42 Things to Do in Philadelphia This Weekend
This weekend, enjoy events like a live-streamed film from a Fringe Festival mainstay and an exhibition of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
Get our weekly picks of what to do this weekend and the latest on Philly's arts and entertainment scene.
Obviously, the Covid situation means that some of these events may be cancelled, postponed, reduced in size or scope, moved to a barn, etc. So it’s probably best to double check with the venue before you leave the house. Mask up. Bring your vax card. Stay home if you don’t feel well. Keep watching the skies.
Fringe Festival favorite Thaddeus Phillips performs a “fantastic voyage of live theatrical cinema” (?!) from his home in South America (?!). Multiple performances between now and February 13th. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean shows can’t sell out, so buy your tickets ASAP. Created by Thaddeus Phillips, Steven Dufala, Tatiana Mallarino and Steve Cuiffo.
$33, through February 13th, zoomundo.org.
CCD Restaurant Week
You can eat in or order out from a long list of downtown restaurants offering multi-course prix fixe lunches and dinners. The Center City District has a big list of participating eateries, plus lists of places that have outdoor and takeout options. Ends this weekend.
$25-$40, through January 21st, multiple locations.
The veteran comic was co-host of CBS’s The Insider and made guest appearances on Wendy Williams, Chelsea Lately and Khloe & Kim.
$25-$35, January 21st & 22nd, Punch Line Philly, 33 East Laurel Street.
Outdoors: The lush vistas of Longwood Gardens have been stripped bare by the bitter winds of winter, but one may still spy the greens and oranges peaking through the snow. It’s barren and picturesque. Indoors: Nature has been tricked! Flowers and other rooted things explode with color, blissfully unaware of the season or the latitude in which they reside. When finally they grow eyes will they seek vengeance? Almost certainly.
$13-$25, timed tickets required, January 22nd-March 27th, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square.
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition
If you liked that projected Van Gogh show, you’ll probably dig this traveling exhibition centered around Michelangelo’s masterwork. “With special expertise and care, the ceiling paintings from the Sistine Chapel have been reproduced in a truly unique way using licensed high-definition photos. Brought to life using a special printing technique that emulates the look and feel of the original paintings, visitors are given a chance to engage with the artwork in ways that were never before possible.” Vertically, they mean. You can look at it without straining your neck.
$13.30-$19, January 22nd-February 20th, Fashion District Philadelphia, 901 Market Street.
Tristin Lowe: Black Holes & Rabbit Holes
First glimpses of this site-specific exhibition are striking; it’s not often you see half a car jutting down from the ceiling. “Inspired by Moore’s architecture and defined by its structural limitations, the exhibition invites viewers to experience a wholly immersive invasion of the artist’s large-scale constructed forms that engage creative, mechanical, and scientific discovery while reflecting his exploration of public vs. private space.” Opening reception is Friday, February 4th, 5-7 p.m.
Free, January 22nd–March 19th, The Galleries at Moore, 1916 Race Street.
Richard Benson: The World Is Smarter Than You Are
This is your last chance to check out the Art Museum’s exhibition celebrating and collecting the work of influential photographer and printmaker Richard Benson (1943-2017).
Free with museum admission of $14-$25, continues through January 23rd, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Violinist Lisa Batiashvili joins the Orchestra for a program featuring works by Szymanowski, Chausson and Rachmaninoff. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.
$44-$161, January 20th-22nd, Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street.
COVID TEST KITS
Did You Order Yours Yet?
I know, this isn’t really an event. And it’s not some sort of adver-edu-tainment-orial, I just wanted to share the link. You can get four free at-home Covid-19 tests by filling out a form. Takes like two minutes. They start shipping in late January.
Free, anytime, usps.com.
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
David Hayes conducts the Chamber Orchestra in performing a program that includes pieces by Britten, Schubert and Hailstork. Featuring tenor John Matthew Myers.
$29-$104, January 23rd & 24th, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
Set Model Theatre
1812 Productions is offering a free, encore presentation on of its five-episode Set Model Theatre series, in which Philly theater designers and technicians were asked to make a bread-box sized comedy interpretation of Shakespeare’s popular tragedy King Lear. Co-created and administered by production manager Ben Levan, technical director Lance Kniskern, video designer Jorge Cousineau and producing artistic director Jennifer Childs.
Free, streaming through February 7th, watch it at 1812productions.org.
Photography 41 “Looking Up”
This juried group exhibition at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown features “approximately 40 works.” (I’m guessing 41 works in total? But I don’t know. ) “One will be chosen by the Philadelphia Museum of Art to become part of its permanent collection.”
Free, continues through February 25th, Perkins Center for the Arts, 395 Kings Highway, Moorestown.
Harriet Tubman — The Journey to Freedom
Philadelphia’s own Wofford Sculpture Studio has created a nine-foot-tall statue of Harriet Tubman in commemoration of her 200th birthday, and will display it in near City Hall through March 31st. Check it out before the statue before moves on to its next location.
