Why is There a Union Rat Outside Boxers?

A union rat outside of the future Boxers on Walnut Street.

A union rat outside of the future Boxers on Walnut Street.

It’s not the iconic mutt you’d expect to see outside Philly’s newest gay bar, Boxers, but a giant, inflated Union rat that’s inhabited the sidewalk on Walnut Street over the last two days. Members of Local 19, the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, have picketed the home of the future bar, claiming that the owners have used non-union contractors on the construction of the site.

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A Preview of Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai

A scene from VAREKAI.

A scene from ‘Varekai.’

Here’s my confession: I finally broke my Cirque du Soleil virginity.

Yes, it is true: I had never seen any of the high-flying trapeze shows before my recent trip to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City to see Varekai, one of the franchise’s arena shows, before it has an engagement at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center in September. (Side note: Varekai translates to “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies). I’ve never seen anything so strange, so sexy, so sensual, so bizarre; there were times my hands went numb from the amazing feats performed by the 50 artists that comprise the production. Read more »

DATE NIGHT: Wine Classes and Cruises at Old City’s Pinot Boutique

Pinot Boutique in Old City.

Pinot Boutique in Old City.

“When the founding fathers weren’t planning the American Revolution, they were drinking,” says Dan Soskin, owner of Pinot Boutique in Old City. As a matter of fact, he continues, it was safer to drink liquor than water at that time. I was treated to this and a host of other wine and spirit-centric anecdotes when I met Soskin at Pinot, where offers a plethora of wine tastings, wine classes, and even wine cruises (!)—all of which would make for a perfect date night with your sweetie.

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Wedding Wednesday: Adria and Stephanie Bartash

Stephanie and Adria Bartash

Stephanie and Adria Bartash

Every Wednesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we kick off the column with a pair of lovely ladies, Adria and Stephanie Bartash, from Newtown, Pennsylvania.

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Curtis Institute Graduate Amanda Majeski To Make Early Metropolitan Opera Debut

Amanda Majeski.  Photo by Dario Acosta

Amanda Majeski. Photo by Dario Acosta

The esteemed Curtis Institute of Music has yet another reason to celebrate: one of their graduates, soprano Amanda Majeski, will be making her Metropolitan Opera debut a little early this September as the Countess in the company’s new production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

It was announced today that Majeski, initially scheduled to sing the role in December, will be performing the Countess for all performances of the opera, replacing Marina Poplavskaya, who has withdrawn from the production due to illness. This marks not only Majeski’s Met Opera debut, but also her Met Opera Opening Night debut, a major milestone for a young performer.

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The Book of Mormon Breaks Forrest Theatre Record

The Book of Mormon

All the craze surrounding the Philadelphia engagement of Broadway’s The Book of Mormon, the oh-so-wrong musical by the creators of South Park, is clearly for a reason: It was announced today that the show has broken box office records at the Forrest Theatre.

According to the show’s management, “The Book of Mormon […] has broken the house record in Philadelphia, PA for the week ending August 10 at the Forrest Theatre, grossing $1,678,495.00 for a standard 8-performance week. This tops the previous record, held by Jersey Boys in 2012 of $1,617,700.00.” Read more »

Local Trans Man’s Identity Stolen In Prosthetic Penis Scam

scam

When Philadelphia artist Jaden Remy joined the private Facebook group “All Transmen Know Each Other,” he expected to find support and allies in the 1,000-plus members. He never expected that his identity and pictures would be stolen in an elaborate scam to sell prosthetic penises to other transgender men in the online group.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened,” says Remy; younger, oftentimes naive, members of trans community are often targeted for these types of scams. In this case, two fake Facebook users, “Jessie Sexton” and “Skylar Jace Collins,” used Remy’s pictures in an attempt to sell discounted FreeToM Prosthetics, a penis prosthetic, to unsuspecting trans men in the group.

The scammers posted a status update, posing as Remy, that included photos of the prosthetic penis in question. (You can see that NSFW image here.) The update read, “It’s going to change the world. This is an amazing product every trans man needs to own. Message me for details.”

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