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 »
Jen Kirkman plays the Trocadero on Saturday.
(Robyn Von Swank)
Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story @ Bucks County Playhouse | Through October 1
George Wendt (Norm!) and Alan Campbell star in the world premiere of Gary Kupper’s musical about one of the fathers of rock ’n’ roll.
Ma’ Rosa @ Prince Theater Black Box | Wednesday, September 20
Philadelphia Film Society presents a screening of Brillante Mendoza’s 2016 film as part of their Passport to World Cinema series. Jaclyn Jose won Best Actress at Cannes for her portrayal of a meth-dealing convenience store owner in the Philippines. 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 »
Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack in Elizabeth Cree. (Steve Pisano)
Opera fans have had September 14 circled on their calendars for months. (Sure they still use paper calendars. They’re old-school.) That’s the start of O17, an ambitious multi-opera, multi-venue festival staged by Opera Philadelphia.
Starting today and continuing through September 25, O17 offers an impressive lineup of old favorites and new standouts:
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 »
Photograph by Hannah Van Sciver
Alice Yorke thinks people have a Google alert for the word “abortion.”
The 31-year-old South Philly resident was well aware that her musical comedy about the controversial topic would stir some opposition. And one night after the play debuted, opposition arrived – with massive, graphic, anti-abortion signs in hand. Read more »
James Davis of Comedy Central’s Hood Adjacent plays Helium this week. (cc.com)
Excuse My Dust @ Good Good Comedy Theatre | Wednesday, August 30
Philly writer/”eloquent dirtbag” Jaime Fountaine hosts a night of literature and comedy featuring Joey Sweeney, Mel Bentley, Andy Futuro and Annie Paradis.
James Davis @ Helium | August 31-September 3
The very funny comedian behind Comedy Central’s Hood Adjacent plays four nights. Read more »
The War on Drugs plays the new-look Dell Music Center on Sept. 21. (Shawn Brackbill)
Best of Philly 2017 is now online as well as at newsstands, celebrating outstanding food, people, shops and more from across the region. Here are some highlights from the Fun & Games section:
BEST REASON TO GO TO THE LIBRARY
Musical Instrument Collection at the Free Library
Thanks to an innovative new program at the Central branch, you can check out all sorts of musical instruments for three weeks, for free. One of our editors borrowed a ukulele, a bass guitar, and a Fender Stratocaster with a surprisingly loud amp. Our apologies to the neighbors.
1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-686-5322 | Website
BEST BRO-FREE KARAOKE
Sing Your Life Karaoke at W/N W/N Coffee Bar
Sara Sherr has been ruling the local karaoke scene for a while now, but her newest series—in this unexpected coffee shop/bar/co-working space mashup—is the freshest one yet. The themed Thursday nights include Queer, Feminist, Big Gay Country and, our personal favorite, Protest.
931 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA | Website Read more »
In Philadelphia these days there are two kinds of theater experiences. There’s the Walnut Street Theater with its mostly mainstream fare like The Importance of Being Earnest and Saturday Night Fever, and then there’s the theater of ideas and politics, where the entertainment factor is of a different sort.
While the hordes are laughing it up at The Book of Mormon or watching a revival of Cabaret at the Kimmel, patrons at the Wilma Theater, the Lantern, and the Drake’s new four-theater complex are taking in plays that deal with racism, sexism, transgender issues, and the queer interplay between science and psychology. Read more »