The Rundown | April 22-29

Image: John Matychuk

From theater fundraising to programs about plants, there are lots of fun things to do in the city in the coming days and weeks.

Native Plants Hotline

Native plants offer a host of benefits to your garden—and growing them is one of the most powerful acts you can offer to improve our planet. In addition to their beauty, native plants provide nectar and pollen for insects, food for colorful birds and rare butterflies, homes for toads and salamanders, protection from stormwater, and a whole lot more. But what to plant in your yard? Call the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education’s native plants hotline, and its experts will answer your questions. April 29 at 7pm.

Virtual Fundraiser for Philadelphia Theatre Company

Join Broadway’s groundbreaking Tony Award® Winner Ali Stroker for a virtual concert filmed on the stage of The Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Stroker returns to PTC 10 years after her Barrymore Award-nominated performance as Olive in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” May 26 at 7 pm.

Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II

The African American Museum in Philadelphia invites you to join a special virtual screening of historian and filmmaker Gregory Cooke’s documentary, “Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II.” This compelling documentary film chronicles the amazing stories of the first African American women to work in industry and government administrative service. General admission is $8. The event is free for members. April 25 at 3pm.


Searching for something fun and safe to do in the next few weeks? Look no further than The Philadelphia Film Society’s drive-in theater, which will be screening the award-winning Sundance documentary “FEELS GOOD MAN” from April 23-25 at 8:20pm. A favorite out of Sundance and SXSW, the film follows artist Matt Furie on his journey to reclaim his comic book creation, Pepe the Frog, from the alt-right.

Dude Perfect

After their incredibly successful first tour in 2019 that saw them selling out arenas across the U.S., Dude Perfect is back with an all-new tour for 2021. Produced by Premier Productions, the 28-city, North American tour includes an Oct. 8 stop in Philadelphia. Dude Perfect is an American sports and comedy group consisting of Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, Tyler “TT” Toney, and twins Cory and Coby Cotton.

Image: Courtesy of French Toast Bites

Food and drink news you need to know

Any day is a good day for some great food and drink. Here are a few ways to enjoy yourself in the coming days.

Morgan’s Pier

Philadelphia’s largest open-air outdoor restaurant is coming back! FCM Hospitality and owner Avram Hornik announce that Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.) will open for the year starting Thursday, April 22 at 4pm. Now celebrating its 10th season the Delaware River, the region’s top al fresco dining destination and tourism hot spot will bring back the summertime vibes, breathtaking views, great food and thirst-quenching drinks to the Waterfront.

Snaps & Claps

On Thursday, April 29 from 7-10pm, Artsi presents the second of its series: Snaps & Claps. With your favorite drink in hand, come experience a vibrant artistic showcase of poetry, music, film and art. Featured artists include a film by Emily Dabney and music by Dan McCain. Visual artist Ashley Feldman will showcase prints and originals that will be available for purchase. Feel free to also come hungry, there will be a food vendor on site! The event will be limited for social distancing. For tickets, visit

Dine Latino Restaurant Week

The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced the return of Dine Latino Restaurant Week, taking place from May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) through May 9. The five-day culinary event will offer patrons one complimentary appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two dinner entrees. Dine Latino Restaurant Week is part of the GPHCC’s larger R+ campaign, which was designed to support the growth and development of Latino-owned businesses during this extremely challenging economy by providing access to resources, expert advice, networks and educational opportunities. For a list of participating restaurants and more, visit

French Toast Bites

Restaurateur and entrepreneur Charisse McGill announced the grand opening of a year-round location of French Toast Bites at Cherry Street Pier now open limited hours Fridays to Sundays, from noon to 8pm. McGill is thrilled to also announce the season opening of French Toast Bites at Spruce Street Harbor Park for her second summer starting May 7. Starting on that date, both locations will be open Sunday, noon to 9pm; Monday through Thursday, 5pm to 9pm; and Friday and Saturday, noon to 11pm.

