Once upon a laugh
The Comic Energy Sketch Comedy Troupe fractures some fairy tales this weekend. "A Night of Comedic Fairy Tales" parodies those familiar stories of childhood for grown-up fun.
Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge St.,
9 and 11 tonight, 7 p.m. tomorrow, $10, $15, 215-397-3040.
Dance roots in the Ivy
In 1971, three Dartmouth students choreographed a modern dance that launched Pilobolus, one of America's most innovative companies, known for its wit and gravity-defying feats of athleticism. The company presents that original work, plus four others, when they appear this weekend for the 26th season of Dance Celebration, which salutes the pioneers of contemporary dance.
Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St., 2 and 8 p.m. today, $29-$46, 215-898-3900.
The write stuff
Three Leeway Foundation grant recipients, Judith Trustone, Sylvia Coleman and Trapeta Mayson, will read from their works of fiction, poetry and memoir at Women's Ink, a celebration of women writers sponsored by Leeway and Robin's Bookstore. Trustone is a novelist and advocate who works to educate the public about prisons. Coleman's memoir, "Creating a New Normal: Cleaning Up a Dysfunctional Life," chronicles her own journey from abuse, homelessness and depression, and Mayson is a Germantown-based poet.
Robin's Bookstore, 108 S. 13th St., 2 p.m. tomorrow, free, 215-735-9600, www.robinsbookstore.com.
The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby is a three-mile race of human-powered mobile sculptures through an urban obstacle course (cobblestones, mud pit). The crews wear festive (dare we say wacky) costumes, and prizes are awarded in a wide range of categories, from Best Engineering to Best Breakdown to the Second to Last Award, for the penultimate finisher. The derby winds through Fishtown and Kensington, ending at the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival in East Kensington, where the diverse neighborhood comes together to showcase music, art and good food.
Kinetic Sculpture Derby, starts at Trenton and Norris streets, 12:30 p.m. today, free.
Look it over
Overbrook Farms, one of the city's most beautiful residential neighborhoods, is welcoming visitors to its spring open house on Sunday, the 20th anniversary of this annual rite of spring. Attendees meet at the recently renovated Overbrook Train Station for a docent-led tour of the area, including 10 100-plus-year-old homes designed with Arts and Crafts style details. This year's docents are students at nearby Friends Central High School, who have been researching the homes on the tour. After all that information and exercise, relax with a formal tea.
Overbrook Train Station, City Line and Drexel Road, 1-5 p.m. tomorrow, $35 in advance, $40 day of tour, reservations: 215-925-6101, ext. 6021.
Swell night of Irish tunes
The Dublin, Ireland-set, Oscar-winning (for best original song) film "Once" has clearly raised awareness of contemporary Irish chamber folk. Stars of that film, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, return Tuesday under their group identity, the Swell Season. And for just this show and one at Radio City Music Hall in New York, they've brought over Fergus O'Farrell and his string-driven, 10-piece band Interference. "Once" viewers will recognize them as the performers of "Gold" in the movie's charming song-swap scene. This wheel-chair bound troubadour's eloquent and lyrical airs (available at www.myspace.com/
interferenceireland) have won many hearts, and there's a label bidding war to put out Fergie's next album.
Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow streets, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $32.50, $37.50, 215-336-2000, www.livenation.com.
Some really unusual yet accessible music is coming out of Philly these days. Pattern Is Movement, the daring vocal/keyboards/drums twosome, is an apt case in point, crafting polyrhythmic pop that's as precise (and complicated) as higher mathematics, yet also playful and surreal. Their most magical results to date are found on PIM's "All Together" CD, out in stores the day before this homecoming/record-release party. Also on the bill, Helio Sequence, plus Ravens and Vultures.