Wednesday, June 25
It is neither hyperbolic nor exaggeration to say that Diana Ross is one of the most successful female recording artists of all time. Opinions aside, it’s simply true. There are too many contenders who—try as they might—can not step to her amazing accomplishments, which are aplenty: 18 number-one singles (including Supremes hits), 70 smash singles, 100 million records sold worldwide, nominations for Golden Globe and Academy awards, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Grammy Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—oh, and Female Entertainer of the Century by Billboard magazine. Many a Philadelphian will be eager to welcome the 70-year-old Detroit legend as she shimmies onto the Mann Center stage for the concert event of the summer.
Over 50 years after her Motown-motored arrival into America’s mainstream, the ripples of Ross’ pioneering career continue to be felt throughout entertainment and culture. (It’s no secret The Gays love her: Her ’76 global burner “Love Hangover” was all up in Paris is Burning, four years before the anthem “I’m Coming Out,” without which pride celebrations, drag queens and Diddy alike would be equally effed.) If there hadn’t been Diana, would there be a Michael Jackson as we know it? Beyonce? What about Mariah Carey or RuPaul? Would Audra McDonald have won a Tony for her turn as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill if Ross hadn’t portrayed Billie so expertly in Lady Sings the Blues? Would Jennifers Holliday or Hudson have pulled off their inspired “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” versions if it weren’t for Ross’ example and perseverance in the early days? She’s teamed with greats for unforgettable duets in studio and on films. Could ‘70s Hollywood have ever found a more luminous, perfectly-cast on-screen co-star for Billy Dee Williams? Nope.
It’s impossible to imagine what kind of setlist Ross could be cookin’ up to heighten her Mann mien. Just know that no matter what—even for stalwarts who believe Patti or Aretha are the divas to beat—The Boss reigns supreme tonight. // BILL CHENEVERT
8pm. $25-$125. The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.878.0400. manncenter.org
Love, Us Grand Production
Alyesha Wise’s annual production, whose mission is simply to “spread love” as well as promote forward-thinking arts initiatives, returns with special performances from the likes of Kevin Sandbloom, the 20Somethings and Kai Davis. Tyree the Poet will also be on hand to deliver an opening letter. 7:30pm. $12. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. mswisedecision.com/loveus2014
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Charles Lane’s almost-silent film about an African-American man who cares for a young child after her father is murdered. The film stars Nicole Alysia and Sandye Wilson. 7pm. $10. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. ihousephilly.org
Thursday, June 26
Intelligence Squared Debate: Campaign Finance
Pennsylvania is one of the worst places in the United States for free and fair elections, and our campaign finance laws aren’t exactly helping the situation. Our commonwealth is one of 11 U.S. states with either minimal or no limits on campaign finance. That means, you, your neighbor or a corporation with interests in fracking state forests can give as much and as often as you want to your candidate of choice. There’s been debate—minimal debate, mind you—to change this law, but it’s done nothing to change the fact that our Democratic nominee was a relative unknown who did not show up in the polls until he carpet-bombed our TV screens with advertisements paid for with the $10 million he lent his own campaign.
Many have argued for things like public financing or, you know, sensible limits, while others have said where you spend your money is a matter of free speech. Tonight, the Constitution Center will hold a panel—live streamed for NPR’s Intelligence Squared—debating these points of view. Those in on the discussion include First Amendment authority Floyd Abrams, law professor and former ACLU president Nadine Strossen, the Brennan Center for Justice’s founding legal director Burt Neuborne and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout, national director of the Sunlight Foundation.
