Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina, perhaps better known as two members of Russian art collective Pussy Riot, are coming to Penn next Tuesday for a screening of their latest video and a discussion about their activism—which earned them a Lennon Ono Grant for Peace.
Pussy Riot made headlines in 2012 when they were imprisoned for staging an anti-Putin demonstration at the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The aftermath of the whole thing was chronicled in the HBO documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.
Doug Oliver is a wild card in the 2015 mayoral election. He’s the 40-year-old kid in an aging field, the first-time candidate vying against (mostly) lifelong politicians. He’s an underdog, yes, but an intriguing one.
Oliver more than held his own in the first mayoral forum of the election Thursday, and former Governor Ed Rendell has taken a shine to Oliver, counseling him and hinting that he might raise cash for Oliver or even, just maybe, endorse him.
Come judge for yourself if Oliver is ready for primetime. On Monday at 6 p.m., Citified’s Holly Otterbein will grill the candidate on his readiness for the job and his plans for the city. It’s the first in Philadelphia magazine’s Candidate Conversations series.
A great closet goes hand-in-hand with a great home, and one of the coolest designers out there is Susan Hable Smith. Design fanatics know her for Hable Construction, the New York-baased textile company she co-founded with her sister (you’ve probably seen the duo’s quirky, colorful prints on pillows, rugs and even notebooks, which I’m obsessed with).
Her design strategy is all about color, and she illustrates how to use it with wild and fabulous abandon in her new book A Colorful Home. Or you can ask her in person tomorrow (Saturday, February 14th, from 2pm to 4pm). She’ll be at one of the best fine accessory boutiques in the city, Egan Day, celebrating her book, which you’ll be able to pre-order at the event.
It’s a crazy-chic way to spend V-Day with your girlfriends before date night (or, you know, a late-night screening of 50 Shades of Grey). Better yet? Bring your guy along; it’s the perfect way to subtly hint that you desperately want that Gabriella Kiss black diamond slab ring. Get the details here.
Organizers invite thrill skaters to lace up and hit the ice with ghouls from Terror Behind the Walls. There will be spooky music playing, prizes and photo opportunities with the monsters.
Fittingly, it takes place on Friday, February 13th, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for kids 10 and younger. If you don’t have skates, you can rent a pair for $8. You should also consider some brain-protective head gear.
PAWS is hosting an early, family-friendly Valentine’s Day celebration on Friday, February 13th. Chef Chris Gouty will be creating hors d’oeuvres for the event while there will also be a candy bar, a selection of wine and beer, and a photo booth. Children can make “love potion” jars, create Rice Krispies treat snacks, dance, and meet animals that are up for adoption. The event features a silent auction with proceeds going to PAWS. Guest are also asked to bring items to donate for PAWS (full list of donation items here). February 13th, 4-6:30pm, $30-$35 per family, Nest, 1301 Locust Street.
Magician David London mixes magic, storytelling, comedy, surrealism, puppetry, and philosophy to create a show that is focused on awakening your imagination. This Valentine’s Day weekend, he will be in Philadelphia for two Magic Outside the Box shows, a Magic and Surrealism Workshop, and a free performance of his family show, The Adventure to the Imagi Nation. February 13th – February 15th, times vary, prices vary, The Actors Center, 275 North Third Street.
After having to delay due to snow at the beginning of the year, Light the Lights! is back with songs all about New Year's Resolutions. The lineup of songbirds includes Rachel Pinkstone, Frankie Rowles, Ryan Wyrofsky, Aliya Bowles, Lauryn Obozian, and Travis Keith Battle. The always uproarious R. Eric Thomas and Donald Harrison hosts. Monday, February 9th, 8pm, $8-$10, L'etage, 624 South 6th Street.
Imagine eating yourself to death. Sounds dreadful. That’s what Charlie, the protagonist in the darkly humorous and poignant play The Whale, essentially does: After the death of his partner, Charlie balloons to 600 pounds, refusing to leave his house due not only to his depression, but his size. As his estranged daughter attempts to reconcile with Charlie, we get to see how family takes on a variety of meanings. Read our Q&A with the actor behind the suit, Scott Greer, here. More info and tickets can be found here. Tuesday, February 10th- March 1st, 7pm. $10-$50, Studio X, 1340 South 13th Street.
