What’s Gay at PIFA

We round up the best (and arguably gayest) events at this year's Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts

If you start to feel like you’re living in Paris rather than Philly, that’s probably because when the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) kicks off this week (April 7) there will be more than 135 events in the next 25 days celebrating the City of Lights. We wanted to spotlight a few must-sees for LGBT folks.

Drink + Be Mary: Step out of the Gayborhood (just a few steps, really) one night starting April 11 through 29 for free (yes, free) happy hour concerts in the Kimmel Center. You’ll be treated to live music with food and drinks under an 81-foot Eiffel Tower with 6,000 sparkly light bulbs.









Ralph Rucci


Looking Good: The fashion elite take to the runway on April 8 (8 p.m.) for a fashion show at the Kimmel Center Plaza featuring Philly designer Ralph Rucci along with other top designers (and students) who show off their couture on a 60-foot stage.

Art Attack: On April 15 (5-9 p.m.) more than 50 galleries all over town will open their doors for special free receptions during PIFA’s Gallery Night. This is a great chance to meet fellow art lovers and check out work by some of the city’s finest artists.

Radical Fairies: We know The Green Fairy Cabaret (April 14-17) isn’t technically gay, but we like the idea off fiery fairies flinging themselves around during what expects to be a stunning acrobatic show atop the Kimmel Center’s rooftop garden. We’re told the day shows (noon) are family-friendly while the evening show (10 p.m.) “has its own rewards.”

Swan Song: Black Swan choreographer (and Natalie Portman baby daddy) Benjamin Millepied choreographs “Building on Balanchine” (April 14-17) with the Pennsylvania Ballet. You may even spot this year’s Oscar-winning ballerina during one of the shows at the Merriam Theater.








Martha Graham-Cracker


Naughty + Nice: The Peek-a-Boo Revue takes it all off (well, almost) in an homage to French burlesque (April 3) at World Cafe Live. Translation: Pretty gals get nearly naked on stage for the price of a ticket.

Strong, Silent Type: G Philly favorite Martha Graham-Cracker – the tallest and hairiest drag queen in all the land – interprets the music of way gay Cole Porter with the students of the Independent Rock School (April 29) at the Innovation Studio at the Kimmel Center. Besides the wigs, Martha (that’s Dito Van Reigersberg) also has a nice set of…pipes. We have a crush on them both.







The Passion of Joan of Arc


Gender Bender: The weekly film series at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (April 5, 12, 19 and 26) screens The Passion of Joan of Arc. She’s one of our favorite tom boys, like, ever.

Old Garde: The International House spotlights avant-garde films from European artists from Paris, Berlin and Munich (April 16). This is the stuff of a Christopher Isherwood novel.

DaVinci Codes: Find out “Who Stole the Mona Lisa?” (April 9) at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center. Leonardo is rumored to have based the portrait on a young male lover.

Art Star: Lancaster native Charles Demuth is considered to be one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He also trained at PAFA and was gay. Learn more about his sojourns to Paris April 7 – May 1 at the Woodmere Art Museum.

For a complete list of events, check out the PIFA website. A free iPhone app is also available.