CIRCUS

Cirque Mechanics

Enjoy a menagerie of circus at this steampunk-themed one-ring show. Guests will enjoy classic acts (the strongman, juggling, acrobatics) on a Russian swing, trapeze, and other industrial onstage props, including a lifelike mechanical horse. — Grace Dickinson

2 p.m. Sunday, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St., $29-$49, annenbergcenter.org

COOKING

Pepper Pot Soup: Changing the City

Pepper pot soup was once in the same league as water ice, soft pretzels, and cheesesteaks in terms of its intrinsic Philadelphia identity. Yet somehow this spicy stew of tripe, meat, vegetables, and dumplings — which enjoyed its heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries — didn’t maintain its street cred. That could be because of how Philadelphians changed it after it came to us via the Caribbean (and West Africa before that). This class dives into the culture boiled into this historic soup and includes a generous taste of chef Kurt Evans’ update. — Jenn Ladd

4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Free Library of Philadelphia: Culinary Literacy Center, 1901 Vine St., 4th Floor, $15, 215-686-5322, freelibrarycook.eventbrite.com

TOURS

Valentine’s Day Love Letter Train Tours

If you forgot to plan something special this Valentine’s Day, Mural Arts has you covered with extra-romantic opportunities this weekend (and through March 31). Book tickets to hop on the Market-Frankford line for a Love Letters Train Tour, featuring a two-hour guided expedition to see love-themed murals all across the city. Photo-ops with your sweetheart will be abundant along the way. — Grace Dickinson

1 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, begins at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad St., $23, muralarts.org/tours

Explore Steve Powers’ A Love Letter For You mural series during one of the upcoming Love Letters Tours this weekend.
Explore Steve Powers’ A Love Letter For You mural series during one of the upcoming Love Letters Tours this weekend.

TALKS

‘Schitt’s Creek’: Up Close & Personal

Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, the stars of this quirky Canadian TV comedy, will be familiar to lovers of Christopher Guest movies such as Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. But look just a little further down the cast list and you’ll find Levy’s son Dan, who came up with the idea for the show — about a wealthy family that loses its fortune — while watching reality TV. (Sarah Levy, daughter of Eugene and sister of Dan, also appears on the show.) This Wednesday, the family act comes to the Met with personal stories, a behind-the-scenes talk, and a Q&A. — J.L.

8 p.m. Wednesday, The Met Philly, 858 N. Broad St., $48.75 to $103.75, themetphilly.com

The cast of 'Schitt's Creek' get up close and personal at the Met on Feb. 20, 2019.
Pop TV/CBC
The cast of 'Schitt's Creek' get up close and personal at the Met on Feb. 20, 2019.

ARTS

Artist Bash: Take Me Home

Friday marks the Barnes Foundation’s sixth after-hours Artist Bash, which brings together performers of all backgrounds to address the meaning of “home.” Look forward to choreographed dance, a cappella with Sistahs Attune, a multimedia performance by Julian Saporiti of No-No Boy, and more. Tickets include access to the museum’s current exhibits. — G.D.

8 to 11 p.m. Friday, Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., $10, barnesfoundation.org

NATURE

Toad Detour Training

Every year from March to June, volunteers help ferry toads across Port Royal Avenue, from one side of the road — the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education — to the other: their breeding grounds at the Upper Roxborough Reservoir Preserve. This 10-year-old program makes mating season easier by closing down a stretch of street for a few hours each evening, allowing volunteers to get toads — sometimes hundreds in a single night — to safety. Learn more about the process and sign up to manage shifts at this training session. — J.L.

1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagys Mill Rd., free, 215-482-7300, schuylkillcenter.org

Volunteer coordinator Claire Morgan instructs (from left) Francesca Cutler , Himanshi Bhatt, Susan Murrey, and René Puckett on setting up the detour for toads' safe crossing.
Volunteer coordinator Claire Morgan instructs (from left) Francesca Cutler , Himanshi Bhatt, Susan Murrey, and René Puckett on setting up the detour for toads' safe crossing.

HOLIDAY

President’s Day Weekend

Celebrate Washington’s 287th birthday all weekend long at the Museum of the American Revolution. On Sunday, the museum hosts Breakfast with George Washington, which features a breakfast buffet and a historical interpreter of the man himself. You can also sign a giant birthday card and enjoy cake. — G.D.

Feb. 16-18, Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. Third St., free with museum admission, amrevmuseum.org

FILM

Night with Nuns

Depending on your childhood experiences, the premise of a “Night with Nuns” could be a) terrifying, b) sleep-inducing, or c) hilarious. This two-film feature — presented by the Lightbox Film Center and the Fabric Workshop and Museum — offers a fourth option: powerfully dark. First up is Ida, from Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski. The 82-minute, black-and-white movie from 2013 earned rave critic reviews and the 2014 Oscar for best foreign language film. It’s followed by 1947′s Technicolor Black Narcissus, a Criterion Collection classic that has not lost its ability to shock modern viewers. To lighten the mood, Lightbox will provide complimentary religious-themed beer. — J.L.

6 p.m. Friday, Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut St., $10, $8 for students and seniors, free for members, lightboxfilmcenter.org

'Black Narcissus' screens at the Lightbox Film Center on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.
Courtesy ITV/Park Circus
'Black Narcissus' screens at the Lightbox Film Center on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.

Best Picture Weekend

Get ready for the Oscars by settling in for a movie marathon of all the 2019 best picture nominees. The Philadelphia Film Center will show all eight films — A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Roma, Vice, The Favourite, and Green Book — across three days. Guests can claim free small popcorns (and half-off refills) each day. — G.D.

Feb. 15-17, Philadelphia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut St., $50 for a weekend pass ($40 for PFS members), filmadelphia.org

MUSIC

Beirut

After flirting with pop-soul conventions on 2015’s No No No, Zach Condon has rekindled his love of Balkan brass bands, Farfisa organ, and thumping parade drums on Beirut’s new Gallipoli, his fifth album. It’s full of charming, lilting songs that contrast Condon’s soothing croon with careful but unfussy orchestration: It wheezes and swirls and tumbles as horns and vintage synths drop in and out of the arrangements. Condon, who recently moved to Berlin, will lead a six-piece band at the Tower Friday night. The Tropicalia-influenced Helado Negro opens. — Steve Klinge

8 p.m. Friday at the Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow Streets, Upper Darby, $38, 610-352-2887, thetowerphilly.com

Beirut comes to the Tower Theater Friday, February 15, 2019.
Olga Baczynska
Beirut comes to the Tower Theater Friday, February 15, 2019.

Bob Mould / Titus Andronicus

A hard-hitting, generation-spanning double bill. Post-punk godfather Bob Mould was coleader of 1980s Minneapolis power trio Hüsker Dü along with drummer Grant Hart, who died in 2017. Mould has had an incredible, productive career since, with the somewhat uncharacteristically cheerful new Sunshine Rock delivering yet another satisfying punch to the solar plexus. Opening up for Mould is Titus Andronicus, the ongoing punk project of always-full-of-ideas firebrand Patrick Stickles, whose 2018 album A Productive Cough presents his verbose songs in a relatively mellowed-out setting. — Dan DeLuca

8 p.m. Friday, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., $25, 215-232-2100, utphilly.com

Sarah Shook / National Reserve

Sarah Shook and her band the Disarmers put on one of Philadelphia’s most memorable small-club shows of 2018, when the twangy, unvarnished honky-tonk act from North Carolina kicked out the jams in a super-tightly packed Dawson Street Pub in Manayunk. On Saturday, Shook — whose Years was one of the overlooked highlights of last year — moves up to the larger Ardmore Music Hall, with support from Brooklyn roots-rock band National Reserve, who have repeatedly impressed in their recent Philly-area gigs. Hannah Taylor and Rekardo Lee kick off the three-band night. — D.D.

8 p.m. Saturday, Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, $15-$27, 610-649-8389, ardmoremusic.com

Gladys Knight

When the best (and solely thrilling) moment of a Super Bowl happens before the coin toss, you know it’s boring. But that’s what happened several Sundays ago, when Gladys Knight sang the national anthem with passion and pride before the big, dull game with its lame halftime entertainment. Hers was the only soul to be found. My guess is that she’ll repeat that soul and passion this Sunday night. — A.D. Amorosi

7 p.m. Sunday, Parx Xcite Center, 2999 Street Rd., Bensalem, sold out, parxcasino.com

Gladys Knight sings the national anthem before the New England Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)
TNS
Gladys Knight sings the national anthem before the New England Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians Chamber Concert

Eight musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra give a rare concert inside the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (a.k.a. the home of the Mütter Museum, which will be closed for the event) on Monday. Seating for the two-hour performance is first-come, first-served. A reception will follow, including complimentary beer, wine, and light fare. — G.D.

7 p.m. Monday, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 S. 22nd St., $15-$29, collegeofphysicians.org/events

Disturbed

When you weren’t looking, Disturbed, the Windy City’s most complexly melodic nu-metal band, went from primal screaming Tool-meets-Metallica alternative rawk to multiplatinum, Grammy-winning respectability. What happened? In part, you can blame cocksure vocalist David Draiman and the manner in which he’s turned every raging vocal performance into a thoroughly nuanced and swinging, swaggering affair. Plus, it hasn’t hurt that albums such as 2015’s Immortalized and 2018’s Evolution just happen to be as contagious as they are complicated, musically and emotionally. — A.D.A.

7:30 p.m. Monday, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., $83-$48, wellsfargocenterphilly.com

Disturbed plays the Wells Fargo Center on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019.
Travis Shinn
Disturbed plays the Wells Fargo Center on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019.

Julia Holter

Julia Holter’s last three albums were quietly ambitious, given to quoting Euripedes and Colette, and to merging classical piano with strings and delicate balladry. That sobriety disappeared on last year’s double-album, Aviary. It’s disorienting, occasionally abrasive, always bracing. It’s still ambitious: Holter is thinking about memory and alienation, and she’s deliberately discomforting, in provocative ways. At one moment, a song sounds like a medieval sacred prayer; the next, it jumps abruptly into dense, avant-garde dissonance. Melodies surface in fragments, then resurface in other songs. It’s theatrical, forbidding, and often beautiful, and Wednesday’s show at Underground Arts should be fascinating. — S.K.

9 p.m. Wednesday, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., $15-$18, 215-627-1332, undergroundarts.org