7Days: Regional arts and entertainment
School is way out
John Olive adapts Louis Sachar's children's book series in the comedy Sideways Stories from Wayside School, about the eccentric educational institution in a 30-story, 30-classroom skyscraper, with an educator who turns students into apples and a nonexistent teacher assigned to a nonexistent classroom. The show goes on at noon and 4 p.m. at the Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St., and continues with performances on a Tuesday-through-Sunday schedule through Feb 15. Tickets are $36 to $48. Call 215-922-1122.
Pianist Louis Lortie plays an all-Liszt program at 8 p.m. at the American Philosophical Society, 105 S. Fifth St. Tickets are $24. Call 215-569-8080.
Hometown hero Bill Cosby is the emcee for the inaugural appearance by the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, led by Terell Stafford and featuring stalwarts Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, Odean Pope, Larry McKenna, Bootsie Barnes, and Tony Williams, at 7:30 p.m. at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall, Broad and Spruce Streets. Tickets are $35 to $150. Call 215-893-1999.
The ancient monarch Gilgamesh, who ruled in Uruk in what is now Iraq, is most famous as the subject of the 4,500-year-old Sumerian epic that bears his name and that now exists only in fragments. One of the oldest surviving literary works, the poem tells of the king's friendship and adventures with the wild Enkidu, whose death causes the king to seek out the meaning of life. Babylonian section curator and Sumerian scholar Stephen J. Tinney discusses the poem in his lecture Gilgamesh: Journeys to the End of the World at 6 p.m. at the Penn Museum, 3260 South St. Call 215-898-4000.
Guitarist Lee Ranaldo has had a protean 40-year career, from his start with SUNY-Binghamton new-wave legends the Flucks and his work with avant-garde composer Glenn Branca to his time as a member of the seminal experimental rockers Sonic Youth and his live installation pieces with his wife, artist Leah Singer. He plays at 9 p.m. at Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St. Tickets are $15. Call 267-639-4528.
What might have been
In 1964, French director Henri-Georges Clouzot (Diabolique, The Wages of Fear) started work on a film with an unlimited budget to be called Inferno, starring Romy Schneider as the young wife of a provincial hotel manager whose jealousy deforms his view of the world around him. But shooting stopped after three weeks, with the production complicated by a heat wave, a change in leading men, and the director's heart attack. Though what had been shot was acclaimed as "incredible" by those who saw it, filming never resumed, and the movie was not completed. Serge Bromberg's 2009 documentary, Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Inferno," reconstructs the original vision of the film, filling in the gaps with new interviews, reenactments, and Clouzot's notes and storyboards. Bromberg's film screens at 7 p.m. at International House, 3701 Chestnut St. Tickets are $9; $7 students. Call 215-387-5125.
Friday & Saturday
The Main Line Art Center introduces its newest list in the Professional Artists' Exhibition at the center's gallery, Old Buck and Panmure Roads, Haverford, with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and continuing to Jan. 24. Admission is free. Call 610-525-0272.
There may be stand-ups as good as Brian Regan, but there's nobody better. He performs at the Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St., at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $39.50 to $57.50. Call 215-893-1999. . . . Hey, it's that guy: David Koechner has had memorable turns on TV in The Office and on screen in both Anchorman movies. He performs at the Trocadero Theatre, 10th and Arch Streets, at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $19.50 to $27. Call 215-922-6888.
A complete guide to events in the region over the coming weekend will appear in the Weekend section in Friday's Inquirer. Send notices of events for "7 Days" to Michael Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org.