New wave era rock stars Costello (playing solo) and Jett (with the Blackhearts) are among the luminaries on the bill for a virtual concert benefiting the Musician’s Treatment Foundation, which provides free care for musicians with shoulder, elbow, and hand injuries. The lineup also includes the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Shawn Colvin and others. 8 p.m. Saturday at event.gives/keepthemusicplaying.
— Dan DeLuca
Live bands haven’t played at Johnny Brenda’s since March. But the Fishtown venue has begun a Saturday night series of streamed DJ nights performed to an empty house. Mix masters like Greg Mungan spin live at 8 p.m. on Twitch TV from the downstairs DJ booth. This week, it’s Skeme Richards, the legendary Philadelphia record collector, spinning funk, soul, jazz, and rare groove. Free, with donations accepted to the venue’s employee relief fund and Black Lives Matter Philly. Watch at twitch.tv/johnnybrendas.
Brooklyn country crooner Poole has made one of the standout releases of the summer with his album The Freelancer’s Blues. Poole takes country tradition seriously — you can hear echoes of Waylon Jennings — but also tweaks it for the digital age in cleverly constructed songs like “Buddhist For A Couple Days” and “Vaping on the Job.” 8 p.m. Friday on Baby TV, via eventbrite.com.
With its 2019-2020 season canceled due to the coronavirus, People’s Light theater in Malvern has adapted to present live music in its parking lot with a series that begins Saturday and continues every weekend through Aug. 21. Bob Dylan cover band Highway 61 plays Saturday, Jeffrey Gaines and Valentina Sounds pair up on July 25. The John Byrne Band is Aug. 1. Tickets are $75 per carload (with adjacent lawn chair space). Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Info at peopleslight.org.
On Saturday — a day ahead of National Ice Cream Day — Bassetts Ice Cream will livestream its DIY take on what would have been the annual Philly Ice Cream Scoop. You buy your own ingredients. (Most are conveniently available as kits for delivery through mercato.com for $35-$45.) Then watch as five of the Reading Terminal Market scoop shop’s neighbors — Beck’s, Fox & Sons Corn Dogs, Loco Lucho’s, Famous Fourth Street, and Molly Malloy’s — demo an ice cream dish. The lineup includes ice cream pizza, bananas Foster, boozy (or not) ice cream beverages, and more. Watch noon-3 p.m. @readingterminalmarket on Facebook Live.
— Lauren McCutcheon
This documentary about writer Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) paints a picture of the Southern Gothic great using a variety of art forms and comments from Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Walker, Mary Karr, and Lucinda Williams, among others. With Mary Steenburgen. Available starting Friday from the Philadelphia Film Society at filmadelphia.org/events/flannery, $10, not rated but contains offensive language.
— Howard Gensler
Director Brian Welsh’s movie is a bromance set in Scotland in 1994 about two teenage boys determined to experience one last epic evening at an illegal dance party. The coming of age tale is timely because it captures the ecstatic feeling that we’re missing of being swept up in a crowd, and also the horror of police brutality. Streaming at eventive.org.
The legend of King Arthur gets another version, this one focused on the future Lady of the Lake, Nimue (Katherine Langford). Based on the graphic novel by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller. Friday, Netflix.
— Ellen Gray
The sequel to 2018′s The Alienist launches with two back-to-back episodes and a new historical mystery from the books of Caleb Carr. Daniel Brühl stars as “alienist” Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in treating mental illness. He’s again joined by John Moore (Luke Evans), now a reporter for the New York Times, and Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning), who’s set up shop as a private detective. The eight-episode season plays out over four weeks, with two new episodes each Sunday. 9 p.m. Sunday, TNT.
Essence Atkins (Marlon, Half & Half) and Stephen Bishop (Being Mary Jane) star in a romantic sequel to TV One’s Coins for Christmas. Atkins plays a single mother who can’t make ends meet during a probationary period at her new dream job in publishing and takes a side gig as a personal assistant to a sports show cohost (Bishop) 9 p.m. Sunday, TV One.
Comedian W. Kamau Bell’s documentary series, which is no stranger to tough topics, returns for a fifth season with an episode titled “Where Do We Even Start With White Supremacy?” in which he heads to Pittsburgh, using it as a lens to discuss systemic racism in the country as a whole. 10 p.m. Sunday, CNN.
The documentary series POV features this film about two women from Oakland, Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest, who in 2014 formed the first troop of the Radical Monarchs, a Girl Scouts alternative whose mission statement is “to create opportunities for young girls of color to form fierce sisterhood, celebrate their identities and contribute radically to their communities.” 9 p.m. Monday, WHYY12.
The first song heard on the opening episode of British actress and writer Michaela Coel’s HBO series is Philadelphia rapper Tierra Whack’s “Only Child.” The acclaimed series is about a budding novelist contending with the aftermath of her sexual assault. Its soundtrack skillfully weaves music into the story line, with genre-splicing songs by Rosalia, Little Simz, Hawa, Janelle Monae, and more. Monday at 9 p.m. on HBO and on HBO on demand.
Five-part Australian docuseries follows an irresistible group of young adults with autism as they attempt to navigate the world of dating and relationships. Wednesday, Netflix.
This is the feel-good streaming binge you’ve been looking for since you burned through the filmed-in-Philly season of Queer Eye. Producers fit a British animal-rescue center with cameras, prettied up its facilities a bit, and watched people and abandoned dogs try to meet their matches. Not every meeting works out — there are personalities to be managed on both sides of the equation — but when it’s right, it’s wonderful. Thursday, July 23, HBO Max.
It’s been 22 years since Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters first put on this show to spur dog and cat adoption, and this year’s version is going online Thursday. Participants include Hugh Jackman, Audra McDonald, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, Gloria Estefan, Joel Grey, Malcolm McDowell, Bebe Neuwirth, Josh Groban, John Stamos, Jon Hamm — and on and on. Funds raised go to participating animal shelters across the country. Contributions can be made to BroadwayBarks.com or via the YouTube stream. (Thursday, July 16, 7:30 p.m.)
There’ll be no camping out for a seat in Hall H, or rubbing elbows with a pop-up city full of happy geeks. On the other hand, the mother of all fan conventions is free this year, and you don’t have to get on a plane to get there. San Diego Comic-Con is happening online, with programming running on the Con’s YouTube channel Wednesday through July 26. Schedules, with links to individual sessions, vendors, etc., are at https://www.comic-con.org/cci/2020/athome.
The annual Shakespeare festival returns, Friday through Aug. 2. This Saturday at 7:30 p.m., listen at dinnertime as actors live-stream Shakespeare culinary monologues. Sunday’s family-friendly offering includes a drama game at 5 p.m. The festival’s lineup of free events will debut on Facebook @delshakes and move to YouTube. Then, on Aug. 1., enjoy a day of in-person drama at a “Soliloquy Stroll” in Wilmington’s Rockwood Park. You walk the grounds and meet briefly with socially distanced Shakespeare characters. Details at delshakes.org.
— Jane M. Von Bergen
Audience members will get an earful (and that’s all) during Wilma Theater’s first all-audio production, July 23-26. The show had been scheduled to open on stage in May. But when the pandemic halted productions, Wilma teamed with 2X2L Programme and DieCast, two alternative theater organizations, to incorporate radio drama techniques in an audio take on this tale of righteous revenge, directed by James Ijames. Ticket holders for the stage performance will be sent a link. Others can listen in for a donation. Details at wilmatheater.org.