Wednesday, February 26
The Blank Generation
Capturing the rise of the punk movement in 1970s New York, this series of clips features prime performances at the city’s most standout venues. Patti Smith, Blondie and the Ramones are just a few of the musicians to get the spotlight in this vital piece of genre history. 7pm. $9. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.965.4027. ihousephilly.org
WURD Speaks: Black Beauty Politics
Phenomenally U creator Lacey C. Clarke will moderate a panel of scholarly experts including UPenn instructor Nada Elbuluk and author Solomon Jones in a discussion of the often controversial portrayal of African-American beauty. Authors Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps will also be on hand to sign copies of their book Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. 6pm. Free. The Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.425.7875. 900amwurd.com
Thursday, February 27
Human Sex Trafficking in the United States
At this TEDx-style conference, learn statistics behind human sex trafficking and the horrific trade’s national roots and gain an insider’s perspective from some of its brave survivors. 12:30pm. $10. Shusterman Hall, 1801 N. Broad St. eventbee.com/v/humantraffickingusa
Love Is In The Air
With wedding season just around the corner, brides-to-be can attend this elegant showcase of bridal decor, displaying everything from jewels to gowns to invitation suites. Stephen STARR Events provides food and cocktails to taste while checking out the latest wedding trends. 6pm. Free. The Horticulture Center, 100 N. Horticultural Dr. 215.923.2675. loveisintheair2014.blogspot.com
Don your finest formal wear and head over to the Hotel Palomar for a night of casino games and the chance to win trips to Kimpton Hotels around the country. Project Runway contestant Viktor Luna will also be on hand to discuss HIV awareness. 7pm. $50. The Hotel Palomar, 117 S. 17th St. 215.563.5006. actionaids.org/GlamsinoRoyale
Dim Sum Pop-up Shop
Dim Sum—the concierge shopping service, not the food—will show off its collection of artisan jewelry, accessories and housewares at this pop-up show that is to be shared with four other artists. 5pm. Free. Blue Stone Fine Art Gallery, 142 N. Second St. 856.979.7588. bluestone-gallery.com
Camp 14: Total Control Zone
Shin Dong-Huyk’s life inside and subsequent escape from a North Korean prison camp is recounted in this 2012 documentary from German filmmaker Marc Wiese. 7pm. $7-$9. International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. ihousephilly.org
Friday, February 28
MUSIC + DANCE
Philadelphia Orchestra and Philadanco: Firebird and Cinderella
For the first time ever, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Philadanco—two of our city’s most renowned artistic powerhouses—are teaming up to present the next level of world-class performance art, featuring grand suites by two legendary Russian composers. During his two-week residency, French conductor Stéphane Denève brings the beloved tales of Firebird and Cinderella, as composed by Stravinsky and Prokofiev, to the Kimmel Center stage. The former is an adaptation of an old Russian folktale surrounding a mythical bird whose magical powers were both a blessing and a curse, while the latter retells the ages-old Brothers Grimm story of the glass-slipper-donning peasant girl.
In addition to these tried-and-true favorites will be the special presentation of Aubade by French composer Francis Poulenc, a dazzling choreographic concerto for 18 instruments and accompanying dancers. This intimate, mythological tale of Diana and her struggle between passion and loneliness will be brought to life by the illustrious Philadanco, their unprecedented skill for merging the classic and the contemporary promising to breathe new warmth into winter-chilled spirits. Created to provide visibility for expert dancers of color, Philadanco continues to establish opportunities to enrich Philly and its surrounding communities, crossing barriers with style, grace and unparalleled professionalism.
It promises to be a beautiful collaboration—one that should’ve happened much, much sooner. Hopefully, it’ll mark the beginning of a fruitful, long-lasting relationship. // KENNEDY ALLEN
Through Sat., March 1. Various times. $59-$160. The Kimmel Center. 300 S. Broad St. kimmelcenter.org
Philadelphia Dance Projects
Local choreographer/dancer Nora Gibson unleashes her newest work, a shared program with Dublin native John Scott. Gibson and Scott’s newest piece is tied strongly to sound and light and promises to be a spellbinding exhibition of dance prowess. 7:30pm. $20. The Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St. 215.569.4060. performancegarage.org
Tax Season: What’s New This Year
It’s everyone least favorite time of the year: tax season. The Free Library hosts an event to quell your tax anxiety, featuring IRS representative Richard Furlong Jr. to help with your most challenging questions and provide valuable information about the changes to this years’ federal taxes. 2pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
Rafea: Solar Mama
The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival and the Greenfield Intercultural Centers at UPenn team up to present the documentary Rafea: Solar Mama. The film, which tells the story of a poor Bedouin woman’s journey of empowerment and the shrouding of tradition, will be presented in Arabic with English subtitles. 7pm. $7-$9. International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St. ihousephilly.org
Tonight marks the opening of Crowd Control, an exhibit of crowd-focused photographs of Philly’s DIY music community. Featuring the work of multiple area photographers, the show documents the raw emotion of underground music from the ‘90s through today. 7:30pm. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. philamoca.org
Saturday, March 1
Kindred the Family Soul
In 2003, Kindred the Family Soul’s fabtastic Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon Dantzler—the husband-wife duo and Philadelphia R&B legends over a decade later—gave us their excellent debut, Surrender to Love. A year previously, another neo-soul classic, Raphael Saadiq’s Instant Vintage, came out; and even earlier, in 2000, it was Jill Scott’s iconic Who Is Jill Scott? In my mind, those three albums count high on the list of the most intimate, beautifully and deeply realized visions of sensual R&B chill suites. These are records full of kicking-your-Gazelles-off, long summer conversations fueled by weed and wine, and the creation of a common bond over our collective humanity, flaws and all.
