“A Behanding in Spokane”
Theatre Exile is proud to present the Philadelphia premiere of the play that took Broadway by storm last season, directed by Joe Canuso. A mysterious stranger is on the hunt for his missing appendage. Two bungling crooks and a devious hotel receptionist are caught up in his dangerous machinations. Carmichael (think Captain Ahab meets Dennis Hopper) brings us into his obsessive search for what has been missing from his life since childhood. Another dazzlingly macabre tale from McDonagh, “Behanding” slices open the roots of fanaticism and lays open the need to be “whole” again and the contempt that we have for outsiders in a post-9/11 America. Of Theatre Exile, Philadelphia City Paper raves, “At last, a genuine mind-blowing theater experience. … We are left dumbstruck and dizzyingly alive.”
Christ Church Neighborhood House at 20 North American St.
Now through Sunday, May 13
Irish Heritage Theatre’s “Philadelphia, HERE I COME!”
Gareth O’Donnell is fed up with the dreary round of life in Ballybeg, consisting of his uncommunicative father; his humiliating job in his father’s grocery store; his frustrated love for Kathy Doogan, who married a richer, more successful young man; and the total absence of prospect and opportunity in his life at home in Ireland.
So, Gar has accepted his aunt’s invitation to come to Philadelphia. Now, on the eve of his departure, he is not happy to be leaving Ballybeg, but what does his ‘inner self’ think? In Brian Friel’s poignant comedy, we get two lead characters in one man and a chance to see and hear what private thoughts Gar has as he leaves Ireland and heads for the New World and — he hopes — a new life.
Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5 at 825 Walnut St.
Now through Sunday, May 20
Tickets: $25; $15 for individuals under age 25
Philagrafika Invitational Portfolio Prints
Studio:christensen is displaying pieces from 21 artists for an exhibition of selected works. Most often utilized for its “East Coast Urbane meets LA meets Copenhagen” interior architecture, the studio acts as a retail furniture showroom and simultaneous gallery space. The reception will be held on Friday, May 11 from 7 to 10 p.m.
studio:christensen at 333 South 20th St.
Friday, May 11 through June 3; Tuesdays through Saturdays, 12-7 p.m. and Sundays, 11-4 p.m.
Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times
In 1947 a shepherd stumbled upon a hidden cave along the shore of the Dead Sea. Concealed inside were ancient scrolls that had not been seen for 2,000 years. After extensive excavation, a total of 972 remarkably preserved scrolls were found, including the earliest Biblical texts ever discovered. Now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, they have been called the most significant archaeological find of the last century.
The Franklin Institute’s “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times” exhibit presents one of the most comprehensive collections of ancient artifacts from Israel ever organized. Among the 20 scrolls are the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible and four never-before-seen scrolls. With more than 600 items on display, visitors will experience firsthand the traditions, beliefs and iconic objects from everyday life more than 2,000 years ago.
The Franklin Institute at 222 N. 20th St.
May 12 through Oct. 14
Tickets: $31.50, includes general admission to the museum
Plays & Players 100th Anniversary Reading
Plays & Players celebrates its 100th anniversary with a staged reading of Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband,” featuring local celebrities of stage, screen, politics and more. “An Ideal Husband” was first performed on Plays & Players’ stage in the spring of 1912, exactly 100 years ago.
The 100th Anniversary Reading stars big names in Philadelphia theater, including stage and screen star Sylvia Kauders (“The Wrestler, “Sex and the City,” “The Sopranos”); Barrymore Award-winning actors Madi DiStefano and Amanda Schoonover; Barrymore-nominated actor Kevin Bergen; and other notable Plays & Players actors and board members. Other stars include Fox 29’s Good Day co-anchor Karen Hepp, the Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens’ Isaiah Zagar, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, and Philadelphia City Commissioner Keith Richardson.
“An Ideal Husband” is a sharp, witty satire of “refined” society from theatrical legend Oscar Wilde. Successful political figure Sir Robert Chiltern’s life is perfect thanks to the help of his loving and brilliant wife, Gertrude, and the support of his quick-witted sister, Mabel. In contrast, his friend’s life, the uninspired but utterly charming Lord Arthur Goring, is one of lounging, flirting with Mabel and avoiding his father’s insistence that he should marry. The world of these men is turned upside-down by the arrival of old acquaintance Mrs. Cheveley, who has come with blackmail in mind. As the comments and lies begin to fly about, it is revealed that the man thought to be perfect is flawed, the man with all the flaws must do something right, and the question remains: What makes an ideal husband?
Prior to the performance, there will be a pre-show reception and silent auction, with doors opening at 6 p.m.
Plays & Players at 1714 Delancey Place
Monday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
Admission: $25; $50 for general admission and meet-the-artist post-show reception