Wednesday, June 18
The hardcore legend and retired three-time WWE champion visits Philly to tell hilarious stories about his career as a professional wrestler, with musings on everything from losing most of his ear to an encounter with a porn star wearing a knee brace. 7:30pm. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001. heliumcomedy.com
Kevin Birmingham with Maya Lang
In his new book, author Kevin Birmingham explores what made James Joyce’s Ulysses controversial enough to be banned on both sides of the Pacific when it was first published in 1922. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
Thursday, June 19
Wizard World Comic Con/Awesome Fest
With all due respect to Melissa Harris-Perry’s oft-mentioned nerdland, Philadelphia’s got one all its own, filled with inhabitants who are thrilled that our city’s much-anticipated summer convention season is upon us. Why? Its kick-off is the always-entertaining Wizard World Comic Con, a rousing traveling collection of comics, movies, TV shows, technology, games and collectables that offers up the most beloved stars across each genre for fans to greet, meet and enjoy. Philly’s proud geek gods are well-aware of—and well-prepared for—this annual jam-packed extravaganza, but this year, something more awesome, literally, is getting thrown into the mix.
Since 2010, Philadelphia’s own Awesome Fest has been bringing its audiences the best in cutting-edge cinema and music, completely free of charge in outdoor places, and offering everything from indie gems from local filmmakers to Hollywood blockbusters, hosting a number of premieres to ensure that this one-of-a-kind confab remains exclusively Philly. Keeping in line with its history of presentations at non-traditional venues and other unique spaces, this year’s Awesome Fest has joined forces with Wizard World, offering a twist on fan favorites—like back-to-back 30th-anniversary chats with The Karate Kid’s Ralph Macchio and Martin Kove and a screening of Revenge of the Nerds (above), along with comedian Doug Benson’s Movie Interruption, featuring guest interruptors Curtis Armstrong (Booger) and Brian Tochi (Toshiro Takashi). To sweeten the deal, there’s even a Q&A with veteran actor Christopher Lloyd to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future 2—and so much more. Check the fest’s schedule, and you’ll see just how well it’s 2014 jammie plans to lives up to its name, aside from the WWCC tie-ins.
All but one Awesome Fest film screened in conjunction with WWCC (Karate Kid is the exception) are free to Con ticket holders, but for those unable to secure WWCC tickets, the joint events are still offered at a reasonable price. Not to be restricted within the confines of one weekend, however, the remainder of AF lasts through mid-August and promises more of the unflinching, unwavering levels of awesome we’ve all come to know and love. // KENNEDY ALLEN
Comic Con: Thurs., June 19-Sun., June 22. $35-$55 per day. PA Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. wizardworld.com; Awesome Fest: Thurs., June 19-Sun., Aug. 17. $3-$20. Various locations. theawesomefest.com
State of the City: An Urban Sustainability Forum
Tonight, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability reviews its Greenworks Annual Report and updates folks on the 15 targets it’s planning to address. Susan Wu, coordinator of the city’s climate planning effort, will be on hand to provide a briefing on climate change in Philadelphia and discuss what we can do to make a positive impact. 6pm. Free with registration. Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.299.1000. ansp.org
Cabaret of the Exiled
Theatre Exile closes out its 17th season with live music and other performances from Philly-based artists, as well as a silent auction with the opportunity to bid on items from restaurants, novelty shops and more. 8pm. $25-$500. The Ruba Club, 414 Green St. 215.627.9831. theatreexile.org
Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll
The shops on West Philadelphia’s main street will open their doors and offer deals for the barely beatable price of $1 at this annual summer festival. Participating businesses include Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Green Line Cafe, Baltimore Pet Shop and more. Various locations. universitycity.org
Night Market West Oak Lane
The Food Trust is making its way up to Ogontz Avenue, and it’s bringing a smorgasbord of everyone’s favorites, from chicken and waffles to vegan stir fry. The festivities will be supplemented with music from Philly reggae outfit New Sound Brass Band and rapper Joie Kathos. 6pm. 72nd and Ogontz Ave. thefoodtrust.org
Wiccans in the ‘Hood and Trading Races
BrainSpunk Theater presents two new one-act plays by Michelle T. Johnson. In Wiccans, three white friends performing a ritual in a cemetery are mistaken for Wiccans. Trading Races shines a light on race relations and racial identity. Through June 29. Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5, 825 Walnut St. brainspunktheater.com
Friday, June 20
Kurt Vile & the Violators + The Districts
It was July of 1988 when seven-year-old Ralph Brooks, Jr., headed to his grandma’s house at South 20th and Dickinson streets, was struck by a bullet that severed his spine and took his life. Sadly, he’s not alone. A block away, at Tasker, a wall beside the basketball court memorializes a handful of the countless lives claimed by senseless gunfire.
Now the cool part: Connor Barwin, the 27-year-old outside linebacker (#98) for the Eagles, is a big music fan. He’s big on local bands and—now we know—local charitable efforts because his Make The World Better Foundation, WXPN and R5 Productions are teaming up for a philanthropic effort that’ll get the ball moving on a proposed park that will give a welcome relief to Point Breeze’s dearth of safe and funded recreational spaces.
When Philly faves Kurt Vile & The Violators and the Districts, plus a visiting-from-Houston the Tontons take the stage tonight, every single penny of the UT fundraiser’s sales, from tickets to drinks, will go to the proposed Ralph Brooks-inspired park. Even better? Barwin’s going to match what’s raised with a personal check. Pony up for a VIP meet-and-greet ticket to kick it with a nestful of Eagles—LeSean McCoy, DeMeco Ryans, Jason Kelce and Trent Cole among them—before the show.
The project is slated to produce a huge blend of park and farm spaces; a brand new basketball court, tables and benches, fresh planting, fencing and a sick new Steve Powers (aka ESPO) mural will be highlights. It’s all so good: pro athletes who care, a band that’s a local institution paired with hometown young’ns that we love, and a potentially life-changing park that’ll affect so many lives for the better. // BILL CHENEVERT
8:30pm. $25-$300. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Exhumed Films offers its latest pair of screenings with two of John Carpenter’s most underrated films: 1984’s Starman, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and stars Jeff Bridges as an alien who takes the appearance of a woman’s dead husband; and Escape from New York, the 1981 post-apocalyptic thriller starring Kurt Russell. 8pm. $10-$15. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. ihousephilly.org
Uptown Theater Hall of Fame Awards
Aiming to honor local celebrities who have made significant contributions to entertainment and culture, this combination awards ceremony/fundraiser will feature guest appearances by Lady B (one of the first female hip-hop artists), Rep. Bob Brady and former Mayor John Street. 5:30pm. $50-$100. CBS 3/The CW Philly Studios, 1555 Hamilton St. tinyurl.com/uptowntickets
There’s more to geeking out than just Comic Con; this Troc-hosted extravaganza celebrates the gothier side of our fantasy lives, featuring an appearance by James O’Barr (creator of The Crow) and performances by dancer Samantha Diaz, synthpop act Iris and Philly industrial band Carfax Abbey. 9pm. $16.50-$19. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
Saturday, June 21
You probably know Bobby Lee from his role in the 10-year-old stoner gem Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle or his stellar work on Fox’s long-running MADtv. What you probably didn’t know, though, is that Lee, like all other successful artists, works his ass off to make folks laugh touring the country. This week, he’ll be shedding that heinie at Helium Comedy Club.
From his working-class roots—Lee’s dad wanted him to take over the family clothing-store business—to his firsthand insights into the Asian American experience, Lee is able to make you laugh while making you think. He weaves his family background growing up in California into his contemporaneous observations as a member of one of America’s minority communities.
It’s not all heavy; he did once play a blind kung-fu master. Still, probably one of the most incisive characters of Lee’s was Hideki, the “average Asian,” on MADtv. Not only was Hideki bad at ping-pong, but he had a lot of difficulty with origami, too. After all, just because you’re Asian doesn’t mean you’re, well, an Asian stereotype.
Lucky for all of us, nothing’s average about Lee’s comedic talents. And, given that 7 percent of Philadelphia’s population is Asian, it might do everyone well to see why stereotypes exist and, most importantly, why they’re just stereotypes. // JOSH KRUGER
8pm. $21-$33. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001. heliumcomedy.com
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Tonight, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra teams up with Opera Philadelphia and the School District of Philadelphia for a very special performance of Beethoven’s Symphony 9 to coincide with National Music Day. The performance will be led by Jeri Lynne Johnson. 7pm. Free. The Dell Music Center, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive. 215.685.9566. mydelleast.com
Solstice in the City
Jersey lo-fi kings Real Estate kick off summer tonight at the Kimmel Center as a part of Solstice in The City. Hometown legend DJ MR BEST will be spinning tracks at the Commonwealth Plaza for this all-night rager. 8pm. $30. Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999. kimmelcenter.org
Enjoy a night of otherworldly fun within the confines of Laurel Hill Cemetery, including a performance by REV Theatre Company, music and tarot card readings. All proceeds go toward the preservation of Laurel Hill’s historic infrastructure. 6pm. $35-$50. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave. thelaurelhillcemetery.org
Hello Summer Fashion Exchange
Philly’s largest fashion exchange is here just in time to spruce up that summer wardrobe. The Exchange is simple; ladies are invited to bring 10 unwanted, gently-worn items for trade and leave with 10 new-to-you items. Light refreshments will be served as you find the perfect new summer digs. 11am. $25. First District Plaza, 3801 Market St. vivalamodaworld.com
Clark Park Music and Arts Festival
West Philly’s Clark Park is once again transformed into its annual music and arts festival, featuring live music, food, arts and crafts, children’s events and community activities. Noon. Free. Clark Park, 4398 Chester Ave. clarkparkfest.wordpress.com
Disability Pride Philadelphia
Today marks the 15th anniversary of the landmark Olmstead Decision, which gave individuals with mental disabilities the right to live in the community rather than in institutions. To celebrate, a procession from the Liberty Bell to the National Constitution center will be held, featuring guest speakers and vendors. 11:30am. Free. Liberty Bell, Fifth and Market sts.
Summerfest: Craft Beer and Music Festival
XFINITY Live! hosts their annual craft beer and music festival, featuring unlimited samplings of more than 150 local and national craft beers from 75 different breweries, food stations and live entertainment. 3pm. $25-$60. XFINITY Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave. xfinitylive.com
It’s a Small World at The Oval
Mini Coopers get the star treatment today at The Oval, with an all-day event devoted to the famous cars. Mini of the Main Line will be in attendance to show off the newest lines of cars, and visitors can enjoy live broadcasts of the World Cup, food, drink and a drive-in screening of The Italian Job. Noon. Free. The Oval, 2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. phila.gov/ParksandRecreation
Sunday, June 22
Sundae Block Party #195
Ah, West Philly: We’ve finally arrived. My beloved ‘hood can now count itself among the formidable ground on which Lee Jones has forged his legendary Sundae parties for the past 11 years, eight or nine of them internationally, joining booming burgs in France, Puerto Rico and Brazil. The lore began right here in Philly, though, where Jones and Co. debuted at the Art Alliance, an opening night that attracted a whopping 33 revelers. Pioneers, though, is what those initial attendees were, helping to set a dance floor afire that would practically alight the world on its travels. Next month, Sundae hits Sydney, Australia, adding to an admirable history that includes local residencies at Shampoo, Comcast Plaza, the Piazza and Morgan’s Pier before planting in its current Silk City hub.
Before our hero hits the airport again, a festive, all-day, BYOB block party—and do we ever mean party—is taking place at Sundae’s furthest-west local locale. Set to spin are Jones himself, Francisco Collazo, Del and DJ, the gents who’ll not only loan the sweaty afternoon even more heat, but cap off the late-night after-party at Silk City from 10pm to 3am. The main event’s at the former Wall Street International building, so you can’t miss it. Take SEPTA’s 10 trolley, and you’re there in a flash, with a designated driver already built in. Want more info: Check their mobile app (!) or website. // SHEENA LESTER
3pm. Free for age 16 and under-$5. One Art Community Center, 1431-1439 N. 52nd St. 215.477.9255. sundae.ws
Enjoy a fantastic lunch at Fork in the company of four authors, each of whom will read selections from their newest works. Authors Elise Juska, Nomi Eve, Robin Black and Pam Jenoff will join guests at their tables for discussion over lunch, fielding questions and engaging in conversation at this unique author event. 11:30am. $55. Fork, 306 Market St. 215.360.5382. forkrestaurant.com
Fundraiser for the Homeless
We Feed the Homeless Philly presents their annual Black Tie Gala at the Crystal Tea Room, with all proceeds benefitting the city’s homeless. The night features performances by Raheem DeVaughn and Eric Roberson. 5pm. $75-$100. Crystal Tea Room, 100 Penn Square East. wefeedthehomelessphilly.org
MANNA Guac Off