Interested? You should be. The future of your democracy sort of depends on who wins this debate—not this one, per se, but the bigger argument facing our nation. // RANDY LOBASSO
6:30pm. $30. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. 215.409.6600. intelligencesquaredus.org
World Cup Game Watch Party
XFINITY Live! intends to throw the ultimate World Cup viewing party, and with a 32-foot LED screen, who can argue with that? Each U.S.A. game will also give you the chance to win an authentic jersey courtesy of Bullies Pub. Today, catch our boys take on Germany and attempt to advance to the Round of 16. 11am. Free. XFINITY Live! Philadelphia, 1100 Pattison Ave. 267.443.6415. xfinitylive.com
The Antlers write some of their best material under a shroud of melancholy. With the release of their fifth studio album, Familiars, the Brooklyn trio continues to be more than capable of crafting haunting dream pop soundscapes accentuated by gloomy lyrics. 8pm. $15-17. With Mr. Twin Sister. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Philadelphia Fashion Incubator Manayunk Pop-Up Shop
The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator invites past and present designers-in-residence to sell their locally-made jewelry, scarves and other assorted garments at this five-day pop-up shop, which starts today with a kickoff party later in the evening. 11am. Free. 4347 Main St. philadelphiafashionincubator.com
It’s hard to believe that Say Anything has been a band for nearly 15 years, but they always come up with new ways to keep fans from getting bored. Their latest, Hebrews, boasts a star-studded cast of guest singers, including Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge, Braid’s Bob Nanna and Balance and Composure’s Jon Simmons. 8:30pm. $19. With the Front Bottoms, the So So Glos + You Blew It! Electric Factory, 241 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
Slam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am
Painted Bride Quarterly’s story and poetry slam returns with its first installment of the summer. Host Andrew Keller will be presiding over the revelry. 7:30pm. Free. Pen & Pencil Club, 1522 Latimer St. 215.731.9909. pbq.drexel.edu
Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional
The former SNL “Weekend Update” anchor takes the stage to cover 226 years of political blunders in the span of just 70 minutes. Through July 6. $49-$54. Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St. 215.985.0420. philadelphiatheatrecompany.org
Peace on the Streets
POWER 99’s annual music celebration brings artists from all over the country together—along with notable speakers and community resources—to help promote peace and positivity in Philadelphia communities. The free concert features performances by Ca$h Out, Mack Wilds, Anthony Lewis & Billy Bang, MPrynt and more. 3pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. 101 S. Columbus Blvd. 215.629.3200. delawareriverwaterfront.com
Friday, June 27
Courtyard Dancers: Asunder
Dance can be much more than pure entertainment, feats of athleticism or expressions of extreme grace. For India’s Courtyard Dancers, it’s about telling a story—one that searches for answers and relishes in the details of what could have been, but will never be an undivided India. The concept and choreography come from Pallabi Chakravorty, but the ensemble cast breathes a life into Asunder, this Painted Bride two-night run that would be otherwise impossible. And this is way more than dance; it’s dance theater. Vocal recordings and poetry will be employed, Thumri and Baul songs (traditional courtesan tales set to music) will be tapped, and a whole spectrum of emotions will be explored, from loss to longing.
The Bride does such a lovely job of attracting world-class performance art that celebrates and disseminates the stories of cultures across the globe—something the U.S. could use a little more of, frankly—and when a half-dozen mediums are used to concoct a riveting tale of political strife, its resulting family trauma and spiritual woes, and give it a multi-era coherence, that’s the ideal way to open eyes, hearts and minds. Asunder is such a production. This won’t necessarily be even close to Bollywood, but Bhangra and Punjabiphiles, take note: it all started here. // B.C.
Through Sat., June 28, 8pm. $20. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. paintedbride.org
The Toughest Boy in Philadelphia
This true hometown story, directed and designed by John Doyle, follows a rising mafia star who harbors a secret. Coinciding with Gay Pride Month, the play stars K.O. DelMarcelle, Gina Martino and Michelle Pauls. 8pm. Luna Theater, 620 S. Eighth St. ironagetheatre.org
The Comeback: Philly Style
Several of Philadelphia’s biggest acts in black music, from both older and newer generations, will perform at this annual feel-good music showcase. Among this year’s honorees are Marsha Ambrosius, Carol Riddick and DJ Cash Money. 7pm. $25-50. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Indie Film and Food: Film al Fresco
The beloved outdoor film series—presented by Moore College—returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, providing a haven for independent film and video makers to share their hard work with a local audience. Today’s screenings also features delicious eats from the Samosa Deb and Jimmies Cupcakes food trucks. 8pm. Free. Aviator Park, 20th Street and the Parkway. moore.edu
Black Queer Identity Matrix Book Reading
Dr. Sheena C. Howard reads from her latest social commentary and discusses race relations in the LGBTQ community. The night also features a performance by Wordz the poet emcee. 7pm. Free. Mostly Books, 529 Bainbridge St. 215.238.9838. mostlybooksphilly.com
Saturday, June 28
In a world of cookie-cutter pop stars and auto-tuned lyrics, it’s incredibly refreshing when an artist really goes against the grain and creates something that breaks the mold in its quest to bring us something magical. Cabaret darling Bridget Everett is one of those unique performers, busting out of the lines with a wide-eyed yet raunchy, Bette Midler-esque stage show that guarantees in-your-face laughs while turning everything you’ve seen from everywhere else on their collective ears.
