Calendar: March 27-April 3

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Mar. 26, 2013

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Wednesday, March 27


Hamburg-based folk-pop duo Boy, ironically comprised of two girls, specialize in poignant, oftentimes introspective tunes. Lyrically, they are concerned with life through the eyes of 20-something girls everywhere, perhaps best illustrated in “Waitress,” where a woman, stuck at her mundane day job, wistfully waits for her life to begin. 8pm. $12. With Ari Hest. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. 


Aleksander Hemon: The Book of My Lives
In 1991, Bosnian-born fiction writer Aleksander Hemon was on holiday in Chicago when war broke out in his home country, forcing him to stay and start a new life here. His newest work is a collection of autobiographical essays focusing on his upbringing abroad, eventual displacement and newfound life in America. 7:30pm. Free. Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322.


The Life (and Death) of Harry Houdini
The lines of reality and fiction are blurred as the world’s most famous escape artist prepares to take his final bow. Local director Brenna Geffers brings us through life, death and beyond as Houdini struggles with his faith and the acceptance of his ultimate demise. 8pm. $25-$32. Through April 7. Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place. 215.735.0630. 


Foods That Shaped History: Sugar
Professor Lisa Mitchell explores the cultural significance of everyone’s favorite no-no, sugar, from both production and consumption standpoints. This is the second of a two-part presentation on how certain foods have shaped our society, the first part dealing with coffee, tea and cocoa. 11am. Free. Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322.

Thursday, March 28


Jonathan Dee and George Saunders
The Free Library’s Central branch is hosting two award-winning writers tonight, both of whom have new works of fiction out and both of whom sort of toe the line in contemporary literary badassery. The first, Jonathan Dee, has penned five novels and is a contributing writer for New York Times magazine. (His nonfiction work there includes a truly great profile of the prolific political blogger Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, and Johnson’s progression from right-wing flamethrower to, well, left-wing flamethrower.) He’ll be reading from his latest book, A Thousand Pardons, the tale of a woman with a gift for getting N.Y.C.’s arrogant men to admit their mistakes. The book promises to ask, in a most literary fiction sort of way, what people really want when they seek forgiveness.

George Saunders is a professor at Syracuse University, author of several works of fiction and a former Objectivist. (He despises the Ayn Randism of his past, he says, and now studies Nyingma Buddhism.) He’ll be offering a preview of his newest collection of short stories, The Tenth of December, of which, in advance praise for the collection, author Dave Eggers compared him to Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. And Eggers doesn’t just go around comparing people to geniuses. / Randy LoBasso

7:30pm. Free Library of Philadelphia, Central Branch. 1901 Vine St.


De Novo
A young gang member flees his former life in Guatemala City for America in a last-ditch effort to find happiness. Jeffrey Solomon’s gripping documentary-theater piece chronicles the real-life story of Edgar Chocoy as he, like many others, makes the harrowing trip across the border. 7pm. Free-$20. Fitts Auditorium at Penn Law Center, 3501 Sansom St. 215.832.0900.


The Deception of Anger
A special meditation class dedicated to overcoming the anger that plagues our everyday lives and getting one step closer to true inner peace. No experience is needed, and all are welcome to join in the pursuit of personal growth. 7pm. $10. Amitayus Kadampa Buddhist Center, 1102 Pine St. 267.702.4083.


California alternative hip-hop front-runner Wax stops by the Troc this week, slinging introspective rhymes over tropical, dramatic beats. 8pm. $13. With Voss + Mason. The Trocadero, 1004 Arch St.


From the Swamp to the Stars
No Face Performance Group presents a fictional, fever dream-like scenario taking place during the Reagan era. As our president lies on a gurney, his most trusted advisers scramble to figure out the truth about what’s going on and who’s responsible, all while the free world’s future rests uncomfortably on their shoulders. Through April 14. 8pm. $10-$20. Aux Performance Space, 319 N. 11th St. 215.238.1236. 


Carsie Blanton
The local singer/songwriter returns to Philly after the release of her fifth album, Idiot Heart, strumming folksy American pop over playful, intelligent lyrics. 9pm. $12-$15. With Alec Ounsworth (of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), The Kernal. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455.

