Wednesday, April 10
You probably know Indian-American comedian Aziz Ansari from Scrubs, as the naive Tom Haverford on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, or maybe as the anti-Australian/New Zealander fruit vendor on HBO’s now-defunct Flight of the Conchords who’d rather burn fruit touched by a foreigner than sell it. Anyway, trust: You know the dude. And, like the saying goes, to know him is to love him.
Ansari is coming to the Merriam Theater tonight to showcase his massive standup skills, which he’s continued to hone at a ferocious pace throughout his acting career, which took off six years ago. These two same-night shows are being recorded for a concert film, and they’re officially sold out, but you can still pick up tickets on StubHub and the like. Just know that they’re not going to be—what’s the word?—cheap.
Need to rationalize paying the obviously inflated price for seat to a sold-out Ansari show? Here are a couple of his jokes: On ice cream: “I went to a place recently I think is one of the most fucked up places I’ve ever been to. I’m convinced this place is the epitome of American excess, of American greed. I’m talking about a place called Cold Stone Creamery. Whoa. If you have not been there, the basic gist of Cold Stone is that they take ice cream and then they just go apeshit with it.”
On Republican opposition to gay marriage (and their weird, constant bestiality analogies): “I’m not making this up. He goes, ‘Now if your neighbor marries a box turtle, that doesn’t affect your everyday life. But that doesn’t mean it’s right.’ I think it’s pretty safe to assume that, at one point or another, Sen. John Cornyn has thought about making love to a box turtle. I’m sorry, but that’s not the first animal you jump to when you’re writing that analogy.” / Randy LoBasso
7pm and 10pm. Sold out. Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999. kimmelcenter.org
The artists behind Smokey Robotic couldn’t decide what type of music they wanted to make, so they chose to do it all, jumping from a Supertramp-inspired R&B power ballad like “Unlike Anyone” to straight hip-hop with “Gandhi.” Everyone is bound to like one song, at least. 9pm. $8-$12. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com
Dischcrawl takes its food tour to Fishtown, paying homage to the Irish working-class roots and culinary pride that define the neighborhood. As per usual, the group has opted to keep the four restaurants they’ll visit a secret for now, but that’s part of the fun! $45. Various locations. 415.523.0477. dishcrawl.com/philly
This preview party and sale features jewelry, ceramics, photography, furniture, sculpture and illustration created by established and emerging artists from the University of the Arts. Proceeds benefit the Sam S. McKeel Promising Young Artists Scholarship Fund. 5pm. $50-$150. University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St. 215.717.6147. my.uarts.edu/artunleashed
Executive director of Food & Water Watch Wenonah Hauter chats about her latest book, Foodopoly. She explains the business practices that surround the food we eat on a daily basis and describes how politics play an all too important role in the whole affair. 6:15pm. Free. Penn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. upenn.edu/bookstore
Thursday, April 11
The Sideshow Musical Revue
There are three things in life you can always count on for quality comedic material: Politics, things overheard in bathroom stalls, and relationships. So, despite having been originally created with Valentine’s Day in mind, the weekly indie comedy showcase better known as The Sideshow has decided to go ahead with its love-themed musical romp since, you know, love’s ageless and evergreen.
Opening the show are the 2013 WitOut Award winners for Philly’s best male/female improvisers, Luke Field and Jessica Ross, who have recently joined forces, spawning a beautiful, undeniably talented baby named Hot Dog. If you’ve ever endured a terrible improv show, let this duo show you how magical it can be when done correctly. From there, nine local funnyfolk will take the stage, proving that they have vocal skills that match their comedic chops, belting out a mix of ‘80s hits, show tunes and current Top 40.
“The musical portion of the night tells the story of different types of love,” explains comedian, Sideshow producer and the show’s musical director Mike Marbach. Mutual love, unrequited love, self-love—they’ll be poking fun at it all whether with a sketch, speech or song. There will even be a bit of what Marbach has dubbed “cornography.”
