Mix and mingle at Philadelphia Theatre Company’s second annual festival, featuring staged readings of new plays and musicals all week long. Each event is free (though reservations are recommended) and begins at 7 p.m.
Monday, March 5: The inaugural announcement of The Terrence McNally New Play Award — Michael Hollinger’s “Hope and Gravity,” followed by a champagne reception.
Wednesday, March 7: Jennifer Haley’s “The Nether” directed by Steve Cosson (2012 finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize).
Thursday, March 8: New musical, “Stars of David,” adapted by Charles Busch from a book of interviews by Abigail Pogrebin. Music by top Broadway composers and directed by Gordon Greenberg.
Friday, March 9: Samuel D. Hunter’s “When You’re Here,” directed by Kent Nicholson. Saturday, March 10: Dominique Morisseau’s “Detroit ‘67” directed by Patricia McGregor. Sunday, March 11: FuturePhilly@Play — an evening of short plays by Philadelphia’s freshest playwrights, directed by David O’Connor, including “The Narcoleptic Pillow Fight” by Alex Dremann, “Rochambeau” by Sarah Mantell, “Riot Grrrls Reunion” by Darin J. Dunston, “Cliff-Diving” by David S. White, “Backfire” by David Lee White, “Lannie’s Lament” by Jacqueline Goldfinger, “Wet” by P. Seth Bauer and “Alterations” by Quinn D. Eli.
Finally, celebrate the festival’s closing night with an open local beer bar, the Buttercream Cupcake Truck, the Pure Fare Truck and the West Philadelphia Orchestra as they play one of their infamous Balkan-Gypsy dance sets!
Wednesday, Feb. 29 through March 11
Suzanne Roberts Theatre at Broad and Lombard streets
Lantern Theater Company’s “Romeo and Juliet”
“Romeo and Juliet” is beloved all over the world for the tragic romance of its star-crossed lovers. But it is the story, too, of an enduring feud between the Capulet and Montague families — a conflict grown so deadly that it throws an entire city into turmoil. The danger on the streets is palpable: armed enemies from both sides lurk around corners while the Prince threatens death to anyone who is caught up in the clash.
When Romeo and his Juliet rise above the old grudges, their love may heal the deep divisions in Verona … or bring the whole city crashing down. Don’t miss this devastating explosion of poetry and violence, featuring Jake Blouch, Charlie DelMarcelle, K.O. DelMarcelle, Nicole Erb, Leonard C. Haas, Sean Lally, Kevin Meehan, Ceal Phelan and Frank X.
St. Stephen’s Theater at 10th and Ludlow streets
Tickets: $25-$26; $10 student rush
March 1 through April 1
First sweetlife session at sweetgreen
A fast-casual salad and wrap restaurant based in D.C., sweetgreen frequently brings touring artists into their stores to play a free set. These sets, called “sweetlife sessions,” are a great chance for our customers to see bands in a more intimate setting. Saturday, March 3, marks the first sweetlife session in a Philadelphia store.
Young Empires, a three-piece group out of Toronto, have played around the world, supporting acts like Foster the People, Jamiroquai, and Bag Raiders. Their music, described by NME as “the mathmania of Battles, the gloss ‘n’ grandeur of The Killers, and the calamitous quiver of Arcade Fire” crosses into other genres while sticking to its pop-song roots. The band just released its first record, “Wake All My Youth,” Feb. 21.
Sweetgreen at 3925 Walnut St.
Saturday, March 3 at 2:30 p.m.
Dance Theatre of Harlem performs at Montgomery County Community College
Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, Dance Theatre of Harlem was considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (The New York Times, 1971). Mitchell was inspired to start a school that would offer children — especially those in Harlem, the community in which he was born — the opportunity to learn about dance and the allied arts.
Now in its fourth decade, Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown into a multicultural dance institution with an extraordinary legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence that continues to set standards in the performing arts.
Dance Theatre of Harlem has achieved unprecedented success, bringing innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression to audiences in New York City, across the country and around the world, receiving over 300 official citations for excellence, including a National Medal of Arts and a Kennedy Center Honors Award to Arthur Mitchell, a Presidential Salute (to DTH Co-Founder, Karel Shook) on the Occasion of the Inauguration of the United States Department of Education, and four Tributes by the United States House of Representatives.
Comedy Cabaret “Let’s Pretend We’re Famous”
Philadelphia’s most comedic character couples, Jennifer Childs and Tony Braithwaite, return to the stage for a limited engagement run of their newest comedy cabaret, “Let’s Pretend We’re Famous.” A trip down the red carpet featuring classic and original material, Childs and Braithwaite try on the high life for an evening of double-act antics (and a knockout Garland and Rooney medley)! For fans of “Let’s Pretend We’re Married,” 1812 Productions gives a hilarious first show of the season.