Wednesday, October 23
The first time I saw Man Man, it was May 2007. There must’ve been eight of them on stage, and they took everyone by surprise. The circus/horror-oriented indie rockers had begun extensively touring with their breakout sophomore album Six Demon Bag, quickly gaining the notice of critics for its keen mix of Tom Waits- and Frank Zappa-like rhythms. That night, even though we were right here in the band’s hometown, headliner Modest Mouse was mainstream enough that many of the attendees weren’t about to pay attention to the concert’s openers. And then, everyone did.
The band’s performance blew the crowd away.
After the show, the consensus was clear: Man Man was the only reason to rationalize the ridiculous ticket price—and even then, not really—‘cause, boy, did Modest Mouse suck live. To this day, that Modest Mouse gig was the worst performance I’ve ever seen in my life. And that includes buskers, pop-up concerts and at least one elementary school orchestra.
After that tour ended, it was Man Man who became the headliners, and since then, they’ve made a ton of changes in their line-up and released three more albums. Two of them, 2008’s Rabbit Habits and Life Fantastic in 2011, ranked on the Billboard Top 200; their most recent, On Oni Pond, was just released on Anti- and is clearly the most mature of the outfit’s recordings. Its first single, “Hold On,” introduced the LP this summer as a laid-back collection of tracks with an almost island-y feel.
Man Man’ll be playing to the hometown crowd over two nights, thankfully sans any hint of Modest Mouse, with a different opening act for each evening’s show. Wednesday, Xenia Rubinos warms it up first; on Thursday—Halloween night—King Khan & the Shrines, Melt-Banana and Hell Shovel will have the honor. / RANDY LOBASSO
Through Thurs., Oct. 31. 7pm. $20. With Xenia Rubinos, King Khan & the Shrines, Melt-Banana + Hell Shovel. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
ICA Salon: Jason the Mason
Artists, critics, curators and conservators speak with attendees about their own projects and ruminate on assorted themes in the current Jason Rhoades, Four Roads exhibit, named after the artist who passed away in 2006. 6:30pm. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.5911. icaphila.org
Penn Museum Open House
Get to know the inner workings of the Penn Museum with this special event honoring its 125th anniversary. Visitors have the chance to meet the curators and staff and take part in fun activities for the whole family. Egyptian hieroglyph and Mesopotamian cuneiform classes abound. 5pm. Free. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum
We Are Proud To Present
Brooklyn-based playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury’s new production about African genocide in the 20th century already earned an Edgerton New Play Award thanks to its powerful message, anchored by a balance of chilling drama and comic relief. 7pm. $22-$50. Through Nov. 10. InterAct Theatre Company, 2030 Sansom St. 215.568.8077. interacttheatre.org
Thursday, October 24
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Paul Taylor is one of the greatest American choreographers, period. After performing for greats like Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and George Balanchine, the Pittsburgh-born, D.C.-raised dancer founded his own company in 1954, and it’s been one of the dominant creative forces of American dance since. And there are some fierce alumnae: Senta Driver, David Parsons, Dan Wagoner, Christopher Gillis, Bettie de Jong and Tywla Tharp, to name just a few. Curious about his dynamism and choreographic inspiration? One good place to start is 1999’s Oscar-nominated Dancemaker, a PBS doc by Matthew Diamond, following rehearsals and performances of Taylor famous Piazzolla Caldera. Taylor’s connection to music is always very strong (so is his brilliant conceptualization of movement).
Taylor’s style is a lovely hybrid of modern, contemporary and straight-up ballet requiring a great deal of both physicality, versatility and grace. With over 130 works through six decades, he’s dabbled in nostalgic, humorous, dark and lyrical forms. Four pieces premiere in Philadelphia over the course of four days at the Annenberg Center: two classics, Fibers (1961) and Profiles (1979) plus 2011’s Gossamer Gallants (above) and American Dreamer. Dreamer is brand new, and the music of Stephen Foster drives the divinity. The Annenberg’s been a wonderful place to catch all kinds of dance over the years, but this one’s extra-special for its local debuts of Taylor’s inimitable works. / BILL CHENEVERT
Through Sat., Oct. 26. Various times. $20-$60. The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St. 215.898.6702. annenbergcenter.org
Mega-Bad Movie Night: Them!
For some people, Halloween means one thing: hilariously shitty movies. And that’s why the Academy of Natural Sciences plans to show 1954’s giant man-eating-ant classic Them! As if that wasn’t enough, experts will be on hand to point out the film’s flaws a la Mystery Science Theater 3000. 6:30pm. $10-$15. Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.299.1000. ansp.org
GLOW in the Park
Lighting up the boathouse at FDR Park for the second year in a row, GLOW in the Park features an open bar, firedancers, food trucks and guaranteed special surprises, all with the community-minded goal of building “the next generation of park champions.” 6pm. $75-$100. The Boathouse at FDR Park, 1500 Pattison Ave. myphillypark.org
Dada Land Compound
Who knew an early 20th-century art movement could be this inspirational? For the first time, the Swedish electronic music duo brings their Dada Land Compound to Philadelphia with guests Clockwork, 12th Planet and more. 7pm. $50-$85. The Piazza at Schmidt’s, 1050 N. Hancock St. 215.642.8656. atthepiazza.com
Philadelphia Whiskey & Fine Spirits Festival
Now a decade old, this festival prides itself on gathering a vast assortment of spirits from around the world. Taste more than 100 premium spirits, including whiskey, scotch and tequila, while chatting with the industry’s master distillers. 5pm. $95-$150. Lincoln Financial Field, SCA Club Lounge, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way. 267.570.4000
Friday, October 25
Twilight in the Gardens: Day of the Dead
Bored with the idea of a pumpkin patch? Over haunted houses? Too old to Trick-or-Treat? If you’re on the hunt for an affordable, creative night out this upcoming Halloween weekend, this month’s iteration of Twilight in the Gardens, presented by Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, is sure to be a scream. Since 1994, artist Isaiah Zagar has nurtured and cultivated the South Street spectacle into a stunning mosaic array and collection of unique murals. The Magic Gardens continues his vision of interdisciplinary art by hosting Twilight in the Gardens on every month’s fourth Friday, and its October BYOB event focuses on the Day of the Dead.
Traditionally landing each Nov. 1, the day is celebrated nationally in Mexico: Banks, schools and businesses close so families may pay respects to departed loved ones. Offerings of food and spirits are made at altars, and Mexican marigolds adorn everything in an attempt to attract the traveling souls of the dead to the homes of their loved ones so that they may witness the celebration.
Performance arts group Cirque Manikk will creep through the labyrinth of PMG as ghouls and spectres, plus DJ Ayaosa will spin Latin-inspired dance tunes to get you in the groove. Costumes are encouraged, but if you forget, face painters will disguise your visage with Day of the Dead-inspired makeup—if you arrive before 8pm. / KENNEDY ALLEN
8pm. $8-$10. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South St. 215.733.0390. phillymagicgardens.org
The Improvised B-Movie!
Just in time for Halloween, the Asteroid improv team hosts unrehearsed performances inspired by the schlocky sci-fi/horror films of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Grab some popcorn, and welcome back familiar favorites in all their low-budget glory, from mutant insects to extraterrestrial armies and beyond. 7pm. $8-$10. Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge St. 215.592.0119. shubintheatre.com
Having mastered film and TV with appearances in Wet Hot American Summer, Ratatouille and SNL, Garofalo is now flexing her well established stand-up comedy muscles. True to style, she offers belly laughs with a side of unwavering honesty and controversy. 8pm. $22. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
Sunrise At Hyde Park
An ode to historical figure Lorena Hikock, reporter for the Associated Press in the early 1930s, this play follows the life-changing interview and subsequent correspondence between Hikock and Eleanor Roosevelt. 7pm. $20. William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. 215.732.2220. waygay.org
Saints & Sinners Vs. Zombie Boogie
Break out your top-notch costumes and party till dawn at this Halloween-themed night of spooky fun. Throughout the evening, party staff will hand out tickets for entrance into a costume contest while you enjoy drink specials and scope out your costumed competition. 9pm. $10-$20. Lucky Strike, 1336 Chestnut St. 818.933.3752. bowlluckystrike.com
The Bad, the Bad, and the Bad: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Bloomer Scorned
With an all-female cast and a theme revolving around the seven deadly sins, this musical/sketch comedy is sure to instill fear in the hearts of men everywhere. 8pm. $8-$10. Houston Hall, Class of 1949 Auditorium, 3417 Spruce St. 215.898.5552. vpul.upenn.edu
Saturday, October 26
Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra
You know Joey Sweeney by name, no doubt. The Philebrity founder and former PW scribe’s a media mainstay in this city—and, as it turns out, a talented songwriter and guitar player to boot. (His response to the question “Where’s your favorite place to play?” in PW’s Music Issue this summer was a sweet surprise: living rooms, kitchens and backyards.) After a successful run of a residency at the Khyber Pass Pub last month, he’s now poised to release a new project called Long Hair, an LP due Oct. 29 via La Societe Expeditionnaire and BITBY (Bands in the Back Yard) Records. From what we can hear via a Soundcloud of “Kate Moss Hologram” and a BITBY performance in front of PAFA of “Say My Name,” Sweeney and his Long Hair Arkestra are a rollicking good time, extolling the virtues of organs, background singers, dreamy production and tongue-in-cheek lyricism.