“It’s a chance to tap into the musical theater nerd side of us,” Marbach adds. “Our alter
Glee-gos.” / Nicole Finkbiner
Through April 13. 8pm. $10. The Arts Parlor, 1170 S. Broad St. facebook.com/sideshowcomedy
No Way Home + The Man with Two Faces
Catch back-to-back screenings of two classic films. No Way Home is Buddy Giovinazzo’s 1996 crime melodrama starring Tim Roth as an ex-con whose future is threatened by his brother’s involvement in drugs. The Man With Two Faces is a 1934 thriller directed by Archie Mayo, in which a talented young actress seems to be under the spell of her unscrupulous husband. 8pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. therotunda.org
Twit Crit Blog Launch
We’ve reached the point where Twitter is an actual platform for serious writing, and the Twit Crit blog has arrived to sift through the junk and bring you critical discourse on the more intelligent offerings. Tonight’s program features poet Patricia Lockwood, who will talk about contemporary poetic writing on Twitter and how she benefits from using it. 6pm. Free. Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk. 215.746.7636. writing.upenn.edu/wh/
Free Drink & Drawl at Blick
Check out this free-figure drawing class mixed in with a happy hour. To spice up the night, they’ve given you the chance to sign up and be one of five people selected for a 30-minute drawing lesson from local professional artist David Berger. 5pm. Free. Blick Art Materials, 1330 Chestnut St. 215.545.3214. dickblick.com
Frans de Waal: The Bonobo and the Atheist
Named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Frans de Waal is a highly regarded primatologist, professor and author. His most recent effort traces the biological roots of human morality to primate social emotions, such as empathy, reciprocity and fairness. 7:30pm. $7-$15. Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
XPN Music Film Festival
Philly’s AfroDJiak hosts the opening night party that kicks off XPN’s festival dedicated to movies about music. Enjoy food, drinks and dancing in preparation for the 26 screenings that will be played at various locations throughout the city over the next four days. 9:30pm. $20-$125. University of Pennsylvania School of Law, 3501 Sansom St. 215.898.3900. xpn.org
Friday, April 12
Forty-seven years ago today, the Bank of Hawaii instituted “Aloha Fridays,” allowing its employees to don Hawaiian print shirts on their last work day of each week. Slowly but surely, this trend began to catch on with other major companies, and by the mid-1990s, professionals all across the country were ditching their suits and stilettos for stupid novelty ties and sneaks on Fridays. This new PIFA production by Stone Depot Dance Lab not only takes audiences through the history of this unorthodox tradition, but offers insightful commentary on the state and evolution of office politics.
Directed, choreographed and performed by Stone Depot founders Eleanor Goudie-Averill and Beau Hancock, the rollicking dance piece features live original tunes by Rit Mo Collective, and will all kick off with a happy hour sponsored by Philadelphia Brewing Co. in the Ruba Club lounge. Joining them onstage are Temple undergrads Cody Knable and Nia Shand, who, playing interns, will weave around flying file folders and out-of-control typewriters, all while rapidly changing their costumes—from the tacky polyester pantsuits of the ‘60s to the oh-so-popular skorts of the ‘90s.
Essentially, Casual Fridays is for anyone who has ever had to endure the 9-to-5 grind cooped up in a stuffy cubicle, their individuality stifled in generic business attire. Even if you’ve never worked in a traditional office setting or you’re a full-time freelancer who sits around in PJs all day, as long as you’ve seen Office Space, then it seems safe to say the message won’t be lost on you. / N.F.
6:30pm and 8:30pm. $10-$15. Ruba Club, 414 Green St. 215.627.9831. rubaclubstudios.org
BUS STOP’s Sixth Anniversary Party
Celebrate six years of fashion while sipping on signature “6th Cuppa” cocktails and checking out the selection of footwear voted “Best Shoes” by Philadelphia magazine. The shop will also launch the “Friends of 4th St. Fund,” raising money for those affected by the terrible fire that broke out at Jack B Fabrics last weekend that killed veteran Philadelphia Fire Captain Michael Goodwin. Celebrate Bus Stop’s success, and help heal the community. 6pm. Bus Stop Boutique, 727 S. Fourth St. 215.627.2357. busstopboutique.com
Gond and Beyond: Tribal Artists from India
The Gond is an indigenous tribal community in central India that decorates their houses in murals that often have a pointillist bent and draw heavily from the daily activities and folklore of the region. A selection of Gond art will be on display and made available to purchase today. Noon. Free. Indigo Arts Gallery, 1400 N. American St. indigoarts.com
Philly Elvis Fest
For the second year in a row, a bunch of people will dress up like The King—that’s Elvis Presley, not Joffrey—and see who is the best at impersonating him. These people, Elvis tribute artists, as they like to call themselves, will be competing for a considerable cash prize and for your pure entertainment. 5:30pm. $20. Through April 14. Cannstatters, 9130 Academy Rd. phillyelvisfest.com
Dale Levy: Exploring…
Levy’s artwork is a pleasure to view. Bright colors swirl in abstraction, rarely taking on a definite form. His canvasses are covered in vivid hues that playfully interact. Levy says his work is improvisational in nature, never knowing where it will take him, and luckily, this ignorance begets wonders. 6pm. Free. Through May 5. Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St. 215.772.1911. twenty-twogallery.com
Soulidified: Love of My Life
Take a seat or sway along to a loving performance dedicated to and in honor of neo-soul star Erykah Badu. 9pm. $10. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
This band sure has a lot of pictures of themselves standing in fields looking dejected or wistful. Besides thinking deeply while outdoors, Weatherstar is all about hyper-poppy ballads designed to jostle around your skull without permission. Dentists recommend listening in small amounts; too much of this aspirational ‘90s boy band may rot your teeth. 2:30pm. $10-$12. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. thetroc.com
Saturday, April 13
Michele Rosewoman and New Yor-Uba
This show falls just six days short of Michele Rosewoman’s 60th birthday, and it also marks almost 30 years of her union with New Yor-Uba. Separately, they’re both fascinating, talented and inspiring entities, but together, they make some of the most remarkable avant-jazz and world music fusion you could dream up. A California native and longtime lover of Oakland, Rosewoman was already steeped in Cuban and African musical culture when she started playing with Quintessence, debuting with a recording for Enja Records in 1987. But these sounds were pretty much just jazz; fine, fine jazz with Rosewoman’s skills on the keys driving saxes and drums to create delicious Chick Corea-flavored melodies and energy. When she teamed up with New Yor-Uba, a brilliant Nigerian-inspired and African mystic-born collective of percussion and vocals, something really magical happened.
Taking the kind of ecstasy conjured by Fela Kuti and twisting it into fusion sprinkled with Rosewoman’s astounding piano and organ runs, the collaboration really blew people’s minds. It’s a strange but perfect marriage: a sophisticated, talented jazzwoman with delicately flawless fingers and the power, joy and spiritualism that New Yor-Uba are so steeped in. It’s like going to world music church with Diane von Furstenberg on the keys and Pedrito Martinez belting out African spirit chants as he peppers the congas with his able, worn hands. This is going to be a celebration, indeed. / Bill Chenevert
8pm. $25-$30. Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. paintedbride.org
Locked in the Cage 15
Mervin Rodriguez and Thomas Backman go head-to-head in Kensington for this mixed-martial arts lightweight bout. With 5-6 and 3-0 professional records respectively, both fighters are heavy hitters to say the least. The co-main event features seasoned fighter Neil Johnson against up-and-comer James Jenkins. 7pm. $35-$85. Locked in the Cage Arena, 3824 Jasper St. lockedinthecage.com
Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival
Kicking off Manayunk’s Restaurant Week, the second StrEAT Food Festival celebrates an oftentimes overlooked culinary genres, the ever reliable food truck. A variety of vendors will be lined up on Main Street to offer samples of their convenient wares, letting you know what you might have been missing out on. Main Street. manayunk.com
Run Against Hunger
Supporting more than 100 food pantries in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, this walk/run’s proceeds go directly to leading organizations such as the Coalition Against Hunger, The Food Trust, SHARE and Philabundance. Get involved by creating a team for the event or donate to an already existing one. 7:15am. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Ben Franklin Pkwy. 215.769.0659. hungercoalition.org
Jeff Thomas’ All-Volunteer Army Horn Extravaganza
This 10-member band assaults the stage, horns a-blarin’ and Springsteen influences a-showin’. Songs like “Cruella Di Vil” are engines of good times, with good people and beer splashing on the floorboards in generous quantities. 9:30pm. $10. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455. milkboyphilly.com
Munch Around the Market Scavenger Hunt
This food-centric scavenger hunt combines tricky questions and a challenge to sample some of the best offerings from the Reading Terminal Market and the surrounding area. They recommended you bring an extra $10 for food purchases during the day, which we expect you won’t regret. Noon. $22. Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St. 866.811.4111. watsonadventures.com
Philly Fest 2013
Young Savage and Ar-Ab headline the second annual concert event brought to you by Urban Celebrity Magazine. Tons of Philly’s hottest and freshest talent will hit the stage, including the Bakery Boys, whose unique brand of mid-’90s hip-hop has been making waves across the city. 7pm. $20. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
Comedy-Gasm! A Night of Multiple Climaxes
Rachel Fogletto hosts an evening of uncensored comedy put on by the unabashed for the unashamed. Some of the cities boldest comedic performers, including Brandon Gorin, Elise Thomson-Hohl, Alejandro Morales and Walter, will be there to make you feel all dirty inside. 8:30pm. $4. The Irish Pol, 45 S. Third St. 267.761.9532. theirishpol.com
WINKDOWN Birthday Bash
If you can’t get enough house and techno, Josh Wink will be spinning for four straight hours at this fourth annual b-day celebration. Wink’s newest single, “Balls,” drops the very same day. 10pm. $10-$15. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave. worshiprecs.com
Thrift Shop Bar Hop
Who can say no to getting weird for charity, especially when you’re taking part in an interactive, multimedia bar-hop experience? Your team of five earns tokens for wearing the craziest clothes, drinking beer and buying raffle tickets, which can then be used to win one of three grand prizes. You can feel good about getting crazy too, because the event benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 1pm. $25-$100. Boardwalk Bar, 1031 Germantown Ave. 215.600.2583. thriftshopbarhop.com
Out of N.Y.C., SKATERS is a free-wheeling, youthful and energetic quasi-punk group with a fondness for thick and fuzzy pedal effects. Expect a considerable amount of furious head-bobbing. 7:30pm. $8-$10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Sunday, April 14
Philadelphia Book Festival
Beginning Sunday and lasting seven full days, the Free Library will present dozens of authors, readings and signings at Free Library branches and other spots throughout the city—all in celebration of National Library Week. The Philadelphia Book Festival, now in its seventh year, features authors both local and national and this year, expands to include all library locations—and, therefore, all communities—in the city, with most prominent names being featured at the Central Branch or other, larger locations.
