elizabeth Zharoff/Xavier Foley @ World Café Live
An alluring description for an atypical concert at WCL: “Two emerging composers and recent grads of the Curtis Institute of Music collaborating around their love of video games and their serious classical chops.” Elizabeth Zharoff is a soprano. Xavier Foley is a double bassist.

Talib Kweli/Vikter Duplaix @ Fillmore Philly
The two hip-hop stars do a Kiss-N-Grind DJ show at the Foundry performance space, upstairs in the Fillmore. Call it your Roots Picnic wind-up.

Michelle Biloon @ Good Good Comedy
A standup show by the Philly-based comedian heard/seen on Comedy Bang Bang, Chelsea Lately, 2 Dope Queens and more.

Robert Cray Band @ Keswick Theatre
Blues and roots by the music veteran and guitar hero’s guitar hero.

Illustrated Rock and Roll v1 @ IndyHall
Philly artist Mike Jackson celebrates the release of his first published book of his music-inspired ink and watercolor illustrations.

Artist Mike Jackson celebrates the release of his first book of illustrations tonight at IndyHall. On the right: Jackson’s interpretation of Sam Cooke’s “Twistin’ the Night Away.”

Owen Benjamin @ Helium
The actor and comedian does standup Through Sunday.

Joshua Mays/Bloom group show @ Arch Enemy Arts
San Francisco painter and muralist Joshua Mays continues his Chrysalis series with “Clarion.” Also opening is the “Bloom” group show, in which “nice artists who each harness the power and symbolism of nature and flora in their personal works.” Among them: Alexis Talia, Michelle Avery Konczyk, Naoto Hattori and Stephanie Struse.

Banks @ Electric Factory
The acclaimed pop/r&b/trip-hop star continues her worldwide tour behind last year’s hit album The Altar.

Tweed & Mike Greenfield @ Underground Arts
Funk and rock, ready to jam.

June First Friday @ Vox Populi
A group show featuring the work of Gabriel Boyce, Beth Heinly, Erin Murray and Jes Fan. There’s a performance angle on this exhibition as well, with Jes Fan performing part of their show “Disposed to Add” and Beth Heinly enacting her piece “living cosplays.” Meanwhile, Iranian photographer/filmmaker Mohammadreza Mirzaei’s “If he didn’t say he loved you” will screen on a loop in the Blackbox. Reception Friday, June 2, 6-8 p.m.

She Always Imagined Herself…, by Shannon Lewis. Part of the “A More Perfect Union” exhibition opening tonight at Asian Arts Initiative.

A More Perfect Union @ Asian Arts Initiative
Subtitled “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia,” this group show curated by Dave Kyu commemorates the Supreme Court ruling in favor of interracial marriage. Runs through Aug. 25. Opening Reception Friday, June 2, 6-8 p.m., featuring poetry by Michelle Myers. P.S. Stick around for Pearl Street Micro-Project: Nakatani Gong Orchestra, “a performance and informal workshop under the viaduct,” 8-9 p.m.

Restorative Justice @ Painted Bride
The Mural Arts Restorative Justice Program — which works with incarcerated, recently incarcerated and at risk young men and women —
presents a group show of work by “18–24 year olds on probation, and those in reentry through the Philadelphia County Prison system.” Opening reception June 2, 6-8 p.m.

Pasion y Arte @ The Barnes Museum
Dancers and vocalists perform in the intimate “tablao” flamenco style.

Most Inclined @ Space 1026
Nice Futures curates a group art show celebrating Summer Solstice featuring works by artists Nick Apice, Rita Greiman, Ben Howard, Dewey Saunders an more. Opening reception Friday, June 2, 7-10 p.m.

Stanley Kubrick Director Spotlight @ The Mahoning Drive-In Theater
Lehighton, PA’s beloved drive-in movie theater, one of the last of its kind, celebrates director Stanley Kubrick by screening 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. FYI: It’s about an hour and a half drive from Philly to Lehighton. Friday and Saturday.

Philadelphia International Tango Festival @ The Germany Society
Four days of teaching and dancing at multiple levels of the Argentine dance tradition. Through June 4.

J.B. Smoove @ Punchline Philly
Roots MC Black Thought continues his Delirious comedy series. Smoove — from Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Millers and Real Husbands of Hollywood — is doing two shows on Friday, 8 and 10 p.m.

The New York Hardcore Chronicles Film @ PhilaMOCA
The Philadelphia premiere of Drew Stone’s documentary about NYC hardcore and punk from past to present. Stone and several band members will take part in a Q&A after the screening.

