Wednesday, September 3
Life is full of uncertainties and “what ifs.” We’re condemned to contemplate whether every single action sets in motion a unique and uncontrollable end product, if our lives are indeed the sum product of every decision we’ve made, big and small. Ever wonder what would’ve been had you tried harder to make it work with that boyfriend back in Oregon? Or if your higher-education decision was a big huge mistake? Oh, that’s just me.
1812 Productions’ Intimate Exchanges is an Arden Theatre-staged, Fringe Festival-rooted tour de force that encapsulates this exact notion: the romance of every moment’s potential to dictate a new path and a new succession of events. There are four characters, two pairs—one that’s older and married, another that’s 12 years younger—and eight possible outcomes. And the honor of making these crucial Choose-the-Adventure-You’re-On-Comedy-Theater decisions falls upon you, buddy. At seven points, a flashlight will flood over an unsuspecting audience member who’ll say ‘Yes, that character does want to go out on Friday night’ or ‘No, he doesn’t feel like taking a walk.’ One might even be able to go to the show dozens of times and not see the same outcome twice.
Intimate Exchanges’ director Mary Carpenter will tell you straight up: This is a play about not that much. Nothing big happens, and yet it’s the everyday mundane choices that often inspire us and manage to change the tenor or trajectory of one’s life. What if you allowed yourself an extra 15 minutes to sit with an iced coffee before work, and in the door walked the love of your life? What if, on your way to a job interview, that woman you impressed so much during your chat on SEPTA turned out to be your prospective boss? What if you read this and decide to buy two tickets and take the friend you have a crush on? Just sayin’: Like Intimate Exchanges, go there. Then, watch what happens. // BILL CHENEVERT
Through Sept. 21. $34-$40. Arden Theatre, 40 N. 2nd St. 1812productions.org
Video Pirates: LYNCH 101
A screening of David Lynch’s comedic television and film work, featuring bonus footage of his smaller works including short films, music videos and commercials. The event is presented in conjunction with the exhibit, David Lynch: The Unified Field, on view from Sept. 13-Jan. 11 at PAFA. Hosted by PhilaMOCA’s Eric Bresler. 7:30pm. $10. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. philamoca.org
This interactive tour allows participants to explore the intersection between theatre, music and technology in the city. Participants will download an app to use as they walk from Rittenhouse Square to the waterfront. Along the way, listen to site-specific dialogue, music and sounds created by InVersion Theatre artistic director William Steinberger and composer Marc LeMay. Free. Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut sts. fringearts.com
Thursday, September 4
If you’re into a certain brand of slapstick comedy, you’ve probably witnessed some of Heather McDonald’s seasoned prowess. A regular contributor to the Wayans brothers’ canon, the standup comedienne co-wrote the films White Chick and Dance Flick with Shawn and Marlon, and has been working with Keenan since the late ‘90s. Mostly, though, she’s known for her writing and skits on the now-defunct Chelsea Lately and its spin-off “behind the scenes” mockumentary series, After Lately. McDonald is doing a three-night, five-show stint at Helium Comedy Club starting tonight, riding her own coattails after her Showtime special, I Don’t Mean to Brag, aired Friday night.
The 44-year-old’s comedy spans a few genres. She’s probably most well-known for her impressions of famous figures, especially Drew Barrymore, and told the Dallas Observer that the ability was “a gift from God,” something she began in high school by mimicking her teachers. Bet they’re all laughing now.
The mom of three manages to weave in a lot of her family life, too. Here’s an example of McDonald’s stuff from a Chelsea Lately monologue about her new cat, Simba. “Imagine my surprise when my husband said, ‘What we need around the house is another pussy,’” she says. “I thought I was going to have to become a polygamist and go down on the entire cast of Sister Wives.”
And there’s more, we promise. // RANDY LOBASSO
Through Sat., Sept. 6. Various times. $17-$33. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001. heliumcomedy.com
Written by Todd Cardin and directed by Emily Cardin, # is a comedic look behind the tweets we send out each day. What are we really getting across in 140 characters or less? Find out at this tight little Fringe performance. 8pm. $15. Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge St. fringearts.com
In Nikolay Milushev’s mixed-media work, an alternate universe is overrun by a polluted society. YOMI, the exhibit’s main character, navigates the wasteland wearing a gas mask. Milushev studied at PAFA and has exhibited his work in the U.S., Europe, South America and Bulgaria. Through Sept. 27. Cerulean Arts, 1355 Ridge Ave. ceruleanarts.com
McFadden’s Thirsty Thursdays continues with a live performance by local rockers Split Decision. A $10 wristband gets you in, and 25-cent select drafts and cocktails will help keep you there all night. 9pm. $10. McFadden’s Philly, 461 N Third St. 215.928.0630. mcfaddensphilly.com
Friday, September 5
The Dead Milkmen
The Dead Milkmen’s latest show might be more suitable for Halloween, but in the case of Philly’s favorite punk satirists, what better place to perform than under the ominous backdrop of Laurel Hill Cemetery? For more than 30 years, the band’s sound has been defined by tons of syncopated southern guitar twang and a sharp wit, carrying the lyrics of vocalists Rodney Anonymous and Joe Jack Talcum, and initially staying true to the genre’s ethos by spitting in the face of mainstream and commercial success—which they eventually achieved with their 1988 keeper Beezlebubba and what would become their biggest single, “Punk Rock Girl.”
That newfound exposure led to a brief stint on Hollywood Records, but the pressures of a being on a major label proved too much for the foursome as they began to suffer artistically. They disbanded in ’95, but reunited for a pair of memorial concerts at the Trocadero following the death of original bass player Dave Blood. It wasn’t long before they realized there was still a creative spark between them, and after recruiting former Low Budgets bassist Dan Stevens, they came back with a new album—and a return to classic form—via 2011’s The King in Yellow.
Although the Milkmens’ legacy is one that has probably slipped beneath a lot of folks’ radar, a hometown show, no matter the venue, is undoubtedly where they’ll have the warmest welcome, so expect them to pull out all the stops tonight before they embark on a series of West Coast tour dates this fall. // JAKE ABBATE
7pm. $15. With S.T.A.R.W.O.O.D. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue. 215.228.8200. thelaurelhillcemetery.org
Philadelphia Honey Festival
The Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild present the fifth annual honey festival. Watch a live open hive demonstration and honey extraction, and sample some of the sweetest honey in our area. 10am. Free. Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1700 W. Montgomery Ave. phillyhoneyfest.com
Laurencio Ruiz’s adult puppet show challenges the perception of individuals with physical disabilities. The comedic performance features a series of puppet vignettes, and is for mature audiences only. 6pm. $10. Studio X, 1340 South 13th St. fringearts.com
The 2nd annual three-day art event features local artists and their contemporary work at reasonable prices. All proceeds benefit the individual artists. 6pm. Free. The Hatchetory, 2628 Martha St.
Oedipus the Musical
The classic Greek tragedy is given a modern makeover when King Oedipus discovers a herpes plague has taken over Thebes. The play features hilarious-sounding songs including “YOLO Apollo,” “Hashtag Plague” and “Ballad of a Cougar.” 7pm. $10-$15. The PlayGround at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. fringearts.com
Saturday, September 6
9 to 5: The Musical
Walnut Street Theatre presents the Tony-nominated and Grammy Award-winning musical comedy written and directed by Dolly Parton. The show follows three female co-workers who come together to overthrow their sexist, egotistical boss. In the midst of their plan, they find romance, friendship and happy revenge. Through Oct. 19. $20-$95. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. walnutstreettheatre.org
White Rabbit Red Rabbit
After playwright Nassim Soleimanpour was forbidden to leave his country because he refused to join the military, he came up with an idea whereby a different actor would read his play for the first (and last) time during each performance. Sticking with this concept, White Rabbit Red Rabbit will feature a different actor each night, encountering the script for the first time onstage. Tonight’s performance is read by K.O. DelMarcelle. 8pm. $29. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. fringearts.com
Pennsylvania Coast Day
Fun-filled family-friendly day offering free kayak rentals, peddle-boat rides around the marina, face painting, arts, crafts and more. 11am. Free. Penn’s Landing, Columbus Ave at Walnut St. delawareestuary.org
Great Philadelphia Craft Beer Crawl
Twelve amazing bars and restaurants in Fairmount host this drinking event, featuring beer samples, drink specials, dozens of craft beer options and more. Taste two craft beer samples at each location, which include London Grill, Fare, Urban Saloon. Participants will also receive a custom crawl mug, discounted food at each location and a $20 first-ride credit from Uber for a safe ride home. Noon. $25. Various locations. upcomingevents.com/the-great-philadelphia-craft-beer-crawl
When Ivy League student Genesis comes face-to-face with her estranged mother upon the latter’s release from prison, she’s forced to confront her involvement in her mother’s imprisonment. 8pm. $10. Taller Puertorriqueño, 2557 N. Fifth St. fringearts.com
Immerse yourself into Swedish food and drinks as you stroll through FDR Park. Enjoy a sample of the country’s finest lager, ale or stout (provided by six local breweries) and a serving of meatballs, sausages and cheeses. 5pm. $25-$30. American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Ave. americanswedish.org
Sunday, September 7
Center City District Restaurant Week
If you’re anything at all like me, and your high-on-the-hog tastes far exceed your barely-gettin’-by budget, you too must damn near do cartwheels when any of Philadelphia’s wonderful array of restaurant-week discount days roll around on the calendar. They’re among the painfully rare times a working girl—think Melanie Griffith, not Julia Roberts—can take advantage of the marvelous specials at dozens of well-reviewed dining dens in various ‘hoods, like Old City, East Passyunk and University City, and find out if their accolades are well-earned or not. Three-course dinners for only $35 per person and three-course lunches for a mere $20 is a bargain, baby, no matter how you slice it.
