Photo from Facebook/Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention
Searching for a place to get your sweetie’s name tattooed above your heart in time for Valentine’s Day? You’re in luck. The 19th annual Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention opens Friday and runs all weekend at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
If you actually want to get a tattoo, you can either just show up or make an appointment with one of the artists beforehand. This seems like the type of thing you’d want to do a little research into first, but I got my sole tattoo on a whim in a beach town in another country, so I’m definitely not an expert. Winners and finalists from several seasons of the reality TV show Ink Master will be there, along with competitors from LA Ink, Best Ink, Tattoo Nightmares and Tattoo Rescue, a handful of porn stars, and artists demonstrating Japanese hand poke tattooing, which is pretty cool to watch. If that’s not exciting enough for you, you can watch people do awful things with hooks in the “live human suspension” performance from Ascension Suspension instead. Read more »
Rick Astley plays the Electric Factory on Saturday. Photo from Facebook/Rick Astley
Talib Kweli @ TLA | Thursday, February 9
Rapper Talib Kweli and fellow Brooklynite Mos Def teamed up as Black Star in the late 1990s before moving on to solo careers. Kweli’s worked with the likes of Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Just Blaze, but his most recent collaboration is the Awful People Are Great At Parties compilation on his Javotti Media label.
Tallis Scholars @ Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul | Thursday, February 9
For the classical music fans: The Tallis Scholars, an internationally touring choral ensemble made up of 11 singers, will be performing works written for Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, with Daniel Hyde on the organ. They play Carnegie Hall the night before.
Tragedy @ Underground Arts | Friday, February 10
I know you’ve been crossing your fingers for a metal/Bee Gees mash-up. Underground Arts is hosting the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention after-party, featuring an “all metal tribute to the Bee Gees and beyond” courtesy of Tragedy.
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Sweetheart Skate at Blue Cross RiverRink.
Secrets of the Heart: Lusted, Busted or Trusted @ PlayGround at the Adrienne | Friday, February 10
Improv theater company Tongue & Groove delves into the Secrets of the Heart with their annual Valentine’s show. Just before it starts, audience members are invited to write down a secret about love, lust or longing on a card, which the performers select at random and have to act out. It’s BYOB.
Valentine’s Day Date Night @ The Clay Studio | February 10-14
Pretend you’re Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost at the Clay Studio’s date night series, where there will be romantic music, candlelight, chocolate and champagne, and instructors to show you how to do four-handed clay throwing. Read more »
Heavyweight boxing champion Max Baer. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Sussman
Jeffrey Sussman @ Gershman Y | Tuesday, February 7
Boxer Max Schmeling never officially joined the Nazi Party, but in 1920s Germany the Nazis touted the heavyweight champ as a symbol of German racial superiority. In the early ’30s, according to his 2005 obituary in the New York Times, Hitler invited him over for dinner. A few years later, Jewish boxer Max Baer knocked Schmeling out in 10 rounds at Yankee Stadium wearing shorts decorated with a big Star of David. Jeffrey Sussman recounts that storied fight and other details from Baer’s life, along with tales of fellow Jewish boxer Barney Ross, who worked for Al Capone, in Max Baer and Barney Ross: Jewish Heroes of Boxing. He’s at the Gershman Y on Tuesday talking about the book. Read more »
Anna Zaida Szapiro and the Cast of The Seagull at EgoPo. (Photo by Dave Sarrafian)
You can count on EgoPo artistic director Lane Savadove for interesting ideas, and there some knockouts in his provocative take on The Seagull. The trouble is I can’t say too much for fear of spoiling the fun. You need to discover it yourself. (And indeed, you should buy tickets immediately—this reimagining of Chekhov will blow your mind.) Read more »
Perri Gaffney and Cherene Snow in Having Our Say at Philadelphia Theatre Company. (Photo by Mark Garvin)
Sadie and Bessie Delany lived to be 109 and 104 respectively. In itself, that’s a considerable achievement—yet it’s only the beginning for these accomplished (and, in Emily Mann’s appealing if formulaic adaptation of their memoir) almost implausibly delightful sisters. Read more »
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Photo by Andrew Eccles
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater @ Merriam Theater
Renowned dance company Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform the Philly premiere of company member and former Philadanco dancer Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream, which was inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches and features music by Ali Jackson and recordings by Leslie Odom, Jr., the Hamilton star from East Oak Lane. You’ll also get to see Alvin Ailey’s Revelations and Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America, about the impact of the prison system on African-American families. If you can’t make it Friday, there are two more performances on Saturday. Read more »
Photo courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio
The Mural Arts Program announced on Wednesday that world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei, known as much for his clashes with the Chinese government as his artwork, will be coming to Philadelphia as part of Monument Lab.
Monument Lab is a Mural Arts project in which artists will create 10 pop-up art installations in Philadelphia’s parks this fall. Per a release, Monument Lab will “engage diverse artists to explore Philadelphia’s identity through temporary public art projects, a bold update to monument-making aligned to the needs and opportunities of the present day. Through the process it will foster connection, shared understanding, and in some cases healing, through robust public engagement and programs.”
The exhibitions will take place September 16th through November 19th. Read more »
“Flooded City” by Aaron Ricketts
Till Now @ North Bowl
Friday is the opening night party for this solo show featuring works by photographer Aaron Ricketts, who blends realism and fantasy in his eye-catching images. There will be music by Joshua Fuego Mayo, plus drink specials and free snacks.
Loving Blackness @ Asian Arts Initiative
Jaishri Abichandani curated this art exhibit that delves into “moments of tension and solidarity” between black and Asian communities, on display through April 21st. The opening reception is Friday and on Sunday, February 5th, AAI hosts a related jazz and poetry performance. Read more »
Second City Live: We’re All In This Room Together is at the Kimmel Center on Friday and Saturday. Photo by Todd Rosenberg
Bob Marley @ Helium Comedy Club | February 1-4
Stand-up comic Bob Marley has performed on pretty much every late-night talk show, including David Letterman and Jay Leno. Here’s your chance to see him live. He’ll be performing six shows at Helium over four days, but the 7:30 p.m. set on Saturday is already sold out.
Jay Pharoah @ Punch Line Philly | February 2-4
You know Jay Pharoah from his years as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, or maybe you’ve just seen a video of his spot-on celebrity impressions. He’ll be doing five shows at Punch Line, starting Thursday night. Read more »