Tinmouth @ Ortlieb’s
The Philly band celebrates the release of its second album, Surprise Time. Also on the bill: Secret Nudist Friends, Journalism and Little Kicks.

Cecelia Condit Videos @ Lightbox Film Center
Experimental short films followed by a Q&A with the Philly-educated filmmaker and artist.

Phoenix @ Fillmore Philly | Friday, June 2
Feel-good French rockers Phoenix return with a new record, Ti Amo that drops June 9.

Amy Shark @ Boot & Saddle | Friday, June 2
Australian singer-songwriter Amy Shark makes thoughtful, earnest, dramatic indie-pop. This song should come with an ASMR warning.

Gene Simmons and his band @ Trocadero | Friday, June 2
“The Worst Person in Rock ’n’ Roll” is entirely too subjective to assert with authority. But surely it’s fair to say Gene Simmons sucks.

Nichole Canuso Dance Company @ The Bok
“The Garden of Forking Path is a movement and sound installation that leads audience members via audio prompts on a headset through a sprawling fabric labyrinth.” Multiple performances on Friday and Saturday. Through June 27.

Levee Drivers @ Johnny Brenda’s
With a boozy twang in his voice and a restless acoustic guitar, August John Lutz II leads Philly’s Levee Drivers into the darker, more desperate corners of Americana. There’s a lot of rock and country in their sound, too.

Gypsy @ Arden Theatre
Theater critic David Fox had this to say: “Now that’s what I call a hit! Arden Theatre’s Gypsy was extended even before it opened, acknowledging that the combination of one of the greatest musicals ever written — and one of Philly’s most gifted and beloved actresses in Mary Martello — would be sure-fire. Still, there are no guarantees in life, and even fewer in the theater. Would Terrence Nolen’s Gypsy equal the high level of expectation? I’m happy to say it does, and occasionally even exceeds it.” (Read the whole review here.) Runs through June 25.

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey @ Suzanne Roberts Theatre
Theater critic David Fox had this to say: “Sara Garonzik’s final season as executive producing artistic director of the Philadelphia Theatre Company — had been set to end with a new play about Thomas Eakins that she helped to develop. The late-hour reshuffling that brought this substitution worried me. It sounded like the knell of financial gloom… and a one-actor, 80-minute show where PTC functions as mostly as a presenter seemed a let-down. But Brightness is bold, daring, and large format. The show has a big heart, and Lecesne — who is both writer and solo performer — is a big talent.” (Read the whole review here.) Through June 4.

How to Use a Knife @ The Drake
InterAct Theatre presents Will Snider’s drama starring Scott Greer as a tyrannical master chef at a Wall Street restaurant, directed by Seth Rozin. Through June 18.

One More River to Cross: A Verbatim Fugue @ The Latvian Society of Philadelphia
James Jackson directs the world premiere of playwright Lynn Nottage’s work based on interviews with former slaves conducted in 1936 and 1938 by the Federal Writers Project. Shows Thursdays through Sundays through June 11.


Roots Picnic @ Festival Pier
Questlove and co.’s annual party by the river is now in its 10th year. The lineup includes Solange, Pharrell with The Roots, Lil Wayne, Thundercat, Michael Kiwanuka, Jeezy, Kimbra, Gilles Peterson, Pete Rock, Playboi Carti and tons more.

Chainsmokers @ Liacouras Center
The EDM/pop duo behind “#Selfie,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Closer.” Esquire says “The Chainsmokers Are the Nickelback of EDM.” Kinda cruel.

Tuxedo/Gavin Turek @ Union Transfer
Tuxedo is soul singer Mayer Hawthorne and producer Jake One playing the kind of dance-funk Jean-Ralphio would dig: catchy, greasy, stylish, un-self-conscious. Get there early for glittery disco queen Gavin Turek.

Reeve Carney @ World Café Live
A rock singer with some serious acting chops, Reeve Carney had the lead in Julie Taymor’s “smash Broadway production” Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark and lived to tell about it.

Thomas Rhett @ BB&T
The young country rocker — and son of Rhett Akins who maybe doesn’t know how last names work — plays Camden. Thomas Rhett has had seven number one hits on the country charts and he’s only 27.

Steve Forbert @ Bryn Mawr Gazebo
The veteran folkie performs under the stars. He recently released a live album recorded at the Tin Angel just before the venerable Old City club closed its doors. Listen:

Avett Brothers @ Citizens Bank Park
The North Carolina folk-rockers play a show on the field after the Phillies game.

