The arts are coming back
The arts community was hit hard by the pandemic. Now events are starting to come back, some in-person and some online. Here are some of the upcoming performances and activities we don’t want to miss.
Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic Orchestra
On April 17, Thee Phantom & The Illharmonic will once again partner with the Kimmel Center for an epic, online performance. The ensemble, whose founding members hail from the City of Brotherly Love, are no strangers to grand opening moments at the Kimmel. In 2002, the crew became the first Hip-Hop Artists to perform at the venue’s Inaugural, “Summer Solstice Celebration” where they were accompanied by members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. 6-8pm. $20. universe.com/events
Pennsylvania Ballet has announced the launch of its digital spring season, titled “Strength. Resilience. Beauty.” and featuring newly filmed productions of classic ballets, world premieres, and principal solo performances. The season will pay tribute to the late Barbara Weisberger (1926-2020), who founded Pennsylvania Ballet with an extraordinary vision to connect with the community through ballet. The season, composed of three distinct programs, will stream on paballet.org starting March 25 through June 2.
How many secrets can one room hold? Step into this virtual odyssey that combines interactive live theater, gripping storytelling, cinematic illusions and magic all in one creative hour of surprises. Theatre Exile invites you to check into Zoo Motel, devised by director, designer and performer Thaddeus Phillips in 2020 as a quarantined experiment that offers a window into what’s possible for live performance – a world where audiences from around the globe can share a mind-bending adventure in the comfort of their own home. Broadcast live and online from one room in a South American village, Zoo Motel takes you on a journey to Spain, Japan, the Mojave Desert, and other parts of the world alongside fellow motel guests. April 15 at 7pm – May 2 at 3pm. theatreexile.org
African American Women and Rock and Roll
The African American Museum in Philadelphia will partner with the Center for Experimental Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania to convene a conversation centered on author Dr. Maureen Mahon’s book “Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll.” African American women have played a pivotal part in rock and roll – from laying its foundations and singing chart-topping hits to influencing some of the genre’s most iconic acts. Along with Mahon, this conversation features Dr. Deborah Thomas and Dr. Guthrie Ramsey of the University of Pennsylvania as panelists, and Dejay Duckett, Director of Curatorial Services at AAMP, as moderator. Advance registration is required. Virtual. March 25 at 6:30pm. aampmuseum.org
HOT•BED will present “Biospheres,” a collaborative exhibition by visual artists, Marguerita Hagan and Ana Vizcarra Rankin. Curated by James Oliver of the James Oliver Gallery, “Biospheres” is a conversation about the extraordinary complexities of the known universe. Though each artist works within a different medium (drawings, paintings, mixed media and ceramic sculptures), they each make art that seeks to visualize what has enabled life to thrive for eons. Hotbedphilly.com.
Gathering Seeds 2.1: Ancestors Prayed For You
In this virtual workshop, led by artist Deborah Spears-Moorehead, explore the impact of an ancestor, elder, or significant person utilizing photographs, collage, drawing, and poetry. Deborah will guide the group as it delves into elder’s life stories and work creatively to depict their legacy and impact. All skill levels welcome! Free and open to all. Space is limited. March 27 at 3pm. wearetheseeds.org
New brews, ships and more on deck for Philly
From fundraising events to new brews, all kinds of interesting things are taking place in the coming days and weeks. Here are a few of our favorites that you’ll want to check out.
