Harry Potter Festival
October 22, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Germantown Avenue from Rex Avenue to Mermaid Lane
Grab a broomstick and brush up on your bibbity-bobbity-boos. The massive Harry Potter Festival swooshes back into Chestnut Hill with 10 full blocks of entertainment inspired by J.K. Rowling’s ever-popular book and movie series. The activities are boundless, from the annual Quidditch Tournament and a Harry Potter art gallery to a Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
Philadelphia Film Festival
Through October 30
Various locations and times
It’s a milestone year for the Philadelphia Film Festival, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with dozens upon dozens of films from around the world. This weekend sees the opening of flicks like insects-as-food documentary “Bugs,” comedy “Another Evil” and the much-anticipated “Jackie,” which stars Natalie Portman as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy following her husband’s assassination. For the full list of films and concurring events, visit filmadelphia.org.
Halloween Movies at the Piazza
October 20, 7-9 p.m.
The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons
1001 N. Second St.
All October long, the Piazza at Schmidt’s screens a Halloween film every Thursday night on the Jumbotron. Feel free to tote along the kids; these films aren’t going to cause nightmares. This week they screen Tim Burton’s eery and lovely “The Corpse Bride.” The stop-animation flick concerns a young man who accidentally woos a dead woman when he practices his wedding vows over her grave.
October 21, 7 p.m.
Wells Fargo Center
3601 S. Broad St.
Weirdo pop princess Sia brings her “Nostalgic for the Present” tour to the Wells Fargo Center with opening acts Miguel and AlunaGeorge. This is the five-time Grammy Award nominee’s first arena tour, though her tunes have been vibrating stadiums for three decades. When she’s not singing her own songs, like mega hit “Chandelier,” she’s penning anthems for other artists. She’s responsible for “Pretty Hurts” by Beyoncé, “Diamonds” by Rihanna and much, much more.
October 21, 7:30 p.m.
Upstairs at World Café Live
3025 Walnut St.
LiveConnections, a concert series focusing on unique musical collaborations, brings together harpist Bridget Kibbey, clarinetist Benito Meza and percussionist Samuel Torres for an evening of tunes written by composers who immigrated to the States from South America. The Latin-infused classical music will be punctuated with videos showcasing the songwriters’ stories.
October 22, 8:30 p.m.
1100 Chestnut St.
Just in time for Halloween, the “undisputed King of Nerd Rap” is back on the scene with a new album inspired by ’80s nightmare stalker Freddy Kruger. He stops in Philly on his national tour this week, bringing new tracks like “Freddy’s Dead” and “Sad Sack.” The Illinois native has been on the road for more than 10 years now, but you may also recognize his voiceover work on Adult Swim shows like “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Sealab 2021.”
October 21, 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
140 N. Columbus Blvd.
This excellent late-night cabaret series led by Bearded Ladies Cabaret founder John Jarboe starts up again after a summer hiatus. The show features a bevy of avant-garde, queer-identified artists from across the globe. For this first go-round Jarboe welcomes Seattle drag queen and performance artist Cherdonna Shinatra, dance and percussion duo stb x at and local crooner Chris Davis, who you may have seen in the 2016 Fringe Festival hit “One Man Apocalypse Now.”
“A New Brain”
Through November 6
401 DeKalb St.
Theatre Horizon stages this autobiographical musical by Tony winners William Finn and James Lapine. The story follows the emotional journey of a children's television songwriter (Barrymore winner Steve Pacek) who is forced to reexamine his life and legacy after being diagnosed with a fatal brain disease. There are two post-show discussions this weekend, on October 21 and 23.
October 21-November 6
Louis Bluver Theater at The Drake
302 S. Hicks St.
Inis Nua kicks off its 2016/17 season with a Brothers Grimm-like tale that, despite its name, doesn't concern a pair of glowing rats. Instead, it follows a couple whose morals are called into question after they receive a free house through a “government program.” The fantasy tale that plays out is a reminder about the repercussions of getting what we ask for.
Veterans’ Name Reading
October 21, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Spruce and Front streets
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 266 hosts presents its annual candlelight reading of the names of 648 Philadelphians who lost their lives in the line of duty during the Vietnam War. It's a tasteful, poignant chance to show respect to locals who made the ultimate sacrifice.