La Gringa @ Taller Puertorriqueño
Playwright Carmen Rivera presents her award-winning play in Spanish and English. Includes a book signing with the author.

Drew Michael @ Punchline
Back-to-back standup comedy shows by the actor/SNL writer. He’s also the writer director of 9/11 Gay Dad:

Everyday Philly Photo Show @ Indie Photo
This group show celebrates the one-year anniversary of Everyday Philly and features the works 10 local photographers, including Joseph R Webb, Matthew Bender, Tieshka K Smith, Serge Levin, Hannah Gaudite, Susan Nam and more. Reception Saturday, June 3, 7-11 p.m. Check out some of the photos here.

West Philly Porchfest @ West Philly
With 135 bands performing on porches all over the neighborhood, the West Philly Porchfest has greatly expanded its reach in its second year. The shows are free, the atmosphere is family friendly and the options are many (jazz, folk, bluegrass, rock and more). Check out the map and plan your route.

Magnificent Seven/Lower Wolves @ Boot & Saddle
Magnificent Seven is veteran Philly band Nixon’s Head reborn as a Clash tribute act, playing stuff from Joe Strummer and co.’s first four albums. Lower Wolves, another group of local musicians, does favorites from the first few R.E.M. records.

Deadaires @ Everybody Hits
Former members of Against Me! and True North do punk/post-punk with energy and aplomb. Lovely, heavy stuff.

Don Dokken/A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 @ Underground Arts
Metal lord Don Dokken plays an acoustic set in honor of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors 30th Anniversary Celebration. The evening includes “live movie commentary by franchise star Heather Langenkamp, director Chuck Russell” and a midnight screening of Russell’s remake of The Blob. The evening is hosted by Andre Gower and Ryan Lambert, stars of The Monster Squad.

Bedside Manner zine release @ Little Berlin
Bedside Manner zine collects “stories and illustrations related to people’s experiences with healthcare professionals” and features stories and images by Andrea Beithon, Eric Anthony Berdis, Caitlin Cocco, Amy Cousins and more, including anonymous contributions.

Galactic Empire @ Trocadero
The Star Wars-themed metal band frickin’ shreds, in full costume with a light show to boot.


Iron Maiden @ Wells Fargo Center
British heavy metal royalty — and kings of the denim jacket back-patch scene for something like three decades — Iron Maiden brings its Book Of Souls tour to town. Expect a giant Eddie, pyrotechnics and all the fixins.

Craig Robinson @ Helium
Standup comedy by the actor and comic known for The Office, This is the End and Hot Tub Time Machine. He’s also going to be in an X-Files-ish comedy series with Adam Scott that sounds pretty excellent.

Thorazine @ Kung Fu Necktie
The veteran Philly band leads a solid rock bill that includes Ganges Phalanges, The Lot and The Injections.

Free First Sunday @ The Barnes Museum
Entry to the Barnes is free on the first Sunday of every month. “This Sunday’s programming features the eclectic sound of Ever Ensemble with the vocals of Valerie Gay, plus a boot camp for the ‘strong at art.’” The Ever Ensemble specializes in the music of black and women composers in classical, jazz, pop and more.

Macula Dog @ Everybody Hits
NYC’s Macula Dog calls itself a “4-person electronic duo.” Their music is noisy, experimental, squelchy, clangy, arrhythmic, off-kilter, scatterbrained and not the sort of thing you usually dance to. I’ve been listening for 20 minutes now and I’m starting to see clowns. My headache has taken on a psychokinetic mien. I just put a bowl of water on the floor and I do not have a pet. Also on the bill: Pelada, Cienfuegos and Sommelier.

Richard Lloyd @ Kung Fu Necktie
The guitarist from Television and Rocket From The Tombs plays with a full band. Also on the bill: Gondola and The 1910 Chainsaw Company.

Philly’s Foxes @ Punchline
The drag/comedy troupe celebrates its two-year anniversary.

Paul Major aka Top Dollar @ Philadelphia Record Exchange
The Endless Boogie frontman presents Feel the Music, a collection of “reviews, writings, memories, photos, reproductions, whatever.” Reading, followed by a Q&A with Siltbreeze CEO Tom Lax.

Liv Carrow @ Fleisher Art Memorial
The Iowa folkie/singer-songwriter leads a bill that includes Scott Churchman and Geb the Great Cackler. I like what I’ve heard so far.