ON THE GUEST LIST
The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium’s Paradise Park
Through March 3. Walnut Street Theatre’s Studio 5. idiopathicridiculopathyconsortium.org
Overall vibe: The expectancy of an early summer night overtakes you the second you step off the elevator on to the fifth floor of the Walnut Street Theater. The sound of crickets flood your ears, a brightly colored paper bag of freshly popped popcorn is placed into one hand and a program into the other as you make your way to your seat on IRC’s Tilt-a-Whirl production of Charles Mee’s American theatrical collage.
Most memorable moment: Even before the house lights dim to black, this production is guarded (and guided by) a giant mouse—or rather, a guy wearing a giant mouse suit. So when this guy, actor Shamus Hunter McCarthy, removes his giant mouse head to state plainly to the audience: “Me, I’m asking for a modest retirement package. It’s no pleasure for me, frankly, not allowed ever to take this mouse costume off, so that if I want to go to the bathroom, I just have to shit in my pants and wear them all day,” a moment of clarity is achieved under the plastic wrap of gross absurdity.
Scene stealer: Expert multi-tasker and actress-director Tina Brock, who you can tell demanded truth out of her actors initially in rehearsal, and secondly from herself as a performer on the stage in the beautiful, strained environment that is Paradise Park. (Jessica Foley)
2013 Philadelphia Flower Show
Thurs., Feb. 21, Sugar House Casino. theflowershow.com
Overall vibe: Bloody fantastic! Though there may not have been any impressive floral displays to marvel at, guests were invited to celebrate the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show with hibiscus/vodka cocktails, fish and chips, live music and slot machines. That all makes sense, right?
Most memorable moment: Watching guests interact with the several different cardboard cutouts of Queen Elizabeth II that were scattered around the room. Over the course of three hours, she managed to get kissed, groped, licked, kicked, mocked and high-fived.
Scene stealer: The only person who could upstage Her Majesty was Philly’s own Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz, who came donning his signature bowtie and was stalked by weather-loving groupies the entire night. (Nicole Finkbiner)
Balance and Composure, with The Jealous Sound + Daylight
Thurs., Feb. 21 at Union Transfer. utphilly.com
Overall vibe: The intensity of a Brand New show meets the intimacy of a record-store gig in one of the last concerts of the band’s first headlining tour.
Most memorable moment: While the band’s manager tuned Jon Simmons’ guitar, a passionate, devoted fan in the front row started panicking—loudly—’cause he thought the band subbed in a new singer for the night.
Scene stealer: That part in “Burden” when the song slows down, only to progress into the brow-furrowing, gut-twisting last verse that shoots angst straight into your blood flow. (Caroline Newton)
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide