Talking with the Chefs from This Year’s Audi Feastival

As we mentioned last week, the end of summer means that the 2017 Audi Feastival is coming — the annual food and drink event held to benefit FringeArts. It’s a helluva party, bringing in the best chefs, the best restaurants and all of Philly’s artsy swells. And this year, we’re going to talk with some of the chefs responsible for making this event as cool as it is in a series of Facebook Live videos.

And the first one, an interview with Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca from Poi Dog, will be happening today, September 5th, at 2:30 p.m.

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I Love My Job: Chuck Peruto

Chuck Peruto, 62, and girlfriend Lindsey Glasgow, 29.

In this week’s edition of I Love My Job, we talk to high-profile Philly lawyer Chuck Peruto, who has defended deranged murderers, mafioso-types, and certain high-profile marijuana enthusiasts. Peruto has his critics, but one thing’s for sure: he’s a true Philly character.

My full name is… Angelo Carlo Peruto, Jr. My family is from Abbruzze.

I grew up in… Overbrook at 64th and Jefferson, which I wouldn’t trade for the world. It was a tough neighborhood but still friendly at the same time. Very close-knit. We all knew each other, all the kids played together, there was a lot of car-pooling for church and sports and school.

My very first job was… when I was 14. I stayed with a friend and cleaned fishing boats at Andy’s Marina in Margate.

My worst subject in high school was… any kind of math. Why do we need this stuff? is what I always wanted to know, and I have never needed any of it. I used my aunt’s address to go to Haverford High, because Overbook was really getting tough at that time. Then I went to St. Joe’s and Widener Law. I guess I’m still on Temple’s waiting list. I got the waiting list letter and never heard anything since.

These days, I live in… Rittenhouse Square and Avalon. Read more »

WATCH: That Time Randall Cunningham Interviewed Donald Trump

“Donald Trump: Businessman. Billionaire. Ladies’ man. Celebrity. And, believe it or not, big sports fan!”

The year was 1992. Despite having one of the greatest defenses of all time, the Eagles had still missed the playoffs the previous year. But this season was looking up: The Eagles would get back QB Randall Cunningham, lost for the season in the opener the previous year. And Randall was ready: He spent the offseason endorsing a candy bar (all proceeds went to charity), working on a game show pilot (Scramble), and, most importantly, hosting an interview special on Channel 10 called Randall Cunningham’s Celebrity Rap.

In the special, Cunningham interviewed a number of celebrities, including one who’d later go on to be president of these United States: Donald Trump! It opens with the quote above from Randall Cunningham, as well as footage of Trump showing off to Cunningham by handing him some trophy Trump got from Jim Kelly. Sure, why not? Read more »

Elizabeth Banks at Penn: “You F—ing Millennials Need to F—ing Vote”

Elizabeth Banks holds up her phone to take a selfie

Elizabeth Banks takes a selfie with the crowd at Penn’s LGBT Center on Monday evening | Photo by Dan McQuade

Elizabeth Banks was done speaking to a packed-to-the-gills LGBT Center at Penn. As she finished up her brief speech, she knew what the kids were interested in: “I would like to be able to give you guys what you want,” she said, “which is pictures on your phone.” Dutifully, Banks then stood on a chair to take a table for her own selfie, then hung around for about 20 minutes as students lined up to take photos with her.

Banks, a 1996 graduate of Penn, was in Philadelphia to attend several events Monday in support of Hillary Clinton. She attended a private event at Ardmore, encouraged voter registration at the Penn LGBT Center, and went to the Liberty City Democratic Club Meeting in Center City.

“You need to vote for Hillary Clinton, and get 10 other people to vote for her too,” she said to the crowd at Penn. “You fucking millennials need to get out the fucking vote.” Read more »

Bob Casey’s Profound About-Face on Gun Control

In 2009, during his first term in the U.S. Senate, Bob Casey voted to allow guns on Amtrak trains. He was not a believer in gun control, and his votes showed it.

A little more than three years later, 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. In a matter of days, Casey flipped positions. The Democrat has since become a gun control advocate. He was the first to introduce gun control legislation after the massacre in Orlando.

Sen. Casey sat down with Philadelphia magazine on Friday for an interview about his reversal, his bill that would prohibit those convicted of hate crimes from buying guns, and the future of gun control measures in the Senate. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

How did you come to change your stance on gun control?
In some ways, it happened over a three- or four-day period — from Friday to Tuesday. That tragedy in Newtown changed my view forever.

It wasn’t just “How will you handle this issue going forward,” but: “How will you vote?” At that point and time, I had been in the Senate six years, we never really had significant gun votes. We maybe had 1 or 2, but they weren’t three major up-or-down votes like we had with the military-style weapons, the clips/magazines and the background checks — they were the major three, in the spring of ’13. Read more »

This Philly Library Lends Out Ties to Members on the Job Hunt


Photo via Facebook

When you look good, you feel good — that’s a fact. And when you feel good, you’re more likely to confidently walk into your job interview and crush it. The innovative people that run the Paschalville Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia know the value of this, and are making resources available to residents of this Southwest Philly neighborhood.

