Wednesday, November 13
PW’s Taste of Philly
Sample dishes and drinks from the best bars and restaurants the city has to offer—including IndeBlue, Los Gallos, Maggiano’s and many more. Stroll through the beer garden; enjoy live music from the Business; get your photo taken by Photobot 3000; and, hey, meet and chat with a bunch of the food-and-drink-lovin’ hacks who produce this here PW every single week. Portions of each ticket will go to the NoKidHungry.org, a national child hunger-relief charity that works with local restaurants and the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. 6pm. $35. Crystal Tea Room, 100 E. Penn Square. philadelphiaweekly.com
Por Amor en el Caserio
Currently a box office smash in Puerto Rico, this film calls for reformative social change there while also highlighting the sting of poverty faced by individuals the world over. 7pm. Free. Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Ben Franklin Pwky. aldiafilm.eventbrite.com
Patchett’s latest literary memoir has her sharing the experiences that shaped her life—from her relationships with family and friends to opening her own bookstore. 7:30pm. Sold out. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Thursday, November 14
The Politics of Poetry
When women are added to the conversation, the conversation changes. That’s true whether we’re talking about cocktail party banter, the political arena or the artistic community. Since women make up half of the human population, you’d think including us in, oh, anything would be a given—but no: The foundations of feminism and gender equality in this country have been painstakingly laid, brick by brick, by a handful of influential women. In a rare and special instance, three of those activists-in-arms will reflect upon their experiences in a panel entitled The Politics of Poetry as part of this month’s 12th annual First Person Arts Festival.
Ana Castillo, the youngest of the trio, holds multiple degrees, including an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Bremen, Germany. Castillo coined the term Xicanisma, defining it as “an ever present consciousness of our interdependence specifically rooted in our culture and history.” It’s not only a way for Latinas to understand themselves and their places in the world, she stresses, but also for everyone as well. Along with Castillo, Angela Davis is arguably one of the most influential women in modern American history. As early as 1969, she began voicing her opposition to the Vietnam War and her support of gay rights and other social justice movements; her membership in the Communist Party led to then-Gov. Ronald Reagan’s request to have her barred from teaching at any California university. She’s now a retired UC Santa Cruz professor and the former director of the university’s feminist studies department. Rounding out the trio, Philadelphia-based treasure Sonia Sanchez was an advocate for the introduction of black studies courses in California, first implementing these studies in San Francisco State University in the late ‘60s. The multi-talented poetess and writer of 16 books was also an influential part of the Black Arts movement, during which African-Americans redefined American literature by establishing their own publishing houses, magazines, journals and other artistic institutions.
Individually, these three women have worked tirelessly to give voice and identity to a plethora of issues affecting minorities. Together, they represent the authority and impact of a woman’s voice. / KENNEDY ALLEN
Thurs., Nov. 14, 7pm. $20-$25. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. firstpersonarts.org
Tom Nissley: A Reader’s Book of Days
Eight-time Jeopardy! champion Tom Nissley is one of those kinds of guys you wish you were: smart, well-read and well-regarded by his peers. A potential contestant in the quiz show’s upcoming 30-year anniversary “Battle of the Decades,” for which three spots out of 45 will be selected via online votes, the Seattle-ite and Ph.D. has written for numerous publications, including the Paris Review, the Stranger and The Millions, plus he has two published books under his belt. His latest, A Reader’s Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year, is a collection of accounts from some of literature’s most famous works, is set to inspire potential writers.
Nissley fills his pages with robust accounts from both fictional and non-fictional sources, including works of Stephen King, Jane Austen, Hunter S. Thompson, David Foster Wallace, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Phillip K. Dick. Where applicable, he tells us when each author was born and died and provides lists of recommended reading for each month of the year. There are more than 2,000 stories contained within.