Free, through March 31st, City Hall North Apron, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
Opera Philly kicks off the new year with a two-fer: Oedipus Rex, by Igor Stravinsky and Jean Cocteau and based on the ancient Greek tragedy, is directed by Corrado Rovaris and features soloists William Burden, Rehanna Thelwell and Mark S. Doss. The rarely performed Lilacs, by George Walker and Walt Whitman, features soprano Tiffany Townsend.
$20-$209, January 21st at 8 p.m. & January 23rd at 2 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
Walk through completely different menagerie of large animatronic dinosaurs. Also: bouncy houses, arts and crafts, fossil digs and lots of other kid-oriented attractions.
$19-$36, through January 23rd, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street.
Winter in Franklin Square
The twinkling Electrical Spectacle Light Show continues, with the song “Winter Wonderland” playing every half hour through February 27th. Then there’s mini-golf, fire pits, heated tents, the carousel, drinks, etc.
Free to enter, through February 27th, Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street.
A Streetcar Named Desire
The Arden Theatre presents Tennessee Williams’ classic drama — a production they’d originally planned to stage back in March of 2020. Directed by Terrence J. Nolen. Stars Emilie Krause, Katharine Powell, Matteo Scammell and more.
$18-$53, runs through February 13th, Arden Theatre, 40 North 2nd Street.
Shady Brook Farm
Every winter a real live working farm in Yardley sets up a two-mile stretch of illuminated holiday attractions. Drive yourself through ($40-$75) or hop in the back of an open air wagon ($15-$18). Then pull over for cocoa, s’mores, some fudge puppies and a feeling that these may just be the best moments of your life. There’s not much online about fudge puppies, but they look pretty sweet.
$40-$75, 5-9 p.m., register ahead of time, through January 28th, Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley.
The outdoor sculpture exhibition features the work of artists Arthur Jafa, Coby Kennedy, Christopher Myers and Hank Willis Thomas. “Each work is an invitation to viewers from any background to learn about and connect with a narrative or era they may not have endured personally, but one which continues to impact the African American experience.”
Free, through January 31st, multiple locations along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Delaware River waterfront.
Brought to you by the Fairmount CDC (that’s Community Development Corporation, not the other peeps), the Philly Flurry is a two-week program encouraging you to support restaurants, shops and other businesses in the Art Museum area. Basically, for 35 bucks, you get “complimentary appetizers, desserts, seasonal drinks, discounts at retail stores, salons, and on special services” from participating businesses. Works on takeout and delivery too. Sounds nice.
$35, through January 23rd, multiple locations.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Founded in 1974 (“in the wake of the Stonewall Riots”), the all-male Trocks troupe performs ballet with a satirical edge toward the artform’s sillier tropes. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo plays three shows at the Zellerbach on Friday and Saturday.
$36-$62, January 21st at 8 p.m. & January 22nd at 2 & 8 p.m., Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street.
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
This traveling exhibition uses “360-degree, floor-to-ceiling digital projection” and virtual reality to immerse visitors in the art of Vincent van Gogh. Originally scheduled to end in November, the show now has timed tickets for sale at least through February.
$34.90-$54.50, continues through February, Tower Theater, 69th & Ludlow streets, Upper Darby.
Winterfest @ RiverRink
The family-friendly Winterfest returns for more ice skating, hot chocolate sipping, food munching, game playing, etc. You can even rent a little fire pit for $25 or warming cabin for $75-$125.
Free till you skate or buy or do something, through March 6th, Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 South Columbus Boulevard.
Ice Skating @ Rothman Rink
The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and Cabin returns, offering ice skating and hot chocolate sipping opportunities on the western facet of City Hall.
$10 for skate rental, $5-$10 for 90 minute skate sessions, through February 27th, Dilworth Park, 1 South 15th Street.
Iraqi artist Ahmed Alsoudani artist turns his expressionistic paintings into eerie, large-scale sculptures with the help of the Fabric Workshop and Museum team. (Also on view at FWM through February 20th: Blood Moon — films by Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley.)
Free admission ($5 suggested donation), through May 1st, Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street.
Extra-Human: The Art of Michael Ferris
An exhibition of “larger-than-life figurative sculptures” by Chicago artist Michael Ferris. “Trained as a painter, Ferris embraced sculpture twenty-five years ago and developed an inlay technique inspired by intarsia woodworking from his Middle-Eastern heritage. Ferris’ unique approach to this historical process involves the reclaiming of discarded wood, a method informed by his environmental concerns.”
Free, through April 24th, The Center for Art in Wood, 141 North 3rd Street.
Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game
This is the first retrospective of works by New York painter Joan Semmel, “from her early abstract-expressionist paintings through her movement-defining feminist art and activism to the vital work that she is making of her own mature body today.”
$10-$18, continues through April 3rd, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 North Broad Street.
Portals+Revelations: Richard J. Watson Beyond Realities
This exhibition collects mixed media, abstraction, and assemblage works by Philly artist/activist Watson, a 1968 PAFA graduate and the African American Museum in Philadelphia’s artist-in-residence.
