8pm. $10-$15. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
40th Street Summer Series
Venture west this evening for eclectic musical shenanigans in one of West Philly’s picturesque open green spaces. Gypsy accordion meets funk meets Balkan brass in the kick-off event featuring Slavic Soul Party. This Brooklyn, N.Y.-based band is taking time out of their travels—which have spanned Europe, Africa and New York City’s competitive club scene—for a fusion jam session here in Philly. This is only the first of the summer’s monthly concerts that will bring a new cohesive community to 40th and Walnut, where Penn’s unbuttoned summer crowd will mingle with the further West Philly beat, to the tune of renowned musical acts. The early birds will also score free Rita’s Water Ice. So head over early, pack a picnic and rhythmically linger to gospel/reggae/dub/Balkan grooves. If you can’t imagine it, you should probably check it out. -Allyn Gaestel
6pm. Free. 40th and Walnut Streets. universitycity.org/40th-street-summer-series
Dan Bern and Common Rotation
When you’re basically living on the road, it takes a while to commit songs to record. But Dan Bern takes this maxim—like most things—to the extreme. A couple of the best tunes on his brand-new Drifter—“Party by Myself,” “The Golden Voice of Vin Scully”—have been kicking around his live setlists for more than a decade. But a new album doesn’t necessarily mean a predictable setlist for Bern anyway: His shows have always been freewheeling hootenanny affairs, enjoyably whipsawing from ancient unreleased gem to just-wrote-it-last-night tune with the switch of a harmonica. And speaking of unpredictable: Not only did he just drop Drifter five minutes ago, but he’s releasing Doubleheader—an album of all sports-related songs—next freaking month. This show might be a preview of these two stellar new discs, but you should probably bank more on just being surprised. And entertained. -J.B.
7:30pm. $22. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. 215.928.0770. tinangel.com
This young comedian first won over TV audiences and critics as Tom Haverford, the desperately debonair government official on NBC’s Emmy-nominated series Parks and Recreation. And as hilarious as the character might be, few would have suspected that Ansari would become one of the most prolific and lauded comedic talents on the scene, having been deemed “The Funniest Man Under 30” by Rolling Stone and one of the “Top 10 Comedians of the Decade” by Paste. In addition to hosting the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, he’s also starred in a slew of hit comedies including 30 Minutes or Less, I Love You, Man, Observe & Report and Funny People. -N.F.
7pm. $45-$53. Kimmel Center, 250 S. Broad St. kimmelcenter.org
Sunday, June 24
Celebrity Ping Pong
Can you believe Complex magazine had the gall to to name Xfinity Live! among the “25 Douchiest Bars in Philly”? First off: Complex, we’re not sure you’ve got room to criticize. More importantly: Check out this super-classy event Xfinity Live! is hosting—a celebrity ping-pong event to benefit the distressed children of the Moyer foundation. Founded by All-Star pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, the foundation is dedicated to empowering children by providing them with education and support. Participants can play a game of table tennis with their favorite players from the Phillies, the Union and more, or participate in a silent auction offering exclusive sports, travel and leisure items. -A.B.
5:30pm. $100-$250. Xfinity Live! Center, 1100 Pattison Ave. 267.687.7724. xfinitylive.com
Remember those good ol’ days when R&B music was performed by grown-ass women? You know, those mature, adult, seen-it-all sistas who didn’t so much sing songs as belt out melodic life lessons. Back in the day, it seemed like R&B music was full of them: Aretha, Gladys, Patti, Anita. Sure, you can lump full-fledged pop divas Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige in with these legendary ladies. (We’ll just leave that excessively gyrating Rihanna outta this, thank you very much.) But, if you want an old-school R&B songstress who talks directly to the grown and sexy, you can’t go wrong with Ledisi. With a name that literally means “to bring forth” in the West African language of Yoruba, the New Orleans-bred, multiple Grammy-nominated Ledisi is a soul performer who has been known to vocally come with it, whether onstage or on one of her albums, like last year’s Pieces of Me. Before she heads back to the Big Easy to perform at the Essence Music Festival in July, catch her in concert this week, where she’ll most likely be in full, grown-ass force. -Craig D. Lindsey
7:30pm. $53.50-$63.50. With Eric Benet. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. 215.572.7650. keswicktheatre.com
Manayunk Arts Festival
The Manayunk Arts Festival celebrates its 23rd anniversary with an outdoor event featuring more than 300 vendors selling glass work, ceramics and artwork. The Arts Festival is the largest outdoor, juried gathering in the region; more than 60 jewelers alone will be on hand (check out local designer Zoe Einbinder, who will be selling her funky and fruity earrings, necklaces and rings). Local restaurants and shops will have extended hours, so take in the sights and then stay for a bite. -Katelynn Hartman
Sat., June 23-Sun., June 24. 11am. Free. Main Street. manayunk.com
Monday, June 25
Set in rural Kentucky, Hazard County focuses on a would-be TV producer who thinks he’s found a hot story in the saga of Ruth, a widow unable to access the trust fund her murdered husband established for their kids. A story about racism and Southern stereotypes, the play’s central story is interspersed with monologues from fans of the fabulously awful TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. Hazard is the inaugural production for Azuka Theatre’s New Professionals program which showcases recent college graduates. With the exception of director Allison Heishman, all the artists involved in the production recently graduated from a local college or university. This is a unique opportunity to catch some of Philly’s most promising young actors in their professional debuts. -J.C.R.
Through July 1. $15-$27. Off-Broad Street Theater, First Baptist Church, 1636 Sansom St. azukatheatre.org
Tuesday, June 26
The crooning tunes of Exitmusic leave goose bumps on the skin and send chills down the spine. Whether that’s from the achingly beautiful voice of Aleksa Palladino or the sometimes guttural tones of the accompanying band, we’re not quite sure. The experience of Exitmusic’s live performance brings out the best and the worse in us, where sweeping melodies and drawn out vocals spur memories we swore were long forgotten. Not unfamiliar to the area but different from everyone else, this one-quarter Canadian four-piece brings the frost of Northern weather to the American East Coast like nothing we’ve ever seen before. -G.C.
8pm. $10. With Stagnant Pools + Nothing. Milkboy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455. milkboyphilly.com
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