Originally hailing from the whirling metropolis of Manhattan—uh, that’s KS, not NY—Everett’s got classic Broadway-style pipes that lend an irresistible charm to an otherwise oddball performance, as she fully integrates an ample bosom into numbers already blessed by her surprisingly angelic, somewhat disarming vocal accompaniment. “Our Hit Parade,” Everett’s intriguing monthly revue of pop hits at NYC’s Joe’s Pub, enables the busty songstress to perform unhinged and unfiltered for her captivated, often-frightened audience, and by sprinkling her act with brutally-honest anecdotal nuggets and a sort of naughty charisma, she’s managed to earn herself a seat as one of the NYC’s top currently-active cabaret performers. In fact, Everett’s particular brand of tender, bawdy humor has earned her props from celebrity fans and respected publications, including comedienne sensation Amy Schumer, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. You’ll see why.
This month, Everett brings her fearless performance to the newly re-opened Prince Music Theater’s Black Box, a splendid venue that provides the perfect level of grand intimacy this blonde powerhouse will need to dazzle your senses while completely ignoring your personal space in the process. // KENNEDY ALLEN
8pm. $20. Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St. 215.893.1999. princemusictheater.org
Art Star Pop Up Market
Check out the all-new Spruce Street Harbor Park, an exciting development on the Delaware Waterfront, as it plays host to Art Star’s first Pop Up Market. Opening today and continuing throughout the summer, the market will feature handmade goods from across the region. 11am. Free. Spruce Street Harbor Park, 401 S. Columbus Blvd. artstarphilly.com
The Philadelphia Craft Beer, Crab and Clam Festival
Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House hosts their second annual craft beer, crab and clam fest this week. Enjoy 10 different craft beer samples, each smartly paired with delicious selections from Doc’s extensive seafood menu. Live music and a clam eating contest also highlight the day’s events. 1pm. $35-$40. Doc Magrogan’s, 3432 Sansom St. 215.382.3474. docmagrogans.com
Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention presents a one-of-a-kind fundraising walk. Out of the Darkness is a 16-18 mile walk from dusk till dawn throughout historic Philadelphia, aimed at raising awareness and funds for mental illness and suicide prevention. 8pm. Registration information at theovernight.donordrive.com
Liberty Block Party
The Shops at Liberty Place will be transformed into a full scale block party to welcome in July 4th. The all-day party features family-friendly events, arts & crafts and delicious food. Noon. Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut St. welcomeamerica.com
The ever-controversial force behind HBO’s Real Time takes his political and social comedy show on the road. The talk show host, comedian and documentarian deftly toes the line between hilarity and insult. 8pm. $35-$79. Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999. kimmelcenter.org
Sunday, June 29
Kids’ Corner Music Festival
As a part of KindieComm, a festival devoted to independent kids music, World Cafe Live hosts a gathering of talented children’s musicians. The Kids Corner Music Festival will showcase family-friendly singer/songwriters, including performances by Trout Fishing in America and Dan Zanes. 10:30am. $15-$18. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Mural Arts Paint Day
West Philly has been designated by President Obama as a “Promise Zone,” an area targeted for community investment, cultivation and refurbishing. Join the Mural Arts Program for a day of painting to spruce up some of the dilapidation in West Philly as the transformation of the neighborhood continues. Noon. Free. East Parkside,1100 N. 41st St. muralarts.org
There’s no shortage of tension in the songs of Oregon-based doom metal outfit Agalloch, whose music sets deep-throated vocals against a combination of acoustic folk stylings and menacing post-rock ambiance. The Serpent & the Sphere finds them in top form, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that they get much less credit than they deserve. 8pm. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. undergroundarts.org
Monday, June 30
Join authors Megan Hart, Sara Humphreys and Geri Krotow for a conversation about romance in modern literature. Each distinguished novelist will read selections from their most recent work and will be available for questions during a panel discussion. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.4341. freelibrary.org
Wawa’s Welcome America festivities continue with a family-friendly gathering at Franklin Square. Guests will be treated to a free outdoor showing of Disney’s Frozen on a massive laser movie screen, as well as mini golf, giveaways and carousel rides. 9pm. Free. Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St. welcomeamerica.com