Nissley’s headed to Main Point Books in Bryn Mawr to read from Reader’s Book of Days and answer any questions a young, literature-minded bibliophile may have. And if his blog is any indication, expect a very articulate “put me on Jeopardy! again” pitch. / RANDY LOBASSO
7pm. Free. Main Point Books, 1041 W. Lancaster Ave. 610.525.1480. mainpointbooks.com
Anna Nicole Smith’s tragic, lurid descent from sex symbol to train wreck will be cemented in the public consciousness for years to come. Still, who would have thought someone would make an opera out of it? This screening of the 2011 production features music composed by Mark-Anthony Turnage and a libretto from Richard Thomas. 8pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. therotunda.org
Julius Erving: Dr. J: The Autobiography
After spending 11 seasons with the 76ers, including an NBA crown victory in 1983, Dr. J left an unmatched legacy in the world of professional basketball that turned grace and style into important staples of the game. His new memoir, Dr. J: The Autobiography, details his impressive career and delves into his much ballyhooed personal life. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
Macy Gray: On How Life Is
Fourteen years sounds like an awkward time to celebrate an anniversary, but that’s exactly what Macy Gray is doing to commemorate the release of her 1999 debut album featuring her Grammy Award-winning hit, “I Try.” 8pm. With KillerWhale. $29-$49. World Cafe Life, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Quintessence Theatre Group hosts its version of the Shakespeare classic, with ensemble member Josh Carpenter taking the lead role and fight scenes choreographed by Philadelphia’s fight master Ian Rose. 7pm. $15-$25. Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave. 215.987.4450. quintessencetheatre.org
Friday, November 15
Weirdly violent and often sociopathic, Jake and Amir, the online-shorts series by Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld on the comedy website CollegeHumor.com, is officially that site’s longest-running show. Set in a New York City office, it depicts a humorless regular guy and his annoying, idiotic co-worker. As CollegeHumor employees, best friends Hurwitz and Blumenfeld began the production on their own, posting the one- to two-minute clips to Vimeo until the site shrewdly decided to incorporate it into their own official offerings. (They’ve even got one 30-minute special in which Amir, the “crazy” one, gets fired from CollegeHumor.) Now immensely popular among both the current college set and people who were probably into MadTV back in the day, the pair has taken their hilarity on the road.
On the CollegeHumor Live tour, the pair’ll be joined by comedian-writer Streeter Seidell, who often takes parts in the site’s more memorable skits. Seidell hit the big time in 2009 when his online series, Prank War, went viral and earned him a TV show of his own on MTV, Pranked, where Seidell and Blumenfeld watch pranks from the Internet and comment on them in humorous ways. He also penned the hilarious White Whine: A Study of First-World Problems, released just last month, along with a couple CollegeHumor-branded books. Trust that the laughs tonight will flow as freely as the beer. / R.L.
7pm. $17. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
My Fair May Dee: A Roast and Adios to Madi Distefano
Philly’s punk rock theater pioneer May Dee Distefano recently made the big move to Austin, Texas. Thanks to the folks at Brat Productions and Plays and Players, she’s coming back for a proper goodbye in the form of a roast and dance party with music by DJ Diablo. 6:30pm. $15-$30. Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey St. 215.735.0630. playsandplayers.org
Secret Cinema: Christopher Morley
Secret Cinema presents this tribute to the late Philadelphia-based writer Christopher Morley with a screening of 1940’s Kitty Foyle, the Oscar-winning adaptation of his best-selling novel. 8pm. $8. Frankford Historical Society, 1507 Orthodox St. 215.743.6030. frankfordhistoricalsociety.org
Free. Think. Love. Frankenstein.
