Photos by Magnus Hastings
If you watched Bianca Del Rio last season on RuPaul’s Drag Race, you could see that the queen—known for her sharp tongue and reads that would put Barnes and Noble to shame—is as kind as they come. She emanates warmth, she helps young queens in need, and she’s respectful. Case in point? She rang me five minutes before our scheduled phone interview this week. Early?! A drag queen?! Unheard of!
But it seems like that gentleness kind of stops when she struts out on stage, eye lashes batting, hand on hip. There she’s fiery. She’ll cut a bitch. She’ll probably even offend a few Asians. That’s her schtick, and frankly, that’s why we love her. We marvel at her quick wit, and wonder how in the hell she’s so spot-on every time. Perhaps she’ll divulge a few pointers when she brings her latest traveling show, “Rolodex of Hate,” to Philly’s TLA on December 10th.
She explains the show as being “a one-hour standup comedy special where I discuss situations and parts of my life that brought me to where I am today. I discuss who I am as a person, and how I became this little nugget of hate.”
Here are a few other things we chatted about (if you’re here solely for the ticket giveaway, scroll all the way to the bottom):
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If waiting in line at Best Buy for a $100 flat screen television is your idea of a nightmare, don’t fear. We’ve rounded up some of the best events for everyone in the Philadelphia region on Black Friday that don’t involve a single shopping bag or cash register line.
A Philadelphia Nutcracker
This unique production of the holiday dance classic by the Philadelphia Dance Theatre takes the action and moves it to areas throughout 19th century Philadelphia, including Germantown, Mt. Airy, and Chestnut Hill. The Gothic-style Thomas Mansion on Wissahickon Avenue is the setting for the Act I party scene that everyone has come to know and love. You'll have to prance over David Kurtz Center to see the rest! (7:00PM, David Kurtz Center, 3000 W. Schoolhouse Lane, Philadelphia)
Polaris and Radiator Hospital at Johnny Brendas
Polaris, the house band lead by Mark Mulcahy, rose to fame in the 90's when they were featured on the now defunct The Adventures of Pete and Pete. They are teaming up with Radiator Hospital for a one-night only concert at Philly's notorious Johnny Brenda's. Tickets are going fast for what is sure to be a great night of fun and music. (8:00PM, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., Philadelphia)
Black Friday Comedy Marathon
After you had to deal with all of your lovely in-laws the night before, you may need to laugh…a lot. No worries: Philly Improv Theatre is presenting a 24-hour series of comedy acts that run all day on Black Friday and into Saturday. Aptly called the Black Friday Comedy Marathon, the festival has something for just about everyone, including stand-up, variety shows, and sketch acts. With late-night sessions called "Porn: The Musical," this is one marathon that isn't for the faint of heart! (Starts at 10:00AM, Philly Improv Theatre, 2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia)
Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella: Kids' Night
The national tour of the Broadway hit Cinderella has two performances on Friday at the Academy of Music, but here's a deal that's just as good as a pair of glass slippers: the 8:00PM show has a special Kids' Night discount where young theatre goers can attend for up to 50% off. Don't miss the sweeping music, the award-winning costumes, and all of the tunes that you know from the multiple made-for-television versions of this classic musical. (2:00PM and 8:00PM, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)
Morris Arboretum Holiday Garden Railway
The return of the Morris Arboretum's most popular attraction starts Friday. Guests will be wowed by replicas of Philadelphia landmarks made out of all-natural materials, including barks, leaves, and twigs. Of course, there's the quarter mile of toy railroad track that weaves throughout the arboretum's winter gardens. (10:00AM, Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia)
Say Anything and Saves The Day Concert
It's one of the hottest tickets in town: bands Say Anything and Saves The Day are teaming up for a remarkable concert that celebrates the 10th anniversary release of Say Anything’s …is a Real Boy and the 15th anniversary of Saves The Day’s Through Being Cool. Reggie and the Full Effect will be joining them on stage as all three bands perform their albums in full for concert goers. Tickets are going extremely fast for the evening at the TLA. (7:00PM, Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St., Philadelphia)
