Calendar: August 8-14

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Aug. 8, 2012

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Cameron Slusser as Hero and Griffin Back as Claudio in Mauckingbird Theatre Company's "Much Ado About Nothing."

Photo by Ian Paul Guzzone

Wednesday, August 8

Though the word “earthling” may conjure up specific visions of our planet as seen from the alien perspective, the word has a much broader practical definition than most people realize. Any living thing that inhabits the planet Earth can be defined by this term. Allow actor Joaquin Phoenix to explain as he narrates this intriguing, though sometimes disturbing, feature-length documentary that looks into human use of animals. Earthlings aims to make an important connection between our lifestyles and the suffering of other residents of this planet. Director Shaun Monson was inspired to create the film while working on public-service announcements about spaying and neutering animals. This free public showing, hosted by local animal activist Boe Devi, also features a complimentary, animal-free meal with dessert. -Ashley Kole

6:30pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.

National Youth Orchestra of Canada
Question: What could be better than a free concert from one of the world’s most renowned orchestras—and free Rita’s Water Ice? Answer: not much. This early afternoon of high culture and relief from the heat comes courtesy of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, which has certainly earned its share of accolades over its 52 years: In 2009, they were nominated for Classical Album of the Year at the Juno Awards, and a year later, Best Orchestral Album of the Year. Also worth noting: A whopping 40 percent of professional orchestral musicians in Canada are NYOC alumni. For their first Philadelphia performance, they’ll debut their 2012 repertoire, which includes pieces from legendary Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, Antonin Dvorak and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. On top of that excellence, the pieces will be conducted by Alain Trudel, one of the Canucks’ most sought-after conductors. -Fiona Lockyer

11am. Free. The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.546.7900.

Philly Streets & Philly Treats
Ready to brave the frights of the night and maybe learn a little something along the way? Laurel Hill Cemetery hosts a night of spooky schooling about the streets we walk every day during the “Streets of Philadelphia” tour. Take a twilight stroll past the graves of such namesakes as David Rittenhouse of Rittenhouse Square and William Lukens Elkins of Elkins Park, and learn more about how their monikers found their way onto street signs in and around Philadelphia. And if that’s not enough local flavor for you, fear not—the tour will conclude with a feast of Philly favorites, including hoagies, soft pretzels and beer. -Marissa Marzano

6pm. $17-20. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave.

Thursday, August 9

Oral Sex Suicide Burlesque
There are few acts more polarizing than these kooky musician-performance artist-puppeteer-burlesque nuts from West Philly. You either totally get them and love them, or they make you throw up in your mouth. Regular performances by the art-rock duo include power drills, dolls, puppets and funk music—in other words, the perfect accompaniment to some tittie-tassle twirlin’ from the burlesque dancers who’ll be undulating above your beer. Oral Sex Suicide invites their audience to being their own doll or puppet to be mutilated on stage before being made into an electronic rhythmic instrument. Interested? Revolted? There’s only one way to find out. -Abigail Bruley

9pm. Free. Dolphin Tavern, 1539 S. Broad St. 215.467.1752.

MC Lars
Picking up the golden-age thread that got lost in hip-hop’s clamor for real hard bling-ness, nerdcore enervates the music’s wit and wonder, of which even blustery post-millennial backpackers gave short shrift. There are many pretenders to the throne, but the frontrunner is MC Lars. The Stanford grad’s supple rhymes are simultaneously self-aware and self-mocking, while busting literary references like a well-schooled Dragnet. His new EP pays homage to Edgar Allen Poe, the “melancholy wordsmith with a style so phonetic,” as he explains on “Flow Like Poe,” featuring a string section kyped from Masterpiece Theatre. This contrasting high and low culture mirrors Lars’ keen mix of crafty intelligence and humorous self-deprecation. -Chris Parker

7pm. $10. With Math the Band, Adam Warrock, Triceratopolis + Zilla Persona. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. 215.787.0488.

George Benson
Renowned jazz guitarist George Benson has long been a bridge between contemporary traditional jazz and the smoother variety. With his stellar chops and lengthy resume, he’s redefined the limitations of the genre by doing his best to ignore them. The 10-time Grammy winner proves his versatility with the breadth of the statuettes he’s won: The man’s taken home Grammys in every category, including Record of the Year, Best R&B Vocal Performance, Best Jazz Vocal Performance and Best Pop Instrumental. While known best to mainstream audiences for hits like “On Broadway” and “Give Me The Night,” Benson’s extensive discography includes collaborations with jazz stalwarts like Earl Klugh, Al Jarreau, Joe Lavano and Freddie Hubbard, as well as R&B legends like Aretha Franklin and Minnie Riperton. And his music is undoubtedly fit for a balmy summer night, alongside the cool strains of urban jazz sax king Boney James and Pamela “Saxtress” Williams.  -Tonya Pendleton

7pm. $22.55-$50.25. With Boney James + Pamela Williams. The Dell Music Center, Ridge Ave. and W. Huntingdon St.

Much Ado About Nothing
For centuries, gay and lesbian theatergoers have stretched their imagination in an attempt to draw parallels between their own lives and those of the heterosexual characters that populate the plays of William Shakespeare. Now, Mauckingbird Theatre Company puts a queer spin on the Bard with their new production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Mauckingbird’s version retains Shakespeare’s original plot of romantic entanglements and mistaken identity, but alters the gender of some of the play’s key characters: The famous bickering duo Benedick and Beatrice are now depicted as a same-sex couple; Beatrice is a man, as is Hero (the terrific young actor Griffin Back, in his first adult role), whose blossoming romance with the handsome Claudio is threatened by the scheming Don John. As in the company’s fabulously gay re-imaging of The Misanthrope, director
Peter Reynolds shows how gender alterations illuminate the play in new ways. -J. Cooper Robb

8pm. $25. Off-Broad Street Theater, First Baptist Church, 1636 Sansom St. 215.923.8909.

Friday, August 10

Veteran Freshman Presents: Hip-Hop Session, Vol. 4
The fourth volume of Veteran Freshman’s Hip-Hop Session features rhymes from Musik Class and 2nd Child aka Blonde Gang, with a supporting roster that includes Matt Ford (formerly SiR), Frenchie, Newz Huddle, D-Roc, Swiper and Novacane. In addition to its three rap jawns, Veteran Freshman, the brainchild of local yokel Yusuf Muhammad, has also held two Soul Sessions and one Rock the House Session—which featured “it girl” rock daughter of Lenny Kravitz, Zoe—aiming to spotlight grassroots, unsigned acts whose work ethic has already earned them sizable followings either around their respective ‘hoods or on the Internet. Those previous iterations of the Hip Hop Session, also held at the TLA, have boasted healthy-sized crowds to witness Philly’s fresh up-and-coming MCs get their first chance on a big stage. Come peep these hungry performers, if for no other reason than being able to brag about being hip to them before they became the Next Big Thing. -F.L.

7pm. $13. Theatre of the Living Arts, 334 South St., 215.922.1011.

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1. Oral Sex Suicide said... on Aug 9, 2012 at 08:58PM

“Hello Abigail Bruley, and thank you for publishing a wonderfull write up of my event. I regret to inform everyone that the Dolhpin Tavern has temporarily CLOSED for business and the show will be rescheduled. I will keep you posted for future Oral Sex Suicide shows.....I mentioned you and linked to your article in my newest blog post. enjoy.”


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