PW's Weekend Picks: Jan. 3-5

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 3, 2014

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Friday, January 3

Salsa Caliente! Three Kings Edition
If by some chance, all your holiday spirit hasn’t quite waned, the first weekend of the new year has more festivities lined up: namely, the third installment of Salsa Caliente! The Three Kings Edition at the Painted Bride Arts Center. Heralded as one of the best dance parties in the city, Salsa Caliente! features various live Latin bands from around the Philadelphia area each month. January’s gathering focuses specifically on the Three Kings, or the Epiphany, an event on both Western and Eastern Christian calendars marking the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem to behold a certain spiritually-influential newborn. (In Puerto Rico, children observe the holiday by placing grass or hay beneath their beds to feed the Magi’s camels, and in return, they find gifts in the morning as a reward for their generosity.)

Live Latin jazz is an exhilarating art form, filled to the brim with rich percussion and vibrant horns, and local sensation Anthony Colon y su Orquesta promises to bring the best salsa rhythms to the Bride. Additionally, Flaco’s Dance Factory will be offering salsa lessons beforehand to properly prepare people for the experience. The Factory’s “Party Thumpers,” a cadre of professional dancers, will assist during the introductory step-teaching, increasing the likelihood that even the shyest in sight will put in some heat-generating footwork.

Flaco, aka Mark Best, has been teaching salsa and other forms of Latin dance since 1997. Asked about the most memorable moment of the Caliente sets so far, Best says: “To me, [it’s about] how many different people get together to make it happen.” He not only encourages people to come out in droves, but he insists that grooving to a live salsa band is the only way to dance. “The rhythm [of salsa] permeates every corner of the world, because everyone loves it. When people touch one another, something magical happens.” / KENNEDY ALLEN

Lesson at 8pm; party at 9:15pm. $20-$25. Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914.

South Philly’s avant-garde, vegan coffee haven Grindcore House hosts this art show featuring illustrator Steven Bradshaw and photographer Victor Ryan Guy. Observe hauntingly dark pieces while enjoying a delicious cup of Joe. 6pm. Free. Grindcore House, 1515 S. Fourth St. 215.839.3333.

Big Terrible
The good ol’ boys of local trio Big Terrible deliver slow-churning, soulfully-distorted rock. In a musical landscape where even the most fledgling bands are multi-genre, taste-catering machines, these lads’ refreshing, authentic sound is a reminder of the visceral joy of heavy metal. 9pm. $8-$10. With Demonstrative Girls, Static Mountain. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455.

Twelve X Twelve
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents this annual exhibition comprised of more than 50 works, all in a 12x12-inch format. Drawings, oils, acrylics and watercolors are some of the mediums used in the exhibition featuring PAFA alumni artists. Each of the pieces will be up for purchase at affordable pricing.10am-5pm. Free. Historic Landmark Building, 118 N. Broad St. 215.972.7600.

Lizanne Knott and Friends
Local singer-songwriter Lizanne Knott and guests will perform at this benefit for Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization. Knott is known for her hauntingly delicate vocals, which have garnered her praise and fame in the Philadelphia area and England, too. 8pm. $12 and a non-perishable food item. With Tin Bird, Jen Creed, Kevin Killen. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.

Saturday, January 4

David London’s Magic Outside the Box
Through a creative blend of magic, storytelling, puppetry and comedy, David London has carved out a unique niche in the prestidigitation community. London’s performances have received praise from a variety of publications, including the Washington Post and the Baltimore City Paper, and his latest show, Magic Outside the Box, continues in the vein of theatrical sleight-of-hand productions full of inventive wonder.          

Luckily for his audiences, London thrives on the weird, baffling presentation of his craft. A practitioner since the age of seven, London has spent the majority of his life perfecting his off-kilter take on illusion and mystery, taking his wiles to dozens of museums, galleries, arts conventions and stage fests for years. His distinctly original approach makes it difficult to consider him a traditional magician, as his acts have often bordered the line of “performance art.” His undeniable acumen in the centuries-old trade has yielded uniquely entertaining experiences for many an eager show attendee.      
For one night only, London’s Magic Outside the Box touches down at the South Street Magic, which boasts itself as the only full-time magic shop and theater in Philadelphia. You’re guaranteed to squirm in your seat, and chances are, you’ll even be encouraged you to participate. London’s exploration of the surreal and ethereal promises a one-of-a-kind event, one that ages 15 and up will enjoy. / DANIEL GELB

6:30pm. $15. South Street Magic Theatre, 519 S. Fourth St. 215.450.7193.

Live Score! Radio Eris, Bible Fiction, Dental Dames, Rosa Diaz, Horsey, Tic-Tac-Oh
This innovative show features musical performances, which act as a collaborative live score for displays on stage. Eclectic artists play tunes, while art and film from the Winter 2014 issue of the abstract publication Certain Circuits is presented for your viewing pleasure. 7pm. $5. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234.

Murder at the Philadelphia Art Museum Scavenger Hunt
The Watson Adventures series of scavenger hunts and mysteries present their latest experience, which starts with a murdered curator who’s left a trail of clues connected with secrets in works of art. You’ll learn of a sordid tale revolving around a planned purchase of a rare Da Vinci painting and crack a code to solve the case. 2pm. $34.50. PMA, 2600 Ben Franklin Pkwy.

Sunday, January 5

Domenic DiStefano: Memorial Works on Paper
This yearly art exhibition is held in memory of painter Domenic DiStefano, well known for his bold style of transparent watercolor. Artists from the Mid-Atlantic region of the country have submitted works on paper for this collection, covering two floors of the historic Philadelphia Sketch Club. 2pm. Free. Philadelphia Sketch Club, 235 S. Camac St. 215.545.9298.

Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience
Experience the entire Harry Potter saga, seven books and roughly 4,000 words, condensed into one 70-minute show featuring only two actors. This gloriously goofy comedy is the perfect production for the digital age: quick, dirty and immensely satisfying. 2pm and 5pm. $35-$85. Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St. 215.972.1000.

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