14 Philly Holiday Shows: Philly Nutt Crak-Up, Ariana Grande at Jingle Ball, David Sedaris’s Holidays on Ice and More

thenutcracker

Don’t miss “George Balachine’s The Nutcracker” at the Academy of Music this month. | Photo via Facebook.

With all the concerts, cabarets, plays, and ballets on stage this holiday season, there are plenty of performing arts to see on a special night out.

Down Home Holiday
A holiday hoedown from the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus filled with fiddlers, line dancers, classic holiday tunes and Dolly Parton jams. Thursday, December 4th through Saturday, December 6th, $30-55, Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion, 2110 Chestnut Street.

Philly Nutt Crak-Up
The Rappin’ Sugar Plum Fairy is back for another “nutty” take on a traditional holiday tale thanks to ContempraDANCE Theatre. Friday, December 5th through Sunday, December 7th, $35, Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street.

The Philly Pops Christmas Spectacular
Celebrated conductor David Charles Abell leads this popular sing-along of holiday favorites with the help of Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, Hugh Panaro, and the POPS Festival Chorus. Saturday, December 6th through Saturday, December 20th, $40-131, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.

George Balachine’s The Nutcracker
Join the 46-year-old tradition by seeing this classic holiday show in Philadelphia with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Boys Choir and awe-inspiring sets and costumes. Saturday, December 6th through Tuesday, December 30th, $50-125, Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street. 

Read more »

Who to See at First Person Arts Festival 2014: Kathryn Erbe, Marcus Samuelsson, Ira Glass and More

Kathryn Erbe, Marcus Samuelsson, and Ira Glass will appear at the First Person Arts Festival.

Kathryn Erbe, Marcus Samuelsson, and Ira Glass will appear at the First Person Arts Festival.

The First Person Arts Festival marks its 13th year next week, and it features a star-studded lineup. The festival runs Tuesday, November 4th through Saturday, November 15th and includes celebrity chefs, TV stars and a live edition of the First Person Arts podcast.

Kick off the festival by spending the night of Tuesday, November 4th, with Marcus Samuelsson, the star of Top Chef Masters and ABC’s The Taste. Celebri-chef Samuelsson will prepare a meal from his new cookbook Marcus Off Duty with the help of local Top Chef competitor Jen Carroll. Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. dinner are $150 and include access to a special book signing.

StrippedStories_Anya-Garrett

Giulia Rozzi and Margot Leitman star in “Stripped Stories” | Photo courtesy of Anya Garrett.

If you’ve recently thought, “Wow, I could really go for a sex-themed variety show starring two awesome female comedians,” well, First Person Arts has totally been reading your diary. Comedy Central’s Margot Leitman and MTV and VH1’s Giulia Rozzi will tell their sexiest “Stripped Stories” onstage Saturday, November 8th, at Underground Arts. Doors open at 9 p.m.. Live music will be provided by Philly’s Johnny Showcase, and tickets are just $22.

Storyteller, author, comedian, and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax is bringing her one-woman-show Ruby Wax: Sane New World on tour, stopping at the FPA Fest on Thursday, November 13th. Based on her best-selling book Sane New World: A User’s Guide to the Normal-Crazy Mind (a copy of which is included with your $35 ticket) the 9 p.m. show combines humor with Wax’s Oxford University Masters degree in cognitive therapy.

Attention all Law and Order: Criminal Intent binge-watchers: Detective Alex Eames, a.k.a Kathryn Erbe, will join The Good Wife‘s Zach Grenier and Alex Morf for a one-night-only dramatic reading of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into NightThis semi-autobiographical tale of a family’s struggle with addiction is part of Outside the Wire‘s Addiction Performance Project. The free reading is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 15th, at the Christ Church Sanctuary and features a post-performance discussion of addiction.

PhillipBailey

Earth Wind and Fire’s Philip Bailey | Photo courtesy of the artist.

Let the storytelling continue when Earth Wind & Fire lead singer and eight-time Grammy winner Philip Bailey shares tales from his memoir Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth Wind & Fire. A truly behind-the-scenes look at the legendary group, music icon Bailey will be interviewed by WDAS’ Patty Jackson about his amazing journey. The $40 ticketed event begins Saturday, November 15th, at 8 p.m. at Mother Bethel AME Church.

