Matt Pond says he’s going to retire the Matt Pond PA project. He plays Johnny Brenda’s on Sunday. (Sean Hansen)
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Philly Music and Arts Fest Day 1 @ World Café Live
A two-day celebration of beer and music from Philadelphia. Friday’s lineup includes: Slomo Sapiens, Kississippi, Chris Kasper, Harmony Woods, Eric Slick, Abi Reimold, Ceramic Animal, Skull Eclipses, Work Drugs, West Philly Orchestra and Cayetana.
X @ Underground Arts
Exene Cervenka, John Doe and friends will never stop touring, new album or not. Right on. The revered punk veterans will soon be the subject of an exhibition at the Grammy Museum in their hometown called “X: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles.” Read more »
Close Music For Bodies runs through September 24 at Christ Church Neighborhood House.
Close Music For Bodies @ Christ Church Neighborhood House | Through September 24
Michael Kiley sang with the catchy rock band Cordalene in the early 2000s, but he’s gotten a lot more experimental since then. In recent years, he worked on a series of sound installation/apps that layered and changed what listeners heard as they wandered through Rittenhouse Square and Race Street Pier with their earbuds in. Now Kiley brings us Close Music For Bodies, a decidedly non-technological audio experience in which audience members find themselves surrounded and infiltrated by singers on the move. Get ready to kick off your shoes. Not kidding.
Interior @ Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish | Through September 23
Dance choreographer Leah Stein — a perennial favorite in Philly Fringe, not to mention the arts scene at large — teams up with violinist/composer Diane Monroe for an “intimate and expansive” audio-visual experience. Read more »
Xiu Xiu plays Johnny Brenda’s on Sunday as part of the Megapolis Audio Festival. (Alex Brown)
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
World’s Largest Pop-Up Photobook @ Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
Every morning through September 26, visitors may watch artist Colette Fu as she works to construct the World’s Largest Pop-Up Photobook entitled Tao Hua Yuan Ji (Utopia: Source of the Peach Blossoms). Meet the artist on Friday, September 22.
Stephen Greenblatt @ Parkway Central Library
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author/Harvard prof reads from his new book, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. Read more »
Jess Conda as her drag persona (left) with drag queen Martha Graham Cracker, photographed at L’Etage by Mark Schreiber.
With the 21st annual Philadelphia FringeArts Festival in full swing, we thought we’d take a break from talking with CEOs and other high-paid honchos to instead sit down with FringeArts veteran, Fergie’s bartender, Flyers face painter, and sometimes drag performer Jess Conda, who tells us about being a thirtysomething in this gig economy. Read more »
PhillyCAM presents a screening of queer sci-fi film Kairos Dirt & the Errant Vacuum on Tuesday.
Red Velvet @ St. Stephen’s Theater | Through October 8
Lantern Theater Company presents the Philadelphia premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s play about a black actor preparing to play Othello at the same time riots Londoners are rioting in streets following the abolition of slavery.
Sanctuary Series: Mexika and Aztec Traditions in Clay @ Fleisher Art Memorial | Wednesday, September 13
Self-taught multidisciplinary artist Brujo De La Mancha uses pots, masks and other artworks in a discussion of “the histories of functional and symbolic sculpture” and “aesthetic guiding principles of the Mexika and Aztec ceramic traditions.” Read more »
The Bald Soprano continues through September 24 (fringearts.com)
The big, giant Fringe Festival continues this week, offering rare and unusual performances of theater, dance, art, music and more. Here are five Fringe shows we recommend you check out post haste. Fringe runs through September 24.
The Bald Soprano @ Bethany Mission Gallery | Through September 24
Absurdist theater devotees Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium are once again staging a showed aimed at boggling and bedazzling. The Bald Soprano, Eugene Ionesco’s first and perhaps best-loved play, concerns two husbands, two wives, a maid and a fire chief who get together for some small talk that leads them to entertaining and strange places. It’s funny, but that’s not all it is. IRC’s producing artistic director Tina Brock directs, does sound design, and stars alongside Bob Schmidt, Tomas Dura, Sonja Robson, John Zak and Arlen Hancock. Read more »
Whit MacLaughlin’s Hello Blackout plays at the Drake through September 17. (fringearts.com)
Fringe Fest @ all over town | Through September 24
As always, the Fringe Festival is a behemoth — a massive celebration of art, theater, dance, music and more. There’s just way more stuff going on than we can do justice here. We highly recommend you peruse the Fringe site or guide and plan a few nights out. And of course, we’ll be making some recommendations below and throughout the fest.
Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story @ PhilaMOCA | September 6 & 7
Jon Brewer’s documentary explores the life and music and of guitarist Mick Ronson, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer who played with Bowie, Dylan, Morrissey and more. Read more »
Artists, theatergoers, critics, get out your calendars. The Philadelphia FringeArts 2014 dates have been announced. Read more »
No one is safe in FringeArts performer Gunnar Montana’s Basement. Read more »
The festival formerly known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe, now thankfully just “FringeArts,” kicks off today with a blaze of stellar local talent. The whole shebang wraps up Sept. 22, so you’ve got plenty of time to take in some premium local arts performance. If one were to miss it, one would undoubtedly be considered a chump.
So, dear readers, that’s why we’re here with all the FringeArts info you all need to avoid abject chump-dom.
Right here on The Philly Post, my artsy colleague Victor Fiorillo has put together a list of 10 can’t-miss performers at this year’s event. His top picks? Martha Stuckey in Pig Iron Theatre Company’s Pay Up, who plays opposite Martha Graham Cracker (aka Dito van Reigersberg), and Gunnar Montana, the up-and-coming local LGBT star starring in Basement, a serial killered-out version of a real-life breakup. (And check Victor’s picks for family-friendly shows.)
As LGBT goes, G-Philly of course has it covered. Check out their Complete Gay Guide to FringeArts starting now, with gay-centric recommendations running the gamut from uproarious comedy in the R.L. Stein spoof Paperback Dreadful to the smoky drama of Tennessee Williams’ And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens. Make no mistake, though: gay or straight, these are shows to see.
But, then, if you asked FringeArts founder Nick Stuccio, he’d likely tell you all of them are.