If the ’08 Summer Olympics in Beijing taught us anything, it’s that China knows how to put on quite a show. And for the fourth time, the Shen Yun Performing Arts classical music and dance company does its part to reawaken artistry long-censored in its Communist homeland. An independent, New York-based nonprofit organization, Shen Yun (meaning “divine”) celebrates inner and outer beauty in delicately enchanting and emotive performances Jan. 2-3 at the Academy of Music. More than a hundred dancers wrapped in a stunning array of colors portray China’s distinct culture, rich ancient history, and celebrated tales of heroism and virtue—all in harmony with a live, Western-style orchestra, vocalists and solo musicians. Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $35-$129. Broad and Locust streets, Philadelphia. Call (215) 893-1999, or visit kimmelcenter.org or shenyunperformingarts.org. —Shannon Hallamyer
Villanova artist George Rothacker’s passion for preservation pervades the Preserving the Heart and Soul of America exhibition running Jan. 4-Feb. 5 in the Shipley School’s Speer Gallery. The fundraiser features 14 theaters painted over 18 years, plus 16 likenesses of “fine old buildings” in West Philadelphia that deserve reverence. Rothacker started with the Media Theater, which he painted to help save it from demolition. The Anthony Wayne, Phoenixville’s Colonial, the Bryn Mawr Theatre and others followed. His latest work (pictured) features the Narberth Theatre. Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; reception Jan. 12, 5-7 p.m. 814 Yarrow St., Bryn Mawr. Call (610) 581-4618, or visit shipleyschool.org or georgerothacker.com. —J.F. Pirro
Rest assured there will be no place like the Grand Opera House when the Delaware Symphony Orchestra presents its “Oz with Orchestra” show Jan. 29-30. As all the familiar magic of Hollywood’s classic The Wizard of Oz unfolds on the big screen, maestro—and Merion native—David Amado will lead his orchestra in a riveting live score, bringing audiences one step closer to living Dorothy’s dream. $32-$60. Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. 818 N. Market St., Wilmington. Call (800) 374-7263 or visit desymphony.org. —S.H.