Calendar: May 28-June 4

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Wednesday, May 28

Jeff Bradshaw & Friends: Home
Jeff Bradshaw has some really dope friends. Let’s start with the folks at Hidden Beach Recordings, where he’s signed, the contemporary urban R&B, soul and jazz label that gave Jill Scott and Kindred the Family Soul their respective starts. Bradshaw’s played trombone for Scott in the studio and on tour, and there are tangible and tasty bits of Who Is Jill Scott? soulfulness all over Bradshaw’s Bone Appetit, his double-volume jazz album that’s way more than simply that. On the record, he pulled in some of his dopest musical contemporaries: Raheem DeVaughn, former Floetry divas Natalie “Floacist” Stewart and Marsha Ambrosius, and, of course, Kindred, among them.

The brilliant, daring Bradshaw sneaks his brass into seamless hybrids of jazz, R&B and soul; in fact, he’s always been on a mission to elevate his weapon of choice to new, richer heights. Take, for instance, his Ambrosius-guested moment “Got Til It’s Gone,” a breezy, happy tribute to the Joni Mitchell-covered-by-Janet Jackson sweet spot. Or the funky-as-hell “Til Tomorrow,” a track that’d feel just at home on a Raphael Saadiq or Maxwell disc. These are not jazz tracks; they’re just jazzy. And Bradshaw’s subtle but assured blowing is the musical glue that pulls it all together.

Tonight’s mega-show is sure to be awesome: They’re recording it for a live album, with a 10-piece band and a string ensemble. The press blurbs are already anticipating Grammy noms, which is bold, but entirely plausible. Look at this dream team of guests slated to make an appearance: Robert Glasper, Trombone Shorty, Take 6, Kim Burrell, Najee, Tweet, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Roberson, Bilal, and, naturally, Ms. Ambrosius. There’s also slated to be a special salute to Will Downing and a “surprise Philly musical icon.” (Scott herself? Or Patti Labelle?!) A concert with Bradshaw alone would be awesome, no doubt—the man’s been honing his horn game since North Philly church days of the ‘90s. But with all his people on stage, adding flavor to an already delicious offering? Sure sounds like home to me. // BILL CHENEVERT

7:30pm. $49-$80. The Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. 215.670.2300.

Star Wars Quizzo
With filming underway for the next installment of the epic franchise, here’s your chance to test your knowledge of the galaxy far, far away. Form your own five-member alliance and compete for bar tabs and other convenient prizes. 7pm. Free. Drinker’s West, 3900 Chestnut St. 215.397.4693.
Baseball in America Today
Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, leads this discussion on baseball’s role in American culture with a little help from ESPN Magazine’s Steve Wulf. 7pm. $10-$45. National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East. 215.923.3811.

Thursday, May 29

Wall Ball 2014
No matter how we prefer to take them in, we can all agree that every single one of Philadelphia’s murals is a treasure. For 30 years, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has been celebrating the city’s vibrant public art through its annual Wall Ball.

MAP says on its website that tonight’s special event, sponsored by Citizens Bank, “raises funds that help to create powerful and engaging public art projects” transforming public areas and Philly’s neighborhoods into living works of art. The soul-enriching fete also generates awareness and resources for programming targeting “young people, those impacted by the justice system, and individuals in treatment for behavioral health challenges.” Considering 1.5 million Americans live in Philadelphia, this is formidable work. 

Honoring Mural Arts board chair Joe Goldblum, Philly’s favorite plot-twister M. Night Shyamalan and artist Shepard Fairey with awards, the Wall Ball has the standard formal fare: a silent auction and networking. This year, though, the event also features a live art battle emceed by MC Elixir between NYC artist Lamour Supreme and Philly artist Paul Satoleri. We’re not saying who we’re rooting for, but we will say that this is Philly, folks.  DJ Handsome Sam spins, too, making sure that Mural Arts lives up to one of its core values: “We’re from Philly. We’re for Philly. And we’re having a hell of a good time.” // JOSH KRUGER

7pm. $200. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100.

