The Soundtrack Series Comes to Philly, Features R. Eric Thomas and Dana Rossi

R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas‘s most definitive life moments can be summarized by the songs of Patti LaBelle and Beyonce.

If you personally know the comedic storyteller, this isn’t news.  However, when Thomas shares his fascination with “New Attitude” and “Get Me Bodied” with a room full of strangers, it’s, well, special.  Now Philadelphians will have the chance to discover what’s been billed as “the best rock and roll storytelling event in New York” by Flavorpill; The Soundtrack Series is coming to Tin Angel on July 11, and it’s hosts, the incomparable Dana Rossi and Philadelphia’s own Thomas, promise to make this one music-inspired night that’ll keep you laughing and entertained. Read more »

Interview: Two-Time “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia” Steve Clark

Steve Clark

Steve Clark

To be named “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia” is not an easy task. Yet, Steve Clark has won the title, not once, but twice: the Philadelphian has taken home the crown from First Person Arts two consecutive years in a row (2013 and 2014). We had the chance to sit down with the superstar storyteller to learn how he works his magic to charm audiences with his tales (we’ve also got his winning story on video for you).

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11 Things to Do in Philly This Week: Phillies Phestival, PHAIR, a Moth Story Slam, and More

We recommend checking out these events going on around Philly this week:

6 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend: It’s Cherry Blossom Festival Time

We round up six of the weekend’s top to-dos:

Find more events now through June in our carefully curated Philadelphia Event Listings

LGBT Six-Word Memoir of the Day:
Drag Queen Maddy Milan

41. Maddy Milan

In partnership with SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoir Projectwe asked you to submit your queer life stories—succinctly. Every day until we run out, we will present the most touching, poignant and hilarious entries in meme form. Today, we’ve got two for you, this time featuring one of our favorite drag queens, the ditzy, kooky, fabulous Maddy Milan, who obviously popped a few Valium before writing her memoir.

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LGBT Six-Word Memoir of the Day: R. Eric Thomas

39. R. Eric ThomasIn partnership with SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoir Projectwe asked you to submit your queer life stories—succinctly. Every day until we run out, we will present the most touching, poignant and hilarious entries in meme form. Today, one of Philly’s premier comedic storytellers, the always delightful R. Eric Thomas.

Tomorrow night, Tue., Oct. 22, Thomas will join D. Bruce Hanes, Julia Scotti, Liz Spikol, Kemar Jewel and Brian Seaman at our LGBT Six-Word Memoir Slam, where he will delve into the story behind his memoir. I’m guessing it will be some kind of LOL-worthy story about his adventures with online dating. To purchase a $10 ticket to the event, click here. And click here to see all our LGBT Six-Word Memoirs of the Day to date.

Weekend Roundup

Friday, May 25

The Arden Theatre is hosting an open bar party (6 p.m.) for Tulipomania, a musical set in a seedy hash bar in Amsterdam about love, sex, obsession, money – and tulips.

Register for the Liberty Bell Classic (7 p.m.) at Stir in time for the kickoff on Saturday.

Drama is in the air during a party with reality TV divas at Parx Casino (7 p.m.). Meet Ramona from the Real Housewives of New York, Tracy from Jerseylicious and Drita from Mob Wives.

Kelli Dunham and R. Eric Thomas present Normal at Nite: Good Times & Family Matters with Perfect Strangers (7:30 p.m.) at the William Way. The show is inspired by the duo’s love of sitcoms – and how they relate to their own childhood. Click here for an exclusive interview with Thomas – and find out which Huxtable he would be.

It’s FriGay at Sumo Lounge at RAW with DJ Reenie Kane spinning classics in the courtyard.

It’s Phat ‘N All That (10 p.m.) at Tabu where Daina Dane presents 80s and 90s videos and a free old-school hip-hop mix CD giveaway.

Sandy Beach hosts Smashed (11 p.m.) with special guests Salotta Tea, Vanessa Sterling and HrH Mortimer at Venture Inn. We hear Sandy will be singing a ballad or two – a first for the campy cabaret series.

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R. Eric Thomas: Normal at Nite

Courtesy of R. Eric Thomas

Normal at Nite: Good Times & Family Matters with Perfect Strangers opens tonight at the William Way (7:30 p.m.) with R. Eric Thomas and Kelli Dunham. We talked to Thomas about the inspiration for the show – sitcoms from the 70s and 80s – and how they impacted his own life growing up and why he always wanted to be a Huxtable.

How did you and Kelli first start working together?

I first met Kelli when I submitted to her “Queer Memoir” reading series. After a couple different appearances here and in New York, she asked me to open for her “Why is the Fat One Always Angry?” show at Stonewall. I was totally shocked that my jokes on Grindr and my stalker-like dating habits went over as well as they did with Kelli’s fans and we realized we had a winning chemistry.

How do stories about growing up shape the show?

For me this is a show about mixing nostalgia with reality. Now that I’m an adult I can look back on my childhood and see things that I never knew were going on and this perspective helps me to replay them in funny ways. The stories Kelli and I share definitely show how wacky our families can be, but everything we talk about is with the kind of affection you feel like the Huxtables or the Keatons had for each other.

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Variety Show for Way Gay U

R. Eric Thomas will share the secrets to storytelling during a new workshop at Way Gay U. He's also showing off his skills during a variety show kicking off the spring semester next week at Tabu (courtesy of R. Eric Thomas).

To help kick off new one-day and eight-week adult-enrichment classes being offered at William Way’s “Way Gay U” this season, the center is hosting a free variety show (March 14) at Tabu touting some of the new classes led this year by local performers.

“Eight of the classes are brand new and are instructed by some of Philadelphia’s better-known queer talent,” says Paul Blore, a spokesperson from William Way. “The campaign is meant to bring more visibility to Way Gay U, a program that we’ve been offering for years, but of which many people may still be unaware.”

A series of videos is being introduced to tout the classes, while the variety show – billed as “Gay is the New Geek” – showcases a few skill sets students can expect to learn from the workshops starting later this month.

“The series of videos is meant to drive home the point that the courses are for our community, taught by people of our community,” says Blore, “and that they cover a broad range of subject matter – including skills to help land a job, to help in a relationship (whether as a parent, or as a lover), to help stay fit (while keeping it fun), and to help tap into a creative outlet.”

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