12 Things to Do in Comedy, Movies, Poetry, Guns, Ghosts and More

Married comedians Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher play the Troc on Thursday. (Robin Van Swank)

Summer Coven, Had Me a Blast @ Martha | Wednesday, August 2
The 215 Festival presents an evening of poetry readings by Alina Pleskova, Amy Saul-Zerby, Nicole Steinberg, Gina Myers and Elizabeth Scanlon (editor of The American Poetry Review).

Moshe Kasher & Natasha Leggero @ Trocadero | Thursday, August 3
A double-bill by two very funny comedians who are also married to each others. They’re calling it the Endless Honeymoon Tour. The New York Times did a funny, pretty adorbs story on the two of them recently. Read more »

14 Things to Do in Books, Comedy, Art, Movies, Storytelling, Tattoos and more

Let Me Make You a Martyr starring Marilyn Manson screens at PhilaMOCA on Thursday.

Mystery-Author Panel @ The Rosenbach | Wednesday, July 19
Philly-area crime/mystery writers Dennis Tafoya, Merry Jones and Jon McGoran will participate in a panel discussion about writing, local crimes that have inspired them and more.

Tell Me A Story @ Shot Tower Coffee | Wednesday, July 19
Hillary Rea hosts this storytelling night with the theme “Make a Splash.” Speakers include Cecily Alexandria, Max Barth, Anna Goldfarb, Ted Passon, Rina Patel, Caroline Rhoads and me, Pat Rapa. Read more »

One Thing You Should Be Penciling Into Your To-Do List Every Day (But Aren’t)

When you have a to-do list that will seemingly take you 25 hours out of a 24-hour day, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But an interview on Science of Us with the authors of a new book chock full o’ tips for maximizing your output sheds some light on what your to-do list might be missing (hint: breaks are essential) and how working rest in can improve your productivity. Music to our ears.

Read more »

9 Things To Do in Comedy, Movies, Books, Celebricats, Queer Kickball and more.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 plays the Keswick in the not-too-distant future, this Friday A.D. (Netflix)

Kevin Hart Day & Mural Dedication @ Max’s Cheese Steaks | Thursday, July 6
Why Kevin Hart Day? Why not? And because it’s his birthday. The comedian/actor will be on hand for the dedication of the new mural painted in his likeness and honor on the side of Max’s Steaks, just a block from where Hart grew up.

215 Festival Presents: The Broken River Revue @ Johnny Brenda’s | Thursday, July 6
Author J. Robert Lennon celebrates the release of his latest novel, Broken River. Also on reading and performing will be authors Andrew Ervin and Elizabeth Scanlon, and bands I Think Like Midnight and Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease. Read more »

14 Things to Do in Movies, Comedy, Dance, Books and Hot Air Balloons

Dr. Alan Grant likes dinosaurs.

Jurassic Park @ FringeArts | Wednesday, June 21
Eat, drink and watch dinosaurs run wild in an outdoor setting. Upcoming screenings include E.T. (June 28), Friday (July 19), Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (August 9) and lots more. Hold on to your butts.

Solow Fest @ lots of places | Through June 25
The festival of daring dance performances continues. All shows are pay-what-you-can. Before you say you don’t think you like dance, check out the calendar. Read more »

Eight Things To Do in Lit, Movies, Theater and Comedy

Poet Andrea Gibson plays the Trocadero on Friday.

Poet Andrea Gibson plays the Trocadero on Friday.

Ghanaian Movie Posters @ PhilaMOCA | Wednesday, April 12
A rare non-screening angle on the Cinedelphia film fest calendar, and a recurring favorite: Deadly Prey Gallery in Chicago brings its collection of one-of-a-kind movie posters from the bygone “Ghanaian Mobile Cinema” days. Basically, merchants would travel around Ghana screening movies and artists from outside the entertainment industry would make posters to advertise those shows, often coming up with something new and fantastic. See Also: Let’s Watch Some Cinedelphia Trailers.

Black Thought Presents: Delirious @ Punch Line Philly | Thursday, April 13
The Roots MC continues his comedy series, this time featuring Wyatt Cenac (ex-Daily Show and TBS’s underappreciated People of Earth), Morgan Murphy, Cipha Sounds, Brandon Pankey and Michelle Buteau. Read more »

11 Things to Do This Week in Movies, Comedy, Storytelling and More

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Tell Me A Story @ Shot Tower Coffee | Wednesday, March 22
Hillary Rea’s series gathers some of the city’s most engaging storytellers to make you laugh, think and maybe cry. Always a good time. This time the topic is Near and Far.

A Tactical Urbanism Guide @ Johnny Brenda’s | Wednesday, March 22
Subtitled “Starting, Scaling & Growing Small Neighborhood Projects,” this program is about “designing, crowdfunding, maintaining, and building political support for citizen-driven public space design and activism.” Read more »

4 Book Events That Aren’t Bruce Springsteen

A beer garden is popping up on the Parkway Central Library's Skyline Terrace. Photo from Facebook

A beer garden is popping up on the Parkway Central Library’s Skyline Terrace. Photo from Facebook

Alton Brown: EveryDayCook @ Parkway Central Library | Thursday, September 29
The endearing chef/TV host Alton Brown will be at the Free Library to talk about his new cookbook, EveryDayCook. You know him from Iron Chef America, Cutthroat Kitchen, and his long-running show Good Eats, where he delved into the science and history behind the food. Read more »

Lesbian Poet Julie Gard Opens Up About Same-Sex Parenting in New Book

Julie Gard reading from her new book Home Studies.

Julie Gard reading from her new book, Home Studies.

​What inspired you to write this collection of poems, and how did you prepare for it?
I was inspired to write this book by relentless curiosity about the world around me and a love of the prose poem form. Preparation consisted of many years of a regular writing practice. I have a fortune taped up in my study: “Little and often makes much.” I wrote this book bit by bit over many years of journaling, generating, shaping, and revising. Read more »

What if You Got Harper Lee to Come to Philly — But Couldn’t Tell Anyone About It?

Harper Lee with Paul Rosen (left) and the late Steve Gadon. Photo | Paul Crane

Harper Lee with Paul Rosen (left) and the late Steve Gadon. Photo | Paul Crane

Harper Lee was known as a recluse. The author of To Kill a Mockingbird — Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, classroom staple, the best courtroom drama of all time — was overwhelmed by the success of her first novel. She politely refused all interview requests.

But she made at least two visits to Philadelphia in her lifetime, and perhaps the most unlikely one was in 2005. It all started with Jennifer Reynolds, a Philly-area public relations pro.

That year, Reynolds was given a mission by her employer. The law firm of Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C., had created an arts-focused foundation a few years earlier, and was looking for a way to get some attention for it. But not just that: Reynolds said the firm had tasked her to “come up with something different, that nobody’s ever done before.”

She thought about it. And then she came across a story about Atticus Finch as one of the most-admired characters in American literature. A few years earlier, he’d been named the greatest hero in American cinematic history. “I said, ‘He’s a lawyer, but he’s not reviled. Lawyers can be heroic!’” Reynolds recalls. “We should give an award for positive depictions of attorneys in the arts.”

And so the Spector Gadon & Rosen Foundation invented the ATTY Award, which would be given to positive depictions of attorneys in media. The first recipient of an award would have to be Harper Lee. Reynolds wrote her a letter. Read more »

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