To Veg or Not to Veg?
As vegetarianism, veganism and everything in between have ballooned in popularity over the past decade, so has the debate over whether it’s actually, you know, benefiting anyone. The general line of thinking has been a resounding yes—if, for no other reason, than to offset the negative effects of the earth’s carnivores. Human beings eat twice as much meat as we did 30 years ago, and with that meat comes the nasty side-effects: More animals producing methane and other greenhouse gases, as well as physical waste we’ve got to find something to do with. In 2006, the UN calculated that animals bred specifically for their meat helped create an average of 18 percent of the global total of climate change emissions. There’s also the theory that veganism could help eradicate world hunger. According to a researcher at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, if we eliminated grain-fed animals from our livestock, we would be able to produce crops to feed another 4 billion people throughout the world.
But there’s a catch: Humans may actually need meat. An Austrian study concluded this year found that the vegetarian diet, “characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits and whole-grain products” actually brings with it elevated risks of allergies, mental health disorders and cancer. The study, ironically reported on April 1, found vegetarians had a lower quality of life than the rest of us and “require more medical treatment.”
So, what’s the deal? That’s what Chemicals Are Your Friends founder Dr. Dorea Reeser, Ph.D; biochemistry professor Farzaneh Daghigh, Ph.D.; UPenn postdoctoral research fellow Jared Piazza and Whole Foods’ Katy Greenplan plan to explore at To Veg or Not to Veg? The Science Behind Vegetarianism. They’ll be speaking on whether vegetarianism is actually good for the world or just our piece of mind. And free food samples will be served. // RANDY LOBASSO
6pm. $5. The Pavilion at Franklin Square Park, Race Street between Sixth and Seventh sts. philasciencefestival.org
Let Freedom Ring
Part of the Philadelphia Freedom Festival—a celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act—today’s event features a group of Philadelphia academics and activists discussing the legacy of civil rights pioneer Octavius V. Catto. The event will also include a performance by the Cheyney University Concert Choir. 4pm. Free. Temple University, 1913 N. Broad St. manncenter.org/philadelphia-freedom-festival
Love, Lust and Loathing
This Science Festival exhibit finds six local experts examining the various factors—namely hormonal and chemical influences—that drive human emotion. They will also examine whether other animals undergo similar reactions. 6pm. $5-$15. Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave. philasciencefestival.org
There’s nothing like the reissue of a landmark album to renew interest in a band, especially when hardly anyone paid much attention the first time around. For the guys in Slint, it couldn’t have been easy to find a huge audience while navigating through the esoteric waters of post-rock during their early ‘90s “peak.” The band had already been around for five years when they released their sophomore full-length, Spiderland, in 1991. Comprised of a mere six songs yet totaling nearly 40 minutes in length, the record eschewed most musical disciplines in favor of testing how far the genre’s boundaries could be pushed. It was a sonic experiment characterized by sleight-of-hand time signatures, dissonant guitars and vocalist Brian McMahan alternating between spoken-word narratives and random bursts of emotional intensity like a poet overcoming bipolar disorder. The result was ahead of its time—so dynamically all over the place that no one, not even the media, knew what to do with it.
Typical “internal strife” bullshit caused Slint to disband a year later, but throughout the remainder of the decade, Spiderland developed a cult following and wound up inspiring a whole new generation of bands like Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky. That newfound popularity led to a brief reunion tour in 2007, and just last month, their label, Touch & Go, took advantage of the rise in vinyl sales by putting out a remastered deluxe edition of Spiderland, boasting additional Slint demos and outtakes, a coffee table book and a making-of documentary. Seeing them at UT could be all the evidence you need that even the underdogs can have their day in the sun. // JAKE ABBATE
8:30pm. $25. With Spires That In the Sunset Rise. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
The Philadelphia Black Poetry Honors
Several of the city’s most inspiring poets will be honored at today’s award show presented by Poeticventures and The National Black Arts Tour. The ceremony will pay homage to Anwar El, Runett Nia Ebo, Pat McClean and several others. 7pm. UPenn, 4014 Walnut St. poeticventures.blogspot.com
19th Century Medical Science & Quackery
Take an after-hours tour of Laurel Hill Cemetery and learn about the fine line between the real and fake sciences of the 19th century, complete with demos from the Franklin Institute. Whoever “survives” till the end will win a prize. 6:30pm. $10. Laurel Hill, 3822 Ridge Ave. thelaurelhillcemetery.org
All of us have that uncle who drinks too much or that cousin with her foot wedged permanently in her mouth. And while it’s common knowledge that every family has its individual quirks, it’s also widely known that if any of us has anything in common at all, it’s that each of our clans has their own respective issues—and that there’s always someone, somewhere, who has it much worse. Fortunately, West Philly favorite Curio Theatre Company has teamed up with European powerhouse comedy troupe Spymonkey to present the North American premiere of Oedipussy, a riotous rendition of the Greek tragedy, to put it all in perspective.
“I chose Oedipussy for Season Nine because of its broad appeal to audiences of all kinds,” says Paul Kuhn, Curio’s artistic director. “For those that know the story of Oedipus, its digression from the plot is truly hysterical. For those that don’t, the physical comedy is more than enough to keep you engaged and laughing.”
Described as James Bond meets Oedipus with a bit of Barbarella sprinkled on top, this irreverent take on the classic tale of mistaken identities, riddles and prophecy has delighted the world over with its bold, visceral humor. Created in 2012 by Spymonkey’s Toby Park, Petra Massey, Aitor Basauri and Stephan Kreiss, Oedipussy is sure to delight local audiences and continue garnering the critical acclaim its daring storytelling undoubtedly deserves. // KENNEDY ALLEN
Through May 24, 8pm. $20-$25. The Curio Theatre, 4740 Baltimore Ave. curiotheatre.org
7th Annual Zannie-Do Festival
Now in it’s seventh year, the Zannie-Do Festival is named for the late Philly jazz titan Zan Gardner and helps to raise money for the Jazz Bridge organization, of which Gardner was a founding member. Take in performances by a handful of talented blues groups including Georgie “The Blacksmith” Bonds, Richard Adler and the Flashpoints. 8:30pm. $10-$15. The Mermaid Inn, 7673 Germantown Ave. 215.247.9797. themermaidinn.net
Discover the science behind your favorite brews, sample assorted food pairings, and try on a pair of beer goggles. 7pm. $40. Yards, 901 N. Delaware Ave. philasciencefestival.org
Sister Cities Park International Festival
Did you know that while Philly is the City of Brotherly Love, it’s also the urban sister of 10 other cities worldwide? In fact, right there at 18th and the Parkway, there’s even an entire park devoted to the notion: Sister Cities Park. So, what the hell does it mean to be a sister city?
A sisterly city relationship basically means that two cities separated by geography work to strengthen ties between them, including through diplomatic visits, economic agreements and cultural events meant to foster “peace” and “mutual understanding,” says the Center City District. To celebrate its 10 “siblings,” the Sister Cities International Festival promises to inform and enlighten Philadelphians of all backgrounds about just what the hell this vague relationship really means on a practical basis: by using the universal merriments of food, dance, art and music. Also, there will likely be cake.
Scheduled performances include dancers from Japan, China and Russia, an Italian language lesson and aria by Lauren Cifoni and an awesome-sounding Cameroonian Fashion Parade—all meant to reflect the diversity found in Philly’s sister cities: Florence, Italy; Tel Aviv, Israel; Torun, Poland; Tianjin, China; Incheon, Korea; Douala, Cameroon; Nizhny Novgorod, Russia; Kobe, Japan; Aix-en-Provence, France and Abruzzo, also found in Italy. Folks hoping to celebrate their own immigrant heritage or wanting to learn a thing or two about cities outside of the Northeast corridor media bubble should attend—and show some sisterly affection. // JOSH KRUGER
Noon. Free. Sister Cities Park, 18th St. & Ben Franklin Pkwy. centercityphila.org
Science Carnival on the Parkway
The Philadelphia Science Festival concludes with its annual all-day spectacular on the Parkway, featuring more than 150 exhibitors offering family-friendly and science-centric fun, live entertainment and delicious food. Learn how to make slime, search for forensic evidence at a test crime scene, dissect a robot and more! 10am. Free. Ben Franklin Parkway. philasciencefestival.org
South Street Spring Festival
South Street’s Headhouse District presents a jam-packed spring street festival featuring three musical stages, artists, food, drink, shopping deals and much more. South Street will be closed to traffic and open to pedestrians for this great event. 11am. South St. between Front and Eighth sts. southstreet.com
The World’s Largest Bar Crawl
Philadelphia attempts to break the Guinness World Record for largest recorded bar crawl! More than 100 city bars, including Finn McCools, Finnegan’s Wake, Varga Bar, Tavern on Camac, Bishop’s Collar and many more, will offer drink specials and free cover to anyone sporting a wristband. For your participation to be included in the final count, you must visit 10 different locations within the 8-hour period. Join the estimated 15,000 crawlers for this potentially historic day. Noon. $10-$25. Various locations. thecrawl.com
Witches Night Out! Ghost Tour at Grumblethorpe
Spring is in full swing, and the spirits of yesteryear have returned to stir about their old haunts. Explore the paranormal with a halfway-to-Halloween candlelight tour of Grumblethorpe, a supernatural haven full of mystery. 7pm. $19. Grumblethorpe, 5267 Germantown Ave. 215.413.1997. ghosttour.net
Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
Rittenhouse Row transforms into a walking street fair this week, complete with live music, food tastings, kids’ activities and more. Sample food from area restaurants, including Alma de Cuba, Dandelion, El Rey, Parc and more; take in the all-day fashion show showcasing the designs of Knit Wit, Joan Shepp and South Moon; or check out the kids corner featuring live music, make-and-take crafts and much more. Walnut Street between 19th and Broad sts. rittenhouserow.org