A few summers ago, Kindred’s fourth LP, Love Has No Recession, was a spectacular testament to the fact that not only do they still have it, but their ears aren’t closed, and their artistry’s only ripened with time. They let folks like Snoop, Ursula Rucker, CoCo Brown and Bilal in on that one, and the guest spots never overshadow the hybrid vibes, which are soothing and comforting. The Dantzlers’ voices are robust and varied, and their marriage adds this built-in romantic aspect, but not an overdose. They let the struggles show, too; after all, they’ve got kids, bills, frustrations and dreams.
For whatever reason, be it familial or familiar, Kindred doesn’t yet have the mass appeal of their contemporaries; still, in “Family Song (Reprise)” from Surrender, when they sing “We are family,” it feels like they’re singing to us, too. There aren’t many other chances to catch these cult-followed stars in Philly’s soul skyline, so the trip to Wilmington is absolutely worth the 22-minute Northeast regional train ride. // BILL CHENEVERT
8pm. $25-$30. With the Revelations. World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St,, Wilmington, Del. 302.994.1400. queen.worldcafelive.com
Sleep over with the dinosaurs at the Academy of Natural Sciences! Guests can enjoy interactive activities and live animal encounters overnight with the choice of sleeping next to lions, tigers or Tyrannosaurus Rex. 6:30pm. $45. Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 215.299.1000. ansp.org
Mummers Mardi Gras
If anyone brings the spirit of Bourbon Street to Broad Street, it’s the Mummers. Today, though, they’re not to be found at their usual digs—but at the Piazza. Get your Gras on inside the Piazza’s massive heated tent, packed full of drinks, string bands and bead necklaces. 3pm. $15-$75. The Piazza, 1001 N. Second St. mummersmardigras.com
The 10th longest-running show in the history of Broadway heads to Philly for a short run at the Academy of Music. The feel-good musical features ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All.” 2pm and 8pm. $20-$105. Academy of Music, 300 S. Broad St. 215.731.3333. kimmelcenter.org
James Dupree: Stolen Dreams in the Promise Zone
A local artist battling depression amid eminent domain laws that threaten his studio has prepared a stunning visual body of work capturing his uphill battle over the last seven years. The exhibit includes a beautiful blend of abstract shapes and images and vivid mixed media paintings on canvas. 5pm. Free. Dupree Gallery, 703 S. Sixth St. 215.413.3884. jamesedupree.com
Sunday, March 2
Come down to Locust Moon Comics to try out Velociraptor! Cannibalism!, the board game created by Board Raptor Games. The game of survival, mutation and the occasional volcanos has just been released to the public after being nominated for the prestigious Philadelphia Geek award. There will be plenty of snacks and alcoholic beverages on hand for your consumption. Don't forget to stay for the giveaway at 9! 6pm. Locust Moon Comics, 34 S. 40th St. locustmoon.com
LGBT Party at the Flower Show
An exciting evening filled with cocktails and live entertainment will be held at the Flower Show’s fourth annual LGBT Party. Enjoy snacks from Circle Thai, Indeblue, Luke’s Lobster and Ms. Goody Cupcakes while strolling the red carpet at this pre-Oscar’s bash. Admission includes entry to the Flower Show. $50. The Pennsylvania Convention Center. 12 and Arch Sts. theflowershow.com
Crayons, markers and colored pencils will be provided for you at Hooley’s Coloring Party/Happy Hour at City Tap House—along with a batch of whimsical illustrations that need coloring. Happy hour specials include $4 select crafts, $5 specialty cocktails and $6 house wines. 4pm. $15. City Tap House. 3925 Walnut St. 609.529.0712. citytaphouse.com
Monday, March 3
Welcome to Night Vale
On its face, Welcome to Night Vale doesn’t seem like it’d be one of the most popular podcasts on the Internet. Each episode is a fictional community-radio broadcast from a small desert town where conspiracy theories are all true, multi-headed dragons run for mayor, and something secret and sinister lurks behind every mundane occurrence. The show is primarily voiced by Cecil Baldwin, whose smooth, calm NPR-style delivery reinforces the conceit that everything that happens in Night Vale is complete ordinary, even if the star quarterback has grown an extra head and a telepathic glowing cloud has taken over the PTA. But something about this strange podcast clicked with audiences, leading to a live West Coast tour, an East Coast tour—the latest of which hits TLA for two shows in a single night—and an upcoming novel set in Night Vale, to be published by Harper Perennial.
