Calendar: Oct. 17-23

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Oct. 16, 2012

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Delta Rae play World Cafe Live on Thursday.

Wed., Oct. 17

Literary Death Match
Hot off filming the pilot episode of the TV game-show version, Literary Death Match returns to Philadelphia for its fourth incarnation. This time around, the contenders are: Brooklyn-based comedian and author Dan Wilbur; Kimberly Ann Southwick, founder of local lit mag Gigantic Sequins; Randall Brown, flash-fiction writer and director at the MFA program at Rosemont College; and Kim Gek Lin Short, author of The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits, which has been called “prose elegy of a boy who wants to be a bug in order to save by symbiosis the dead girl he loves.” It’s all about watching a bunch of smart, funny people competing for your love and affection in the literary wilderness abounds. This round’s judge robes shall be donned by local comedian Carolyn Busa, Tribune journalist (and PW contributor) Bobbi Booker and playwright R. Eric Thomas. -Tara Murtha

7:30pm. $7-$10. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Stars of David
Despite the many new plays that come out of Philadelphia, only one in the past 20 years has gone on to win a Tony Award for best new play (Philadelphia Theatre Company’s production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class). However, PTC may once again find fame and fortune on Broadway with the company’s new world premiere musical Stars of David. Developed at the company’s ambitious new-play festival PTC @ Play last spring, the musical draws on Abigail Pogrebin’s best-selling book Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk about Being Jewish, a collection of 62 interviews that Pogrebin conducted with some of the world’s most famous Jews. PTC producing artistic director Sara Garonzik says the show has changed dramatically since last spring and that librettist Charles Busch (the flamboyant actor/playwright and author of the brilliantly funny Tony-nominated comedy The Allergist’s Wife) is still tinkering with the final version. Each of the 12 interviews included in the show have been transformed into songs by a team of composers and lyricists that include Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), William Finn (Falsettos), Marc Shaiman (Hairspray), Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) and the recently deceased Marvin Hamlisch, who contributed one of the last songs he ever wrote to the project. Described by Garonzik as a poignant and occasionally humorous look at the diversity of Jewish identity, a cast of four portrays the dozen interviewees featured in Stars, including such notable figures as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, playwright Tony Kushner, activist Gloria Steinem and comedienne Joan Rivers. -J. Cooper Robb

8pm. $51-$76. Through Nov. 18. Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard sts. 215.985.0420.

Primus 3D
For more than 25 years, Primus’ funky Rush-meets-Residents style of goofballism has given them a loyal fanbase and several somewhat unexpected radio hits. For their latest tour and album—last year’s Green Naugahyde—bassist/vocalist Les Claypool and guitarist Larry LaLonde are joined by former drummer Jay Lane, who left the band before the group’s first album, 1989’s live Suck On This. Besides playing two sets, the tour will also be in 3-D and quadrophonic surround sound, ostensibly to tap into the “even more stoned” demographic that the group has underutilized. With the use of 3-D glasses and screen projections, the band will look like they’re actually right there in front of the audience. Primus promises a “one-of-a-kind psychedelic experience,” which is all well and good, except for those afflicted with a lazy eye (this author included), making it hard for the stereoscopic images to fully take effect. Alas, the visually challenged will be forced to only listen to the music like second-class citizens. Stay strong, my cock-eyed brethren! -Bryan Bierman

8pm. $47-$69.50. Tower Theatre, 69th and Ludlow sts. 610.352.2887.

Thurs., Oct. 18

Bootlegger’s Ball
To celebrate the opening of its world-premiere exhibition, American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, the Constitution Center will transform its Grand Hall Lobby into a swinging speakeasy. In addition to flowing libations—a variety of whisky cocktails from Jim Beam’s Devil Cut and Canadian Club Dock No. 57, as well as Batch 19 lager inspired by the last batches of beer brewed before Prohibition—the Ben Maugger Orchestra will perform some of the era’s most popular jazz numbers. Should partygoers want to pick up some new, era-appropriate moves like the Charleston and Lindy Hop, Mixed Pickles Vintage Dance Co. will provide free dance lessons throughout the evening. Guests are encouraged to come in their finest Roaring-Twenties attire, and will have a chance to strike a pose inside a special photo booth equipped with themed props. -Nicole Finkbiner

5:30pm. $35-$40. The Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. 215.409.6600.