The fest kicks off with none other than your favorite MSNBC host, former West Philly resident Rachel Maddow, who will read from her latest book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, which probes the United States’ use of military might from the Cold War and beyond, turning the country, as she argues, into a state of perpetual war. That event, at UPenn’s Irvine Auditorium, is sold out. We’re sorry. Really, we are.
Other participating authors include PW’s October 2012 cover stars, local journalist-turned novelists Solomon Jones and Karen Quinones Miller (above); former Obama administration official Cass Sunstein, who’ll read from Simpler: The Future of Government; local writer Nate House, author of Float, which previously won the Frances Israel award for fiction at Temple University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program; and a whole hell of a lot more.
Check out the Philadelphia Book Festival program on the Free Library’s website for a listing of events and where authors plan to be. New gatherings are still being added, so hit Refresh often. / R.L.
Through April 20. Most events are free. Check freelibrary.org for locations and authors.
Philly Farm & Food Fest
Fair Food Philly and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture have come together to bring us an unfair amount of food all in one place. More than 100 vendors will set up in the convention center and ply passers-by with samples of their goods in the hopes of increasing interest in locally grown and farmed food. 11am. $15-$20. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. 215.418.4700. phillyfarmfest.org
Cherry Blossom Festival
The Sakura Sunday Celebration—the heart and soul of the Cherry Blossom Festival—features live music, dance performances, martial-arts demonstrations, origami and more. Enter your pooch in the Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade or take in the Harajuku Fashion Show, which features one-of-a-kind designs from local students inspired by Tokyo’s Harajuku district.10:30am. 100 N Horticultural Dr. subarucherryblossom.org
Monday, April 15
Best known for his time spent with the Monkees, Nesmith was quietly influential on how we consume media since he burst on the scene, paving the way for MTV’s dominance when he created PopClips in 1980. Nesmith is a talented songwriter in his own right, and this will be his first solo tour in the states in 20 years. 8pm. $50. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
Philadelphia Antiques Show
The absolute last day has arrived to catch a glimpse of 60 odd booths featuring rare furnishings and decorative arts. David Raizman of Drexel University Westphal School of Design moderates a discussion highlighting the evolution of furniture from the 18th century to today. 11am. Convention Center, 12th and Arch sts. thephiladelphiaantiquesshow.org
Tuesday, April 16
Ivan & Alyosha
Mumford & Sons were really on to somethin’. Harmonious, sunny sensitive-man folk is everywhere and now commercial gold. People love it. Those Lumineers cashed in, too. Literally, “Ho Hey” is a blockbuster hit.
Now, this isn’t to say that Ivan & Alyosha are derivative, but they’re on board. These Seattle guys who met in 2007 are picking up steam now, with their proper debut, All the Times We Had, seeing daylight since the end of February. With a little NPR and SXSW buzz, people are taking notice and buying tickets. Tim Wilson, the quartet’s primary songwriter, met Ryan Carbary, and they started playing together all the time. Fooling around in the studio, they came up with the name for their band, drawing from Dostoevsky and The Brothers Karamazov. They added Tim’s brother, Pete, and Tim Kim, then hit the road.
