My roommate and I have a standing feud over one of the dumbest disagreements ever: Which one of Prince’s model-gorgeous ‘80s paramours was the most talented, especially minus any of the Purple One’s regal musical raucousness and unmistakable flavor? My friend says Jill Jones, the talented singer-songwriter who, sadly, may be as well-known for her two five-second Purple Rain scenes—she was that bleached-blonde, tongue-tied waitress fan of The Kid—as she is for her own virtually ignored material. For me, it’s no-brainer: Sheila Escovedo, hands down—the indeniably badass, sought-after percussionist, drummer and guitar player who not only made her mark as a singer in those days, but has gone on to flourish as a musician and musical director—for not only Prince, but dozens of others. She’s shared stages with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Ringo Starr, George Duke, Beyonce, Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie—the list is lengthy, impressive and growing longer as each month passes.
In Miss Sheila’s case, the blood ties extol the range of her gifts: Daddy’s the uber-legendary Pete Escovedo, the namesake of her fellow-percussionist brother Pete Jr., and they all—with another Escovedo brother, Juan—form The E. Family Band, with whom the lady often plays and headlines. That is, of course, when she’s not touring or helming shows of her own, like this one-night-only gig, surely the hottest ticket in Wilmington tonight. // KENYA BEVERLY
8pm. $40. World Cafe Live at The Queen, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, Del. 302.994.1400. queen.worldcafelive.com
The Philadelphia Wicked Urban Dramatic Arts Festival
The stages of the Vox Populi Gallery will play host to edgy storytellers utilizing spoken word and short plays to convey life in urban society. 7pm. $15. The Vox Populi Gallery, 319 N. 11th St. 215.238.1236. voxpopuligallery.org
In this new farce from the Arden Theatre Company, a traveling one-eyed con man spreads his influence to a group of monks living in a French monastery. 8pm. $15-46. Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. Second St. 215.922.1122. ardentheatre.org
Synapse: Drexel Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
Inspired by the notion of “quickly developing ideas,” this spring production from the Drexel Dance Ensemble will be split into 11 evocative pieces. 8pm. $15. Mandell Theater, 33rd and Chestnut sts. danceboxoffice.com
St. George Cathedral Greek Festival
All of your favorite Greek delicacies—souvlaki, gyro, mousaka, pastitsio and more—will be available at this festival celebrating Greek traditions. Visitors will also be treated to music and learn about the cathedral’s 200-year history. Noon. Free. St. George Cathedral, 256 S. Eighth St. 215.627.4389. saintgeorgecathedral.org
The Angry Jury
The School Free Players—made up of homeschooled Philadelphia youth—present their own interpretation of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men, which follows a jury trying to reach a verdict on a man accused of murder. 6:30pm. Studio X, 1340 S. 13th St. 215.218.4022. theatreexile.org
Originally stemming from Scranton, though now claiming Philly as home, the Menzingers are one of those punk bands that make you think the mid-’90s heyday of pop-punk never ended. They just put out Rented World, a mix-up of Mr. T Experience emo with Bouncing Souls-ish catchiness, to mostly positive reviews.
The band’s previously work—most notably 2010’s Chamberlain Waits and 2012’s On the Impossible Past—have been noted as standout albums, utilizing both simple chord progressions and universal lyrics. One of my favorite (and notably spitball punk) lyrical gems from Chamberlain Waits’ “I Was Born,” is, “Let these simple songs get caught in our heads, brace the frames of our worthless beds, all my life never gave a fuck, someone please wake me up.”
Rented World was actually recorded at Fishtown’s Miner Street Studio by producer Jonathan Low, whose previous work included Kurt Vile, The National and others who didn’t fit into that pop-punk mold in which the Menzingers have often found themselves. The four-piece noted it wanted to put out the album with a producer who wasn’t used to their style to better handle the changes they were putting into their new material. That seemed just fine by legendary Bad Religion guitarist/Epitaph Records owner Brett Gurewitz, who has regularly praised ‘em. And everybody knows once the boss loves you, you’re golden. // RANDY LOBASSO
8pm, $16-$18. With Lemuria, PUP + Cayetana. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
The 7th Annual Roots Picnic
The annual homecoming for Philadelphia’s favorite sons will be one for the ages. The Roots will be joined by Snoop Dogg, The War On Drugs, Action Bronson, A$AP Ferg, a DJ set by Biz Markie and many other staggeringly cool acts. 1pm. $50-$64. Festival Pier, 601 N. Columbus Blvd. rootspicnic.com
The Independence Seaport Museum presents an ambitious combination of three exciting explorations of Philadelphia: A 15-mile regatta, river to river scavenger hunt and a walk from the start to finish of Walnut Street. Walnut2Walnut will also feature a full day of activities and vendors at the Seaport Museum. 9:30am. Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd. For full information visit phillyseaport.org/Walnut2Walnut
You’ve all seen the videos. Now is your opportunity to become a parkour expert and traverse through Philadelphia’s concrete jungles. The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts presents this martial arts workshop on the acrobatic and freestyle movements of parkour. 4pm. $35. Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 5900A Greene St. phillycircus.com
Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater presents Unspoken, an improv take on transcribed texts, posts and emails anonymously submitted by the audience. Artistic Director Bobbi Block presents this collage of drama, comedy and live music with a fresh approach. 7:30pm. $10-$12. The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. phillyimprovtheater.ticketleap.com
Inaugural Youth Sports & Education Expo
Join industry experts in sports, education, health and fitness for this exposition of youth sports information. Learn about risks of youth sports related injuries, network with industry leaders and find out about local leagues to give your kids the best youth sports experiences. Through Sun., June 1. $10-$20. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. 800.825.1575. sportseducationexpo.com
Corner Store (Take-Out Stories)
If there’s one thing that unites the vast neighborhoods of Philadelphia, it’s the corner store. These little shops—chock full of groceries, household goods, and/or take-out meals—are staples in more urban areas. After the sun sets, some of these places may inadvertently host a myriad of questionable activities, but nonetheless, they remain part of our neighborhood fabric. Still, how many of us, without checking, know the name of these places? How many of us refer to these businesses by the ethnicity of its owner/operators, as opposed to what they’re actually called?
In their newest exhibition, entitled Corner Store: Take-Out Stories, the mighty Asian Arts Initiative challenges the preconceived notions we may have about these shops and evaluates exactly how much is experienced via the encounters that take place within them. Boasting a mixed-media collection of photography, videos, merchandise and live performances, Corner Store hopes to shatter some of the myths erected around the shops in your ‘hood. By starting a dialogue regarding some of the ethnic alienation, culture shock and the ever-tricky language barrier, this project addresses the notion of how relationships are forged, depending on which side of the counter the person stands.
Collaborating with talented Amber Art cohorts Ernel Martinez and Keir Johnston, AAI presents a remarkable project that hopes to enlighten as well as educate members of our community about, well, each other. // KENNEDY ALLEN
Through Aug. 22. Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St. 215.557.4055. asianartsinitiative.org
Nest, an early child enrichment and activity center, hosts this superhero-themed bash and dress-up for you and your young ones. Superhero activities, mask making and games will be featured, as well as some adult beverages for super parents. 3:30pm. $15 per family. Nest, 1301 Locust Street. 215.545.6378. nestphilly.com
Irish American Festival
Celebrate all of Ireland’s glory and Irish pride at the Delaware River Waterfront this week. The festival includes traditional food, music, dancing and craft vendors. This is a family-friendly event, so bring the kids for some step-dancing and shepherd’s pie. 1pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. delawareriverwaterfront.com
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide