Happy New Year, everyone. The days are getting longer, and there’s a lot of ways to kick off the year right. Here are some resolutions worth making:
Based on the Israeli film of the same name, The Band’s Visit follows an Egyptian orchestra that boards the wrong bus and mistakenly lands in an Israeli desert town. The musical is a 10-time Tony Award winner and Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Theater Album. — Grace Dickinson
Jan. 7-19, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., $20 and up, kimmelcenter.org
Paying tribute to David Bowie every year since his death, the fourth annual Philly Loves Bowie Week brings dozens of Starman-themed events to venues citywide. Take a Bowie-themed yoga class, enjoy a Stardust cocktail at a Bowie brunch, sing Let’s Dance at BowieOke, catch a concert with 25-plus Bowie covers, and more. The festival raises money for pediatric cancer research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a nod to Bowie’s 18-month-long fight against liver cancer. See our complete rundown of events for our best bets for this year’s festival. — G.D.
Jan. 3-12, locations and prices vary per event, phillylovesbowie.wordpress.com
Don’t let the cold stop you from immersing yourself in nature. Certified arborist Brice Dorwart leads a walk on how to identify deciduous tree species without their leaves. The event is free, but spots are limited and registration is required. Event is rain or shine, and comfortable walking shoes are encouraged. — G.D.
10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Haverford College Arboretum, 370 Lancaster Ave., free with registration, haverford.edu
Start the year by learning elements of meditation and mindfulness inside Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Philadelphia-based health educator Sandi Herman will lead an experience designed to help you relax and unwind as you explore artist Isaiah Zagar’s giant mosaicked masterpiece. — G.D.
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South St., $8-$10, phillymagicgardens.org
It’s a slightly unlikely pairing. Learn about bonsai trees over a beer at Evil Genius. Workshop participants will take home a two-year-old dwarf jade and a ceramic pot, as well as all you need to know to keep it alive. You also get a free beer. The event is 21+, obviously. — G.D.
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Evil Genius Beer Company, 1727 N. Front St., $55, evilgeniusbeer.com
Aunt Mary Pat DiSabatino, known by fans as the “friggin Queen of Delco,” heads to Ardmore Music Hall this week on her “Fish Outta Wooder" tour. Mary Pat, who’s the alter ego for Wilmington-based Troy Hendrickson, drew a following through funny social media videos that shine a Delco light on local topics like the Philly accent, the “friggin Iggles,” Wawa, and the “Ackame.” She’s inspired by Hendrickson’s mom. — G.D.
8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, $18-50, ardmoremusic.com
Comedian Shane O’Connor, who describes himself as “Love’s Humble Servant and Bob Barker Wannabe,” hosts a comedy dating game show. Non-comedian guests sit behind a curtain and have to choose which comedian to date based on the attractiveness of their jokes alone, some of which riff on details about their potential partner. It sounds gimmicky, but the format works, and it’s both funny and surprisingly sweet. — Megan Griffith-Greene
7 p.m. Saturday, Good Good Comedy, 215 N. 11th St., 215-399-1279, $10, goodgoodcomedy.com
In each episode of the podcast The Guilty Feminist, British-Australian funnywoman Deborah Frances-White and guests discuss “their noble goals as 21st century feminists and the paradoxes and insecurities which undermine them.” (Among the podcast’s avid fans is Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who called it “hilarious, irreverent, eternally surprising, classy as hell, genius”). Frances-White records an episode of the podcast live this week at Punch Line Philly. Expect a lot of raunchy laughs and candid discussion about life that feels like a night out with the smartest, funniest women you know. — M.G.G.
8 p.m. Tuesday, Punch Line Philly, 33 E. Laurel St., 215-606-6555, $35, punchlinephilly.com
Donny McCaslin’s band backed David Bowie on his brilliant final album Blackstar, and that connection propelled the sax player outside the jazz world. Like Kamasi Washington, he’s brought adventurous jazz to mainstream audiences and to clubs more often associated with rock, the Ardmore Music Hall included. McCaslin has courted new audiences: on his most recent album, 2018’s Blow, and his new single, “Head of Mine,” he works with pop song structures, electronic textures, and rock vocalists, including longtime Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, who will open on Sunday. The show is part of Philly Loves Bowie week events. — Steve Klinge
7 p.m. Sunday, Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., $17-$42, 610-649-8389, ardmoremusic.com
Femme It Forward is an all-female package tour, loaded with R&B singers who were popular in the 1990s and 2000s. The headliners are Monica — whose back-in-the-day hits include “The First Night,” “Angel of Mine,” and “The Boy Is Mine” with Brandy — and Ashanti, whose hits included “Foolish,” “Rock wit U (Awww Baby),” among others with Fat Joe and Ja Rule. Also on the bill: Keri Hilson, Lil’ Mo and Amerie, whose taut 2005 funk workout “1 Thing” will be the single greatest song performed all night. — Dan DeLuca
Colleen Green proved herself a serious artiste with 2015’s impressive I Want To Grow Up, injecting her previously breezy indie stoner-pop with a degree of maturity and gravitas while not leaving the fun out of the equation. While fans wait for a proper follow-up, she has returned with a lark: a song-by-song cover of Blink-182’s 1987 Dude Ranch, which she says is her favorite album. Openers are Free Weed, the nom de rock of songwriter Rikky Gage, and Los Angeles one-man band Unkle Funkle. — D.D.
8 p.m. Saturday, Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., $10, 267-639-3528, bootandsaddlephilly.com
Berks County six-piece band Frog Holler have been reliable creators of rugged, country-flavored roots rock for over two decades, ever since 1998’s Couldn’t Get Along, which showcases Darren Schlappich’s storytelling-rich songwriting. Frog Holler’s most recent album was 2016’s Souvenir, though Schlappich and guitarist Brice Siekmann have since teamed up in new band Dem Hills and released the guardedly optimistic Maybe Life Is Sweet in 2018. Frog Holler play their annual January show in Fishtown this weekend. Hezekiah Jones and thequietcampaign open. — D.D.