We round up the best things to do in Philadelphia during the last weekend of winter—including comedy shows, drag queens, new theater, dance parties, a “boylesque” performance and your last chance to check out the trippy “Winter Fountains” exhibition along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Friday, March 16
Eagles Autism Challenge Benefit Show at the Underground; 7pm; $20
Round Guys Brewing Company hosts this charity show featuring local band Wineskin, which the brewery describes as “the Grateful Dead meets the Black Crows.” One-hundred percent of ticket sales—and a portion of beer sales from Round Guys—benefit the Eagles Autism Challenge, a Birds-backed initiative to finance more studies surrounding autism.
Two Man, One Man at the Adrienne Theater; 8pm; $15
This show, a hit at last year’s FringeArts Festival, concerns two very different actors actors (Benjamin Behrend and Patrick Romano) who, after preparing for all-important one-man performances, learn that they actually have to share the stage when a venue accidentally double-books them. Laughter—and maybe a few diva moments—ensues.
Blame in on Bianca at the Trocadero Theatre; 8pm; $45–$199
The acid-tongued diva brings her latest stand-up gig to Philadelphia, where, on top of her trademark witty banter, expect to hear all kinds of tea on her fellow Drag Race contestants and (if you’re brave) have the chance to join her onstage for her always-hilarious audience participation bits.
Nightmares on Wax at Underground Arts; 8pm; $20-$22
Get ready to dance. This prolific British DJ has earned his sizeable fanbase by dabbling in lots of genres: dance, soul, hip-hop—plus a bit of indie rock for good measure. —Patrick Rapa
Get Pegged at FringeArts; 10:30pm; $5–$15
This monthly, queer-centric musical series inspired by old-school French cabaret features a top-notch lineup of vocal and performance-art talents from Philadelphia, New York City and beyond. This month, look out for a special performance by NYC-based trans actor and writer Becca Blackwell along with the always-captivating show host, John Jarboe. Blackwell will be doing a piece called “That Time of the Month,” which finds them wearing a six-foot vagina outfit named Snatch Adams.
Saturday, March 17
St. Patrick’s Day 2018 parties in Philly at various locations, times and prices
This city—which was just revealed as the third best town in the country to celebrate the year’s greenest holiday—goes all out for St. Paddy’s Day with parties, events, bar crawls and more happening across town. Check out our guide to the best St. Patrick’s Day 2018 events to make sure you wind up at the right ones.
BalletX Spring Series at the Wilma Theater; 2 and 8pm; $25–$50
The modern-dance company presents two world premieres and a returning classic. First, Darrell Grand Moultrie debuts a new work that celebrates the Latin and Afro-Caribbean sounds of his native Spanish Harlem. Lovers of old-school soul and funk will dig Trey McIntyre’s homage to Motown, American Bandstand and Soul Train. And celebrated Philadelphia choreographer Matthew Neenan brings back Increasing, which he debuted at the Vail Dance Festival in 2014.
Noises Off at Walnut Street Theatre; 2 and 8pm; $20-$87
Michael Frayn’s beloved backstage farce is the rare comedy that gets funnier every time you see it. But it’s not easy to pull off without significant resources and tremendous panache. Fortunately, Walnut Street Theatre should have both bases covered, with a masterful ensemble including Ben Dibble, Daniel Fredrick, Leonard C. Haas, Greg Wood and the great Mary Martello. —David Fox
Last chance: “Not Ready to Make Nice: Guerrilla Girls in the Artworld and Beyond” at the Galleries at Moore; 10am; free
Open since the weekend of the 2018 Women‘s March, this exhibition features two rooms full of artifacts that spotlight the history of the Guerrilla Girls, a fired-up collective of artists that has used art and activism to champion feminism and social change for three decades. Works on view include documentary footage, protest artifacts, behind-the-scenes photos and girl power aplenty.
Sunday, March 18
Small Mouth Sounds at Philadelphia Theatre Company; 3pm; $19–$69
In these tumultuous political times, many American playwrights think about survival. Rachel Chavkin and Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds, which focuses on a group of disparate adults at a wildlife retreat, addresses the theme in a particularly ingenious way. As Philadelphia Theatre Company reinvents itself, they’re smart to bring in this show, a big hit last year Off Broadway. —David Fox
Eagles Fly Together: Philly Comedy Stands with MSD at Philly Improv Theater; 5:30pm; $10 minimum donation
Comedians from Philly Improv Theater come together for a night of improv, giggles and healing to benefit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. All money raised benefits students and teachers at the school in their pursuit of recovery at the tragedy that happened there last month.
NEON at La Fusion Lounge; 8pm; $15–$20
Envoûté: Magic and Burlesque brings this LGBTQ soiree to a swanky, Miami-style cocktail lounge in South Philly. Show up early—around 6 or 6:30pm—to enjoy karaoke and cocktails. Then, at 8pm, a troupe of boylesque performers sashay in to put on a show. Bring those dollar bills, y’all!
Last chance: “Winter Fountains for the Parkway” along the Ben Franklin Parkway; 6pm; free
Sunday is your last chance to ogle this weird and gorgeous installation along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway by artist Jennifer Steinkamp. The exhibition comprises five 13-foot high domes that light up after dark with animated videos inspired by the cultural institutions that line the boulevard. Steinkamp’s work is known for its sensuous beauty and transformative power.
Fun ongoing things to do in Philadelphia
Love Letter Train Tours at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; 10:30am, 1pm; $23–$41
Grab a seat on this 90-minute guided train tour of West Philadelphia that rolls past the series of 50 rooftop “A Love Letter for You” murals painted by Philly native Steve “ESPO’ Powers. In collaboration with Mural Arts Philadelphia, the works spell out adorable sayings like “open your eyes/i see the sunrise” and ”see me like i see you: beautiful.’ This is an especially good year to take a tour, since several of the murals were recently restored and Powers added a few more to ogle.