The Lantern Theater Company continues its twentieth-anniversary season with "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar." The fate of the Roman Republic hangs in the balance when a group or senators decide that Caesar's power and popularity are dangerous to the state. The accomplished cast features Tony Award Nominee Forrest McClendon in the title role, Barrymore Award Winner Joe Guzmán as the scheming Senator Caius Cassius, and Philadelphia favorite U.R. as the principled and conflicted Marcus Brutus. The company's annual Shakespeare offering is inspired by the warrior ethos of feudal Japan, incorporating Shoji screen architecture, traditional Japanese warrior clothing and music performed by Philadelphia's Taiko drum ensemble. Directed by Charles McMahon, the Lantern's Artistic Director, at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia through March 16. Special events include a three-part "Scholars: In Conversation" series, "Friends, Romans, Countrymen: Julius Caesar in the Modern World," which features area experts on Shakespeare and politics, February 24, March 3 and March 10 at 7pm. A special wine tasting "A Tour of the Roman Empire" will precede the performance on Friday, March 28 at 6pm. Student rush tickets are available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID for $10, cash only.
Come on down for the "Play-In," Philadelphia Orchestra's free community event, Saturday, February 15, 6:30pm-7:15pm, Commonwealth Plaza, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Woodwind and horn musicians of all ages and abilities join Co-Principal Bassoon Mark Gigliotti, Associate Principal Clarinet Samuel Caviezel, bass clarinetist Paul Demers, Associate Principal Flute David Cramer, flutist Loren Lind, bassoonist Holly Blake, oboist Elizabeth Starr Masoudinia, and Associate Principal Horn Jeffrey Lang. Acclaimed guest conductor Vladimir Jurowski will also participate. Program includes Serenade in E-flat major, Op. 7, by Richard Strauss, Divertimento No. 1 in B-flat major by Franz Joseph Haydn, Petite Symphonie by Charles Gounod. Registration is closed to participate in this program but look for future opportunities including for harp, brass, and double bass in March, April, and May.
The Broadway tour of "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" arrives in Philadelphia February 18-23 at the Academy of Music. The re-imagined production by Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus (Pippin, Hair), Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog), and two-time Obie Award-winning composer Diedre L. Murray (Running Man), won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, features a 23 piece orchestra and all of the legendary songs including "Summertime," "It Ain't Necessarily So," and "I Got Plenty of Nothing," Broad Street, Philadelphia.
Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance bring their high-energy mix of ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop to Annenberg Center for the Arts, Thursday, February 20, 7:30pm, Friday, February 21, 8pm, and Saturday, February 22, 2pm and 8pm. Known for their appearances on Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, the ensemble of six male and two female dancers performs more than 200 shows per year in over 25 countries. The fast-paced 80 minute program is set to a pop score, choreographed by co-artistic director and USA International Junior Gold Medalist Adrienne Canterna, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. BBD will hold a Student Discovery program on Friday, February 21, 10:30am, and a master class on Friday, February 21 at 1pm. Presented by Dance Affiliates.
"Northern Liberties: From World's Workshop to Hipster Mecca and the People in Between" opens February 20 at the Philadelphia History Museum. The exhibit, sponsored by the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association and curated by Northern Liberties artist Jennifer Baker, offers photographs, artifacts, videos and the collected stories of the people who remember the lively postwar industrial neighborhood, shining a spotlight on the effects of deindustrialization and depopulation and the eventual redevelopment of this uniquely Philadelphia neighborhood, in the Museum's Community History Gallery, 15 S. 7th Street, Philadelphia. Opening reception Thursday, February 20, 5:30pm-7:30pm.
- Public Radio