Wednesday, January 1
61 North on New Year’s Day
Blues rockers 61 North keep the festivities rolling after the Mummers Parade with a show at Time in Center City. Their high-energy performance, coupled with Time’s selection of beers and whiskeys, is a great way to kick off 2014. 1pm. Free. Time, 1315 Sansom St. 215.985.4800. 61northband.com
New Year's Day: 2 Girl Parties in 1!
If NYE didn’t satisfy your party urges, check out Voyeur’s LGBT-themed New Year’s Day dance rager. All are welcome, and admission proceeds benefit the Support Center for Child Advocates. 3pm. $7. Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James St. voyeurnightclub.com
Thursday, January 2
Priscilla Snow Algava and Judith Schermer
Forget waiting in those nasty New Year’s sale lines at the mall for something cheap and regrettable. Instead, take a quick trip down to Old City this week for some fresh and locally made paintings, prints and drawings. The year’s first exhibition at Third Street Gallery will feature the work of two of its longstanding members, both known for their unique breadth of colorful and inspired paintings. For Matriarchs and Sages, Priscilla Snow Algava will bring out her finest drawings, pastels, watercolor paintings and monoprints, and Judith Schermer’s Theme and Variations will highlight her meticulous, nearly-photo-realistic landscapes and cityscapes. Their joint show opens Thursday at Third Street Gallery—which hosts the first of two January receptions tomorrow at 5pm —and runs through Sun., Feb. 2.
An art specialist at South Brunswick High School in New Jersey, Algava has been a faculty member at several universities, museums and institutions in the U.S. and abroad. She says her work is inspired by her need to “cultivate a spirit of play, experimentation, joy, reverence and compassion.” Schermer has been a favorite at Third Street for years; her soft acrylic landscapes are like those momentary glimpses you catch while walking aimlessly, when all the shapes and plant life around you line up and reveal a perfect balance.
In addition to the First Friday launch party, the gallery will also hold an artists’ reception for the ladies’ joint exhibit on Sun., Jan. 19. / SEAN CORBETT
Noon. Free. Third Street Gallery, 58 N. Second St. 215.625.0993. 3rdstreetgallery.com
Rob Wynne: The Lure of Unknown Regions
New York artist Rob Wynne works with glass, silkscreens, photographs and just about any other element to create engrossing installations. For his third exhibition at Locks Gallery, Wynne will present ambitious installments combining his signature mix of historical references and nature-inspired realism.10am. Free. Locks Gallery, 600 Washington Square South. 215.629.1000. locksgallery.com
This engaging character study examines the historic series of interviews of Richard Nixon conducted by British journalist David Frost in 1977, in which Nixon attempts to save face after Watergate while Frost fights to incriminate him and save his struggling career. It’s a tense portrait of two clever men placed against the ropes, dueling to preserve their legacies by outmaneuvering one another in debate. 8pm. $25-$30. New City Stage, 2008 Chestnut St. newcitystage.org
Friday, January 3
Salsa Caliente! Three Kings Edition
If by some chance, all your holiday spirit hasn’t quite waned, the first weekend of the new year has more festivities lined up: namely, the third installment of Salsa Caliente! The Three Kings Edition at the Painted Bride Arts Center. Heralded as one of the best dance parties in the city, Salsa Caliente! features various live Latin bands from around the Philadelphia area each month. January’s gathering focuses specifically on the Three Kings, or the Epiphany, an event on both Western and Eastern Christian calendars marking the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem to behold a certain spiritually-influential newborn. (In Puerto Rico, children observe the holiday by placing grass or hay beneath their beds to feed the Magi’s camels, and in return, they find gifts in the morning as a reward for their generosity.)
Live Latin jazz is an exhilarating art form, filled to the brim with rich percussion and vibrant horns, and local sensation Anthony Colon y su Orquesta promises to bring the best salsa rhythms to the Bride. Additionally, Flaco’s Dance Factory will be offering salsa lessons beforehand to properly prepare people for the experience. The Factory’s “Party Thumpers,” a cadre of professional dancers, will assist during the introductory step-teaching, increasing the likelihood that even the shyest in sight will put in some heat-generating footwork.
