Female Anti-Heroes Are Really In Right Now
Machinal @ Latvian Society of Philadelphia | April 20 to May 8
Feminism! Murder! American Expressionism! EgoPo Classic Theater is putting on the 1928 drama Machinal, inspired by the life of Ruth Snyder, who was executed at Sing Sing Prison for teaming up with her sidepiece to kill her husband. Here’s an unexpected photo of her being electrocuted. Philly theater staple Mary Tuomanen, who looks like an entirely different person in every play, takes on the female anti-hero role.
Mi Voca Su Voca @ SEI Innovation Studio at the Kimmel Center | April 20-22
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is highlighting poetry with this one-man show from Edwin Torres, who developed it in part while in residency at the Kimmel’s SEI Innovation Studio. He’ll incorporate “themes ranging from growing up Puerto Rican in New York City to fatherhood to his Nuyo-Futurist evolution.”
BalletX Spring Series @ The Wilma Theater | April 20-24
Contemporary ballet company BalletX is looking back over its 10-year history, performing a retrospective of excerpts from its best works. The dancers will close out the show with a world premiere from choreographer Kevin O’Day, accompanied by live music from cellist Wendy Sutter, a Curtis Institute alum.
“Rite of Spring” @ Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center | April 21-23
“Rite of Spring” sounds fairly cheery and banal, until you hear the subtitle of Igor Stravinky’s 1913 composition: “Pictures of Pagan Russia in Two Parts.” It’s unlikely anyone today will be scandalized by the Philadelphia Orchestra’s version of the piece and riot, as the audience did when it was first performed a hundred years ago, but you never know. The Orchestra will also play Ginastera’s “Variaciones concertantes,” which is heavy on solos, and Prokofiev’s “Classical” symphony.
Philly Files @ 2819 North American Street | April 21-23
North Philly is both the setting and the inspiration for this show from Congolese dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula. The new work is part of the Painted Bride’s Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia project and it features King Britt’s mixes with musicians Tim Motzer, Heru Shabaka-ra and Anthony Tidd, with dancers from UArts.
“Portrait” @ Paradigm Gallery | April 22-June 18
Check out work from five artists who each have a very different take on what a portrait is, from Lauren Rinaldi’s delicate drawings to Buddy Nestor’s demonic women. The opening reception is Friday. Pro tip: That usually means wine.
O Monsters @ FringeArts | April 23-30
FringeArts isn’t as synonymous with out-there experimental theater as it once was, but the venue still hosts plenty of hard-to-describe shows — and it’s safe to put New Paradise Laboratories’ O Monsters squarely in that category. It’s a sci fi/horror/philosophy piece, with composer Bhob Rainey using “aleatoric processes informed by computer signals to create the signature soundscape.” On a related note, today I learned “aleatoric” means some element of the music is left to chance.