Friday, March 29


Sean Rowe
Sean Rowe’s got one of those voices—a real gift. It has this magical sadness to it. A beautiful mix of tones not unlike Tom Waits (but less gritty) or Ray LaMontagne (but deeper), plus some other stars of the folks/blues genre: Chuck Ragan, Thomas Dybdahl, A.A. Bondy, plus older greats like John Lee Hooker and Wilson Pickett. He’s only got two legit LPs, not counting the one before he got noticed, and Magic’s a real achievement with a great concept. See, Rowe’s a naturalist. The Troy, N.Y.-born lover of nature grew up with the Adirondacks in his backyard, exploring forests and fields on his own. At 18, he read Tom Brown’s The Tracker, and he fell deeper into a devotion to greenery. Rowe then attended Brown’s wilderness survival school, and afterwards, inspired, the content for Magic started to flow out of him. In 2006, he studied at Hawk Center Wilderness Education in Cherry Valley, N.Y., not far from Cooperstown, where he completed a 24-day solo survival “quest.” Dude is like the Katniss Everdeen of folk music.

If Mother Nature is his muse, let’s keep this man in the woods. His music, including the strong, newish The Salesman and the Shark—released last year on 2012 on Anti—is beautifully seasoned and tempered. The bearded grizzly man’s been permanently altered by his communion with the elements, and it reflects in the tones he nails: peaceful sadness, elegiac calm, bittersweet beauty, reflective weariness, earthy, sensual lyricism and yearning, warm strength. He opens for the also-outstanding Marcus Foster upstairs at World Cafe Live. / Bill Chenever

8pm. $15-$54. With Marcus Foster + Ruston Kelly. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.


Her HRC ‘70s Dance Party
You’ll need to take your uncle’s burgundy leisure suit out of storage to truly enjoy “Disco Belles,” the Human Rights Campaign’s roller girl-tastic ode to the ‘70s. Retro drink specials and a disco dance-off await. 9pm. $8. Sisters Night Club, 1320 Chancellor St. 215.735.0735.


Pusha T
One half of the fantastic Clipse and a prominent member of G.O.O.D. Music, Terrence Thornton’s flow is too damn versatile and emotive; he can attack a beat with the pitter-patter of raindrops or chew it over and work in and out of it with flair. 9pm. $30-$50. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100.


Cirque Skeletique
Plato’s Porno Cave has been up to something strange at Little Berlin for most of March. To cap off their month of corrupt debauchery, they bring us a play bursting with unhinged circus acts and a lot of pointy things being put in unpleasant places. 8pm. $10. Little Berlin, 2430 Coral St. 610.308.0579.


Low Cut Connie
Hyperactive drunkards obsessed with machismo and good times, Low Cut Connie are an angry animal out of Philly and the ‘50s that was left out in the cold too long. Opening act DRGN KING will set the stage with genre-grabbing weirdness before Low Cut Connie tries to cut it in half with the sheer force of their testosterone. 9:30pm. $12. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. 


The Prescott Method: Easy Steps to Perfect Bread Baking, Every Time
Yes, this is a play. No, you will not actually bake anything. The brand-new piece tells the common story of women bonding over bread making in the mid ‘60s. 7:30pm. $30-$40. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. 215.574.3550.


Virginia Bradley: A Fragile Grace
Water’s destructive power is on display in Bradley’s work, which focuses mostly on the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Swirling abstraction overtakes the detailed landscapes in her wall-sized paintings. Try not to drown in the beauty of it all. Through March 30. LGTripp Gallery, 47-49 N. Second St. 215.923.3110.


Dangerous and Movin’ Dance Company: EvoL
Shit is about to get real interpretive at this dance show. In a world where empathy will get you killed, five people fight for the right to love. 8pm. $15-$20. Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St. 215.569.4060.


Driicky Graham
Dude couldn’t even legally drink a beer when he had his single, “Snapbacks & Tattoos,” on the Billboard Hot 100 last year. His frenetic energy is a testament to his age, but his styled and adaptive flow is a sign of a more seasoned professional. 9pm. $13. Theatre of the Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.101.


