PW's Memorial Day Weekend Picks

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Friday, May 23

Charlie Murphy
Please, for the love of everything holy, stop asking comic-actor-writer Charlie Murphy about Chappelle’s Show. Yes, it’s the now-legendary jawn that made him the Murphy brother everyone’s been talking about since his famous-first baby bro’s been laying low. Yes, its the “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” bits on Chappelle’s that will forever be remembered and revisited—on YouTube, at water coolers, between just-chillin’ friends—as the most hysterical been-there accounts of memorable black celebrity moments, complete with Jheri curl wigs, Members Only jackets and Prince making pancakes. Here’s the thing, though: By living in his past, you’re ignoring Murphy’s current currency in comedy. Stop that right now.

Granted, I too miss his gritty charms on the wan revival of now-Aaron McGruder-less The Boondocks, on which Murphy voiced the insane, rich-bitch Iraq War vet and pain bringer Ed Wuncler III—especially opposite Samuel L. Jackson’s equally mad Gin Rummy; dang, they should’ve got their own spin-off!—but time marches on. Thankfully, McGruder’s new Adult Swim offering, the eagerly awaited Black Jesus, will put Murphy back in the TV spotlight with Boondocks co-star John Witherspoon and comedian-writer Corey Holcomb, this time in live action. And it’s set in Compton. Oh. hell. yes.

For four whole nights, including a couple early shows, the former delinquent and ex-Navy man’s bringing his own brand of comic menace thisclose to local diehards, and he hasn’t been here in ages, so there's no certainty he’ll be back soon. Get in where you fit in, friend. // KENYA BEVERLY

Through Sun., May 25. $30-$37. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St.

Free Yoga on the Race Street Pier
Yoga practitioners of all levels are invited to partake in this free, scenic, six-day-a-week course that runs throughout the summer. The hour-long classes will be taught by yoga collective Yogis Unite. No need to sign up in advance; just bring your own mat and enjoy the view. Various times. Free. Race Street Pier, Race St. and N. Columbus Blvd.

Liquidelphia Spring Hip-Hop Workshop
Learn how to pop, lock, glide, grind and twerk with international dancer and choreographer Joseph “Liquidelphia” Ingram. The class welcomes all skill levels interested in learning basic hip-hop techniques and choreography. 8pm. $10. Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St. 215.569.1218.

Almanac Dance Circus Theatre: Communitas
Pig Iron School alumni Ben Grinberg and Nick Gillette crafted this new performance that utilizes acrobatics and human sculptures to tell the story of a civilization being founded. 8pm. $10-$20. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. 215.922.1695.

Grim Philly’s Riverboat Cruise: Pirates, Rum Runners and the Jersey Devil
Tour guides ranging from college professors to published authors will share uncensored stories of seaside debauchery whilst traveling down the Delaware on this nighttime booze cruise. Hear the spooky tales of famous Philly pirates, and learn about the Jersey Devil, who allegedly terrorized Philly’s waterfront at the turn of the century. 11pm. $50. Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd. 215.413.8655.

Architecture & Musical Evolution with David Byrne
Talking Heads mastermind David Byrne also moonlights as a visual artist, and tonight he’ll attempt to shed some light on how architecture has influenced new innovations in music over the years. 6pm. $28-35. The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.278.7000.

Saturday, May 24

Manchester Orchestra + Balance and Composure
The former’s not from Manchester—in fact, they’re Georgia peaches, fresh from Atlanta, but they’re not exactly soft and sweet. MO’s a band that plays loud most of the time, and they’re supporting their fourth LP, Cope, out last month, with some great local help. They are one of those bands that can rip, yet tone it down for soft, sweet moments (like “I Can Feel a Hot One”), which is to say that their sound’s got complexity and variety. Rhythm guitarist and lead singer-songwriter Andy Hull has emotional depth, sometimes it seems, to a fault. His songs tow the line of corniness, encroaching on Conor Oberst and Death Cab for Cutie territory, but always keeping much angrier bands like Mastodon, Brand New or Modest Mouse on their shoulders, whispering “Get mad!” into their ears.

It’ll be interesting to watch a classic lineup formula turned on its head, because one of our favorite bands, Balance and Composure, tend to really get the pogo-ing and screaming hair-whipping going with their special brand of emo-tinged thrash. Whereas many bookers will leave the hardest and loudest for last, these sets’ crowds will get riled up to take in a less-loud headliner. The Will Yip-produced Doylestown gents have only given us two LPs, but last year’s The Things We Think We’re Missing yielded superjams like the opener, “Parachutes,” and the title-cradling “Tiny Raindrop.” B&C are ones to watch, and tonight’s a great chance to catch some lovely, lively rock ‘n roll. // B.C.

