Calendar: Jan. 12-18

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 12, 2011

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California Redemption Value
In California—land of scripted reality, synthetic bodies, and a thousand method-acting workshops—sometimes the only way you can feel is by faking it. In John Rosenberg’s meta-play California Redemption Value, famehounds and a dysfunctional family grub for validation by performing dramatic, confessional scenes of suicide, and murder in the living room. You know, normal family game night activities. Birdie, a drama teacher in the booming acting-school cottage industry, crams her aspiring students into a one-bedroom apartment with her children. There, they come to terms with divorce and rejection in the only way they know how—acting it out, rehearsing the emotions absent from their desensitized lives. Rosenberg, a recent Cali-Philly transplant who drew from his own life for the play, is doing much of the same: turning to art(ifice) to understand the past and express the really tough stuff. -Lauren Smith

2pm. $10. Papermill Theater, 2825 Ormes St.

Sunday, Jan. 16

Liberty City Kings
In 31 cities across America, a string of sister parties will be held this weekend in honor of Her HRC, the Human Rights Campaign’s nationwide female-centric organization. Philadelphia’s inaugural “Her” weekend will feature the Liberty City Kings, lusty ladies and gentlemen who call themselves “the genderfuck of Philadelphia” and are known for their Vixens and Vagabonds Queer and Kinky Cabaret. Since their first “Santorum Scares Me” show back in 2006 (oh man, remember Santorum?), LiCK has been expanding their rowdy, raunchy shows of (frequently lowbrow) old-fashioned burlesque and drag. Nicola Visaggio, aka Richard B. Grande, will be the featured King on Sunday along with a raffle, a drag show and a dance party to finish out the night—all proceeds go to HRC projects in Philly. -Lauren Hodges

9pm. $10. Sisters, 1320 Chancellor St. 215.735.0735.

Chris Pureka
With her latest album, 2010’s How I Learned to See in the Dark (Sad Rabbit Music), New England based musician Chris Pureka unfurls her sails and heads straight into a turbulent song cycle that swells and dips much more than her previous efforts. From the loping Appalachian rhythm of “Landlocked” to jaunty to the clap-happy closing-credits vibe of “Lowlands,” Pureka’s voyage stays moored to literate, even literary, word-craft and the ever-so-slight quiver of her voice. On “Wrecking Ball,” Pureka amplifies the quiver by banging it through six strings: “I’m remembering the sunlight coming down in shades of blue/ The sorrow of the aftermath tightening the noose/ I’m thinking of the night that all the lights went out/ And how I learned to see in the dark.” Longtime Pureka fans might be surprised by the thick, full-band style of her latest work, while newcomers will just notice how all the jingle-jangles perfectly hang on barbed hooks. -T.M.

9pm. $10-$12. With Vandaveer + Nicole Reynolds. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Monday, Jan. 17

Mark Ballas
On Dancing With the Stars, Mark Ballas has been the professional half—that is, the one who can dance—of duos that included a figure skater (Kristi Yamaguchi), an inexplicably famous reality show star (Kim Kardashian) and, most recently, the world’s best known single mom (Bristol Palin). A singer since his teens, Ballas is now leveraging dance floor success to promote a decidedly middlebrow vocal career, offering sensitive, finger-picked ballads and chiseled moodiness to his legions of female fans via the 2010 EP Waiting for Patience. The burning question: Will Tea Party activists who loved Ballas’ jive with wooden Bristol turn out for the solo show? -Jennifer Kelly

7:30pm. With Jeff LeBlanc. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Tuesday, Jan. 18

Fitz and the Tantrums
It probably takes seeing singer Michael Fitzpatrick of the Los Angeles retro-soul septet Fitz and the Tantrums onstage crooning his heart out in his dapper suit to believe once and for all that the band is not actually fronted by Daryl Hall. Fitzpatrick possesses Hall’s silky smooth, Motown-inspired tone and delivery as if he snuck into the latter’s bedroom late at night, magically removed his voice, and implanted it in his own larynx. Thankfully he’s putting it to good use with his band—though they don’t offer quite the same emotional heft as Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (a group to whom they’re frequently compared), Fitz and the Tantrums fold their own heartbreak and regret into vintage, buttery soul-pop grooves. And Noelle Scaggs, Fitzpatrick’s tremendous vocal foil, is way sexier than Oates. -M.A.G.

8pm. $14-$16. With Toy Soldiers. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.

In the Heights
Swiveling hips, snappy footwork and story-filled tunes make the Tony-winning In the Heights a high-octane jump-start during the winter season. Although the long-running Broadway musical is set in the barrio of Manhattan’s Washington Heights, two-time Pulitzer finalist Quiara Alegría Hudes integrated her Philly roots into her book for 2008’s Best Musical—she’s said that she writes about “the Latinos of North Philadelphia ... That is the Great American Story that I have to tell.” Growing up in North and West Philly with a Puerto Rican mother and stepfather and a Jewish father, Hudes had her first work produced in 10th grade by Philadelphia Young Playwrights, a mentoring organization working in the public school system of which she’s now a board member. Though she’s had her work produced in her hometown before (Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, for example, at the Walnut last spring), this is the first time it’s been in a huge venue like the Academy of Music—go see it. -Andrea Hammer

Through Jan. 23. 7:30pm. $20-$100. Academy of Music, 1420 Locust St.

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