Wed., Oct. 24
Behind the Eye
Gas and Electric Arts continues its tenaciously innovative celebration of bold female playwrights with its new production of Carson Kreitzer’s acclaimed work Behind the Eye. The play focuses on the life and career of Lee Miller, a glamorous model who abandoned the pages of Vogue to become the muse of such prominent 20th-century artists as Picasso, Cocteau and, most notably, Man Ray, with whom she also had a romantic relationship. The visually provocative play has a dreamlike quality in which “the boundaries between time and space, image and memory, emotion and reflection collide, contract and collapse,” says director Lisa Jo Epstein. Mixing real and imaginary moments with linear and nonlinear threads, Epstein says watching the play is akin to rummaging through a collection of unshuffled photographs that eventually reveal both the realism of the era and the surrealism of this enigmatic woman’s singular approach to life. -J. Cooper Robb
7pm. $16-$26. Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St. 215.407.0556.
Thurs., Oct. 25
For far longer than we care to remember, the Chan Marshall live experience was a byword for barely contained chaos, a freak show of sorts that brought out the vultures in her audience. On record, at least, she remained consistently great, but onstage, beset by a multitude of personal demons—stage fright, mental-health issues, drug and alcohol abuse among them—she became a poster child for wayward erraticism, a car crash waiting to happen. Which, frankly, sucked big time. Happily for her, and us, she seems firmly back on track, with a punchy, vibrant new LP, Sun, which bristles with intent. It’s easily her best album in years, radiating positivity, purpose and a break from the past. She was, and is, a singular talent, and it’s a real kick just to see her back on top again. -Neil Ferguson
8:30pm. $30-$33. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
Fri., Oct. 26
Ladies First: Hip-Hop Heretics
Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj have traded angry barbs, tweets and verses for years. Azealia Banks has lashed out at both of them. Missy Elliott wishes she had a magic wand to make the ladies all get along. Women in hip-hop have continued feuding and fighting, clawing their way to the top in a field that seems to have space for only one queen at a time. Tonight, an eclectic crew from Philly’s hip-hop scene gathers for a lively discussion about the ever-evolving, ever-contentious world of women in hip-hop. The event is part of an ongoing Art Education Roots 101 series facilitated by the Mural Arts Program. Philly’s hip-hop royalty, the Roots, are working on a mural in South Philly celebrating the city’s vibrant musical culture; coinciding events will continue until the unveiling next year. -Allyn Gaestel
6pm. Free. Art Sanctuary, 16th and Bainbridge sts. 215.685.0753. muralarts.org
Power 99’s annual Powerhouse concert is celebrating its 30th year with three nights of shows, including two dedicated to “Up and Comers” and “Old School” artists, culminating with this star-studded “Main Event.” First and foremost, Rick Ross is going to be there—the Rick Ross. (Well, not the Rick Ross, he’s a famous drug dealer; we mean Rick Ross, famous “drug dealer.”) If you’re like us, there’s a good chance that your summer was soundtracked to Ross’ God Forgives, I Don’t and his tales of $24,000 toilets. The night’s other headliner is Trey Songz, who—through his aquatic innuendo-filled slow jam, “Dive In”—spent the summer misleading listeners into thinking pool sex isn’t as difficult as it actually is. Also appearing at Powerhouse 30: Meek Mill and Wale (Rick Ross’ MMG labelmates), Keyshia Cole, the R&B songstress and reality TV star, and 2 Chainz, who is ... well, he’s 2 Chainz. -Bryan Bierman
6pm. $20-$151. With Big Sean, Miguel + French Montana. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.
Sat., Oct. 27
Philadelphia Bike Expo
The annual two-day Philadelphia Bike Expo returns this week with a slew of new exhibitors and workshops. In addition to a selection of craft beers, food from several award-winning local food trucks and the popular yearly “Fastest Mechanic Contest,” there will nonstop workshops and seminars both days, tackling everything from “Selecting the Right Gear for Bicycle Touring” to “Tubing Selection and Frame Design.” Tickets to the expo also cover your admission to Saturday’s two main off-site events: The 2012 Bicycle Fashion Showcase featuring the biggest trends in biking gear from Philadelphia University design students, and the Halloween-themed VikingCat race. -Nicole Finkbiner
Through Oct. 28. $8-$25. 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd St. phillybikeexpo.com
In a way comparable only to a few others of their era, Dinosaur Jr. has been a major influence on modern rock ‘n’ roll. But after spending nearly a decade on hiatus—and close to two without the original lineup, the sludge-gods released Beyond in 2007, defying nearly all expectations by being the rare reunion record that holds up against the band’s earlier works. The classic trio of J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph returned with 2009’s Farm, proving that their creative comeback wasn’t just a one-shot deal, while simultaneously giving the group their highest-charting album. Continuing this trend, Dino is touring behind their recently released 10th album I Bet On Sky, properly getting the admiration they deserve from a whole new generation of fans. In addition, the band is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their classic You’re Living All Over Me by releasing Chocomel Daze, a full 1987 live concert recorded in the Netherlands. -B.B.
