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Mis-merizing
Philadelphia theater fans will be treated to a fresh spin on one of the most iconic musicals of all time when Les Misérables comes to the Walnut Street Theatre May 13-Aug. 3. Les Mis chronicles the life of Jean Valjean as he struggles to maintain his own freedom and protect his surrogate daughter, Cosette, from the hardships of revolution in 19th-century France. Featuring such acclaimed musical numbers as “Do You Hear the People Sing?” and “On My Own,” the Philadelphia production is a clear creative success, re-imagining the show’s set design and more for a lively update of a modern classic that has thrilled audiences since 1985. It features a talented cast and crew of Walnut veterans and Broadway favorites, including Barrymore Award-winning director Mark Clements and set designer Todd Edward Ivens. $10-$70. 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia. Call (215) 574-3550 or (215) 336-1234, or visit walnutstreettheatre.org. —Adam Polaski




Monster Bash

BlobFest—the kitschy yet family-friendly celebration of The Blob, the classic sci-fi film shot in Chester County—returns to Phoenixville July 11-13. BlobFest 2008 salutes the film’s 50th anniversary, as well as lead actor Steve McQueen. The winner of a McQueen look-alike contest will be the star’s fill-in all weekend, which culminates with a 2 p.m. screening of An American Rebel: Steve McQueen July 13. Its director, Richard Martin, will answer questions afterward. Events begin at 7 p.m. July 11 with a free party at the Colonial Theatre that includes a tinfoil hat competition, a scream contest and the announcement of the second annual Shorty Awards (named for the film’s director, the late Irvin “Shorty” Yeaworth) for the best Blob-themed short films. At 9 p.m., a full theater will recreate the mass exodus scene that put the Colonial on the map. BlobFest continues at noon July 12 with a street fair on Bridge Street, a costume contest, fire extinguisher parade, and multiple showings of The Blob plus two other ’50s sci-fi classics. Special guests include the “real” Blob—2 1/2 gallons of gooey silicone—and its caretaker, Main Line native Wes Shank. Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville. Call (610) 917-1228 or visit thecolonialtheatre.com/blobfest. —J.F. Pirro


On the Mark
Mark Knopfler defends his title as one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” arriving at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts July 26 in support of his latest CD, Kill to Get Crimson. Knopfler, who came in at a respectable 27th out of 100, is perhaps best known for fronting British rock band Dire Straits, who enjoyed critical acclaim and multi-platinum success in the 1980s before disbanding in 1995. Knopfler’s solo material has become increasingly popular. His 2006 collaboration with Emmylou Harris, All the Roadrunning, sold more than 400,000 copies in the U.S. alone. It also earned Knopfler a Grammy nomination and raves from critics, solidifying his status as one of rock’s most durable and revered artists. With five albums of solo material and an endless catalog of songs with which to work, Knopfler’s latest tour shouldn’t disappoint fans. 8 p.m. 5201 Parkside Ave., Philadelphia. $39.50-$69.50. Visit manncenter.org. —A.P.

For more upcoming events, see our Calendar.

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