Jeremy Deller: Joy in People
Somehow, the ICA got unpredictable English conceptual artist Jeremy Deller to hang his stuff on their walls for his first mid-career retrospective, Joy In People. For 20 years, Deller has been breaking people out of their comfort zones to think about the world a little more, through video, sound, installation and public performance. The 2004 Turner Prize-winner presents unique looks at social groups we think we already know—like mill workers, wrestlers, historical re-enactors and brass musicians—all to downplay the deplorable artistic ego. A foil to Damien Hirst’s gallery-trapped world, Deller takes you onto the streets for mill-worker riot recreations and full-scale parades (complete with “Joy in People” banners) and, with a touring piece called It Is What It Is, drives you into impromptu conversations about Iraq at art museums. ICA presents artifacts, videos, photographs and sound pieces, including reproductions of a Manchester cafe and his first installation, One Bedroom (’93). -Sean Corbett
Through Dec. 30. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.7108. icaphila.org
Having fronted Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver at different points over the last two decades, Scott Weiland’s Greatest Hits Tour figures to have plenty of songs for him to choose from. If he is talking about his solo work, however, then that will be a different story—he has never been able to duplicate STP’s or Velvet Revolver’s level of success. Likely entries from his solo work could include the STP-esque “Barbarella” or the kooky “Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down” from 12 Bar Blues, as well as the rocker “Missing Cleveland” from Happy in Galoshes. If he wants to be daring, though, maybe he’ll do his surprisingly cool rendition of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” from his 2011 Christmas album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. That said, here’s hoping he breaks out “Plush,” “Big Empty” and “Vaseline” while he’s at it. -Brian Palmer
8pm. $29.50-$39.50. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. 215.572.7650.
Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-On
Kevin Smith—director, writer, comic-book nerd and all around awesome dude—stops by Philly this week for a live taping of his weekly podcast Hollywood Babble-On with Ralph Garman (of The Joe Schmo radio show). Babble-On is one of the many podcasts on Smith’s SModcast Network and can be found on the SModcast website as well as SModcast Internet Radio. Sit back and have some laughs and drinks as these guys shed an inappropriate light on all the week’s show biz news. -Brenda Hillegas
8pm. $45. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. babbleonkev.com
Mon., Nov. 26
Journey of the Universe
Tonight, Chestnut Hill College hosts a free screening of the Emmy Award-winning film, Journey of the Universe: An Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth, and Human Transformation. Taking its viewers on a voyage from the Greek island of Samos to a star-lit sky out over the Aegean Sea, the film weaves a tapestry that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, biology, ecology and biodiversity with insights concerning the nature of the universe and humanity’s place within it. In addition to the screening, attendees have the opportunity to discuss the film with one of its writers, and stargaze from the college’s Observatory, where they can peer through a 14-inch Celestron telescope. This cosmic event will explore issues from the Big Bang to the epic impact humans have on the planet today, all in an attempt to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth in a period of growing environmental and social crisis. -Lindsay Kenney
7pm. Free. Chestnut Hill College, 9601 Germantown Ave. 215.248.7197. irands.org
The FINAL Hey Everybody!
As they say, all good things must come to end and sadly, this now includes Philly Improv Theater’s alternative monthly stand-up showcase. The show’s host—local stand-up, WitOut.net editor and all around comedic chameleon—Aaron Hertzog will soon be bidding Philly adieu and heading West to make a name for himself in the comedy biz. Joining him on stage for one last time to say their farewells are a slew of funny locals including Brendan Kennedy, Rob Baniewicz, Chip Chantry, Jim Grammond and Christian Alsis. Having earned a reputation as one of our brightest comedic talents—in addition to being dubbed a “dreamboat” by this week’s PW cover ladies—Mr. Hertzog will no doubt be missed. So expect there to be a brief period of mourning and at least one grown man on the brink of tears. -Nicole Finkbiner
10pm. $8-$10. The Philly Improv Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. 267.233.1556. phillyimprovtheater.com
Tues., Nov. 27
Satchmo at the Waldorf
In 2004, John Douglas Thompson appeared at the Wilma Theater, where he captured the Barrymore Award for his performance in Jesus Hopped the A Train. It was a harbinger of things to come: Following a string of brilliant performances as Macbeth, Othello, and the title character in Eugene O’Neill’s Emperor Jones, Thompson is now rightfully considered America’s greatest classical actor. This week, Thompson returns to the place where he experienced his first significant success when he occupies the Wilma’s stage for a limited engagement of Terry Teachout’s Satchmo at the Waldorf. The play is set in 1971 in the waning days of Louis Armstrong’s illustrious life and career. Thompson’s performance (which never attempts to mimic Armstrong but instead capture his unique character) draws a sharp distinction between Armstrong’s joyful public persona and the private man who spewed obscenities and harbored bitterness so deep that it gnawed at his soul. An uncommonly powerful and patient actor, Thompson displays his versatility portraying not only the distinctive Armstrong, but also the musician’s slimy-smooth white business manager and Miles Davis, who criticized Armstrong for his cozy relationship with white audiences. A last minute addition to the Wilma’s schedule, Satchmo should give local theatergoers at least one reason to be grateful this Thanksgiving. -J.C.R.
6:30pm. $19.50-$34. Through Dec. 2. Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St. 215.546.7824. wilmatheater.org
This week, six young veterans and current military people will showcase their work at Gallery 102 in a show curated by Amy Herrera, an Air Force and Boeing Corporation vet who quit the life in 2010 to lobby for veterans’ causes. Herrera was featured in a January 2012 issue of PW for her work advocating medical marijuana as an alternative treatment for PTSD. Some of the other artists whose work will be shown include Bren Mack, combat medic Jennifer Pacanowski and Nate Lewis, who “is both horrified and shocked at the wars we find ourselves fighting.” -Randy LoBasso
4-6pm. Through Nov. 28. Gallery 102, 1400 N. American St. 215.232.3203. inliquid.org
Listening to Civil Twilight is like combining the musical sensibilities of Keane, the lyrical mien of Thom Yorke and Jeff Buckley and the vocals of Fran Healy of the band Travis and enjoying the concoction that results. The brooding piano rock number “Letters from the Sky,” from their self-titled 2010 debut LP, is a chilling track about longing for a future free of fear, and their sophomore release, Holy Weather, deftly explores the emotional depths of the human experience and engages the listener with a broad palette of sounds. “Fire Escape” entrances with its mixture of danceable pop rock, ethereal-yet-ominous guitar licks and lyrics about yearning for more than life currently offers, and when the band slows it down on the ambient piano ballad “It’s Over,” lead singer Steven McKellar’s quiet, barely-there vocals make for the perfect accompaniment. Civil Twilight makes smart, accessible music that resonates emotionally and challenges intellectually, and Holy Weather is undeniable proof. -B.P.
8pm. $15-$17. With Modern Inventors. The Note, 142 E. Market St., West Chester. thenotewc.com
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Calendar: February 18-25