First Friday at the Arden

The Arden Theatre Co. in Old City now hosts performances as part of the neighborhood's First Friday events. Each month, the company will select a Philadelphia performing arts group or artist to present short, free performances to the public. This week, the N Crowd will create comedic, short-form improvisations. The shows will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Arden's Independence Foundation Studio and Lobby, 40 N. Second St. Free beer is also provided to attendees over age 21 while supplies last. Coming April 6 will be "Tell Me a Story" with local storytellers and comedians working with true stories based on a theme. May 4 will be dedicated to works of alternative comedy with a pop-comic aesthetic by the Berserker Residents. Arden is at 40 N. Second St. Information: 215-922-1122 or



Dancing together

Sosúa: Dare to Dance Together,

an original musical production, will be produced and presented by the Young Men's & Young Women's Hebrew Association of Washington Heights and Inwood on Sunday. The project, created by Liz Swados, is based on the story of 800 German-Austrian Jews who settled in 1938 in the town of Sosúa in the Dominican Republic. The country's then-leader, Rafael Trujillo, granted visas to the refugees. Racism, tolerance and acceptance are the focus of the show, which combines historical facts with monologues and songs. Sosúa is a powerful piece of art with incredible depth for children age 10 and older, and it features teen performers. The show is at 3 p.m. Sunday at the National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East. Tickets are $5 for museum members and children under 12, $10 for nonmembers. Information: 215-923-3811, Ext. 110,



Loving the dogs

The Showboat Casino in Atlantic City is inviting dog lovers to bring their pets to the Shore this weekend to watch six canines compete to become the next face of the pet-friendly casino. The "Best in Show-Boat Dog Competition" has three rounds of judging, and doesn't end until only one dog emerges victorious and is crowned the new face of Showboat Atlantic City's Pet Stay program. From 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Showboat's Harlem Ballroom, the dogs will compete in an obstacle course, a talent portion and a costume section. Jakes Dog House will supply a special Doggie Buffet for visiting pups featuring snacks such as cannolis, bon-bons, lady paws, carob football truffles, and a variety of pet-friendly cookies. This free event is at Showboat, 801 Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Information: 1-800-621-0200 or


A science pictorial

"Everything Under the Sun: New Photographs of Academy Specimens" by Rosamond Purcell will open Saturday at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Organizers say her work features the gaping skulls, jarred rats, flightless birds, and delicate insects that usually repose in climate-controlled cabinets, where they are available to researchers and protected from the damaging effects of sunlight. Purcell, a Boston photographer, envisioned the research specimens bathed in natural light, their oddities, beauty and secrets revealed, literally warts and all. On view through May 20, the exhibit consists of about 20 photographs never displayed before.

The show, at the academy, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is free with museum admission: $12 for adults; $10 for children 3-12, seniors, college students, and military personnel; and free for members and children under 3, during regular hours. Information: 215-299-1000,


True artist in all his glory

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

will be presented by the Free Library of Philadelphia at Fleisher Art Memorial. The documentary focuses on a rare interview that director Tamra Davis shot with Basquiat more than 20 years ago. It chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist whose fortunes mirrored the roller-coaster quality of the New York art scene he embodied, library officials say. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Kevin Brown of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. This free event is at 7 p.m. Friday at Fleisher, 719 Catharine St. Information: 215-922-3456.