11 Things to Do This Week in Movies, Comedy, Storytelling and More

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Tell Me A Story @ Shot Tower Coffee | Wednesday, March 22
Hillary Rea’s series gathers some of the city’s most engaging storytellers to make you laugh, think and maybe cry. Always a good time. This time the topic is Near and Far.

A Tactical Urbanism Guide @ Johnny Brenda’s | Wednesday, March 22
Subtitled “Starting, Scaling & Growing Small Neighborhood Projects,” this program is about “designing, crowdfunding, maintaining, and building political support for citizen-driven public space design and activism.” Read more »

Music: 8 Shows to See This Week

Russian experimentalists Asian Women on the Telephone make a rare appearance this week. (pic from Youtube)

Russian experimentalists Asian Women on the Telephone make a rare appearance this week. (pic via ZaraPaz696/Youtube)

Asian Women on the Telephone @ Philadelphia Record Exchange | Wednesday, March 22
This Russian avant-garde/experimental band is known back home for its bizarre performances and freaky costumes. Their rock sound is moved by odd currents of feedback, throbbing noise, animal vocalizations and a general feeling of asymmetry. A rare treat you may never see again.

Stef Chura @ Boot & Saddle | Wednesday, March 22
Detroit rocker Stef Chura makes catchy, loopy “light grunge” that Lucy Dacus fans might appreciate. A little retro, a little thrift-store chic. Lots to sing along to. It’s a good time. Read more »

Are You Faster Than SEPTA?

Or you could just pay the $2.25. (Clean Air Council)

Or you could just pay the $2.25. (Clean Air Council)

Anybody who’s sat on a bus in traffic — or watched those creeping dots on the SEPTA app — has surely wondered if they’d have been better off just hoofing it.

But would you? You might have the advantage over a short distance, just by virtue of being smaller and more agile and not having to carry people. But buses have motors and don’t get tired, so the longer the race, the bigger the advantage for the machines, right?

This Wednesday, the Clean Air Council invites you to put it to the test at their annual Race the Bus race against the 21 bus. It’s a 3.1 mile race east through the city during rush hour. Starts at 40th and Chestnut. Ends with a happy hour at Plough & The Stars. Read more »

THEATER REVIEW: Murder on the Orient Express Arrives at McCarter by Way of Hollywood

The Cast of Murder on the Orient Express at McCarter Theatre Center. (Photo by T Charles Erickson)

The Cast of Murder on the Orient Express at McCarter Theatre Center. (Photo by T Charles Erickson)

I’m going to tell you whodunnit, and it’s not a spoiler. Are you ready? It’s film director Sidney Lumet—and what he did, in his 1974 blockbuster movie version, is fundamentally change the nature of Murder on the Orient Express.

Agatha Christie’s original novel—written and set four decades earlier, in a Europe on the brink of war—had moments of humor, but was mostly a mystery with a serious and sinister core, as well as a message about culpability.  Lumet reinvented it as a deluxe, star-studded romp, full of sumptuous costumes and décor. Oh, the mystery is still there—but it’s on the back burner, behind a lot of campy humor. Lumet knew what he was doing, certainly—his Murder on the Orient Express initiated a new cottage industry for lavish Christie film adaptations. Read more »

23 Things to Do This Weekend

Tennis will attempt to initiate a staring contest with you at underground Arts on Saturday. Do not accept this challenge. (Luca Venter)

Tennis will attempt to initiate a staring contest with you at Underground Arts on Saturday. (Luca Venter)

FRIDAY, MARCH 17

Fishbone @ Underground Arts
The original lineup of this revered funk/punk/reggae/ska band returns. Kinda surprised this one’s not sold out. Kids today.

Coriolanus @ Lantern Theater
Says theater critic David Fox: “Every inch of the playing area (including some of the house) is pressed into service in Charles McMahon’s production, and the updated visual world cleverly suggests Road Warrior — with all the visceral impact that implies.” Runs through April 16. Read more »

How to Guarantee Yourself Hamilton Tickets When It Comes to Philly

Hamilton Poster

Hamilton is coming to Philadelphia!

Okay, so the smash-hit hip-hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton won’t be here for a while. But you can guarantee you get tickets to it when it comes here for the 2018–19 Broadway Philadelphia season now.

That’s the deal the Kimmel Center is running. If you become a subscriber for 2017–18, you can make sure you get tickets for Hamilton when it’s here the following season. Read more »

THEATER REVIEW: Worlds Collide in Lantern Theater’s Coriolanus

Robert Lyons and Charlie DelMarcelle in Coriolanus at Lantern Theater. (Photo by)

Robert Lyons and Charlie DelMarcelle in Coriolanus at Lantern Theater. (Photo by Mark Garvin)

It begins thrillingly. At Lantern Theater, the skirmishes of ancient Rome in Coriolanus have a high-stakes muscularity that instantly grabs the audience, and doesn’t let go. Every inch of the playing area (including some of the house) is pressed into service in Charles McMahon’s production, and the updated visual world cleverly suggests Road Warrior—with all the visceral impact that implies.  For the first 20 minutes or so, I kept thinking of the lucky students who will be introduced to Shakespeare through this staging, so imbued with the sense of living excitement that a great 400-year-old-play can still muster. Read more »

Just Listen: New Songs by Lushlife, Emily Ana Zeitlyn and more

Philly's Taiwan Housing Project will release Veblen Death Mask on Kill Rock Stars in May.

Philly’s Taiwan Housing Project will release Veblen Death Mask on Kill Rock Stars in May.

Emily Ana Zeitlyn, “Darkness”
The Arc Divers frontwoman just posted this gorgeous dedication to Leonard Cohen she recorded in November. It’s folky and soulful and brooding and hopeful.

Lushlife, “Foreground”
Rapper/producer Raj Haldar delivers a rich, moody Grizzly Bear cover as part of Rough Trade Publishing’s “A Song A Day Keeps the Pain Away” series that benefits the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s also a companion piece to “Indian Americans won’t be safe as long as the White House is inciting fear,” which he wrote for the Washington Post this week. Read more »

10 Things to Do This Week in Theater, Lit and Movies

Karen Allen is the best.

Karen Allen is the best.

Dungen @ PhilaMOCA | Wednesday, March 15
The Swedish psych-rockers perform their original score to 1926’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed, “understood to be the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film,” which will be screening at the same time.

qFLIX Philadelphia @ lots of places | Through March 19
Founded in 2014, qFLIX is Thom Cardwell and co.’s annual LGBTQ independent film festival featuring daily screenings and get-togethers. This year’s program includes several cool international selections — including Girls Lost (from Sweden), Strike a Pose (Netherlands) and Welcome to Dead Hotel (China) — but really the whole lineup is stacked. Read more »

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