If you're in love with Mother Nature (and all of the awesome parks that our city has), this week is a perfect time to celebrate. Love Your Park Week features dozens of events (many of which are free) that showcase the beauty and versatility of Philly's public parks. There's everything from art projects to music performances to an Enchanted Forest fundraiser. Through May 17th, various times, prices, and locations throughout Philadelphia.
Anna Deavere Smith wears plenty of hats: She's a professor, an actress, a playwright, and a social commentator. She's bringing her immense set of knowledge to Philadelphia Theatre Company this Monday evening for a special Theatre Masters lecture. The star of The West Wing and Nurse Jackie, Ms. Smith also performed in PTC's Let Me Down Easy in 2011. Monday, May 11th, 7:00 pm, $25, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 South Broad Street.
Ben Folds is on a mini-tour of Philly this week: He'll be starting off at the TLA on Monday evening, playing a sold-out show at World Cafe Live on Tuesday, and will close out at Temple's Performing Arts Center on Wednesday. Folds has teamed up with yMusic, which critics have called a fusion between a classical music ensemble and a rock band. Monday, May 11th through Wednesday, May 13th, various times, prices, and locations.
Featuring a 13-person ensemble, Lightning Rod Special's Let the Dog See the Rabbit is a performance-art piece that investigates how humans examine animals. The theater group, which tries to create performance "from the ground up," will present an actor-driven piece that strives to break common metaphorical stereotypes of our favorite zoo friends. Through May 21st, various times, $20, The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street.
This extremely exclusive party features the artwork of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Students. The gala benefits The Women's Board of PAFA, and, depending on your contribution, you can enter the preview party at different times throughout the afternoon and evening. The majority of artwork sales take place at this event, which means the early bird indeed gets the worm. Thursday, May 14th, 4:00 pm, $150-3,000, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 128 North Broad Street.
The Night Market season kicks off on Thursday as tons of local food trucks line up along the intersection of Broad and South Streets for an evening of good eats and fun. It's the fifth year for Night Market, which has attracted over 200,000 hungry Philadelphians to the series of roving street fairs. Don't miss what the New York Times called the "best way to experience Philadelphia’s still-surging street food scene." Thursday, May 14th, 6:00 pm, free, Night Market, Broad and South Streets.
Get out your biggest bangles and hairbands: This Thursday, the Philadelphia Film Society is throwing an '80s party while they show a viewing of the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. Come dressed in your best leg warmers (there'll be a prize for best costume) and get ready for a night of trivia and tacky-movie watching. Thursday, May 14th, 7:30 pm, $8-10, The Roxy, 2023 Sansom Street.
Join journalists and producers Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder for this special event at Merriam Theater that delves into their work on Serial, their podcast that made history when it became the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads in iTunes history. Both women will take the audience behind-the-scenes on how they created a new type of modern journalism. Thursday, May 14th, 8:00 pm, $35-99, Merriam Theater, 250 South Broad Street.
Find out who will be crowned this season's "Best Storyteller in Philadelphia" as First Person Arts hosts their annual Grand Slam competition on Thursday evening. Hosted by comedian Dave Hill, the night promises to be filled with plenty of juicy tales and gut-wrenching stories. Don't miss out on this extremely popular Philly event. Thursday, May 14th, 8:00 pm, $22-25, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street.
If your kids are iffy on this examination of the 13th-century Mongol warrior, just tell them one of his 12-foot-long crossbows is on display. Through January 2016, Franklin Institute, 271 North 21st Street.
It's been deemed the nation's longest-running festival to celebrate black writers: The 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing runs through the month of May with a plethora of events throughout the city. Enjoy storytelling, receptions, presentations, readings, Added perk? Many of the events are free. Through May 31st, various times, prices, and locations throughout Philadelphia..
This is your last week to see Edward Albee's classic play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, presented at Plays and Players Theatre by Theatre Exile. This ruthless examination of family, power, and psychology continues performances this week, and might we suggest that you show up to the theater sober, unlike the protagonists of this romp. Through May 17th, various times, $35, Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street.
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