Some kind of clown There are clowns. There are actors. There are dancers. There are acrobats. And then there is
, who combines it all to inhabit a corner of the theatrical world all his own. In his work
The Happiness Lecture
, commissioned by
the Philadelphia Theater Company
, the winner of a MacArthur "genius" grant looks at the nature of dreams and the meaning of performance - with special attention paid to pratfalls and a liberal use of puppets and funny hats. We can't imagine anything more true to the general experience of life. The comedy, featuring an all-star cast of local performers, including
, goes on at 3 p.m. today at
the Suzanne Roberts Theatre
, Broad and Lombard Streets, and continues on a Tuesday- through-Sunday schedule to June 15. Tickets are $46 to $58. Call 215-985-0420.
Scandinavian designs From Denmark, two experimental bands taking skewed approaches to chamber pop: the sensational
works the dramatic, tribal-ritual, big-band celestial-choir route, while the equally compelling quintet
takes an avant-jazz path, breaking up its gemlike tunes into pieces and reassembling the shards into operatic collages. The two team on their first U.S. tour with a stop at 8 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church Sanctuary, 2125 Chestnut St. Tickets are $12. Call 267-765-5210. . . . Finland's
) is a one-man musical collective composed of Jan Anderzén, who purveys a trippy electronica. He plays on a four-band bill at 9 p.m. at
, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. Tickets are $10. Call 215-739-9684.
Smart folk Singer and clawhammer banjo virtuoso
, playing straight-on, old-time country classics with a Bartok beat (and, yes, that's
up there as part of the band). They play at 8 p.m. at the
Sellersville Theater 1894
, Main Street and Temple Avenue, Sellersville. Tickets are $29.50. Call 215-257-5808.
Movement art The intriguing mix of dance and art
concludes with choreographers
exploring the experimental prints of
and mixed media works by
, with music by violinist
The performance is at 8 p.m. at
NEXUS Foundation for Today's Art
, Crane Arts Building, 1400 N. American St. Admission is free. Call 215-684-1946.
Sophomoric hijinks Remember how you and your friends used to goof around in the hall at the dorm and you thought it was so funny you could take it on the road? It wasn't, and you couldn't. But the Muhlenberg College guys who make up the improv sketch group
Fun With Eggs
are a different story. They're hysterical. The octet has drifted into different theatrical milieus post-academia, but they reunite for shows at
the Playground at the Adrienne
, 2030 Sansom St., at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 and 11 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10. Call 631-833-5763.
Far out Our favorite psychedelic jammers
team with the similarly inclined Tokyo outfit
Suishou No Fune
at 9 p.m. at the Khyber, 56 S. Second St. Tickets are $8. Call 215-238-5888.
Friday & Saturday
The art of love Gilbert and Sullivan's
may not be their most well-known work. But the tale of a milkmaid caught in the feud of an ostentatiously aesthetic poet and another, even more histrionic bard neatly skewers the pretensions of art.
The Savoy Company
performs the work at
the Academy of Music
, Broad and Locust Streets, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10 to $52. Call 215-735-7161. (The company will also perform the operetta at
, Route 1, Kennett Square, at 8:30 p.m. June 13 and 14. Tickets are $25.)
World beat An unlikely mix of jazz, gypsy rhythms and Polish folk, singer
is a transcendent performer. She sings at
Chris' Jazz Cafe
, 1421 Sansom St., at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $15 per set. Call 215-568-3131.
Getting it together Inspired by John Zerzan's essay about the norming of psychosis in everyday life "The Mass Psychology of Misery" and Malcolm Gladwell's theory that popular culture trends develop in the same way as epidemics,
The Tipping Point
is a collaborative dance and theater project that also includes an interactive public forum on these ideas. The performance features
Jodi Netzer and the Conscious Collective
, an ad hoc ensemble formed on the principle that performance is not limited by age or experience. The event happens at the
Community Education Center,
3500 Lancaster Ave., at 7 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday. Tickets are $10 to $25. Call 215-387-1911. . . .
is a double bill of theater and video:
is a collaborative play using poetry, puppets and everyday objects. The work was created over a 10-week period by participants in a workshop run by performance artist and poet Regie Cabico.
is a video collage created by filmmakers led by Anula Shetty of Termite TV Collective. The program goes on at
the Asian Arts Initiative's
Salon Space, 1223 Vine St., at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $8 to $12. Call 215-557-0455.
American music The polemical country singer
gets to the roots on his provocative songs. He plays at
World Cafe Live
, 3025 Walnut St., at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20. Call 215-222-1400. . . . Mandolin genius
teams with pianist
Verizon Hall, Broad and Spruce Streets, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $55 and $65. Call 215-790-7171.