The Rundown | April 8-15

Philadelphia Theatre Week is here!

11th Hour Theatre Company | Image: Grayce Hoffman

Theatre Philadelphia has announced the return of Philly Theatre Week from April 22 to May 2.

The Philadelphia theatre scene will rise again after the pandemic shut-downs with 11 days, 64 organizations, 72 events, and hundreds of performances. All tickets for participating shows are specially priced to be accessible to all, with tickets being free, $15 or $30 each. Philly Theatre Week tickets are officially on sale now at phillytheatreweek.org. Here are a few of the performances we don’t want to miss.

Image | Courtesy of Philadelphia Theatre Week

The #Knightlife Renaissance Faire

Hear ye, hear ye! #KnightlifeRenFaire returns to the digital realm! Join in the spring-time merriment from the comfort of your home as entertainers dazzle with music, art, dance, combat, and beyond streaming from The Hum’n’bards Theater Troupe Facebook page. Beginning at 5pm, they will feature artisans to demonstrate their craft. You will have the chance to win their wares in an online raffle, with proceeds going to Black Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia. Then, at 7pm, join for some #Knightlife entertainment: Singing, magic, drag, stage combat, Shakespeare, and so much more! The Hum’n’bards Theater Troupe. Saturday, May 1 from 5pm-9pm. Live Virtual Theatre Event. Pay What You Can.

Image | Wide Eyed Studios

How To Be Brave

Single-parent Katie is having a terrible morning: Her mom is yelling, her daughter is bleeding, and the smoke alarm just went off. Overwhelmed, Katie runs out the door and on a wild ride through Newport, Wales. Featuring a stolen BMX bike, a quick dip in the River Usk, and an impromptu public dance number, How To Be Brave is an uplifting reminder of how our hometowns shape who we are. Inis Nua Theatre Company. April 22 – April 25. Pre-recorded Theatre Event. Pay What You Can. 

A Doll’s House 20/20

Ibsen’s classic adapted to 2020. Nora Helmer has a beautiful life and a dreadful secret: She’s $300,000 in debt, possibly going to jail and being blackmailed by one of her husband’s subordinates. On top of it all, she’s quarantined alone at home where her only human interaction comes from friends who drop by on Bubble Chat throughout the day. As Nora’s story unfolds, so do the lives of the people around her: COVID-19, desperation, unemployment and power struggles interweave over Bubble, a Zoom-like environment created specifically for this independently funded film which brings Henrik Ibsen’s Victorian masterpiece to lockdown. Laurel Tree Theater. April 22 – May 2. Pre-Recorded Theatre Event. $30.

The Niceties – A Virtual Presentation

A “blisteringly smart” (Boston Globe) drama in which Zoe, a brilliant Black college student, and her white history professor Janine square off over the role slavery played in the American Revolution. Heightened by protests and a social media frenzy, their taut and timely debate careens out of control and threatens to derail their careers and their lives. Register in advance and receive the streaming link on April 22. Register after April 22, and you’ll receive the link directly from InterAct Theatre Company within 24 hours. InterAct Theatre Company. Thursday, April 22 – Sunday, May 2. Pre-Recorded Theatre Event. Free.

Quarantine Cabaret: Elena Camp & Rajeer Alford

Adorable real-life couple, Elena Camp and Rajeer Alford, will serenade audiences with moving duets, unique interpretations of classical musical theatre pieces, and more as part of 11th Hour’s spring Cabaret Series. Event will be streamed live on April 24, and available for replay up to two weeks after original air date. 11th Hour Theatre Company. Saturday, April 24 from 7:30pm-8:30pm. Recording will be available for two weeks after the original air date. Live Virtual Theatre Event.

Mallbodies, A Performative Elegy to the American Shopping Mall

Shopping malls hold a strong place in American culture as well as personal culture. Mallbodies is a soundwalk performance dedicated to – and in critique of – our experience and memory of the American shopping mall. This project is designed to be listened to by individual audience members using headphones while exploring a shopping mall of their choosing. Mallbodies is performed for an audience of one (or do it with a friend!) as they stream the series of tracks on a playlist on the Mallbodies website: mallbodies.biz. Thursday, April 22 – Sunday, May 2. Audio Performance. Pay What You Can.

