VALENTINES IN HISTORY
Peter Wentz Farmstead
The intricate art of snipping paper with scissors, especially for producing Valentines, was brought to the U.S. from Germany in the 18th century. The original name for the craft is tough to say (“scherenschnitte”) but easier to learn. This workshop at Peter Wentz Farmstead cuts through the confusion and shows how.
Norristown Farm Park
February’s fuzziest weather predictor gets the spotlight at this kid-centric program at Norristown Farm Park. Learn about the animal that rates a special day on our calendar. After a natural history lesson, we’ll hear a story, play an active groundhog game and make a craft.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Through February 11
This Shakespearean comedy at DCP Theatre story is about two sets of lovers. One couple is blushing, happy to be in love and engaged. The other, Beatrice and Benedick, have hated each other for years. Villainy, schemes and deceits beg the question: Will the lovers ever be the same?
Steel River Playhouse
Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, Olivier Award and Tony Award for Best Play, Clybourne Park is a wickedly funny and fiercely provocative play about race and real estate. The able cast at Steel River Playhouse tackles a plot that centers on a plot (of land) that changes hands over a 50-year span, with more than a dash of irony along the way.
Valley Forge Casino Resort
Valley Forge Music Fair at Valley Forge Casino Resort
From his numerous appearances on Mad TV to his tenure on The Howard Stern Show – to his memorable appearance as a phony Santa in Elf (“You sit on a throne of lies!”), Artie Lange has cultivated a corps of dedicated fans. They, along with more recent followers of his comedy style, will line up for this appearance at Valley Forge Music Fair at Valley Forge Casino Resort.
WEAVING PUBLIC THREADS
Abington Art Center
Abington Art Center is launching a new initiative for 2017, an audience-based series of discussions, advanced by a panel of community and academic leaders. The first installment is sure to be popular, given the current climate. Entitled “Politically Correct: Reflections on Public Conversation,” it centers on the debates and discussions related to the Presidential election cycle.
SPEAKER SERIES: BEN FRANKLIN'S NAVY
Washington Memorial Chapel
While many Americans know of Benjamin Franklin’s accomplishments on behalf of the U.S. during the Revolution, few know of his role as unofficial leader of the Continental Navy. The “cast” of this adventure include sea captains, kings, spies, wives and mistresses. Hear the details for yourself at Washington Memorial Chapel.
CUPID'S ARROW DINNER TRAIN
Add a dash of Edwardian-era elegance to your Valentine’s Day celebration. The romantic excursions on the Colebrookdale Railroad feature champagne, snacks and live music, all presented with white-glove attention to detail. The café and coach cars are heated, but the open-air car invites lots of snuggling under the star-lit winter sky.
KID'S NIGHT OUT
Elmwood Park Zoo
Parents can enjoy a pre-Valentine’s Day date night by dropping the kids at Elmwood Park Zoo before heading out. The zoo’s staff will host an after-hours tour, animal bingo, Valentine’s Day crafts, a live animal show and pizza dinner. The kids’ party is from 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Act II Playhouse
America’s Got Talent already know who Julia Scotti is, the “seasoned” comedian whose twisted views and energetic performance style made her a favorite. She takes the intimate stage at Act II Playhouse for a night of hilarious, groundbreaking, thought-provoking views on just about everything.
VALENTINES WORKSHOP FOR KIDS
Classic cards for Valentine’s Day are a combination of a little frill, a little verse and a little creativity. The morning of February 11 at Pottsgrove Manor brings these three elements together, resulting in one-of-a-kind cards for kids to share. All materials and instructions are included, as are refreshments.
It’s an evening of dining, dancing and romancing in Pottstown’s historic Sunnybrook Ballroom. This Valentine’s Day treat starts with a cocktail hour featuring hors d’oeuvres and champagne. Then, it’s onto a huge dinner buffet, lovingly prepared and presented. The lights then dim for couples to sway the rest of the night away to the tunes of the Ken Battista Band.
CLAY IN MIND
Opening February 12
Cheltenham Center for the Arts
This juried exhibition celebrates outstanding three-dimensional ceramic artworks, highlighted in the inviting gallery space of Cheltenham Center for the Arts. The creativity and inventiveness on display are inspiring in their own right, but are even more so with the knowledge that they reflect the work of high school students across Montgomery County. Judging the entries is the ceramic faculty at CCA.
