Ty Segall plays the Troc on Saturday. (Denée Petracek)
FRIDAY, MAY 19
Happy Birthday @ Plays & Players Theatre
Says theater critic David Fox: “Marc Camoletti’s play, a huge hit in London in the ’70s, has acquired the patina of a period piece, something of a send-up on the silliness of middle-aged swingers. I’d say that only adds to the fun, especially when it looks as smashing as here, played on Lance Kniskern’s luxe living room set, which somehow manages to be both chicly elegant, and a louche bachelor pad. But the virtuosity of a farce really is in the performing. Director Trey Lyford has a masterful sense of staging and energizes the hell out of Happy Birthday; mostly, this pays off.” Through May 21.
Laura Marling @ TLA
It’s petty, but I never liked the idea of Laura Marling hanging out with that Mumford crowd. Those pedialyte folk-pop jingles, that grandpa fashion sense — it’s no place for a singer-songwriter with real promise. With each record, the British-born/L.A.-based Marling explores new territory and re-focuses her formidable, increasingly conversational songwriting skills. On the new Semper Femina, she explores the subject of womanhood, from friends to frienemies and beyond. P.S. It’s invigorating to hear this once rigidly delicate performer wrap her lips around the F-word on “Wild Fire.”
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That movie you pretended to understand is coming back in style.
Dive Bar Secrets @ The Barbary | Wednesday, May 17
Comedy at the Barbary presents standup comic Chris Cotton. The dude recorded a comedy mixtape. Why don’t more people do that? Listen on Spotify.
Tell Me A Story @ Shot Tower Coffee | Wednesday, May 17
Hilary Rea’s storytelling series celebrates its sixth anniversary with true stories by Kathleen Ackert, Julie Hancher, R. Eric Thomas and more. The topic is “Six Degrees.” Read more »
Marc Maron plays the Merriam Theater on Friday.
FRIDAY, MAY 12
Marc Maron @ Merriam Theater
If you only know him as the host of WTF and the star of Maron on IFC, you’re not getting the whole picture. His thoughtfully acerbic standup shows are a stream-of-consciousness maelstrom of conflicting thoughts and anecdotes that make you laugh at the strangest things.
Nichole Canuso Dance Company @ The Bok
Even if you’re not a dance fan, you gotta admit this sounds excellent: “The Garden of Forking Path is a movement and sound installation that leads audience members via audio prompts on a headset through a sprawling fabric labyrinth.” Multiple performances on Friday and Saturday. Read more »
Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff of the My Favorite Murder podcast play the Keswick on Sunday.
Style of Attack Report @ Vox Populi | Wednesday, May 10
Philly sci-fi collective Metropolarity celebrates the release of Style of Attack Report, an anthology of sci-fi/futurist writing. The evening includes readings by Rasheedah Phillips, Camae Ayewa, Alex Smith and more.
Full Moon Ride @ around town | Wednesday, May 10
Meet up with other bicyclists at the Italian Fountain at the Lloyd Hall parking lot on Boathouse Row. Ends at the El Bar in Fishtown. Read more »
Ryan Adams plays the Tower Theater on Saturday. (nastylittleman.com)
FRIDAY, MAY 5
Russell Howard @ TLA
A one-off comedy show by the British standup best known for his Good News TV show/video series.
Dwight Yoakam @ Keswick Theatre
A genuine country music star comes Glenside. Did you know he did a ramblin’ cover of “Mama Tried?” Also: Did you know he dated Sharon Stone? Just a weird little fun fact.
Fronteras: A Door in the Desert @ FringeArts
Acrobatics and storytelling by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre collaborating with Mexican choreographer/theater artist Emmanuel Becerra. Read more »
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre performs two shows at FringeArts this week. (Daniel Kontz)
Fronteras @ FringeArts | May 3 & 5
Two shows featuring acrobatics and storytelling by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre collaborating with Mexican choreographer/theater artist Emmanuel Becerra. Wednesday is Fronteras: An Homage to Whatshername. Friday is Fronteras: A Door in the Desert.
Jake & Amir @ Helium Philly | Thursday, May 4
Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld of the long-running CollegeHumor video series Jake & Amir have a podcast called If I Were You and a pay-for-it video series called Lonely and Horny. Here’s the trailer. Read more »
Tania Isaac performs at FringeArts Friday and Saturday. (LBrowning Photography)
FRIDAY, APRIL 28
Star Party @ The Mann
This sounds pretty cool: a free concert and stargazing get-together at the Mann featuring telescopes and astronomers who know where to point them. The current forecast for tonight is “partly cloudy,” so fingers x’d. Part of Science Fest.
Hot Chip (DJ Set) @ Coda
Alexis Taylor and Felix Martin of the band Hot Chip spin records because they’re DJs, too.
Spirit of the Beehive @ Everybody Hits
Idiosyncratic indie rockers Spirit of the Beehive celebrate the release of Pleasure Suck in their hometown. Actually, “idiosyncratic” doesn’t cover it. This band seems to be infected with a rare strain of deep-tissue, Philly-borne weirdness once fleetingly observed in bands like Man Man and Echo Orbiter. It’s not just a sound, it’s an aesthetic illness that prizes catchiness and freakiness equally. This is beautiful mutant rock ’n’ roll. Read more »
Piff the Magic Dragon plays Punchline Friday and Saturday.
BalletX @ Wilma Theater | April 26-May 7
The Philly-based contemporary ballet company presents “Spring Series 2017″ which features “the U.S. premiere of Cayetano Soto’s Schachmatt, the Philly return of Matthew Neenan’s The Last Glass (2010), and a world premiere by 2017 Choreographic Fellow and PHILADANCO! alum Tommie-Waheed Evans entitled In Between the Passing.”
Swallow @ the Drake | April 26-May 14
Inis Nua stages the American premiere of Stef Smith’s Swallow, directed by Claire Moyer. “Beautiful and wrenching, Swallow brings us three characters whose lives are taking drastic turns.” Stars Corinna Burns, Felicia Leicht and Samy el-Noury. Read more »
M. Night Shyamalan’s Split plays at the Troc on Monday.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch @ Forrest Theatre | Through April 23
Broadway Philadelphia delivers the modern-classic rock musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, directed by Tony-winner Michael Mayer. Hedwig is the funny, heartbreaking story of a transgender East German singer.
Weeding Out The Stoned @ Good Good Comedy Theatre | Thursday, April 20
The official description: “Sixteen comedians enter. All but one of them are stoned. It’s up to all of us to find the sober individual so the entire audience can win prizes.” Since it’s 4/20, host/wrangler of high people Alex Grubard is doing a double header (8 and 10 p.m.). Read more »
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 »