Stand Up for the Arts
Multiple organizations—including the University Community Collaborative and Play on Philly!—host this creative event designed to raise arts awareness among the city’s young people. Spearheaded by The Attic Youth Center, Philadelphia’s only independent LGBTQ youth coalition of its kind, this evening will aim to demonstrate the power of art for the youth of our city. 6pm. Free. Temple, 1515 Market St.
Kimberla L. Roby: The Prodigal Son
In her latest book, Kimberla L. Roby—the winner of last year’s NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work—revisits the character of Reverend Curtis Black and finds him reconnecting with his estranged sons. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.532.6355.

DJ Will Braveman, LFK and These Men Are Cowards
Philly alt-country and indie rockers These Men Are Cowards will be joined tonight by the psych trio of LFK and a set by DJ Will Braveman. 8pm. $8. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Liquor Before Beer
Johnny Brenda’s hosts a collaboration between Dock Street Brewery and Art in the Age Spirits. Enjoy beer specials and liquor concoctions from both local companies while the jams are bumped by DJs Chris Cardillo and Nicky Devine. 7pm. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Grown Man Raps Tour
Sean Price, member of hip-hop supergroup Boot Camp Clik, headlines a packed bill of established rappers and DJs at The Barbary’s upstairs Barbarella. Among the artists joining Price tonight are Philly legend and member of the Army of Pharaohs, Reef the Lost Cauze. 8pm. $20-$25. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave.

The Real Thing
Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning play tells the tale of love and infidelity with a distinguished twist of wordplay and wit. Join Director David Kennedy and the crew and the Wilma Theater for their 10th production of Stoppard’s legendary work. 2pm and 8pm. $25-$51. The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St. 215.546.7824.

Friday, May 30

Sheila E.
My roommate and I have a standing feud over one of the dumbest disagreements ever: Which one of Prince’s model-gorgeous ‘80s paramours was the most talented, especially minus any of the Purple One’s regal musical raucousness and unmistakable flavor? My friend says Jill Jones, the talented singer-songwriter who, sadly, may be as well-known for her two five-second Purple Rain scenes—she was that bleached-blonde, tongue-tied waitress fan of The Kid—as she is for her own virtually ignored material. For me, it’s no-brainer: Sheila Escovedo, hands down—the indeniably badass, sought-after percussionist, drummer and guitar player who not only made her mark as a singer in those days, but has gone on to flourish as a musician and musical director—for not only Prince, but dozens of others. She’s shared stages with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Ringo Starr, George Duke, Beyonce, Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie—the list is lengthy, impressive and growing longer as each month passes.

In Miss Sheila’s case, the blood ties extol the range of her gifts: Daddy’s the uber-legendary Pete Escovedo, the namesake of her fellow-percussionist brother Pete Jr., and they all—with another Escovedo brother, Juan—form The E. Family Band, with whom the lady often plays and headlines. That is, of course, when she’s not touring or helming shows of her own, like this one-night-only gig, surely the hottest ticket in Wilmington tonight. // KENYA BEVERLY

8pm. $40. World Cafe Live at The Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, Del. 302.994.1400.

The Philadelphia Wicked Urban Dramatic Arts Festival
The stages of the Vox Populi Gallery will play host to edgy storytellers utilizing spoken word and short plays to convey life in urban society. 7pm. $15. The Vox Populi Gallery, 319 N. 11th St. 215.238.1236.
In this new farce from the Arden Theatre Company, a traveling one-eyed con man spreads his influence to a group of monks living in a French monastery. 8pm. $15-46. Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. Second St. 215.922.1122.
Synapse: Drexel Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
Inspired by the notion of “quickly developing ideas,” this spring production from the Drexel Dance Ensemble will be split into 11 evocative pieces. 8pm. $15. Mandell Theater, 33rd and Chestnut sts.
St. George Cathedral Greek Festival
All of your favorite Greek delicacies—souvlaki, gyro, mousaka, pastitsio and more—will be available at this festival celebrating Greek traditions. Visitors will also be treated to music and learn about the cathedral’s 200-year history. Noon. Free. St. George Cathedral, 256 S. Eighth St. 215.627.4389.

The Angry Jury
The School Free Players—made up of homeschooled Philadelphia youth—present their own interpretation of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men, which follows a jury trying to reach a verdict on a man accused of murder. 6:30pm. Studio X, 1340 S. 13th St. 215.218.4022.

