Need something new to brighten up your home? The theme of the 26th annual Chester County Antiques Show, which will be held Feb. 29 through Sunday, March 2, at QVC Studio Park, is "Inspired by Nature: Carved, Painted and Crafted." Throughout the theme will be seen on nature's inspiration in quilts, needlework, furniture, decorative arts and garden statuary being shown by 50 dealers. General admission is on Saturday (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). All tickets include free parking, show catalog and access to the QVC Studio Park Store.The show kicks off with a preview party Friday, Feb. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. This year's honorary chairman is Tova Borgnine, the wife of Ernest Borgnine. The Borgnines live in Chester County, where she has a very successful cosmetics line. Tickets for the preview party are $200 for early admission at 5 p.m. and $130 at 6 p.m. for general admission. A show feature is a raffle for a $2,500 Shopping Spree or $1,500 in cash. Raffle tickets are $10 each and the winner will be drawn at 8 p.m. during the preview. Food will be catered by Jimmy Duffy and Sons Inc. of Berwyn.
On Sunday, March 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. exhibitors will give verbal insurance appraisals on heir-loom treasures carried in. For show and ticket information call 610-692-4800 or go to www.chestercohistorical.org.
Anyone who is old enough to remember or has heard about the brass voiced star Ethel Merman should enjoy the show celebrating her 100th birthday called "Ethel Merman's Broadway" at the DuPont Theatre from March 4 through 9. The queen of Broadway will be recreated by Rita Mackensie, telling her turbulent life and singing the songs associated with her written by Cole porter, Jule Styne, Irving Berlin and George and Ira Gershwin.
Just a few of her signature songs she would belt out to the balconies are "I Got Rhythm," Anything Goes," "It's Delovely," "There's no Business Like Show Business" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses." For tickets call 302-656-4401.
The big musical to be presented by The Brandywiners this summer at Longwood Gardens will be "Oklahoma!" with the performance dates July 24, 25, 26, 31 and Aug. 1, 2, 2008. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at 800-338-6965 or 302-478-3355.
The annual garden party fund-raiser for the Brandywine Health Foundation will be held Wednesday, May 21 at the home of Drs. Christine and Christopher Lyons in Coatesville. This always-gorgeous party features the traditional "Battle of the Berries at Brandywine" where the finest restaurants in the area vie for the favorite dessert.
Sponsors are needed for this lead in to the 2008 Strawberry Festival on May 29 through June 1. To be a sponsor and be a part of this outstanding party contact Dana Heiman at 610-380-9080 x 102 or go on line at dheimanAbrandywinefoundation.org.
Bad weather's coming and you know you need some new books to read. On Friday, Feb. 22, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb 23, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. you can choose from thousands of books at the annual Unionville High School Used Book Sale. There is every kind of book available, average price $1, and offers the largest number of children's books. Volunteer Valerie Grant estimates that during the seven years she has been volunteering they have collected 175,000 children's books.
The sale closes at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, only to reopen from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for their bag sale when a bag of books sells for $7.
Longwood Gardens and the Curtis Institute of Music have combined to offer an evening of music and beauty. On Saturday, March 8, at 5 p.m. Curtis's new national touring initiative, "Curtis On Tour," will present a student quartet with two members of the faculty. The performing faculty members are celebrated violinist Roberto Diaz, Curtis's president, and cellist Margo Tatgenhorst Drakos.
The concert will be held in the ballroom. Special tickets are required. Tickets are $30 for the concert only ($27 for Garden Passholders); $60 for he concert and evening reception ($55 for Garden Passholders). All tickets include garden admission.
Christopher Densmore of the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College will speak on "The Underground Railroad in Chester County and Beyond: Across Race, Across region and Across Religion" on Friday, Feb. 29, at 8 p.m. at Unionville High School. Presented by the Hadley Fund, the talk is free and open to the public.
The six wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine train - Chaddsford Winery, Folly Hill Vineyards, Kreutz Creed Vineyards, Paradocx Vineyard, Twin Brook Winery and Va La Family Farmed Wines -will hold their fifth annual Barrels on the Brandywine on the weekends in March. Dates for the journey are March 1 and 2, March 8 and 9, March 15 and 16, March 22 (closed Easter Sunday), March 29 and 30 with the wineries open from noon to 6 p.m. Visitors purchase a $25 passport at any of the wineries and begin the trail that has special events at each stop, ranging from a "Gumbo Kitchen" to Cheeseburgers etc.
The Delaware Children's Theatre has a honey of a play that is based on the book of Genesis as their annual fund raiser. They will present the humorous conflict between children and their parents, "Children of Eden", by Stephen Schwartz who also wrote "Godspell" and "Wicked." Schwartz says about the musical, "It's about second chances." Performances are on March 2, 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. and on March 8 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children. Call 302-655-1014.
The Candlelight Theatre in Arden, Del., will present the classic blockbuster "West Side Story" March 7 through May 18. This historic dinner theatre with top productions and an expansive buffet will have the story of rival gangs in New York, based loosely on the story of Romeo and Juliet. The musical written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim has some of the most beautiful music of modern musical theatre.
Tickets for the show and dinner are $49 from 302-475-2313.
The Cameron Mackintosh and the National Theatre of Great Britain are making their Philadelphia premiere with a new production of "Mt Fair Lady." As part of the U.K. National Tour the production has a cast of the top British actors with Christopher Cazenov, Lisa O'Hare and MarniNixon, who was the singing voice of Eliza Doolittle in the film. This new production won five Olivier Awards and ran in London for two-and-a-half years.
The show will be at the Academy of Music March 11 trough 16. For tickets call 215-731-3333 or on line at www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway.
Two high school students in Philadelphia, Nia Davis and Marquis Herring, will have their plays promoting anti-violence professionally produced by the Philadelphia Young Playwrights program. In association with the Philadelphia Theatre Co., the plays will be produced Feb. 27 through March 1 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St. All performances are open to the public. Admission is free for all school groups, but reservations are required. For school group reservations call 215-665-9226. Individual and non-school tickets call 215-985-0420.
Performances are Feb. 27 at 8 p.m., Feb. 28 and 29 at 11 a.m. and March 1 at 2 p.m.
If you haven't made your plans yet to go to the Philadelphia Flower Show, the show is held March 2 through 9. You can order tickets by phone at 215-988-8776. The tickets run between $24 and $28 with $13 for children 2 to 16 years.
The wildly acclaimed, longest running show from South Africa, "African Footprint," will make its Philadelphia premiere Feb. 29 through March 2 at the Academy of Music. Dubbed "The Riverdance of South Africa," the troupe of 30 performers has toured for seven years in South Africa and two-and-a-half in Europe, as well as engagements in Australia, China, Israel and India. The show has been seen by over 250 million audience members, including Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Nelson Mandela.
For tickets call 215-731-3333.
The innovative Merce Cunningham Dance Co. will perform "Biped" and "eyespace," a dance that invites viewers to listen to the sound on iPods on Feb. 28 through 29. Tickets for the performances are available at215-898-3900 for the Annenberg Center.
The whimsical animal illustrations featured in "Jerry Pinkney: Aesop's Fables and Other Tails" at the Brandywine River Museum have been a big crowd pleaser. If you haven't had time to get this on your schedule, better hurry as the sow moves out March 10.
The Delaware Museum of Natural History has announced that that attendance records at the museum have reached a new high as compared with level and declining museum attendance nation wide. The year 2007 had a 15 percent increase from 2006 with a total of 77,444 visitors. Some of the credit is given to the exciting visiting exhibitions, educational programs for young children (the summer camp for 2 and 3-year-olds has sold out), and the low entrance fee ($4 to $6).
o Caryl E. Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.