Actors David Reese Hutchison, left, and Kevin Murray play lovers in the new production. Photographed by John Flak; courtesy of Mauckingbird Theatre Company.
Who could have ever thought a 17th-century French play could be so gay and gender-bending — and work so damn well as a result?
Philly-based Mauckingbird Theatre Company,, known for its LGBTQ twist on classic plays, kicked off its ninth season with a timely spin on Ranjit Bolt’s adaptation of Moliere’s Les Femmes Savantes (The Learned Ladies). Mauckingbird calls its production The Sisterhood, and the decision becomes even more interesting given that there is only one woman in a cast full of men. Read more »
A scene from Employee of the Year.
There’s a bunch of pre-teen female actors putting on a performance at FringeArts later this month, and, no, it isn’t Annie.
“They are regular kids,” said Employee of the Year‘s co-creator Abby Browde, the New York-based artist who has worked with the cohort of children since 2014 as part of the performance group 600 Highwaymen. “None of them are industry kids.”
Yet, these girl actresses are given quite a daunting task in Employee of the Year: They tell the story of one woman’s life from start to finish through the use of movement, monologue, and song. At first, Browde and her artistic partner, Michael Silverstone, weren’t necessarily committed to using kids in the performance. Read more »
A mural by Aaron Krolikowski depicting Omar Sharif’s bridge competitions at The Drake.
“God knows there are a lot of theaters in this town. Our purpose is for this to be a hub.”
That’s what InterAct Theatre Company‘s Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin said about the highly-anticipated opening of their new space at The Drake during my behind-the-scenes tour. The massive space is, indeed, designed to be quite a hub, with two brand new theater spaces, plus two lobbies, a conference room, a green room that’s actually green in color, dressing rooms, gender-neutral restrooms, plus a super unique mural.
Jason Lindner, InterAct’s marketing director, explained that the subject of the mural, Omar Sharif, used to host bridge competitions at The Drake in 1971. The mural depicts what these gatherings would look like, and features plenty of open space for visitors to make their own mark. Lindner will install a bucket of Sharpies for guests to “sign” the mural, leaving a little piece of themselves at The Drake. Read more »
Do It: Not So Strictly Ballroom
Cracks are whack - but we know where to get your iPhone fixed (courtesy of Philly iPhone Repair)
Learn how to dance like a star at the Society Hill Dance Academy (409 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, 215-574-3574; 4401 Cresson Street, Manayunk, 215-482-1611). The studio offers gay-friendly open ballroom and Latin dance lessons in both Society Hill and Manayunk for couples—and if you’re shy, you can even book a private class for you and your partner. Because with a little help with those two left feet, you could easily outdo Carson Kressley—or Chaz.
Fix It: The Right Call
Get your read on with the 20th anniversary edition of one of our favorite plays
Does your iPhone screen have more cracks showing than the scene at Club Body Center? Or if you’ve dropped it more times than you can count, fear not the two-year contract and skip the long lines at the Apple Store. The tech geniuses at Philly iPhone Repair (1358 South Street, Philadelphia, 215-385-5242) will have your trusty smartphone back to its bad self in no time. You can even scope out pricing online (starting at $50) to find out if a quick fix trumps an upgrade.
Read It: Masterpiece Theatre
The Wilma Theatre revisited Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play this season. And now the 20th-anniversary edition of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes ($16.95) not only brings us face to face with the early years of AIDS, but explores everything from identity and sexuality to monogamy and government. Kushner offers a fresh new foreword aboutwhat it means three decades after the disease was first given a name.
Photo by Gene Smirnov
Rob Paluso may be best known as Anita Manhattan, the retro-inspired drag persona from GayBINGO!, but the 31-year-old is actually a professional actor and costume designer who’s appeared in dozens of shows, films and the online gay soap Secrets. While he may be donning vastly different wardrobes (not to mention pantyhose) in the spotlight, in his private life, Paluso’s got a penchant for some seriously butch vintage duds.
Hometown: Washington, PA. “Also known as Washpa.”
Neighborhood: Queen Village.
Designed Costumes for: “I’ve been designing since 2006—most recently for local productions of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Style Inspiration: “Classic Hollywood—and, honestly, my parents, Patti and Eugene. They were married just before the hippie movement, so they have a lot of great, sleek clothes that are very Mad Men.”
Favorite Winter Look: Military. “I love peacoats and jackboots.”
Read more »
Women's rights icon Gloria Steinem talks feminism at Haverford (courtesy of Facebook)
Friday, Nov. 2
Gloria Steinem visits Haverford College (7:30 p.m.) to discuss “The Progression of Feminism: Where Are We Going?”
Bonerama, a brass funk rock band from New Orleans, performs at Havana in New Hope (8 p.m.).
