DO THIS: Pussy Riot’s Coming to Philly Next Week

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.

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Is Doug Oliver For Real? Meet Him & Judge For Yourself

Doug Oliver, Mayor's Press Secretary. Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photograph by Mitchell Leff.

Doug Oliver. Photograph by Mitchell Leff.

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.

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Book Party With Hable Construction Designer at Egan Day This Weekend!

Photos by Rinne Allen, from A Colorful Home.

Photos by Rinne Allen, from A Colorful Home.

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.

DO THIS: Friday the 13th Zombie Skate at Dilworth Park

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but you’re so much more of a, say, Halloween person. Well you’re in luck.

This Friday, Eastern State Penitentiary‘s Terror Behind the Walls is coming out Halloween hibernation to throw a winter event at the ice rink at Dilworth Park.

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.

Extra reading: 10 more anti-Valentine’s Day events in Philly.

9 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day in Philly

4th Annual Nest Tweetheart Social

PAWS puppy up for adoption.

PAWS puppy up for adoption.

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.

David London’s Weekend of Magic

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 varyThe Actors Center, 275 North Third Street.

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15 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week

9 Things to Do in Philly This Week

Things to Do in Philly in February: Ursula Rucker, Wonder Years, Jerry Seinfeld and More

Peek-a-Boo Revue perform at World Café Live on Valentine’s Day.

Peek-a-Boo Revue perform at World Café Live on Valentine’s Day.

February 5-8

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.”

February 5-March 1

Into the Woods at Theatre Horizon
Barrymore-winning Matt Decker directs the Sondheim musical for the Montco theater company.

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INTERVIEW: Michael Callahan On Searching for Grace Kelly

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

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.

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