PW's Weekend Picks: Sept. 13-15

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 13, 2013

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Friday, September 13

MUSIC
Philadelphia United Jazz Festival
Warren Oree and Graziella DiNuzzo teamed up to produce the Philadelphia Jazz and Poetry Festival back in 2003, and something got sparked: They formed LifeLine Music Coalition and have been supporting the Philly jazz community pretty seriously now for a decade. And for this, their inaugural Philadelphia United Jazz Festival, they’ve put together one helluva 10-day program. While the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts will serve as a hub of sorts, culminating in a 20-plus artist lineup next Saturday and Sunday, Oree’s put together a handful of events outside of the Clef Club, all over the city, to generously flavor Philadelphia with jazz.

Kicking the fest off officially will be a performance and discussion at PECO’s Energy Hall (noon-2pm) called Emerging Jazz, Emerging People. Jeff Duperon from WRTI is set to moderate a mixed bag of panelists, and the afternoon’ll get jazzy when the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble takes a makeshift stage for some midday cerebellum massage. There’s lots to enjoy for the duration, but two Jazz in the Park moments are crucial to catch before the big weekend: a lunchtime retreat at Collins Park (17th and Chestnut streets) on Tuesday, the 17th, from noon to 1:30pm, and the perfect post-work wind-down at Sister Cities Park (18th and Ben Franklin Parkway) on Thursday, the 19th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Oh, and on the evening of Friday, the 20th, Arpeggio will invite some special guests to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in order to keep “Keepin’ the ART in pARTy.” That’s all to serve as a precursor to the two-day Clef Club performance and workhop blowout. Whew! / B.C.

Through Sun., Sept. 22. Free-$25. Various times and venues. 215.557.7277. philaunitedjazzfestival.com

FRINGE
Bastard Piece
Impress your theatrical friends by attending this avant-garde, three-character theme exploration piece. No Face Performance Group is the same company that brought you a demonic drag cabaret exploring the operatic nature of teen angst, so don’t expect a bland retelling of Othello here. 8pm. $10. Pig Iron School Studio 2 at Crane Old School, 1417 N. Second St. 215.413.1318. fringearts.com
 
STAGE
In The Heights
This Tony Award-winning Broadway musical tells a universal story set in northern Manhattan’s largely Hispanic Washington Heights neighborhood. The play features bodegas, salsa music and freestyle rap. 8pm. $10-$95. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. walnutstreettheatre.org

FRINGE
Six Feet (Above and) Under
New York-based REV Theatre Company returns to Laurel Hill Cemetery for a graveyard cabaret. The performance centers around the stories of three souls: a sailor lost at sea as his widow drowns in a bathtub, a serial-killing little girl who pleads for the electric chair and a murderer looking for his next victim. 7:15pm. $20. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave. 215.228.8200. thelaurelhillcemetery.org

MUSIC
Cold Roses
Cold Roses’ personal and often tragic lyrical content is mirrored by their old-soul blues sensibilities and gritty sound. Their energetic live performances have made them a fixture in the Philly area. 8:30pm. $8-$10. With the Retinas, the Outhouse + the Naked Sun. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455.  

RECEPTION
Bonnie MacAllister: BURLESQUE
The opening reception of Bonnie MacAllister’s show features new 3-D metal dye prints and fiber works. Live burlesque dancers will accompany the pieces, which feature subjects including Coney Island mermaids and Aztec dancers. 6pm. Free. Jed Williams Gallery, 615 Bainbridge St. jedwilliamsgallery.com

COMEDY
Impractical Jokers
“The Tenderloins” are the four-man comedy troupe starring in TruTV’s reality prank series Impractical Jokers. Catch them live on stage in this interactive comedy show featuring improv and never-before-seen videos inspired by their hit series. 8pm. $37.50. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave. 215.572.7650. keswicktheatre.com

STAGE
Opera Macabre
The Philadelphia Opera Company brings Edgar Allan Poe to life with visceral suspense. The hauntingly beautiful “Fall of the House of Usher,” cleverly poetic “Music of the Spheres,” and wickedly funny “Black Cat” are the classic Poe narratives highlighted in this engaging and accessible show. 8pm. $15-$20. Playground at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. 215.567.2848. fringearts.com

MUSIC
Toy Soldiers
Philadelphia’s rising indie-rock stars play liquor-fueled Americana music, fusing roots rock, folk, blues and soul. This gig is to celebrate the release of their second full-length, The Maybe Boys, in stores now. 9:30pm. $10-$12. With Kingsley Flood. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
 

Saturday, September 14

MUSIC
Venissa Santi
Drawing on influences as diverse as Michael Jackson, Celia Cruz and Maurice Ravel, in addition to teachings from a handful of dance masters that includes the late Gregorio “El Goyo” Hernandez, Venissa Santi has made her way to the top of the city’s Latin American musical community. After moving to Philadelphia upon graduating high school in New York, Santi couldn’t have found it easy to build a reputation from scratch as a fabled stranger in a strange city. But with a little help from the University of the Arts and a subsequent job as an instructor with the Asociación de Músicos Latino Americanos (AMLA), she managed to create a home for herself here. With the release of her debut album, Bienvenida, in 2009, Santi demonstrated a richly developed sound and lyrical maturity that wowed listeners. What many don’t realize is that her gift runs in her blood:  From writers to architects, artistry can be found just about everywhere in Santi’s family, although it’s her grandfather, composer Jacobo Ros Capablanca, whom she often cites as the spark that fueled her undying passion for music.

Now, Santi begins to make rounds in support of her follow-up record, Big Stuff: Afro-Cuban Holiday, an homage to the legendary Billie Holiday. Featuring 12 new interpretations of songs as arranged by bandmate and percussionist Francois Zayas, the LP certainly does justice to Holiday’s legacy while allowing Santi to bring her own gusto to the table and let her unique voice shine through.Whether channeling Holiday’s infamous mournful crooning on “Involved Again” or adding a few dimensions to more uplifting tracks like “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” there’s no doubt that Santi performs beautifully when part of a top-notch team. As Chris’ Jazz Cafe’s audience will soon attest, she sounds damn fine, too. / JAKE ABBATE

Sat., Sept. 14. 8pm. $20. Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131. chrisjazzcafe.com

FRINGE
ChORDED Motion
The Philly-based New Street Dance Group are expertly stringing music and movement together in their latest collaboration, ChORDED Motion. Accompanied by a string quartet directed by cellist Jonathan Cain, the performance consists of more than 20 dancers and a collection of six short dance ensembles which make use of not only choreographed movement, but spoken word, props and set design elements to explore the intersection where the live string quartet’s chords meet the dancers’ motions.

Co-directors (and former college roommates) Shannon Dooling and Krista Armbruster have been performing and pursuing careers in the arts long before NSDG’s founding in 2009. ChORDED Motion marks the group’s Fringe Festival debut, featuring dancers from DeSales University—where Armbruster received her B.A. in dance—as well as NSDG’s own.

Considering their memorable past performances that include A Brewed Day, a seven-minute-long trio piece inspired by a cup of morning Joe, and the recent Superluminous, a suspenseful ensemble that followed five pairs of dancers as they form relationship onstage and work with and against one another, New Street Dance Group’s dynamism and trademark accessibility makes this provocative staging a Fringe Fest must-see. / LAUREN ARUTE

3pm. $10-$15. First Unitarian Church. 2125 Chestnut St. newstreetdancegroup.org

MUSIC
Peter Hook & the Light
Following his not-so-happy departure from New Order, Peter Hook now lends his rhythmic and high-pitched bass to a prowling monster of an outfit, its notes seething out in all directions, looking to claim a worthy ear. 8pm. $22.50-$24. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St.215.922.6888. thetroc.com

COMEDY
Anthony Jeselnik
The Pittsburgh native makes for Philly to rant intermittently about offhand topics, and then nosedive into the darkest shit for a punchline, leaving the laughter stuck in your throat. Bring lozenges. 8pm. $29.50. Merriam Theater at the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. 215.790.5800. kimmelcenter.org

DANCE
Collapse/Intersect
Throughline Collective presents a dance performance inspecting relationships that change, fall apart and come together. Noon. $10-$15. The Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St. 215.569.4060. ruddydance.org/garage

HEALTH
Silent No More
Cardiovascular disease is a particular threat to women of color. The American Heart Association will host a conference and lecture addressing matters of the heart, featuring Dr. Robin L. Smith as keynote speaker. 9am. Free. Temple University Student Activity Center, 1755 N. 13th St. 215.575.5245

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