Out State Representative Brian Sims is throwing his first town hall of his new term, where he will answer questions ranging from what he's done in office over the past year to the work he's got planned down the road. He's there to answer questions, too, so bring some tough ones—particularly those about how he plans pass statewide LGBT anti-discrimination laws and ones that protect the LGBT community from hate crimes. Thursday, February 12th, 6pm-7:30pm, free, Bonnell Auditorium at Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden Street.
Former G Philly music contributor Patrick DeMarco has decided to branch out on his own on a new local music blog, Philly Mix Tape. This week the project gets the grand-kickoff treatment with a bash at Cafe Twelve. There, you can score some Philly Mix Tape merch and gab with DeMarco about his plans for the blog. Proceeds from the evening will go to Morris Animal Refuge. Thursday, February 12th, 7pm - 9pm, free, Cafe Twelve, 212 South 12th Street.
Opera Philadelphia presents a chilling tale of one of literature's greatest—and gayest—scribes in Oscar. Fittingly, the company has put together an "Out at the Opera" night, so you and local LGBTers can sit together to watch the riveting opera about the life of Oscar Wilde and how his forbidden love reaped severe consequences to his career and reputation as a writer. Save $20 on “Out at the Opera” tickets when you use the discount code "PRIDE." And read our interview with David Daniels, the man who plays Wilde, here. Friday, February 13th, 8pm, $19-$219, Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street.
Join comedian Darryl Charles and Elicia Gonzales (co-hosting for Dr. Timaree) as they make sex fun for everyone with games, comedy, and sex ed. Joining them will be comedians Corin Wells and Joe Sabatino. Bring a significant other, bring a friend (yes even Jack Daniels counts) and be part of this laugh riot while learning something new and sexy. Buy your tickets here in advance. Friday, January 13th, 10:30pm, $10-$12, Philly Improv Theater, 2030 Sansom Street.
Out magician David London is coming from Baltimore to perform a weekend of shows in Philadelphia. His shows are described as a mix of "magic with storytelling, comedy, puppetry, philosophy, and surrealism." It's so much to see all at once but that's the magic behind his talent. He'll disappear by Sunday so check out his performance. Buy your tickets here. Friday, February 13th-15th, 11pm, $13-$25, The Actors Center, 257 North 3rd Street.
Heads up, bears, leather daddies and overall ink enthusiasts: Tattoo artists from Philly and around the country are coming to town this weekend to show off their work at the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention. If you have an ink addiction you can treat yourself to a tattoo by some of Philly's best tattoo artists. If not, well, just enjoy the artwork. After a fun day there, unwind at The Bike Stop, Woody's, or U Bar with great cocktails and great company. Friday, February 13th-15th, 2pm-12am, 11am-12am, 11am-8pm, $22-$45, Philadelphia Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street.
Brittany Lynn, Philly's Jewish American Princess, along with Spectrum Philly are bringing to you a special brunch, where you can cure your morning hangover with all the matzoh ball soup you can muster. Buy your tickets early here, sometimes these brunches get sold out. Sunday, February 15th, 11am, $20, Tabu Lounge, 200 South 12th Street.
Mimi Imfurst as The Witch (pictured). Steve Cizzle as The Prince. This is already looking like a winner. So many of your favorite local drag queens are putting on Into the Woods, giving Meryl and Anna Kendrick and all those others starring in the movies right now in theaters a run for their money. The one thing we need to know is ... who is playing the Mysterious Man? Sunday, February 15th, 8pm, Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 Saint James Street.
A hilarious Philly Valentine's week tradition: Actors from Azuka Theatre get together to read the wonderfully ridiculous "I Love You, I Hate You" column in the back of Philadelphia City Paper. The cast includes Dave Bardeen, Corinna Burns, Janice Rowland, and more. Tickets are $5 less if purchased in advance. But hurry; they're selling out fast. February 9th, 5pm, $25, MilkBoy Philadelphia, 1100 Chestnut Street.
Villanova Theater presents the Philadelphia premiere of Rachel Bond'sMichael & Edie, a show that NYTheater.com describes as "heartbreakingly beautiful." It concerns, who else, Michael and Edie, who cross paths at a mystical library, where they hide out to escape their real lives. Suddenly, aisles become secret tunnels, snow comes through the ceiling, phone calls are made through cans, and crickets come from tea kettles. It sounds a bit wild, but it comes across as a beautiful metaphor about being young and trying to find your way through the world.February 10th - 22nd, 8pm, $19-$25, Villanova University, 800 East Lancaster Avenue, Villanova.
