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22 wonderful things to do in Philadelphia this weekend

Josh Middleton

If you don’t count Sunday, when it’s predicted to storm, this weekend is shaping up to be our best yet, at least weather-wise. Temperatures are expected to reach near 80 by Saturday, with sunshine abounding. It’s a good thing, because there are a slew of great outdoor events happening around town this weekend, including two street-food fests, the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival and the charity-based DOFL Food Truck Pop-Up in the Gayborhood. There’s also Sakura Sunday, which features tons of exciting Japanese activities, demonstrations and even a little karaoke among the stunning cherry blossom trees in Fairmount Park. Get info on all that and more, including a couple concerts, art shows and a kooky film festival, below.

Friday, April 13 

PHILADANCO is a contemporary dance company in Philadelphia

Photograph: Courtesy PHILADANCO

Cinedelphia Film Festival at various locations and various times and prices
This annual three-week film fest eschews some of the fancier cinema events in the city by spotlighting not the latest indie darling making buzz in Cannes, or wherever, but a lineup of “locally shot rarities and video era oddities.” The schedule is full of cult faves, B-movie horror classics and even an afternoon of old-school Saturday morning cartoons. Look out for screenings of Eerie, Indiana, The Room and music doc My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult. Check out the full lineup here.

PHILADANCO: Success Stories at the Kimmel Center; 7:30pm; $30–$49
Dance lovers will appreciate this performance, which spotlights the high-achieving careers of some of the dancers and choreographers that cut their teeth at PHILADANCO.

L7 at the Trocadero Theatre; 8pm; $254.50–$27
Expect this all-female rock group to set the Trocadero on fire with a setlist of brilliant punk that includes new tunes, “Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago” and “I Came Back To Bitch,” as well as classics like “Shitlist.” The fervor of the evening will only be bolstered by the recent news that the L.A. four piece is working on their first full-length album since 1999. Death Valley Girls open. —Chris Sikich

Saturday, April 14 

DOFL Food Truck Pop-Up

Photograph: Courtesy Visit Philly/M. Kennedy

The Philadelphia Furniture Show at 23rd Street Armory; 10am; $15
Step inside the fortress that is 23rd Street armory to ogle gorgeous and inspiring displays of furniture made by craftspeople from across the nation. You’ll find everything from uniquely designed coffee tables and wall shelves to dressers, rocking chairs, beds and more.

DOFL Food Truck Pop-Up at 12th and Spruce Sts; 11am; pay as you go
Head to the Gayborhood Saturday afternoon to order from a caravan of popular Philly food trucks lined up along the 1300 block of Spruce Street. All of the eateries on wheels—the Cow and the Curd, Cupcake Carnivale and Oink and Moo BBQ among them—will donate 33 percent of your tab to local HIV nonprofit Action Wellness. The event precedes Dining Out for Life on April 20, when hundreds of restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia Area also donate to the cause.

Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival at Main Street Manayunk; 11am; pay as you go
The bustling thoroughfare closes to vehicular traffic to make room for more than 70 food trucks and vendors lined up along the quaint thoroughfare—setups such as Baby Blues BBQ, the Cow and the Curd, Humpty’s Dumplings and more. When you’re not stuffing your face, check out the three main stages at Shurs Lane, Green Lane and Cotton Street, where you can catch live music all day.

“Slow Grooming” at Tiger Strikes Asteroid; 2pm; free
What are we doing each morning when we brush our hair, apply moisturizer, dot concealer under our eyes? Local artist Shelby Donnelly would argue that we’re suppressing our natural state of being, aspiring toward a fabricated concept of self improvement. This exhibition of her recent work explores grooming on multiple levels and includes intricate fabric collages.

Lydie Breeze, part 3 at Christ Church Neighborhood House; 8pm; $25–$32
EgoPo Classic Theater stages part three of its Lydie Breeze trilogy, a fascinating historical panorama of an American utopian society by John Guare. Read more about the epic production here, which culminates with a series of all-day binge-watching marathons this spring.

Sashay: A PGMC Drag Revue at Voyeur Nightclub; 8pm; $15
For their latest show, the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus welcome a gaggle of special guests: drag queens! Besides being an overall damn good time, the annual fundraiser raises dough for PGMC’s future programming.

Sunday, April 15 

Courtesy Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Sunday Sakura at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park, 10am; $5–$15
The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival—with happened at just the perfect time this year, when all the trees were rife with blooms— closes with a big festival in Fairmount Park. Sunday Sakura is a daylong bash that features traditional drum circles, live music, dancing, fashion shows and karaoke.

“Jane Irish: Antipodes” at Lemon Hill Mansion; 10am; free
Local artist Jane Irish usually paints decadent architectural interiors. This spring, she’ll have two floors of a real-life early-19th-century mansion at her artistic disposal, to create a site-specific project at Fairmount Park’s Lemon Hill mansion. The floor-to-ceiling installations of paintings and ceramics depict antipodes, or polar opposites: past and present, war and peace, east and west. The exhibition runs concurrently with “Jane Irish: Architectures of Resistance” at Locks Gallery off Washington Square.

Tell Me on a Sunday at Walnut Street Theatre; 2:30 and 7:30pm; $35–$90
When most of us think of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of the Opera and its big chandelier likely come to mind. But Webber has surprising range, and one of his best shows is the smallest: Tell Me on a Sunday, a song-cycle wherein a young British woman (Julia Udine) comes to America, has her heart broken and learns through the process. It’s a show full of charm and good songs, and few of us have ever seen it. Now’s our chance.

Ty Segall at the Trocadero Theatre; 7pm; $27
The prolific guitar hero dropped Freedom’s Goblin in January. —Patrick Rapa

NEON at La Fusion Lounge; 7pm; $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 7pm, a troupe of BOYlesque performers sashay in to put on a show.

Last chance: Human Rites at InterAct Theatre Company; 2pm; $15–$40
Check out InterAct’s spring offering before it leaves. The work, written by Seth Rozin and directed by Harriet Power, is an examination of academia and cultural politics.

Ongoing things to do in Philadelphia

“Game Masters” at The Franklin Institute; through September 3; $20
This brand new exhibition should appeal to gaming nerds with over 100 playable games from the arcade classics of the ’70s and ’80s to the multiplayer experiences of the present. Rare original concept artwork will be on view as well, showcasing the imagination of designers behind the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog. —Karen Chernick

Philly Celebrates Jazz at various locations, times and prices
This Jazz Appreciation Month celebration in Philly is a month-long itinerary of performances from local and international jazz artists. The event calendar is jam-packed, and includes everything from intimate shows in local jazz clubs, art exhibits and jazzy brunches. See the full lineup here.

Love Letter Train Tours at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; through May 27; $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.

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