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.
Finally, spring break. The snow is melting, the temperature is in the 40s, and, hooray, we have a week off from classes! You can practically feel all of campus take a collective sigh of relief. Some of you may be traveling by plane, by foot, by car, by Amtrak, or by Bolt Bus to get off campus. Some of us, though, are just going to chill at Swat and enjoy the strange and tranquil peace. In those few conscious hours between your attempts to catch up on your sleep deficit, here are some cool things going on in Philadelphia over break that you might want to check out!
As for plays, there are two that I think are particularly worth the R3 ride into Philly. The first, described by the NY Daily News as “Dandy” and by TIME as “A lighter than air comedy,” is the Off-Broadway hit A Coupla White Chicks Sittin’ Around Talking. Performed by the New City Stage Company, the play is a two-character comedy that takes place in a suburban New York kitchen. Throughout the play, two housewives—one a picture-perfect model matron and the other a former cheerleader—learn lessons about life, love, and their assumptions about each other. This play originally starred Susan Sarandon and Eileen Brennan in the 1980s! Whoa! This show closes Mar. 7, so grab tickets quick!
The other play, performed by Plays & Players Theater, is called Take Me Out. It made its Broadway debut in 2003, and it won the Tony Award for Best Play the same year. The play follows Darren Lemming, a popular mixed-race baseball player at the peak of his career, and his decision to come out. His teammates react strongly, and the drama plays out over the course of the baseball season with tragic consequence. Much of the play is set in the locker room, and it explores themes of homophobia, racism, class, and masculinity in sport. You can buy tickets here.
There are, of course, lots of fun music events in Philly going on over the course of the week. Husband and wife team Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster, two of the world’s most celebrated fiddlers, will perform at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University tonight at 8:00PM. If you want an unforgettable evening of Celtic music, you should attend and experience the foot-tapping rave-ups, heart-wrenching ballads, and world-class step dancing of this collaboration. Tickets can be purchased here.
You could also attend An Evening of Schumann (and really, who wouldn’t want an evening of Schumann?) performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra to commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of Robert Schumann (described on the Orchestra’s website as the “most Romantic of Romantics.” Sigh, how dreamy!). Conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, the Orchestra will perform Schumann’s Overture to The Bride of Messina, Symphony No. 4, and Symphony No. 2. Performances are tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00PM at the Kimmel Center. Buy tickets!
If you’re not really into fiddling or classical music and hip-hop is more your thing, the Kimmel Center will also feature the Groovaloos throughout the week. If you actually watch TV (or TV clips online), you may recognize the name from NBC’s Superstars of Dance or FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. The group combines jaw-dropping displays of physicality with heart-pounding music and powerful stories that chronicle the struggles, hopes, and triumphs of the 14-member cast. YouTube has a couple of awesome clips to check out, or you could go see them in person, which is scientifically proven to be 8.7 times more awesome, up until Sunday the 14th. Tickets and info here.
Winter’s chill might be getting to you. You might feel tired, frustrated, unsexy, or some combination of the three. The Pink Hair Affair has your cure with their show Take It Off, a burlesque-inspired dance performance. The performance combines Modern and Neo-Burlesque dance styles to explore the sexual tension resulting from their combination. Tickets are cheap—$7 with student ID!—and the show is sure to be super hot. Performances are tonight and tomorrow night at 8:30 at the Mascher Space Cooperative. Be sure to check it out!
Have you been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art recently? I didn’t think so. There are always cool exhibits on display at the Museum, and one of them showing right now is entitled Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris. The exhibition surveys Picasso’s most ferociously inventive work from 1905-1945, from his early experiments with abstraction to his pioneering role in the development of Cubism as well as his dialogue with Surrealism and other important art movements during this period. The exhibition also explores the important role the city in Paris played in the development of modern art during the first half of the 20th century, and it will include works by such expats as Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, and Man Ray. As always, PMA general admission tickets are $12 for students with ID, and the first Sunday of each month (the day after tomorrow!) is pay-what-you-wish all day!