We’re in the Memorial Day weekend homestretch, and if you’re at the office, it might be hard to focus (I understand). Embrace the distraction with a good read. We’ve got options:
First, Bethany Ao unpacks the Devon Horse Show, which opened today, for anyone new to the lemon stick-fueled, fancy hat-studded Main Line tradition. Devon devotees will enjoy, too.
Then, before another local tradition — Philly Beer Week — hits, Nick Vadala presents an explainer on bottle shops, Pennsylvania’s go-to for craft beer to go (or to stay and drink). “Imagine a coffee shop that sells craft beer instead of cappuccinos and you’re in the ballpark,” he writes. Vadala also highlights eight bottle shops worth a trip in farther-flung points of Philly and the PA suburbs.
Finally, as always, Philly has plenty going on this week (storytelling in Old City, birthday bashes, a Billy Joel concert, etc.), but chances are you’re probably headed down the Shore this weekend. If so, we’ve got a separate calendar for you.
— Jenn Ladd (@jrladd, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Take in the view of Center City from the rooftop of Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central branch. Guests are invited to grab an al fresco drink (beer, wine, cocktails) and some snacks and enjoy the view from the Skyline Terrace. While you’re there, check out the library’s recently unveiled, long-awaited expansion, intended as a central space for users of all stripes. — Grace Dickinson
5 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St., free, 215-686-5322, libwww.freelibrary.org
Historic Philadelphia’s seasonal storytelling program returns, bringing history to life at sites where it actually happened. Starting Saturday, post up at 13 benches in Old City and three in Valley Forge National Historical Park and a trained (sometimes costumed) professional will regale you with a three- to five-minute story about the Philadelphia of yore. New stories this year include accounts of female abolitionists, Martha Washington’s dinner parties, and Constitutional Convention debates. — G.D.
Settle in for an evening of Great American Songbook classics, patriotic anthems, and show tunes in honor of those who serve. Set to accompany the Pops at this holiday weekend performance are Philly native bass-baritone Justin Hopkins, the Pops’ 170-voice Festival Chorus, and local student choirs. The Memorial Salute will be dedicated to the late David Montgomery, the Phillies’ president and general partner from 1997 to 2015. — G.D.
Having served in World War II as well as the Cold, Korean, and Vietnam Wars, Submarine Becuna is turning 75 and the Independence Seaport Museum is celebrating all weekend long. Swing by to sign a birthday card for “Becky,” and eat cake aboard the submarine. Take a tour on Saturday or Sunday and partake in special activities (like paddling in Penn’s Landing) through Monday. — G.D.
10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday through Sunday, 211 S. Columbus Blvd., prices vary per activity, 215-413-8655, phillyseaport.org
May 31 marks what would have been the 200th birthday of America’s “poet of democracy,” a free-spirited cultural icon who spent his last two decades residing across the Delaware River in Camden. As the height of the yearlong celebration approaches, Patti Smith and her daughter perform a sold-out show at the Art Museum on May 30, the Walt Whitman House in Camden holds special tours throughout the week, and City Hall hosts a cake cutting (with readings, naturally) on May 31. — G.D.
May 24-June 9, locations vary, prices vary per event, whitmanat200.org
The Almanac Dance Circus Theatre was formed, in the troupe’s own account, by a group of young acrobats who began doing amateur performances in Fishtown’s Penn Treaty Park six years ago. This Sunday, the group returns to its waterfront stomping grounds to put on this day of free workshops, demos, and performances. They’ll be joined by other groups, including Hip Hop Fundamentals, Funicular Wire Walkers, and MoDa Movement. In the evening, roll out a blanket or unfold a camping chair for Almanac’s outdoor presentation of Communitas: 5 Years Later. The acrobatic dance will be set to live music as four performers tumble and fly across the stage. — G.D.
2 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Penn Treaty Park, 1301 N. Beach St., free, thealmanac.us/fit-fest
If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night at Eastern State Pen — and let its natural, non-Terror Behind the Walls state creep you out — this is your best chance. Ghost Hunts USA finagled exclusive access to the Fairmount prison to host guests for a day tour, followed by an evening exploration of its most actively haunted sites. Although the company notes that the ghost hunt is “not endorsed by or affiliated with” the penitentiary’s historic arm, the tour promises a thorough lesson on ESP’s history, from its founding in the 1800s to its abandonment a century later. Guests can show up for a daytime tour any time between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, then return for the hunt at 7:45 p.m. — Jenn Ladd
10 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday, Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave., $149, ghosthuntsusaexclusive.com
When Smithereens leader Pat DiNizio died in 2017 at 62, it seemed that the songs of the British Invasion-influenced ’80s band from central Jersey would die with him. But DiNizio’s death has led to a great appreciation of the craftsmanship that went into songs like “Behind the Wall of Sleep” and “Blood & Roses,” and also spurred his bandmates to carry on in his wake. And while the singer-substituting-for-a-corpse concept is often unseemly, the surviving Smithereens would seem to have found the ideal fit in Marshall Crenshaw, a contemporary of the band with a formidable catalog of his own and a similar flair for vintage power-pop and garage-rock. A capital idea. — Dan DeLuca
8 p.m., Saturday, World Cafe Live, 3035 Walnut St., $35-$42, 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com
The bright, sing-along synth-pop of Passion Pit’s Manners masked some darker realities for leader Michael Angelakos. He was barely out of his teens and struggling with mental health issues when the debut full-length came out in 2009. (He would later publicly discuss his bipolar disorder.) Although bad memories caused Angelakos to disparage the album as juvenilia for a time, he now embraces its extroverted exuberance, like his audience did. He and his current band (which no longer includes bassist Jeff Apruzzese, who is now a Drexel prof) will celebrate the album’s 10th anniversary at the Fillmore on Friday night. Expect joyful, energetic nostalgia for songs such as “The Reeling,” “Sleepyhead,” and “Little Secrets.” — Steve Klinge
8:30 p.m., Friday, the Fillmore, 29 E. Allen St., $37.50, 215-309-0150, thefillmorephilly.com
As far as Citizens Bank Park performances go, piano man/icon Billy Joel has a better batting average than the Philles’ Bryce Harper at this point in the spring season. Joel is the first artist to perform for a record-breaking six consecutive years at the stadium, and he holds the record for the most live performances by any artist in the venue’s 15-year history. So connected is he to the ballpark and the Phillies that Joel will be honored as the team’s first music franchise, with his merchandise being sold along Phillies paraphernalia at all stadium tchotchke kiosks. And while he just turned 70, Joel is thoroughly entrenched in a stadium tour that goes hand-in-hand with his monthly Madison Square Garden gigs. — A.D. Amorosi
8 p.m., Friday, Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, $59.75-$182.50, mlb.com/phillies/ballpark
The ruminative American power-pop/indie-rock axis of the 1990s was owned and created by Everclear and its charismatic songwriter-singer, Art Alexakis, who recently announced that he’s living with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Why shouldn’t he crow about his accomplishments in song and spoken word with some of his best pals, like-minded musicians, and fellow platinum artists Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne), Max Collins (Eve 6), and John Wozniak (Marcy Playground)? Along with stripping down each act’s finest moments in solo settings, the foursome will perform and talk together, tackling Q&A sessions and taking requests. If you’re looking for an up-close-and-personal showcase, this does the trick. — A.D.A.
8 p.m., Sunday, the Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, $26-$36, keswicktheatre.com
L7 was one of the most overtly political of the prominent grunge-era bands. They helped organize Rock for Choice, a series of pro-choice benefit concerts that included Nirvana, Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many others. Too punk for Lilith Fair, too female and feminist for Warped, Donita Sparks and her bandmates relished being provocateurs. The band went on hiatus in 2001 but reunited in 2015 to revisit their six albums, including 1992’s classic Bricks Are Heavy. A new single, the pointed “Dispatch from Mar-A-Lago” arrived last year, and now there’s a new album, the hard-rocking Scatter the Rats. Aggressive tracks such as “Burn Baby” and “Fighting the Crave” will fit neatly next to old favorites such as “Pretend We’re Dead” and “Andres.” — S.K.