Calendar: July 27-Aug. 2

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jul. 27, 2011

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Wednesday, July 27

University City Laughs
What’s better than a comedy show? A free one! Due to the success of their the weekly open-mic night at Noche, the hosts of Rittenhouse Comedy—Jack Martin, Paul Goodman and Brian Finnell—are now bringing a night of cheap laughs to West Philly. Their inaugural comedy showcase will feature several Helium and Laff House regulars like Center City Comedy hosts H. Roley and Tom Cassidy as well as John McKeever, founder of the Bird Text Comedy Show. There will also be a sprinkling of some undiscovered local comedic talents including Anthony Bonjavanni, Sarah M. and Noah Goldstein. All in all, a total of ten local comics will perform. And just in case a free comedy show wasn’t already awesome enough, the bar will be offering PBR cans for $1 all night. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get your money’s worth. -Nicole Finkbiner

8pm. Free. Drinker’s West, 3900 Chestnut St. 215.397.4693.

Russian National Orchestra
The Russian National Orchestra has only been around for 21 years, but it’s already established itself as one of the premiere classical outfits in the world. Known for amping up the passion and drama during their concerts, the RNO kicks off a three-night run at the Mann performing the engaging score to the BBC’s smash underwater documentary series The Blue Planet. They’ll play along to high-definition marine life footage from the show on two gigantic screens, with the whole shebang narrated by broadcast journalist Jane Pauley. But be warned, parents: Blue Planet Live depicts predatory behavior—not, like, skeezy dudes at Old City bars, but probably sharks ripping stuff apart in gruesome, bloody fashion—that might frighten your tiny tots. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8:30pm. $10-$49.50. Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave.

Thursday, July 28

Josh Ritter
The wanderers in Idaho singer/songwriter Josh Ritter’s songs tend to be richly drawn historical archetypes with a twist: the seafarer who loves his ship so much that he has to burn its mainsail for timber when the waters get too icy, the cursed Egyptian mummy who falls in love with the archaeologist who digs him up. So it should be no surprise that Henry Bright, the WWI vet who’s the protagonist of Ritter’s first novel, Bright’s Passage, is the same kind of troubled: a standup fella with a lil’ baby in tow and a unique relationship to his horse. Clocking in just under 200 pages, Passage is a quick read—you can knock it out in a long, hot afternoon. This Free Library event, which features Ritter in conversation with World Cafe’s David Dye, should unravel a bit of the mystery behind the story, and maybe some of his songs too. -Jeffrey Barg

Thurs., July 28, 7:30pm. Free. Free Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.4341.

Wanda Jackson + Imelda May
Double-duty rockabilly royalty make this a snake eyes of a show. What more could young bloody rock and roll hearts want than to get to see the First Lady of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson work it out and then, on the same night, see Irish pin-up princess Imelda May slither through her own fresh take on the genre? Nothing, I tell you. Jackson, for those who don’t know, is a pioneering founder of Rock ’n’ Roll who’s been in the game over 50 years and is currently enjoying a revival in her 70s after collaborating with Jack White on The Party Ain’t Over, which includes a bitchin’ cover of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.” Then there’s Miss May. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing Imelda as yet another theater-chick rockabilly cover act. Fresh off singing with Jeff Beck as part of his touring Rock n Roll party tribute to Les Paul earlier this year and hawking latest record Mayhem, the lady’s got real-deal cat class and cat style. -Tara Murtha

8pm. $23-$25. With Oh Land! + Ximena Sarinana. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888.