Saturday, May 31

The Menzingers
Originally stemming from Scranton, though now claiming Philly as home, the Menzingers are one of those punk bands that make you think the mid-’90s heyday of pop-punk never ended. They just put out Rented World, a mix-up of Mr. T Experience emo with Bouncing Souls-ish catchiness, to mostly positive reviews.

The band’s previously work—most notably 2010’s Chamberlain Waits and 2012’s On the Impossible Past—have been noted as standout albums, utilizing both simple chord progressions and universal lyrics. One of my favorite (and notably spitball punk) lyrical gems from Chamberlain Waits’ “I Was Born,” is, “Let these simple songs get caught in our heads, brace the frames of our worthless beds, all my life never gave a fuck, someone please wake me up.”

Rented World was actually recorded at Fishtown’s Miner Street Studio by producer Jonathan Low, whose previous work included Kurt Vile, The National and others who didn’t fit into that pop-punk mold in which the Menzingers have often found themselves. The four-piece noted it wanted to put out the album with a producer who wasn’t used to their style to better handle the changes they were putting into their new material. That seemed just fine by legendary Bad Religion guitarist/Epitaph Records owner Brett Gurewitz, who has regularly praised ‘em. And everybody knows once the boss loves you, you’re golden. // RANDY LOBASSO

8pm, $16-$18. With Lemuria, PUP + Cayetana. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100.

The 7th Annual Roots Picnic
The annual homecoming for Philadelphia’s favorite sons will be one for the ages. The Roots will be joined by Snoop Dogg, The War On Drugs, Action Bronson, A$AP Ferg, a DJ set by Biz Markie and many other staggeringly cool acts. 1pm. $50-$64. Festival Pier, 601 N. Columbus Blvd.

The Independence Seaport Museum presents an ambitious combination of three exciting explorations of Philadelphia: A 15-mile regatta, river to river scavenger hunt and a walk from the start to finish of Walnut Street. Walnut2Walnut will also feature a full day of activities and vendors at the Seaport Museum. 9:30am. Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd. For full information visit

Parkour Workshop
You’ve all seen the videos. Now is your opportunity to become a parkour expert and traverse through Philadelphia’s concrete jungles. The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts presents this martial arts workshop on the acrobatic and freestyle movements of parkour. 4pm. $35. Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 5900A Greene St.

Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater presents Unspoken, an improv take on transcribed texts, posts and emails anonymously submitted by the audience. Artistic Director Bobbi Block presents this collage of drama, comedy and live music with a fresh approach. 7:30pm. $10-$12. The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St.

Inaugural Youth Sports & Education Expo
Join industry experts in sports, education, health and fitness for this exposition of youth sports information. Learn about risks of youth sports related injuries, network with industry leaders and find out about local leagues to give your kids the best youth sports experiences. Through Sun., June 1. $10-$20. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. 800.825.1575.

Sunday, June 1

Corner Store (Take-Out Stories)
If there’s one thing that unites the vast neighborhoods of Philadelphia, it’s the corner store. These little shops—chock full of groceries, household goods, and/or take-out meals—are staples in more urban areas. After the sun sets, some of these places may inadvertently host a myriad of questionable activities, but nonetheless, they remain part of our neighborhood fabric. Still, how many of us, without checking, know the name of these places? How many of us refer to these businesses by the ethnicity of its owner/operators, as opposed to what they’re actually called?

In their newest exhibition, entitled Corner Store: Take-Out Stories, the mighty Asian Arts Initiative challenges the preconceived notions we may have about these shops and evaluates exactly how much is experienced via the encounters that take place within them. Boasting a mixed-media collection of photography, videos, merchandise and live performances, Corner Store hopes to shatter some of the myths erected around the shops in your ‘hood. By starting a dialogue regarding some of the ethnic alienation, culture shock and the ever-tricky language barrier, this project addresses the notion of how relationships are forged, depending on which side of the counter the person stands.

Collaborating with talented Amber Art cohorts Ernel Martinez and Keir Johnston, AAI presents a remarkable project that hopes to enlighten as well as educate members of our community about, well, each other. // KENNEDY ALLEN

Through Aug. 22. Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St. 215.557.4055.

Superhero Soiree
Nest, an early child enrichment and activity center, hosts this superhero-themed bash and dress-up for you and your young ones. Superhero activities, mask making and games will be featured, as well as some adult beverages for super parents. 3:30pm. $15 per family. Nest, 1301 Locust Street. 215.545.6378.

