8pm. $39.50-$150. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. 215.336.3600. wellsfargocenterphilly.com
Saturday, Sept. 22
Mt. Airy Art Garage’s 3rd Annual Art Auction Gala
While listening to the smooth sounds of the Passage Jazz Band and noshing on food from Reading Terminal Market’s Hershel’s East Side Deli, guests are invited to peruse and bid on an eclectic mix of artwork, as Mt. Airy Garage’s annual silent auction showcases the works of more than 45 professional and emerging artists from Northwest Philly. Featured artists include Robert Finch (paintings/prints), Kathy Robinson (decorative fiber arts), Melvin Chappell (photography), Ellen Benson (recycled mixed-media) and Gary Reed (Hawaiian landscape art). A selection of crafts, jewelry and gift certificates will
also be up for grabs. All proceeds from the annual event will help the Mt. Airy Art Garage complete construction on its working artist studios, communal spaces that the garage hopes will foster creativity, celebration and collaboration. -Nicole Finkbiner
6pm. $30-$35. Mt. Airy Art Garage, 11 W. Mt. Airy Ave. 215.242.5074. mtairyartgarage.org
Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech
Toshiki Okada may hail from Japan, but American audiences should find the characters in his triptych of short plays Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and The Farewell Speech more familiar than foreign. One of the world’s most unique playwrights/directors, Okada’s plays are performed in a signature physical style in which everyday gestures seem startling, and movements are as communicative as words. Performed by Okada’s acclaimed theater company, cheltfish, Hot Pepper exposes the empty lives of office workers in contemporary Japan. Set in a depressingly sterile office environment, the play finds workers planning a farewell party for an unseen colleague who has just been laid off. In the absurdly funny Air Conditioning, Okada presents a woman who is complaining to a disinterested but aggressive man about the room temperature. In the final installment, The Farewell Speech, we finally meet the laid-off worker from Hot Pepper as she delivers a soliloquy about her last day on the job. Hot Pepper is an opportunity to experience the playwright performed in his native language (the production is in Japanese with English supertitles). -J.C.R.
7pm. $18-$35. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. 215.413.1318. livearts-fringe.org
PHS Fall Garden Festival
After an excessively scalding summer, autumn in Philadelphia has really never seemed better. During this all-day festival, the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society will celebrate the new season with food, giveaways and two harvest contests. In hopes of impressing a group of expert judges, local growers will flaunt their most overgrown fruits, veggies and pumpkins, as well as their most beautiful fall flower and produce arrangements. Over at the marketplace, guests can shop from a selection of plants, gardening accessories, tools, home decor keepsakes and crafts while the PHS/Meadowbrook store will have its usual array of tropical indoor and plants and vegetables. Co-hosts of the The Chew Cara Hall and Daphne Oz will also be in attendance leading live cooking and home-entertaining demonstrations and a Q&A session. -N.F.
9am. Free. Philadelphia Navy Yard, 4747 S. Broad St. 215.988.8800. phsonline.org
Sunday, Sept. 23
There are very few productions at the Live Arts & Philly Fringe Festival that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Parents who want to introduce their kids to the wonders of groundbreaking performing arts have an opportunity when Montreal-based urban circus group 7 Fingers returns to the fest with their new work Sequence 8. Unlike the more famous Canadian circus troupe Cirque du Soleil, 7 Fingers is more concerned with expressing the performers’ personality than creating a spectacle-driven work with colorful costumes and eye-popping special effects. Sequence 8 emphasizes the performers’ shared humanity with routines that rely on collaboration and human contact. Highlights include a staircase constructed with human bodies and a jaw-dropping display of juggling dexterity by a hunky shirtless performer using simple wooden blocks. Combing dance choreography, extravagant gymnastics and high-flying circus acts, Sequence 8 is festival fun that can be enjoyed by the entire family. -J.C.R.
2pm. $18-$55. Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. 215.413.1318. livearts-fringe.org
Monday, Sept. 24
Views from the Underground
Once a month from September to November, Shooting Wall’s Fall 2012 film series will screen a mixture of completely independent and risk-taking short and feature-length films for your viewing pleasure. Tonight’s first screening in the series features two films: Vacant Guillotine Blues and Episodes from an Investigation. Blues is a short film by Joe Kramer that combines a mariachi band, a coffin, a group of sirens and Jesus Christ in an anachronistic spaghetti western. Episodes is a narrative film by Joshua Martin that splices three story lines together in order to explore key theories on the past, present and future of cinema. -Anthony Trivelli
7pm. Free. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. 267.519.9651. philamoca.org
Tuesday, Sept. 25
Shane Candies claims the title of America’s oldest candy store, with an unbroken line of confectioners slinging sugary treats out of 110 Market St., stretching back to 1863. Tonight, brothers and new owners Ryan and Eric Berley will leave their beautiful store for the evening and lead a class teaching you all about 19th- and early 20th-century candy. Participants can indulge their inner Wonka as they pull taffy, learn lozenge lore and cast candy from antique metal molds. You might want to send your dentist an apologetic text before you attend, because each participant will go home with a “clear toy” of rock hard candy cast from molten sugar. -T.C.
7pm-8:30pm. Free. Tyler School of Art at Temple University. 2001 N. 13th St.
There’s a widespread infatuation with the past in much of modern music, particularly the ‘80s. And while this might be worrisome (read Simon Reynolds’ excellent Retromania for a detailed look at this subject), when something’s truly great, it’s timeless, be it pop music or any art form. Regardless of what vintage equipment is used or how much Spandau Ballet DNA it’s mixed with, a good song is always going to be a good song; this is where George Lewis Jr., the one-man band behind Twin Shadow, resides. After fronting the punky Mad Man Films and releasing a bluesy solo album under his real name, Lewis began work as Twin Shadow, writing and performing the debut album Forget on his own. There was clearly a debt to Prince, the Smiths and many other Reagan era influences, but you can’t fake good hooks. The record appeared on many of 2010’s best-of lists, and this year’s follow-up Confess looks to do the same. -Bryan Bierman
8:30pm. $15. With Niki & The Dove. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide