PW's Weekend Picks: May 10-12

By Anastasia Barbalios
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 10, 2013

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Dear culture vultures: We scoured the city to bring you the best of what Philly has to offer. Enjoy! 

Friday, May 10

Chris Tucker
“Break yo’self, fool!” With those three little words, his first line in 1995’s urban slacker classic Friday, Chris Tucker sealed his destiny: bona fide movie star. Sure, he’d already been lighting up comedy clubs for years, and his standup mastery was certainly no secret to fans of HBO’s first late-night series smash, Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, where Tucker’s impression of Michael Jackson as an angry pimp and talk of a black president installing a basketball court at the White House (uh, hello!) kept both Academy Theater crowds and home viewers screaming with laughter. But it was Friday’s success, quickly followed by memorable roles in Dead Presidents and The Fifth Element (not to mention Tucker’s brief appearance as the ill-fated Beaumont Livingston in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown) that paved the way for the Rush Hour juggernaut, producing three worldwide hits that sent his star stock soaring, eventually making him Hollywood’s highest paid actor. Since then, though, Tucker’s cooled his big-screen heels a bit, having returned to his standup touring roots for a couple years, both internationally and stateside—partially, he admits, due to the long hand of the IRS, and he apparently owes a grip. It’s all right: He’s always claimed to be a comedian who acts, not an actor who does comedy. So, don’t go thinking that all that work with Oscar-nominated directors and acting opposite action stars and screen legends has made your boy soft: Expect the same ol’ school, high pitch-twanged Tucker hysterics that kept his jokes and impersonations reverberating through barber shops and over office water coolers for weeks on end. And if his IRS troubles force him into making another Rush Hour flick with Jackie Chan—and please, God, also Last Friday, the fourth and final of the Ice Cube-DJ Pooh penned film series—well, we’ll just call that a silver lining. / KENYA BEVERLY

8pm. Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow sts., Upper Darby. 610.352.2887.

Center City Jazz Festival
The Center City Jazz Festival, now in its second year, began as a crowdfunding effort to find a place for Philadelphia’s first-rate jazz musicians, who’d been running into major snags—lots of talent to showcase, but not a whole lot of venues. So trombonist Ernest Stuart and several of his friends and fellow artists launched it, and it’s caught on in ways many supposed-to-be-annual Philly fests of yesteryear have failed.

The fun kicks off Friday night at the Art Museum with a ladies-first happy-hour performance from vocalist Venissa Santi, featuring soprano saxophonist/flutist Jane Bunnett. The next day, several downtown bars and restaurants—Time, Chris’ Jazz Café, Fergie’s Pub, Milkboy—will host 20 performances between them, with famed Philly-raised pianist Orrin Evans headlining a show at the Arts Bank Theater at the University of the Arts on Saturday.

Among Saturday’s performers: Chris Aschman, Neil Podgurski, Madison Rast featuring John Ellis, Francois Zayas, King Pony, Ross Bellenoit, Pagode Project, Leon Jordan Jr., the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret and plenty more. That’s the thing about festivals: Performers are inevitably playing concurrently, and that’s definitely the case on Saturday, so make your schedule now. The only stand-alone shows are the first at the Museum and the last at UArts. Everything else is within the celebration’s five-block radius in—where else?—Center City. / RANDY LOBASSO

Through May 11. $15-$50. Various locations.

These English transplants met and formed their band in N.Y.C. in 1993, just two years before taking over popular culture with “In the Meantime,” their first, and biggest, single. Although they continued to release material, they weren’t able to top their initial success and spent much of the 2000s on hiatus. As It Is On Earth, their first record in 10 years, was released in April and contains a remix of their most well-known tune. 7:30pm. $12. With Wreaths and Birthwater. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St.

Warship Olympia Tattoo Arts Convention
Back for the third year, this convention highlights traditional American-style tattoo artists from around the globe. The rare and often-forgotten-about practice of applying acetate stencils will be celebrated, with some dating back to the 1940s. This assembly line method of application was very common in the golden age of American tattooing. 2pm. $20-$40. Independence Seaport Museum, Aboard the Warship Olympia, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd. 215.423.4780.

The Punany Poets: All Man Revue
Jessica Holter brings you a night of comedy, poetry, music, exotic dance and massage to pleasure your mind, body and soul. It probably goes without saying, but this party is a 21-and-over, all-girls event. 9pm. $30. Dowling’s Palace, 1310 N. Broad St. 215.236.9888.

