Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical masterpiece looks at one of the nation’s founding fathers with a fresh eye and a fresher genre-blending score. Filmed live with the original cast at the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York, this is a major event for the new Disney+ service and a chance for at-home musical fireworks on the fourth. With Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr. (Rated PG-13, available on Disney+, July 3.)

— Howard Gensler

John Lewis: Good Trouble

Documentary on the incredible life and fighting spirit of the 80-year-old Georgia congressman and civil rights giant. Featuring interviews with Lewis, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Cory Booker, Nancy Pelosi, and more. Directed by Dawn Porter. (Rated PG, available on VOD and streaming services, July 3.)

— H.G.

Tooth Fairy 2

Think you got ripped off last year when you put that molar under your pillow? The Tooth Fairy (not the funny Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tooth fairy) is back to kill attractive, young people who forget to brush. Or something like that. Directed by Louisa Warren. (Not rated, but gory, available on VOD and streaming services, July 5)

— H.G.


Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic

Willie Nelson held his first 4th of July Picnic in Dripping Springs, Texas in 1973. This year, it will become a virtual event, with a mix of live streamed performances and clips from past Picnics. The lineup is impressive, ranging alphabetically from Asleep at the Wheel — the Western swing outfit led by Springfield, Montgomery County native Ray Benson, a COVID-19 survivor — to Ziggy Marley. Also on board, playing full sets: Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, Margo Price, Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle and Philly representatives Kurt Vile and Devon Gilfillian. $35, $45 day of show. 4:30 p.m. Saturday at

— Dan DeLuca

Welcome America July 4th concert

This year’s concert is moving indoors and going virtual. Instead of being staged in front of the Art Museum for a couple of hundred thousand people, it’s happening before an empty house at the Met Philadelphia. This year’s headliners are veteran R&B singer Jason Deruloand Cynthia Erivo, the British actress who starred as Harriet Tubman in the 2019 biopic and was Oscar nominated for “Stand Up,” the song from the movie she wrote and sang. 8 p.m. Saturday on NBC10.

— D.D.

A Capitol Fourth with Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Temptations

Patti LaBelle during PHLove Covid-19 variety show telethon that's happening at 7 p.m. on on May 21, 2020. (SHOT ON THE TV SCREEN)
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Patti LaBelle during PHLove Covid-19 variety show telethon that's happening at 7 p.m. on on May 21, 2020. (SHOT ON THE TV SCREEN)

Patti LaBelle brought the virtual house down with her version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” at the PHL Love fund-raiser in May, and she’s among the headliners at this year’s A Capitol Fourth celebration from Washington. Instead of going out live from the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, this year’s 40th anniversary show will feature taped performances. Show hosts are Vanessa Williams and John Stamos. Also performing: John Fogerty, Renee Fleming, the Temptations, and Trace Adkins. Saturday at 8 p.m. on PBS.

— D.D.


Las Vegas-raised, Philadelphia-based songwriter Shamir Bailey headlines a livestream presented by the Brooklyn venue Baby’s Alright that also features Fashion Club, Ondine, and Castle Pastureis. The indie singer/producer released his Cataclysm album in March and followed up last month with “On My Own,” one of his most upbeat singles. He’s someone to watch. Friday at 8 p.m. on Baby TV.

— D.D.


‘Tailgate Takeout’ nights at 118 North

The Wayne music venue and restaurant is now opening its bay windows Wednesday through Sunday evenings so everyone can see and hear the bands playing inside from a safe social distance. Ric Anderson and Chic Spatacco play Friday, Philly rapper Kuf Knotz and his harpist partner Christine Elise offer their unique chamber hip-hop blend on Sunday. All shows are free. 8 p.m. at 118 North, 118 North, Wayne Ave.

— D.D.


"Jaws," from 1975, directed by Stephen Spielberg.
"Jaws," from 1975, directed by Stephen Spielberg.

Cure your cabin fever with UP! On the Roof, an outdoor movie screening at the Uptown Knauer Performing Arts Center in West Chester. Bring a chair — and a friend or two — to the roof of the Bicentennial Garage (20 S. High St., West Chester) this holiday weekend. The venue will screen two American classics: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Jaws on Saturday, also at 8:30 p.m. The $40 tickets must be purchased in advance and are priced for groups of four or less. Each group will be situated at least six to eight feet apart. Masks are required and alcohol and pets are prohibited. Visit for more information.