Delta Rae
Delta Rae practically bursts at the vocal seams, with flaxen-haired belter Brittany Holljes and darker, bluesier Elizabeth Hopkins trading lead vocals, calls, responses and harmonies with Holljes’ brothers Ian and Eric. Even drummer Mike McKee and bassist Grant Emerson sometimes enter the singalong, joining in on rousing, soul-stirring anthems that mix country, folk, blues, musical showstoppers and diva pop in varying proportions. Live, the singers often venture into strategic sections of the audience, so that listeners feel themselves at the vortex of a Sacred Harp revival. If Mumford & Sons ever made a run at American Idol, it would sound just like Delta Rae. -Jennifer Kelly

7pm. $14-$22. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Fri., Oct. 19

This Is How We Do It ’90s Halloween Costume Party
Tonight, The Troc kicks things old-school, hosting a Halloween bash that Generation Y can appreciate. Come dressed as your favorite ‘90s star or character and get ready to Macarena into the early morning as DJ HONKEYTRON and friends spin some of the decade’s biggest pop, hip-hop and rock hits. Expect tunes from Britney Spears, ‘N Sync, TLC, Nirvana, Mariah Carey and, of course, the Spice Girls. As for costume ideas, just hit your nearest thrift store and search for ‘90s wardrobe staples like a colorful nylon track suit, snap-back hat, oversized FUBU sweater, scrunchie, bowling shirt, fanny pack, plaid mini skirt or flannel button-up. The party is expected to sell out, so buy your ticket online now. -N.F.

10pm. $5-$7. The Troc, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888.

The Collection: Short Fiction From the Transgender Vanguard
When editors Tom Léger and Riley MacLeod first decided to compile an anthology of fiction by transgender authors, they had no idea what the response would be. They received hundreds of submissions from a diverse and talented group of trans writers, everyone from first-time authors and published novelists to cartoonists and software engineers. After two years and many tough choices, the pair selected 28 short stories for The Collection, published earlier this October by Topside Press. Stylistically, the work runs the gamut of genres from gritty realism to speculative science fiction and everything in between. Tonight, five contributors will read their stories, including Ryka Aoki, Red Durkin, Stephen Ira and Donna Ostrowsky. Of special note is local performer and author Rey Drew, whose thoughtful story sketches a particularly tough night at the coffee shop for Sam, a mild-mannered barista struggling to have others accept his burgeoning male identity. -Raymond Simon

5:30pm. Free. Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St. 215.923.2960.

Sat., Oct. 20

We can all relate to the mind-gripping grief of a broken heart, a pain that is often difficult—if not impossible—to express in words. Giselle, the story of a peasant girl who helplessly falls in love with a prince, artfully transforms heartache into a beautiful synchronization of body and emotion. It premiered in the romance capitol of Paris, France in 1841 and rapidly became the 19th century’s most beloved artistic achievement. First performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1988, Giselle will be principal ballerina Arantxa Ochoa’s last performance with the company after 16 extraordinary years. Nearly two centuries after Giselle first enchanted audiences, you can embark on her emotional plight through the delicate, dramatic movements of the ballet. In the words of Fall Out Boy, “Breaking hearts has never looked so cool.”  -Caroline Newton

Through Oct. 28.  $20-$125. Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999.

Live Murder Mystery Theater: The Borden Tragedy
Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick, or Lizzie in the bedroom with the ax? Cliche? Maybe, but it’s been 120 years, and no one has figured out who actually killed Mr. and Mrs. Borden in their own home. The evidence seemed to point to an unusual suspect, their daughter, Lizzie, who was eventually acquitted of the charges. This interactive play, written and directed by Josh Hitchens, attempts to make sense of it all by recreating what happened on the day of the murders. Guests are taken through the large Victorian Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion to find carefully crafted scenes with potential murder weapons strewn about and actors posing as suspects in each room. After immersing yourself in the action, gathering all of the facts and reviewing the case, let your inner super sleuth shine by attempting to solve the grisly murder yourself. -Anthony Trivelli

6pm. $16. Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 W. Tulpehocken St. 215.438.1861.

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