The 21 Best Events in Philadelphia in January

Our highly curated, strongly opinionated guide to what to do this month.

Martha Graham Dance Company. Photograph courtesy of Brigid Pierce


The Academy Ball
Join Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the crème de la crème of the Philly social circuit for the 162nd anniversary concert and gala. January 26th at the Academy of Music.


The Chicago-based poet and rapper, who cites Avril Lavigne, Nina Simone and Kanye West as influences, performs songs from her latest release, Room 25. Check out her NPR Tiny Desk Concert for a primer. January 12th at Union Transfer.

Kacey Musgraves
Fresh off her album-of-the-year win at the Country Music Awards. January 18th at the Fillmore.

John Oates
The lesser-seen half of Philly’s famed ’80s pop-rock duo. January 19th at Ardmore Music Hall.

Duane Eubanks
The Philly-bred, trumpet-playing younger brother to guitarist Kevin Eubanks. January 25th at Chris’ Jazz Cafe.

“The Wall Live Extravaganza”
An over-the-top multimedia tribute to Pink Floyd’s concept album and film. If you’re more a “Stairway to Heaven” fan, Lez Zeppelin (yes, an all-female tribute band) rocks Ardmore Music Hall on January 17th. January 27th at the Fillmore.


Dulcé Sloan
Making “best comedians” lists all over the place, Sloan is a correspondent on the Daily Show’s “World’s Fakest News Team.” January 25th and 26th at Punch Line.

My Favorite Murder Live
If you’re into podcasts, check out My Favorite Murder; then go see co-host comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark do their thing live. January 31st at the Met.


“Bugs Bunny at the Symphony”
All your favorite Looney Tunes, with music by the Philadelphia Orchestra. My personal fave: the one where the Wascally Wabbit performs Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody. January 4th through 6th at the Kimmel Center.

DRUMLine Live
The African-American marching-band experience taken to a whole new level. January 19th and 20th at the Merriam Theater.


Bob Woodward
Hear the iconic journalist’s take on what’s happening in D.C. Interviewer: WHYY’s Marty Moss-Coane. January 10th at the Merriam Theater.

Jesmyn Ward
Author of Sing, Unburied, Sing, which was chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by the New York Times and is the city’s 2019 One Book, One Philadelphia selection. January 16th at the Parkway Central Library.

Jeb Bush
A love-him-or-hate-him kinda guy. January 28th at the Kimmel Center.


“Dancing With the Stars Live”
One of network TV’s guiltiest pleasures. If you don’t consider this to be “real” dance, proceed to the next item. January 11th at the Borgata.

Martha Graham Dance Company
One of the world’s most renowned ensembles pays tribute to the upcoming 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. January 25th and 26th at the Annenberg Center.


Romeo and Juliet
A contemporary version of the Shakespeare classic — i.e., you won’t be bored. See the back page for an interview with director and Wilma founder Blanka Zizka. January 15th through February 3rd at the Wilma.

In this David Mamet play that later became a film, a female student accuses her male professor of sexual exploitation, and it all unravels from there. January 15th through February 17th at the Walnut Street Theatre.

74 Seconds … to Judgment
This new play from provocative Philly playwright Kash Goins explores what happens behind the closed doors of a jury deliberation room. January 17th through March 3rd at the Arden.

Hype Man: A Break Beat Play
InterAct presents this tale of an interracial hip-hop trio who must confront their internal racial issues when an unarmed black teenager is shot by police. January 25th through February 17th at the Theater at the Drake.


“Silent Secret Waterfalls”
Eleven new seven-foot-tall abstract paintings of waterfalls from 78-year-old New York-based artist Pat Steir — the continuation of a series she began and became known for in the late ’80s. January 12th through November 17th at the Barnes.

If you’re wondering what the 10 big cast iron objects at the top of the Rocky steps are, they represent a new exhibit from British sculptor Antony Gormley, part of the museum’s “Bringing Art Outside” initiative. Late January through June at the Art Museum.

Published as “The Hit List” in the January 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.