With 48 ties available in the ‘tiebrary,’ members of the Free Library of Philadelphia can check out the job interview’s most important accessory for up to three weeks at a time, just like one might check out, say, a book. This resource is an invaluable addition to the Paschalville neighborhood, which, TakePart reports, has high rates of poverty, unemployment, and ‘returning citizens’—ex-offenders recently released from prison. The tiebrary, which Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted about, is just one of the library’s many resources aimed at helping neighborhood residents break into the workforce. Read more »

An Interview with Philly Chess and Poker Pro Jennifer Shahade

Jennifer Shahade is a woman of many talents.

The Rittenhouse Square area resident is not just a two-time United States women’s chess champion and the author of books like Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport and Play Like a Girl. She’s also a professional poker player, and a pretty successful one at that.

Shahade, who went to Masterman High School, will be appearing at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City this weekend as part of the PokerStars Run It Up Rumble. The event features a $30 buy-in no-limit tournament at the casino, and a $10 buy-in no-limit event online across the state. Shahade will be at a breakfast Meet & Greet at Resorts along with Jason Somerville, Vanessa Selbst, Barry Greenstein, Chris Moneymaker and Liv Boeree.

Philadelphia magazine sat down with Shahade in Atlantic City last month to chat with her about poker, chess, Philadelphia and other topics. Read more »

The Writer Once Known as Danger Guerrero Is a Temple Grad — and He’s One of the Web’s Funniest TV Writers

Brian Grubb

Photo courtesy Brian Grubb

Danger Guerrero was a name you might know. No, not the Cuban League baseball player, but the writer for pop-culture site Uproxx. He’s done hundreds of posts there and written countless hilarious tweets. He’s one of the funnier writers working today. He’s also very popular: His post about Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow was shared more than 22,000 times.

Danger Guerrero was, obviously, an alias. And, in March, Guerrero revealed himself by writing: “My name is Brian Grubb. I am 33 years old. I am in a wheelchair.”

Grubb, grew up in Berks County and Allentown and went to Temple. He flunked out his first time. His second time, he did better in school — but fell off a loft bed one night and fractured the C4 vertebrae in his neck. But he eventually returned to the school, got his undergraduate degree and later graduated from Temple Law School.

I recently interviewed Grubb — who now lives in Allentown — about his former alias, his injury and how he became a writer.

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INTERVIEW: Comedian and 30 Rock Star Judah Friedlander

Judah Friedlander | Photo by Yoko Haraoka

Judah Friedlander | Photo by Yoko Haraoka

Judah Friedlander is probably best known for his work on the television comedy 30 Rock, where he played the lazy, porn-loving skit writer Frank Rossitano. He’s also known for his signature disheveled look: bespectacled, unshaven and sporting a trucker hat with ever-changing messages on the front. But Friedlander has also morphed his look for roles such as the critically acclaimed American Splendor and The Wrestler, as well as for cameos in cult favorites including Zoolander, Wet Hot American Summer and Sharknado 2.

Friedlander explores another area of creative expression in his new book, If the Raindrops United: Drawings and Cartoons, published just last month. The 208-page book provides a window into the actor’s quirky, original brain. His previous book, a self-help karate manual titled How to Beat up Anybody: An Instructional and Inspirational Karate Book by the World Champion, was written by his alter ego, the World Champ, whose specialty is deadpan narcissism with a touch of supremely inflated ego. The World Champ has been an integral part of the comic’s standup for years and talks like a twisted amalgam of comedian Steven Wright, boxer Muhammed Ali and martial artist Bruce Lee — a lethal blend of low-energy, raging confidence.

Friedlander is currently on tour doing standup and visits the Helium Club for a four-day run beginning this Wednesday. Friedlander says he plans on stopping by a table tennis club as well as the Philadelphia Museum of Art while in town. (He’s a devotee of both ping pong and the visual arts.) We caught up by phone with the actor from his hotel in Buffalo to discuss 30 Rock, cartooning and his plans for taping his own comedy special next year.  

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INTERVIEW: The One and Only Dr. Ruth

dr-ruth-philadelphia-interviewTiny German dynamo Dr. Ruth Westheimer is as busy as ever in her 87th year. She comes to town next week to speak at the National Museum of American Jewish History for its annual Dreamers and Doers series. The therapist who made her reputation with frank talk about sex, still has plenty to say.

On Monday, Westheimer speaks about her two most recent books (she’s penned 37!): Her memoir, The Doctor is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life and Joie de Vivre, and her children’s picture book about courage, Leopold.

On Tuesday, Westheimer attends the preview of the play about her life, Becoming Dr. Ruth at Walnut Street Theatre. It follows her life beginning when she fled the Nazis and Frankfurt at age 10. Taking part in Kindertransport, the evacuation of Jewish children to Switzerland, she never saw her family again. The play follows her as she gets older and joins the Haganah (Israel’s freedom fighters), through her years in Paris, marriages, children, single-motherhood and life in New York City. Westheimer will participate in a talk-back live session that follows the show. Get your sex questions ready!

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