XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…The Flower Show is here, can warmer weather be far behind?


The 187th annual Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the world’s oldest and still its largest indoor flower show! This year the theme is Celebrate the Movies;  expect to see Disney movies interpreted florally. The black tie gala Friday evening is the first of many special events.  The show runs through March 8th and proceeds help support the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s City Harvest program, which feeds some 1,200 families a week during the growing season, and other community initiatives.

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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Motion, the Lincoln Highway, pizza and more!

courtesy of
courtesy of

You can literally put yourself in the middle of the technology of knowing where you are when you go to Fronting Motion: an Exhibition by PolakVanBekkum at the University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Art Gallery! Artists Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum explain it this way:

Imagine yourself standing between two screens. Sound is all around you: you hear cars approaching, while from your back you hear the sluggish blowing of a sea tankers horn sounds, distant gulls? Everywhere you hear this other, constant noise. Is it the sea you hear or is it the sound of a highway? There is no way to distinguish other than by seeing or imagining, because both are in E flat… Meanwhile on the front screen the upbeat swelling of lights make you want to get out of the way, whilst the horizontal scrolling bars behind you, combined with its meditating sound keep you clamped to the ground. There’s no escape…

video preview can help prepare you for this unique experience, which starts Friday and runs through August 16th.

Historian Brian Butko, author of Lincoln Highway Companion, Diners of Pennsylvania, Roadside Attractions, and Roadside Giants, highlights the rich past of America’s first coast-to-coast automobile road, the Lincoln Highway, at the Mercer Museum Saturday afternoon. He’ll cover its origins, architecture and roadside attractions and sign copies of his book about the famed route. (There’s also a documentary about the fabled road produced for its centennial last year and a Lincoln Highway blog.) While you’re at the Mercer you can view the extraordinary collection of handmade items assembled by historian Henry Mercer and placed in the 6-story concrete castle he built to house them.

the Pizza Underground...courtesy of
the Pizza Underground…courtesy of

Whatever happened to Macaulay Culkin, the child star famous for the Home Alone movies?  Pizza, that’s what!  He’s now fronting a band called The Pizza Underground. The band starts with Velvet Underground songs and as pizza box percussionist Deenah Vollmer explains: “…you can replace most any word with slice or cheese.” They’re appearing at a free Pizza Party Friday, part of the Awesome Fest, that also includes a screening of the 1990 cult classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a big screen…and free pizza!  Ang & The Damn Band and Modern Colour also play.

PHILADANCO, Philadelphia’s world renowned dance company, presents its third annual Founder’s Day concert, a tribute to founder Joan Myers Brown and a benefit for the company, Friday at the Dell Music Center. On the bill is Suite Otis, a ballet set to Otis Redding’s music and choreographed by George Faison of Broadway’s the Wiz, and performances by four other dance troupes. The affordable tickets are meant to encourage families to experience a special quality evening of dance under the stars.

Rob Becker spent three years writing his one-man show Defending The Caveman and started performing it in 1991.  Since then the comedic take on the battle of the sexes has become the longest running solo play in Broadway history and has toured 45 countries and been translated into 18 different languages! The new production at Penn’s Landing Playhouse stars Vince Valentine and runs through August 24th.

On Saturday from 1 to 4, Headhouse Square hosts the 3rd annual Dog Days of Summer Cook Off. Twenty restaurants and food trucks from around the Philly area are going to head-to-head to see who makes the best frankfurter.

Brave New Voices: International Youth Slam Poetry Grand Slam Finals are at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts Saturday, featuring  some of the up-and-coming voices of the spoken word world.

The Institute of Contemporary Art has an interesting exhibition closing this Sunday, Benjamin Tiven: Synthetic Spectrum. As a response to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 2004 exhibit The Big Nothing, Tiven shows two film projects, his 2012 film A Third Version of the Imaginary and something new, an essayistic film “exploring the changing visuality of contemporary information technology and dissemination.”


XPN Weekend Arts Crawl–The Philadelphia Flower Show heralds spring and flamenco heats up Philadelphia!

The 2014 Philadelphia Flamenco Festival begins Saturday offering performances at a number of venues by internationally acclaimed contemporary flamenco dancers. The festival is presented by Philadelphia’s resident flamenco company Pasión Y Arte and runs through March 16th.

The world’s largest and oldest indoor flower show starts Saturday filling the Pennsylvania Convention Center with the sights and smells of spring.  The 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show: ARTiculture was developed in collaboration with art museums and draws on the mutual inspiration of painting and floral arts.  Through March 9th.

Azuka Theater‘s world premier of Skin and Bone opens Saturday. The second in Jacqueline Goldfinger’s Southern Gothic trilogy, Skin & Bone follows the lives of two elderly sisters, Midge and Madge, as they run a broken down bed and breakfast in a small northern Florida town. Through March 25th.

Native Americans from around North America will converge on the University of Pennsylvania Museum Saturday for the opening of a new long term exhibition Native American Voices: The People-Here and Now.  There will be music, dancing by Native Nations Dance Theater, family workshops, and more.

Historic Fort Mifflin on the Delaware celebrates the end of World War I and the roaring 20s with the Mud Island Speakeasy, a costume event with dancing to music of Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society and soldiers in military dress of the era.

International House Philadelphia presents the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival presenting Rafea: Solar Mama about a single mother in a poor desert village in Jordan and Born This Way, a film about sexual identity intolerance in Cameroon.

For those who are addicted to the public TV series Downton Abbey, Costumes of Downton Abbey opens at the Winterthur Museum Saturday. Forty historically inspired costumes from  television show will be on display through next January and there are several special events.

And there’s always more going on in Philly… Continue reading →