Calendar: Nov. 16-22

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Nov. 16, 2011

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Wednesday, Nov. 16

Smut Slam
Sure, you’ve been to a poetry slam before, but have you ever been to one that got you feeling hot and bothered? For this inaugural storytelling event, slammers will have five minutes to share a piece of smut/sex/erotica based on their real-life experiences. Expect steamy tales of sexual discovery as well as hilarious recounts of awkward bedroom moments. A team of judges—including fellow storytellers, writers, theater folks and general sex story enthusiasts—will decide which slammers are worthy of a cool prize. If you’ve got an equally raunchy story that you’d like to share, 10 names will be drawn at random to participate. -Nicole Finkbiner

7:30pm. $5. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. therotunda.org

Russian Circles
Russian Circles’ name is so deliciously cryptic-sounding that it’s a bit disappointing to learn it actually comes from a source as unmysterious as a skating drill practiced by the 1980 Soviet Union national ice hockey team. On the upside, the Chicago (predominantly) instrumental trio’s music delivers on the spectacle that origin story doesn’t. Their freshly released Empros is filled with guitars creaking and cranking to form massive pools of bleak post- and doom metal. There are occasional asides such a hazy, summery melody or the strumming of what sounds like a sitar, but the record’s real draw is its distortion-smitten coldness. For the band’s finest pre-Empros track, check out “Death Rides a Horse” off 2006’s Enter. Since you probably won’t be around to witness the Apocalypse in person, this aural representation of a specter racing to exterminate humanity is a kind of postcard from beyond. -Reyan Ali

8pm. $12-$13. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.563-3980. r5productions.com

Billy Elliot
The winner of a staggering 10 Tony Awards, Billy Elliot dances into the Academy of Music for an extended holiday visit through Nov. 27. The story focuses on a young, motherless boy from an economically depressed coal town who, after dabbling in boxing, gives up the ring to pursue his dream of becoming a ballet dancer. Unlike most screen-to-stage transfers, Director Stephen Daldry’s innovatively theatrical production exceeds the excellent film (also directed by Daldry) from which it is adapted. Featuring Peter Darling’s sensationally fluid choreography and Elton John’s surprisingly muscular and darkly tuneful score, the production is inspiring without ever being sentimental. As visually arresting as it is emotionally engaging, Billy Elliot is a uniquely engaging celebration of the private dancer in us all. -J. Cooper Robb

7:30pm. $20-$150. Academy of Music, Broad and Locust sts. 215.731.3333. kimmelcenter.org/broadway

Thursday, Nov. 17

First Person Arts Festival
In celebration of First Person Arts’ 10th anniversary, this year’s festival will showcase memoir and documentary art for 11 days in Old City. Founded in 2000 by Vicki Solot, the fest seeks to bridge the gap between cultures using real stories. Attendees may choose from April Yvette Thompson’s powerful portrayal of her upbringing in the late 1970s, Adam Wade’s comical spiel from his teenage years in New Hampshire, or the funny sex-themed stories from storytellers Margot Leitman and Giulia Rozzi. Whether you’re feelin’ intellectual dialogue, critically acclaimed documentaries or unique theatrical experiences, the events are sure to deliver something impactful. -Tushara Jewahar

$10-$45. Various locations. firstpersonarts.org

Beaujolais for the Day

Ooo-la-la and such! Midtown Village will transform into Village de Centre-Ville to celebrate the most popular vin de primeur—wines that are permitted to be sold the same year they are harvested—the Beaujolais. Fermented for only a few weeks and sold the third Thursday of November, the Beaujolais is a young, red and fruity wine made from Gamay grapes. Did you learn anything yet? If not, just take advantage of the door-to-door complimentary wine tastings, special discounts and Beaujolais themed demonstrations. Plus, make a reservation at a participating restaurant to experience a Beaujolais-inspired menu. Our picks: Day Boat Scallops with Beaujolais Risotto at Opa and Beaujolais-braised Short Rib Pizza at Zavino. -Cristina Perachio