Their thoughtful, peaceful indie rock goes down really smooth. With songs like the single, “Easy to Love,” they channel California in a modernized hippie flavor hinting at flowers-in-hair but also nodding at sounds like the Black Keys’ blues lite. It chugs along at a lazy, foot-tapping pace and with simple oohs, ahhs, hoots and hums, it drifts past you with its romantic breeziness gliding through your ears. This isn’t rock that’s edgy or angry at all, no. It’s just so pretty. / B.C.
8pm. Sold out. With the Lone Bellow + Twin Forks. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Fluffed hair, scarves and the objectification of women are all part of the plan for Steel Panther, a hard rock parody act out of L.A. “17 Girls in a Row” happens to be about, amazingly, having sex with 17 girls in a row. 8pm. $27.50. TLA, 334 South St. tlaphilly.com
William Mann has an eye for self-made women whose talent elevates them beyond the common stock of Hollywood actresses. His books include Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn and How to Be A Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood. Today, he discusses his 2012 biography Hello Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra. Mann takes us back to 1960’s Brooklyn when Streisand was a 17-year-old girl with no connections and too much talent. 7pm. Gershmam Y, 401 S. Broad St. gershmany.org
Creating with Constraints
Going strong since it kicked off in mid-February, DesignPhiladelphia presents a series of lectures exploring how to invent the future in a resource weak economy. Urban designer Leah Murphy and exhibit designer Aaron Goldblatt discuss how a railway that stretches 50-blocks can be transformed into a lush garden of green. The University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St. designphiladelphia.org
Wednesday, April 17
The Anatomy of Violence: The Roots of Crime
Are serial killers like Ted Kaczynski and Henry Lee Lucas born or bred? Criminology professor Adrian Raine has attempted to answer this question for three long decades. Tonight, he shares his insights and reads from the pages of his most recent book, The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime. 5:30pm. Free. Penn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. upenn.bncollege.com
Though he is an English bloke, Bobby Long is representative of the long line of country-tinged singer-songwriters in America. Mid-tempo numbers about love and longing abound, so order two fingers of whiskey, put your feet up, and think of all the things that have “done gone wrong.” 8pm. $15-$18. World Cafe Live,3025 Walnut St. worldcafelive.com
Out of Town
Let Them Eat Cake
The red carpet is rolled out today for sweet, fluffy, gooey wedding cake, the star of the 8th Annual Wedding Cake Design Competition. Bake your brains out, or just sample more than 40 slices of complimentary cake including chocolate, marble, lemon and carrot, all stacked high and covered in buttercream and fondant. Let your tummy choose your favorite alongside professional foodie-judges. Brides to be: Leave your gowns at home. Mon., April 15, 6pm. The Merion, 1301 Route 130 South, Cinnaminson, N.J. cityofhope.org
Andrea McArdle proved she had pipes in 1977 as the first little redhead to step on a Broadway stage and belt out “Tomorrow.“ Tonight, she’ll knock you over as a fun-loving, wealthy eccentric whose independent lifestyle is interrupted when her nephew is entrusted to her care. Wed., April 17, 7:30pm. $25-$49. Through May 19. The Media Theater, 104 E. State St., Media. 610.891.0100. mediatheatre.org
Fourteen-time Grammy winner and R&B artist Alicia Keys will surely enchant during the Atlantic City stop of her “Set the World on Fire” tour. Joining her is rising R&B star Miguel, who has gained popularity and five Grammy nominations for his album Kaleidoscope Dreams. Sat., April 13, 7:30pm. $70.25-$160.25. Revel, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. revelresorts.com
Academy Award-nominated film Waste Land follows Brooklyn artist Vik Muniz on his trip to the world’s largest garbage dump, where he photographed a band of “catadores” with hopes of creating a portrait inspired by their trashpicking lifestyle. But as the artist began to learn about and collaborate with the people living lives so incredibly different than his own, the end result was a true masterpiece, offering instead a portrait of the amazing transformative power of art and the remarkable strength of the human spirit. Thurs., April 11, 7pm. Klein Lecture Hall at Albright College. 1621 N 13th St. Reading. 610.921.2381
Before deciding to join Sean Combs on Bad Boy Records, French Montana was fought over by some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Def Jam, Warner Brothers and Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music. The Bronx rapper will take the stage alongside fellow performers Wale, Jadakiss and Juelz Santana. Sat., April 13, 6:30pm. $35-$100. Sun National Bank Center, 81 Hamilton Ave., Trenton, N.J. sunnationalbankcenter.com
Compiled by Michael Brady, Nicole Bonaccorso, Jessica Foley, Lindsay Kenney and Anthony Trivelli.
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PW's Holiday Guide 2014