Here’s what to do in Philly this weekend


Credit: Robert Smee Credit: Robert Smee

‘Sparks the Stage’
Saturday and Sunday
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine St.
$25-$30, 215-925-9914
The eclectic ContempraDANCE Theater Company presents an encore performance of a show featuring several works by artistic director Gail Vartanian, all set to original music. For those who show up early on Saturday, there’s a wine, beer and cheese reception beforehand.


David Casarett
Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
Mutter Museum
19 S. 22nd St.
$10, 215-563-3737

In an appropriate lecture for the Halloween season, Dr. David Casarett will discuss his book “Shock: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead,” which explores the science of resuscitation and how it’s altering the way we think about what it means to be alive and dead. It’s not quite Dr. Frankenstein’s dream come true, but that was a creepy dream anyway.


Beyond White Pines: Poconos Paradise, Past and Present
Friday through Nov. 15
The Light Room Gallery
2024 Wallace St.
Free, 215-828-1661

Photos of abandoned Poconos resorts by two photographers make up this exhibit. Matt Hurst approaches his subject in a realistic manner, while Katie Rey provides a surrealistic counterpoint. There’s a spooky sense of the passage of time in these images.

Through Nov. 2
Rodger LaPelle Galleries

122 N. Third St.
Free, 215-592-0232

This painter’s work lies somewhere between pop art and surrealism. The exhibit continues his theme of hyper-realistic but bleached-out scenes with a single brightly colored object highlighted. It seems to speak to the way our materialism imbues certain products with a kind of magic, self-affirming power.


‘A Night with Lady G.’
Thursday through Oct. 25
Plays and Players
1714 Delancey St.
$10-$35, 800-838-3006

The Irish Heritage Theater presents three short plays by Lady Gregory, who’s best known as the patroness of early 20th century poet William Butler Yeats. Though she was a member of the Anglo-Irish ruling class, the plays reflect her interest in and sympathies with commonplace Irish life and Irish independence.

Through Oct. 26
Off-Broad Street Theater
1636 Sansom St.
$25-$30, 215-454-9776

Inis Nua Theatre Company presents this spy thriller by Dawn King. As with most spy thrillers, that plot is a little too complicated to sum up here — for one thing, each actor plays two different characters. Confusing? You bet. But a little confusion is to be expected in a play about deception.


‘The Elephant Man’
Friday, 7 p.m.
PHS Pop-Up Garden
1438 South St.
Free, 267-239-2941

For his only biopic, made in 1980, David Lynch picked an appropriately unusual subject: the famously deformed Victorian man who was rescued from a cruel freak show and became a beloved curiosity in London society, with the Queen herself ensuring he’d receive the best medical care. Still, his disease bound him to tragedy.


Philadelphia ‘County Fair’
Friday through Sunday
The Oval
2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Free, 215-422-4169

This festival at the Oval tries to recreate the classic county fair experience, with carnival rides and games, a petting zoo, a cornhole tournament and even a barn dance. Plus there are urban delights such as food trucks, film screenings, DJ sets and a wine and cider garden.

Old City Seaport Festival
Friday through Sunday
Independence Seaport Museum
211 S. Columbus Blvd.
Free-$16, 215-413-8655
This weekend-long festival includes deck tours of the tall ships, a craft village, some delicious food trucks and live music. Friday at 5 p.m. is the Parade of Sail, during which the tall ships will sashay up the river. Watch from Penn’s Landing.

Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells
Friday, 8 p.m.
Bourbon and Branch
705 N. Second St.
$7-$10, 800-838-3006
This meddlesome band has an edgy electric folk/blues sound that emphasizes the dark, paranoid side of the American folk tradition — the side that birthed such immortal tunes as “The House of the Rising Sun.” But they do so through a post-punk lens, creating a veritable witch’s brew of traditional and contemporary angst with a spooky, hypnotic power all its own.

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