West Craft Fest, Sun­ny War and David Sick­men come to town, and The Ever Present’ premieres

The Week­ly Roundup, Sep­tem­ber 8 – 14

3 minute read
'The Ever Present by R. Eric Thomas' at the image's top. A hot air balloon carries a b&w building over a partly cloudy sky.
'The Ever Present' from Theatre Exile and R. Eric Thomas premieres this weekend. (Image courtesy of Theatre Exile.)

This week features the West Craft Fest’s triumphant return to the Woodlands, a cool show strumming at People’s Light, and R. Eric Thomas’s new play The Ever Present sees its world premiere with Theatre Exile.

Also, be sure to check out some other things happening this weekend, like BalletX’s new season opener and walking tours via the Fringe Festival.

Sunny War and David Sickmen at People’s Light
Friday, September 10, 6:30pm
39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA

If you’re looking to expand your horizons and discover new music and you want to discover that music live, consider taking a drive over to People’s Light this weekend to see Sunny War and David Sickmen. Sickmen is the frontman of Americana band Hackensaw Boys, and Sunny War is a Los Angeles-based musician who really gets down on the guitar with pensive tracks that are as smooth as the moon over the velvet sky.

(Whoa, did I just turn into a poet at an open mic night?)

I'm particularly interested in Sunny War. Her new album Simple Syrup reminds me of a deep cut from Philly's neo-soul heyday, Jazzyfatnastees' The Once and Future. The album leaps around various topics and subjects, from romance to politics, or from nods to a veteran friend with PTSD to odes to her drunken self. If you’re curious about seeing her live, check out her Tiny Desk performance at NPR's studios.

West Craft Fest
Saturday, September 11, 11am-5pm
The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Avenue

West Craft Fest returns for an afternoon featuring local artists and makers, live music, food trucks, and a performance by Tinycircus, Tangle Movement Arts’ free, outdoor performance series.

There will be nearly 100 artists and crafters with handmade jewelry, original artworks, prints, clothing, ceramics, baby gifts, stationery, candles, soaps, toys, tinctures...the list goes on forever. There’s always something to discover at West Craft Fest, and I’m excited that it’s back!

Folks can also explore the Woodlands' 54 walkable acres. So, if you peruse the fest but still want to skip about (especially if this late summer breeze sticks around), there’s that!

The Ever Present
September 11-19
Times and locations vary

I find vacant lots intriguing. What used to be there? What might be there in the future? How long has it been vacant? Why? There’s something mysterious about vacant lots, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way.

This weekend, The Ever Present has its world premiere. Written by R. Eric Thomas, directed by Brett Ashley Robinson, and presented by Theatre Exile, the fantastical and family-friendly play centers on a South Philly vacant lot that turns out to be more than meets the eye. The story follows Pashmina Paredes (played by Kimie Muroya), a neighborhood resident collecting signatures for a petition to prevent the city from selling the lot to a devious developer. And in classic South Philly fashion, all the neighbors have a special connection to the house that once stood there.

It’s from R. Eric Thomas, so expect there to be laughs. The performance also stars Nathan Alford-Tate, Pax Ressler, Eleni Delopoulos, and Cathy Simpson.

All shows are free to the public, who is encouraged to bring blankets and lawn seating to the various locations. The show will be performing at Columbus Square, Dickinson Square, Wharton Square, Stephen Girard Park, and Hawthorne Square at various times through its weeklong run.

Before you check out the show (or after, I’m not here to tell you what to do with your time or whatever), be sure to listen to the latest episode of the BSR podcast, which features an interview with R. Eric Thomas. Stream it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and online via Em3ry.

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