It’s Romeo and Juliet. But gay. And with Mummers.
If you think this sounds like the plot of an episode of Family Guy, you’re wrong. It’s the show Two Street, the newest brainchild of the Philadelphia-based Tribe of Fools, the physical theater company that has won critics over with its previous Fringe festival hits Heavy Metal Dance Fag and Antihero. The troupe, which consists of Terry Brennan, Zachary Chiero, Tim Popp and Peter Smith, welcomes Peter Andrew, Isa St. Clair, and Karina Balfour to the group for the FringeArts Festival take on Shakespeare’s classic tale, updated for queer contemporary audiences. Read more »
Go south, young … thing.
It’s usually a scary thing to challenge tradition in Philly, but in this case, a proposal to reverse the Mummers’ traditional January 1st parade route — so that it would now travel from City Hall south to Washington Avenue, skipping South Philly — comes from the Mummers themselves.
Why? Because City Hall is where “the daylong queue of string bands, comics, and elaborate floats” is judged. And it seems the Mummers think they — and everybody else — would have more fun if they got the judging over with first, and could spend the rest of the parade celebrating.
Read more »
Tomorrow, Thursday, July 17th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., restaurants from all over South Philadelphia will compete for what may be the most honorable, and certainly delicious, title known to man: Pizza Olympics Champion. And this year, you get to decide who takes home the crown.
The 6th Annual Pizza Olympics at Penn’s Landing Caterer, 1301 S. Columbus Boulevard, will feature fifteen of Philadelphia’s pizza parlors, all of which will
fight knead for your votes. Guests will decide the top slices in seven categories – Best Crust, Best Veggie, Best Creative Topping, Best White, Favorite Sicilian, Top Tomato Pie, and Best Sauce. Tickets are $15 and get you three hours of all-you-can-eat pizza sampling. And in addition to your full stomachs, the event is providing a DJ, prizes, and performance by the Mummers.
Check out participating restaurants »
From 1910 until 1970, the U.K.-based Pathé News produced newsreels and documentaries on events all over the world. Recently, a collection of 85,000 videos was uploaded to YouTube.
This kind of information dump is glorious for history dorks and journalists — and I just happen to be both. There are dozens of videos about Philadelphia! I trawled through the collection to find some notable videos, and I highly suggest you search for yourself as well.
For example, here is a report on a women’s football game played in 1932 between the “Buxom Chicago Bears and Blushing California Roses” at the Baker Bowl, the Phillies stadium. You can even spot the outfield “THE PHILLIES USE LIFEBUOY” sign. It is incredible. “Now we know where the bargain counter hands train for the sales!” It is also awful.
As the description notes, the stands are empty during gameplay. This newsreel used journalistic tricks!
Read more »
These portraits of the Mummers were inspired by one of my biggest photography influences, Richard Avedon, who sought to highlight his subjects’ personalities, often by isolating them against a plain backdrop and removing the distraction of environmental contexts. I felt that the residents of the Philly community and the members of the Mummers brigades would lend themselves well to a collection of images in that tradition, particularly for the exuberance and spirit that each person brought to the portrait. This series is intended to be a part of a broader ongoing project.
WMMR DJ Pierre Robert happened to walk by as I was shooting at 17th and JFK. Robert characteristically celebrates Philadelphia and Philadelphians in the spirit of every cultural occasion in which he’s involved, and so I decided on the spot to include him in my celebration in kind.
See Joshua Pelta-Heller’s photos after the jump »
With a tip of the top-hat to The Cut, here are the best Mummers-related Craigslist Missed Connections of New Years Day.
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Drag diva Morgan Wells wins the title of Miss Fancy Brigade 2014. Photo courtesy of Patrick Hagerty,
Mummers LGBT Liaison Committee head Ian Morrison (aka Brittany Lynn) just announced that drag queen Morgan Wells won the title of Miss Fancy Brigade 2014. She was there to represent Bob and Barbara’s.
Find out who won second place after the jump
Miss Fancy Brigade pauses near Broad and Washington. Photo courtesy of Wang Newton.
The Mummers Parade got one of the fiercest kickoffs in its 114-year history yesterday when the Miss Fancy Brigade lined up to sashay down Broad Street. Mother of the pack Brittany Lynn (aka Ian Morrison) stood front and center, flanked by 10 drag queens and — for the first time — kings. Among them were RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Mimi Imfurst, Satine Harlow, Miss Pinklewinkle, Wang Newton and Liberty City Kings Drag and Burlesque founder Lascivious Jane.
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So it turns out the Mummers unofficial anthem, “Oh Dem Golden Slippers,” was composed in 1879 by a black Philadelphian who went by the name of James A. Bland.
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The dark underbelly of Two Street after the Mummers Day Parade:
Police say [a 16-year-old] girl was walking in the area of 2nd and Tree Street when a young man pulled her behind a plastic covering of a scaffold and raped her. Officials say the girl had been participating in Mummers festivities on 2nd Street and may have been intoxicated. Residents on Tree Street next to the scaffolding say they heard screams and saw the suspect walking away when they came out to investigate.
The girl was sent to CHOP, while police caught the suspect very quickly.