It was only a matter of time before someone put a burlesque spin on Mary Shelly’s classic goth tale. The show marks the debut production of the Cabaret Administration theater company founded earlier this year. 9pm. $15-$20. The Adrienne Skybox, 2030 Sansom St. 215.567.2848. brownpapertickets.com
All American Happy Hour
How many color guards have you seen during happy hour? That’s just a bit of what’s in store at this year’s annual All American Day—supporting the patriotic non-profit organization of the same name—which will also feature world class raffle prizes and a silent auction. 7:30pm. $20-30. Yards Brewing Company, 901 N. Delaware Ave. 215.634.2600. allamericanday.org
Jean Plough: Heart and Soul
Philly’s own Jean Plough shows off her recent abstract expressionist paintings, which she describes as involving “the awkwardness of corny and kitsch” and are partly inspired by meditative concepts. Through Dec. 8. Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St. twenty-twogallery.com
Saturday, November 16
Last year’s Sun is unlike anything Cat Power’s ever done before, but uniqueness has kind of been her thing from the get-go. Having now broached her 40th, she’s been writing tunes since the fourth grade (that’s about three decades of songcraft). Variety must be what keeps Chan Marshall motivated and inspired: She does covers; she’s folk; she can be a straight-up indie-rock woman of the night; or, she can be a bizarro modern synth-rock diva. It’s no secret that she regularly suffers from the oldest and longest plagues of true artists: doubt, fear, angst and anxiety. With each subsequent record, we inch closer to her, too, honoring her honesty and submitting to the devastation of songs about drugs, love lost and depression.
But on Sun, she turned up the energy, used some synthetic sounds and also managed to be humane and humble. It’s littered with beauty, seen in songs of depth like “Real Life,” sing-a-long feel-good moments like “3,6,9” and ominously dark but ecstatic energy from “Ruin.” And with her renowned improvisational skills, a potent crew of musician friends, and agility on any number of instruments, every live Cat Power show is a heavy one.
We’ll take her at any stage of her career, sure, but tonight, we’re hoping she fills the room with a little creepily gorgeous ladyrock confidence. Lord knows she’s stunningly beautiful and talented. But fans have been telling her that for ages, and it still hasn’t sunk in. / BILL CHENEVERT
8pm. $32. With Nico Turner. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. undergroundarts.org
The Attic Youth Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala
Philadelphia’s only nonprofit devoted primarily to serving LGBTQ youth celebrates their 20th anniversary. Glee star Alex Newell will perform, followed by an award ceremony, cocktails, dinner and dancing. 7pm. The Crystal Tea Room, 100 E. Penn Square. 215.545.4331. atticyouthcenter.org
Tim Teeman: In Bed With Gore Vidal
American’s favorite queer intellectual is the subject of Tim Teeman’s new book. Vidal’s personal life and partners are examined, from Hollywood stars like Joanne Woodard to his latter-life partner Howard Austen and everyone in between. 5:30pm. Free. Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St. 215.923.2960. giovannisroom.com
Philadelphia International Children’s Film Festival
The New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival and the Philadelphia Film Society present this inaugural movie fest for kids and parents. A new version of Pinocchio, whimsical anime and award-winning foreign films are among those to be highlighted at this family-friendly event. 11am. $7-$11. Roxy Theatre, 2021 Sansom St. 267.239.2941. filmadelphia.org
The Way of Calligraphy
Beijing native and Philadelphia local artist/educator Hua Hua Zhang will teach the basic techniques essential to creating beautifully crafted Chinese characters. 10am. $5-$10. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St. 215.545.4302. philartalliance.org
Comedy-gasm! Just Can’t Stop!