Many a genius has been drawn to skewed perspectives on small-town life, from Rod Sterling’s Twilight Zone to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, and Welcome to Night Vale creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor are no different. “We both came from suburban towns of big cities,” Cranor tells PW. “Joseph’s from outside of Los Angeles, and I’m from outside of Dallas.” The duo’s common love of “seeing the mundane things in life and putting a very different and very odd twist on them” serves as the fuel for their podcast’s wildly weird engine. One of Welcome to Night Vale’s biggest boons? Its diversity. The narrator is in a gay relationship; Jasika Nicole has a recurring role, and actor Dylan Marron was recently cast to play Carlos, Cecil’s boyfriend. “Joseph and I have both worked in theater long enough to know that any industry that casts actors regularly does not have an awesome practice at casting people of color,” Cranor says, and Fink agrees. “If you write just about one type of person,” he adds, “not only is that boring, not only does that deprive people of other points of view, it is also just false. It’s not what the world looks like.” (Read PW’s longer interview with Night Vale’s creators at philadelphiaweekly.com.) // JARED AXELROD
7:30pm (sold out) and 10pm. $25. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., 215.922.2599. tlaphilly.com
Philadelphia Flamenco Festival/Flamenco Hoy
For local fans looking for a full-blown flamenco experience, nirvana’s here via the second bi-annual Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, on tap through March 16. Inspired by the Festival de Jerez in Seville, Spain, local choreographer Elba Hevia y Vaca, Pasion y Arte’s artistic and executive director—developed the 16-day fest with the purpose of bringing contemporary flamenco to the area while shedding light on its cultural evolution. Featuring a star-studded collection of renowned flamenco artists, this year’s event will feature four dazzling performances showcasing innovative new work by the award-winning Israel Galván and his sister, Pastora Galván, as well as master dance classes helmed by Rosario Toledo, lectures and informative panel talks in various Philly venues.
After an hour-long opening reception sure to set things off in true style, International House Philadelphia will host a screening of Carlos Suara’s riveting 2011 live-performance film Flamenco Hoy, which highlights the musical and vocal treasures as unique to the artform as the dance itself. A discussion led by Hevia y Vaca will follow. // K.A.
6pm, reception; 7pm, screening, $7-$9. International House of Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. philaflamencofest.org
Philadelphia Moth StorySLAM
At this storytelling competition, contestants take the stage to share an original five-minute story based upon a pre-selected theme. Judges selected from the audience will pick a winner, and after 10 StorySLAMs, the winners will face off in the GrandSLAM Championships. Tonight’s theme is “firsts.” 7:30pm. $8-$16. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 212.742.0551. worldcafelive.com
Little Tragedies by Alexander Pushkin
Dan Hodge, Christine Parker and Damon Bonetti star in Alexander Pushkin’s Little Tragedies, a series of four hilarious short plays about the inherent contradictions of human nature. 7pm. Off-Broad Street Theater, 1636 Sansom St. philartistscollective.org
Tuesday, March 4
The Men is one of Brooklyn’s busiest bands. Formed in 2008, The Men self-released a full-length album, Immaculada, in 2010. The group’s harsh early sound, highlighted by now-departed vocalist/bassist Chris Hansell, drew the attention of Brooklyn’s fantastic Sacred Bones Records, resulting in The Men becoming a staple of the SB roster, one that boasts a diverse range of noise, experimental, and post-punk outfits. Their label debut, 2011’s Leave Home, an abrasive exploration of fuzzed-out punk jams, was the last Men record to feature Hansell, who departed the band for other projects.
A clear change in The Men’s output followed, exemplified in 2012’s critically acclaimed Open Your Heart, for which the band embraced their classic- and country-rock roots, ditching the screamed vocals and in-the-red distortion. This sound was expanded upon in last year’s New Moon, which strayed even further from the band’s punk history. They’re set to drop Tomorrow’s Hits this Tuesday, and “Pearly Gates”, the first single from the forthcoming LP, features an energetic horn section and piano. So, it’s clear that two distinct eras of The Men exist, an impressive accomplishment for a band still less than a decade old.