Last Chance To See Full Circle: Works by Richard Pousette-Dart
It is your final chance to see the work of the twentieth century's most create draftsmen, Richard Pousette-Dart, at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibit, Full Circle: Works on Paper, features 60 of Pousette-Dart's most iconic works, including 6 of his notebooks. The exhibit closes on Sunday after a nearly three month run. (Opens at 10:00AM, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia)
A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place
Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street, or, more specifically, Sesame Place? This family-friendly holiday celebration features everyone's favorite characters from the television show in special Christmas shows and at Santa's Furry Workshop. Don't forget to bring your own little monsters to Cookie's Monster Land and stick around for the Christmas Light Show. (Opens at 1:00PM, Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne)
Mary Poppins at Walnut Street Theatre
Everyone's favorite magical nanny has flown into Philly. Based on the beloved Disney film, the Broadway treatment of Mary Poppins is playing the Walnut Street Theatre. A great family affair that has two Black Friday performances, the musical features everyone's favorite songs, including "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Feed the Birds," and my favorite tongue twister of all-time, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" Tickets can be purchased here. (2:00PM and 8:00PM, Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia)
The Suicide Girls are bringing their popular Blackheart Burlesque to the Theatre of Living Arts. After years of playing international music festivals, solo shows, and opening for Guns N’ Roses and Courtney Love, the girls put on a full-fledged tour in 2013. Selling out dates across the country, the tour was so successful that this spring the girls brought their act to Australia and Canada. Now back in the U.S., they’ll hit up Philly on Sunday, November 9th at 9:30 p.m.
Suicide Girls is an online community featuring pin-up photography and alternative models—think tattoos, funky hair dos, and tons of cheeky attitude. A self-proclaimed “sorority of badass bombshells and geek goddesses,” the community celebrates uniqueness, indie culture, and alternative beauty, opposing society’s cookie-cutter beauty standards.
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Live EDM shows can sometimes be a little disappointing. Case in point: Disclosure‘s recent romp at Union Transfer. Now, I’m a huge fan of these beat-tastic British boys, but seeing them live, well, I was pretty much watching two dudes playing off a laptop who barely looked up to acknowledge the crazy crowd. Not the most engaging experience in the world, to say the least. So, when I found out that I was going to see remixer and music producer RAC (aka Remix Artist Collective) at TLA this past Saturday night, I was leery—but then the music started.
Kicking off the night were indie artists Speak (Austin, Texas), followed by Chris Glover’s New York electropop project, Penguin Prison, which got the packed house amped up before the headliners came on.
Then, much to my surprise, RAC entered with an army of indie artists armed with keyboards, drums, electric guitars and synths. Throughout the show, they all contributed to songs, playing and taking turns doing vocals on the mics. From start to finish, RAC and his crew dazzled in their upbeat set. Whether it was on hits like “Cheap Sunglasses,” and “Hard To Hold,” or their crazy-good remix of Foster The People’s “Houdini,” there wasn’t a number played that RAC and his merry band of indie music-makers didn’t absolutely slay. And the crowd ate up every bit of it.
Patrick DeMarco is the creator and author of Philadelphia music blog Philly Mixtape.
Postmodern Jukebox performing “Anaconda.”
Last week, Postmodern Jukebox, the sensational musical group lead by the talented Scott Bradlee, released a bluegrass hoedown cover of Nicki Minaj’s R-rated track “Anaconda.” Let’s just say the internet went crazy:
In less than a week, this utterly catchy mix (yes, I’ve downloaded it) got over one-million hits on YouTube. Lucky enough for us in Philadelphia, the band, which infuses bluegrass, big band, jazz, and slow-jam styles in their covers of popular top-40 hits, is coming to the TLA later in October. Read more »