5-8pm. Midtown Village. midtownvillage.org

Bearded Ladies Cabaret
The Bearded Ladies kick off their 2011-2012 late-night cabaret series at the Wilma Theater with Wide Awake: A Civil War Cabaret. After a series of sold out shows last season, John Jarboe returns to direct and act as Dixie, the bearded Southern belle in oversized dress who sings and dances her way through the violence of the Civil War era. Described as “part Gone With the Wind, part folk-punk extravaganza,” Wide Awake bends gender, redefines genre and shatters expectations as it mixes the
classic jazz stylings of Hoagy Carmichael with more contemporary works by Elton John. -Kyle Bella

10:30pm. $20-25. Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St. 215.546.7824. wilmatheater.org

Phantogram

Upstate New York duo Phantogram is the best-looking band in the universe right now (and by that we’re really talking about stunning singer-keyboardist Sarah Barthel, but we figured we’d include singer-guitarist Josh Carter, too, so he doesn’t feel bad). Which certainly doesn’t hurt the cause. But Phantogram’s hypnotic, nocturnal electro grooves are the most droolworthy thing of all—their thick beats, gauzy vocals, twang-reverb guitars and sinister samples and textures reference Portishead and Bowery Electric more than anything. If you’ve never caught the twosome in concert before—where they’re joined by a live drummer—we’re pretty sure you’re gonna fall way in love, for a variety of reasons. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $15. With Exitmusic. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. utphilly.com

Friday, Nov. 18

Stripped Stories
While the First Person Festival has a crap-load of cool events lined up for its 10th anniversary, you can file this one in the “absolutely must-see” category. Hosts Margot Leitman and Giulia Rozzi are bringing their two-hour, sexually charged storytelling event to Philly for a hilarious night of sex-themed stories, games and live music. Performers include First Person Arts storytellers, former phone-sex operator Kent Dwyer and former PW staffer Liz Spikol. Local cabaret performer Johnny Showcase will serenade the audience with his uniquely absurd style of sensual soul tunes. And the audience will get to join in on all the smutty fun playing a special version of the classic party game, “Never Have I Ever.” -N.F.

10pm. $15. Painted Bride, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. paintedbride.org

Transgressing the Triple X

ScrewSmart is offering a novel take on the standard Friday night “dinner and a movie.” The sex-positive educators’ workshop on queer and transgender porn mixes a smidgen of learning with a big helping of hot clips from recent videos. As the randy researchers will explain, a quiet revolution has been unfolding within the porn industry of late. Studios like Trannywood Pictures and performers like Jiz Lee—a gorgeous androgynous butch—have begun creating smart smut for fellow queers. To say that their work differs from the typical fare oozing out of the San Fernando Valley is an understatement. Unlike mainstream porn, where sketchy dudes have their way with nubile, gym-toned teens, the new wave of queer and transgender porn features men and women with freckles and bellies. Onscreen they talk, they joke and they reach for more lube when necessary. They also have some really hot sex. But in order to see transman Buck Angel upend all preconceptions of what a porn stud is, the curious will need to set aside online onanism to spend the evening in some smart company. -Raymond Simon

7pm. Free. Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St. 215.413.0999. screwsmart.com

Joe Lally
Fugazi bassist Joe Lally’s solo endeavors have, until now, generally been meditative, minimalistic efforts. They possess the understated steeliness, inviting a late-night beatnik vibe shadowed by a hint of menace and subtle funk. Ending a four-year absence, Lally’s third album Why Should I Get Used To It features searing guitar skronk and squall courtesy of Elisa Abela. While the tempos are still often sedate, Abela’s spiky, demonstrative style proves an ideal, noisy counterpart to Lally’s lithe double-jointed rhythms and understated baritone speak/sing. Now a resident of Rome, Italy, Lally’s American tour features different musicians and an unusual/intriguing bass-drums-electric cello lineup. -Chris Parker

7:30pm. $10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com

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