The Philadelphia Wine and Food Festival
Join top winemakers and chefs for intimate tastings, engaging demonstrations and exclusive educational sessions. As an added bonus, there will be an on-site Fine Wine & Good Spirits store where you can purchase any of the 600 featured wines from the festival that may have won you over. 5:30pm. $75-$250. Lincoln Financial Field, 1020 Pattison Ave. 215.940.4605.

Youth Lagoon
Boise, Idaho’s Trevor Powers uses the Youth Lagoon moniker to make lo-fi pop music that expresses his deepest hopes and fears. His latest offering, Wondrous Bughouse, is a hazy, intricately-pieced-together aural collage with a dreamlike feel that can be heard and even felt in “Attic Door.” 8:30pm. $15. With Majical Cloudz. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100.

Grid Alive
Grid publisher Alex Mulcahy and urban farmer Nic Esposito present an interactive version of the print publication’s last few issues. People featured on Grid’s sustainability-themed pages will be brought on stage in a fun, talk-show-like setting. There will be live music, as well as local beer and wine for everyone to enjoy. 7pm. $5. Trinity Memorial Church, 2212 Spruce St. 215.625.9850.

If Man is 5
This performance is a study of the male acrobatic form, in which physical, emotional and mental struggles are examined to see what they reveal about a person. 8pm. $15. The Funicular Railway Station, 416 W. Coulter St. 602.488.9972.

Saturday, May 11

Art Star Craft Bazaar
Just in time for you to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift and/or plan the perfect Mother’s Day outing, Art Star’s annual springtime craft extravaganza—the biggest and baddest in town—returns for its 10th year. More than 150 artisans from around the country will be selling all the one-of-a-kind handmade items you’d expect—and plenty you’d never even imagine. In addition to local art groups and retailers like InLiquid, VIX Emporium, the Clay Studio and Omoi Zakka Shop, some of the many local vendors to keep an eye out for include Exit 343 Design, Volta Organics, Yardsale Press and BirdQueen Designs. For any first-timers out there, here’s three key pieces of advice: Pack a bottle of sunscreen and apply it periodically because there’s almost no shade to be found on the plaza; have some cash on you even though most vendors do accept credit cards; and finally, be prepared to spend more time and money than you budget. Keeping you entertained as you weave through the maze of tents, Philebrity has once again hand-selected a dozen local folk/indie musicians to perform, including the alt-country band the Bailey Hounds and the female fronted rock group Arrah & the Ferns. There will also be craft demos and make-and-takes, food and drink vendors and an open-air photo booth with all sorts of fun props and backdrops, courtesy of Cut & Paste Photobooth. The event will be held rain or shine, and the first 150 people to arrive both days will score a free tote bag, which will definitely come in handy. / N.F.

11am. Free. Through May 12. Great Plaza at Penns Landing, Columbus Blvd. between Market and Walnut sts.

Beth Hart
L.A. blues rocker Beth Hart—who famously learned to play piano at the age of 4—has been consistently pumping out material since her debut in 1996. Her forthcoming album, Seesaw, will be released later this month and is her second duet record with guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa. 8pm. $25-$35. With Anjuli Josephine and Christine Santelli. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St.

Richard Meyer and Judith Tannenbaum
Art historian Richard Meyer and former ICA curator Judith Tannenbaum discuss the work of Glenn Ligon, whose coal dust and oil stick drawings are featured in the current ICA exhibition Each One as She May. Running through July 28, the exhibit delves into the idea of repetition, and whether it offers greater clarity or blurred meanings. 2:30pm. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.7108.

Banker’s Heaven Architecture Walking Tour
Hard as it may be to believe now, but good ol’ Chestnut Street was once our nation’s financial epicenter. This tour looks at the important early institutions that gave Philadelphia its prominence, as well as the architecture of Greek Revival “temples” and brick and limestone buildings.10am. $5-$10. The Bourse Building, 111 S. Fourth St. 215.546.1146.

It’s the Year 1995 with DJs Emynd & Bo Bliz
Reef the Lost Cauze hosts this stroll down Memory Lane with the music that made 1995, well, 1995. Remember Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”; Shaggy’s “Bombastic” and Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”? Yeah, they were all in the Top 10 of ‘95. If you get there early, you could score a free T-shirt. 9pm. $7. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave.

Painting a Healthy City
Commemorating Mental Health Awareness Month, the second annual Painting a Healthy City aims to promote wellbeing by bringing together the powerful forces of public art, community engagement and health resources. This free event features good food, music, mural painting and camaraderie. 11am. Free. 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel, 850 N. 11th St.

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