Calendar: Jan. 30-Feb. 6

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 30, 2013

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Wed., Feb. 6


Ever read a book when you were a kid that had a huge impact on your life? For me, it was a trilogy: Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and, especially, its two sequels. I read A Swiftly Tilting Planet over and over and over again: a story that presaged the premise of the sci-fi TV classic Quantum Leap, with teenage protagonist Charles Wallace Murray repeatedly crossing time to bury his consciousness inside sympathetic people’s psyches, hoping each time to effect a small, personal, intimate change for the better that would, over the course of centuries, add up to the prevention of a nuclear war. Even more than A Swiftly Tilting Planet, though, there was A Wind in the Door; it caught my attention in fourth grade, but rereading it as an adult has been a truly profound experience. From this vantage, the realization of what L’Engle accomplished—pouring all that’s beautiful and painful and inspiring about the Jesus story into a sci-fi adventure where three American kids join a pan-dimensional alien with a snotty attitude for a journey through the microscopic world of cell biology—I mean, I don’t even know what to say. Except that her book succeeded in conveying the heart of the Gospel to a secular, kinda-Jewish, grade-school know-it-all, who internalized its message—that the only way to save the world is to love it—without even noticing.

The $64 million question, of course, is: Why am I telling you all this? Simple: There’s an 
outstanding literary project called Sensible Nonsense, based online at, 
that invites people around the world to reflect upon the childhood books that have stuck with them throughout the years to follow. Participants pour out their hearts over picture books, chapter books, esoteric books and classics. This week, Sensible Nonsense hosts a live event at Penn’s Kelly Writers House, bringing Philly readers together to talk about their favorites in person. So come on—if I can get this sappy in the newspaper, you can do it in a room full of fellow book-lovers. —Stephen H. Segal

6pm. Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk. 215.746.POEM.

Opening Celebration at ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Art has been working hard to install four new exhibitions, and the time has come to show them off, along with live performances by some of the artists. 6pm. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.7108.

Plugged Inn: An Electric Cabaret

Sebastian Cummings and Ben Storey want to take you on an adventure that a normal cabaret would have to see a therapist about. Enjoy a show, and have a good whisky drink. 7pm. $5. The Trestle Inn, 339 N. 11th St. 267.239.0290.

Mastery Charter Schools
 Winter Networking Night

Got kids? Invest in their education and learn more about the charter schools in our area. You need to register first; there will be teachers and leaders talking about Mastery’s students, business model and Philadelphia-focused results. 5:30pm. Free. Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant, 4120 Main St. 215.866.9000.

Cheers Elephant

Uprooting the past into the present, these local roots-rockers mash psychedelic rock with contemporary influences. Get ready for the strange. 9pm. $10. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers

A jazz quintet with plenty of quirk and flair, Ruffins is known to cook barbeque at his shows; dig in! 8pm. $17-$20. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St. 215.222.1234.

Kishi Bashi

Kooky violinist and lead singer of Jupiter One, K Ishibashi has turned his musical attention to solo work. He’ll demand your attention by mixing lush orchestral pieces with looping tracks and vocals. 8:30pm. $10-$12. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.821.7575

Compiled by Michael Brady, Jessica Foley, 
Caroline Newton and Anthony Trivelli

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