— Brandon T. Harden


The Baby-Sitters Club

"The Baby-Sitters Club" stars (from left) Shay Rudolph, Momona Tamada, Malia Baker, and Sophie Grace in a scene from the series, which premieres on Friday.
"The Baby-Sitters Club" stars (from left) Shay Rudolph, Momona Tamada, Malia Baker, and Sophie Grace in a scene from the series, which premieres on Friday.

The beloved Ann M. Martin novels about middle-schoolers who start a babysitting agency become a charming series for kids that parents might be unable to resist (especially with Clueless’ Alicia Silverstone as one of the young sitters’ mothers). It wrestles, gently, with some tough issues without losing sight of the stories of friendship at its heart, and it seems in no hurry to turn its young characters, CW-style, into terrifyingly sophisticated young adults. Friday, Netflix.

Ellen Gray

Home Movie: The Princess Bride

Finally, there’s a reason to try Quibi, the new video app for short-form programming. Directed by Jason Reitman, this tribute to the 1987 classic features celebrities reenacting scenes from the movie from their homes, hilariously, in some cases sharing the screen with someone with whom they’ve been quarantining. So in one, Common and Tiffany Haddish are playing Westley and Buttercup; in another it’s Chris Pine and Annabelle Wallis. It’s a benefit for World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to the needy. Premiered Monday, new episodes released weekdays through July 10.


Desus & Mero

Comedians Desus Nice (left) and The Kid Mero star in Showtime's late-night series "Desus & Mero."
Comedians Desus Nice (left) and The Kid Mero star in Showtime's late-night series "Desus & Mero."

Desus Nice (Daniel Baker) and The Kid Mero (Joel Martinez) are back with new episodes of their late-night show, which starting this weekend, moves to Sundays and Thursdays. 11 p.m. Sunday, Showtime.


Asbury Park: Riot Redemption Rock & Roll

This Tom Jones-directed documentary features interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, and Southside Johnny Lyon. It depicts the pre-Stone Pony late 1960s scene at the Upstage, an after-hours all-ages club that gave birth to the vibrant Central Jersey bar band scene. Released in 2019, Jones’ doc is freshly relevant for its focus on the civil unrest and racial conflicts that led to the 1970 Asbury Park riots that Springsteen sang about in “My Hometown.” Sunday at 10 p.m. on NJTV.


Viking Warrior Queen

PBS’ Secrets of the Dead digs up a possible story of unconscious bias. When it’s discovered that the bones buried in what’s long been assumed to be the grave of an important Viking warrior had belonged to a woman, some of the experts who were previously convinced of the occupant’s status became far less sure. Whoever she was, she went to her grave — seated, as was the custom — with an impressive arsenal. 8 p.m. Tuesday, WHYY12.



Pig Iron’s “Zero Cost House”

In 2011, chaos broke loose in Japan with an earthquake, a tsunami, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Playwright Toshiki Okada, already in the process of creating Zero Cost House with Pig Iron Theatre Co., reworked it into an adaption of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden interwoven with questions about art and politics. Pig Iron presented it in 2012 and has reconfigured it again for the digital stage as a two-hour Zoom play, performed live from the actors’ homes 7:30 p.m. Friday. Pay what you wish, benefiting Mill Creek Urban Farm and the Morris Home.

— Jane M. Von Bergen


Six Flags, Moreys Piers, Elmwood Park Zoo, more

The Runaway Tram coaster at Morey's Surfside Pier last summer.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
The Runaway Tram coaster at Morey's Surfside Pier last summer.
  • Elmwood Park Zoo has reopened with timed tickets. The Philadelphia Zoo will follow July 9.
  • In New Jersey, amusement and water parks — Diggerland, Morey’s Piers, Playland, and Wonderland in Ocean City — open Thursday, July 2. Storybook Land follows on Friday.
  • Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J., opens to members and season pass holders Friday, July 3, and will start admitting the general public July 4. The park’s Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure is already up and running following a seven-year hiatus.
  • On July 8, the Franklin Institute becomes the first of the Parkway Museums to open its doors.

— Staff and contributor reports