Autism Speaks
Four gritty rock bands will put on their best button-ups to help fundraise for autism research. Jesus’ Older Brother will be there, shredding guitars with nary a glance, so you better be on your best behavior. 8pm. $8-$10. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. 215.787.0488.

Saturday, March 30

Int’l Festival of the Arts: Time-Travel Tap Dance
For a full month starting March 28, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts will take over large art spots throughout the city—The Kimmel Center, the Barnes Foundation, Society Hill Playhouse and Perelman Theater among them—for music, dance and theater performances by artists from all over the world, concluding with an extravagant street fair on Broad Street that’s got to be experienced to be understood. This year’s festival theme is “If You Had a Time Machine,” and PIFA kicks things off in style this week with a world premiere by tap dance wunderkind Savion Glover titled Dance Space. Glover, famously dubbed “the best tap dancer that ever lived” by his mentor, the late great Gregory Hines, will be dancing in the dark—not figuratively, like Ovid and Bruce Springsteen, but literally—to immerse the audience in an “ethereal atmosphere” and bring them “closer to a connection with the early universe.” Plus: Find more PIFA premieres featured throughout PW’s PhillyNow calendar this week and for the next several. / RANDY LOBASSO

Sat., March 30. $20-$65. Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St.


East Coast Beard & Mustache Competition
Walking into an Urban Outfitters, it’s easy to forget that burly beards and quirky ‘staches weren’t always hipster status symbols. Rather, they were just things men grew on their faces for extra warmth in the winter months and to impress potential mates (as well as their testosterone-producing friends). Regardless of a man’s reason for growing them, it’s more important that we not forget the artistry that goes into maintaining luxuriant, attractive or simply humorous facial hair. Hosted by the Philadelphia Beard & Mustache Club, this annual event will once again draw competitors from national and international competitive bearding circuits, showcasing some of the most creative crumb catchers and partner ticklers around. A panel of judges will be awarding contestants in nearly 20 different categories, including styled and natural mustaches, goatees, chops and various full beards. New this year is the “WTF Beard” category, awarding dudes who have tried to hop on the bearding bandwagon but failed miserably, and “Kids Fake Beard,” which is totally self-explanatory and sure to be totally adorable. Even ladies have a chance to join in on all the fun, competing for the most creative and realistic fake beards and ‘staches. Meanwhile, guests will enjoy the live “yawlternative” tunes of the three-piece band, Mr. Fuzzy and the Barbarian. On Friday, the night before the event, competitors and noncompetitors alike are welcome to join PBMC as they acclimate out-of-towners to the “City of Bearderly Love” with a cheesesteak crawl, immediately followed by a pre-party at their official/unofficial headquarters, Tattooed Mom on South Street. / Nicole Finkbiner

8pm. $16. TLA, 334 South St. 215.922.1011.


Bring the Fury Fest
This night of hair-raising metal-core creates the perfect high-energy environment to switch into a state of frenzy and let loose. The terrifying yet creative arrangements offered by headliners One Year Later and From Atlantis blend harsh, almost earsplitting vocals with hauntingly intriguing metal melodies. Fans will be sent home with tingling spines and pulsating eardrums. Other performers include artists After the Glory, Subterfuge, Forever Is Never Enough, A Foxdale Death, Kaonashi, Path of Motion and Orpheus Sets Fire. 6pm. $13-$16. Trocadero, 1004 Arch St. 215.922.6888.


Murder at the Philadelphia Art Museum
A curator has been murdered in the Art Museum, and it’s your job to find out why. Uncover a scandal as you work your way toward the truth. 2pm. $34.50-$39.50. Philadelphia Art Museum, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 877.946.4868.


Graham Alexander
This multi-instrument-playing musician spent the last decade performing on Broadway, writing and launching an album worldwide and touring with James Taylor, Norah Jones and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Tonight, he offers up an evening full of upbeat pop rock jams, like “Only Fools Rush In” alongside soulful ballads like “Have a Good Life.” 10:30pm. $10. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. 215.928.0770.

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