Tweezing out the lovelier elements of Dr. Dog, Sun Airway, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Sweeney’s Long Hair looks to have some very sophisticated and full-ass production values (big ups to Aaron Luis Levinson). This won’t be a batch of acoustic heart-on-sleeve snoozers by any means. And with the help of Jared Styles on bass, Charlie Hall on drums, Lushlife on synths and backing vocals from Lily Cope and Laura Frangiosa, this record release at Johnny Brenda’s is sure to be a big show with lots of beautiful noise. / B.C.
9:15pm. $10. With Northern Arms + The Fantastic Imagination. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet
Praised up-and-coming playwright Tarrell Alvin McCraney presents this story of a young man’s journey to discover the secret of who he really is and where he came from. Days before Hurricane Katrina strikes the projects of Louisiana, the currents of his life converge to tell this universal story, bringing three generations of characters together. 2pm and 8pm. $20-$36. Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey Place. 215.735.0630. playsandplayers.org
The D Word: A Musical
Follow four single ladies, brought together after a night of failed speed dating, in this Sex and the City-esque musical, as they hilariously try to navigate the choppy waters of the dating game. 8pm. $47. Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. Eighth St. 215.923.0210. societyhillplayhouse.org
Baby Loves Disco: Halloween
Concerned that your child isn’t partying enough? For the past eight years, Baby Loves Disco has been transforming the hippest night clubs into child-proof daytime dance parties for toddlers, preschoolers and parents looking for a break from the routine playground circuit. Come in costume for this month’s Halloween rager. 11am. $14. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk
This annual walk brings together family and friends for a walk to bring help and hope to people battling blood cancers. Participants carry illuminated balloons: white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer. 4:30pm. Free. Eakins Oval, 26th St. and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 877.586.9255. lightthenight.org
The Blanding House Mystery
Philadelphia, 1938: Amelia Blanding, matriarch of the wealthy Blanding family, is dead and the heirs to her estate gather in the family’s ancestral home where death strikes again. The historic—and some say haunted—Physick House in Olde City is the site for this walking performance where attendees search for clues as they walk through the many rooms of this eerily beautiful mansion. 8pm. $30. Physick House, 321 S. Fourth St. 215.925.7866. philalandmarks.org
Classic ‘80s cheese for the Halloween season! Unpopular Louise learns that she’s descended from the witches of Salem and has inherited their powers. At first, she uses them for revenge against the mean girls at her school and to win the heart of the captain of the football team, but she soon has doubts about seemingly cheating her way to popularity. 8pm. Free. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. thetroc.com
Kurt Vile & the Violators
The former War on Drugs frontman and Philly native returns to grace the city with lo-fi indie psychedelia. Vile’s fifth studio album as a solo artist, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, hit streets earlier this year. 9pm. $22. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. utphilly.com
Sunday, October 27
Boo at the Zoo
Already munching on those September-bought Snickers minis and Jolly Ranchers you intended to give to trick-or-treaters, aren’t you? Don’t fret—some of us just catch the Halloween spirit earlier than others. Since you’re among those already thinking ahead of the curve, why not seek out some unconventional pre-Halloween Day fun for the kids to replace the school-night, door-to-door madness? Today is the last day of the Philadelphia Zoo’s official two-weekend “Boo at the Zoo,” and it may be your last chance to check out the only ‘Ween wonderland in town where Junior can simultaneously see a live tiger while dressed up as a tiger.
As part of its general admission price, Philadelphia Zoo patrons young or young-at-heart are encouraged to come dressed in their wildest attire to stand out at “Boo at the Zoo’s” costume parade, plus there’ll be numerous trick-or-treat booths stationed along the route dispensing candy, hot apple cider and other goodies. The delightful live performances on the Fisher Price Little People Stage assure smiles aplenty, and some very cool, cute educational activities for the wee ones to partake in—like the Extinction Graveyard and Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt—promise more cheer than fear, more fun than fright. Everyone’s guaranteed to leave “Boo at the Zoo” satisfied, on equal parts smarts and sweets. / KENYA BEVERLY
10am. Free-$20. Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave. 215.243.1100. philadelphiazoo.org
Mondo Zombie Boogaloo Tour
Yep Roc records presents this undead-themed tour in support of the compilation album of the same name. Featured bands the Fleshtones, Southern Culture on the Skids and Los Straitjackets play ‘50s era R&B, rockabilly and surf punk, the perfect vintage soundtrack for all you zombie greaser-culture enthusiasts. 7:30pm. $18-$30. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. worldcafelive.com
The Roddenberries Halloween Spook-tacular
The Roddenberries are a Star Trek-themed, sci-fi rock-cabaret troupe (featuring dancers like Vulcan Betty, of course). Their Halloween ball includes a performance followed by a cosmic dance party. 7pm. $5-$10. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. undergroundarts.org
Monday, October 28
Jeff Greenfield: If Kennedy Lived
Hear from Jeff Greenfield, five-time Emmy-winner and speechwriter during the 1968 presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy, as he delves into how things might have been had the former president served a second term as a U.S. Senator. 7:30pm. $7-$15. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
This powerful performance, accompanied by some of the city’s most prominent singers, follows the true story of a Jewish factory manager accused of murdering a young girl in 1913, left only with his wife by his side as the entire town turns against him. Through Nov. 3. $15-$48. Arden Theatre, 40 N. Second St. ardentheatre.org
Tuesday, October 29
Disclosure *show has been cancelled
If you’re into drugs—be they psychadelic, stimulant or empathogenic—and you’re into Daft Punk, then you’re probably into Disclosure. The London-based future garage duo is immensely popular among people who are, well, really into drugs and dancing—and probably would have listened to Daft Punk if they—the music fans, not the band—were 10 years older. And just so eveyryone’s clear: Future garage is a genre of electronic dance-ish music that, since it’s, you know, futuristic has an alternative name on the Internet, chill step. (It was dubbed such at the 2009 Future Garage Forum, which also exists.)
It wasn’t until a year after that esteemed forum that Disclosure would come into being, releasing eight singles over three years. And, in that time, it made its name the way we do in the Internet age: Through Soundcloud plays, of which they’ve attained hundreds of thousands. This spring, Disclosure dropped its debut album, Settle, which has already hit number one in the U.K. and No. 2 on the U.S. electronic charts.
Now, Disclosure’s lyrics-over-computerized beats and laser sounds are hitting the road, and the team is set to make a lot of money doing it: They’ll be in Philly this week, and the show is sold out. See your local scalper/Craigslist classified. / R.L.
8:30pm. Sold out. With T. Williams. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. utphilly.com
Nature Uncorked! Strange and Scary Animals
Tired of witches and pumpkins? Enjoy an unconventional Halloween celebration this year, and find out about real horrors of life, like a spider-eating wasp and the deadly weed that killed Abe Lincoln’s mom. (OMG, really?) 7:30pm. $15. Schuykill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Rd.
Avenue of the Arts 20th Anniversary Gala
Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment abound as the Avenue of the Arts celebrates its 20th anniversary in style. The night doubles as a tribute to former governor and notable Eagles fan Ed Rendell. 5:30pm. $100. Masonic Temple, 1 N. Broad St. avenueofthearts.org/anniversary.asp
Wednesday, October 30
Richard Holmes: Falling Upwards
Richard Holmes, the famed “romantic biographer,” sheds light on the hot air balloon pioneers, who risked—and sometimes lost—their lives for the sake of human progress. 6pm. Free. Chemical Heritage Foundation. 315 Chestnut St. chemheritage.org
Open Video Call
Support local filmmakers at this annual screening/competition. The winners get their films exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art’s Winter program. 6:30pm. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. icaphila.org
Out of Town
The Act Of Drinking Beer With Friends
This one comes pretty much exactly as advertised: a chance to throw down a pint with some pals. With the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts hosting, you can also check out some cool art. Wed., Oct. 23, 5pm. Free. Deleware Center for the Contemporary Arts, 200 S. Madison St., Wilmington, Del. thedcca.org
Ms. Senior America Pageant
Let’s hear it for the ladies who can still work it with AARP membership cards in hand! And, really, isn’t this a better fit for Atlantic City than 23-year-olds? Thurs., Oct. 24, 1pm. $20-$25. Resorts, 1133 Boardwalk. Atlantic City, N.J. senioramerica.org
The beloved Broadway bonanza centers on a recent grad moving into a New York City apartment on the less-than-glamorous Avenue Q. Through Nov. 9. Players Club of Swarthmore, 614 Fairview Rd., Swarthmore. pcstheater.org
In Search of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda
Former CIA analysts Cynthia Storer, Nada Bakos and Barbara Sude tell the incredible story of the long, exhaustive search for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. As featured in the HBO documentary Manhunt, these women formed part of “The Sisterhood,” an all-female crew of CIA analysts. Tues., Oct. 29, 7pm. Free. Camden County College, College Drive. Blackwood, N.J. camdencc.edu
Compiled by Lauren Arute, Jake Abbate, Drew O’Meara and Max Ufberg.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide