Lighten Up With a Comedy Show

Or watch a movie outside.

Madonna Refugia brings her one-woman show, Not That Madonna, to Plays and Players. Photo by Johnny Bleibdrey

Madonna Refugia brings her one-woman show, Not That Madonna, to Plays and Players. Photo by Johnny Bleibdrey

The Borscht Belt @ Gershman Y | Thursday, August 11
Marisa Scheinfeld documents the decline of the Catskills in the photo exhibit The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland. It opens Thursday with a tour and a joke-telling competition in homage to the place where the likes of Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Crystal and many others got their starts. I did a quick search and I’m pretty sure Wikipedia’s description of “Borscht Belt humor” is spot-on: It typically includes bad luck, puns and aggravating relatives.

Big Jay Oakerson @ Helium Comedy Club | August 11-14
Comedian Big Jay Oakerson hails from Philly, but nowadays he’s busy touring with shows like Funny or Die’s Oddball Festival, co-hosting The Bonfire on Comedy Central’s Sirius XM station, showing up on Inside Amy Schumer and Louie, and releasing comedy albums.

Street Movies! @ Mifflin Square Park | Thursday, August 11
Movie night at this South Philly park starts with a Cambodian classical court dance from Lanica Angpak, followed by a series of short films, including award-winning selections from Myanmar and Cambodia. On Sunday, the Street Movies! series heads over to Malcolm X Park in West Philly with a mix of film genres, including Julie Dash’s Standing at the Scratch Line. The evening opens with jazz from Nimrod Speaks and Larry Price.

Pablo Francisco @ Punch Line | August 11-13
I like seeing a comedian getting ready to shoot a special. They’re trying out new material, so in a way you get to be involved in the process. Catch Pablo Francisco prepping for his next special, Here We Go Again, at Punch Line.

Big @ The Oval | Friday, August 12
Zoltar has granted your wish and you can now watch Tom Hanks dance on a piano in Big outside at The Oval.

Not That Madonna @ Plays and Players | Saturday, August 13
Philadelphian-turned-New Yorker Madonna Refugia is back in town for a one-woman show in which she definitely does not sing “Borderline.” But she does sing, with musical direction from Dan Berkery, a drummer who’s played for Broadway shows including Hamilton and Book of Mormon, and arrangements by Chris Gurr. There’s also a mentalist, Ben Wasserman, involved.

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