Music critics' picks
POP . . . plus Frail yet resilient beauty Melody Gardot serves up timeless, Continental-styled ballads and jazzy blues - tastefully understated and cool - about living life (and love) in the moment, seeking calm and comfort, wistfully wishing for the stars. Gardot has h
POP . . . plus
Frail yet resilient beauty Melody Gardot serves up timeless, Continental-styled ballads and jazzy blues - tastefully understated and cool - about living life (and love) in the moment, seeking calm and comfort, wistfully wishing for the stars. Gardot has had her share of sorrow, the victim of a horrendous car-on-bicycle accident, still evidenced in a cane and ongoing health issues. As she recuperated, the Community College of Philadelphia fashion student and sometime cocktail pianist started to play guitar and write original songs. A record deal with Universal/Verve, multimillion album sales and worldwide acclaim have followed. Kindred local balladeer - and Gardot supporter - Phil Roy is her "special guest."
Keswick Theatre, Easton Road and Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $35, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com.
- Jonathan Takiff
In the past two years, the Roots Picnic has become one of the city's premier outdoor concerts, showcasing a diverse array of talent and getting better with each installment. This year, the featured guest is Vampire Weekend, a New York-based indie rock band that hit the top of the charts earlier in the year with its sophomore album "Contra." There's plenty of hip-hop at the show, too. Wu-Tang Clan's Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon will perform, backed by the Roots themselves. There's also the Clipse, Jay Electronic and Baja + the Dry Eye Crew. Soul singers Nnekka and John Legend will add their voices to the mix, as will Phonte and Esau Mwamwaya of the Foreign Exchange and the Very Best, respectively. Also performing are Mayer Hawthorne and the County, Tune-Yards, Pattern Is Movement and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Festival Pier, Spring Garden Street and Delaware Avenue, 2 p.m. tomorrow, $66, $198 four-pack, 215-569-9400, www.delawareriverwaterfrontcorp.com.
- James Johnson
When she took the stage to portray Billie Holiday in "Lady Day" 25 years ago, Dee Dee Bridgewater was best known as a musical theater actress who, a decade earlier, had won a Tony as Glinda in "The Wiz." She then recorded a few R&B records that served her majestic voice poorly. But in the ensuing years Bridgewater has joined Holiday in the pantheon of innovative, influential jazz vocalists. So while she revisits Holiday's music in "To Billie with Love - A Celebration of Lady Day," she approaches it as a personal tribute rather than an imitation. And where "Lady Day" focused on the legendary singer's tragic final days, this show celebrates her life; the accompanying CD title is preceded by Holiday's real name, "Eleanora Fagan," to acknowledge the humanity behind the image.
Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, $20-$50, 215-898-3900, www.pennpresents.org.
- Shaun Brady
Don't miss a live Quintron show. It's like nothing else. The man/force of nature behind Quintron is Jay Poggi, a Chicago transplant who calls New Orleans home. The one-man band, who counts cartoon scorer Raymond Scott and jazz organist Jimmy Smith as influences, sets up his custom-made Hammond organ/Fender Rhodes synthesizer combo to resemble the body of a car. There's also the Drum Buddy, a rotating, light-activated analog synthesizer. He's often accompanied by his equally colorful wife, puppeteer Miss Pussycat. He describes his music as swamp tech but it sounds like a party from Planet Claire.
The Barbary, Frankford and Delaware avenues, 6 p.m. Thursday, $10, all ages, www.r5productions.com.
- Sara Sherr
Of all the ballet music in the repertoire, none can touch the lush colors, drama and sheer opulence of Serge Prokofiev's magnificent "Romeo and Juliet." Though suites from the ballet are standard orchestral fare, the magnificent ballet, danced to the complete score, becomes a revelation.
Pennsylvania Ballet closes its 46th season with this company signature work, set to John Cranko's brilliant choreography. Through the stately royal elegance, the dueling scenes, the crowd tableaux and the heart-stopping duets by the famed lovers, the company shows off Cranko's virtuoso demands. Want to be dazzled? Don't miss this glorious feast for the senses.
Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, 7:30 p.m. tonight, June 10-11; 8 p.m. tomorrow; 2 p.m. tomorrow, Sunday and June 12; $24-$129, 215-893-1999, www.paballet.org.
- Tom Di Nardo