Wednesday, July 24
Shakespeare in Clark Park: The Tempest
A summer tradition that West Philadelphians of all stripes have looked forward to for the past seven seasons, Shakespeare in Clark Park brings all the magic of the Bard’s classics to life in the most enthralling way possible: Live outdoor theater in the sprawling valley of its namesake, where a first-rate cast, imaginative staging, original music and some surprises always await its eager audiences.
This year, SCP’s eighth, will feature its production of The Tempest, considered by many to be the last play William Shakespeare wrote solo. In his romance, overthrown duke/magician Prospero and his daughter are living on a deserted island with two spirit-servants. A ship containing members of Naples’ royal clan crashes near the island; Prospero’s daughter, Miranda, falls in love with a man spared from the shipwreck, and, well, things unfold. Lots of things. And, of course, in Shakespeare’s hands, the telling of the ensuing tale is pure poetry.
In this summer’s Clark Park rendition, Prospero is played by a woman—like Julie Taymor’s 2010 film version, which starred the divine Helen Mirren as Prospera—though most of the story remains the same, even if it promises a few “twists and turns.” The Tempest’s original music was written and will be performed by Sean Hoots of the well-regarded local outfit Hoots and Hellmouth, so the play’s soundscape promises to be as lush and powerful as the production itself.
Shakespeare in Clark Park is always well-attended, so be sure to show up early and bring a blanket or beach chairs and something to snack and sip on. In case of rain over the five nights, the performance will be moved to the St. Francis De Sales School on 47th Street. And it begins at the same time—7 p.m.—each night. / RANDY LOBASSO
Wed. July 24-Sun., July 28, 7pm. Free. Clark Park, 4398 Chester Ave. shakespeareinclarkpark.org
Green Films at APS
In conjunction with its new “Through the Looking Lens” exhibit inspired by the work of artist Cornelius Varley, the APS Museum presents a series of short 16mm films highlighting the understated beauty and power of the natural world at large. The films, all shown in 16mm glory, date all the way back to the 1920s and come courtesy of Jay Schwartz’ Secret Cinema outlet. 6pm. Free. American Philosophical Society Museum, 104 S. Fifth St. 215.440.3442. apsmuseum.org
Emily Manalo Ruiz: A Signal From the Sea
It’s no easy feat for an artist to translate a complex subject through much simpler means, which is exactly what Emily Ruiz has accomplished with her latest exhibit. Using maritime flag signals, she creates an imaginary conversation with her estranged, ex-Navy father. Through Aug. 29. The Gallery at 543, 5000 S. Broad St. 215.454.5500. emilymanaloruiz.com
Diamond G-String Award
With a $15,000 check at stake, who wouldn’t want to take their clothes off? Acclaimed gentlemen’s club Delilah’s will once again present the Diamond G-String Award to the lithest, most brazen performer(s) to grace its stage. Renowned adult film starlet Lisa Ann will emcee the ceremony. 7pm. Delilah’s, 100 Spring Garden St. 215.625.2800. delilahs.com
Thursday, July 25
Following its premieres in Los Angeles and New York, writer/director Neil Drumming’s breakout film Big Words makes its Philadelphia debut tonight at International House. The highly-anticipated movie, released through the two-year-old African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), founded by acclaimed filmmaker Ava Duvernay, will only screen in 16 select cities, sometimes only once before making the next city stop. And for this sitting, Drumming, a former journalist who went out on a limb by leaving his job at Entertainment Weekly in order to make Big Words a reality, will be on the scene to participate in a post-film discussion moderated by 900 AM WURD’s Stephanie Renee and Reelblack’s Mike D.
Set in New York on the eve of President Obama’s election, Big Words follows a hip-hop trio formerly known as DLP as their paths collide for the first time since the group went their separate ways 15 years prior. Impressively deemed by Indiewire as “perhaps the most intellectual, dialogue-driven take on cosmopolitan African Americans since Barry Jenkins’ Medicine for Melancholy,” the largely talk-driven film delves into the derailment of the young men’s dreams and where their lives are headed now, sprinkled with budding love connections and big-picture realizations.
With rave reviews from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and others, this underdog deserves a spot on your must-see list. So, see it. / LAUREN ARUTE
7pm. $7-$10. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. ihousephilly.org
The New Highway Hymnal + Formerly Ghosts
“Through Stained Glass,” off the New Highway Hymnal’s latest EP, Whispers, doesn’t hesitate to thrust listeners into a harsh soundscape of buzzing saws and primal screams, setting the stage for another half hour of psychedelic post-punk bliss. Tonight, they co-headline with Formerly Ghosts, a tripped-out powerhouse in their own right with haunting experiments that occasionally stretch to well over 20 minutes. 8pm. $10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Chuck Klosterman: I Wear the Black Hat
Chuck Klosterman’s thought-provoking commentaries on the state of popular culture have won him incessant critical praise, and his latest published work, I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) seems to be no different. Here, he examines the concept of villainy and why people are gravitating toward perceived “antiheroes” with increasing frequency. 7:30pm. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Is it actually possible for Beyoncé to have a “small” year? In 2013, she has tackled motherhood, inspired many a meme with her Super Bowl performance and launched her touring comeback with The Mrs. Carter Show, which stops in Philly—her first show here since 2009—more than a month ahead of her headlining slot on the first day of hubby Jay Z’s Made In America Festival. 8pm. $45-$250. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. 800.298.4200. wellsfargocenterphilly.com
Slam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am
Painted Bride Quarterly urges poetry lovers to “bring the heat” (and beat it, too) at the July edition of its monthly slam. Philadelphia magazine senior writer (and PW alum) Steve Volk will lead an interactive writing activity, while Denver poet Paulie Lipman will give a reading. 7:30pm. Pen & Pencil Club, 1522 Latimer St. penandpencil.org
Friday, July 26
XPoNential Music Festival
Hooo, doggie! WXPN’s put together a real humdinger for this year’s annual XPoNential Music Festival. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, the Camden Waterfront will feature close to 30 acts at two venues: the Wiggins Park site, which has a huge roster of talent, and bigger but fewer names at the nearby Susquehanna Bank Center. The SBC’s nights are Saturday and Sunday, with the latter being the home to the also creatively capitalized AmericanaramA Festival. The tickets don’t cross-apply, so get your deets right on XPN’s FAQ page.
Day One at SBC is Hey Marseilles, Polica, Dr. Dog and The Lumineers. Go ‘head, Dr. Dog! We’re proud to see the Baltimore Avenue boys getting some love—and just in time, too, because this week, they released a new track (“The Truth”) from their highly-anticipated October 1-slated release B-Room. Then the AmericanaramA fest features some big names: Bob Dylan & His Band, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Ryan Bingham. Expected highlights from the Wiggins Park sets include Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros closing the night on Friday; Erin McKeown, Matt Pond and Dr. John’s midday bing-bang-boom on Saturday before John Butler Trio’s finale, and a very strong Sunday evening with a run of Jose James, Phosphorescent, Lianne La Havas, Justin Townes Earle and Dawes closing. / BILL CHENEVERT
Through Sun., July 28. $5-$125. Various times. Wiggins Park, Mickle Boulelvard and Riverside Dr., Camden, N.J. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, N.J. 215.898.6677. xpn.org
Soulful Atlantic City garage rockers the Improbables are taking their primitive sound to the city for a night sure to be dripping with psychedelia reminiscent of the ‘60s and ‘70s. 9pm. $5. With Atlantic Thrills, Mr. Unloved + The Abandos. Ortlieb’s Lounge. 847 N. Third St. 267.324.3348. ortliebslounge.com
The Oval: The New Shape of Fun
In conjunction with Fairmount Park, the city recently unveiled a new 8-acre, oval-shaped “park on the parkway.” Transformed from a parking space, Eakins Oval is offering free educational programs, live entertainment, movie nights and fitness activities, as well as new food trucks daily throughout the remainder of the summer. Through August 18. 9am-9pm. Free. Eakins Oval. phila.gov/parksandrecreation/programsandactivities/pages/theoval.aspx
MIGHTY #hot featuring Just Blaze
Producer to the likes of Jay Z, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Dr. Dre and Lil Wayne, DJ Just Blaze is teaming up with Mighty #hot to bring a night of nonstop hip-hop to Silk City. 10pm. $10. 435 Spring Garden St. 215.592.8838. silkcityphilly.com
ComedySportz Story Slam
Let the faces behind Philadelphia’s longest-running comedy show regale you with onstage antics, behind-the-scenes secrets and hilarious stories from the group’s 20-year history. 8pm. $10. Skybox Theater at the Adrienne. 2030 Sansom St. adriennelive.org
Jackyl (of Full Throttle Saloon)
Jackyl, the band that earned the title of “Hardest Working Band in Rock ‘N’ Roll” from the Guinness Book of World Records for performing 21 shows in 24 hours, brings a night of Woodstock nostalgia to the Blockley. 9:30pm. $16-$20. The Blockley. 3801 Chestnut St. 215.222.1234. theblockley.com