Think you have the best guacamole recipe in the city? Prove it tonight at MANNA’s Guac Off. Anyone can compete, as long as you bring your own avocados. Test your guac-crafting mettle or just come to indulge in the glorious goodness. 1pm. $10-$20. Sonesta Hotel, 1800 Market St. Register at mannapa.org/guacoff
Michael and Janet Jackson Dance Workshop
Philly Dance Fitness pays homage to the world famous Jackson siblings with an original 90-minute dance workshop. Instructors will lead you through the King of Pop’s classics and spice it up with some Janet bangers. 3pm. $25. Arts Parlor, 1170 S. Broad St. phillydancefitness.com
Monday, June 23
WBENC National Conference
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council presents the largest conference for female business owners in the nation. The conference and business fair kicks off with three days of lectures, panel discussions and networking events featuring more than 300 female-centric businesses. Through June 18. PA Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. conf.wbenc.org
Laugh it up with the ladies at this all-female comedy show featuring local comediennes Carolyn Redmond, Randi Lawson, Elise Thomson-Hohl, Katrina Braxton and more. Phyllis Voren and Rachel Fogletto host the hilarity. 8pm. Free. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar, 1200 E. Passyunk Ave. thehappybirthdaybar.com
Tuesday, June 24
The Doobie Brothers + Peter Frampton
Over 40 years after their self-titled debut LP, Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons are pretty much the only two original Doobie Brothers still on deck. A handful of members have rotated through the lineup, and death’s cruel clutches have stolen five members, both permanent and passing though. But at 65, Johnston and Simmons are the long train runnin’ who keep Doobies fans comin’ back to listen to the music. They’ve been ambitious tourers, with veteran fellow Doobie dude John McFee, for decades now, and this team-up with Peter Frampton tonight will not disappoint. It’s guaranteed to resonate with the teenager in all of us—at least the ones who were given a ‘87 Plymouth Caravan at 17 and kept a six-inch acrylic bong in the glove compartment.
In late 2012, the insightful, brave documentary The Doobie Brothers: Let the Music Play, for which the band bravely peeled back the layers for its chronicling of their early years and rise to classic-rock stardom, gave longtime fans a thrill. And with countless greatest-hit collections, their catalogue would sit nicely beside Grand Funk Railroad, Marshall Tucker Band and their good friend and ex-Doob Michael McDonald on an FM Gold shelf of discount discs at FYE. Don’t get it twisted, though: Frampton’s capable of much more than “Baby, I Love Your Way;” there’s also “Do You Feel Like We Do” and “Show Me The Way.” Unlike bands that are trying to move you past their singles, these two acts will likely just roll out the hits one after the other, just like you used to in your teen transportation. // B.C.
7pm, $25-$150. With Matthew Curry. Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow streets, Upper Darby. 215.922.1011. thetowerphilly.com
Muslim Voices of Philadelphia
Philadelphia has a rich history of Muslim communities. Tonight, nine filmmakers premiere their short documentaries on Muslim life and community history in Philadelphia. 7pm. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. muslimvoicesphiladelphia.org
Ben Folds returns to the area with a new arsenal of music. Tonight, Folds will perform his new piano concerto and re-imagine his famous pop hits as orchestral arrangements. 8pm. $15-$50. The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave. 800.745.3000. manncenter.org
Wednesday, June 25
Chestnut Hill’s Pastorius Park continues its summer of free outdoor concerts with Philly native Mutlu. The singer/songwriter’s soulful mix of reggae and folk incorporates his Turkish heritage. 7:30pm. Free. Pastorius Park, Abington Ave at Lincoln Drive. chestnuthill.org
Out of Town
Moe’s Southwest Grill Opening
To celebrate the grand opening of their new location, Moe’s Southwest Grill invites everyone to a free lunch to become familiar with their menu. Taste some of their signature menu items, including the Homewrecker burrito, Close Talker salad and John Coctostan quesadilla. Wed., June 18, 11am-2pm, Free. Moe’s Southwest Grill, 73 Old Dublin Pike, Doylestown. moes.com
Legendary singer, actress, producer and Motown icon Diana Ross takes her tour to A.C. this weekend. Enjoy classics like “Baby Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and more. Fri., June 20, 9pm. $95-$135. Caesars Atlantic City, 2100 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, N.J. caesarsac.com
Art All Night Trenton
Celebrating its eighth year, Art All Night is expected to bring more than 30,000 guests to Trenton for a fair featuring art, food, music, workshops, competitive art events and kid-friendly activities, all over a 24-hour period. More than 1,000 artists will showcase their work as 50 music groups rotate two stages. Sat., June 21-22. Free. Roebling Wire Works Building, 675 S. Clinton Ave., Trenton, N.J. artworkstrenton.org
Philadelphia Career Fair
Come face to face with decision-makers who are hiring sales, business development, marketing, customer service, retail and sales management professionals across multiple industries. The event is open to executive-level experienced professionals as well as entry-level prospects and recent college graduates. Wed., June 25, 6pm. Sharp Crowne Plaza, 260 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia. unitedcareerfairs.com