8pm. With Shearwater. $28-$30. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Comedy Academy Graduation
An attorney, a 20-year-old virgin, a flight attendant and five other budding comics will step in front of the microphone today, and for the first time, they’ll serve up fresh five-minute sets to a living, breathing audience. Philadelphia Comedy Academy holds its graduation ceremony tonight at Helium. Catch these aspiring comics today before they hit Richard Pryor-status, and start booking sitcoms. -Jessica Foley
3:30pm. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001. heliumcomedy.com
Sun., Oct. 28
Don’t Sing No Blues For Me
First World Theatre Ensemble begins its two-year stint as the resident theater company at the Community Education Center in West Philly with its production of Don’t Sing No Blues for Me. Set during the late 1970s in a barbershop that serves as the unofficial community center in a small North Carolina town, the play concerns a young man named Choice. Choice is in town to attend the funeral of a mother he never knew and to search for a father he’s never met. One of the few companies in Philadelphia dedicated to exploring the African-American experience, the residency at CEC is a big opportunity for First World, which, like many small companies, has struggled at times to find affordable space to present its work. The first of the company’s four productions this season, Sing is helmed by gifted director Ozzie Jones, who captured a well-deserved Barrymore Award for his direction of Freedom Theatre’s long-running holiday musical Black Nativity. -J.C.R.
3pm. $22. Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Ave. 267.329.9746. firstworldtheatre.biz
Mon., Oct. 22
It seems there are two distinct schools of thought surrounding The xx. The first, and most popular, would have you believe the Mercury Award-winning London trio are twisted creative geniuses, purveyors of brooding, post-club comedown and introspective slow-burners, crafting dubstep-infused, bass-heavy soundtracks to a grim, new urban dystopia. Then there’s those of a less beneficent persuasion—this writer included—who can’t get their heads around the critical and commercial adulation afforded so generously, seeing The xx as little more than a bargain-basement Massive Attack, albeit a beautifully produced bargain-basement Massive Attack, minus the dope-fueled paranoia and suggestions of deviant sex. That said, it would appear that the beautiful young things of Philadelphia have voted firmly with their feet—and wallets, as this gig sold out almost as soon as it was announced. Kids these days, eh? -Neil Ferguson
8pm. $30. With Chairlift. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
Tues., Oct. 23
Police Brutality and Terrorism
The Delaware Chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty will host a candid discussion tonight about ways to take action within our communities to confront police brutality. Speakers from across the country who have lost loved ones or been affected by police brutality will speak out about their experiences and answer questions. They will be joined by a panel of activists including Ron Hampton, founder and former executive director of the National Black Police Association, and Ramona Africa of the MOVE organization. The discussion will be led by activist Amir Amma. -Ashley Kole
7:30pm. Free. Calvary Church, 801 S. 48th St. calvaryumc-philly.org
In 2007, Salman Rushdie was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his services to literature. So he’s Sir Salman Rushdie now. Sir Salman’s celebrated literary career turned messily political in 1989 after the publication of his fourth book, The Satanic Verses when Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, calling for Rushdie’s execution. This started a spiraling and spellbinding descent into hiding followed by an ascent into high society for the author, which he recounts lengthily in his new memoir, Joseph Anton. Writing in the third person, he reminisces on dodging death squads and rubbing elbows with his ever expanding array of celebrity friends. Never particularly self-effacing, Rushdie’s night at the library will surely be pithy, anecdotal and opinionated. -A.G.
7:30pm. $15. Central Library, 19th and Vine sts. 215.567.4341. freelibrary.org
Calendar: Sept. 2-9