The post-punk alternative dance gods are back after a four-year hiatus following their second break-up. Fans of the Joy Division sound would be wise to catch the fleeting angst pop veterans for their show at an upscale venue. 8pm. $29.50-59.50. With Holy Ghost!. The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.546.7900. manncenter.org
Eyes to Cuba
With the development of tourism, the words “Cuban art” often spur images of brightly colored depictions of island life. Eyes to Cuba hopes to debunk the stereotype by showcasing eight contemporary Cuban artists, each with their own unique voices, spanning mediums across the abstract and surreal to the figurative. Through Aug. 17. LG Tripp Gallery , 47 N. Second St. lgtrippgallery.com
“Gypsy punk” innovators from New York return to Philly in support of their new album, Pura Vida Conspiracy. For those unfamiliar with their uniquely spastic sound, think Bouncing Souls meets Eastern European polka party music. 11:59pm. $30. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
Saturday, July 27
Mad Decent Block Party
It’s really quite impressive. Five summers ago, Diplo and his Mad Decent family bought a block party permit for $20 and pulled grills, kiddie pools and mediocre sound equipment out onto Green Street in the Eraserhood and threw a humble little block party. Now, it’s a 13-city tour with giant stages and ecstatic crowds that have swollen to the tens of thousands. This year, Diplo and Co. have sold out the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, and ticketholders are eager to dance till they sweat themselves dehydrated.
The Mad Decent Block Party features a rotating cast of stars that appear at some venues, but not all—and this weekend’s some good ones. Major Lazer, as you may know, is Diplo’s project that started with Switch, a damn fine DJ and producer in London who’s M.I.A.’s boy, but is now Diplo with Jillionaire and Walshy Fire. Their insane dancehall-meets-electronica smashing hip-hop energy will be exactly what the crowd’s hungry for. There’s also Dillon Francis, a producer known for championing moombahcore/moombahton, but who also plays those electronic sounds the kids like, with the skronky breakdowns and climactic buzzes. But the real draw may be, in fact, Riff Raff, the lazy, slurry and sizzurpy emcee who’s like the smartest joke of a persona buried inside an aesthetically masterful art project, bearing cornrows, tattoos, grills, outstanding athletic apparel and big, fat chains. Do yourself a kindness, and don’t miss this. / B.C.
1pm. Sold out. With Flosstradamus, Nadastrom, DJ Sega, Dirty South Joe, Swizzymack + Jahan Lennon. The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard between Market and Walnut sts. maddecentblockparty.com
Does your knowledge of Swedish culture stop at Dolph Lundgren? No matter; if you like to drink, you’re going to want to check this out. With tons of Swedish lagers (and some local ones, too) and food on hand to sample, beer lovers can enjoy some of the finer qualities of the country that brought us the best damn meatballs around. 5pm. $25-$30. American Swedish Historical Museum. 1900 Pattison Ave. americanswedish.org
Munch Around the Market Scavenger Hunt
Do you like food but the act of simply ingesting it is not exciting enough for you? This unique hunt for adults combines tricky questions and a challenge to sample some of the best foods in the Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown. Noon. $22 (plus $10 cash for food). Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St. 877.946.4868. watsonadventures.com
ScrewSmart Present: Molasses: A Summer Slowdance
Because sometimes you just don’t want to Dougie, the folks at ScrewSmart—a sex education group that focuses on sexual health and satisfaction—are hosting a slow dance party. Feeling regretful about never asking your middle school crush to dance to “Take My Breath Away?” This is for you. 8pm. $10. Studio 34. 4522 Baltimore Ave. studio34yoga.com
Stereo Coma + Community Service
Philly locals Stereo Coma play a mix of grunge and punk a la Bad Religion, while Community Service offer a ska-inflected brand of punk that will take you back to the days of Big D & The Kids Table. 8pm. $8. Kung Fu Necktie. 1250 N. Front St. kungfunecktie.com
Love & Hip Hop
There’s an R&B takeover at the Trocadero as a bevy of soulful musicians take to the stage to treat audiences to late ‘90s tunes. 9:30pm. $10. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. thetroc.com
Trampled By Turtles
Fusing rock and indie with country, Trampled By Turtles are for fans of electric guitar and banjo alike. Their sprawling has earned them comparisons to bands like Old Crow Medicine Show and Uncle Tupelo. Not bad company to keep. 11pm. $25. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. tlaphilly.com
Sunday, July 28
AutoFuturist Affair & Sanctuary Wholistic Arts Present: Wine, Spirit and Mind II
Curious about the inner and outer reaches of the multiverse? Wholistic Arts presents a night of discussions, practices and presentations spiraling around art, science, astrology, metaphysics, dreams and a whole lot of other trippy stuff. Also, there will be a wine and dessert tasting to follow, because normal stuff is still cool too. 4pm. $5-$10. Sanctuary Wholistic Arts, 2737 Cambridge St. 267.912.9923. wholisticarts.biz