Well, the Big Daddy of them all—Center City District Restaurant Week, with over 100 participating sites—is so popular that its seven days is actually two six-day observations, the first of which begins today. (Don’t get paid for a couple weeks? Fret not: Part Two is from Sunday, Sept. 14 to Fri., Sept. 19.) And there’s still time to book reservations at a notable, usually-expensive eatery, places like Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, Del Frisco’s, Ocean Prime and the palate-pleasing high-end Mexican spot, Tequilas, whose wonderful roses margarita beat Milton Street—and came close to defeating the Fresh Prince—in PW’s “Mayor Madness” bracket last year. Check the website for the complete restaurant roster. // KENYA BEVERLY
Through Sept. 12. $20-$35. Various locations. centercityphila.org
Philly’s largest environmental festival returns to teach us the merits of sustainable living. The event hosts more than 100 exhibitors and vendors distributing various green products. 10am. Free. Headhouse Square, Second and South sts. greenfestphilly.org
Like the name isn’t enticing enough. Join the folks at OneTaste Philly as they lead a 75-minute tour through the orgasmic cycle, sharing personal stories along the way. 7:30pm. $12. Biello Martin Studio, 148 N. Third St. 215.923.8737. fringearts.com
Monday, September 8
First Person Arts Story Slam
Now boasting a $100 prize for slam winners, the showcase invites any and all troubadours to share tales about their experiences relating to this month’s “new kid” theme. 7:30pm. $8-$15. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. firstpersonarts.org
The Back Door
Jasmine Zieroff, who last wowed audiences in 2012 with RUB, presents her newest erotic endeavor: an unrestrained examination of the female body and its boundless wonders. 11pm. $25. The Back Door, 2036 Montrose St. 215.413.1318. fringearts.com
Tuesday, September 9
Kenneth “Gizmo” Rodgers’ story is the kind we really love here. He grew up between Willingboro, N.J. and Philly with African-American and Puerto Rican parents and was drawn to the drums at a young age. In elementary school, he was told he had big hands so was pushed towards the bass. It could be said, though, that those two instruments and his connection to them so early set him on a direct course to music directing for Bilal and Lalah Hathaway. After honorably accepting a big-deal invitation to participate in the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts program at 16, he was hooked.
After some mentoring from Russell and George Burton, Gizmo found himself aside Derrick Hodge, a legendary Temple-trained hero and mentor, who showed the young jazz enthusiast the way to Me’shell Ndegeocello records. A couple years later, Gizmo had probably the most killer first year at the Berklee College of Music as any Philly native’s had: He had assumed the role of music director of the college’s Neo Soul Ensemble and developed a rapport with Ndegeocello, who’d visited the school for a clinic. His acclaimed 2012 LP, Red Balloon, deftly combined elements of spoken word, funk, jazz, Latin and soul, fueling his ascension to solo artistry by forcing him to get behind a mic himself and arrange for his own band instead of someone else’s. A wondrous midpoint between Victor Wooten and Talib Kweli—both of whom he’s played for—Gizmo spikes his neo-soul creativity with rock guitars and poetry. And it’s so very Philly. // B.C.
8pm. $10-$12. With Butcher Brown. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Edgar Allen Poe
The macabre poet has roots in a number of cities across the U.S, but it can be argued that Philadelphia is where he truly honed his craft. Walk through Laurel Hill Cemetery, and learn about Poe’s time here, including his work on The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher. 6pm. $20. Laurel Hill, 3822 Ridge Ave. thelaurelhillcemetery.org
Manayunk Theatre Company presents this gruesome tale, scripted by British playwright Dale Pearson, about three students who travel to eastern Europe to shoot a film about a sadistic murderer. However, things don’t go according to plan. 8pm. $10. St. David’s Episcopal Church, 150 Dupont St. 610.688.7947. fringearts.com
Wednesday, September 10
Battle of the Burger
This summer, Philadelphia magazine’s 2nd annual competition gave burger aficionados the chance to vote for one of more than 50 restaurants as their favorite in the city. Now the list is narrowed down to 20 eateries, which will participate in a massive cookout tonight at the Piazza. 6pm. $40. Piazza, 1001 N. Second St. phillymag.com
What Narwhals Talk About When They Talk About Love
This FringeArts installation comes from the collective mind of Grace Mi-Hi Lee and Leslie Elkins and depicts an existential look at the curious nature of these horned sea creatures—and their secret lives. 7:30pm and 9pm. $5. Grace’s House, 731 Montrose St. 215.413.1318. fringearts.com
Calendar: Aug. 26-Sept. 2