New Liberty Distillery

The South Kensington craft distillery and home to award-winning spirit lines such as the revived heritage Kinsey brand, is celebrating by hosting three spring-themed, socially-distanced cocktail classes on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9. Attendees and their Moms can choose between three available time slots: noon., 1:30p.m., and 3p.m. During each one-hour class, Jacob Looney, online sales and spirits club manager, will guide imbibers through the construction of two delicious libations made with New Liberty craft spirits. 1431 Cadwallader St. | 267.928.4650 | 

Free ‘mini concerts’

Join Astral Artists, Play On Philly and Mural Arts Philadelphia for a week of free “mini concerts” starting April 26 at 5pm. Averaging 20 minutes each, these events celebrate a journey of expression and creativity through classical music and murals, presenting small groups of chamber musicians of all ages and levels of experience paired with works from the Mural Arts collection. Each concert is centered around one of five instrument groups – brass, percussion, woodwinds, harp and strings. Visit,, or for details, but here’s the lineup:

Young At Art: Inspiration 

(POP Brass Ensemble & Brittany Lasch, trombone). Featured murals: Aqui y Alla by Michelle Angela Ortiz, Dreams, Diaspora and Destiny by Joshua Mays and DJ King Britt. April 26 at 5pm.

Young At Art: Exploration 

(POP Percussion Ensemble & Joshua Jones, percussion). Featured murals: Jackie Robinson by David McShane, The Color of Your Voice by Keir Johnston & Ernel Martinez. April 27 at 5pm.

Young At Art: Connection 

(POP Wind Ensemble & Annie Wu, flute). Featured murals: Staircases and Mountaintops: Ascending Beyond the Dream by Willis “Nomo” Humphrey and Jonny Buss. Common Threads by Meg Saligman. April 28 at 5pm.

Young At Art: Collaboration 

(POP Harp Ensemble & Rachel O’Brien, harp). Featured murals: Frequencies by Benjamin Volta, Folding the Prism by Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn. April 29 at 5pm.

Young At Art: Celebration 

(POP String Ensemble & Hannah Tarley, violin / Thomas Mesa, cello). Featured murals:

Philly Rising by Nilé Livingston, Rippling Moon: An Urban Fairytale by Meg Saligman, Wide Open by Jim Houser. April 30 at 5pm.

Online too

Can’t make these events? Each one will remain free and fully accessible via Astral’s YouTube channel as well as on all partner websites.

Image: National Cancer Institute

First Person Arts Festival

Every November for the past 19 years, First Person Arts produced the “First Person Arts Festival,” a two-week celebration of storytelling and true, personal experiences. When it came time for the festival in November 2020, obviously, things were different. The organization migrated its programming to the digital stage so that First Person Arts could deepen the audience’s experience. First Person Arts’ festival is now segmented into four volumes. Each volume will focus on a theme that exemplifies what makes a story truly compelling. The Anthology Volume 2 lineup, which will take place from May 13-21, digitally, features six performances that highlight personal stories of powerful journeys, community support, and triumph. For more information, visit

We Breathe, We Live. Brotherly Love Protest Stories Screening

This is a made-for-television film that uses the power of storytelling to present the first-person experiences of men who participated in the George Floyd protests in Philadelphia during the summer of 2020. The film will provide an embracing environment to honor the raw emotion caused by collective trauma. This film will weave together the intersecting stories of five different men of color from a variety of backgrounds in the city as they ask…what now? There will be an in-person screening of this film with limited seating on May 13.

Vaxed Out. 5 People. 1 Moment. 

This five-part series will explore five people’s views on receiving the COVID vaccine, where they got their information, and how that influenced their decision. Produced by Kouvenda Media. May 17.

Family Photo Album

For 20 years, First Person Arts has provided an embracing environment in which storytellers, across the region and the country, could tell their own true, personal stories.   In this production, First Person Arts staff shares the stories that moved them and why they are so committed to the art of storytelling. May 14.

GrandSlam: Over the Line

Winners from the past five months of Virtual StorySlams compete for the title of “Best Storyteller” and a cash prize of $250. Their topic?  Over the Line: Some boundaries are clearer than others, and when they’re crossed – intentionally or not – tempers can flare and secrets are revealed. Stories from Gabby Shea, Mike Murphy, John Deary, Valeria Elliot and others. May 15.

Story Gym with Alyssa Al-Dookhi

The First Person Arts StoryStam is going to FaceBook Live hosted by comedian, writer and game show host Alyssa Al-Dookhi. Now twice-a month you can put your name in the “bucket!” Ten storytellers will be selected to tell their story to a live-streamed audience and get personal feedback from master story coaches. The first 10 folks to sign up will receive a spot on the show. A $5 application fee is required to put your name in the bucket. Audiences attend for free. May 20.

Mission Story Slam 

Members of Philadelphia’s nonprofit community will share a five-minute story about their mission on the theme of “What’s Next?” for a chance to win a $250 donation. Storytellers can also win a $100 donation Crowd Favorite prize. Stories are recorded for sharing on social media. Stories will also be shared on the Mission Story Slam Podcast. May 21.

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