Things to Do in Philadelphia This Weekend
The National Dog Show, Philly Zine Fest, Philly Tweed Ride, UniverSoul Circus, Yasiin Bey, Friday Night Smackdown and more.
Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Electrical Spectacle Light Show
Once again quant little downtown park Franklin Square will be transformed into a dazzling display of winter cheer and electrical bravado. The festival features light shows every night and a calendar full of family-friendly events.
Free, opens November 14, continues through December 31, Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St.
Penn Museum Opening Weekend Celebration
After a lengthy renovation, the Penn Museum reopens with “10,000 square feet of re-imagined galleries and spaces” — including new galleries dedicated to Mexico and Central America and Africa, and the massive Sphinx situated by the main entrance.
$16, Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Penn Museum, 3260 South St.
The British synth-pop outfit plays two shows in the winterized BB&T Pavilion. They’ve already released a few singles from the new record dropping in February, including this one that’s surprisingly punky and potty-mouthed. NSFW. Also NSF for people with photosensitive epilepsy.
$49-$89, 7:30 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, BB&T Pavilion, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, NJ.
Philly Zine Fest
This annual celebration of zines and small presses features a gigantic list of exhibitors. If you’re a fan of self-published passion projects, this two-day fest is for you. (P.S. There’s also a Zine Fest Party on Saturday.)
Free, Saturday & Sunday, noon-5 p.m., The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.
Tiny Beautiful Things
The Arden Theatre presents the play based on the book by Cheryl Strayed (Wild) and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos. Directed by Maura Krause.
$18-$38, continues through December 8, Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St.
National Dog Show
The Kennel Club of Philadelphia presents its annual all-breed dog show. Hosted by John O’Hurley, aka J. Peterman on Seinfeld and David Frei.
$16, Saturday & Sunday, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks, PA.
This long-running circus troupe featuring a diverse cast of performers — clowns, dancers, trapeze artists, etc. — is setting up a big heated tent in Fairmount Park for the next few weeks.
$15-$20, opens Thursday, continues through December 8, Fairmount Park, 52nd Street & Parkside Avenue.
Grand Illumination Celebration
Peddler’s Village will once again get into the holiday spirit with lights, decorations etc. This Friday’s opening celebration includes Santa Claus, apple cider, hot chocolate, marshmallow toasting, a display of award-winning gingerbread houses and more.
Free, opens Friday, continues through January 4, Peddler’s Village, 2400 Street Rd., New Hope, PA.
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
More than just a film fest, the PAAFF also features panel discussions, live music performances, food tastings and more. For example: On Friday there’s a hip-hop showcase at Asian Arts Initiative and on Saturday there’s a screening of Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti’s documentary For My Father’s Kingdom. Here’s the complete lineup.
Free-$10 per events, ($100 for all-access badge), starts Thursday, continues through November 17, multiple venues.
Off the Wall: American Art to Wear
This exhibition explores clothing design from the ’60s and beyond created by “pioneering artists who used body-related forms to express a personal vision and frames their work in relation to the cultural, historical and social concerns of their time.” Includes work by Lenore Tawney, Dorian Zachai, Claire Zeisler, and more.
Free with museum admission of $25, opens Sunday, continues through May 17, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Fall Film Fest
This annual fest offers lots of features, shorts and documentaries by Jewish filmmakers from all over the world.
Prices vary; $55 for “big nights pass;” continues through November 23, multiple locations,
The Midwestern comedian has written for Another Period and Crashing and has done standup on Kimmel and Conan. Watch the below, then go here for more good Stelling stuff.
$18-$34, Thursday-Saturday, Helium, 2031 Sansom St.
Azuka Theatre presents Dominique Morriseau’s drama about a former Black revolutionary reuniting with his estranged daughter. Directed by Amina Robinson.
Pay what you wish (after the performance), continues through November 24, Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks St.
This photogenic “winter wonderland” offers colorful backdrops for visitors to photograph themselves in front of. According to the web site, “Photo Pop strives to design thought-provoking and wholesome experiences that weave art, pop culture and seasonal celebrations together for guests to escape reality, have fun, and express themselves.” So: No boomer bashing. And if you notice somebody having trouble working their phone, why not help them?
$39 for Friday’s grand opening, 7-9 p.m.; $10-$20 other days, continues through January 5, inside The Bourse, 111 S. Independence Mall East.
Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller
Lightbox continues its series celebrating American visual artist and filmmaker Ed Emshwiller (1925-1990) with programs on Thursday, Friday and two on Saturday.
$10, 7 p.m., film screenings continue through December 7, Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut St.
Five Dollar Comedy Week
Starting Sunday, Chinatown’s Good Good Comedy Theatre offers seven days of “23 f*cked-up new shows” in which local comedians test out new show ideas and concepts. Check out the schedule and roll the dice — it’s only five bucks a pop.
$5, continues through Sunday, Good Good Comedy Theatre, 215 N. 11th St.
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.
The Worst-Case Scenario: Survival Experience
Based on the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series, this exhibition deals with finding the solution to extreme danger situations. The main attraction is surely the Survival Gymnasium in which visitors must test their creative problem-solving skills to escape dangerous situations, like avalanches and jumping on top of train cars.
$20, continues through April 19, Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St.
The sweetly singing Met brothers play a two-night victory lap at the Met in support of their celebrated January release, Neotheater. Their sound rests in that weird place where pop meets doo-wop and dubstep.
$35.50-$50, Thursday & Friday, 6:30 p.m., The Met, 858 N. Broad St.
Thirty African-American artists (including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nick Cave, Lorna Simpson, Xaviera Simmons and Purvis Young) contribute to this ambitious group show that aims to “explore identity against a backdrop of pervasive stereotyping — of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class.” On Saturday, artists/mother-and-son Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas will discuss their work.
Free with museum admission of $25, continues through January 12, Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
South Street from the 90’s
Artist Phoebe Murer recreates the South Street she remembers from its 1990s heyday, paying tribute to bygone storefronts with hand-painted 3D collages. Now go follow her on Instagram.
Free, continues through November 24, Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catherine St.
Sound All Around: Strings
Storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston hosts a family-friendly discussion of the bass, featuring bassist Nathaniel West and pianist Hugh Sung.
$10, Saturday & Monday, 10 & 11:15 a.m., Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.
First Person Arts Festival
The annual celebration of first-person storytelling wraps up its eclectic schedule lineup on Saturday with poet Tina Chang performing at the Independence Library in the afternoon and the SlamSeries Grand Slam at World Café Live that evening, among other events.
Continues through November 16, multiple venues.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15
The Go-Betweens co-frontman plays a solo show in World Café Live’s lounge area in support of his March release, Inferno. Forster and co. were forefathers of this week’s of Subgenre of the Week: dolewave. It’s basically shorthand for scrappy, jangly, catchy rock music from Melbourne, Australia.
$22-$24, 9 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.
Streets Dept Art Shop
Streets Dept — the art hub, not the pothole police — are back with another show and pop-up shop featuring work by local artists, including Kid Hazo, Under Water Pirates, Symone Salib, SEPER, FaithsFunnn, Taped Off TV and more.
Free, 6-10 p.m., Tattooed Mom, 530 South St.
The beloved musician/actor formerly known as Mos Def celebrates the 20th anniversary of his landmark post-Blackstar solo record, Black On Both Sides. This is opening night for the new hip-hop-forward music venue, The Ave. Also on the bill: Reef the Lost Cauze and Kuf Knotz. I first heard about this show on The Key. UPDATE: Sadly, this show has been postponed, as the venue still needs to work out a few kinks.
$55-$150, 8 p.m., The Ave Live, 520 N. Columbus Blvd.
Victorian Mourning Fair
BloodMilk Jewels presents a sale of Victorian vendors in Old City, including Black Crepe Antiques, Witch Fingers Antiques & Oddities, Black Cat Clothiers and more. Plus music and cocktails.
Free, 5-9 p.m., Sphinx and Snakeskin, 45 N. Second St.
The Last Waltz Tour
An all-star ensemble — including Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson, John Medeski, Don Was, Terence Higgins and more — come together to celebrate The Band’s famous 1979 concert/record, The Last Waltz. More info here.
$35, 8 p.m., Tower Theater, 69th & Ludlow streets, Upper Darby, PA.
Neil Feather: Sound Mechanic
Bowerbird, kings of Philly’s avant garde and experimental music scene, present a concert by Neil Feather who will perform a chamber concerto on his homemade high-tech instruments, backed by the Arcana New Music Ensemble and composer Rosie Langabeer.