Bust your humor nut at this semi-annual standup showcase starring edgy local comics. Hosted by dick-joke enthusiast Rachel Fogletto and featuring farce politician Travis Irvine from N.Y.C., this is one to leave the kids at home for. 8pm. $7. The Irish Pol, 45 S. 3rd St. 267.761.9532. theirishpol.com
Manayunk Craft Beer and Irish Whiskey Festival
That favorite Philly cocktail, the boilermaker, proves that no two things go together quite so well as a beer and a shot of whiskey. In honor of the dubious combination, head to Manayunk for a tasting featuring more than 40 craft brews and 10 Irish whiskeys, plus music and food. 2pm. $25-$40. Kildare’s Irish Pub, 4417 Main St. 215.482.7242. kildaresirishpub.com
Carolyn Wyman Book Signing
The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book is a new history, cookbook and guide celebrating America’s quintessential cookie. Food historian and local author Carolyn Wyman will sign copies among the simple culinary pleasures of Reading Terminal Market. Noon. Free. Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch sts. 215.922.2317. readingterminalmarket.org
Craft Festival: Gifts in the Galleries
Get your Christmas shopping done early by supporting local craft artisans. Over the course of two days, explore gift items made by dozens of area merchants. 10am. Free. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum
Sunday, November 17
The Five Minute Follies featuring Juggler Jen Slaw
Winner of the International Jugglers’ Association Three Ball Award for creativity, Jen Slaw is an accomplished fixture of the New York entertainment scene. She joins singers, dancers, comedians and a tap dance troupe among others for this classic vaudevillian variety show. 3pm. $15-$18. Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom St. fiveminutefollies.com
Philadelphia Sketch Club Legacy Art Show and Sale
America’s oldest club for artists hosts its yearly fundraiser, featuring works by prominent members at discount prices. Support local arts and score a sweet piece to replace that stupid Pulp Fiction poster you’ve had up since college. 1pm. Free. Philadelphia Sketch Club, 235 South Camac St. 215.545.9298. sketchclub.org
Monday, November 18
SuicideGirls: Blackheart Burlesque
What defines beauty? In an age of popularized body modification, its more conventional definitions have shifted—thank heaven—to include more alternative visages. SuicideGirls, the widely popular website that features such beauties, promotes the concept of models having control over how their beauty is portrayed; as a result, the site and the girls themselves continue to build a staggering fan base. And, after a six-year hiatus, its Blackheart Burlesque is back to aid and abet those worthwhile efforts.
Combining the glamour of pin-up poise, tongue-in-cheek humor, the edge of industrial subculture and a kind-hearted jab at pop culture, the Blackheart Burlesque show created a niche for itself in the early 2000s heyday. In fact, they completed five North American tours opening for a bevy of heavy-hitting rock talents. After a six-year hiatus from the stage, veteran choreographer Manwe Sauls-Addison—who has worked with such artists as the late, great Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Lady Gaga—is bringing new performances and updated music to the BB production hoping to scintillate and satisfy fans.
To enthrall their audiences further, the SuicideGirls even throw a little nerd in there, incorporating elements from Game of Thrones, Star Trek, The Avengers, Planet of the Apes and many other geek favorites. So, if you want to see stunningly gorgeous dancers sporting Stormtrooper helmets and toting lightsabers, here’s a night out that promises not to disappoint. / K.A.
9pm. $22.50. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
Deepak Chopra: What Are You Hungry For?
New York Times bestselling author Deepak Chopra delves into the human psyche to excavate the basis of unhealthy diets. Combining mainstream and alternative medicinal theory, What Are You Hungry For? reveals an individuals’ lack of fulfillment in their personal lives as the possible origin of their overeating. 7:30pm. $32. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination
Philip Shenon’s expose A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination presents unprecedented findings in the search for truth surrounding the assassination plot. With the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination approaching, Shenon will discuss his theories and sign copies of the book. Noon. $25-$40. Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. constitutioncenter.org
Tuesday, November 19
Flashdance the Musical
Director and choreographer Sergio Trujillo is breathing new life into the ‘80s pop culture phenomenon with 16 new original songs in addition to the film’s classics. 7:30pm. $20-$100.50. Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. 215.670.2300. kimmelcenter.org
Open Poetry Reading
Think you have what it takes to be the funniest person in the room? Read as many humorous poems as you can squeeze into a five-minute window for a chance to win prizes—whether they’re yours or someone else’s. 7pm. Free. Green Line Cafe, 4426 Locust St. 215.222.0799
Wednesday, November 20
The story goes that in 2008, Alexis Krauss and her mother were dining at a Brazilian spot in Williamsburg called Miss Favela when Derek Miller mentioned that he was on the lookout for a female vocalist to sing over some demos he’d been working on. Krauss’ mom volunteered her daughter. After all, Krauss was no stranger to performance and neither was Miller. She’d been in a girl pop group called RubyBlue in her formidable tweens, and he’d been a guitarist in the rather heavy Poison the Well. Krauss had been teaching Spanish in the Bronx, pursuing a Rhodes scholarship and singing at weddings for fun. Miller was barbacking while churnin’ and burnin’ on crunchy, chaotic compositions of pop mixed with mayhem.
