Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
This fall, vivid fashion trends, innovative music and bold works of art are bringing a whole new swag to the city. From the 12-day fashion takeover during The Philadelphia Collection, to mind-blowing rhymes from Mos Def and Talib Kweli, to the swift dance moves of PHILADANCO—the arts take reign this month like never before. And, you definitely won’t want to miss a beat.
17…Days of Fashion returns with a host of events designed only for the fabulous. With a tribute to the legendary Sonia Sanchez, stylish appearances by celebrity stylist Anthony Henderson and Philly faves Jazmine Sullivan and Charli Baltimore, it’s sure to be an amazing 17-day experience.
Two of hip-hop’s most innovative lyricists—Mos Def and Talib Kweli—bring some serious noise to the Theatre of Living Arts. These MC’s are best known for bringing their brilliant fusion of hip-hop and poetry to the mic. With classics like Definition and Another World, this show is going down in music history.
In collaboration with the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe, the Merriam Theater presents an exciting new work for the fall. Traces puts an urban twist on circus arts, featuring contemporary dance, Chinese acrobatics, theater, music and many other creative art forms.
With a jazzy new twist on contemporary R&B, Kem’s smooth style stands out from the rest. From the smash hit I Can’t Stop Loving You to his sweet ballad If It’s Love with songstress Chrisette Michele, his soulful sound will definitely be a highlight at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
PHILADANCO is full of phenomenal movers and shakers—and they move so gracefully. Danco on Danco returns to the Painted Bride Art Center to highlight the most profound dance works of the company. PHILADANCO is always prepped to impress, so get your tickets today.
Motownphilly’s back again…with an orchestral swing. Celebrating their 20th anniversary, the GRAMMY®-winning group Boyz II Men pair their sweet voices with a 34-piece orchestra, Broad Street Sinfonia. Don’t miss this special performance at the Temple Performing Arts Center.
He was gone for a minute, but we’re so glad he’s back. Lupe Fiasco brings The Cool factor to The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, and Miguel, Big Sean and others are on the lineup, too. With hits like Superstar (Lupe) and All I Want Is You (Miguel), the show is going to be bananas!
Festivals have been taking over the city for the past few months, but this one’s a little different. The POPPED! Music Festival is back and bigger than before. The festival livens up FDR Park with comedy skits; a food bazaar including locally-grown vegan/vegetarian food and the Philly Cheesesteak Cookie; and performances by DJ Questlove, Rakim, Black Thought and tons more.
When it comes to the harmonica, no one plays it quite like Frederic Yonnet. From Stevie Wonder to Prince to Erykah Badu, his incomparable skills are sought out by some the most notable musicians in the game. Frederic and his quartet make their Philly debut with two sets at the Painted Bride Art Center. Get your tickets today!
PHILADANCO meets Alvin Ailey as dancers from both companies present the powerful new work Crossroads at the Plays and Players Theatre. Choreographed by Philly’s own Tommie-Waheed Evans, eight dancers grace the stage with a radiant fusion of both contemporary jazz movement and classic ballet.
The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe is always a highlight of the fall season. Choose from more than 180 live arts performances in 16 days to get your share of eclectic music, dance and theater acts.
Philly 360˚ Creative Ambassador Nikki Jean may have a new album rising on the charts, but she can also throw down in the kitchen. Check out the interview to hear more about Nikki’s baking skills.
Restaurant Week returns to the city and we couldn’t be more excited! For $35, you can satisfy your palette with delicious dishes from top Philly restaurants. Make your reservation and prepare to bring your appetite!
With so many open mics nights around the city, it can be hard to pick the best ones. So, we’re breaking it down for you. Arts & Culture Insider James Claiborne has the inside scoop on where to find Philly’s hidden gems. Check out his top spots.
On October 1, Cherry Street will welcome the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts' highly anticipated public park Lenfest Plaza. From a family-friendly arts festival to the lighting of the 51-foot Paint Torch sculpture at sunset, it will definitely be a day full of artistic festivities.
Friday, September 2 through Saturday, September 17
Starting Friday, Philly will explode with 16 days of artistic madness as we kickoff the 15th annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival / Philly Fringe! This world renown arts festival is a definitely true arts and culture revival, presenting over 200 shows all over town and bringing together thousands of artists and eager art appreciators.
This year the Live Arts portion of the festival will present 13 shows from around the world that have attracted international attention and acclaim for their innovation and artistic excellence. The Philly Fringe returns this year with over 200 shows, that continue to build on their reputation for bold, daring work presented by local artists and professional companies.
With so many performances packed into this 16-day festival, deciding what show to see can be a little daunting. But don't worry, I've pulled together a list of My Top Live Arts / Fringe Picks - you'll definitely want to check these shows out!
You can click here for the full festival schedule!
250 South Broad Street
This is a high-energy show, featuring explosive urban acrobats tumbling through hoops, leaping between giant poles and performing death-defying feats! Traces is an exciting melding pot of theater, contemporary dance, acrobatics and music - all combined with the unbridled energy of seven amazing performers.
3680 Walnut Street
Where would the black community be without Black Radio? Are we still listening? Is radio falling away? And will our voice fade away with it? These are all questions asked in choreographer Kyle Abraham's newest work The Radio Show. The Radio Show is an exploration through dance of Kyle's fond childhood memories listening to AM and FM black radio stations in Pittsburgh and the void felt when these stations went off-air. A cast of seven sensational African-American dancers, including Abraham create an amazing visual tapestry and storyline to complement the classic soul and hip-hop filled score.
Friday, September 16 - Saturday, September 17
The Maas Building
1325 North Randolph Street
Witness the world-renown Flamenco artist, Rosario Toledo as she performs her vibrant and exciting work commissioned by local arts organization, Pasion y Arte. This performance is a sneak peek at this project in its experimental stage, before the world premier at the March 2012 First Philadelphia Flamenco Festival.
Friday, September 9 - Sunday, September 11
3680 Walnut Street
James Baldwin was one of the most sought after speakers of his time, engaging and challenging the world on its views of race, sexuality and politics. Join 1828.1 Production Company as they bring Baldwin's life back to the stage for this stirring performance.
Monday, September 12 - Wednesday, September 14
507 South 8th Street
Society Hill Playhouse provides an intimate backdrop for this heartfelt production exploring the power of self acceptance and love. The play's main character, Christina decides to take her life. A she shares the life experiences that have led to her suicide attempt, she must find a way to face the one person who stands in her way - herself.
Philly's own musicologist Questlove of The Roots will be making another appearance at the newly opened venue The Foundry (at The Fillmore Philadelphia) for the QUESTLOVE SUPREME Second Sunday Series. Get your tickets now and get ready to have…