Martha Graham Cracker’s world domination tour continues. It all started last year in New York, where she got rave reviews (and multiple invite-backs) performing at Joe’s Pub. This spring she turned the honky tonks on their heads in Austin, Texas. And now she’s making her biggest leap yet—across the proverbial pond and then some to sing in Lublin, Poland’s experimental arts festival “Confrontations” in October.
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After a jam-packed weekend, Philly Tech Week blows past Manic Monday with a host of activities taking place in venues across Philly through April 12th. Some of the week's highlights? On Monday Tech Mix It Up: A Diversity Networking Affair welcomes people from minority backgrounds, including ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and people with disabilities, to gather to discuss ways to "crack the bro-grammer code." On Tuesday, Hive 76 is pulling vintage video games out of its closet for an evening of friendly throwback competition. On Wednesday play Tech Quizzo at Grey Lodge Pub, and Thursday sees the Rad Girls Philly launch party at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. But I'm just scratching the surface. Go here to see the week's full itinerary. Through April 12th, various times, locations and prices, phillytechweek.com.
Philly storytelling queen Hillary Rea is gathering some of her funniest friends for a night of deceptive raconteuring. Here's how it works: After a series of "personal, awkward, outrageous, gripping, and twisted tales" from each performer, Rea and the audience will do some interrogating to uncover the fibber. Performers include Chip Chantry, T.J. Hurley, Rose Luardo and R. Eric Thomas (pictured). Tuesday, April 8th, 6 p.m., free, Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk.
Rare-video scavengers Video Pirates kick off the 2014 Cinedelphia Film Festival with Video Wars, an indie film shot in Philly and Mount Airy in 1980. It's the first feature film for Mario Giampaolo, and features a handful of hotties from that year’s Miss Hemisphere pageant. The festival continues through April 26th with an itinerary full of other hard-to-find gems. See the full schedule here.
Philadelphia favorite Kevin Allison, star of MTV’s The State and Reno 911: Miami, returns to the city of Brotherly Love for one night only to present a live taping of his popular podcast,RISK!, an award-winning storytelling platform that challenges performers to share daunting and revealing memories and experiences they never thought they’d share in public. The evening, presented by First Person Arts, is the fourth time RISK! has been presented in Philadelphia; this time, the storytelling showdown will take place at Underground Arts, and will feature local storytellers Thomas Dixon, Kitty Hailey, Teresa Marquard, and G Philly's own Alexander Kacala. Friday, April 11th, 8 p.m., $20, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street. —Bryan Buttler.
Looking for something else? Visit our Philadelphia Event Listings page for a good rundown of local goings-on through June.
New York City critics — and Bill Murray — raved when Martha Graham Cracker made her Big Apple debut last year at Joe’s Pub, but that was kind of easy. New York loves its drag queens — even the ultra tall, very hairy variety. Martha likes a challenge, and that’s why she’s accepted an offer to head [way] below the Mason Dixon to put on her first-ever show in the South.
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B-Boy Blues: The award-winning stage adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s novel B-Boy Blues gets its Philly debut at Painted Bride Art Center. The first-of-its-kind gay, hip-hop love story chronicles the lives of queer black men in New York City. The Philly Gay News does a nice writeup about it here. The event — a must-see one-night-only affair — is being produced with the help of Philadelphia Black Gay Pride. Tuesday, February 25, 7 p.m., Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street.
More to-dos after the jump
Gayborhood lesbian bar Sister’s closed last August, taking with it Philly’s only bar dedicated solely to women who love women. There have been a few female-centric, one-off parties have popped up since — like LickR — and of course we love our Stimulus and Pulse events, but the void is still strongly felt. Maybe this new soiree at Vanity Nightclub will help. Hosted by EDM Nocturnal Philly Radio and Voices Music People, Tongue Tied Thursdays is a new “women’s and LGBTQ” dance party that will go down every single week. Music at tonight’s launch event will be spun by DJs Steal Yo Girl and Messi Messina. And in the vein of Sister’s, there will be shot girls and go-go dancers. 9 p.m., $5, Vanity Nightclub, 2102 Market St.
Across town, another lady will be lighting up the night with her signature torch songs and maybe a martini or six. Martha Graham Cracker hits L’etage for her first cabaret of the year. This time around she’ll be joined by “8-piece absurdist soul outfit” Johnny Showcase. Should be a snazzy good time. 8 p.m., $15, L’etage, 624 S. Sixth St.
Philly drag amazon Martha Graham Cracker just posted an update on her Facebook page that this Sunday’s “The Martha Graham Cracker Not Very Christmasy Christmas Party” at L’etage will double as a fundraiser for Nick Forte, the 27-year-old man who was severely beaten in the Gayborhood on Nov. 10.
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On Wednesday night, the First Person Arts Festival presented Dear Sir or Madam at the Christ Church Neighborhood House. The evening featured drag queen Martha Graham Cracker* interviewing the male alter egos of drag queens Brittany Lynn and Icon Ebony-Fierce and the twenty-something female alter ego of septuagenarian drag king Stanley Epps. Below, some photos and revelations from the event. Read more »
Drag queen/rapper Icon Ebony-Fierce will join Martha Graham Cracker, Brittany Lynn and Stan for an intimate evening of performance and discussion.
The 12th annual First Person Arts Festival kicks off tonight with a 10-day lineup of poetry, story slams (including out RISK! host Kevin Allison), food and … drag queens!
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On Tuesday, I posted about Philly Mag’s gayest ThinkFest panel, Philly’s Emerging Drag Queen Culture, which will see drag titans Brittany Lynn and Martha Graham Cracker coming together with Bearded Ladies founder John Jarboe to discuss the evolution of Philly’s drag scene. I found it hard to contain my excitement about this first-time pairing between Brittany and Martha, but some of the readers didn’t agree. The post generated a lot of comments from folks none too happy about the three panelists chosen to speak.
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We mentioned this in our Big Gay Halloween Guide, but as the first of two All Hallow’s Eve-themed balls being held this year, we thought it warranted another mention: Peter Sterling will unroll a 50-foot “dead carpet” along the Avenue of the Arts for his third-annual Halloween Ball. Originally started in the suburbs, this is the first year the party will be held in Philadelphia, and Sterling promises to turn up the glam-meets-terror factor for the event’s first romp in the big city. To start, he has enlisted the help of Drag Mafia maven Brittany Lynn as host, and a troupe will perform the dance sequence in MJ’s “Thriller” video. Plus there will be music, drinks and costume contests galore. Don’t be afraid to turn up the flare! Fri., Oct. 25, 9 p.m., $40. For more information and ticket links, go here.
More of the weekend’s events after the jump »