Frauenschlläechterei

A German lawyer attempts to make Brigette Helm an American movie star in 1933 Hollywood. A play told in mailed installments sent to you in the mail culminating in a performance in your home. Hella Fresh Theater. Thursday, April 22- Sunday, May 2. Theatre By Mail.

Spiritual Uprising

Zonya Love (Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, Broadway’s The Color Purple) brings her forthcoming collection of reimagined Negro Spirituals to the People’s Light stage in this filmed concert event. The nationally acclaimed actor-musician leads a full band through evocative new renditions of songs like “My Way’s Cloudy” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” while illustrating the music’s deep cultural and historical significance. People’s Light. April 22 – May 2. Pre-Recorded Theatre Event. $15

The Second Annual Surprise Birthday Party for William Shakespeare

Don’t tell Shakespeare, but they’re throwing him another surprise birthday party! This year the bard is turning 457 so we’re all getting together again to perform some more of his work. It’ll be a night of scenes, monologues, songs, sonnets, and of course…cake! The Phoenix Theatre. Friday, April 23 from 7pm – 9pm. Love Virtual Theatre. Pay What You Can.

Dispatches From Gloria

What do you do after an insurrection? Search through the detritus of characters, images, music, games, imposters, hip hop, zines, and nook miles in an episodic collage that is the quiet after The Storm. How far would you go? Who can you save? Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria? Die-Cast. April 23 – May 1. Live Virtual Theatre Event. Pay What You Can. 

Nocturne

“Fifteen years ago, I killed my sister.” Thus begins this haunting story of pain and isolation. Before the event, you receive directions to a remote abandoned parking lot in Philadelphia. You arrive in the night, your vehicle illuminating the empty landscape. A man appears out of the darkness, blinded by your headlights. Through your FM radio, he begins to share the story of his journey to redemption. You, and your car, become essential players in this theatrical nightmare as his life (re)emerges out of the darkness and silence. EgoPo Classic Theater. April 28 – May 2. Live Drive-In Outdoor Event. $15.

Pandemic!

A professional production of a first-place winning play. From the playwright: “Pandemic is a politically charged piece that explores racism, both externalized and internalized, through the eyes of two starkly different generations – the 1930s and modern day 2020. It portrays how racism exists today in the subtlest ways that are easily missed but also in violent, hateful ways like that of a hundred years ago. It also sheds important light on the Chinese Exclusion Act, an often overlooked part of our history that is not taught in schools, and draws a parallel between those acts and the rise of anti-Asian-American sentiment with the COVID-19 crisis.” Philadelphia Young Playwrights. Thursday, April 22 – Sunday, May 2. Audio Performance. Pay What You Can.

Earth Day, neon and more

Here are a few events you’ll want to put on your calendar.

Philly Colleges STEM Education Fair

A two-day online Education Fair featuring STEM programs offered by area colleges and universities. April 20, undergraduate program will be highlighted by representatives from over 10 schools. On April 22, graduate programs (post graduate certificates and degrees) will be highlighted for professionals who want to boost their skills. Register at phillycolleges.org

Neon Museum

For a very limited time, the Neon Museum of Philadelphia is open to visitors. To celebrate Mason Carter’s special exhibition, Blendini City, the Museum’s home at NexFab is having a soft opening for four days only: Thursday, April 15, through Sunday, April 18, during limited hours. Reserve your tickets at neonmuseumofphiladelphia.com/tickets.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

“Measure Twice, Cut Once: Exploring Franklin as Part of Philadelphia’s Built Identity” is an art exhibition by local artist John Hopkins that will be on display at Carpenters’ Hall from April 17 (the anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s death) to May 16. Hopkins has served as director of operations at Christ Church Preservation Trust and caretaker of Franklin’s grave at 5th and Arch Streets for over 20 years. Drawing on his 30 years of experience as an artist, Hopkins’ work showcases Franklin’s morbid witticism and his relationship with Philadelphia’s built identity. In commemoration of International Day for Monuments and Sites and National Historic Landmark Reopen House Day, a demonstration with Hopkins will take place at Carpenters’ Hall on Sunday, April 18, from 4 to 5 p.m. Carpenters’ Hall will be open for extended hours, from 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. that day. carpentershall.org