The jury is out on the band’s genre-bending approach, but their live show is undoubtedly action-packed. Catch them tonight at Johnny Brenda’s in advance of a full European tour launching later in the month. // DANIEL GELB
9:15pm. $13. With The Ukiah Drag + Urine Culture. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Mardi Gras Party with the Wild Bohemians
Celebrate Mardi Gras with the Wild Bohemians as they host their annual party in Philadelphia. The band plays music ranging from Cajun, Zydeco, Dixieland, Mardi Gras street music, jazz and R&B. 8pm. $15. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
Novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein writes about conflict between the heart and mind, and how emotion and philosophy make up who we are. The New York native has written five novels and was the winner of a 1996 MacArthur fellowship, which allowed her to write Properties of Light, a novel about physics and obsessive love. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
William Shakespeare’s classic tale of power, envy and politics gets a fresh take at Lantern Theater. Tony Award nominee Forrest McClendon leads a talented cast for this modern look at a timeless political drama. Through March 16.$20-$56. Lantern Theater, 10th and Ludlow St. lanterntheater.org
Wednesday, March 5
Lil’ Ricky’s Rib Shack
Ah, yeah: a monthly DJ Rich Medina residency where you can get down without claustrophobia, a grown-folks fest not at some totally wack, overlit nightclub. Man, the potential here! First launched in NYC, Lil Ricky’s Rib Shack is Medina’s homemade HQ in which to turn you out with vinyl selections in the realms of funk, hip-hop, Afrobeat, soul, R&B and house. He’s got the goods to run some heady spoken-word sample over a disco beat and catch you all, like “This man is deep.” He’s just in time, too. February is getting so tiresome. And heaven knows we need a real release.
What probably makes Medina such a huge success, in addition to 20-plus years of practice, is the way that he doesn’t play a single dud. He’ll never put down a track that sends people to the bar for a break—even a choice that sounds like a turndown, give it a minute. Some chopped and screwed clarinet or fucked-with old-school-diva soundbyte will keep you intrigued—and, most of all, moving. Even if you’re just bobbing your head or bending your knees, Medina will get you in his grips. It’s his specialty, after all. Those who claim they “don’t dance”—ugh!—will be shoving their way onto the Necktie floor. // B.C.
10pm. $5. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. kungfunecktie.com
Saving Private Ryan
This screening of Steven Spielberg’s 1998 blockbuster is part of the Free Library’s One Book, One Philadelphia program. The powerful film, starring Matt Damon and Tom Hanks, tells the story of U.S. soldiers braving a dangerous mission to bring a fellow soldier home. 7pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Women Film the War on Terror: The Oath
Directed by Laura Poitras, this 2010 Arabic film with English subtitles tells the story and challenges of two brother-in-laws that were once close to Osama bin Laden, and discusses America’s post-9/11 strategy. 7pm. $7-$9. The Ibrahim Theater at International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 267.574.2704. ihousephilly.org
Out of Town
The Mystery of Irma Vep
Charles Ludlam’s hilarious play spoofs gothic mysteries and horror movies. Set in an eerie English estate that may or may not be haunted by its own Lord Edgar’s first wife, the satirical horror story fills the stage with vampires, mummies and a quirky Egyptologist with an interest in lycanthropy—the study of werewolves. Thurs., Feb. 27, 7:30pm. $15-$20. Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Rd. Rose Valley. 610.565.4211. hedgerowtheatre.org
Dollars for Scholars Used Book Sale
The region’s largest used-book sale features books ranging from $1 to $5 across 50 categories, and also includes DVDs, CDs, records, puzzles and more. Proceeds benefit college scholarships for Delaware women. Thurs., Feb. 27, 10am. Free. Concord Mall, 4737 Concord Pike, Brandywine Hundred, Del. 302.478.9271. delawarescene.com
Costumes of Downton Abbey
It’s quite a display: 40 exquisite outfits from the award-winning British drama Downton Abbey. The exhibit, which also includes workshops and lectures about lifestyle during the turbulent time period, features a stunning wedding gown, a harem outfit and a gorgeous scarlet dress. Sat., March 1, 10am. $5-$20. Winterthur Museum, 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Del. 302.888.4600. winterthur.org
Masters of Illusion Live!
The CW show’s magicians, comedians and escape artists illuminate the stage in an explosive sequence of tigers, fire, Japanese swords and dancers. Through Feb. 27. 8 pm. $36.50 Harrah’s Concert Venue, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, N.J. harrahsresort.com
Neil Simon’s Hotel Suite
Hotel Suite continues the Suite series’ woefully comedic tale of marital misadventures surrounding the characters from Plaza Suite, California Suite and London Suite. Through March 16. $23-$34. Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave. Ambler. 215.654.0200. act2.org
Calendar: April 1-8
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide