Arts & Culture

The circus is in town! As some of you know, I used to work with a bunch of clowns; literally, I was the co-host of “Bozo the Clown” for three years on TV57 here in Philly, so I know my way around a big top. Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing the amazing show put on by the UniverSoul Circus. I have to say, I haven’t smiled as wide, laughed as much or been entertained like that in a long time. The show is nonstop, energetic, family-friendly and fun. UniverSoul has a roster of talented performers from all over the world woven into a seamless show that doesn’t let up for hours. I haven’t seen this much bang for the buck in a while. Step right up and get your tickets now, folks!

Out filmmaker Dee Rees’ fantastic new drama “Mudbound,” opening Nov. 17 at the Ritz at the Bourse (and out on Netflix), tracks two families — one black, one white — in 1940s Mississippi. The film, adapted from Hillary Jordan’s novel, immerses viewers in the hardscrabble life of working the muddy delta farmland. The muck, the rain and the heat are truly palpable.

INSIDE THE ‘NEVER’ MIND: Broadway Philadelphia presents “Finding Neverland,” the story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters, as playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother, ultimately resulting in the creation of Peter Pan, Nov. 21-26 at Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. For more information or tickets, call 215-893-1999.

All right, Halloween is over. The days are getting shorter and colder, and most of you are staring down that barrel of a lot of evenings and weekends spent with friends and family who want to grub, gossip and giggle.

FACE THE (RHYTHM) NATION: Armed with over 30 years of pop and dance hits, singing icon Janet Jackson brings her State of the World Tour to the area twice this week, performing 8 p.m. Nov. 10 at Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk in Atlantic City, and 8 p.m. Nov. 13 at Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. For more information or tickets, call 215-389-9543.

One of the premises of this column is that everyone has a story to tell. Recently I was chatting with the bartender at Toasted Walnut and was surprised to find that she is actually a Grammy-credited music engineer, who’s working at the bar as she works on growing her own record label.

Alec Secareanu makes an indelible impression as Gheorghe, a strapping Romanian farmhand in the fantastic gay romantic drama “God’s Own Country,” opening Nov. 11 at Ritz at the Bourse. Out writer/director Francis Lee’s striking film is set mostly on a Yorkshire farm where Johnny (Josh O’Connor) ekes out a hardscrabble life with his ailing father (Ian Hart) and his grandmother (Gemma Jones).

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