Tabu’s Thank Goddess It’s OMG (9 p.m.) features The Goddess Isis, Notorious OMG, Anita Manhattan, Mr. Farenheit and Stella D’Oro with DJ Brandon Barlieb.
It’s Cut N Paste (9 p.m.) at The Bike Stop with art installations, monthly performances and music by DJs Precolumbian and Nolita Selector.
Celebrate the music of the B-52s during the Seventh Annual Sex Dwarf Wig Party (9 p.m.) at Fluid with DJs Robert Drake and Marilyn Thomas.
Local poets share their works during a poetry slam at PhilaMOCA (9 p.m.).
Sisters hosts Meangurls (10 p.m.) with DJ Deejay.
Read more »
Friday, Oct. 26
Justin Bond plays the William Way on Friday (courtesy of the artist)
William Way hosts the Queer Fear Costume Closet (6:30 p.m.) with great garb from Philly AIDS Thrift.
ArtNUDE Philadelphia is presented by the James Oliver Gallery (7 p.m.) to benefit the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation. The exhibit features 23 artists with performances by Katie Gould, DJ Mike Lowry and DJ Rich, among others.
The Queer Fear Cabaret features none other than Justin Vivien Bond (7:30 p.m.) with the Bearded Ladies. Check out Bond’s amazing new album here.
Play the Halloween Match Game (7:30 p.m.) at L’Etage with the Real Housewives of South Philly.
The eXtreme Masquerade takes over the Top of the Tower (8 p.m.) with Ballet X and DJ Captain Ridiculous.
Night of the Living Drag Queen comes to life at Rainbow Mountain Resort in East Stroudsburg (8 p.m.) with Scarlett Lettah and friends – and a dance party to follow.
Peter Sterling hosts his Halloween Ball (9 p.m.) at D’Ignazio’s Towne House Bar in Media to benefit the Special Olympics. Look for a special appearance from Brittany Lynn and her Drag Mafia – and a costume contest with oodles of prizes.
Read more »
Friday, Oct. 19
Giovanni's Room hosts an evening of transgender authors on Friday (5:30 p.m.).
The Philadelphia Film Festival runs through the weekend with a selection of LGBT-friendly screenings. Click here for details.
“Crossroads” is a celebration of Latina artists (5:30 p.m.) at the Leeway Foundation.
Join Topside Press for the release of The Collection, an anthology of transgender writing, with special readings from Madison Lynn McEvilly, Terence Diamond, Imogen Binnie, Rey Drew, Stephen Ira, Donna Ostrowsky, Red Durkin and Ryka Aoki at Giovanni’s Room (5:30 p.m.).
It’s Guy’s Night Out at the Philadelphia Film Festival (6:45 p.m.) with a screening of Yossi at the Ritz East.
Gayby (9:45 p.m.) is being screened at the Ritz East as part of the Philadelphia Film Festival with a special appearance by the director Jonathan Lisecki.
Sisters pays tribute to the 90s with a dance party (10 p.m.) featuring Fame Lust and DJ Deejay.
Read more »
Courtesy of Wilma Theater
At the end of last season, audiences were treated to the first part of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America at the Wilma Theater. As the new season kicks off with the second part of the Tony-winning show being staged now through Oct. 21 – almost 20 years after it was written, and more than 30 years into the AIDS crisis – the Wilma has partnered with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
After each performance of the play, cast members (in full costume) will greet audience members and ask for contributions for Broadway Cares, one of the nation’s largest non-profit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. “A sizeable portion of the total proceeds will benefit three local organizations affiliated with Broadway Cares,” says Johnny Van Heest, a spokesperson for the Wilma, “ActionAIDS, AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and the Mazzoni Center.”
During its first weekend, says Van Heest, the Wilma had already collected more than $3,000.
Click here for tickets to Angels in America: Part Two: Perestroika.
Friday, Sept. 7
Gender Reel kicks off today with events through the weekend. Click here for a full listing of events.
The 35th Annual SisterSpace Festival (10 a.m.) spends the weekend at Camp Ramblewood in Darlington, Md. The nation’s longest-running lesbian festival features live music, workshops, dance parties, crafts, sports and a community with hundreds of women from the Mid-Atlantic. Also look for comedy from Mimi Gonzales and music by Virago.
Papeles: Are We What We Sign? (12 p.m.) opens with a reception at Painted Bride. The exhibition examined how papers and other legal contracts relate to identity and sexual orientation.
Carousel Vintage & Contemporary Fashion is celebrating a grand opening (5 p.m.) in Old City (right across from the Betsy Ross House).
The Essence of Life and Line (5 p.m.) opens with a reception at Indy Hall with Sean Martorana.
Guys Night Out visits the opening of GenderReel (6 p.m.) at the William Way before setting off for a gallery crawl through Old City’s First Friday.
Read more »