Upper Middle Class White
Thespionage, a theater company devoted solely to producing unpublished works by local writers, presents their newest production, Upper Middle Class White. The play tells the story of a sheltered suburbanite pressed into a precarious living situation with squatters. 8pm. Pay-what-you-can. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. thespionage.com
Promises I Never Meant to Keep
Artistic director Ronen Koresh uses his namesake company to explore the depths of responsibility and how it ties into the lasting power of promises. Tonight’s showing will include a post-performance discussion. 7pm. $35. Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St. 215.985.1400. philadelphiatheatrecompany.org
By My Side Neighborhood Parenting Group presents a free outdoor festival geared toward the young ones: Live music, face painting and many other kid-friendly activities highlight this community event, with all proceeds benefiting By My Side. 1pm. Free. Liberty Lands Park, 926 N. American St. bymysideparenting.org
Wye Oak’s dreamy music evokes a pastoral autumnal eve. Their shimmery unhurried rock lolls and rolls, gently unfolding and enveloping frontwoman Jenn Wasner’s husky coo in gauzy atmosphere. The milky drift’s elegant without being grandiose, while Wasner’s words and vocals are another texture in the crisp swirl of sound.
The duo formed in Baltimore eight years ago, though drummer/keyboardist Andy Stack now lives in Texas. They released three albums informed by the understated, psych-tinged beauty of The Dream Syndicate and Yo La Tengo. Their last album, 2011’s Civilian, became an underground sensation, the prickly distortion and dissonance of Wasner’s guitar the storm in the eye of soft glimmering melodies. But by the time they finished supporting the album, Wasner was burned out on guitar.
Her investment and vulnerability are integral to her writing, so rather than push against it, she switched things up for Shriek, the new Wye Oak LP, for which Wasner ditches the guitar in favor of bass, and Stack exchanges his keyboards’ basslines for upper-register color and tones. (Stack plays his kit with his feet and right hand, fingering keyboard parts simultaneously with his left.) The new approach results in a creamier sound that recalls ‘80s new wave more than ‘90s neo psych, but offers much of the same appeal with less sharp corners. The songs betray the duo’s road-burned mindset, preoccupied with comfort, identity and peace. // CHRIS PARKER
8:30pm. $16-$18. With Braids. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Women and Workplace Negotiations
Where does our nation stand in regards to equal pay and women’s equality in the workplace? Join the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, the EEOC and other forward thinking groups for this important discussion. 2pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Drinko de Mayo!
Pull out your sombrero and head to Howl at the Moon for Cinco de Mayo this year. The piano bar’s Drinko de Mayo! features drink specials—$3 Dos Equis, $4 Jose Cuervo Shots and $20 Mega Margaritas—festive music, dancing and more. Howl at the Moon, 258 S. 15th St. howlatthemoon.com
Arsenic and Old Lace
Elaine Harper can’t quite fit in with her fiance, Mortimer Brewster’s, family. Brewster has an uncle who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt and two crazy aunts who have a bizarre hobby: tricking lonely old men into drinking wine laced with arsenic, strychnine and cyanide. Through April 27. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. walnutstreettheatre.org
Drink City Live
PW hosts our bi-monthly happy hour celebration at 4 Fathers. Sip on $6 cider bomb drink specials sponsored by Fireball while DJ Drew Compaine spins the latest. Fireball girls will be handing out swag and samples to keep the party going. Must RSVP to attend. 5pm. Free. 4 Fathers, 319 Market St. philadelphiaweekly.com/event-series
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
This hilarious off-Broadway musical is about romance, dating, marriage and everything in between. The critically-acclaimed play is presented as a series of vignettes that follow that typical progression of a relationship. Through June 29. $35-$45. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. walnutstreettheatre.org
The Luna Theater continues its “Once Upon A Time” season with the premiere of Jose Rivera’s critically acclaimed Brainpeople. Featuring performances by Amanda Grove and Jessica Gruver, Rivera’s evocative drama about a mysterious dinner party delves deeply into the human psyche of some troubled characters. 7pm. $20. Luna Theater, 620 S. Eighth St. lunatheater.org
A Night of Broadway Stars
Covenant House Pennsylvania celebrates their 15th anniversary with a star-studded event featuring performances by Jon Bon Jovi, Capathia Jenkins (Dream Girls), Danny Zolli (Jesus Christ Superstar) and more! The evening is hosted by renowned lyricist and composer Neil Berg, creator and co-producer of 100 Years of Broadway. 5:30pm. $250. PA Convention Center, 1001 Arch St.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide