Calendar: Oct. 31-Nov. 6

By PW Staff
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The PAWS Mutt Strut will benefit animals in need.

Wed., Oct. 31

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better band to spend Halloween with than hometown legends the Dead Milkmen. They’re goofy, sound like they’re hopped up on sugar and are basically big kids at heart. During their heyday in the ’80s and ’90s, the now-reunited punksters had a blast being as irreverent as possible (“Takin’ Retards to the Zoo,” “My Many Smells,” “If You Love Somebody, Set Them on Fire”), all while satirizing everything—and everyone—in sight. Though they had already broken up, after bassist Dave Blood’s suicide in 2004, the group recruited Dan Stevens (who previously played with guitarist/vocalist Joe Jack Talcum in the Philly-based Low Budgets) as a replacement for a memorial show. Since 2008, the Milkmen have returned as a full-time touring unit, even recording a new album—last year’s The King In Yellow—and promising more material to come. BRYAN BIERMAN

8pm. $22-$25. With MC Lars + Psychic Teens. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100.

This Halloween, we can’t imagine doing anything quite as creepy as watching a silent film about a half-masked, deformed drama kid gone batty. Tonight, you get to catch a screening in the auditorium of an old department store where the soundtrack will be filled in by an ancient, monstrous pipe organ. Macy’s will screen the 1943 version of The Phantom of the Opera tonight in its great Greek hall, while organist Jim Riggs will man the keys behind the Mighty Wurlitzer, weighing in at 28,500 pipes. The powerful instrument is so tonally strong, you’ll feel like you’re right there, under the falling chandelier. ABIGAIL BRULEY

4:30pm. $10. Macy’s Greek Auditorium, 13th and Market sts. 484.684.7250.

The Hold Steady, the indie darlings fronted by Craig Finn, have always had a soft spot for Bruce Springsteen. First-person narratives about gamblers, drunks and a wide assortment of other flawed individuals permeate the work of both artists—not to mention the faux-Southern drawl. On Clear Hearts Full Eyes, Finn’s critically lauded solo debut, he takes this love for The Boss even further. There’s more stories and twangier terrain, but in lieu of making his own Nebraska, Finn keeps some of the rough energy that his day band is known for. Fans of the Hold Steady will be pleased to hear that although Finn is currently playing a string of solo shows, the band is gearing up for a mini-tour—they’ll be playing Union Transfer on Dec. 29—and are planning to record their sixth full-length early next year. BRYAN BIERMAN

8pm. $10. With Stephen Lorek. Milkboy Philly, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455.

Thurs., Nov. 1

The company Miller Rothlein (MIRO) re-introduces audiences to two of their touring pieces that illustrate the troupe’s interest in reconsidering the intersection of art and performance. Featuring dance and movement from performer Amanda Miller; video, animation and visual-animation by Tobin Rothlein; and lighting and technical design from James Clotfelter, Double Bill features two performance pieces: Self Portrait and Generate. Degenerate. Each piece features three performers, with Miller on stage and Rothlein and Clotfelter creating all the lighting and visual effects in front of the audience as an integral part of the action. Miller describes Generate. Degenerate. as a “stark and ghostly” off-the-grid multimedia piece that is created relying entirely on the kinetic power generated by three performers, two bicycles and a hand-cranked phonograph. In contrast, the tech-savvy Self-Portrait employs live animation, video, still imagery and physical movement to create what Miller calls a “living sculpture.” Erasing the divide between the performing and still arts, the set and the performer exist as a single entity. As color, light and text are projected and hand-drawn on the dancer, MIRO creates a “performance tapestry” from a solitary dancing figure. J. COOPER ROBB

7:30pm. $20. The Crane Arts Old School, 1417 N. Second St. 267.888.6476.

Fri., Nov. 2

Philadelphia-born director Richard Lester rarely gives interviews or participates in retrospectives. In fact, he’s modest to a fault: Not only can he claim A Hard Day’s Night, but his resume teems with under-appreciated gems, each belying an original and darkly satirical comic mind. He re-recruited John Lennon for his only non-Beatles screen performance in 1967’s How I Won the War, perhaps the only truly antiwar film ever made. Whereas even Paths of Glory implicitly supports “safer” ways to wage battle, Lester’s landmine-strewn burlesque buries valor and heroism behind a dense thicket of Brechtian jokes. Its most morbid running gag has servicemen, after they’re killed, reincarnated as life-size toy soldiers—a reminder that the Army always has more bodies to throw in harm’s way. The International House’s four-film Lester retro also gives you The Knack, a frenzied Swinging ’60s send-up that netted him the Palme d’Or, and The Bed-Sitting Room, an all-star post-apocalyptic romp so odd, he didn’t work for four years. MATT PRIGGE

7pm. $7-$9. Ibrahim Theater, International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125.

No one had ever heard anything like Rickie Lee Jones when she made her national debut on Saturday Night Live in 1979, this tiny singer with the big eyes, wide mouth and the voice that slid, growled and skittered over the jazz blues contours of “Chuck E’s in Love.” Now, more than 30 years later, she remains an unclassifiable force of nature, her voice as eccentrically compelling as ever, her spare, minimalist arrangements veering from torch to swing to bop-shaded electric rock. Her latest album, The Devil You Know, scrubs excess from well- and lesser-known covers, turning “Sympathy for the Devil” into a haunted, desolate moan and “Seems Like a Long Time” (sung famously by Rod Stewart but written by Ted Anderson) into quiet gospel assurance. JENNIFER KELLY

8pm. $59.50. Sellersville Theater, 24 W Temple Ave., Sellersville. 215.257.5808.

In the world of Norman Porter, there’s just as much art in the act of creation as there is in the finished product. Working with the finest quality of selvage denim, Michael and David Stampler and John Mahaffey, the brawny trio behind the company, use old-fashioned methods—like hammering on anvils and hand stitching—to produce their custom denim, canvas and leather goods. Each item tagged with the name is handcrafted, from the keystone stitched into the back pocket to theholes punched in each individually crafted belt. To celebrate the local entrepreneurs, Art in the Age in Old City will be serving its spirits to those who come to bear witness to how these gentlemen create their virtually indestructible jeans and what it takes to make cowhide look like something from a Hank Williams album cover. For tonight’s opening day of the month-long exhibit, Norman Porter will launch a limited-edition denim series, in which each pair of jeans will be hand-finished for you in the store. JENINE PILLA

6pm. Free. Through Nov. 30. Art in the Age, 116 N. Third St. 215.922.2600.

Sat., Nov. 3

The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society this week brings its annual Mutt Strut to FDR Park, where you can walk the scenic 1.5-mile trail with your dog while helping out animals in need. More than 2,000 dogs are expected to attend, and vets will be on hand to answer all your animal-related questions. There will be an adoption festival, in case your pup needs a new pal, along with pet portraits, a costume contest, doggie-agility courses, tips, grooming and music. Philly food trucks will be lined up to serve you treats, yogurt, pizza and more. Get there early; the Mummers will be kicking things off. BRENDA HILLEGAS

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1. Anonymous said... on Nov 2, 2012 at 05:12PM

“You forgot a very cool event going on at The Gershman Y on November 3rd at 7:30pm. It's the Opening Night of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival. Our Opening Night screening is "The Day I Saw Your Heart," starring Mélanie Laurent of "Inglourious Basterds" and "Beginners." Don't miss this French, quirky, romantic-comedy, plus Jessie Dorfman's short film "Orbit." Buy your tickets at the door (box office opens an hour before the screening) or visit Hope to see you there!


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