East Passyunk Car Show and Street Festival
This show sees 140 cars, motorcycles and trucks competing for a set of awards, including Best of Show. The accompanying festival will feature live music, circus performances, street vendors, rack sales, kids activities and the Bang! Boom! CRAFT! Show. As if all of that wasn’t enough, award-winning restaurants will serve street food and drinks to keep you fueled up. Noon. $15 for cars, free for attendees. E. Passyunk Avenue (between Broad and Dickenson Streets). 215.336.1455. visiteastpassyunk.com
Watch up-and-coming turntable wizards go head to head, spinning the best in hip-hop, electronic and rap to be granted the honorary title of Iron DJ. 11pm. Free. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. kungfunecktie.com
Monday, July 29
Imaginings from Nature: Work by Katia McGuirk
Local ceramic artist Katia McGuirk employs a diverse range of found objects and homemade materials to assemble tiles, panel mosaics and site-specific instillation that remain in the spirit of bricolage mosaic making. This nature-heavy exhibition is a collection of her whimsical personal narratives, highlighting her trademark intuitive nature when it comes to exploring objects. Through August 25. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South St. 215.733.0390. phillymagicgardens.org
Professional Women’s Roundtable: Tailor Your Image
Image experts get together to teach you how to be seen the way you’d like to be seen. This includes easy and quick-fixing things like professional attire, but also focuses on deeper attributes, like your voice. The goal of the evening is to help you give back to the community while learning tips to further your own career. 5:30pm. $20-$60. The Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel, 1 Logan Square. 215.963.1500. fourseasons.com/philadelphia/dining
Tuesday, July 30
For someone who’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, won six Grammy Awards and influenced everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan, it’s safe to say that Buddy Guy may be a bit under-appreciated. With all due respect to the Keswick Theater, this man deserves to be playing sold-out gigs at places like the Susquehanna Bank Center. Luckily for fans, he isn’t, and we get to see the legendary blues guitarist perform in the Keswick’s intimate, informal setting.
Noted for his lively, genre-bending live shows, Guy was instrumental in bridging blues with rock music in the 1950s. Born in Lettsworth, La., Guy worked for years as a sideman in the famous Chicago blues clubs. After playing as a studio guitarist for gents like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, he finally broke into the limelight during the blues revival of the late ‘80s. And few others deserve it more.
Guy’s latest LP, Rhythm & Blues, is due out at the end of this month, serving as a testament to his staying power, even as the music world seemingly becomes more and more invested in pop puffery. With musicians like Gary Clark, Jr. and Kid Rock appearing on the album, it’s apparent that Guy’s as relevant and respected as ever.
Forget about all the uber-hip pop bands for a little while; enjoy a fat slice of music history in the flesh. / MAX UFBERG
7:30pm. $29.50-$59.50. With Quinn Sullivan. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. 215.572.7650. keswicktheatre.com
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Dawn McCarthy
Despite multiple collaboration throughout the years, 2013’s What the Brothers Sang is the first record that finds Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Dawn McCarthy sharing duel billing on the front cover. As vaguely hinted at by the title, the album is a collection of cover songs sourced from the more obscure end of the Everly Brothers’ back catalog. Their takes on these classics are often interesting due to their less “by-the-book” approach to harmonies. 8:30pm. $20-$22. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. utphilly.com
Exhumed Films: Remote Control
Jeff Lieberman hosts a screening of his 1988 classic film Remote Control, in which aliens are trying to brainwash earthlings via bad 1950s science fiction video tapes. Aside from introducing the film, Lieberman will also stick around for a Q&A session with the audience. 7:30pm. $10-$15. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. exhumedfilms.com
Wednesday, July 31
Philadelphia Museum of Art’s July Film Series: Pollock
Movies in “Portrait of the Artist,” the film series at the Philadelphia Art Museum, are more about the artists than their art. Up first, we had Frida Kahlo in Frida, portrayed by Selma Hayek, detailing her paintings, her pain and her tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera. And now Ed Harris, in his passion project, 2000’s Pollock, delivers Jackson Pollock. While Kahlo and Pollock had wildly different art styles, their penchant for adultery (Kahlo managed to have an affair with Trotsky, seriously), alcohol and unhealthy relationships seem to be character traits shared by many artists.
