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WEEKEND FUN GRAB BAG: Gear up for Amazicon; film festival in Media; a fishing derby and more

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WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
bbingaman@21st-centurymedia.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Gamers paradise
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel: The annual convention Amazicon will be held 4 to 10 p.m. April 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 8 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9 at The Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, 4727 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Del. This year’s event will be a collaboration with Gamer Con, with vendors, special guests, arcades, TV and movie cars, industry panels, tournaments, a cosplay costume contest and more. An after-party will take place on Saturday night and will feature food, entertainment, a cosplay costume contest and the Amazicon charity auction to benefit the Families of SMA, an organization dedicated to raising money for research for the childhood disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Advance tickets are $15 or $35 for a three-day pass; $20 and $45 at the door. Visit http://amazicon.net/tickets.html or http://njgamercon.com/tickets.html.
Laugh
Centre Square Fire Company: A Comedy Night featuring Gemini, Gene Norris and Anita Wise starts at 8:30 p.m. April 1 at 1298 Skippack Pike, Whitpain. Tickets are $25 and include snacks, soda and beer (BYOB). Email comedy@csfc33.com and visit www.csfc33.com.
Movie magic
Media Theatre: The 10th Media Film Festival will be held April 7-8 at the theater, 104 State St., Media. It features short independent films. More than a dozen of the 41 selections were created by filmmakers from Delco and the greater Delaware Valley. Tickets are $12, $20 for the All-Festival pass. For the schedule, visit www.mediafilmfestival.org.
ArtsQuest Center: At the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas it’s a free series of documentary films on environmental issues including climate change, declining natural resources and food sustainability. All four screenings feature introductions and talkbacks with the filmmakers, or activists who play a significant role in protecting our planet and its oceans. It begins at 7:15 p.m. April 5 with “Chasing Ice,” which follows acclaimed photographer and former climate change skeptic James Balog. This screening features a talkback with director Jeff Orlowski who was invited to screen the film at the White House, the United Nations and the United States Congress. Reserve tickets by calling (610) 332-3378 or at the ArtsQuest Center, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.
Fertile crescent
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology: “Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq,” a new special exhibition at the Penn Museum, opens April 8 and runs through Nov. 26. It explores the cultural heritage and diversity and achievements, as well as the movements and displacements of people and objects caught in the middle of warfare in those countries. Take in more than 50 objects from the museum’s Near East and Mediterranean collections, as well as a range of Arabic manuscripts from the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, music and sounds, and documentary film clips. Contemporary artwork from Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj is interwoven throughout the exhibit. It also puts the spotlight on current work being done by the University of Pennsylvania and the Smithsonian Institution with individuals and groups in the Middle East to help combat the loss of irreplaceable cultural heritage. An opening ceremony at 11 a.m. April 8 features a special celebration of Syrian and Iraqi culture, including regional folk music, talks and more. The Penn Museum is at 3260 South St., Philadelphia. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, till 8 p.m. the first Wednesdays of the month. Admission is $15, $13 for seniors 65+, $10 for children and students, free to military, members, PennCard holders and children 5 and younger. Look up www.penn.museum or call (215) 898-4000.
Go fishing
Linvilla Orchards: Children of all ages are welcomed to join in a rain-or-shine Fishing Derby 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 8. Age groups for the derby include 7 and under, 8-11, 12-16 and 17 and over. There are more than 1,000 trout swimming around in Orchard Lake at Linvilla, 137 Knowlton Road, Media. Trophies will be given throughout the day in a variety of different categories. Feel free to bring your own rod, or they are available for rent. No license required. Visit www.linvilla.com for more information. Entry fee is $19.99 per participant.
Celebrate the vintage
Phelps School: “Botany in Chester County,” the 35th annual Chester County Antiques Show, is held at the school, 583 Sugartown Road, Malvern. Tickets are $200 for the April 7 Preview Party, with 5 p.m. early admission. Tickets are $140 for regular show admission on April 7 starting at 6 p.m. The show continues 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 8 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9. Tickets are $15, free to children 10 and under. Go to www.chestercohistorical.org.
Unique furnishings
23rd Street Armory: The Philadelphia Furniture Show features woodworkers, weavers, potters, photographers and others at 22 S. 23rd St., between Market and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia. The show will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 1 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 2, with the Preview Party on March 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $45, and $75 for VIPs, for the Preview Party; $15 and $8 for students for Saturday or Sunday, $12 for weekend passes (in advance). Go to www.philadelphiafurnitureshow.com or call (215) 387-8590.
Creative minds
Wayne Art Center: “Ceramic Innovations: International Juried Ceramics Exhibition” and “Essential Earth: Invitational Ceramics Exhibition” are on display April 1-28. A Juror’s Talk with Jim Lawton is set for 3 p.m. April 1. A Meet the Artists Talk will be from 3:30 to 5 p.m. April 1. An opening reception will also happen April 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. The center is at 413 Maplewood Ave., Wayne. Check www.wayneart.org.
Morris Arboretum: A Grand Opening Celebration 1 to 3 p.m. April 1 features the debut of “Morris Arboretum in Motion: The Kinetic Sculptures of Lyman Whitaker.” Meet Whitaker and watch him create a sculpture, which will be donated to a local non-profit organization. This exhibit of more than 50 sculptures will be featured in the garden through Oct. 9. It marks the 20th year of the Garden Railway. Model trains will be in motion around an outdoor quarter-mile track, surrounded by miniature plantings and replicas of Philadelphia landmarks and other buildings with a whimsical theme. The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is at 100 East Northwestern Ave. in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Admission is $17, $15 for seniors 65+, $9 for youths 3-17, students and active and retired military. For more information, visit www.morrisarboretum.org.
Meadowood Senior Living: The seventh Juried Art Show will feature paintings by contemporary artist/illustrator Melanie Fisher and other talented local artists at 3205 Skippack Pike, Worcester. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 1 and 1 to 4 p.m. April 2, with an opening reception and award ceremony 6 to 8 p.m. March 31. For more information, call (610) 584-1000.
Philadelphia Museum of Art: New exhibitions include “Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal April 1-Dec. 3 and “Another Way of Telling: Women Photographers from the Collection” April 8-July 16. Learn more at www.philamuseum.org.
Caring communities
Shipley School: DMAX Foundation, which works to create positive change in mental health for college students, presents “It Takes a Caring Community” April 3 at the school, 825 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr. Special guests include retired California Highway Patrol officer and “Guardian of the Golden Gate” Kevin Briggs, 76ers broadcaster Marc Zumoff and singer/songwriter Whitney Woerz. Tickets are $45, $35 for military and first responders, $85 for admission and a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception that starts at 5:45 p.m. Go to www.dmaxfoundation.org/event/a-caring-community.
Knapp Elementary School: Manna on Main Street’s Run to Help End Hunger in the North Penn region on April 1 includes a five-mile race, a 5K and a fun run. The school is at 698 Knapp Road, Lansdale. Get the details at http://mannaonmain.org/5k.
Dock Mennonite Academy: The Indian Creek Foundation Celebrity Event features Houston Texans player and former Penn State football star Devon Still for a program called “Encouraging Hope and Perseverance.” When Still was with the Cincinnati Bengals, he became a national sports story when his daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with stage 5 neuroblastoma, and he put his career on hold while she underwent treatment. Tickets are $10, $30 for a meet-and-greet. The program gets underway at 7 p.m. March 31 at the school, 1000 Forty Foot Road, Towamencin. Visit www.indcreek.org or call (267) 203-1500, ext. 307.
Dig in
King of Prussia Mall: King of Prussia Rotary Club presents the 2017 Taste of Suburbs Food & Wine Festival is set for 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 2 at the mall. For more information, go to www.kingofprussiarotary.org/EventRegister.cfm?eventID=308.
Caruso’s Brick Oven Trattoria: Amici Opera Company presents a Dinner and Opera concert program with Puccini’s “La Boheme” at 6 p.m. April 5 at 424 N. Main St., Souderton. BYOB. Tickets are $49.95, not including tax or tip. Call (215) 799-1312 for reservations.
In concert
Lyric Fest: “It’s Elementary: Songs of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water” is performed at 7:30 p.m. March 31 at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, and at 3 p.m. April 2 at the Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $30, $10 for students, $25 at www.lyricfest.org.
Trinity Lutheran Church: Accompanied by a 32-piece orchestra, The Choristers perform Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” in English at 7:30 p.m. April 8 at 1000 W. Main St., Lansdale. For tickets, call (215) 542-7871 or go to www.thechoristers.org.
Sprout Music Collective: “Life is a Cabaret: An Evening of Jazz and Broadway” happens 5 to 7:30

Performers at the April 9 Life is a Cabaret concert will be singers Catherine Friedman, Joshua Graves and Heidi Starr; guitarist John Braceland; keyboardist Rob Sparre; and pianist Timothy Crawford.

p.m. April 9 to benefit Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children. Heavy hors d’oeuvres are included in the $45 ticket price. Sprout Music Collective is at 130 E. Prescott Alley, West Chester. Tickets are available at www.friendsassoc.org.
SunnyBrook Ballroom: The First Ladies of Rock & Soul perform songs made famous by The Supremes, The Ronettes, The Marvelettes, Mary Wells, The Shirelles, The Chiffons, The Crystals and more at 7 p.m. April 8 with a Dance Party emceed by Jerry Blavat. The SunnyBrook is at 50 Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown. Advance tickets with dinner buffet are $55. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets at the door are $25 (cash only) and will not include dinner. Visit www.thesunnybrook.com or www.firstladiesofrockandsoul.com, or order at Sanatoga Ridge, 2461 E. High St., Pottstown. For more information, call Tom at (610) 306-9361.
World Café Live: The seventh annual “Rockin’ Docs for Diabetes Cure” benefit concert and fundraising event will feature the rock bands Chicago 9 Tribute Band, Runnin’ Late, RD Sting and Rightback — each containing doctors from the Philadelphia area. The festivities get underway at 7:30 p.m. April 1 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia. A custom electric guitar from MA Custom Guitars will be raffled off. Tickets are $30. Visit www.worldcafelive.com.
Kimmel Center: The Philly Pops celebrates Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s legacy, with guests jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling and R&B singer Marva Hicks, for “Ella, Louis & All That Jazz” at 8 p.m. March 31-April 1 and 3 p.m. April 2. An All-City Jazz Orchestra Combo will perform on the Kimmel Center’s Plaza Stage prior to each “Ella, Louis & All That Jazz” concert. Tickets range from $35-$145. The center is at 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. Go to http://phillypops.org/concerts-events/2016-17-season/ella-louis-all-jazz.
Zellerbach Theatre: The SF Jazz Collective performs original compositions and a tribute to Miles Davis at 7 p.m. April 2 at 3680 Walnut St., Philadelphia. Tickets range from $40-$55. Go to www.pennpresents.org or call (215) 898-3900.
Haverford College: On April 7 at 8 p.m. the Haverford-Bryn Mawr College Orchestra will perform their spring concert in Roberts Hall’s Marshall Auditorium, 370 Lancaster Ave., Haverford. Admission is free. For more information call (610) 896-1011 or visit www.haverford.edu/music/concerts-events.
West Chester University: Hear the Navy Band Northeast Brass Quintet at 5 p.m. April 4 in a free concert in the Swope Music Building’s Ware Recital Hall, 817 S. High St., West Chester. Their repertoire includes patriotic chamber music, classical and modern works for brass quintet, military marches and Dixieland.
In bloom
Subraru Cherry Blossom Festival: The April 1 opening of the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Horticultural Drive and Landsdowne Drive in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, launches the 20th annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival. Shofuso welcomes the cherry blossom season with special hours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 1. Shofuso will be open daily during the festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $10, $5 for seniors, students and children 3-17. Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia members, active duty military and children under 3 are free.
April 3-7 at the Liberty Place Rotunda, 1625 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, there’s free interactive lunchtime activities related to Japanese cultural touchstones from noon to 1 p.m.
Additional festival events include a free screening at the University of Pennsylvania of the animated film “5 Centimeters Per Second” April 5 and the Cherry Blossom 10K/5K on April 8. Throughout the week there are also opportunities to learn sushi making and participate in a competition hosted by Madame Saito of The HeadHouse. Sakura Under the Stars, the Cherry Blossom Festival’s celebratory cocktail party, happens April 8 at Union Trust, 717 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.
At 1 or 2:30 p.m. April 8, take part in one of two nodate style tea ceremonies on Shofuso’s veranda under the 75-year-old weeping cherry tree. This event is $35. Advance registration is required.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9, it’s Sakura Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults and free for children 12 and under.
For more information, visit www.subarucherryblossom.org.
Birds return
Lorimer Park: On April 2 explore an official Audubon IBA (Important Bird Area) during an Audubon Bird Town Bird Walk at 8 a.m. to look for spring migrants and resident birds. All are welcome, including new birders. Participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars. This free program is suitable for adults and children 12 and older. Preregistration is requested by emailing lorimerpark@montcopa.org or calling (215) 947-3477. Lorimer Park is at 183 Moredon Road, Abington. Meet at the Moredon Road parking lot.

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