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This month “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” opens at the Franklin Institute, the final stop of its two-year tour—and the National Geographic exhibition may be the last time Tut’s treasures ever leave Egypt. (Though his treasures are found in museum collections, Tut’s remains are still in a stone sarcophagus in his burial chamber.) The 3,000-year-old boy king fascinated American audiences when he made his first U.S. appearance and drew record museum crowds in the 1970s. Today a new generation will see first-hand the splendor of ancient Egypt, viewing 50 major objects excavated from Tut’s tomb and almost 70 pieces from other royal tombs of the era. Few of the objects were included in the first U.S. tour. Two of the most significant artifacts are Tutankhamun’s royal diadem, the gold crown discovered encircling the head of the king’s mummified body, and one of the gold coffinettes that contained his mummified internal organs. The exhibition is more than just a display of ancient wealth, however. Visitors will learn about King Tut’s family and see objects from the tomb of his great-grandparents Yuya and Tuyu, as well as learn about the social and political climate of Egypt’s 18th dynasty. In a world modern where everyone grasps his 15 minutes of fame and we obsessively follow the antics of celebutantes, he’s become the most famous royal ever. King Tut will reign at the Franklin Institute Science Museum February 3 through September 30. The museum is at  222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia. For more, call (215) 448-1200, or visit www.fi.edu.

—Megan M.F. Everhart



Through the Eyeholes of a Master

You wouldn’t think February is the time to learn about masks. For most, that’s strictly a Halloween activity. Yet to hear pop psychologists tell it, we wear masks daily, emotional masks that hide our deepest thoughts and feelings. The Henlopen Theatre Project brings a modern mask master to Delaware this month in a family friendly show. Michael Cooper’s “Masked Marvel,” combines the ancient art of masked storytelling with stellar theatrics for an exquisite one-man performance. In many ancient cultures, masks were used in storytelling, during ceremonial dances, and to mark important events such as births and marriages. Masks have also been widely used in theater by the ancient Greeks, the Japanese in Noh Theater, and Italian actors during the Renaissance. And finding out what’s behind a mask is an almost-uncontrollable urge. Cooper, a craftsman, wordsmith and actor, can help. He makes each mask used in his show, working up to 300 hours on each. He also writes original scripts, using his background in peace studies to create uplifting, wholesome stories. Cooper studied with two of the 20th century’s greatest mimes, Etienne Decroux of Paris, France, and Tony Montanaro of Paris, Maine, training that gives a sublime physicality to his performances, whether it be walking on stilts or appearing to lean on air. Rediscover the art and humanity of masks at Cape Henlopen High School on February 10. For more, call 226-4103, or visit www.henlopentheaterproject.com.



See the “King of Blues” B.B. King perform at the Grand on February 19. Though he’s been performing for more than 50 years, King hasn’t slowed a bit, still traveling and playing his legendary guitar, Lucille, which is just about as famous as he is. King is the definitive blues musician, with over 50 albums to his credit, many classics of the genre. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and has won six Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. And last year King received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. For more, call 652-5577, or visit www.grandopera.org.


Eclectic Guitars

They’re not from the Golden State, but the California Guitar Trio does play a crazy mix of instrumental styles that fuse classical, rock, blues, jazz, world music and a little bit of surf music (which we suspect is where they get the name). Check out their signature sound and stunning virtuosity when CGT plays at Arden Gild Hall on February 25. Paul Richards from Utah, Hideyo Moriya from Tokyo and Bert Lams from Brussels, Belgium, all have extensive guitar training, with influences and interests ranging from rock and blues to J.S. Bach and music of the American West. The three met in England during one of Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft Courses, and have toured extensively for the past 14 years, playing with musicians, groups and artists such as King Crimson, John McLaughlin, Tito Puente, Taj Mahal, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, Dark Star Orchestra, and Kaki King. Their music has been featured during television coverage of the past few Olympic games and on a variety of TV programs. Call 475-3126, or visit www.ardenclub.com.