Pollock is remembered for his abstract paintings that burst with energy and the look of total chaos, but the man wasn’t too far removed from the appearance of his work; he lived hard and disliked lots of people. And just as he was to completely enter society’s consciousness as a status symbol, he destroyed himself.
Harris wanted to make this movie for 10 years. He directed, starred, and even had his real-life wife, Amy Madigan, play the imposing Peggy Guggenheim. His efforts earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and a Best Supporting Actress win for Marcia Gay Harden as Lee Krasner, Pollock’s dedicated and determined wife, a talented painter in her own right.
Harris’ biopic doesn’t portray Pollock solely as an artist fighting to be acknowledged; it shows a conflicted man pulled in many directions through impulse. It’s an honest showcase of a complicated pioneer. / MICHAEL BRADY
6pm. $5-$8 (Free for students.) Philadelphia Museum of Art, Van Pelt Auditorium, 26th St. and the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.763.8100. philamuseum.org
From Russian Romance to Revolution
This celebration of three deities of Russian orchestra—Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Rimsky-Korsakov—is making its Mann Center debut for the 100th anniversary of its premiere. Listen to Russian Easter Overture, Paganini Rhapsody and Rite of Spring, and familiarize yourself with some of history’s most influential orchestra music. 8pm. $12.50-$49.50. Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.546.7900. manncenter.org
Summer Wonder: Charlotte Blake Alston presents Stories and Songs in the Oral Tradition
Gather around for stories both ancient and contemporary accompanied by thumb piano, djembe and a 2-string kora. This exploration of African and African-American oral tradition is a learning experience for both children and adults.11am. Free with museum admission. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum
Best of Philly Market Tour
With so much to choose from, a trip to Reading Terminal Market is always an overwhelming one. On this tour, you won’t have to choose! Taste 12 award-winning dishes and learn about their preparation. 2pm. $19. Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St. tasteofphillyfoodtour.com
Out of Town
Run For Your Wife
John Smith is a taxi driver with two wives and two drastically different lives, both within a few miles of each other. When he gets mugged and winds up in the hospital, he has to go to great lengths to keep the two women in the dark about his lies. Of course, hilarity ensues, but you’ll have to attend to see if he gets away with it. Through Aug. 18. Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Rd., Rose Valley. hedgerowtheatre.org
Stargazing at the Arboretum
Reach for the stars! Or if you’re lazy, just bring a blanket and look at them. Members of the Chester County Astronomical Society will teach about star maps and constellations. Fri., July 26, 8pm. $15-$20. Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Rd., Media. tylerarboretum.org
It’s sometimes easy to forget that when he isn’t laying into politicians on HBO’s Real Time or getting sued by poorly groomed real estate moguls, Bill Maher still likes to indulge his stand-up jones every once in a while. The “Making Back My Million” Tour is Maher’s largest to date, so expect him to pull out all the stops with the irreverent, not-safe-for-work bravura that fans know and love. 9pm. Sold out. Revel Ovation Hall, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. 609.572.6488. revelresorts.com
Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair
Sometimes you just get a hankering for some fine crafts. Nearly 200 craftspeople will sell jewelry, glassware, pottery, fiber and more at this annual craft fair on the Wilmington Riverfront. Sat., July 27-Sun., July 28. $8. Chase Center on the Riverfront, 815 Justison St., Wilmington, Del. pacrafts.org
You Name It
Todd Shalom will lead an improvised walk throughout Wilmington, incorporating poetic, auditory and photographic responses to the unfolding landscape of the trek. The starting point is to be determined by participants on the The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts’ Facebook page. As for where the tour heads afterward, it’s anyone’s guess. Sat., July 27, 4pm. facebook.com/radicalparticipation
Compiled by Lauren Arute, Nicole Bonaccorso, Jake Abbate, Anthony Trivelli, Drew O’Meara and Max Ufberg