There’s nothing better than live theater, except PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN live theater! Yes, this year for the first time, every show in Philadelphia Theater Week is offering PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN tickets*. After the past few years, theater is back, audiences are coming back, and this year’s PTW is a way for theaters to invite new audiences to discover them while encouraging previous patrons to return to their seats. Theatre Philadelphia is the organization behind this massive event that runs from March 23 to April 2.
There are 50 events being offered from 41 different companies and artists and over 100 ways for audiences to experience the world of theater including productions, readings, exclusive pre-sales, and special events in Philadelphia, Delaware, South Jersey, Bucks County and the Main Line and Western Suburbs.
The productions run the gamut from classics like Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, experimental theatre, improv, readings, workshops, cabaret, and more. One artist described it as a mini-Fringe festival in the springtime.
There are plenty of offerings for the LGBTQ+ audience at PTW. Starting with the fabulous sex educator Dr. Timaree Schmit who, with her partner in comedy Darryl Charles, brings her sex-ed / comedy / game show to Plays & Players Theatre. Their show, “DFT” runs one night only on March 31st for ages 18+ only.
For anyone with a soft spot for the favorite quartet of Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia, “A Golden Girls Murder Mystery: A Philly Story” is running at the Red Rūm Theater (601 Walnut St) from March 24 to April 2. The four icons are hosting a party, but soon find one of the guests has murderous intentions.
“Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.” That’s a quote from the inimitable Mae West. Aporia Artists Collective presents a tribute to the provocative icon in “A Seance For Mae West” at the Hot Bed Gallery (723 Chestnut Street). The show has promised to be an intimate, interactive experience that you don’t want to miss! Check the website for dates.
The Hum’n’Bards are hosting a Cabaret + Karaoke Party on April 2nd at the Painted Mug Cafe (1527 Jackson St) with Music and Mocktails from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Wherehouse presents the “Untitled Raccoon Play” by SMJ at the Hamilton Family Art Center at the Arden Theatre (62 N 2nd St). The show’s a comedy about the The 79th Annual Raccoon Dinner in Danville, OH which is at risk of being canceled due to a lack of raccoons and a warning from QAnon. Oh no!
And speaking of vermin, Sewer Rats Productions presents “Bird in the Window”, a drama about a woman who believes she is being hunted by a man from her past, and the paranoia that manifests itself into self-harming behaviors. Is the threat coming from her own mind? At St. Mary’s Hamilton Village (3916 Locust Walk).
Audiences got a sneak peek at “SEX TALK (the show)” during the preview exhibition at the Kimmel center where diva Brooke Spitz belted out “Suddenly Semen” to the tune of the Little Shop of Horrors signature song. For her “A One Night Stand” show on March 27th, Spitz will be crooning and putting her raunchy signature twists on several of Broadway’s most beloved standards at Fergie’s Pub (1214 Sansom St).
We wrap up with an explosive show from the Cannonball Festival. “Cast Off” invites you to join their swashbuckling fun as they present risk-taking independent artists in back-to-back performances. With delicious food and drinks next to delicious lounge spaces, the show fosters creative collisions and community conversation. The spring miniball takes place on April Fool’s Day in the Maas Building Garden (1320 N. 5th St).
You can find the full lineup of events at the Philly Theater Week website.
*Some shows are offering limited pay what you can tickets to each performance. Once Theatre Week tickets are sold out, audiences can contact the individual theatre for tickets.