Planet Weekend Picks, Jan. 18-21

The English Chamber Orchestra will perform at Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University tonight for the 99th birthday of William H. Scheide. The event will raise money for the Community Park Pool.
The English Chamber Orchestra will perform at Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University tonight for the 99th birthday of William H. Scheide. The event will raise money for the Community Park Pool.

Friday, January 18

Musicals Through the Decades at the Princeton Public Library – Screening of ‘Top Hat’ at 1 p.m. This 1935 musical comedy featuring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and songs by Irving Berlin kicks off the library’s Musicals Through the Decades Weekend. Astaire plays an American dancer who comes to London where he meets and attempts to impress a model played by Rogers. Screening of ‘An American in Paris’ at 7 p.m. Screenings in the community room, free.

Forever Young Concert/Fundraiser for the Community Park Pool – Concert to celebrate the birthday of philanthropist William H. Scheide. The English Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Mark Laycock at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium. Featured musicians include Stephanie Gonley on violin and Andrew Sun on piano. 7:30 p.m. Tickets $35. About 15-20 were still for sale as of Friday morning. Call Princeton University ticketing to order at 609-258-9220.

A Delicate Balance at McCarter Theatre – Edward Albee’s play about unexpected house guests who plan to stay indefinitely. Directed by Emily Mann. Berlind Theatre, 8 p.m., tickets $20 and up.

Outer Bridge Ensemble CD Release Concert – Presented as a parallel to the exhibition Structure and Flow, this concert is an exploration of contrasts in composed and improvised music. Outer Bridge Ensemble is a high energy group with an infectious original sound based in jazz, afro-beat, afro-cuban rhythm, and funk. Arts Council of Princeton, 8 p.m. Tickets are $10/$8 for Arts Council members, students and seniors.

Saturday, January 19

Science on Saturday at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory – ‘Outer Space’ presentation by Joshua Peek, department of astronomy, Columbia University. For students, parents, teachers, and community members. Register on site beginning at 8:15 a.m. Photo ID required. Program begins at 9:30 a.m. at the lab, which is located at the Forrestal Campus on Route 1 North in Plainsboro. Free.

Beginning Birding and Owl Prowl – Beginning Birding at the Lawrence Nature Center, 481 Drexel Avenue in Lawrence, 10 a.m. Identify birds commonly found in the area during the winter. Bring your own binoculars and guides. A limited supply will be available to borrow. Free. Take part in the New Jersey Owl Prowl from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Plainsboro Preserve, 80 Scotts Corner Road in Plainsboro. Registration fee $5,

Kombucha Brewing Workshop – Learn about the health benefits of Kombucha and demystify the art of brewing and caring for your own culture at home. Dan Farella will take you step by step through the process of preparing new tea to feed his Kombucha culture. 1-4 p.m., PCYH, 88 Orchard Road, Skillman. Fee is $40. Register online.

Musicals Through the Decades at the Princeton Public Library – Screening of `West Side Story’ 1 p.m. Natalie Wood and Richad Beymer star in this 1961 multiple Academy Award-winning musical about two youngsters with ties to rival New York City gangs who meet and fall in love. Screenings in the community room, free.

Bela Fleck’s Banjo Summit at McCarter Theatre – Seven banjo players including Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Eric Weissberg, Peter Wernick, Noam Pikelny, and Richie Stearn will be accompanied by acoustic band. Rescheduled from November due to hurricane. Matthews Theatre, 8 p.m., tickets $20 and up.

Sunday, January 20

Musicals Through the Decades at the Princeton Public Library – Screening of `Grease’ 1 p.m. Olivia Newton-John as good girl Sandy and John Travolta as greaser Danny fall in love over the summer but face scrutiny from their peers when they wind up attending the same high school in this romantic musical from 1978. Screenings in the community room, free.

Family Dance with the Mixed Age Dance Band – Join in the fun of an old-fashioned barn dance for all ages with live music and professional calling. All dances are taught; no experience or partners are necessary. Great fun for the whole family, from toddlers to grandparents.  3 to 5 p.m. at the Suzanne Patterson behind the former Princeton Borough Hall on Stockton Street. Admission for Dancers and Mad Band Musicians is $5 per person, or $15 per family.

Monday, January 21

dr-martin-luther-king-jr-giving-a-speechMartin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Cleanup at Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands – Join volunteers clearing small trees, brush, and trash from the preserve. Bring tools including saws, clippers, loppers, and rakes. Dress for the weather. Work gloves, sturdy shoes, warm clothing, and hats recommended. Noon to 3 p.m., 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Mercer County Community College – Performers celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in song, dance, stories and more. View President Obama’s inauguration ceremony via streaming video at noon. Celebration starts at 11 a.m. at the Trenton campus, 102 North Broad Street.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Art Workshop at the Arts Council of Princeton – The Arts Council, Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum, and the Historical Society of Princeton will bring Dr. King’s ideals to life and into the community for an afternoon of creative learning, puppet shows, artistic expressions and fun for children. Assisting with the event this year will be the Princeton High School Community Service Group. 1 to 4 p.m., free.

Arts Camp at the West Windsor Arts Council – The Art of Protest for ages 5 to 14 focuses on how artists use their craft to make better the world. Parents are encouraged to attend the afternoon events for no additional cost. Extended day available. Bring lunch or order a sandwich from Brothers Pizza. Runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $90. Register at

Princeton University King Day Celebration – The University will commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with its annual King Day celebration in Richardson Auditorium of Alexander Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 1 p.m. The event will begin at 1:15 p.m. with music performed by the Newark-based Arts High School Gospel Choir. The keynote will be delivered by Anne Cheng, professor of English and African American Studies. Several awards will be given out at the celebration.

Live Broadcast of the Princeton High Studio Band Jazz Ensemble at the Kennedy Center on Washington, D.C. – The band performs on the Millennium Stage for Inauguration Day. The one-hour performance starts at 6 p.m. Watch online at

Princeton Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Service – The Princeton Clergy Association will host its annual Interfaith Service in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Jewish Center at 435 Nassau Street at 7 p.m. The Rev. Muriel Burrows, Pastor of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church in Princeton, who is a native of South Africa, will preach. Faith leaders and choirs from a range of traditions will participate in the leadership of the service. The Service ends in time for those with school age children to be put to bed in a timely way for school the next day. During the Service, a freewill offering will be received, which will be split equally between the United Negro College Fund and the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action.