BalletX makes its debut at Annenberg Center Live on Oct. 6 and 7. Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, the Philly company stretches the boundaries of classical ballet by coaxing experimentation—though never at the expense of technique.
3680 Walnut St, Philadelphia, www.balletx.org
Thru. October 15
The Resident Theatre Company certainly isn’t playing it safe for its debut season, kicking things off with Next to Normal, the 2008 rock musical about a dysfunctional family. Centering on a mother with bipolar disorder, the production won three Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, so it’s something this talented upstart outfit can definitely sink its teeth into.
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center, 226 N. High St., West Chester, (610) 356-2787, www.rtcwc.org
October 24-November 19
Act II Playhouse and local director David Bradley tackle Lancaster native Michael Hollinger’s espionage-tinged murder-mystery-cum-love-story, Red Herring. It’s set in America during the Eisenhower era, so tensions run high. But love proliferates in unexpected ways.
56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, www.act2.org
We All Want the Same Things is one of the best singer/songwriter albums of the year, primarily because it doesn’t conform to the self-absorbed mandates of the genre. Much like he does with his acclaimed rock outfit, the Hold Steady, Craig Finn hones in on the self-destructive humanity of others, delivering detailed narratives and character sketches that are rife with personality quirks and geographic resonance. It says a lot that the album’s finest track, “God in Chicago,” is a spoken-word piece. Finn’s gritty storytelling is something to behold—especially in person.
Milkboy Philadelphia, 1100 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, www.milkboyphilly.com
Longwood Gardens serves as the backdrop for the Ikebana and Bonsai Exhibit, which brings together the Philadelphia chapter of Ikebana International, the Brandywine Bonsai Society and the Ameriseki Group of the N.A. Viewing Stone Society, all of which have honed this ancient Japanese art form to beautiful effect.
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org