Beethoven's back! He's been gone nearly 185 years, but the long wait for his comeback is over. Yes, it's Ludwig Live!, in which the composer, aided and abetted by a plucky assistant, plays his greatest hits and a few covers of other greats - Strauss, Haydn, John Philip Sousa, and Barry Manilow - to string along a manic plot, sort of. Nancy Holson's send-up of Broadway musical bio goes on at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Kimmel Center's Innovation Studio, 300 S. Broad St., and continues with shows at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets are $35 and $47. Call 215-893-1999.
Rise and shine When The Today Show debuted on Jan. 14, 1952, there was nothing like it - though at the time, that was true of most everything on the tube. Many of the morning show's features were in place from the beginning (a mix of news and entertainment with an affable anchor, with Dave Garroway as the original model), while others have come and gone (the chimp mascot J. Fred Muggs), and left and come back again (the street-side studio). The panel discussion 60 Years of "Today" - featuring former anchor Jane Pauley, executive producer Steve Friedman, and author Stephen Battaglio (From Yesterday to TODAY) - looks at the show's impact and history at 6:30 p.m. at Drexel University's Bossone Research Center, Mitchell Auditorium, 3140 Market St. Admission is free. Call 215-895-1029.
More perfect union While the president's annual speech before Congress on how we're doing is something of a ritualized theatrical event (with important bits that demand attention and analysis thrown in), there's nothing that says it can't be fun. State of the Union Bingo (with cards containing words such as "bipartisan" and "economy," or actions such as "standing ovation" and "the speaker of the House claps") is the centerpiece of a party for the speech at 7:30 p.m. at the National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. Admission is free (includes special tours and interactive programs). Call 215-409-6700.
Cherchez la femme The Quebecois singer Béatrice Martin, who performs as Coeur de Pirate, purveys winsome but knowing pop gems mixing France Gal and Amy Winehouse styles with kitten-with-a-whip attitude. She sings at 9 p.m. at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. Tickets are $18. Call 215-222-1400.
Chamber music Cellist Marcy Rosen and pianist Lydia Artymiw play sonatas by Beethoven, Barber, and Ludwig Thuille at 8 p.m. at the American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St. Tickets are $23; $10 for students. Call 215-569-8080.
Love and death Verdi fitfully worked on his first opera, Oberto, for four years - but it paid off with his debut at La Scala just after the composer had turned 26. The hothouse tale of passion, revenge, and tragedy in 13th-century Italy is performed by the Academy of Vocal Arts at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad St., at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Tickets are $60; $50 for seniors; $25 for ages 30 and under; $10 for students. Call 215-893-1999.
Fine folk Those dissing Lana Del Rey's recent TV appearance as evidence of lack of talent are mistaken. She's good - sometimes the venue and audience expectations don't match a mannered but mindful performance and a distinctive voice is missed. Don't be that audience. Be this one: Catskill jammers Two Dark Birds focus their sound with brass band flourishes and the sorghum-syrup vocals of front man Steve Koester. They play on a three-band bill at 8 p.m. at the Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. Tickets are $10. Call 215-928-0770. . . . Singer-songwriter Laura Gibson's well-crafted narrative songs feature dense lyrical play delivered in an Olive Oyl vocal. She performs on a three-band bill at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 Frankford Ave. Tickets are $10. Call 215-739-9684.
Friday & Saturday
Good humor The comedian Jeanne Robertson
is like that funny aunt you always want to sit next to at family picnics, adding a tart perspective to her homespun observations. She performs at the Keswick Theatre,
Easton Road and Keswick Avenue, Glenside, at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $34.50. Call 215-572-7650.
On the beat Drummer Jai Johanny Johanson, a founder of the Allman Brothers Band, brings his Jaimoe's Jasssz Band to the Theatre of the Living Arts, 334 South St., at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $18. Call 215-922-1011.
A complete guide to events in the region over the coming weekend will appear in the Weekend section in Friday's Inquirer. Send notices of events for "7 Days" to Michael Harrington at email@example.com.