Flaco, aka Mark Best, has been teaching salsa and other forms of Latin dance since 1997. Asked about the most memorable moment of the Caliente sets so far, Best says: “To me, [it’s about] how many different people get together to make it happen.” He not only encourages people to come out in droves, but he insists that grooving to a live salsa band is the only way to dance. “The rhythm [of salsa] permeates every corner of the world, because everyone loves it. When people touch one another, something magical happens.” / KENNEDY ALLEN
Lesson at 8pm; party at 9:15pm. $20-$25. Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. paintedbride.org
South Philly’s avant-garde, vegan coffee haven Grindcore House hosts this art show featuring illustrator Steven Bradshaw and photographer Victor Ryan Guy. Observe hauntingly dark pieces while enjoying a delicious cup of Joe. 6pm. Free. Grindcore House, 1515 S. Fourth St. 215.839.3333. grindcorehouse.com
The good ol’ boys of local trio Big Terrible deliver slow-churning, soulfully-distorted rock. In a musical landscape where even the most fledgling bands are multi-genre, taste-catering machines, these lads’ refreshing, authentic sound is a reminder of the visceral joy of heavy metal. 9pm. $8-$10. With Demonstrative Girls, Static Mountain. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455. milkboyphilly.com
Twelve X Twelve
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents this annual exhibition comprised of more than 50 works, all in a 12x12-inch format. Drawings, oils, acrylics and watercolors are some of the mediums used in the exhibition featuring PAFA alumni artists. Each of the pieces will be up for purchase at affordable pricing.10am-5pm. Free. Historic Landmark Building, 118 N. Broad St. 215.972.7600. pafa.edu
Lizanne Knott and Friends
Local singer-songwriter Lizanne Knott and guests will perform at this benefit for Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization. Knott is known for her hauntingly delicate vocals, which have garnered her praise and fame in the Philadelphia area and England, too. 8pm. $12 and a non-perishable food item. With Tin Bird, Jen Creed, Kevin Killen. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. worldcafelive.com
Saturday, January 4
David London’s Magic Outside the Box
Through a creative blend of magic, storytelling, puppetry and comedy, David London has carved out a unique niche in the prestidigitation community. London’s performances have received praise from a variety of publications, including the Washington Post and the Baltimore City Paper, and his latest show, Magic Outside the Box, continues in the vein of theatrical sleight-of-hand productions full of inventive wonder.
Luckily for his audiences, London thrives on the weird, baffling presentation of his craft. A practitioner since the age of seven, London has spent the majority of his life perfecting his off-kilter take on illusion and mystery, taking his wiles to dozens of museums, galleries, arts conventions and stage fests for years. His distinctly original approach makes it difficult to consider him a traditional magician, as his acts have often bordered the line of “performance art.” His undeniable acumen in the centuries-old trade has yielded uniquely entertaining experiences for many an eager show attendee.
For one night only, London’s Magic Outside the Box touches down at the South Street Magic, which boasts itself as the only full-time magic shop and theater in Philadelphia. You’re guaranteed to squirm in your seat, and chances are, you’ll even be encouraged you to participate. London’s exploration of the surreal and ethereal promises a one-of-a-kind event, one that ages 15 and up will enjoy. / DANIEL GELB
6:30pm. $15. South Street Magic Theatre, 519 S. Fourth St. 215.450.7193. southstreetmagic.com
Live Score! Radio Eris, Bible Fiction, Dental Dames, Rosa Diaz, Horsey, Tic-Tac-Oh
This innovative show features musical performances, which act as a collaborative live score for displays on stage. Eclectic artists play tunes, while art and film from the Winter 2014 issue of the abstract publication Certain Circuits is presented for your viewing pleasure. 7pm. $5. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. therotunda.org
Murder at the Philadelphia Art Museum Scavenger Hunt
The Watson Adventures series of scavenger hunts and mysteries present their latest experience, which starts with a murdered curator who’s left a trail of clues connected with secrets in works of art. You’ll learn of a sordid tale revolving around a planned purchase of a rare Da Vinci painting and crack a code to solve the case. 2pm. $34.50. PMA, 2600 Ben Franklin Pkwy. watsonadventures.com
Sunday, January 5
Domenic DiStefano: Memorial Works on Paper
This yearly art exhibition is held in memory of painter Domenic DiStefano, well known for his bold style of transparent watercolor. Artists from the Mid-Atlantic region of the country have submitted works on paper for this collection, covering two floors of the historic Philadelphia Sketch Club. 2pm. Free. Philadelphia Sketch Club, 235 S. Camac St. 215.545.9298. sketchclub.org
Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience
Experience the entire Harry Potter saga, seven books and roughly 4,000 words, condensed into one 70-minute show featuring only two actors. This gloriously goofy comedy is the perfect production for the digital age: quick, dirty and immensely satisfying. 2pm and 5pm. $35-$85. Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St. 215.972.1000. princemusictheater.org
Monday, January 6
Monotypes, Stencils and Other One-Offs
An informative workshop geared toward expanding your knowledge of various forms of printmaking. For painters seeking new techniques, as well as beginners looking to break into the craft, the intuitive nature of the workshop suits all experience levels. 6:30pm. $210-$235. Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St.
Flavors of Philly
Perfect for out-of-towners or visiting families, the Flavors of Philly tour covers essential traditional Philly grub, offering insider tips on how to eat like a true Philadelphian. There will be stops for cheesesteaks, tomato pie, soft pretzels and more. 1:30pm. $29-$39. City Hall, JFK Blvd. zerve.com/phillyFoods/Flavors
Tuesday, January 7
Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia
Jazz music and Bill Cosby are two of our fair city’s greatest exports. We know the Cos, a tried and true Philadelphia fanatic, loves a little be-bop, a little classic jazz, a little razzle-dazzle from bygone days—so, it’s no great surprise that he’s agreed to emcee this iconic night of Philly jazz. Is that because some of Sir Cosby’s favorite artists are expected to be in attendance? Possibly. But it’s also likely that, because Terell Stafford is the man, you just don’t say no to Temple University’s director of jazz studies when he taps you for what’s sure to be a night for the ages.
