What’s Coming Up in Dance, Theater, Movies and Comedy

Piff the Magic Dragon plays Punchline Friday and Saturday.

Piff the Magic Dragon plays Punchline Friday and Saturday.

BalletX @ Wilma Theater | April 26-May 7
The Philly-based contemporary ballet company presents “Spring Series 2017″ which features “the U.S. premiere of Cayetano Soto’s Schachmatt, the Philly return of Matthew Neenan’s The Last Glass (2010), and a world premiere by 2017 Choreographic Fellow and PHILADANCO! alum Tommie-Waheed Evans entitled In Between the Passing.”

Swallow @ the Drake | April 26-May 14
Inis Nua stages the American premiere of Stef Smith’s Swallow, directed by Claire Moyer. “Beautiful and wrenching, Swallow brings us three characters whose lives are taking drastic turns.” Stars Corinna Burns, Felicia Leicht and Samy el-Noury. Read more »

Music: 8 Shows to See in the Next 7 Days

The Overcoats play Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday. (Dustin Condren)

The Overcoats play Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday. (Dustin Condren)

Balkan Beat Box @ TLA | Wednesday, April 26
The Gypsy punk/funk/hip-hop/kitchen sink band from Israel/New York continued its search for the perfect world party music with last year’s Shout It Out — another excuse to tour the country making lots of people dance to lots of different beats. Discovering this band was probably Diplo’s best move.

Overcoats @ Johnny Brenda’s | Thursday, April 27
“He won’t look at me anymore/ ’cause he knows who I expect him to be.” Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell have a grizzled world-weariness about love and marriage on “23” that’s so unbearably sad it turns my blood to concrete. But hey the beat is nice and they can’t help smiling when they sing, so maybe the Overcoats are saying life goes on. And it seems to; they’ve got upbeat tunes to fit those sweet, soulful voices. You’ll dance again, probably when the next song starts. Read more »

Here’s Your Get Better Playlist

Amanda X plays PhilaMOCA on Saturday.

Amanda X plays PhilaMOCA on Saturday.

Once again, Get Better Records — the local queer-forward music label — has put together an impressive set of shows to raise money for some good causes. This weekend’s edition of the annual Get Better Fest offers three nights of mostly-Philly talent including Solarized, Amanda X, Thin Lips, Katie Ellen, +HIRS+ and more. The fest benefits The Trans Assistance Project, Youth Emergency Services and Women Against Abuse.

To whet your whistle, I’ve thrown together a Get Better streaming playlist. It starts loud and ends up kinda sweet (but still loud).

Friday, April 28 Read more »

28 Things to Do This Weekend

No Good Sister plays Boot & Saddle on Saturday. (Lisa Schaffer Photography)

No Good Sister plays Boot & Saddle on Saturday. (Lisa Schaffer Photography)

FRIDAY, APRIL 21

Femme Freedom @ Connie’s Ric Rac
Giant night of music featuring Raw Honey, Ali Wadsworth, Cicada Jade, Dani Mari, Sweetbriar Rose and tons more. Benefits women and kids in local shelters. Bring feminine hygiene products, diapers and/or cash.

Philly Loves Prince @ Johnny Brenda’s
Damn. It’s been a year since Prince died. DJs Mike Nyce, Cosmo Baker and Lean Wit It pay tribute. Read more »

Just Announced: The 2017 Folk Fest Lineup

Samantha Fish will sing the blues at the Folk Fest this year. (Rhino Agency)

Samantha Fish will sing the blues at the Folk Fest this year. (Rhino Agency)

Now in its 56th year, the Philadelphia Folk Festival — taking place at the Old Pool Farm in sunny Schwenksville, PA, August 17-20 — just this minute officially announced its 2017 roster. As always its chock full of bands and singer-songwriters with folk/bluegrass/roots/blues/acoustic predilections.

The big names are big.

Graham Nash
Did you know Nash is in the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame twice? It’s true: with the Hollies and with Crosby, Stills and himself and sometimes Young. He and David Crosby are on the outs so Nash is playing a slate of solo shows this summer to remind you just how many memorable songs he’s written and (gently) sung over the years, including “Our House,” “Teach Your Children” and “Wasted on the Way.
Read more »

THEATER REVIEW: Hedwig, Both Lost and Found in Translation

Euan Morton is Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Forrest Theatre.

Cut to the chase: Hedwig and the Angry Inch is here at the Forrest for only a few days, it’s a terrific show, and you should go. If you’ve seen it before—but not this production or its current star, Euan Morton—see it again.

I was thrilled and also a little surprised, and not because I don’t love the show. Quite the contrary—I saw Hedwig twice in its original incarnation at the Jane Street Theatre in Greenwich Village, and both times were extraordinary. I adore the piece, a quirky, funny, but very profound two-character rock musical about a fragile East German-born transgender performer tenaciously trying to make her way. Read more »

Eight Things to Do in Movies, Books, Comedy and more

M. Night Shyamalan's Split plays at the Troc on  Monday.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split plays at the Troc on Monday.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch @ Forrest Theatre | Through April 23
Broadway Philadelphia delivers the modern-classic rock musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, directed by Tony-winner Michael Mayer. Hedwig is the funny, heartbreaking story of a transgender East German singer.

Weeding Out The Stoned @ Good Good Comedy Theatre | Thursday, April 20
The official description: “Sixteen comedians enter. All but one of them are stoned. It’s up to all of us to find the sober individual so the entire audience can win prizes.” Since it’s 4/20, host/wrangler of high people Alex Grubard is doing a double header (8 and 10 p.m.). Read more »

Music: 8 Shows to See in the Next 7 Days

Hurray For The Riff Raff plays World Cafe Live on Friday. (Sarrah Danziger)

Hurray For The Riff Raff plays World Cafe Live on Friday. (Sarrah Danziger)

Angelica Garcia @ Boot & Saddle | Wednesday, April 19
Keep an eye on Angelica Garcia. She’s a new kid on the block, but she’s got some vocal swagger and a big, bad blues guitar. Check it:

 

Hurray for the Riff Raff @ World Café Live | Friday, April 21
Alynda Segarra returns with Navigator, a gorgeously idiosyncratic album that pushes her Americana sound into new territory. This time she mines her Nuyorican roots and comes up with something theatrical and engaging in new ways. I’ve seen Hurray for the Riff Raff a few times and they always bring it. Read more »

Wednesday: Secret Cinema Delivers Famous Films

Elmer Fudd in 1957's What’s Opera, Doc?

Elmer Fudd in 1957’s What’s Opera, Doc?

Usually, Jay Schwartz of Secret Cinema likes to dig deep in his archives to come up with obscure gems that would otherwise never see the light of a projector. For Wednesday’s Famous Films program, however, he… still came up with some pretty rare stuff.

But these short films were once considered important, groundbreaking and/or necessary, to film students, cinephiles and general audiences alike.

Which is not to say they will all still “hold up” to today’s standards of taste and morals. In modern parlance, a few of them are “problematic” products of less enlightened (more racist) times. Read more »

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