First Friday: Five Galleries to Check Out Tomorrow

Beth Heinly’s art will be on display at Vox Populi this Friday. This the art, not the artist

June First Friday @ Vox Populi
Three shows at once, featuring works by Gabriel Boyce, Beth Heinly, Erin Murray and Jes Fan. The reception also features Jes Fan performing part of their show “Disposed to Add” and Beth Heinly enacting a series of“living cosplays.” Meanwhile, Iranian photographer/filmmaker Mohammadreza Mirzaei’s “If he didn’t say he loved you” will screen on a loop in Vox Pop’s Blackbox. Reception Friday, June 2, 6-8 p.m. Read more »

First Friday: Three Galleries to Check Out Tomorrow

Jeffrey Stockbridge's Kensington Blues series captures the images and stories of people who live along Kensington Avenue. (Jeffrey Stockbridge)

Jeffrey Stockbridge’s Kensington Blues series captures the images and stories of people who live along Kensington Avenue (detail). (Jeffrey Stockbridge)

Kensington Blues @ Savery Gallery
Between 2008 and 2014, photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge captured a side of Philly rarely seen, rarely talked about anywhere else. The photos and interviews on his Kensington Blues site tell stories of addiction and sex work, survival and struggle along Kensington Avenue. These images are not just stunning — they’re essential. This exhibition doubles as the launch of his new book of photos from the project. Reception Friday, May 5, 5-9 p.m. Read more »

33 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Screaming Females headlines Pilam's Human BBQ on Saturday. (Girlie Action)

Screaming Females headlines Pilam’s Human BBQ on Saturday. (Girlie Action)


First Friday @ All Over The Place
Yesterday I ran down five visual art shows you should check out: Chris Peters at Gravy Studio, Poets and Painters at Painted Bride, David Eichenberger at Space 1026, Wind Challenge 2 at Fleisher Art Memorial and JohnF at Head Games.

Art Unleashed @ University of the Arts
Annual exhibition and sale of some renown. This year’s Art Unleashed shines a spotlight on beloved multidisciplinary artist Shelley Spector. Through April 10.

Pigeon Poetry Slam @ PhilaMOCA
Live, original poetry in a competitive atmosphere, featuring award-wing poet and podcaster José Olivarez. Bring a haiku.

Cabaret @ Academy of Music
Theater critic David Fox had this to say: “Cabaret is a brilliant piece of theater, and it looks as good as ever here — in fact, I’ve seen the staging three times over the years (once on Broadway, twice on tour), and what I saw at the Academy last night strikes me as perhaps the most vividly acted of all.” Runs through April 9.

Cryptopictos @ Fleisher/Ollman
Group show of create cryptic pictures. Through May 26

The Fighter and the Kid @ The Trocadero
Live/standup interpretation of the podcast by ex-UFC fighter Brendan Schaub and comedian Bryan Callen.

Kingfisher @ Creep Records
The local psych/jam/funk/rock instrumental band releases its debut record.

Anna @ EgoPo Classic Theater
Theater critic David Fox had this to say: “Trees, lights, tents, rugs, screens — who could resist the gorgeous decorative excess of EgoPo’s Anna (scenery designed by the multi-talented Aaron Cromie)? Over the next two hours, this marvelous adaptation of Anna Karenina, devised by director Brenna Geffers and the ensemble, will build on that magic.” Runs through April 16.

Todd Barry @ Punchline
The dry-witted comedian sets up shop all weekend long.

Half Waif @ Everybody Hits
Nandi Rose Plunkett especially crushes it when her baroque pop synth sound bleeds into other genres, be it classical, Celtic or trip-hop.

The Prisoner of Zenda @ Hedgerow Theatre Company
Anthony Hope’s 1894 adventure novel — in which a hapless Brit must stand in for the king he happens to look like — gets a new adaptation by Matt Tallman. Through April 8.

DeadMau5 @ BB&T Pavilion
The DJ with the big giant mouse mask.

The Broken Heart @ Sedgwick Cultural Center
Quintessence presents the John Ford 1633 tragedy, performed in rotating repertory with Love’s Labor’s Lost. Through April 23

Pilobolus Dance Theater @ Annenberg Center
The renowned performance group presents Shadowland, “dreamlike dance narrative” about “about a teenage girl who wakes up one day to something incredible lurking behind her bedroom wall — her shadow.” Warning/bonus: The show contains “brief nudity, strobe lighting, haze and gunfire.” Through April 8

You for Me for You @ InterAct
Theater critic David Fox had this to say: “Don’t try too hard to make all the pieces fit. Mia Chung’s provocative, gripping, occasionally frustrating play is rich in ideas. Some are fully developed; others appear and disappear out of nowhere, without a resolution. Even the genre is an open question. You for Me for You is a comedy, a drama, a thriller, and pretty much everything in between. Don’t ask why — just go with it.” Runs through April 16.

Great Philadelphia Comic Con @ Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
Really, this is in Oaks, PA. Includes appearances by LeVar Burton, Alan Tudyk, Marina Sirtis and more pop culture/sci-fi notables. Through April 9.


Our Heavenly Bodies @ International House
A restored version of Hanns Walter Kornblum’s 1925 silent sci-fi film Wunder der Schöpfung with a live score performed by the band Coupler. Looks amazing.

Electrifest Day 1 @ the Rotunda
This two-day LGBT/QPOC wellness and healthcare festival is full of workshops, readings and live performances. Day 1 acts include King Azaz, Ramona Cordova, Pinkwash and more.

Swampoodle: A Philadelphia Noir Novel @ Big Blue Marble Bookstore
Author DP Curran presents his new novel, set in Irish North Philly “in the years between the Easter Uprising in Ireland the boon years of Prohibition in the underworld of Philadelphia and Atlantic City.”

Mumbo Jumbo: Jazz, Poetry and Invention @ African American Museum
This “family fun day” promises crafts, performances and such for the kids.

Dirt Day @ The Dirt Factory
If you want your soil tested, bring it. If you need “high quality organic compost” come on by. Plus learn about dirt.

The all-day barbecue/punk tradition continues with another “flesh-roastin’, face-meltin’ day of sacrifice” and live performances by Brandon Can’t Dance, Laser Background, Sad13, Screaming Females and more.

Ars Moriendi: Visions of Death Made Beautiful @ Mutter Museum
Joanna Ebenstein, co-founder of Brooklyn’s lamented Morbid Anatomy Museum, presents a “heavily illustrated talk.” Then writers Chris McCreary and David Spolum read pieces influenced by the Mütter’s collection.

Boss Hog @ Underground Arts
Cristina Martinez and Jon Spencer — ’90s punk-blues power couple — revived their old band to see if they’re still as loud and weird as they used to be. They are. “Shh Shh Shh” is off their comeback record, Brood X.

Emily Wells @ Boot & Saddle
Part trip-hop, part classical, a little hip-hop and rock and pop and soul. At shows, she loops her violin over echoey beats and belts out breathy vocals that build to big-belting choruses. I’m listening to her new odds-n-sods record In The Hot right this minute and her take on “In My Time of Dying” is sort of freaking me out.

Where We Belong: Artists in the Archive @ Historical Society of Pennsylvania
The South Asian American Digital Archive presents a “day-long symposium bringing together archivists, artists, activists, and academics to explore ways to challenge the systematic erasure of stories of marginalized communities in America.” Includes music, visual arts and dance by Rudresh Mahanthappa, Chitra Ganesh, Chiraag Bhakta, Joti Singh and Zain Alam.

Tom Brokaw @ Nesbitt Hall
NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw in conversation with his former producer at the Today Show, Karen Curry. Free.

Joe Jack Talcum & Dandrew @ Connie’s Ric Rac
Live music by two Dead Milkmen. Also a celebration of the release of a new EP by The Founders.

Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq @ Penn Museum
A new exhibition that explores “the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East by showing what’s at stake — the rich history of the region and the diversity of its people — and what’s being done to prevent the loss of this history and cultural identity.” Saturday’s opening reception features music, discussions and family activities.


Agnostic Front @ Boot & Saddle
Thrashy hardcore forefathers just dropped a fresh one, My Life My Way. Still heavy and ornery.

Electrifest Day 2 @ the Rotunda
The two-day LGBT/QPOC wellness and healthcare festival continues with more workshops, readings and live performances. Day 2 acts include SWARM, M|GHTHAUNT, Solarized and more.

Morgan James @ World Café Live
Soulful singer-songwriter with a Broadway bent. Check out her cover of a Hall & Oates classic.

Dancing Figures @ Class of 1923 Arena
Figure skating/dancing “featuring the choreographed works of Brooke Frieling.” Not every day you see something like that. Free, too.

Le Cabaret Melange @ Johnny Brenda’s
A “sort of” revival of Robert Drake’s late night cabaret/variety show with Jeffrey Marsh and lots of old favorites doing new stuff.

Gallery Guide: Five Shows to Check Out This First Friday

From Chris Peters' show at Gravy Studios.

From Chris Peters’ show at Gravy Studios.

Chris Peters @ Gravy Studio
Wisconsin-born photographer Chris Peters creates “large scale, site-specific camera obscuras” in abandoned buildings. He’s collected photos of these works for his show Public/Private. Reception: Friday, April 7, 6-10 p.m.

Poets and Painters @ Painted Bride
A group show with a twist: The artists are “four couples all sharing and interesting dynamic: one person is a painter, one person is a poet.” The dynamic duos are Ursula Rucker and Anthony Carlos Molden, Rachel Ehrgood and Jared Wood, Emily Johnson and Amanda Robinson and Dwayne Thomas and Angelica Jackson-Thomas. Awesome idea. Also at the Bride at the same time: “When Myths Meet: Franz Fox & Al Johnson.” Receptions for both: Friday, April 7, 5-7 p.m. Read more »

5 First Friday Openings to Check Out

A section of Rae Chichilnitsky's Queen Esther, on display at the Old City Jewish Arts Center.

