Every Monday we round up five of the best things to do in the week ahead.
Local artists Ellie Brown, Seth Reichgott and Arlen Hancock are throwing a party tonight at Quig’s Pub to raise funds for their production of Dear Diary, Bye. The play is based on a journal Brown kept in 1984, so they’re calling the shindig Totally Awesome ’80s Party and planning all kinds of decade-specific shenanigans, like karaoke, dancing and even some ’80s-themed cocktails (Jack and Crystal Pepsi, perhaps?) Hancock will also perform a snippet of the show. 6 p.m.-9 p.m., $15-$20,Quig’s Pub, 1714 Delancey Place.
The Renegade Company kicks off Juniper Tree, its adaptation of the Grimm stories that follows Hans and Greta as they encounter a legion of familiar-with-a-twist characters: “a boy punished by his wicked stepmother, a princess fleeing her wrathful husband, an imp spinning straw for a miller and his daughter.” Northern Liberty’s fab Random Tea Room will be there providing a “custom sensory collaboration” with each performance. Jan. 31-Feb. 8, 7 p.m., $20, First Presbyterian Church, 201 S. 21st St., therenegadecompany.ticketleap.com.
Niwa Gekidan Penino, a theater company ran by Japanese psychiatrist-turned-playwright Kuro Tanino, comes to FringeArts to present The Room Nobody Knows. The “psychologically twisted” tale finds two brothers living in one apartment on the night of the elder brothers birthday. One is downstairs creating “unusual objects” for the occasion, while the other, freakier brother is in the upper room going through it with his head full of bizarre alter egos. “The brothers’ enigmatic, erotic world — replete with pig faces, phalluses, demented plastic heads and secret compartments — plays out on a comically claustrophobic set.” Sounds very Fringe-y, and, if the above photo is any indication, not safe for kids. Thu.-Sat., Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 8 p.m., $29, 140 N. Columbus Blvd., fringearts.ticketleeap.com.
While it may not be as trippy, Theatre Exile‘s second offering of the season also concerns two brothers, Austin and Lee, in Sam Shepard’s contentious True West. The show finds the rivaling siblings reuniting for the first time in years, each “struggling through their jealousies in order to sustain superiority by stealing each other’s characteristics.” Sounds like being home for Christmas all over again. Jan. 30-Feb. 23, $20, Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancey Place, theatreexile.org.
OMG, more brothers: Malvern, Pa.-raised siblings Ben and Mike Lebovitz are premiering their TV pilot/short film Welcome to Brownsville this week at PhilaMOCA. The protagonist of the film is a puppet named Weird Larry, “a registered sex offender who’s taunted into misadventures and epic musical numbers as he tries to escape to Thailand where he can freely be himself.” Before he makes it, though, he needs to get past a bunch of cops, racists, drug addicts and “monster scientists” who want to study his brain. Think Avenue Q, but even less kid-friendly. Catch the trailer here. Thu., Jan. 30, 7 p.m., PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., tehmuppetz.com.