Irish American Festival
Celebrate all of Ireland’s glory and Irish pride at the Delaware River Waterfront this week. The festival includes traditional food, music, dancing and craft vendors. This is a family-friendly event, so bring the kids for some step-dancing and shepherd’s pie. 1pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

Monday, June 2

Five Into One
Celebrate Philadelphia’s finest art school graduates with the annual Five Into One gallery show. Pieces will be on display by graduating BFA and MFA students from Moore, PAFA, Tyler, UPenn and UArts—all of which have been curated by artists Aimee Gilmore and Sarah Peoples. 9am. Free. Moore College of Art & Design, 20th and the Parkway.

Ana Castillo
A pre-eminent voice on the modern Chicana diaspora, Ana Castillo has published several collections of her poetry and seven novels. Tonight, Castillo will read and discuss her newest work, Give it to Me, the story of a divorcée seeking excitement through interaction with her street-tough cousin. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine Street. 215.567.4341.

Tuesday, June 3

AIDS Education Month
Philadelphia FIGHT kicks off the 20th anniversary of AIDS Education Month with an opening reception featuring snacks, drinks and conversation. The celebration will also include the presentation of the 2014 Kiyoshi Kuromiya award to Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, for her work in retrovirology. 5:30pm. Free. Independence Visitors Center, Sixth and Market sts. 215.985.4448.

#IWillListen Day
One in every four Americans is affected by mental illness, and today the National Alliance on Mental Illness take over Love Park for their #IWillListen Day of awareness. A free mental health fair in the morning will be followed by a benefit concert presented by Box of Stars, a nonprofit aimed at promoting mental health through music. 10am. Love Park, 1599 JFK Blvd.

Wednesday, June 4

Drexel Mediterranean Ensemble
The Drexel Mediterranean Ensemble will perform Ladino, Klezmer, Liturgical and Raga inspired music to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Special guests joining the ensemble include Donna Morein (mezzo-soprano) Steve Kramer (cello), Dave Posmontier (keyboards) Kenny Ulansey (woodwinds) and Bill Koutsouros (strings and percussion). 7:30pm. Free. Drexel University, 33rd and Chestnut sts.

The Premier Party 2014
Directed by BalletX Co-Artistic Director Matthew Neenan, the premier party is a cocktail soiree and auction that supports the company’s mission of creating the best and highest quality of work to satisfy their audiences. The event includes a wine tasting by Moore Brothers Wine Company, cocktails and light dinner buffet, and an exclusive performance from the upcoming Summer Series. 6pm. $75. Top of the Tower, 1717 Arch St.

Out of Town

2014 Spring Jazz Fest
Three-time Grammy Award winner, Dee Dee Bridgewater headlines the spring edition of the 2014 Exit Zero International Jazz Festival in Cape May. The show also includes a festival collaboration with the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts, featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers. The outdoor stage will feature live music, a wine and beer tent, food vendors and South Jersey artists and craftsmen. Fri., May 30-Sun., June 1. Congress Hall, 200 Congress Place, Cape May, N.J.
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
The peanut gang, Charlie Brown, Sally, Lucy, Linus and Snoopy hit the stage for a musical featuring the hit songs “Happiness,” “The Book Report” and “Suppertime.” Follow the gang on a typical day as they fly kites, play baseball, and do their homework. Sat., May 31, 4pm. $10. Hedgerow Theatre, 800 Manchester Ave., Media.
Great Railing Weekend of Thunder
New Jersey Motorsports Park hosts a jam-packed weekend of racing excitement to usher in the summer racing season. The Great Railing Weekend of Thunder will feature four racing series, including the return of the Pirelli World Challenge. Sat., May 31-Sun., June 1. $10-$150. New Jersey Motorsports Park, 47 Warbird Drive, Millville, NJ. 856.327.8000.

Wanda Sykes
Never bashful and always a thrill, Wanda Sykes has carved out a well-deserved footing in the standup landscape. Her abrasive and outspoken approach to life is a delight, and Sykes is sure to have A.C. laughing with these two Saturday night performances. Sat., May 31, 7pm and 10pm. $59.50-$65. Music Box at Borgata, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ.

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