Calendar: August 1-7

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jul. 31, 2012

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Beloved Philly playwright, actor and storyteller R. Eric Thomas questions the meaning of marriage with his signature blend of humor and heartbreak in "Always the Bridesmaid."

Photo by Jay Olsen

Wednesday, August 1

Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre completes its triptych of no-charge Bard performances with the staging of Cymbeline. One of Shakespeare’s most hypnotic and compelling works, the play is neither a comedy nor a tragedy. Director David O’Conner takes an appropriately imaginative approach to the unique and surprisingly contemporary tale of romance and identity reclaimed; the director’s productions are known for their intimacy and immediacy. Starring nine students from the company’s Classical Acting Academy, the spare staging has the actors playing a variety of musical instruments. Combining Shakespeare’s lyrics with an original score by actor Pat Lamborn (who is also a professional jazz bass player), O’Conner says the music is intended to “support and sometimes enchant the scenes.” -J. Cooper Robb

7pm. Free. Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St.

Thursday, August 2

Laughing in the Face Of ...

In the face of destruction, murder, widespread injustice, illness and poverty, sometimes the only way to deal is through laughter and sarcastic comments. Well, that, and creating art worthy of a show that culminates with a rock concert. Laughing in the Face Of … is a one-night exhibit of humorous and absurd artwork embracing contentious themes by 10 local and regional artists and three bands. After the exhibit, the show will move online with video, a photo tour and artist links. Beyond the paintings, prints and illustrations, the show features performance art, video, Seth Gutierrez’ symbolic credit-card cake and Jeremiah Johnson’s snarky “Dream Homes,” made from unopened credit card applications. At 9 p.m., the lights dim for M.T. Bearington’s songs about the impending apocalypse, Cymbals Eat Guitars’ indie rock and the Heavy Sweater Band’s charming folk pop. -Sean Corbett

6-11pm. Free. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. 267.519.9651.

System of a Down
There are two rules in life that will remain unchanged and wholly true throughout time. Number one, of course, is “He who smelt it, dealt it.” The second: Whenever you hear System of a Down’s blisteringly goofy hit “Chop Suey,” you have to drop whatever it is you’re doing and sing along at top volume. WAKE UP! Even after all these years, those first words of their 2001 smash go off like a starting gun, and the rest is an all-out sprint of grooves, stops, starts and soaring operatic vocals by Serj Tankian. You are helpless in the face of its power. That SOAD’s songs got under the skin and infected listeners with bouts of sing-a-long and a hefty dose of politics is what set this Armenian four-piece apart from the middling backwater Nu Metal tools that crowded the late-’90s/early-aughts landscape. It’s why they’re still memorable today. And why you had no choice but to sing along, whether you wanted to or not. -Brian McManus

8pm. $29.50-$65. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, N.J.

Ghostface Killah
It’s officially been 20 years since the Wu-Tang Clan came on the scene, a ruckus-bringing order of New York MCs who, along with Jay-Z, Nas and the Notorious B.I.G., re-energized East Coast hip-hop in the ’90s. There’s a good chance the remaining living Clan members (pour out some liquor for ODB, of course) may drop some new music sometime this year to commemorate this anniversary. At this point, we’d be happy if Ghostface dropped some new ish on us. Perhaps the most acclaimed of the Wu-Tangers (remember all the critical praise he got when Fishscale dropped in ’06?), Ghost hasn’t released an album of new material since Apollo Kids in 2010. We hear his 10th album, the oft-delayed Supreme Clientele Presents … Blue & Cream: The Wally Era, is slated for an early 2013 release. To make sure this happens, somebody should get Natalie Portman to say in an interview that she needs more “dirty rap” in her life. Remember how Ghostface ran with that and came up with some of his rawest music for 2009’s Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City album? Hey, every good artist needs a facilitating muse. -Craig D. Lindsey 

9pm. $25-$27. With Sheek Louch, Saigon, Jawnzap7 + B.A.R.S. Murre. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St.

