Calendar: Dec. 19-25

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Dec. 18, 2012

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“Vulnerable” by Amy Guidry

Wed., Dec. 19

It’s the End of the World (Again!)
The Center for Media and Destiny wants to reassure people that the world won’t end on Dec. 21. To help allay any lingering fears, they’ve assembled a 3-day conference exploring how and why doomsday scenarios have recurred throughout history. In collaboration with PhilaMOCA, they’ve programmed a provocative mix of art, movies and music to compliment the big ideas being discussed. The complimentary beer, courtesy of Philadelphia Brewing Co., is meant to help defuse any existential anxiety. Tonight, Barry Vacker, whose new book investigates these phenomena, discusses apocalyptic visions in sci-fi films. His talk is followed by a screening of The Day the Earth Stood Still, complete with live theremin played by Mano Divina of the Divine Hand Ensemble. On Thursday, a panel of psychoanalysts and scholars tackles the implications of Lars von Trier’s 2011 movie Melancholia. Afterward, N.Y.C. comedy troupe We Hate Movies will riff MST3K-style during the Vincent Price flick, The Last Man on Earth. Finally, after Friday night’s last panel, local cyber-rockers S.T.A.R.W.O.O.D. will transport revelers safely to the final countdown. —Raymond Simon

Various times. $10. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. 267.519.9651.

?uestlove & Friends
If you don’t know who Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson is by now, you will never, never, never know him. (Not really, but shame on you. Really.) We don’t have enough room to list all of his occupations, so here’s just a few: drummer for the Roots, semi-sidekick on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, producer, musical director, teacher, walking hip-hop encyclopedia and Afro enthusiast. All of this experience comes in handy at his side-side-side-side gig as a world-class DJ, where he spins a wide variety of sounds from his giant music collection. Also appearing at SoundGarden Hall with ?uest are some of the city’s most popular party people, including Shane Sixten, DJ Sega and Love City DJs—not to be confused with Quad City DJs, of “C’mon N’ Ride It” and Space Jam fame. —Bryan Bierman

8pm. $10. With DJ Ayres. SoundGarden Hall, 520 N. Delaware Ave.

Collaboration Station: Seven Things
The most compelling aspect of a live performance comes from the feeling you get while in a crowd full of people, all moving to the same rhythm, all captivated by the same medium, all sharing that immense feeling of being a part of something greater than yourself. “Collaboration Station: Seven Things” is a celebration of just that: the unspoken relationship people have with one another that cannot be explained in words, but is still very much felt in moments of human interaction. The performance will take place as a part of “Poet-tree En Motion,” alongside actress and poetess Plum Dragoness, and featured music stylings of artists Rigger and Hennessey Bonfire. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience an event that blends music, dance, theatrics and poetry, all with a goal of celebrating the amazing feeling of being alive and connected to others. —Lindsay Kenney

7pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234.

Thurs., Dec. 20

Cancer is Ugly
It’s that time of year again, when hideous holiday sweaters are on display at every store, begging to be worn to an ugly sweater party. We’ve all been to one. But if you haven’t, now’s your chance, and it’s for a good cause. Yards Brewing Co. hosts the second annual Cancer is Ugly party, with proceeds from your ticket purchase going to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania. There’ll be a brewery tour, open bar, hors d’oeuvres, live music and raffle prizes included in the ticket cost. Be sure to grab the ugliest sweater you can find because a celebrity judge will be on hand to pick out the most atrocious attire. —Brenda Hillegas

7:30-10:30pm. $40. Yards Brewing Co., 901 N. Delaware Ave.

Kevin Hart’s “Let Me Explain” Tour
Philadelphia boasts an incredible line of comedians, from Bill Cosby and David Brenner to Bob Saget and Todd Glass. North Philly’s own Kevin Hart, aka the “Grown Little Man,” more than held his own in 2012 in the films Think Like a Man and The Five-Year Engagement and on his hysterical, best-selling standup DVDs, 2010’s Seriously Funny and last year’s Laugh at My Pain, the latter of which, oddly, won him a BET Award for Best Actor. (Um, he was being his hilarious self, geniuses.) Hart’s matched wits with Robert De Niro, Chris Rock and Steve Carell, and his keep-it-real, down-home humor topics run the gamut from black parenting skills to ebonic gangsterism. You can certainly bet that when he comes home to the Wells Fargo Center, he will “go there” in the best tradition of standup comedy: riffing like a jazz musician on the sweet flypaper of life. The thing that’s hurting won’t be your feelings, but your stomach from laughing. —Eugene Holley, Jr.

7pm. $59.50-$150. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. 215.3363600.

El Fuego
This month, BCKSEET Productions combines social commentary with holiday cheer in its world premiere production of Kate Brennan’s unconventional musical El Fuego. An anecdote to the usual holiday fare, Brennan’s musical begins with a terrible fire at the North Pole that claims the lives of several unfortunate elves. The tragic incident reveals unsafe working conditions, and just as the Christmas rush is heating up, the elves go on strike. Brennan says El Fuego is intended to highlight the plight of the unemployed and “the commercialism and consumerism that has strangled the holiday season.” The play represents BCKSEET’s mission to present socially conscious works that examine issues overlooked by the mainstream media. Underscoring the themes in Brennan’s alternately humorous and thoughtful musical, the company is partnering with the Philadelphia Unemployment Project and donating $1 from the price of each ticket to help provide aid to those who are un- or under-employed. —J. Cooper Robb

7pm. $21-$28. Through Dec. 29. Skybox at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. 267.603.3533.

Fri. Dec. 21

Low Cut Connie Holiday Blow-Up
If you’ve survived the Mayan apocalypse but can’t take another minute of family holiday togetherness, what better escape than seedy, exuberant, clever-but-never-ironic Low Cut Connie? Jersey’s Adam Weiner bangs out songs about bars, pick-up lines and bros on his roadhouse piano, mugging shamelessly, high-kicking and performing Little Richard-style arabesques from the bench. Meanwhile, Dan Finnermore, his songwriting partner, executes tight, incendiary guitar riffs that split the difference between ’50s jump blues and ’60s garage. Bob Christgau gave their debut Get Out the Lotion an A- and called it “resolute rock and roll whose joyless momentum and stubborn little tunes will tell you more than you want to know about the pursuit of pleasure in America’s deader downtowns and strip malls.” Jingle, jingle, drink up. —Jennifer Kelly

9pm. $10-$12. With the Pretty Greens + Alex Vans. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St.

The Young Adventures of Santa
Forget everything you think know about jolly old Saint Nick. Written and directed by B. Someday Productions’ Stan Heleva, this adult holiday show tells the little known, whimsical tale of Santa’s youth and how he got all his Christmas mojo. Loosely based on a short story written by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, the show begins in the woods of Burzee, where an infant Klaus is abandoned then discovered by Ak, the Great Woodman of the World (played by Chris McDonaugh, lead singer of the local lit-pop band the Absinthe Drinkers) and raised by nymphs (local burlesque queen Melissa Bang Bang and actor/dancer/cabaret extraordinaire Mauri Walton). Starring as young Santa is local actor Matt Shell, and B. Someday’s own managing artistic director Michelle Pauls will play Queen of the Forest of Burzee. —Nicole Finkbiner

8pm. $18. Through Dec. 31. Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave.

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