Weekend Roundup: “Hell Meets Henry Halfway” and “Albert Herring”

Some of us are way to stressed to go off campus this weekend. But an engineering major friend tells us that not everyone is up to their ears in work (though we don’t think an engin major’s standard of “nothing” is quite the same as ours). Besides, there’s very little going on campus this weekend. So consider some of these fine Philadelphia events.

The Pig Iron Theater company presents their hit “Hell Meets Henry Halfway” this weekend at the Mandell Theater at 3210 Chester St. If you’ve ever taken a theater class here, you’ve probably not been able to avoid it- it seems that everyone involved is either faculty or alumni. But it’s not like that’s a bad thing- it’s an incredible piece of theater, written by playwrighting Professor Adriano Shaplin. Described as “a vicious comedy,” it is based on “Possessed,” a novella by Witold Gombrowicz about a secretary, a tennis coach, an elderly prince, and several other strange and generally extraordinarily cruel characters who insult each other to spectacular effect. It contains the most versatile wardrobe you will ever see, and some new uses for a javelin. Tickets are discounted to $12 for Swarthmore students, and it plays tonight and Saturday at 8:00, Sunday at 7:00, and also a Saturday matinee at 2:00.

Also this weekend is the excellent Curtis Opera’s production of Benjamin Britten’s “Albert Herring,” a comic opera dating from 1946. Much more fun and silly than your average twentieth-century opera (admittedly a not very high standard), it involves plenty of drunkenness, stupid policemen, and narrow scrapes with death. And it’s in English! The orchestra contains both castanets, a whip, and a gong, so we expect that the music is fun, too. It’s a fully staged production in the Prince Music Theater, very near Suburban Station, and plays tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00. Tickets are $30. Have a great weekend!


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