Naturepalooza: A Family Friendly Earth Day Celebration

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education will celebrate Earth Day at its 10th annual signature family-friendly festival, with a new COVID-safe twist. Hike along trails, stopping at various activity tables on the mission to become a Planet Protector. Learn about the importance of planting native, make a bird feeder and other wildlife-friendly crafts to take home, and explore our ponds to discover what macroinvertebrates or water bugs can tell us about the health of local waterways. Registration is required. April 24 at 10am. schuylkillcenter.org

Villanova’s Earth Day Celebration

Climate change has triggered intense engagement and reactions from politicians, scholars, organizations and even churches – leading to a misconception that Christianity and science cannot co-exist. On Thursday, April 22 at 5:30pm, renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, an endowed professor in Public Policy and Public Law and co-director of the Climate Center at Texas Tech University, presents “Christians, Climate, and our Culture in the US” as a part of Villanova University’s annual Earth Day celebration. Via Zoom. villanova.edu

Image: Unsplash

The Navy Yard Community Blood Drive

Stop by on April 30 for a community blood drive from the American Red Cross. The drive will take place in the USS NJ/Wisconsin Conference Room. The American Red Cross is testing all blood product donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Only those feeling healthy should present to donate, appointments are strongly encouraged. 10 am – 3 p.m. To make an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org

Ready to drink up?

From National Gin and Tonic Day to Parks on Tap, the city is ready to quench your thirst.

Image | Albert Yee

Parks on Tap

Parks on Tap is back for its sixth season with socially distanced blooms, bites and beers just in time for the Cherry Blossoms. Philadelphia’s traveling outdoor beer garden that gives back to city parks will pop-up at two locations outside the Fairmount Horticulture Center Arboretum (100 N. Horticultural Drive) through Sunday, April 25. As in years past, patrons are invited to enjoy fresh food, beers on tap, wine and more set in an outdoor environment with comfortable chairs and clean restrooms. Parksontap.com

Image | Courtesy of Forsythia

Forsythia 

Old City’s French bar and restaurant helmed by Chef Christopher Kearse will feature their twist on gin and tonic on National Gin and Tonic Day, Friday, April 9, with RBG&T, a playful nod to the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is composed of gin, Combier Rose liqueur, Fever Tree aromatic tonic, and lemon. Available for limited indoor dining, outdoor seating, and takeaway. Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 4 – 10pm. 233 Chestnut St. | 215.644.9395 |  forsythiaphilly.com

Philadelphia AFRO-Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

This one is a bit in the future, but we think you’ll want to plan ahead to attend. There will be live bands, wines and vendors. Bring an appetite for great music, wine and food, and enjoy the fresh air. June 13, 11:30am at Belmont Mansion. $20-$50. Eventbrite.com

Art in the Age 

As part of National Gin and Tonic Day, April 9, Old-City’s unique tasting room, and go-to destination for home bar supply and bottle shop offers their take on a gin and tonic made with New Liberty Distillery Snug Harbor Gin, Jack Rudy Tonic Syrup, lime bitters, and topped with seltzer, in the form of bottled cocktails. These craft cocktails can be enjoyed to-go in singles or four-packs, or at Art in the Age’s cozy outdoor cocktail lounge. Open Tuesday to Sunday noon – 6pm. 116 N. 3rd St. | 215.922.2600 |  artintheage.com

Jet Wine Bar

Philadelphia’s “global vineyard” boasts an extensive and inventive craft cocktail selection in addition to its carefully curated global wines. One fan-favorite sipper to check out on National Gin and Tonic Day is the Pink Gin & Tonic, made up of Bluecoat gin, lime, and Fever Tree aromatic tonic. Available at Jet Wine Garden, the verdant oasis adjacent to Jet Wine Bar. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 4 – 9pm, Friday from 4 – 10pm, Saturday  from noon – 11pm, and Sunday from noon – 8 pm. Closed on Monday. 1525 South St. | 215.735.1116 |  jetwinebar.com

Enjoying this article?Consider joining AltPhilly, an exclusive community with access to members-only digital content and more.