You want to talk favorites? Wynton Marsalis is among the special guests, among a slew of others—Jimmy Heath, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, Odean Pope and Bootsie Barnes, to name a handful—slated to make appearances. But the whole focus of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia is one of tapping talents who have a connection to the City of Brotherly Love; they’ve either lived here, learned here, played here or live down the street. And Stafford is curating it all as the evening’s artistic director.
This boss knows his field. The Miami-born, U of Maryland- and Rutgers-educated trumpeter has worked as a sideman for all kinds of jazzheads. Starting with Stephen Scott in ’92 for Verve, Stafford went on to blow for Bobby Watson on Columbia, Cecil Brooks III on Muse and Herbie Mann on Lightyear. Tonight, he’s pulled together an illustrious crew to assure instrumental excellence: He’s got six saxes, four trombones, four trumpets and four rhythm-keepers on piano, drums and guitar. Obviously, the program’s stacked, and reworked classics by Coltrane, Monk and Ellington are but a few of the gems you’ll experience.
Just imagine: an 18-piece jazz orchestra perfectly executing a dozen great arrangements, all with Philly-connected talent aimed at continuing a legacy of great jazz in this city and perpetuating the familial nature of our hearty jazz community. What a fine way to usher in 2014. / BILL CHENEVERT
7:30pm. $35-$150. The Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. 215.670.2300. kimmelcenter.org
Lock Up America: Why Mass Incarceration Matters to Our Cities
American crime historian Dr. Heather Ann Thompson leads a discussion on the consequences of America incarcerating more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. The event is the first in an ongoing series of talks held at Eastern State. 6pm. Free. Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave. 215.236.3300. easternstate.org
Paint Nite at Le Viet
Enjoy Le Viet’s bar and kitchen while creating your own original piece of artwork. A blank canvas and all the necessary art supplies are provided. Unwind with a few drinks and food specials while mingling and letting your artistic creativity flourish. 7pm. $45. Le Viet, 1019 S. 11th St. paintnite.com
State-of-the-art, life-size, animatronic replicas of our prehistoric pals take over Logan Square. The exhibition features scientifically accurate depictions, as well as skeletons, skulls and other primordial artifacts. 10am. $3-$5. Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. 1900 Ben Franklin Parkway. 215.299.1000. ansp.org
Kevin O’Brien Studio Pop Up Shop
After spending a whole year crafting their now-signature hand-painted silk velvet designs, the folks at Kevin O’Brien studio open their doors for their annual Pop Up Shop, to share what they’ve been creating with the public. Through Jan. 11. Free. Kevin O’Brien Studio, 17 N. Third St. 215.923.6374. kevinobrienstudio.com
Free Preview of Pique Dame
Music director Ghenady Meirson joins the cast of Resident Artists for a discussion in advance of the upcoming run of Pique Dame. Musical selections from the famous Tchaikovsky opera will be performed and analyzed. 5:30pm. Free. Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce St. 215.735.1685. avaopera.org
Wednesday, January 8
Gilgamesh: Journeys to the End of the World
College freshmen love to gripe about reading his tales: Gilgamesh, one of the earliest figures of legend in human history. His stories of travel are profound reflections on early understandings of the individual and human knowledge. Dr. Steve Tinney recounts Gilgamesh’s importance in ancient Mesopotamia and asks what Gilgamesh means in the modern day. 6pm. $5-$10. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum/penn-museum-programs.html
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Louis Sachar’s popular series of children’s books come to life in this theatre adaptation at the Arden. Bring the kids to watch the tale of a school built as a tower 30 stories high and the unique narratives of the students and faculty that inhabit the structure. Through Feb. 15. $18-$36. Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St. 215.922.1122. ardentheatre.org
Out of Town
1982 sci-fi cult classic The Thing returns to the silver screen at the Colonial Theatre this week. The Antarctica-based alien horror flick stars Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley. Turn back the clock and catch the film’s remarkable special effects in a great setting. Fri., Jan. 3, 9:45pm. $5-$9. The Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville. 610.917.1228. thecolonialtheatre.com
Delco’s own budding star Alex Buonopane headlines this pop music specialty. Fourteen-year-old “Alex B.” was featured on 2013’s season of America’s Got Talent. We can already hear the tweens screaming. Fri., Jan. 3, 7pm. $10-$14. World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, Del. 302.994.1400. queentickets.worldcafelive.com
Monster Jam 2014
It’s that time again: time for 12-foot tall monster trucks weaving through obstacles and destroying anything in their path. The adrenaline-pumping action is always family-friendly, and perfect for that tight post-Christmas budget. Jan. 3-4. $10. Sun National Bank Center, 81 Hamilton Ave, Trenton, N.J. sunnationalbankcenter.com
Let’s Pretend We’re Famous
Join Tony Braithwaite and Jennifer Childs for an evening of skits, songs and improvised acts. Written and performed by Braithwaite and Childs, the onstage duo is sure to entertain as they riff on both the famous and infamous. Through Jan. 27. $23. Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler. 215.654.0200. act2.org
Compiled by Drew O’Meara and Daniel Gelb.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide