Things to Do in Philadelphia This Weekend
Bell Biv Devoe, Camper Van Beethoven, Festival of Blacks in Dance, Orchid Extravaganza, Hairmania, Todd Glass, MLK Weekend, Tattoo Arts Convention and more.
Center City District Restaurant Week
Participating Center City restaurants offer three-course lunches for $20 and three-course dinners for $35. Here’s where to eat for dinner and lunch.
$20-$35, continues through January 24, multiple locations.
Hamlisch: With Love
The Philly Pops presents a program dedicated to PEGOT-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch. Featuring vocalist Ashley Brown. Todd Ellison conducts.
$35-$143, Friday-Sunday, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.
Chess the Musical
11th Hour Theatre Company presents the favorite musical featuring music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (of ABBA) and lyrics by Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Lion King). One town’s very like another when your head’s down over your pieces.
$19-$37, continues through Sunday, Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St.
International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance
The International Association of Blacks in Dance and Philly-based contemporary dance company Philadanco present their annual dance conference and festival. Features lectures, demonstrations, workshops, panels, screenings and other events the Merriam, the DoubleTree Hotel and other venues. Here’s the complete schedule.
$550-$700, starts Wednesday, continues through Sunday, multiple locations.
Ben’s Birthday Bash
The Franklin Institute hosts a two-day birthday party for their namesake founding father. Events include a Tesla coil demonstration, a hydrogen balloon explosion, a Glass Armonica performance and lots more. On Saturday there’s free ice cream from Franklin Fountain, too.
Free with museum admission of $19-$23, Saturday & Sunday, Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St.
Book your time slot and check out Longwood Gardens’ lavish and lovely annual celebration of orchids. You may recall that these pretty, fragrant flowers were a pivotal part of the 2004 movie Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid.
$23, starts Saturday, continues through March 22, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square, PA.
Philly Home Show
This annual convention features loads of vendors and designers, lots of home décor and remodeling ideas, “petite retreats,” a plant bar (!) and more.
$3-$10, continues Friday through Sunday, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St.
The hilarious Philly-born/L.A.-based comedian comes home for a slew of shows at Helium.
$18-$34, Thursday-Sunday, Helium, 2031 Sansom St.
The Band’s Visit
Broadway Philadelphia presents the Tony-winning musical about an Egyptian police band that gets on the wrong train and ends up stranded in a small town in Israel.
$25-$139, continues through Sunday, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.
Hamlet at the Seaport
Dan Hodge directs an intimate performance of the classic Shakespeare tragedy in the Independence Seaport Museum’s Riverview Lookout space.
Free (pass-the-hat), opens Friday, continues through Sunday, Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd.
2020 MLK Weekend Celebration at AAMP
The African American Museum in Philadelphia presents a weekend of programming under the theme of Read, Write, Resist. Events include a reading by poetry Kirwyn Sutherland, a concert entitled Journey: Sounding Resistance with Ruth Naomi Floyd & Special Guests, and lots more.
Free-$2, Friday-Monday, African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.
Micki Sharpe directs the long-running comedy about nuns putting on a variety show to raise money for the funerals of other nuns who were poisoned by their cook.
$25, opens Friday, continues through Sunday, Hedgerow Theatre Company, 64 Rose Valley Rd., Rose Valley, PA.
Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention
The three-day celebration of the inky arts includes vendors, artists, contests, seminars and lots of live performances — by Alakazam the Human Knot, aerial burlesque artist Shannon Sexton, the PA Liberty Belles Pinup Club, Angelica Lavalier, Dr. Blasphemy and more.
$22-$45, Friday-Sunday, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St.
The Snow Queen
Whit MacLaughlin directs this family-friendly adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale set in all four seasons.
$25-$40, continues through January 26, Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St.
This two-weekend wine fest features live music, food trucks, an “ice luge shot of Niagara wine,” the Chaddsford Prize Wheel, free beanies, and other things I usually don’t get to type.
Free till you buy things, starts this Saturday & Sunday, and continues January 25 & 24, Chaddsford Winery, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA.
Dr. Martin Luther King Weekend
Eastern State Penitentiary’s Dr. Martin Luther King Weekend activities include live readings of his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail, discussions, live music, and lots of family-friendly activities.
$14 museum admission, Saturday-Monday, Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave.
Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival
This two-town nine-day fest features a chili cook-off, a soup-a-thon, live a cappella music, ice sculptures, an oldies dance night, and lots more. Here’s the whole schedule.
Starts Saturday, continues through January 26, multiple locations in Lambertville and New Hope.
Designs for Different Futures
This new exhibition at the PMA has a distinctly sci-fi feel, though many of the strange robots and such in its displays are not fiction at all. Designs for Different Futures offers multiple takes on the world of tomorrow by Maia Chao, David OReilly, Lisa Hartje Moura, Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni and more.
Free with museum admission of $25, continues through March 8, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17
Ikue Mori & Charmaine Lee
Bowerbird presents a concert by two experimental musicians who specialize in improvisation and unique sounds.
Free, 8 p.m., The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.
The Comments Section
Nicole Phoenix hosts a comedy and storytelling show “created by and for Black Women, WOC, and QTPOC.” This edition features Kara Mia, Randie Welles, Shanell Renee and Christiana Jackson.
$10, 8 p.m., Good Good Comedy Theatre, 215 N. 11th St.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
A midnight screening/performance of the interactive cult movie/musical favorite from 1975. Australian filmmaker Jim Sharman went on to direct Summer of Secrets (1976) and Shock Treatment (1981), among others. Tagline of the week: Action-packed…. lotsa larfs & sex… gorgeous gals… thrills & chills… Transylvanian parties… romance.
$10.25, midnight, Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead St.
Cracker / Camper Van Beethoven
As per tradition, David Lowery leads his two cult-favorite bands on a quick double-header tour to play for their fans, some of whom will be weird and drunk in a good way.
$25-$27, 7 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.
Prohibition: 100 Years
This Prohibition party features a mixology class, trivia, beer by Flying Fish Brewery, spirits by Boardroom Distillery, and a performance of a Prohibition “murder mystery” by Riddlesbrood Theatre Company.
$35-$45, 7-10 p.m., National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut St.
Lost Voices: The War to End All Wars
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents a performance of pieces by N. Boulanger, Debussy, Granados and more, plus readings of several WWI poets. Featuring mezzo-soprano Amanda Lynn Bottoms, tenor Nicholas Phan; baritone Roderick Williams, pianists Myra Huang and Shannon McGinnis, and more. See also: the Found Voices concert on Sunday.
$30, 7:30 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.
The veteran Philly singer-songwriter — and beloved Flyers anthem vocalist — performs an acoustic show.
$20, 8 p.m., The Living Room at 35 East, 5 E Lancaster Ave, Ardmore, PA.
Thirsty Caterpillar Beer Garden
The Insectarium turns its Butterfly Pavilion into a beer garden because why not. Food and drink by Sweet Rainforest Café.
$10, 6-9 p.m., Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion, 8046 Frankford Ave.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 18
Bell Biv Devoe
Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe gave us “Poison,” “Do Me,” and other classic pop/R&B hits in the early ’90s. To this day, “smack it up, flip it, rub it down” remains a pinnacle in somehow-radio-friendly lewdness.
$35-$55, 8 p.m., Xcite Center at Parx Casino, 2999 Street Rd., Bensalem, PA.
Women’s March on Philadelphia
The event starts with a rally at Logan Circle and then proceeds up the Parkway where speakers will address the crowd.
Free, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Most recently, the long-running bluegrass jam band released a new series of Spotify-only live recordings called Courage For The Road.
$25-$40, 6:30 p.m., The Met, 858 N. Broad St.
The NYC-based comedian/actor has performed on lots of TV and radio shows, and wrote for Rundown with Robin Thede and The Fix with Jimmy Carr.
$16, 10 p.m., Good Good Comedy Theatre, 215 N. 11th St.
A Tribe Called Quest Exhibit
This group show pays tribute to the legendary hip-hop group with a DJ, free drinks and lots of art inspired by Phife Dawg, Q-Tip and Ali Shaeed Muhammad.
Free-$10 (donation), 4-9 p.m., Philly Art Collective Gallery, 253 n. Third St.
Lunar New Year
The Penn Museum presents a full-day of family-friendly events including a tai chi demonstration, a Chinese zodiac workshop, a calligraphy workshop, an art and vendor market and lots more. It all ends with the Lion Dance Finale.
$18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South St.
The legendary rapper/actor/you-name-it is touring behind I Wanna Thank Me, his 17th (!) studio album released in August.
$60, 8 p.m., Fillmore Philly, 29 E. Allen St.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 19
Ray On My Mind — The Ray Charles Story
Singer/pianist Kenny Brawner leads a 12-piece orchestra and vocalists the Raelettes in performing pieces by the soul/blues/jazz legend who performed dozens of memorable hits, including “What’d I Say?,” “Georgia On My Mind,”
$29-$44, 7 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 N Keswick Ave., Glenside, PA.
A live hair stylist/barber competition (!) featuring Tokyo Stylez, Razor Chic, Glynn Jackson, Morono Hodge, Mutha Knows and more. Hairmania is not on the Met’s calendar but, it seems like a real thing that’s happening.
$50-$100, 6 p.m., The Met, 858 N. Broad St.
January Writer Happy Hour
This edition of Blue Stoop’s Writer Happy Hour celebrates the launch of a new web site, LiteraryPhilly.org, featuring a public calendar for local lit events.
5-7 p.m., Win Win Coffee Bar, 931 Spring Garden St.
Picard & Popcorn
Watch Star Trek: Nemesis — the last of the Next Generation movies, from 2002, featuring Tom Hardy, Ron Perlamn, Dina Meyer, etc. — to prep for the debut of the new Picard series. Tagline: A generation’s final journey begins.
Free, 6-8 p.m., Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Lane.
Found Voices: The New European Map
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents this counterpart to Friday’s Lost Voices performance. Works by Bartók, Paderewski, Iva Bittova and more. Performers include soprano Sarah Shafer, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor Nicholas Phan, bass-baritone Douglas Williams, Temple University Chamber Choir, pianists Myra Huang and Shannon McGinnis.
$30, 7:30 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.
Our Flesh of Flames: Theodore A. Harris / Amiri Baraka
Collage artist and author Theodore A. Harris “will be presenting a recorded performance by the late poet Amiri Baraka reading his poem “Our Flesh of Flames” as composed in conjunction with Harris’ collaged images.”
Free, 5-6:30 p.m., Brickbat Books, 709 S. Fourth St.
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 Masters of the Telecaster tour
$29.50-$45, 7:30 p.m., Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville, PA.