Calendar: May 8-15

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 7, 2013

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Wednesday, May 8

Toubab Krewe
This Asheville, N.C.-based African folk jam band has been fusing musical genres since 2006. The term “hard to categorize” tends to get thrown around a lot, but these are true acoustic chameleons. 9pm. $11-$14. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St.

It’s Good to Be Gutsy
Do you frequently find yourself being compared to George McFly, Rick Moranis or the Cowardly Lion? Stand up for yourself and join award-winning author Dr. Sylvia Lafair for a lecture that will teach you how to enhance your leadership style using power words and phrases. 4:30pm. $109. La Cucina at the Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St. 215.922.1170.

In the City of Bikes
If you’re splitting lanes on your fixie as you read this, you may be interested in Pete Jordan’s new book, a history/memoir of cycling in a city famous for its bicycle culture. Jordan combines 10 years of research to illustrate why bikes rule the roads of Amsterdam. 7pm. Free. Plays & Players’ Skinner Theater, 1714 Delancey Place.

Chana Rothman
As part of the Philadelphia Jewish Music Festival, this local singer/songwriter and activist will perform her blend of folk, world beat and hip-hop. Rothman’s music aims to break down barriers toward consciousness and change. 7pm. $12-$15. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.

Thursday, May 9

Philly Improv Theater Presents “The Bat”
What happens when you pack 10 talented improvisers onto one small stage, blindfold them, then turn out the lights? No, not some sort of Eyes Wide Shut-inspired impromptu sex party. Rather, you get a uniquely visceral improv comedy show performed in the pitch black. After a successful run in the 2011 Philly Fringe Festival under the title Dark Comedy, the Philly Improv Theater is now reviving the production for a three-week run and calling it The Bat, with shows every night Thursday through Sunday and a special second midnight show on Saturday. With both the audience and performers forced to exercise their imaginations even more so than usual, The Bat unfolds similarly to a radio play—all starting with a poem passage randomly selected before the show and read out loud onstage. “It offers the cast and audience a feeling—a shared emotional connection that you really don’t get from just asking for a word,” explains local improv vet Jason Grimley, the show’s director.
From there, just sit back, close your eyes, and prepare to have your mind blown as the cast uses nothing but their lightening-speed wits and uncanny human sound effects to craft a wild series of scenes and characters. While you’d assume not being able to play off one another’s actions and expressions would be severely limiting to the performers, it turns out it can actually have some advantages. For instance, only in the dark could you have a character convincingly tumble down several flights of stairs without them ever having to leave their seat. / NICOLE FINKBINER

7pm. $12-$20. Through May 19. The Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge St.

The Yellow Ticket
Violinist Alicia Svigals and pianist Marilyn Lerner will accompany the 1918 silent film The Yellow Ticket in this live multimedia concert event. Svigals’ original score adds a new dimension to the classic film about a young girl willing to go to extreme measures to visit her dying father. 8pm. $10-$18. The Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St.

Melissa Maddonni Haims: Offering
Local mixed-media fiber artist Melissa Maddonni Haims presents a site-specific piece consisting of a pile of crocheted stones that mimic the offerings we leave for religious deities, for the dead and for marking our way home. Through June 2. 3rd Street Gallery, 58 N. Second St. 215.625.0993.

Spin Doctors
One of the most enduring groups of recent history, the Spin Doctors continue to make bluesy pop rock more than 20 years after their formation and the height of their mainstream success. Their new album, If The River Was Whiskey, harkens back to their roots playing in N.Y.C. blues clubs as broke 20-somethings just trying to get by. 8pm. $15-$28. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.
’90s Night
Flash back to the days when Day-Glo, Kelli Kapowski and crimped hair ruled the world. DJ Ryan Grotz spins all the classics from your Discman—Bone Thugs, Britney, N’Sync and Nirvana. As if! 7pm. Free. Lucy’s Hat Shop, 247 Market St. 215.413.1433.

Don’t let the cheeky name of this workshop fool you; the Philadelphia Business Journal takes search engine optimization seriously. Join the nation’s leading online experts for a four-hour crash course in Internet marketing that will help you navigate the possibilities for marketing your business on the web. 7am. $131. McNeill Science & Technology Center, 600 S. 43rd St.

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.

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