At night, lanterns shaped as ocean waves crash on the grass, a whale hovering over and behind the waves

The Weekly Roundup, June 29-July 5

A swathe of cultural experiences for the holiday weekend

Esperanza Arts Center, Quintessence, Three Aksha, Glen Foerd, and more represent a diverse set of communities and cultures this week. Kyle V. Hiller rounds up.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 3 minute read
About 20 people, photographed from behind, walk on a paved path through a green lawn. One holds a large rainbow Pride flag.

Why I joined a Pride march with the church I avoided for almost 20 years

Small-town Pride

As an atheist and a divorced woman who supports gender justice, Alaina Johns definitely doesn’t belong in the church that raised her. But when the church’s more inclusive community members planned a Pride protest, she wanted to be there.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 5 minute read
A view of the gallery: bright white room with windows and plants on a center table. Dozens of news clippings on the wall.

The Print Center presents A Brand New End: Survival and its Pictures

Women’s (liberation) work

With A Brand New End: Survival and its Pictures, the Print Center takes a deep dive into a visual archive of how domestic abuse survivors and advocates support each other and work for change. Pamela J. Forsythe reviews.

Pamela J. Forsythe

Reviews 5 minute read
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Fine-lined black-and-white print of a close-up view of an amaryllis flower, resembling a lily.

Penn’s Ross Gallery presents From Studio to Doorstep: Associated American Artists Prints 1934-2000

Democratizing American art

This new exhibition of diverse and notable 19th-century prints explores an important corner of American art, when a Depression-era brainstorm made buying fine art accessible to the people. Pamela Forsythe reviews.

Pamela J. Forsythe

Reviews 5 minute read
Book cover. On a peach background, title & author appear in pale green, with a black & white illustration of 2 people kissing

Little Rabbit, by Alyssa Songsiridej

Power plays

Intimacy, identity, and class complicate the relationships of the artists at the center of Little Rabbit, a novel by Philadelphia writer Alyssa Songsiridej. Kirsten Bowen reviews.
Kirsten Bowen

Kirsten Bowen

Reviews 3 minute read
Costumed actor plays Betsy Ross, smiling & holding a 1770s US flag while 2 young Black children point excitedly to its stars

On Independence Day 2022, is our democracy failing? Not if we listen to our children.

We have to grow up. So does our country.

SaraKay Smullens knows a thing or two about adolescence: she’s a social worker, a family therapist, and a mother. Things in the US seem pretty bleak, but she argues that this is our adolescence, and we can still seize a bright future.
SaraKay Smullens

SaraKay Smullens

Essays 6 minute read
The RestART logo: a collage of faces at left, and an orange slash at right, with "Restart: the arts are back" superimposed

The BSR Podcast: RestART with BSR, episode 2, Da Vinci Art Alliance

The arts are back! Learn about the return

BSR is excited to team with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance's RestART Initiative on this special podcast episode about the Da Vinci Art Alliance.
Darnelle Radford

Darnelle Radford

Podcast 1 minute read
Four rows and four columns of a tree-like shape stenciled with various shades of black and gray, the title 'thrum' is in red

thrum by Jon Chaiim McConnell

A timely take on contemporary crisis

The debut work from the Delaware-based author takes on climate change with interweaving dystopian but contemporary stories. Nick Joseph reviews.

Nick Joseph

Reviews 4 minute read
In the center of a circle of about 12 dancers moving hand to hand, Greer stands on a box & sings. They wear modern clothes

Arden Theatre Company presents Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods

An enchanting season finale

The Arden takes another trip Into the Woods, with delightful and poignant results. Cameron Kelsall reviews.
Cameron Kelsall

Cameron Kelsall

Reviews 4 minute read
A Grandma Moses work shows rolling hills crisscrossed by woods and farms, like a quilt, and 2 black horses in the foreground

The Brandywine River Museum of Art presents Dawoud Bey and Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America

Making their presence known

Two exhibitions at the Brandywine River Museum of Art demonstrate bold curatorial vision, with Dawoud Bey: Night Coming Tenderly, Black and Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America. Gail Obenreder reviews.
Gail Obenreder

Gail Obenreder

Reviews 5 minute read
Actor O’Donnell, a white woman with gray-brown curly hair, stands smiling against a black backdrop with her hand on her heart

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival presents Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe’s Every Brilliant Thing

Not a solution, but a start

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s participatory production of Every Brilliant Thing has a message we need, from Center Valley all the way to Capitol Hill. Wendy Rosenfield reviews.
Wendy Rosenfield

Wendy Rosenfield

Reviews 3 minute read
Film still: Sandler walks through the gray-carpeted Sixers lobby, the Philly skyline visible through the window behind him.