Tuesday, July 1
Clint Eastwood’s full-length adaptation of the stage hit comes to theaters this week, starring John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli. Tonight, join neighborhood organization Penn’s Village for a special screening and conversation about the film and its historical significance to our area. 3pm. $6. Roxy Screening Room, 2023 Sansom St. 215.925.7333. pennsvillage.org
The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra performs under the stars at Penn’s Landing tonight. Under the tutelage of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra has developed a distinct and innovative sound. This free concert will be followed by a fireworks display on the waterfront. 8pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd. delawareriverwaterfront.com
Wednesday, July 2
Lydia Grant, the unforgettable dance-teacher character who actress-dancer-choreographer Debbie Allen gave life to in the hit ‘80s film and TV series Fame, offered up some sobering, iconic advice to her young charges: “You’ve got big dreams … you want fame. Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying—in sweat.” Allen’s certainly gone on to add impressive work as a director and producer to her already-hefty resume since then, but that edict still resonates, both in her own career and in the lives of the students around her—at her acclaimed Debbie Allen Dance Academy in L.A. and via the occasional talk she gives, like this one.
Allen has consistently won praise as one of the more prolific industry pros out there, holding down roles behind and in front of the camera in some of the more popular series to hit small screens—among them A Different World, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal—and at 64, shows no signs of stopping any time soon. In fact, her most recent work, Brothers of the Knight, premieres at the Merriam Theatre over this 4th of July weekend, a rousing story drenched in music, drama, comedy—and, of course, dance—based on the Brothers’ Grimm tale The Twelve Princesses.
Choreographed and directed by Allen, Brothers of the Knight serves as the perfect platform on which to open a dialogue regarding the obstacles in the self-made entertainer’s arena. Be here as this living legend shares some invaluable insight to help artists along their own difficult climbs toward success. // K.A.
7pm. Free. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. ihousephilly.org
Philly Songwriters Project Winners
The Penn Museum hosts a special night of performances by winners of the Philadelphia Songwriters Project. The diverse lineup will feature sets by blues guitarist Casey Alvarez, folk singer Andrea Nardello and more. 5pm. $10. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum
Wawa Hoagie Day
Summer in the Delaware Valley is inexorably tied to our feathered friend whose doors never close—the almighty Wawa. Join the great folks from our favorite pit stop today on Independence Mall as they dish up 4.5 tons worth of free hoagies and salute our troops. Noon. Free. Independence Mall, Fifth and Market sts. welcomeamerica.com
Out of Town
The 5th annual Margate Beachstock is a 13-hour, non-stop party featuring live music, food court and beer garden, crafts, screening of Mr. Peabody and Sherman and much more! Buck London and 100.7 WZXL host a cover band battle on the beach in addition to live performances by Senni Bloom, Mia Bergmann, the Fool Injectors and more. Sat., June 28, 10am-8pm. Granville Ave. and Huntington Ave., Margate, N.J. margatehasmore.com
Kutztown Folk Festival
The oldest folk-life festival in America runs a full week; enjoy a plethora of Pennsylvania Dutch Food, meet more than 200 artists and craftsmen, and have a look at 2,500 locally handmade quilts. June 28-July 6. Kutztown Fairgrounds, 225 N. Whiteoak St., Kutztown. 888.674.6136. kutztownfestival.com
Fairy and Wizard Festival
Where else can you don a fairy or prince crown, frolic past scenic trees and be treated to Celtic musical performances? The Tyler Arboretum offers all this and more at what’s sure to be a magical experience for the whole family. Sun., June 29, 10am. Free. Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Rd., Media. 610.566.9134. tylerarboretum.org
One of the mid-Atlantic’s largest gaming events, this expo has plenty of time wasters for fans of console games, board games, arcade games and more. The event features special guests, panels, showcases, video-game tournaments, indie game exhibitions and much more. June 27-29. Greater Philadelphia Convention Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks. 484.754.3976. toomanygames.com
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide