Frank Zappa’s The Yellow Shark
Zappa wrote a fair amount of orchestral music, including this 1993 collection of pieces with curiously irrelevant Dada-ist subtitles — “Dog Breath Variations,” for one. It’s outsider music with symphonic grandeur. In this Sunday’s show at World Cafe Live, Orchestra 2001 plays several selections from the 19-movement work, along with pieces by some modern composers Zappa looked to as influences. On Saturday at the Fillmore Philadelphia, the ensemble plays Yellow Shark almost in its entirety.
7 p.m. at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., $15 to $35, 267-687-6243, orchestra2001.org. Additional show at the Fillmore on Saturday.
The New York Times columnist speaks on his work and our times. It’s free, but an RSVP is required. There’s a 10 a.m. brunch with Blow the next day, also free with RSVP.
6:30 p.m. Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, 215-746-7626, writing.upenn.edu/wh
The Sound of Music
Lancaster’s Jill-Christine Wiley stars as Fräulein Maria (the future Frau von Trapp), as memorialized by Julie Andrews in the film. Audience members be warned: Your kids will disown you should you be unable to resist singing along.
7:30 p.m. with additional shows through next Sunday, Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St., $65 to $95, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org
Joseph Heller’s comic masterpiece is a rich feast of language, which makes the tales of Yossarian, Major Major Major Major, Clevinger, and the gang a good fit for the stage.
8 p.m. with additional shows through May 19, Curio Theatre Company, 4740 Baltimore Ave., $15 to $25, 215-921-8243, curiotheatre.org
Koresh Dance Company
Artistic director Roni Koresh will premiere two new works. Matters of the Heart is a collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Karl Mullen, who will provide spoken word for the dance. Inner Sun examines the connection between the Earth and the human spirit.
7:30 p.m. with additional shows through next Sunday, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St., $20 to $40, 215-985-0420, koreshdance.org
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Opera Philadelphia’s Carmen
After all of its ceaseless innovation, Opera Philadelphia returns to Bizet’s Carmen, the original Fatal Attraction opera. It’s earned its place in the repertoire with unforgettable characters and a score that hasn’t a wasted note. Velvet-voiced Daniela Mack is reason alone for revisiting the opera, though the rest of the cast and creative team is indeed reputable.
8 p.m. Friday with additional shows through May 6, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., $20 to $280, 215-732-8400, operaphila.org
If you were a fan of Carlos Mencia’s ill-fated Mind of Mencia on Comedy Central back in the day, you might remember Brad Williams as the leader of a dwarf basketball team, or as a jester at the Renaissance Faire. But Williams has since grown into an accomplished stand-up, whose most recent special, Daddy Issues, came out in 2016.
7:30 and 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., $24, 215-496-9001, philadelphia.heliumcomedy.com