Weekend roundup: Dutch landscapes and “Adrift in Macao”

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Still recovering after last weekend? Try heading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see their new exhibit of work by Jacob van Ruisdael a 17th century Dutch landscape painter. “Landscapes don’t get much more exciting than Ruisdael,” the Philadelphia Inquirer said. While those used to landscapes from doctor’s offices may scoff that this is not a high standard, Ruisdael really is very interesting even when his subjects are not. It is rare that one sees so much sky in a painting. The show offers a complete survey of his work from youth to maturity, and is highly recommended both by the Inquirer and the New York Times. The museum is on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

If that doesn’t float your boat, head to the Philadelphia Theater Company for a new musical. The show in question is “Adrift in Macao,” with book and lyrics by Christopher Durang and music by Peter Melnick. It’s a parody of film noir, particularly “Casablanca,” that doesn’t miss a cliche to mock. Loreena is a down-on-her-luck nightclub singer stranded on the titular island, and gets hired by one Rick Shaw to sing in his bar. There’s also the mysterious Mitch, who’s in search of a Mr. McGuffin. Hijinks ensue. The music is catchy enough, some of the lines are hilarious, and though it’s fluffy, very silly, and doesn’t make much sense it is quite enjoyable throughout, with excellent production values. It’s at the Plays and Players Theater on Delancey Street, and tickets for students are $15.

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