Also on Saturday, November 15th, the inimitable Ira Glass takes the Merriam Theater stage at 8 p.m. to talk broadcast journalism, what makes a good story, and more. The creator of This American Life will mix stories with pre-taped quotes and music in order to recreate the sound of the show for the live audience. Tickets range from $28-$125.

For ticketing, information about these events and a full calendar of the First Person Arts Festival, visit FirstPersonArts.org.

IN THE WINGS: A Conversation with Detroit Star Geneviève Perrier

Genevieve Perrier HeadshotMy name is … Geneviève Perrier. But if someone says Guinevere, Jean Vive, or Jonbenet, I usually look up.

I am …  an actor in Philadelphia currently playing Mary in Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. I am not related to the Perrier bottled water empire.

I grew up … in Center City until age 11, then Blue Bell until I graduated from high school.

How would you describe Detroit in one sentence? A surprising, poetic dark comedy about change, the American dream, reality, and relationships.

In what way are you most like your character Mary? I too can be scared of change.

How are you different? I am not as controlling as she is.

To get into character for the show I … don’t have any particular ritual. I warm up, get into costume, and remind myself to “invent nothing, deny nothing, and stay in the moment.”

Read more »

The Sincerity Project, Candy Volcano and More Comprise FringeArts’ Edgy Fall Lineup

Candy Volcano | FringeArts

Candy Volcano | FringeArts

If you’re looking for cutting-edge live arts and experiences this fall, look no further than FringeArts. Its autumn lineup comes on the heels of a record-breaking 2014 Fringe Festival and includes performances at La Peg, the on-site restaurant and beer garden serving as a the cultural center of the Delaware waterfront.

Read more »

The Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center Grand Opening

IMG_4543

This week marks the opening of the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center in Manayunk. An event 10 years in the making, this massive project was a collaboration between the town’s community, the Philadelphia Water Department, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Located at 1 Vector Street, the Venice Island development reconstructed the former facilities between the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal into a public space now filled with a performing arts theater, an outdoor amphitheater, a playground, basketball courts, and a spray park.

Read more »

FringeArts Review: Azuka Theatre’s Dutch Masters

Ah, 1992. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Everyone who was anyone was down with O.P.P. (best), George H.W. Bush was president (worst), and LA was erupting in riots over the Rodney King verdict (Sublime). Against this backdrop, playwright Greg Keller throws us into a subway car careening toward the Bronx in Mayor David N. Dinkins’ New York City. From there, the hope and reality of racial progress converge, leaving the play’s protagonists wondering just where that leaves them. And, in some sense, the audience is left with the same feeling.

Running as part of this year’s FringeArts festival (and just extended), Azuka Theatre’s production of Dutch Masters—the Philadelphia premiere—could not have come along at a more fraught time. In a sociopolitical climate shaken by the death of Trayvon Martin and the never-ending stop-and-frisk debate, and locally by the furor around “Being White in Philly” and Riley Cooper’s racially charged aggression, Azuka chose a banner year to take on the topic of race. Based on Saturday night’s performance, Azuka’s two-man show at the Off-Broad Street Theater is more than worth checking out.
Read more »

FringeArts Review: Dragon Eye’s A Mystery? at Smith Playhouse

On Saturday morning, I took my two kids — ages 6 and 7 — to see Dragon Eye Theatre’s FringeArts production A Mystery? at East Fairmount Park’s adorable Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse.

The 45-minute play takes place indoors on the second floor of the playhouse. Kids sit on a large area rug while parents can opt for more comfortable bench and chair seating behind the tots, but don’t think that you’re not going to be part of the show. Grownups are encouraged to participate, and all did at Saturday’s 10 a.m. showing. Read more »

Yes, You Can Do FringeArts With Kids

Philadelphia’s annual FringeArts Festival is now underway, with some ridiculous number of dance and theater shows and events that fall under the oft-maligned “performance art” heading. While most of the FringeArts programming isn’t exactly family friendly (I’m looking at you, Gunnar Montana), there are some shows suitable for younger audiences. Read more »

« Older Posts