Included with admission $10-$14, through March 6th, African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street.
Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror
The Art Museum co-hosts one half of a major retrospective exhibition on Jasper Johns. The other half is at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Both halves include paintings, prints, sculptures and more spanning the Georgia-born artist’s entire career. (And don’t miss Finally Unfinished — Solo for Melissa for Jasper, a performance by dancer Melissa Toogood, with music by Caroline Shaw, tied into this exhibition, January 21st and 22nd.)
Free with museum admission of $14-$25, continues through February 13th, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 21st
IMOMSOHARD: The Getaway Tour
Youtubers/podcasters/authors/comedians Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley bring the live version of their multi-platform I Mom So Hard — I added those spaces because… anybody else read that wrong on first try? — empire to the Merriam.
$54-$64, 7 p.m., Merriam Theater, 250 South Broad Street.
G.E. Smith & Jim Weider
The two seasons guitarists — Smith played with the SNL band, Bowie, Hall & Oates, etc.; Weider played with Dylan, The Band, Los Lobos, etc. — are on their never-ending Masters of the Telecaster tour. (By the way, if you’re really into nerdy guitar talk, check out Pat Finnerty’s Instagram show sometime.)
$25-$34, 6 p.m., City Winery, 990 Filbert Street.
Colin Mochrie Presents Hyprov
Whose Line Is It Anyway? comedian Colin Mochrie and “master hypnotist” Asad Mecci perform what they call hyprov aka “improv under hypnosis.” Yes, they will need volunteers from the audience.
$35-$60, 7 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside.
This long-running Michigan “progressive bluegrass” band likes to supplement their rootsy/rocking sound with lights, smoke and other onstage razzle dazzle. The most recent Greensky Bluegrass record, Stress Dreams, dropped earlier this month. With The Infamous Stringdusters
$30-$59, 6 p.m., The Met, 858 North Broad Street.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 22nd
Jerry Blavat and Friends
Once again the Geator has assembled a hot lineup for an old-school rock, pop and soul shindig at the Kimmel Center: Darlene Love, Frankie Avalon, Little Anthony (above), The Tymes, Gary US Bonds, The Chi-Lites, The Vogues and more.
$35-$100, 8 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
Cast Iron Chef & Colonial Brewing
Stop by ye olde Fort Mifflin on Saturday to see what it was like to prepare and/or eat a feast back in 1829. Either observe from a distance and try some samples, or roll up your sleeves and pitch in as an apprentice cook or brewer and enjoy a full meal.
$6-$10 for general admission; $75 to be an apprentice, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fort Mifflin, 1 Fort Mifflin Road.
The Nashville roots/rock/R&B band is touring behind their newest record Maybe We Never Die, which might be the most optimistic album title I’ve heard in a while. Okay now I’m listening to some pretty, soulful lovesick songs, like “This Too Shall Last” and “Hood of My Car,” and hey, we’re going to be okay. Get to the show on time for Bendigo Fletcher.
$25, 7 p.m., Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street.
These Liverpool rockers really like to make a statement. Just last week they released their fifth record Fix Yourself, Not the World. And song titles include “If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming with You,” “Everything I Love Is Going to Die,” and “People Don’t Change People, Time Does.” Here’s to full sentences!
$25-$27.50, 9 p.m., Fillmore Philly, 29 East Allen Street.
The Memphis-born blues-rocker released the mostly acoustic record The Pull of Niagara Falls last year. Here’s his soundcloud.
$39-$84, 7 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside.
PhilaMOCA presents a rare screening of Sex Demon, gay film and TV pioneer J. C. Cricket’s “long-lost 1975 erotic horror spoof.” The screening is presented by Austin author, queer film historian and archivist Elizabeth Purchell. Tagline: “Not even an exorcist could help!”
$10-$12, 7 p.m., PhilaMOCA, 531 North 12th Street.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 23rd
Last year, the esteemed Canadian hardcore band with the oft-censored name put out a lovely and kinda proggy concept album called Year of the Horse. This year they’re going back to their past, celebrating the 10(plus) year anniversary of their breakthrough David Comes to Life, the rock opera record that introduced their sweet and coarse punk sound to a wider audience. “Queen of Hearts” remains a banger of the higher order. With Empath. That’s a band from Philly.
$20, 8 p.m., Underground Arts, 200 Callowhill Street.
The D.C. rapper has worked with everybody from Lady Gaga to Jazmine Sullivan to Rick Ross. His newest record, Folarin II, released in October, features J. Cole, Jamie Foxx, Ant Clemons, Shawn Stockman and more. (Oh. “More” includes Chris Brown. Wale really will work with anybody.)
$30-$35, 9 p.m., Fillmore Philly, 29 East Allen Street.
The Philadelphia Film Society presents a Sunday afternoon screening of the 1964 musical classic about a mischievous wraith who insinuates herself into a family of impressionable rubes. Tagline: “Mary Poppins flies among the witches.”
$4-$8, 3 p.m., PFS Bourse Theater, 400 Ranstead Street.