A section of Rae Chichilnitsky’s Queen Esther, on display at the Old City Jewish Arts Center.

The Color of Happiness @ Old City Jewish Art Center
Bright, colorful works by artists Rae Chichilnitsky and Robin Halpren-Ruder are on display in the Old City Jewish Art Center’s exhibit tied to the happy holiday of Purim, which starts the evening of March 11th this year (it’s the one where you get to dress up in costume). Friday’s opening reception is from 5-9 p.m., followed by a free Shabbat dinner.

Perceiving: Recent Photographs @ 3rd Street Gallery
Local photographer Keith Sharp explores the concept of perception in this series, experimenting with blocking the view of the subject or revisiting the same scene, but shifted. The First Friday event is from 5-9 p.m. There’s also an artist reception, on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. The exhibit will be up until April 2nd. Read more »

5 First Friday Openings to Check Out

"Flooded City" by Aaron Ricketts

“Flooded City” by Aaron Ricketts

Till Now @ North Bowl
Friday is the opening night party for this solo show featuring works by photographer Aaron Ricketts, who blends realism and fantasy in his eye-catching images. There will be music by Joshua Fuego Mayo, plus drink specials and free snacks.

Loving Blackness @ Asian Arts Initiative
Jaishri Abichandani curated this art exhibit that delves into “moments of tension and solidarity” between black and Asian communities, on display through April 21st. The opening reception is Friday and on Sunday, February 5th, AAI hosts a related jazz and poetry performanceRead more »

5 First Friday Openings to Check Out

Nikolay Milushev's

Nikolay Milushev’s “The Hunter” is on display at the Painted Bride.

Visions of The End @ Painted Bride Art Center
Nikolay Milushev and Eric Toscano of InLiquid get dark with these works about the end of the world. Toscano’s contributions recreate peaceful mid-century imagery, but leave the scenes “upended by cataclysmic disaster.” Milushev’s pieces, inspired by street art and graffiti, paint a looming dystopia. The opening reception is Friday, January 6th, from 5-7 p.m. but you can check out the exhibit through March 25.

See Sara Captain's "David" at Ruckus Gallery.

See Sara Captain’s “David” at Ruckus Gallery.

Bowie Art Show @ Ruckus Gallery
Ruckus Gallery in Old City is celebrating Philadelphia Loves Bowie Week with the Bowie Art Show, opening Friday and up for one week only. The pieces on display are by regional artists and are, of course, inspired by David Bowie. The reception is from 6-10 p.m. and it’s free. Philadelphia Loves Bowie Week is actually nine days, January 6th to 14th. Read more »

Heritage Presents First FRYday on First Friday

first-fryyay-heritage-400We didn’t think that First Friday, Philadelphia’s monthly celebration of art and artists needed revision. But we thoroughly appreciate Heritage’s addition this month of Sly Fox Beer specials and fried food cooked by chef Sean Magee. The event at the Norther Liberties restaurant will include live jazz music, a mellow dinner jazz session by Tom Moon’s Love Room and a classic soul, funk and jazz session by The Sermon!

There will also be the chance to browse and buy artwork from featured InLiquid artists. Featured artists include Brendan McAtamney, who makes wooden bowls with stock lumber and salvaged wood, Sandra Tarcov who specializes in hand-woven beadwork and Matthew Hall who makes whiskey drawings.

Read more »

The PPA Is Ending Free Parking on Wednesdays, First Fridays

Philadelphia Parking Authority kiosk in Center City on 9th Street

A PPA kiosk in Center City | Photo: Dan McQuade

The era of free parking in Center City is coming to an end.

Currently, street parking in Center City is free after 5 p.m. on Wednesday nights and on the first Friday of every month. As first reported by, the PPA recently announced that it’s ending the promotion.

“The conclusion of these promotions is intended to increase parking opportunities for those shopping and dining in the city, and in light of the increased flexibility afforded by the meterUP app,” the PPA wrote on its blog. “In addition, the PPA has increased time limits in the evening on most Center City blocks allowing enough time for people participating in night time activities without being rushed to get back to move their car.” Read more »

7 First Friday Shows to Check Out

The Barnes is hosting a Creative Genius Connectors Salon. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

The Barnes is hosting a Creative Genius Connectors Salon. Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Chiptunes: Obsolete Sounds in the Modern World @ Chemical Heritage Foundation
“Art meets obsolete technology” in this interdisciplinary show exploring nostalgic sounds the Millennials among us likely won’t even recognize, like dial-up modems and original Game Boys. Musician Paul Weinstein, who goes by Chipocrite, will be performing live. Read more »

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