Through Sun., May 25. With Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.2599.

Short Films by John Hubley
John Hubley’s contributions to the art of animated films stretches back to the 1930s. Hubley was a key animator during Disney’s formative years and continued his craft while collaborating closely with his family. Catch this rare collection of Hubley’s whimsical and deeply textured short animated films. 7pm. $9. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125.

Memorial Day Weekend
The National Constitution Center pays tribute to our military heroes with a weekend packed with patriotic events. Learn proper flag-raising protocol, and write letters of gratitude to our men and women stationed overseas. Through Mon., May 26. Free with admission. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. 215.409.6600.

Los Master Plus
Guadalajara-based duo Los Master Plus bring their high-energy Latin alternative performance to Milkboy. With support from urbano pop artist El Malito, Los Master Plus will have you up out of your seats and salsa-ing till the wee hours. 8:30pm. $10. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.MILK.

PHAIR at The Oval
Summer kicks off at The Oval this weekend with a three-day outdoor artisan market. Live music, DJ sets, handmade vendors and delicious food highlights the weekend fair, a perfect family friendly way to welcome in the warm weather. The Oval, 2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

It’s a Man’s World? Gender, Kingship, and the Afterlife
Camden Community College professor Dr. Josh Roberson opines on the role of gender as seen by the ancient Egyptians. Through analysis of an ancient book titled The Awakening of Osiris, Roberson will deconstruct the importance of female leaders during the Egyptian empire. 3:30pm. $5-$10. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000.

Pennsylvania Business & Community Expo
Join area industry experts for a business workshop and networking expo where you can learn tricks to effectively grow your business, meet with hiring companies and make professional connections. 11am. $6-$10. Four Points by Sheraton, 9461 Roosevelt Blvd.

Sunday, May 25

Jam on the River
Back for the first time since 2008, Jam on the River once again will reign supreme as the official summer welcome party. This years’ concert features EDM artists Lotus, Griz and Papadosio, along with live visual art by VJ Jevlar. 1:30pm. $53.50. Penn’s Landing, Columbus Blvd. at Chestnut St.

Cochon 555
Five area chefs, including Douglas Rodriquez of Starr Restaurants, compete in the ultimate pig roast to celebrate Memorial Day. Each chef will prepare their own whole pig for guests in an array of dishes, with specialty beers, wines and cocktails to boot! 4pm. $125-$200. Le Méridien, 1421 Arch St.

Monday, May 26

Memorial Dei Family Picnic
To a lot of folks, the word “fellowship” means one thing:  Old-time religion. Sexton Sideshow, the supporting organization for historical Gloria Dei (aka Old Swedes’) Church, defines it another way:  with craft beer, food trucks and three stages of good music.

This Memorial Day, ‘til 9pm, Sexton Sideshow presents its Memorial Dei Family Picnic fundraiser, featuring 16 bands ranging from the New Sound Brass Band and Eric 13 to Hollis Brown and Toy Soldiers’ Ron Gallo. Attendees will also enjoy the 2nd annual Queen Village Dog Pageant, be dazzled by the always-entertaining Elysian Dance Company and target famous-for-Philly food trucks like Vittles, Tacos El Rodeo, Mompops and Guerrilla Ultima for tasty treats. All paid admission ticket levels include a beverage ($5 for soda, $20 for a bottomless beer cup), and there are special family packages available, too. 

Sexton Sideshow describes Gloria Dei as “an inner city church blessed with the beauty and charm of a garden-like setting.” To keep this 300-year-old institution in good stead, though, the congregants and surrounding community need funds and friends to preserve it and sustain its fellowship. Come out and support an ancient (for Philly) landmark that’s more than just a place of worship: It’s a community. // JOSH KRUGER

11am. $5-$20. Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church, 916 S. Swanson St.

The Magnificent Seven Part IV
Free For All Comedy presents their fourth showcase of comedic gold at the Boot & Saddle tonight. This month’s lineup includes Aaron Hertzog, 2013 Philebrity Comedian of the Year nominee Alison Zeidman and a packed bill of our area’s funniest. 8pm. $7. The Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St. 267.639.4528.

Summer Kick-Off Party!
Howl at the Moon’s dueling pianos rock this Memorial Day summer welcome bash. Featuring all-night drink specials and their unique piano entertainment, this popular spot plays host to one of the hottest parties of the holiday weekend. 7pm. Howl at the Moon, 258 S. 15th St. 215.546.4695.

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