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🐰 Where to find Easter brunch

This weekend, enjoy Easter brunch, explore a great rooftop bar, see the puppet mastery behind Sven in Frozen, or head to a drive-in theater.

A brunch spread awaits you at The Olde Bar this Easter.
A brunch spread awaits you at The Olde Bar this Easter.Read moreCourtesy of The Olde Bar

It’s a busy time, from the Phillies’ opening day to Easter. April is around the corner, which means we’re starting to see more outdoor bars, restaurants, and shows pop up. Hopefully, the weather starts acting accordingly.

We’re also trying some new features in the newsletter, including show picks from our pop music critic and a new section for hot takes. This week we’re discussing: Is Jeremy Allen White a good contender to play Bruce Springsteen?

This weekend, enjoy Easter brunch, explore a great rooftop bar, see the puppet mastery behind Sven in Frozen, or head to a drive-in theater.

— Rosa Cartagena (@_RosaCartagena, Email me at

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This Sunday is the holiday of bunnies and eggs: Kids will be hunting for candy-filled ones while adults can enjoy eggy dishes at brunch. If you’re still looking for where to dine out, we have recommendations for great spots for Easter brunch in the city.

The best things to do this week

☀️ Get outside: Despite today’s clouds, this weekend’s weather looks perfect for drinking and dining al fresco. We’ve got your guide to the best Philly spots for rooftop and outdoor dining.

Batter up: Opening day for the Phillies was postponed to Friday this week given the rainy forecast, but it’s not dampening our excitement for this season. Plus, if you’re heading to Citizens Bank Park in the coming weeks, here’s everything you need to know about the new bag policy.

🤼‍♀️ Strap in: WrestleMania 40 is coming to Philly next week (April 4-8) and we’ve got you covered if you’re looking for the best hoagies and pizza in Philly — and if you’re just catching up, we’ve also got a helpful explainer.

🦌 The man behind the reindeer: One of the biggest stars of the Frozen musical (running now at the Academy of Music) is Sven the adorable reindeer — captured on stage in an eight-foot-tall puppet. Go behind the scenes to see how the puppet magic works and hear from Dan Plehal, an actor who studied at Pig Iron School, about the extreme athleticism that goes into every performance.

🌺 Bevs and blossoms: Pop Up Garden Bars from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will reopen this weekend on South Street and in Manayunk. The lush bars will host live music, free plant swaps, art and gardening classes, and other fun events this spring and summer.

📅 My calendar picks this week: The 91st Annual Easter Promenade, Eggy Art Show, and the Port Richmond Birthday Festival

Our pop music critic’s picks

Dan DeLuca breaks down some of the best shows coming to town this weekend:

🎤 Thursday: The Mavericks’ Raul Malo crooning at Sellersville Theater on Thursday and jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan at Ardmore Music Hall that same night.

🎤 Friday: Nicki Minaj is playing the Wells Fargo Center. The Trinidad-born rapper is touring behind her 2023 album Pink Friday 2, and of course played a key role on the Barbie soundtrack, with “Barbie World,” a collaboration with Ice Spice.

🎤 Also Friday: English singer-songwriter Arlo Parks is at Union Transfer, and Canadian pop sophisticate Andy Shauf plays Arden Gild Hall in Delaware.

🎤 Saturday: Punk jazz trio The Messthetics team with sax player James Brandon Lewis in what ought to be a wild show at Solar Myth.

The thing of the week

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been rewatching M. Night Shyamalan’s films to rank the career of arguably the most famous (and divisive) Philly filmmaker. I laughed through Lady in the Water (terrible), slept through After Earth (a waste of money), gasped at the big reveal in Unbreakable, and cried at the end of The Sixth Sense (despite knowing the spoiler). By day three of my marathon, I had a weird nightmare where Sydney Sweeney, wearing a red hood from The Village, turned to stone and then fell down wooden stairs into a dark, haunted basement. My view was from the basement so it wasn’t clear if I was another victim — or I was actually the scary ghost/alien/wolf/monster. Shyamalan’s decades-long study of fear apparently got to me. Dig into the ranking of every Shyamalan film and see if your favorite flicks got the grade they deserved.

Springtime fun this week and beyond

⛰️ New trails: The last private mountain in Pennsylvania — Miller Mountain in Wyoming County, a couple hours outside of Philly — is now open to the public for hiking, biking, bird watching and more outdoor fun. Here’s what to know before you go.

📜 A 250-year mystery: An 18th-century eyewitness drawing of the Continental Army marching through Philadelphia with women camp followers — critical but overlooked women in Revolutionary War history — hung in a New York apartment for decades. Now, it’s part of the Museum of the American Revolution’s collection.

🎸 Summer plans: For the first time in 50 years, Willie Nelson is bringing his iconic 4th of July Picnic to the East Coast — specifically, Camden. Joining him will be Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Mavis Staples, and more great acts.

🎥 Classic fun: Looking for a different kind of movie experience? There are tons of drive-in theaters in Pennsylvania and in this region that can be great for date nights or family outings. Explore 12 drive-in movie theaters near Philly.

🍩 Sweet stuff: Doughnuts can be particularly tricky for vegans, but there are several great bakers in and around Philly who are creatively (and deliciously) making vegan and gluten-free doughnuts. Here’s your guide.

The take: Jeremy, you’re too hot

The Bear star Jeremy Allen White is reportedly the top contender to play Bruce Springsteen in an upcoming biopic about the making of the dark, iconic album Nebraska. White has deftly played troubled, angst-filled characters struggling with depression and family trauma in the past, but some folks at the Inquirer (and beyond) have their doubts about this casting pair.

🔥 “It seems goofy to me,” said Dan DeLuca, music critic. “Kind of hokey…Since he’s all muscley with his Calvin Klein ads, it would seem more appropriate for him to be playing Springsteen circa Born in the USA, which was the next Springsteen album after Nebraska, which is when he put on the headband and hit the gym.”

🔥 “I think he’s hot but I don’t think he’s Bruce. But, I’m open to accepting he could surprise me,” said national trending reporter Emily Bloch.

🔥 Service reporter Henry Savage is cautiously optimistic. “He’ll be able to rock some denim jeans and white T-shirt,” he said. “I could see his voice getting to the Bruce resonance as well with the raspy deepness — but I feel like I’ll have a hard time seeing Bruce Springsteen in Jeremy Allen White’s face. I’ll give a YAY for now.”

What do you think — should the Bear play the Boss? Or is there someone else who would be better suited? Let me know!

This week, I needed a palate cleanser after all that scary Shyamalan so I’ve been catching up on Abbott Elementary. What are you watching these days? Send me a rec.