Northern Liberties' Annual Winter Music Festival returns to The Fire. Over 24 bands will perform at the six-day festival, including Sun Ra Arkestra's Marshall Allen (pictured), who will kick the whole thing off on Tuesday, and Chalk & The Beige Americans and Ill Fated Natives take the stage later in the week. February 10th - 15th, 8pm, $10 a day, The Fire, 412 West Girard Avenue.
Contemporary dance company Shaping Sound, led by So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars choreographer Travis Wall, makes its Philly debut at Merriam Theater. Read our Q&A with Wall here. February 11th, 8pm, $40-$60, The Merriam Theater, 300 South Broad Street.
Stars To The Roof by Tennessee Williams was originally nicknamed "A Play for the Wild of Heart Who Are Kept in Cages" and Williams dedicated it to "all the little wage-earners of the world." It follows a young dreamer, Benjamin Murphy, who's looking for the meaning of life outside his boring office building in the 1920s. Through a series of adventures he's able to get out of the rut that's trying to squeeze him out of the American Dream. Catch it on stage this weekend at The Latvian Society. February 11th - March 1st, 8pm, $30, The Latvian Society, 531 North 7th Street.
Academy Award nominees David Strathairn and Mary McDonnell (pictured) team up with People's Light Theater to perform Emily Mann's adaptation of Cheshov's masterwork TheCherry Orchard. The show concerns a bankrupt mother, Lyubov Andreyevna Ranevskaya, and her brother Gaev, who are given the opportunity to take part in a scheme that could save their family orchard from being ripped up for a block of rental villas. February 11th - March 8th, 7:30, prices vary, People's Light and Theater Company, 29 Conestoga Road, Malvern.
New Zealand dance troupe Black Grace perform at the Annenberg Center. Watch closely, their choreography contains moves that draw inspiration from a variety of sources—from Samoan dance rituals and even Bruce Lee. With a ton of physical strength, they tell the story of life in New Zealand using what has been described as "raw finesse, unique beauty and power." February 12th-14th, 7:30pm, $30-$60, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut Street.
RUNA is a refreshing take on Celtic music. Catch them this week at The Lansdowne Folk Club playing an energizing set that blends sounds from the U.S., Ireland, Canada, and Scotland. February 12th, 7:30pm, $17-$20, Lansdowne Folk Club, 84 South Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne.
Season 7 American Idol winner David Cook comes to Philly’s World Cafe Live with an opening set from New York electronic rock outfit GLINT. February 12th, 8pm, $20-$30, World Cafe Live Philadelphia, 3025 Walnut Street.
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Peek-a-Boo Revue perform at World Café Live on Valentine’s Day.
Pennsylvania Ballet at Merriam Theater Featuring performances of George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, and a world premiere from locally based choreographer Matthew Neenan, whom the New York Times called “one of today’s foremost dance poets.”
Tomorrow night, author (and, full disclosure, former Philadelphia magazine executive editor) Michael Callahan will visit Barnes and Noble to read from his recently published first novel, Searching for Grace Kelly. The story is a fictional account of three young ladies who move to New York City in the 1950s to find fame, fortune and romance in the Big Apple. It’s inspired by and centered around the famed Barbizon Hotel, a boarding house / charm school of sorts that played home to legends of page and screen like Joan Crawford, Sylvia Plath and Philly’s own Grace Kelly. The book was actually inspired by an article Callahan wrote about the Barbizon in Vanity Fair in 2010.
In anticipation of his reading tomorrow, I shot my former colleague a few questions about the book. He talks about the in-depth research that went into re-creating New York City in the 1950s, how he came up with the title, and the possibility that it will be turned into a television series.
Photo by Evan Schapiro
Congrats on the book, Michael! We’re all really proud of you around here. Thank you. It’s been a wild experience with every possible emotion.
When did you realize the story would become something bigger than the piece you did in Vanity Fair? Like most magazine writers I had always felt I had a book in me. I just didn’t know what to write about. I had done one book proposal for a nonfiction idea that went nowhere, and I was struggling to come up with another, more sell-able idea. My agent and I knocked around doing a book on the Barbizon, but it seemed like there was little left to say, non-fiction wise. Then she suggested I write a fictional story about the hotel. I was really, really nervous, because I had no fiction experience. So I told her if I could come up with a good narrative, I would give it a try. And I did.