In Arden Theatre’s Cabaret—Garter Belts, Nipples, and Oh, Yes… Nazis

John Jarboe and the ensemble in CABARET at the Arden Theatre. (Photo by Mark Garvin)

Wilkommen back, Cabaret… though it seems you were only just here. Indeed, it’s been less than six months since the last tour docked briefly at the Academy of Music. The Arden’s version is in some ways better than that one, and less good in others. But for the most part, it founders on the same problem—it’s a Cabaret designed to shock with its louche sexual openness, but which instead paradoxically seems less dangerous. Read more »

Faces of the Fringe

The 19th annual Fringe Festival kicks off tonight and will run through September 19th with over 100 performances from international theater troupes and local art-scene movers and shakers alike. If that sounds a little overwhelming, you’re totally right. We take a stab at making your Fringe decision-making a little easier with a guide to the “curated shows” (the folks—many from outside Philly—who are getting paid to perform) and the “independents” (intrepid Philly artists who sign up to take part on their own dime.) Check out those guides here and here, respectively.

First, though, get to know some of our favorite local players at this year’s festival, and find out where you can see them performing over the next few weeks. Be sure to get your tickets fast. We’re not the only ones who love them.

Opera Philadelphia Has Found Its Queer Beard

John Jarboe

John Jarboe

“I bought some nail polish, so if you’re stressed, you can do your hands and do your toes.”

This is what Opera Philadelphia‘s newest director said to his cast before a tech rehearsal. He’s dressed in camouflage cargo shorts, green sneakers, and a silver and white iridescent sparkly tank top. He indeed took his own advice: His nails were painted and very glittery.

This doesn’t sound like the typical director that a major opera company would hire to mount the start of their season, but one might argue that Opera Philadelphia isn’t typical. John Jarboe is the nail polish-donning man at the helm of the company’s first show of the year, ANDY: A Popera, based loosely on the life of Andy Warhol.

Now, that’s gay.

The artistic director of the popular avant-garde queer cabaret cohort, The Bearded Ladies, Jarboe makes no qualms what he thinks about those patrons who might not be thrilled with Opera Philadelphia’s choice of staging a new opera in a warehouse in the middle of Northern Liberties. Read more »

WATCH: First-Ever Drag Show at National Constitution Center

John Jarboe Drag

Yesterday evening, the National Constitution Center held a grand opening celebration for the opening of its first LGBT exhibit, “Speaking Out for Equality.” The event drew a crowd of about 600—everyone from State Representative Brian Sims, who looked dashing in his rainbow suspenders; Philly Pride’s Franny Price with purple hair a blazin’; and even the out owner of Geno’s Steaks Geno Vento.

Read more »

A Sneak Peek at Opera Philadelphia’s 2015-16 Season

Isabel Leonard.

Isabel Leonard.

Opera Philadelphia announces their 2015-16 season today, and we’ve got a first-hand preview of the divas and divos they are bringing to town to belt their brains out. Opera enthusiasts will recognize many a famous name as they peruse the upcoming talent that will take to the stage to perform classic tunes from Verdi and Donizetti, plus a few new arias they’ve never heard of before in works making their East Coast or world premieres. You’ll even note some very well-known Philly-bred artists will be making their company debuts. Read more »

Man Crush Monday: Natalie Hope McDonald

Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week, G Philly matriarch, local journalist and fine artist Natalie Hope McDonald. 

Last Five Man Crush Mondays:

8 Gay Things to Do in Philly This Week: Drive-In Movie Nights, Warhol Operas, Brave New Voices and More

WATCH: The New York Times Captures Philly’s Bastille Day Celebration On Tape

John Jarboe Bastille Day

Yesterday we shared photos from this weekend’s 20th annual Bastille Day celebration at Eastern State Penitentiary, but The New York Times showed us up by putting together a whole video of the day. Check out the video below to see NYT’s interpretation of our “spirited and unconventional re-enactment.” Lots of local folks show up, including ESP’s Sean Kelley, Bearded Ladies Cabaret‘s John Jarboe, and London Grill‘s Terry McNally, who donned a powdery wig and pink silk dress to portray Marie Antoinette.

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