Netflix presents Jeremiah Zagar’s Hustle

A shot at the Philly sports movie pantheon

The set of Hustle, the latest from star Adam Sandler, was hard to avoid during its extensive on-location Philly shoots. Now it’s out on Netflix, for fans of Sandler and the Sixers alike. Stephen Silver reviews.
Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver

Reviews 5 minute read
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Rehearsal. In a sculptural pose, 5 dancers lift a 6th up. She balances with her arms outstretched. They wear black leotards

Anne-Marie Mulgrew & Dancers Company presents Beautiful Chaos

The possibility of uncertainty

AMM & DCO explores the beauty, hope, and connection that can emerge from chaos in its Home Season Concert Project 35, featuring the premiere of the full-length work Beautiful Chaos. Melissa Strong reviews.
Melissa Strong

Melissa Strong

Reviews 6 minute read
Stage scene: 3 actors, a white man, a Black man, and a white woman, stand in a 70s kitchen. McCall holds a lamb in his arms

EgoPo Classic Theater presents Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class

Still a giant of the genre

EgoPo Classic Theater finally concludes its survey of Sam Shepard with his brutal, bitingly funny Curse of the Starving Class. Cameron Kelsall reviews.
Cameron Kelsall

Cameron Kelsall

Reviews 3 minute read
4 cast members: 3 teenagers and their dad, sit around a kitchen table in casual clothes, all responding to a phone Dad holds

InterAct Theatre Company presents Hilary Bettis’s 72 Miles to Go…

Beyond borders

This moving drama follows a Tucson family over the years as they live without their mother, who has been deported to Mexico. Kirsten Bowen reviews.
Kirsten Bowen

Kirsten Bowen

Reviews 3 minute read
Black stage with a blue-lit backdrop empty except for Erickson and Pujol, in short black costumes, facing each other in duet.

Bryan Koulman Dance presents its Summer 2022 Show

A grand and intimate experience

Bryan Koulman Dance Company marks its return to the stage with several works from its repertory and a world premiere performed by artists from the Philadelphia Ballet and PHILADANCO! Melissa Strong reviews.
Melissa Strong

Melissa Strong

Reviews 4 minute read
the 3 actors in Regency costumes, a white woman, a white man, & a Black woman, sit in a row, with different expressions

Tiny Dynamite presents The Complete Works of Jane Austen, Abridged

The Bingster is back

Tiny Dynamite distills six of the English language’s best-loved novels—and then some—into this fun, fleet, and heartfelt tribute to Jane Austen. Alaina Johns reviews.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Reviews 3 minute read
A side profile of Alford-Tate in a deep navy blue suit looks out into an audience, an illustrated landscape behind him

The Weekly Roundup, June 15-22

Celebrating Juneteenth in Philadelphia

Kyle V. Hiller rounds up Juneteenth events in Philadelphia, featuring offerings from Sistahs Laying Down Hands, Uhuru, the MoAR, AAMP, and many more.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 3 minute read
The RestART logo: a collage of faces at left, and an orange slash at right, with "Restart: the arts are back" superimposed

The BSR Podcast: RestART with BSR, episode 1, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

The arts are back! Learn about the return

BSR is excited to team with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance's RestART Initiative with this special podcast episode on Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture.
Darnelle Radford

Darnelle Radford

Podcast 1 minute read
Book cover: 2 Black teen boys in a painted illustration, a train & crowded Ferris wheel behind them. The title appears above.

Kings of B’more by R. Eric Thomas

Baltimore, Bueller-style

R. Eric Thomas’s debut young-adult novel Kings of B’more is a witty, adventurous nod to Ferris Bueller that hits close to home, but may be hindered by its own genre tropes. Kyle V. Hiller reviews.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Reviews 3 minute read
A large photo of the writer’s dad, a white man with white hair, placed on top of a worn recliner chair and vintage typewriter

When home leaves you: a Father’s Day foray into holding on and letting go

Packing up my parents’ house

When Anndee Hochman’s parents moved to the Philly suburbs in 1965, it was a compromise. Almost 60 years later, the house holds a departed father’s heart. It’s time to say goodbye again.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Essays 5 minute read
Four Black actors in period costume stand soberly in a late 19th-century interior, long grasses at the side, & black backdrop

Quintessence Theatre Group presents Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West

Rediscovering Nicodemus

Quintessence’s Reclamation Repertory continues with Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West, a deeply relevant play for our ongoing conversations about redlining, gentrification, and reparations. Josh Herren reviews.
Josh Herren

Josh Herren

Reviews 3 minute read