Black Pride Week
Philadelphia Black Gay Pride is kicking off its annual Black Pride celebration this week, starting off the events with the Mr. and Miss Philadelphia Black Gay Pride Pageant. Hosted by extraordinary illusionist and MC Rayceen Pendarvis (who has been in demand at more than her fair share of black gay pride events in the past), the event will feature a dance competition organized by the Smoke, Lilies and Jade Arts Initiative, whose mission is to honor the stories of HIV-positive gay, lesbian and bisexual African-Americans. And this is only the prelude to a week-long fest that includes a Thug Divas mini-ball, fashion show, BYOB bowling and spoken-word poetry performances. For tonight, however, sit back and watch Philly’s finest Black Pride contestants strut their stuff and do their little turn on the catwalk. -Trishula Patel
6pm. $15-$20. Gershman Hall, Levitt Auditorium, 401 S. Broad St. 877.4977247. phillyblackpride.org
Zombie Pub Crawl
Rising from the dead is what Easter is all about, right? Start your undead evening at the TLA this year with Rainbow Destroyer—a live performance sure to get the skin moving on all zombies. After roaming in and out of the participating South Street bars, return to the TLA at 10 p.m. for The Rigor Mortis Review, a zombie burlesque show. Prizes will be awarded for best zombie. Not sure what to wear? Rip up some old clothes and get to the TLA early where face painting will be done for $10. Want to skip all the pre/post excitement and just get your zombie drink on? Then drag your dead self into Tattooed Mom, Lickety Split, Copabanana or the Legendary Dobbs to mingle with fellow zombies. -Brenda Hillegas
5pm. $5. South Street. phillyzombiecrawl.com
Monday, April 25
Straight and Butch
Nowadays, Butch Cordora thinks of himself as a conceptual artist. Come to think of it, that’s not a bad way to describe someone who’s been an actor, host of his own talk show and the brains behind “Bulge,” the Bike Stop’s notorious underwear-only night. In between those pursuits, he also devoted nearly three years to what may be his most audacious project yet: persuading 12 handsome straight guys to strip naked and pose with him for his 2009 calendar, Straight & Butch. If you missed it, don’t worry. Butch documented the entire experience, and will screen clips at tonights DVD coming-out party. The interviews and behind-the-scenes footage reveal much better than the photographs how sweet, awkward and goofily charming the whole enterprise was. Mr. August—Gervase Peterson of Survivor fame—jokes, “I can’t believe Butch got a woody. Can you believe that? Over me!” -R.S.
9pm. Free. National Mechanics, 22 S. Third St. phillygaycalendar.com
Sam Kean’s Science Cabaret
“You go to a cabaret hoping for some variety—it’s not like a concert, or something with a uniform theme. And something like the periodic table is perfect to get at that variety,” says Sam Kean, author of New York Times best-seller The Disappearing Spoon. The familiar banner of organized elements is at the center of his book, and it is Kean’s mission to show “how the periodic table intersects with war, medicine, art.” He succeeds with the skill of a maestro, both on the page and off. As part of the Philadelphia Science Fest, Kean rolls into town with Sam Kean’s Science Cabaret, offering chemical spectacles set to thrill a live audience. He drops science with razzle dazzle, but the performances are rooted in fact, not trickery. “We won’t be out to put anything over on anyone,” he says, although even the most jaded bright young things are sure to be awed. -M.N.
6-8pm. $15. Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St. 215.925.2222. chemheritage.org
Tuesday, April 26
By now, you know all about Story Slams; the great tale-hashing competitions that have been going down in bars and coffee shops all around the nation. You could call Slam Nation the super bowl of Story Slams, the final ‘Grand Slam,’ if you will, that will separate the mere fabricators from the master raconteurs. Story tellers from all over the country will be competing under the night’s theme: “Worldly Possessions,” in an all-out warfare to determine the “best story slammer in the nation,” or, as we like to put it, “Best Dinner Party Guest.” Included in the line-up is two-time Moth Grand Slam champion Adam Wade; This American Life’s Elna Baker and Michele Carlo of SMITH magazine. The competition is part of PIFA and is presented by First Person Arts, the local arbiters of all things memoirs and drama. -Abigail Bruley
8pm. $20-$25. Perelman Theatre at Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. 215.670.2388.
G. Calvin Weston’s Wail
Ever since he came on the scene in the late ’70s (at age 17) with Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time, Philly drummer G. Calvin Weston has demanded attention. His radical stylistic openness has gained him gigs with the likes of John Lurie, Tricky, James Carter, James Blood Ulmer, Marc Ribot and Vernon Reid, among others. In this four-week Tuesday residency, Weston has mixed it up with his reunited Big Tree ensemble, fellow Prime Time alum Jamaaladeen Tacuma with guitarist Jef Lee Johnson, and trumpeter John Swana with the group Flying Colours. He’ll finish up with jazz-metal mania courtesy of Wail, with Stinking Lizaveta members Yanni and Alexi Papadopoulos (guitar/bass), plus keyboard man Brian Marsella. -D.R.A.
10pm. Triumph Brewing Company, 175 Chestnut St. 215.625.0855. triumphbrewing.com
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Calendar: August 13-20