Free, 8-11 p.m., The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.
On a Winter’s Night
Folk singer-songwriters Christine Lavin, John Gorka, Patty Larkin, Cheryl Wheeler and Cliff Eberhardt get together to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their memorable compilation Christine Lavin Presents: On a Winter’s Night.
$35-$75, 8 p.m., Scottish Rite Auditorium, 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, NJ.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Watch the 1975 comedy-horror cult classic while shadow cast Transylvanian Nipple Productions provides does their thing in the foreground.
$10.25, midnight, Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead St.
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents a performance by the famed NYC string quartet with percussionist Colin Currie. Program includes works by Farrin, Wallin, Akiho and more.
$30, 7:30 p.m., Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.
WWE Friday Night Smackdown
Big strong people will be throwing each other around in South Philly, as per Smackdown tradition. Participants include, Daniel Bryan, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, The New Day, Bayley, Braun Strowman, King Heavy, Super Thin Mary, Jerry Weird Knees, Swole Joe and more. Yeah I made some of those up — but which ones?!
$20-$125, 7:45 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16
An all-star edition of Art Blakey’s famed jazz ensemble pay tribute to the music and the legendary drummer.
$35-$59, 8 p.m., Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St.
Artist Bash: Activated People
This event at the Barnes features artists who “actively celebrate their histories and identities within each performance,” including photographer Shawn Theodore, musicians Elizabeth Steiner and Marina Murayama, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers and performance artist Sherman Fleming.
$10, 8-11 p.m., Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
Cherie Currie & Brie Darling
Two rock icons team up at Kung Fu Necktie on Saturday: Cherie Currie of the Runaways and Brie Darling of Fanny. The duo released a record called Motivator earlier this year.
$20, 7-10 p.m., Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St.
Three local editors and publishers — Britny Brooks-Perilli of Running Press, Amanda Thomas of Lanternfish Press and Alexa Smith of Apiary Magazine — will discuss the business, followed by a Q&A.
Free, 6-8 p.m., A Novel Idea on Passyunk, 1726 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philly Tweed Ride
This annual ride welcomes bicyclists in decked out in “woolens, knickers, brooks” and the like for a leisurely pedaling from the Water Works and to Jack’s Firehouse, where cocktails may be consumed and old-timey games may be played. The $10 donation benefits The City of Elderly Love (an older pet rescue org).
$10 donation, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Fairmount Water Works veranda, 640 Waterworks Drive.
Kubo and the Two Strings
A free, family-friendly matinee of the 2016 animated feature voiced by Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey and more.
Free, 2 p.m., Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut St.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17
Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppet) Show
The Philadelphia Folklore Project presents live shadow-play performance by The Brothers Čampur. (On Saturday, attend a hands-on workshop on this unique art of storytelling through puppets, screens and shadows.)
$15, 7:15 p.m., Headlong Dance Theater, 1170 S. Broad St.
Race is the Place is the Space
For this “performative lecture.” Temple prof. Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild presents “Afro-expressionistic interpretations of selected excerpts from female writers of the African Diaspora along with dancers’ statements in Dixon Gottschild’s own work, ‘The Black Dancing Body.’”
Free, 3-4 p.m., African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.
The veteran singer-songwriter specializes in storytelling songs laced with humor and heartache. Last year she dropped a live record (Jill Comes Alive!) and a studio record (Nostalgia Kills). Also on the bill: Maia Sharp. (This video’s NSFW if you W in a place where cursing is considered unsafe.)
$18-$22, 6 p.m., The Locks at Sona, 4417 Main St.
The hard-touring psych-folk-rock hero returns. His most recent release is a collaboration with XTC’s Andy Partridge called Planet England, but this is a solo show, so expect the usual lively, career-spanning Robyn Hitchcock show.
$29.50-$40, 7 p.m., Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville, PA.
The Last Horror Show
Exhumed Films — Philly’s finest purveyors of rare, scary cinema — is back with another marathon screening. As usual, they’re not saying which five films they’ll be screening on Sunday, but they promise “psychos and sadism, monsters and mayhem.” Also: classic movie trailers, door prizes, more.
$25, noon, Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut St.
Hiss Golden Messenger
Soulful folkie M.C. Taylor’s latest record, Terms of Surrender, dropped in October on Merge Records.
$21, 7 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.