Giveadelphia, Philadelphia’s premier community organization founded in 2019 and aimed at encouraging young professionals to support local nonprofits through charity work and unique community building activations, has announced its second annual “Love Back Ball,” raising funds and awareness for this year’s official Giveadelphia beneficiary: Philadelphia’s Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP). Taking place on Saturday, April 10, the two-part event will kick-off with wellness-oriented outdoor programming in the morning and resume in the evening with a series of virtual “edutainment” activations. giveadelphia.com
Women in Preservation
The Carpenters’ Company wraps up Women’s History Month with a virtual panel on women in historic preservation. After an overview of the many women who led the early movements to save architectural and historical treasures, public historian and writer Mickey Herr will moderate a discussion about the current state of women as preservation professionals with a distinguished panel including Mary Werner DeNadai, principal of John Milner Architects; Dominique M. Hawkins, principal of Preservation Design Partnership LLC; and Jessica H. Senker, principal of J&M Preservation Studio. All panelists are members of The Carpenters’ Company. March 31 at 6pm. carpentershall.org
Independence Seaport Museum
The Independence Seaport Museum will reopen its doors and welcome back the public starting March 20. Visitors can look forward to learning about national maritime history and further their knowledge of Pennsylvania’s expansive waterways through the museum’s incredible exhibitions. New COVID-19 safety precautions will ensure visitors can remain socially distant as they view the expansive collection of artifacts and attractions at ISM, including National Historic Landmark Ship Cruiser Olympia. phillyseaport.org
Ask a Naturalist
Bring your nature questions for a panel of naturalists to answer. What’s the best local tree to plant in my yard? Which birds are migrating through Philadelphia right now? How are native bees or monarch butterflies doing? Tony Croasdale, naturalist at the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center, joins staff naturalists Aaliyah Green Ross, Eduardo Duenas, and Patti Dunne to answer all your nature questions. Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. April 1 at 7pm. schuylkillcenter.org
Two Locals Brewing
Two Locals Brewing Company, Philadelphia’s first Black-owned brewery, has announced the launch of its first beer releases. Under a new relationship with FCM Hospitality and Mainstay Independent Brewing, Two Locals Owners and brewers Richard and Mengistu Koilorwill bring Nubian Brown Ale (5.7% ABV), Prolific Hazy IPA (6.4% ABV) and Who You Wit? Belgian-style Witbier (5.7% ABV) to the Philadelphia marketplace. Nubain and Prolific are available for purchase online through twolocalsbrewing.com or through Craft Hall (901 N. Delaware) on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 6pm.
New Liberty Distillery
If there’s anything we learned from 2020, it’s to never undervalue the convenience of direct-to-doorstep delivery, which is why New Liberty Distillery, the South Kensington craft distillery and home to award-winning spirit lines such as the revived heritage Kinsey brand, is announcing open enrollment into its Spirits Club. New Liberty Distillery’s newly revamped Spirits Club boasts monthly deliveries of curated premium and specialty spirits as well as first dibs on new releases, events, and special offers from industry vet and master distiller, Robert Cassell. Monthly subscriptions start at $59.99 and boast a retail value of $95. newlibertydistillery.com
Coming soon to Netflix
Netflix has a host of great programs about to hit your television screens in April. Here are a few of the shows we’ll be sure to check out, but check out netflix.com for even more shows coming next month.
Hosted by Gaten Matarazzo (“Stranger Things”), each episode of this terrifying and hilarious prank show takes two complete strangers on the surprise ride of a lifetime. It’s business as usual until their paths collide and their one-day assignments turn into supernatural surprises. Where fear meets funny, “Prank Encounters” is the most elaborate hidden camera prank show ever devised. April 1.
Here’s one that hits really close to home. While spending the summer in North Philadelphia, a troubled teen is caught between a life of crime and his estranged father’s vibrant urban-cowboy subculture. No specific date for release is set yet, but it will show up in April.
“Worn Stories” opens the closets of a diverse group of people to reveal a treasure-trove of tales about the meaning behind articles of clothing. Be it a pair of boots symbolizing survival, a dress that’s come to stand for recovery, or a uniform that reaffirms an identity, the series illuminates the lives of the wearers through stories about cherished articles of clothing. By turns funny, tragic, poignant, and celebratory, each episode is organized by theme and features a mix of interviews from cultural figures and talented storytellers. Animated sequences and archival footage help bring these touching yarns to life. April 1.
The Swedish language reboot sets in Stockholm 10 years after the events depicted in the film trilogy. In the center of the story is Leya, a young, single mom trying to make it within the startup-scene. It is a buzzing environment where the craving for status and money is stronger than ever and Leya is determined to make it, no matter what. The entrepreneurial jet set as well as the criminal world is more brutal, chaotic and ruthless than ever. When these two worlds collide, loyalty, friendships and business partners will all be tested in the never-ending quest for easy money. April 7.
“Yasuke” is a six-episode series created by LeSean Thomas, set in alternate fantastical Japan during the feudal era. The story is about a samurai warrior of African descent who must return to his life of sword and violence in order to protect a mysterious girl from the dark forces. April 29.
Ride or Die
Born and raised in a wealthy family, Rei (Kiko Mizuhara) has lived a life without need. One day, she hears from Nanae (Honami Sato), who she had feelings for in high school, and the two women are reunited for the first time in 10 years. However, Rei’s happiness is short-lived as she is shocked to see that Nanae is covered in bruises suffered from domestic violence at the hands of her husband. April 15.