From top Broadway tickets to provocative art exhibits, mark your Google calendar for these eight can't-miss events.
The voice: Pharrell, Lil Wayne, and Solange headline the Roots Picnic.
Must-see #1 & #2: Two productions set to scores that everyone knows by heart return to Philly for hotly anticipated second runs. From May 16 to 21, Baby and Johnny mambo into the Merriam Theater for the movie-turned-musical Dirty Dancing (250 S. Broad St., 215-893-1999; kimmelcenter.org). And trust us when we say you’ll have the time of your life. The Tony-nominated Motown: The Musical, May 30–June 11 at the Academy of Music (240 S. Broad St., 215-893-1999; kimmelcenter.org), promises to be one of the season’s hottest tickets thanks to countless songs from R&B icons Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and the Jackson 5.
Must-see #3: Rocking a different kind of stage, the Roots Picnic returns to Festival Pier (Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street, 800-745-3000) June 3 for its 10th anniversary. Pharrell co-headlines with the band and joins Lil Wayne, Solange, and 21 Savage.
Must-see #4: Icelandic band Sigur Ros show off their musical chops at the outdoor Mann Center June 16 (5201 Parkside Ave., 215-546-7900). “This will be the band’s fourth time on the Mann stage,” says Mann Center President and CEO Catherine M. Cahill.
Must-see #5: Open-air concert venue BB&T Pavilion (1 Harbor Blvd., Camden, NJ, 856-365-1300) kick-starts its season with British folk singers Mumford and Sons on May 25 followed by John Legend on June 22. The 10-time Grammy Award winner will perform his biggest hits for a hometown crowd at the Mann.
Must-see #6: In art news, the Michener Museum (138 South Pine St., Doylestown, 215-340-9800) takes a sartorial turn with its latest exhibit, “Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form.” On view through July 9, the Philly native, former Doylestown resident, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts alumnus is best known for his work at Vogue and Vanity Fair. “We’re thrilled to present this body of work, where just a few blocks away from our museum, Sheeler made his first important photographs,” says museum director Lisa Tremper Hanover.
Must-see #7 and #8: Two of Philly’s biggest street fairs take place on the same weekend this May: On May 20, the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival takes over six blocks of Walnut Street with food, music, and people-watching for crowds of more than 50,000. Over in South Philly the 9th Street Italian Market Festival is back May 20–21, packing enough prosciutto and Peroni to satisfy some 70,000 revelers. Not to be missed: the annual grease-pole challenge.