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 »

27 Things to Do This Weekend

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FRIDAY, APRIL 14

Cinedelphia @ PhilaMOCA
Through April 29, Philadelphia’s beloved rock mausoleum plays host to the wonderful and strange Cinedelphia film fest, putting cult favorites and rare gems on the big screen. I watched a bunch of trailers earlier in the week and liked what I saw. By the way, PhilaMOCA is once again displaying a one-of-a-kind Ghanaian Movie Posters throughout the fest.

Stinking Lizaveta @ Johnny Brenda’s
Stinking Liz has been doing it dark, deep and instrumental in Philly for years. They continue to crush it on their latest, Journey to the Underworld. Victor Fiorillo just did a big ol’ piece on them. Read more »

Tonight: Reef the Lost Cauze and Smif-n-Wessun

Hometown hip-hop hero Reef the Lost Cauze.

Hometown hip-hop hero Reef the Lost Cauze.

This stacked rap bill promises righteous beats to bob heads and badass rhymes to move minds. Which is not to say either act gets the “conscious hip-hop” tag too often: Both are forged in the ’90s/2000s underground and come from tough streets (and tough scenes), and they wear that badge proudly. They rep their hometowns. They talk about guns. They’ve seen some things. Both Smif-n-Wessun (aka Tek and Steele of Brooklyn’s Boot Camp Clik) and hard-touring, rap-battle-tested, Philly MC Reef the Lost Cauze make witty, gritty, adrenalized hip-hop. This two-fer makes good sonic sense.

Okay, now let’s watch some (NSFW) videos. Read more »

Eight Things To Do in Lit, Movies, Theater and Comedy

Poet Andrea Gibson plays the Trocadero on Friday.

Poet Andrea Gibson plays the Trocadero on Friday.

Ghanaian Movie Posters @ PhilaMOCA | Wednesday, April 12
A rare non-screening angle on the Cinedelphia film fest calendar, and a recurring favorite: Deadly Prey Gallery in Chicago brings its collection of one-of-a-kind movie posters from the bygone “Ghanaian Mobile Cinema” days. Basically, merchants would travel around Ghana screening movies and artists from outside the entertainment industry would make posters to advertise those shows, often coming up with something new and fantastic. See Also: Let’s Watch Some Cinedelphia Trailers.

Black Thought Presents: Delirious @ Punch Line Philly | Thursday, April 13
The Roots MC continues his comedy series, this time featuring Wyatt Cenac (ex-Daily Show and TBS’s underappreciated People of Earth), Morgan Murphy, Cipha Sounds, Brandon Pankey and Michelle Buteau. Read more »

Music: 7 Shows to See in the Next 7 Days

Sondre Lerche plays Fillmore Philly on Friday. BYO 3D glasses. (Paradigm Agency)

Sondre Lerche plays Fillmore Philly on Friday. BYO 3D glasses. (Paradigm Agency)

Pile @ First Unitarian Church | Wednesday, April 12
Beloved Boston punks Pile return with A Hairshirt of Purpose, the latest testament to frontman Rick Maguire’s sonic restlessness. “Worms” feels like some lost Temple of the Dog track but dreamier. “Hissing for Peace” is more of a messy, righteous rocker. “Rope’s Length” starts clangy and builds to a roar. And so on. Also on the bill: +Hirs+, Gnarwahl and Palberta.

Sallie Ford @ Johnny Brenda’s | Thursday, April 13
With rockabilly/retro grooves, sharp guitars and those powerhouse vocals, Portland rocker Sallie Ford returns with a new record, Soul Sick. Get there in time for another dynamite singer, Austin’s Molly Burch. Read more »

Let’s Watch Some Cinedelphia Trailers

I, Olga Hepnarova tells the story of a real-life Czech mass murderer.

I, Olga Hepnarova tells the story of a real-life Czech mass murderer.

Now in its fifth year, Cinedelphia — an “alternative celebration of film” — returns to PhilaMOCA with a full roster of rare gems and revisited favorites. Curated by organizer Eric Bresler and a small cadre of movie buffs, the festival is so eclectic you might want to do some advance homework to make sure you’re not missing something secretly awesome. So. Let’s watch some trailers.

Blue Velvet Revisited
The fest begins on Thursday with this companion piece to David Lynch’s cult-hit 1986 neo-noir staple Blue Velvet, (appropriate, given the venue’s Eraserhood locale). Filmmaker Peter Braatz was actually on set with Lynch and co., collecting behind the scenes footage and interviews. It’s like DVD extras from an alternate universe and it looks dreamy. (Thursday, April 13) Read more »

THEATER REVIEW: PTC’s Hand to God Proves the Devil is in the Details

Aubie Merrylees in Hand to God at Philadelphia Theatre Company. (Photo by Mark Garvin)

Aubie Merrylees in Hand to God at Philadelphia Theatre Company. (Photo by Mark Garvin)

The alchemy that makes comedy gold is so fragile that even seasoned veterans can’t always produce it. Of course, a great script is the beginning—but it’s not enough. To fully click, the material also needs just the right balance with the cast and creative team, not just individually, but together.

Philadelphia Theatre Company’s Hand to God has some of our best actors (Aubie Merrylees especially shines in the dual role of Jason, a young boy, and Tyrone, his puppet other-half), and a fine director (Matt Pfeiffer). They’ve even brought in local legend Robert Smythe to design the puppets. But despite lots of good work, the show doesn’t consistently achieve lift-off. Read more »

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