Through March 12
This Thornton Wilder play from the 1950s was eventually given a musical treatment and a new title, Hello Dolly!, which is set to be revived on Broadway in 2017 with Bette Midler. The story, which unfolds at breakneck pace at People’s Light, is about a sweet and well-intentioned widow who can’t keep from interfering in the love lives (and business dealings) of those around her.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS
This Colonial Theatre film fest celebrates the little gems that make a big impact. All three categories are represented (Animated, Live Action and Documentary), offering movie buffs the chance to revel in this wholly unique and creative art form. From a practical standpoint, this series can also aid Oscar-pool hopefuls, well in advance of the February 26 broadcast of the Academy Awards.
MASTERS OF ILLUSION
Masters of Illusion is a performance group that combines magic, comedy, escape, sleight-of-hand and jaw-dropping visuals. The grand Keswick Theatre is a prime setting for a show like this; audiences will be up close for sights that include a grand piano rising on its own and slowly revolving upside-down – all while pianist is seated at the keyboard, playing it!
POWWOWING IN PENNSYVLANIA
Opening February 18
Pennsylvania’s tradition of ritual healing known as powwow, or Braucherei in the language of the Pennsylvania Dutch, is one of many vernacular healing systems in North America that combines elements of religion and belief with health and healing. This engaging exhibit at Glencairn Museum centers on artistic symbols, patterns and imagery as incorporated in folk-religious expression.
Gather your sharpest-minded friends and pit your knowledge against other teams at the trivia night fundraiser hosted by Methacton Community Theater. Tables of eight will compete in a 100-question tournament that nets the first-place winner a whopping $240 in prize money. And that doesn’t include bragging rights. Teams can also vie for best-themed group, which can (and probably should) include costumes.
The British are coming! The British are coming! Those mop-top boys from Liverpool invade the nearby Sellersville Theater in the most accurate tribute combo of all time. Beatlemania Now brings John, Paul, George and Ringo to the stage, recreating the energy, excitement, cultural significance and (most important) sound of a band whose influence on pop culture continues today.
Bryn Mawr Film Institute
Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore (“The Troubadour”) is sung by the cast at the Royal Opera House in London and presented on the big screen of the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. The plot of this great opera of the Romantic period is a story of passion and blood, love and vengeance, disaster and murder. And if you don’t recognize any of the stirring arias, you’ll certainly know “The Anvil Chorus” when the cast pounds it out.
KEN REED PRESENTATION AND BOOK SIGNING
Mennonite Heritage Center
Author Ken Yoder Reed’s novel, Both My Sons, is about Swiss-German immigrants coming to America in 1710. This appearance at Mennonite Heritage Center includes a 15-minute monologue by Reed, dressed in period costume. He will then speak on the writing challenges he faced during the trek to publication. The program ends with audience Q&A and a signing of copies of the book.
Valley Forge National Historical Park
Where better to experience the real-deal General George Washington than at Valley Forge, where wife Martha launched the whole gig of marking his birthday as a cause for celebration? The festivities, which run from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., include games and crafts, a meet-and-greet, open house at Washington’s Headquarters, a chance to join the Continental Army, a variety of cakes and, of course, serenading the first Chief Executive with a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday to You!”
THE GREATER PHILADELPHIA OUTDOOR SHOW
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
The great outdoors beckons again with displays of all kinds of gear for camping, hunting, cycling, fishing, climbing, exploring and other amazing adventures at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
THE ART OF FRAKTUR
Discover the art of fraktur, the Pennsylvania German version of hand-lettered calligraphy. This class at Pennypacker Mills will not only teach how to craft the distinct broken-letter characters, it will ensure enough proficiency to produce a frame-worthy 5x7 house blessing.
CABIN FEVER HIKE
Green Lane Park
Experts say that one of the best cures for the winter blahs is a combo of socializing and exercise. This guided trek up the Orange Trail at Green Lane Park provides both. Bundle up and come out for a brisk 2.25-mile hike that includes information on how local flora and fauna weather the cold in the big woods.
WITCHHAZEL IS YOUR FAVORITE?
Morris Arboretum of the Univeristy of Pennsylvania
Winter landscapes may seem like endless stretches of gray, but in reality, little pops of color are out there. The trick is knowing what these brave plants are and where to find them. Guided maps compiled by the floristic botanists at Morris Arboretum point out one of winter’s most distinct bloomer, the witchhazel. An expert in the Upper Gallery will be on hand to answer questions, where kids can also create a witchhazel craft. If you need more assistance finding these little islands of color, a guided tour steps off at 2 p.m.