Within days, he was playing her his tracks through headphones in a nearby park. One year later, and after their resulting union, Sleigh Bells, whipped up buzz at CMJ, they signed to M.I.A.’s N.E.E.T. Recordings. Time flies when you’re young, punk and making exquisite noise.
Their debut, 2010’s Treats, is the best thing they’ve ever done. There’ve been two more, including the brand new Bitter Rivals, but they aren’t quite the achievement their debut’s proven to be. Neither are throwaways, though; gems are sprinkled all over their catalogue, so Sleigh Bells have more than enough content to turn Union Transfer inside out. There will be black. There will be bangs. And there will be cathartic, adrenaline-fueled pits of freakout everywhere. / B.C.
10pm. $20-$22. With Doldrums. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Aaron & The Spell: Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions
Local artists Aaron & The Spell perform Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions in its entirety in honor of the album’s 40th anniversary. Proceeds from the show benefit Pathways to Housing, an organization that helps homeless people with psychiatric disabilities find housing. 7pm. $17. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Internationally renowned contemporary ballet company BalletX, known for expertly bending the rules of what classical dance is supposed to look like, returns home for a new season of performances. This week’s series features three world premieres. Through Nov. 23. $22-$35. Wilma Theatre, 265 S. Broad St. 215.893.9456. balletx.org
Out of Town
Playwright Martin McDonagh’s dark rambunctious comedy kicks off Second Stage’s new season. Directed by Dave Ebersole, The Pillowman dramatizes a fiction writer under interrogation in a police state when his grisly stories become reality. 8pm. $10. Through Nov. 23. Players Club of Swarthmore. 614 Fairview Ave. Swarthmore. pcstheater.org
Stockton Free Film Festival
The Richard Stockton College hosts its first free film festival. Organized and run by students of the school, the festival features student-generated shorts (less than 20 minutes each) from participating area colleges and high schools. Thurs, Nov. 14, 5pm. Campus Center Theatre, Richard Stockton College, 101 Vera King Farris Dr., Galloway, N.J. 609.652.1776. stockton.edu
Cowboys (and Cowgirls) in Motion
Communities in Motion, a group aimed at “building awareness for efficient and sustainable transportation,” hosts this pre-Black Friday fundraiser at the Valley Forge Casino. Join them for drinks, raffles and, of course, a mechanical bull-riding competition. Thurs., Nov. 14, 5pm. $40. Deuces Wild, Valley Forge Casino, 1160 First Ave, King of Prussia. 610.354.8118. vfcasino.com
American Craft Whiskey Festival
Join master mixologists and refine your palette with a sampling of 10 different artisan whiskies and barrel-aged barley beers in this two-day long tasting event, complete with seminars, classes and pot still demonstrations. Fri., Nov. 15-Sat., Nov. 16. Golden Nugget AC, Huron Ave. and Brigantine Blvd., Atlantic City, N.J. 800.777.8477. goldennugget.com
Hard rock stalwarts Cheap Trick, now in their fourth decade of existence, return to Atlantic City. The Illinois natives boast an ever-growing catalog, including classics tracks like “I Want You to Want Me,” “Surrender” and “The Flame.” Sat., Nov. 16, 9pm. $39-$69. Harrah’s Resort, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, N.J. 609.441.5000. harrahsresort.com
Compiled by Lauren Arute, Jake Abbate, Drew O’Meara and Dan Gelb.
Calendar: April 1-8
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide