As the first weekend of spring, we hereby declare you have as much fun as possible.
For this weekend only, the classic "Annie," featuring all the sweet songs you know you love ("Tomorrow," "It's a Hard Knock Life") comes to the Academy of Music (Broad and Locust Streets). Curtains are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 and 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.
In addition to the hundreds of films available to screen, the Garden State Film Festival is also throwing parties, panels (about marketing via social media, the life of a stunt woman and financing a flick), and an open casting call. Most screenings and events take place at Resorts Hotel and Casino (1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City) and begin with a 7 p.m. benefit at the Claridge Hotel (Pacific Ave. and Park Pl., Atlantic City) on Thursday, March 19. Screenings begin at noon on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22.
Marking 10 years of organized celebration of beer and music in Atlantic City's Convention Center (1 Convention Blvd., Atlantic City) is this weekend's Atlantic City Beer and Music Fest. Out of the 150 breweries, some highlights include Yards, Victory, Great Lakes, Goose Island and more. Musical performers range from headliners Taking Back Sunday, Lucero and Everclear to featured artists The Mezingers, Future Thieves and others. Festival hours are 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, March 20 and noon to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.
Celebrate the start of spring at the Please Touch Museum (4231 Avenue of the Republic) with crafts, music, a reading of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and meet-and-greet with the characters and parade. Activities run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.
If you're hit with a bit of wanderlust, start planning your next trip at the first-ever Philadelphia Travel and Adventure Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch St.) for seminars, vendors and entertainment. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.
Get in the Easter spirit with an egg hunt in the garden at the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center (East Passyunk Ave. and Dickson St.) on Saturday, March 21. Children ages 4 and under will begin the search at 11 a.m., ages 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will follow an hour later and ages 8 to 10 will go at 1 p.m. The tots will also have a chance to decorate their collection bags and get a photo snapped with the Easter Bunny.
Take on a challenge in consumption on Saturday, March 21 for the Fairmount Food Crawl. Starting at noon, 14 Fairmount restaurants (like Mugshots, 1925 Fairmount Ave., Urban Saloon, 2120 Fairmount Ave. and Bridgid's, 726 N. 24th St.) will serve a different part of a pig paired with a signature cocktail. Start at any location and try to hit all 14 by 5 p.m. — you know, to say you ate a whole pig.
There's no better way to spend your Saturday than to kick it off with a pet parade. Said parade kicks off Downtown Haddonfield's (Kings Highway East, Haddonfield) Pet-a-Palooza, which also highlights adoption, pet bakery and other pet-related goods and live entertainment from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 21. (Rain date Sunday, March 22.)
Three Native American rappers and hip-hop artists — Frank Waln, Def-I, Tall Paul and Wake Self — will perform and speak at the Penn Museum (3260 South St.) on Saturday, March 21. Beginning at 3 p.m., they'll perform spoken word in the museum's "Native American Voices: The People — Here and Now" exhibit, take part in a panel discussion, and take part in an 8 p.m. concert.
Independent kids' music, "kindie," from The Pop Ups, Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights and The Not Its! Take on the Kids Corner Music Festival on Sunday, March 22 at World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.). Family-friendly and interactive, the festival kicks off at 11 a.m. with doors opening at 10:30 a.m.
At nearly 3 1/2 hours, shot in real time with little dialogue and almost geometric camera work, Chantal Akerman's 1975 masterpiece "Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" requires some commitment from viewers. But it's an absorbing portrait of a single mother who follows a set routine of cooking, cleaning, and turning tricks each afternoon — until her carefully arranged life begins to fray. It's truly one of the great films of the 20th century. The film screens at International House (3701 Chestnut St) at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 20.
British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is best known for the Booker Prize-winning "The Remains of the Day," an emotionally subdued look at a butler's life. Ishiguro's new book, "The Buried Giant," his first novel in nearly a decade, is a mythic tale of a couple searching for their son in a wasted, fantastic medieval landscape. He will read from his work at the Free Library (1901 Vine St.) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20.
Violinist David Bowlin will play works by Beethoven, Ravel, and Suzanne Sorkin in a recital at St. Joseph's University's Bluett Theatre (5600 W. City Ave.) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.
Oscar Straus' delightful 1908 confection "The Chocolate Soldier," with a newly adapted libretto by Daniel Pantano, is performed by the invaluable Concerto Operetta Theater at the Academy of Vocal Arts (1920 Spruce St.) at 4 p.m. on both Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22.