Friday, August 3

Black Acid Comedy Show
Underground Arts has got the comedy scene down to a science. The dark basement, the scant bar, the cheesy brats, the smoky lights—it’s where comedy thrives. Tom Cassidy, of Center City Comedy, hosts a night of deep, dark laughs at the Black Acid Comedy Revue with stand-ups like Alex Pearlman, John Nunn and Alex Grubard. Special guests include the Lucas Brothers, who’ve appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Michael Che from John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show. Wear your best black, and bring your cloves. -Abigail Bruley

7:30-11pm. $10. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St.

Miniature Tigers
Miniature Tigers was an indie-buzz band back when the global economic meltdown was just getting going, earning now-anachronistic plaudits like being one of Rolling Stone’s Best MySpace Bands of 2006. By 2010, the band had moved to Brooklyn (from Arizona), taken up with the Morning Benders and Neon Indian and begun to experiment with a shinier, sleeker, synthier sound. “Gold Skull,” produced by Neon Indian, led the way toward a gleaming, home-disco style. Mia Pharoah took it even further, mimicking Prince’s clean sound and dirty lyrics in cuts like “Sex on the Regular” and “Female Doctor.” They’re not mini; they’re major. -Jennifer Kelly

7pm. $10-$12. With Strange Seasons + Team Spirit. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St.

Saturday, August 4

Dirt Factory
Tonight, your whole family will be talking dirty. As part of a series of workshops related to farming and gardening, the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners is presenting discussions at the new University City compost facility, the Dirt Factory. Beginning with the “Urban Soils” workshop, you can learn about the composition of city dirt and how to perform a proper soil test. Next up, Loretta DeMarco leads “Let’s Talk Tools,” a discussion about the best equipment to satisfy your green thumb. All Dirt Factory events in this series are free to the public and will also feature special raffles and giveaways. -Ashley Kole

10am. Free. The Dirt Factory, 4308 Market St.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Barring any unforeseen occurrences, no period will ever be as fruitful for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones as the 1990s. With soundtrack spots on Clueless and Friends, ’97’s “Let’s Face It” and “The Impression That I Get” making marks on the Billboard charts, and ska’s mainstream prosperity in the decade’s latter half, the Bosstones rode as high as ever. But if any of that genre’s bands deserve a serious second run, it’s these virile ska-core kings, whose combination of chunky hooks, perceptive lyrics and sensible grit—not to mention Dicky Barrett’s guttural croon-croak—still hold up. Live from the Middle East, their 1998 album recorded at the venue of that name in the outfit’s hometown of Boston, captured the Bosstones as their crowd-riling, sweat-generating best, and if the group can muster up a third of that vim today, this show promises anarchy of the most blissful sort. -Reyan Ali

7pm. $27.50-$30. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St.

PhillyBloco Party

Take a little samba, mix it with some funk and sprinkle on some reggae, and you get a world-music cocktail that aims to get your bon-bon shaking all night. PhillyBloco is promising earth-shaking rhythms, boundless energy and serious fun in the form of Brazilian carnival music at their upcoming dance party at World Cafe Life. The group will feature 12 drummers (!) a horn section, an accordion, electric and bass guitar as well as Brazilian dancers on stage, all to bring the blocos of Rio de Janeiro to University City. Lace up your dancing shoes and make sure you stretch before you join in—one of the testimonials on their website says a woman needed a hip replacement from all of the shaking. -Fiona Lockyer

9pm. $14. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.
Magic Burlesque
Tonight, Anthony Salazar will mesmerize you with magic while burlesque beauties blow your mind with their bump and grind. Magic Burlesque makes the creative connection between a classic burlesque performance and a magic show, capturing the energy of vaudeville live on stage. You won’t believe your eyes as three scantily-clad performers sing and dance in a traditional burlesque routine. Salazar is an award-winning sleight-of-hand illusionist, whose shows are a combination of comedy, magic and audience participation that is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. -Katelynn Hartman

8pm and 10:30pm. $38. Grasso’s Magic Theater, 103 Callowhill St. 215.413.2917.

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