Peak wedding season is nigh, preceded, of course, by bachelor and bachelorette parties. My suggestion: Skip a trip to Nashville and do something cheaper and more interesting instead. Bethany Ao interviewed several Philadelphians who have executed clever, creative bachelor/ette parties, complete with nude sketching sessions and murder mystery weekends at the Shore.
Another season around the corner? Kitten season. Shelters are bracing for impact (“By July, we’ll be swimming in kittens,” a PAWS representative said), which makes it the perfect time to consider adoption. Grace Dickinson presents a thorough guide that will walk you through the process, from making the decision to commit to a cat to introducing your new feline to the family.
Not in a wedding? Not into cats? Fear not, there’s plenty of Philly events below, including the cannoli-fueled, grease-pole-studded Italian Market Festival; a Game of Thrones finale watch party on the big screen; a Tough Mudder for dogs; and a visit from the Scottish singer-songwriter who gave us “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.”
— Jenn Ladd (@jrladd, email@example.com)
11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, South 9th St., free, 215-278-2903, italianmarketfestival.com
Mingle with knights, blacksmiths, gravediggers, village idiots, and other 16th-century folks in South Jersey this weekend. You, too, are encouraged to dress in medieval garb and speak in Middle English (a British accent will do). Shop the handcrafted wares of artisans working with metal, glass, pewter, leather, glass, and jewelry; enjoy a tipple in the Meade Garden; and chow down on a meat pie, a Scotch egg, or a “dragon leg.” — G.D.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, also May 25-26 and June 1-2, 1195 Florence Columbus Rd., Bordentown, N.J., $25, $10 for children ages 5-12, free for children under 5, 888-864-8222, njrenfaire.com
Take a trip out to scenic Skippack for an afternoon of local wine sampling and live music. Feel free to bring your pup along and join in the dog parade, or toss some beanbags at the 2:30 p.m. cornhole tournament. Find an array of food trucks at the annual event, too. — G.D.
Noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, 4093 W. Skippack Pike, Skippack, $20-$30, winetober.com
The nationwide Healthy Kids Running Series, designed to lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a one-day series of races, including this one in Media. Kids sign up for age- and distance-appropriate runs, from pre-K (50-yard dashes) to eighth-graders (mile-long runs). Afterward, families are invited to enjoy a bite to eat from local food trucks and entertainment like face painting, moon bounces, a photo booth, and music. — G.D.
1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Rose Tree Park, 1671 N. Providence Rd., Media, $10 per runner, other activities are free, runsignup.com/10festphilly
As Love Your Park Week comes to a close, join local outdoor apparel company United by Blue for its annual cleanup on the banks of the Schuylkill River. Volunteers, who are encouraged to wear long pants and sturdy shoes, can partake in trash pickup on foot, in waders, or atop stand-up paddleboards. Enjoy a complimentary lunch and cold-pressed tea after the work is done. — G.D.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Blvd., free, eventbrite.com
Does your pooch like playing in the mud? Do you not mind? Saturday’s Tough Mudder event includes a doggy version — the Ruff Mudder — where four-legged participants can live out their rolling-in-the-dirt dreams. Guided on a leash by their pet parents, dogs will face seven obstacles that they must crawl and climb their way through, including a mud mile and a muddy tunnel. To sign up your pup, purchase a Tough Mudder spectator pass online and click the option to add Ruff Mudder at the checkout page; if you’re competing in the main event or already have a pass, you can tack it on for free. — G.D.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, 322 Apple Grove Rd., Coatesville, $22.50, toughmudder.com
Not technically a musical, but certainly a play with music, this Tony winner portrays the 1923 Broadway production of God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch — and the indictment of the cast for indecency. — John Timpane
Opens Thursday, May 23, through June 23, Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., $18-$45, 215-922-1122, ardentheatre.org
The end is coming: The HBO show that has killed its darlings, flooded Croatia with selfie-taking tourists, and kept its viewers waiting for closure for two years wraps up on Sunday. A handful of places (Atomic City Comics, James Philadelphia) have screened the final season regularly, but La Peg is jumping in on the action with food and cocktail specials. They’ll put the last episode up on FringeArts’ cinema-sized projector screen. — Jenn Ladd
5 to 10 p.m., Sunday, La Peg Brasserie, 140 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., free, 215-375-7744, lapegbrasserie.com
California country singer Jade Jackson plays a Free at Noon show at World Café Live Friday, then heads to Manayunk for a nighttime gig at Dawson Street Pub. Jackson’s second album, Wilderness, is due out in June. Like its predecessor, 2017’s Gilded, it’ll be released on prestigious indie label Anti- and is produced by Mike Ness, of roots-punk stalwarts Social Distortion. (Ness’ son Julian also plays guitar in Jackson’s band.) The new album takes inspiration from a serious spinal cord injury the now 25-year-old Jackson suffered some years back, and marks Jackson’s further development as an Americana star in the making. Hannah Taylor & the Rekardo Lee Trio open. — Dan DeLuca
8 p.m., Friday, Dawson Street Pub, 110 Dawson St., $10, 215-482-5677, facebook.com/dawsonstretpub
Scottish singer-songwriter/guitarist KT Tunstall had the mixed-bag experience of having her debut effort, 2004’s Eye to the Telescope, become a massive, multiplatinum hit, with the infectious, Bo Diddley-influenced single “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” leading the way. Tunstall’s kept a relatively low profile since, while cranking out five more albums, including last year’s powerful WAX, the second in her self-described “soul, body, and mind” trilogy. Onstage, the husky-voiced singer layers exquisite sounds with the help of a loop pedal; this time out, she’s to be joined by drummer Cat Meyers. Expect a mix of old and new, and all of it good. Maddie Ross opens. — Nicole Pensiero
8 p.m., Friday, World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St., $28-$99, 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com
She first drew attention for her acoustic-guitar prowess, winning instrumentalist awards from both Americana and bluegrass organizations, but that is about to change for Molly Tuttle. Her aptly titled debut album When You’re Ready is the work of a fully formed singer and songwriter. While her playing is still front and center, it’s in the service of striking original songs whose full-band arrangements are a beguiling, hard-to-define blend of chamber-folk and pop, framing a voice as clear and penetrating as her lyrics. — Nick Cristiano
4 and 8 p.m., Saturday, the Locks at Sona, 4417 Main St., Manayunk, $25-$35, 484-273-0481, thelocksmusic.com
Since My Morning Jacket’s The Waterfall came out in 2015, bandleader Jim James has kept busy: He’s released a solo album or two a year, the most recent being last year’s electric Uniform Distortion and its acoustic doppelgänger Uniform Clarity. Distortion is James at his loosest — full of fuzzed-out rockers sometimes reminiscent of early MMJ albums, and James is having so much fun that he can’t help but laugh during some of the revved-up tracks. He sings, in his reverb-soaked croon, of seeking clarity in our information-flooded world, but the implicit message is also that rambunctious rock-and-roll is an antidote for screen-obsessed minds, his and ours. — Steve Klinge
8 p.m., Sunday, the Fillmore, 29 E. Allen St., $40, 215-309-0150, thefillmorephilly.com
St. Vincent is producing the next Sleater-Kinney record. That’s gonna be good. Meanwhile, Corin Tucker, the S-K singer with the five-alarm voice, is on tour with her other band, also made up of illustrious rock players. The Fastbacks’ Kurt Bloch and R.E.M.‘s Peter Buck play guitar, Linda Pitmon is on drums, and Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 (and R.E.M.) will be playing bass in his first Philadelphia appearance since suffering a stroke in 2016. Their new album, Emerald Valley, rocks hard, with a political edge. Dressy Bessy opens. — D.D.
8 p.m., Tuesday, Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., $18, 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com
Rapper-singer-drummer Anderson .Paak names all his albums after California locales that have been crucial to his artistic development. So after breaking out with 2015’s Malibu and slightly losing his way on the way to last year’s tough-talking Oxnard, .Paak is back in a comfortable funk and old-school R&B-flavored lane on the buttery-smooth new Ventura. Philadelphia singer Jazmine Sullivan appears on the rom-com love triangle-in-song “Good Heels,” and .Paak mixes music, sports, and politics on “King James,” which gives praise to Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James. — D.D.
8 p.m., Tuesday, the Fillmore, 29 E. Allen St., $29.50, 215-309-0150, fillmorephilly.com
Mike Kinsella has been the driving force behind several seminal, quirky, lo-fi, emo-mopey, hardcore-scented math-rock acts (Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc). What makes you think he couldn’t do that same sound again? And with a trumpet, yet? Together from 1997 to 2000, then again from 2014 to the present, American Football and its third eponymous studio album has an oddly Springsteen-jazzy edge (think the Boss’ “Meeting Across the River,” only faster) and a female presence in its handful of prominent duet partners such as Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams. Plus Kinsella & Co. perform the spacey “Uncomfortably Numb” — not a cover, yet a song that manages to eerily reference the Pink Floyd track — just to throw audiences for a loop. — A.D. Amorosi