PIFA My Heart: Last Chance to See Two of the Festival’s Best Gay Shows

On Saturday, Wide Awake: A Civil War Cabaret and Everyone and I, will sashay away.

On Saturday, two of PIFA’s best LGBTQ-centric shows, Wide Awake: A Civil War Cabaret and Everyone and I, will sashay away. Don’t be a ding-dong and miss them.

Last week, I dragged my partner Alan to see The Bearded Ladies Cabaret‘s (BLC) Gone-with-the-Wind-meets-Beetlejuice-meets-Cabaret musical bonanza Wide Awake: A Civil War Cabaret, and when we left he said it was the best show he’d seen in Philly. I agreed. Showing deep in the basement of the Kimmel Center, the play follows a group of modern-day ghostbusters as they encounter a variety of ghouls from the past, dead historical figures like a rapping Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The real star, though, is BLC founder John Jarboe, who plays Dixie, a slutty Scarlett O’Hara-like vamp who spends her days in the garden just a “tiling and hoeing and hoeing and hoeing … ” He wins the prize for best show moment, when he hops up on the piano to croon a medley of old and new songs of the South — like “Swawnee” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” And then his enormous hoopskirt starts eating people. The whole show is an upbeat, hilarious good time. You really need to see it.  Playing through April 7, various times, $29, Innovation Studio at the Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.

This is also the last weekend of Azuka Theatre and the American Poetry Review’s Everyone and I. The original is work inspired by gay poet Frank O’Hara’s haunting poem “The Day Lady Died,” which he wrote when Billie Holiday passed away in 1959. An evening with Lady Day? This is a no-brainer, guys. Read City Paper‘s review herePlaying thorugh April 7, various times, $26-$31, Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center.

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