Calendar: Nov. 30-Dec. 6

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Nov. 30, 2011

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Cocktails and Crafts
Before you check out First Friday in Old City, spend the earlier part of your evening at Citizens for a No Kill Philadelphia’s Cocktails and Crafts benefit. The event is presented by Gritty City Philadelphia, a natural bath, body and fragrance company—one of more than 30 local craft vendors that will be on hand to sell handmade bags, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, toys and more. Holiday shopping will be easy as you browse the crafts, sip wine and try local beers in a loft overlooking the Ben Franklin Bridge. The cost of a ticket will get you appetizers and jazz music by the Narberth Jazz Project. VIP tickets include a special goody bag. -Brenda Hillegas

4-9pm. $10-$25. Power Plant Studios, 230 N. Second St.

Saturday, Dec. 3

You wouldn’t expect something this playful to emerge from two (traditionally dour) Germans recording in a windowless WWII bunker-cum-studio. Yet the duo’s breakthrough 2007 debut, Idealism, bubbles with airy vibrancy and a crackling minimalist dance-rock mien lifted from Daft Punk. It’s funky enough for the dancefloor but without the benumbed, brain-deadened vibe. “You can’t see anything [in the bunker] so you travel with your mind and that makes you really creative,” explains Jens Moelle, who met his partner at a record shop ala High Fidelity. The follow-up, I Love You Dude, is still banging, if somewhat woollier. The real complaint’s that they’re trying so hard it often comes off calculated and contrived instead of joyously indifferent. -Chris Parker

9pm. $15-$17. With Data Romance + American Royalty. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St.

Go West Craft Fest
Before you go to some huge retail chain and buy your friends and loved ones cheap, unoriginal gifts, consider all the starving local crafters and artists out there you could help feed simply by purchasing whatever awesome one-of-a-kind creations they’re making. For one day, 40 of Philly’s finest artisans will be under one roof selling their handmade wares, including soaps, candles, children’s toys and clothes and jewelry to prints, ornaments, ceramics and plenty of cozy, hand-stitched woolens and knits. You’ll definitely want to check out Corina Dross’ illustrated playing cards, Amy B.’s custom laser-cut acrylic jewelry and the vintage stained glass jewelry and beautiful knits handcrafted by Mike & Wilder Scott-Straight. Surely someone on your shopping list would much prefer one of these items over an iTunes gift card. -N.F.

11am-5pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.

Buy Black Expo
In the spirit of Kwanzaa’s fourth principle, Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), put some money in independent business owners’ pockets at the Buy Black Holiday Shopping Expo. This all day shopping extravaganza will feature regional vendors, cultural cuisine, give-a-ways and entertainment from local talent. Cool crafts, toys for tots, great garments, jewelry, art, wearable art and specialty items will be featured. The National Alliance of Market Developers is a professional organization committed to being a catalyst for positive and progressive change for African-Americans. This 10th annual event was created to foster economic and social empowerment among the Philadelphia black community during the holiday season. -Lacey C. Clark

10am-6pm. Free. First District Plaza, 3801 Market St.

Sunday, Dec. 4

Fuck That: The Anti-Holiday Show
Sprightly musician Erin McKeown has what is by any measure a great career. In little more than a decade, the singer and multi-instrumentalist has released seven full-length records featuring enjoyable takes on folk, swing and rock ’n’ roll. She’s even currently a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Despite her success, it turns out that this talented queer artist has long been harboring a dark secret: She loathes the holidays. Given the consumer frenzy that seizes our nation during this time, expressing even a smidgen of ambivalence regarding the Yuletide season can get one branded a freak. McKeown’s not one for half measures, though. Her latest record includes tracks like “Santa Is An Asshole,” which identifies jolly St. Nick as “an icon of the Right,” and “It’s a Very Queer Christmas,” which enumerates all the humiliations suffered by every homosexual who’s ever brought a partner home for Christmas dinner. Sound appealing? Then come out to hear this curmudgeonly caroler parody old chestnuts like “Silver Bells” and play other lumps of coal from her anti-holiday record. -Raymond Simon

8pm. $24-$34. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

The Myopia
Noted actor and avant-garde playwright David Greenspan brings his highly acclaimed and utterly unique solo show The Myopia: An Epic Burlesque of Tragic Proportions to Bryn Mawr College this week. Utilizing nothing more than a chair and a curtain as props, in Myopia Greenspan stakes his claim as one of the world’s great storytellers. Portraying 22 characters, including President Warren G. Harding, a giant woman trapped in a castle with her overbearing mother and a man who has spent his life writing a musical about the unremarkable Harding, Greenspan uses his voice to conjure images that are both strange and vivid. A minimalist work that although devoid of special effects creates a spectacle worthy of a Broadway musical, Myopia is ultimately a celebration of theater as a living entity that exists not only on stage, but in the collective minds of the audience. -J. Cooper Robb

2pm. $20. Bryn Mawr College, 101 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr. 610.526.5210.

Parenthetical Girls
Full disclosure: Parenthetical Girls singer Zac Pennington, also an arts scribe, was a colleague of mine when, in another lifetime, I was a freelance music writer for Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger. Fuller disclosure: I never actually met Zac in person, so I feel that I can totally gush about his excellent Portland, Ore.-based band without compromising my integrity. They’re magnetic and repulsive in equal measures—just how I dig it. Like Xiu Xiu, they pump jarringly gorgeous New Wave/post-punk melodies with deeply disturbing psychosexual drama. In and out. In and out. Pennington and company will captivate and corrupt your soul. Enjoy. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $12. With Yacht + Extreme Animals. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.563.3980.

Monday, Dec. 5

Jersey Boys
The Jersey Boys are “Working Their Way Back to You.” The Tony Award-winning show focuses on pop group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and chronicles the improbable climb to success of a group of boys from the wrong side of the tracks. Many forget that before there was Beatlemania, there was Vallimania. Fans of their catchy, feel good music or those simply nostalgic for a simpler time can experience “The Closest Thing to Heaven.”  Audience members will be bopping along to classics like “December 1963, (Oh What a Night),” “Can’t Take my Eyes Off of You” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” -Laura Goldman

8pm. $52.50-$150. Through Jan. 14. Forrest Theater, 1114 Walnut St. 800.447.7400

Martha Marcy May Marlene
The title is a mouthful, and confusing. Even people I know who love this film can’t seem to remember what it’s called. But then, that’s kind of the point. Writer-director Sean Durkin’s altogether astonishing debut feature is all about a loss of identity and that slippery slope between the past and the present. Played by the heretofore unknown Elizabeth Olsen (yep, kid sister to those annoying twins) we follow Martha as she tries to break away from a free-loving, Manson-esque cult and get back to “normal” life. The film’s unique spell will stay with you long after watching. -Sean Burns

6:30pm. $5-$8. Through Dec. 8. The Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St.

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