We survived another snow storm, and now we’re all waiting around like, "Is spring really gonna come now?” We wouldn’t deign to make any predictions, for fear we may jinx it, but this weekend looks fairly promising with a projected three-day stretch of sun and mid-40-degree temperatures.
Still too cold? With the exception of an Easter egg hunt in South Philly and opening weekend festivities at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, most of the weekend’s top events take place indoors. Look out for an after-hours soiree at the Academy of Natural Sciences, new performances by Tangle Movement Arts and the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, and a cool wine dinner at Martha that incorporates vino from nearby winery La Va Wine. Find details on all that and more—including concerts, comedy shows, movies and museum exhibitions—below.
Friday, March 23
Philly Wine Week at various locations, times and prices
Wine, wine, delicious wine is the star of the show at this eight-day festival that brings deals and vino-centric events to restaurants and bars with some of the best-stocked cellars in town. Check out our list of best Philly Wine Week events here.
qFLIX Philadelphia at various locations, times and prices
Philly’s only LGBTQ-centric film festival heads into its final weekend with a lineup of flicks spotlighting what’s new and queer in independent cinema. The whole shebang culminates with an awards ceremony, where prizes are doled out to the films based on audience feedback.
Friday Fiesta at Puyero Venezuelan Flavor; 6pm; pay as you go
Celebrate the one-year anniversary of this South Street-adjacent areperia with a Friday-night bash that features free Venezuelan nibbles, music and a piñata. Can’t make it that evening? Stop by for lunch on Friday from 11:30am to 1pm for $1 arepas in three signature varieties, or a selection of anniversary dishes on special throughout the weekend.
Shop crawl on Fabric Row; 5pm; pay as you go
Fourth Fridays on Fabric Row doesn't begin until the weather warms up (maybe April?), but a handful of businesses along the hip shopping corridor are hosting Friday-evening events this week to give you a taste of what’s to come. Here’s your game plan: Stop by bottle shop Beer Love to try a sampling of suds from Virginia’s Starr Hill Brewery from 5 to 7pm. Then, head to Paradigm Gallery + Studio for the grand opening of its latest exhibit, Sacred Lands by Drew Leshko, which is a stunning collection of detailed three-dimensional sculptures portraying a pre-gentrified version of his native Fishtown. A few doors down, Moon + Arrow debuts its spring 2018 jewelry collection with a small gathering from 6 to 9pm. Then stock up on new threads at women’s clothing boutique Steel Pony’s annual Studio Sale, which features a $29 room, sale racks aplenty and 30 percent off everything else.
Dinos After Dark at Academy of Natural Sciences; 5pm; pay what you wish
Explore Dinosaur Hall and all its massive inhabitants after-hours. The event also features hands-on activities, demonstrations, meet and greets with live animals and an indoor beer garden, called Dino Drafts, where you can snag beer, wine, cocktails and light bites.
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.
Saturday, March 24
Easter Egg Hunt on East Passyunk Avenue; 11am; free
Bring the family to South Philly for a full day of egg-hunting and activities such as arts-and-crafts tables, photo ops with the Easter Bunny and music from Ben FM. More details about hunting times here.
Egyptomania at the Penn Museum; 11am; $15
Egyptophiles should make a King Tut-dance their way to the Penn Museum Saturday for this celebration of all things Egypt. Besides peeping the Egypt gallery and its impressive giant Sphinx, guests can check out belly-dance performances, partake in hieroglyph lessons and hear lectures about Egyptian history.
Opening weekend at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden; 11am; $12
The Zenned-out garden in Fairmount Park opens for its 60th season this Saturday, and celebrates with free house tours and all the koi-feeding your heart desires. If you’re lucky, some of the cherry blossom trees will be abloom.
Two Boys Kissing at Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion; 2 and 10pm; $20–$40
The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus meet in the City of Brotherly Love for an evening of choral theater inspired by David Levithan’s best-selling novel concerning two gay teens who decide to break the world record for the longest kiss.
Elements of Friction at Icebox Project Space; 3 and 8pm; $15–$20
Philly circus arts performance troupe Tangle Movement Arts latest spectacle meshes live music and video with high-flying trapeze and aerial feats.
Philly Against the World! Local vs Non-Local Wines at Pinot Boutique; 6pm; $29
Pinot hosts a blind tasting of four pairs of wine—each with a local and global sample to compare. Prizes are doled out to those who can correctly identify the wines. —Megan Parry
Black-Tie GayBINGO at the Gershman Y; 6:30pm; $25–$175
The popular monthly—and drag queen-led—BINGO game gets fancy in March with an evening of added activities, such as a cocktail reception and silent auction, a catered dinner and dancing. As such, the ticket price is a little steeper than usual—and you’re expected to spiff up—but all money raised benefits AIDS Fund Philly.
Dan Auerbach & The Easy Eye Sound Revue at Union Transfer; 7:30pm; $39.50
You know how the Black Keys are all about the blues-rock and bombast? Yeah, don’t expect that kind of thing when Auerbach goes solo. Last year’s Waiting on a Song is soulful, folky and understated. Nobody ever called the Black Keys understated. —Patrick Rapa
Sunday, March 25
The Tempest at Lantern Theater Company; 2pm; $10–$45
Probably Shakespeare’s last play, and possibly his greatest, it’s difficult to categorize, mixing humor, grandeur, spectacle, magic and profound humanity. Director Charles McMahon’s cast stars a who’s who of Philly favorites, such as Peter DeLaurier, Bi Jean Ngo, Frank X and J Hernandez. —David Fox
Va La Wine Dinner at Martha; 6:30pm; $100
Anthony Vietri of Va La Vineyards in Avondale swings by Kensington cocktail bar Martha (pictured) for a wine dinner meant to highlight his Chester County-grown, Italian varietal wines—all paired with a rustic family-style meal prepared by Martha chef Sean Magee. E-mail email@example.com for a reservation. —Megan Parry
Glen Hansard at Union Transfer; 7:30pm; $40
The Irish troubadour has an Oscar in his back pocket (for “Falling Slowly” from the Once soundtrack), but he still puts on shows that feel warm, intimate and casual. Plus, his between-song banter is top-notch. —Patrick Rapa
Last chance: “Cary Leibowitz: Museum Show;” Institute of Contemporary Art; 11am; free
Take a twirl through this whimsical, sometimes comical career-spanning collection of works by the New York–based Leibowitz. Since the late 1980s, he’s used painting, textile, photography and more to highlight his experience as a gay Jewish man, and confront issues like identity, modernism and queer politics.
Last chance: “Process and Practice: 40 Years of Experimentation” at Fabric Workshop and Museum; noon; free
The latest exhibition at FWM celebrates the organization‘s renowned artist-in-residence program, which has hosted art superstars such as Marina Abramovic, Louise Bourgeois and Laurie Anderson. The display is filled with boxes that each artist kept to document their artistic process—things like sketches, notes and samples that give a glimpse into the creative process of these contemporary masters.
Ongoing things to do in Philadelphia
Love Letter Train Tours at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; $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.