Friday, July 29

A good mixtape is heartfelt and personal, filled with surprises and a bit flirtatious. That’s the same vibe that Gender Reel aims for with this soiree, a quarterly celebration of local gender rebels and the people who love them. And like the aural mash notes that give this evening its name, the musical entertainment ranges all over the stylistic map, with seasoned studio musicians rubbing elbows with open-mic folkies. How the performers—all of whom identify as queer or transgendered—negotiate the challenge of short sets and a full bill, will be part of the pleasure. In addition to rockers like Stephan Hayes and the ethereal chamber folk of “a stick and a stone,” there’ll be spoken word and the dance steps of Sisters Sirens. In the end, the show is about more than just the artistic diversity of the local transgender community, it’s also about looking out for one another. Proceeds benefit the surgery fund of local hip-hop emcee Christian Wordz Axavier. -Raymond Simon

9pm. $5-$10. Tritone, 1508 South St. 215.545.0475.
Lil Wayne + Rick Ross
The Tattooed and Teflon Dons, Weezy and Rozay, ride together tonight. Three years have passed since Lil Wayne snagged a Grammy for Tha Carter III, and he’s been hyping Tha Carter IV ever since. It finally drops on Cash Money in late August, but Weezy knows we’ve waited too long. Enter Sorry 4 The Wait, the free mixtape he delivered this month. On tracks like “Racks,” he spits his typical, id-driven hard-raunch: “Wake up early in the morning and eat that pussy like cold pizza.” Dirty. Rick Ross has made about 30 thousand 100 million videos this year, mostly pushing artists (like Philly’s Meek Mill) from his Maybach Music Group. The Boss dwells in the studio, so his God Forgives, I Don’t LP should be cranked out soon. -Elliott Sharp

7pm. $27-$177. With Keri Hilson, Far East Movement + Lloyd. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbor Blvd., Camden, N.J. 856.365.1300.

Timothy Donnelly + Julie Kantor
People were once thrilled by the written word. Letters were written and books and newspapers were read. Not so much anymore. Yet, poets Timothy Donnelly and Julie Kantor know how to craft a set of lines, create images and evoke emotions. The Columbia MFA poets are making the trip down from N.Y.C. for a reading that promises to be nothing short of riveting. Donnelly’s 2010 book The Cloud Corporation is a stunning set of poems that stoke the unsettling feeling of life trying to catch up with commerce. The Boston Review poetry editor sharply articulates a postmodern ennui with the daily struggle. He’s like a blend of Whitman, Billy Collins and the Talking Heads. Kantor’s his student and friend; her immense musicianship and songwriting skills are palpable in her verse, channeling Patti Smith, PJ Harvey and Emily Dickinson all at once. Her first book is eagerly anticipated and the two poets will send you off into your weekend with a renewed sense of self. Kind of like what it feels to watch an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. -Bill Chenevert

7pm. Free. Day By Day Bakery and Catering, 2101 Sansom St. 215.564.5540.

Sticky Buns Burlesque
“Strange and arresting beauty” is the self-described name of Sticky Buns Burlesque’s game. On the “arresting” end of the spectrum is sexy Marla Meringue. Don’t let her sexy curves fool you: This girl’s got creativity, handcrafting all of her sultry costumes. On the “strange” end of the spectrum is Short Staxx, the Burlesque diner waitress oft found paging through a Bible before (whoops!) letting an all-man porno fall out from behind the Good Book’s cover. Straddling both ends of the spectrum are “the Chocolate that melts your heart” Gigi Holliday, the “Criminally Carnal” Roma Mafia and “Mer-man” Paco Fish. Just in case those five manage to bore each other, they’ve got the singing, dancing, funky-dressing Sisters 3 to throw extra spice into the mix.  -Carl A. O’Donnell

9pm. $10 in advance. $12 at the door. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. 215.787.0488.

Saturday, July 30

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens once again host their annual summer festival celebrating Philly’s creativity by featuring art, music, dance, poetry, live art and interactive activities. Now in its fourth year, the 1000 block of South Street will be blocked off to accommodate the art vendors, food vendors, organizations (including Philly Aids Thrift, Paradigm Gallery and Mighty Writers) and an anticipated audience of more than 1,000. Participants can also enjoy gourmet cupcakes from ButterCream, vegetarian/vegan options, sandwiches from Big Dan’s 11th Street Deli and other delicious treats as they browse the numerous items available from art vendors. While the festival is free, there will be performances and activities inside Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, which range from $5-$25. Fergie’s Pub will also be providing some refreshments on a first-come-first-served basis, but feel free to BYO. -Sydney Scott

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