Archive: October, 2011
Broke-Ass Stuart Schuffman has rethought the concent of a book signing. To showcase his new work, Young, Broke & Beautiful: Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply, the author and TV star is bringing his Broke-As-Hell Book Tour to Philly for a reading and Q&A session followed by an after party featuring DJ Handsome Sam.
We were able to catch up with him for a chat about everything from how to be frugal on a date and what he means by “broke-itude” to whether we can expect a Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in Philadelphia.
City Paper: So you’ve had a slew of successful books and your own TV show on IFC. Do you feel any different knowing that you’re not only on TV but have an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to you?
Broke-Ass Stuart: You know what’s funny? I’m still doing the same shit as ever. I mean, I’m doing this book tour and I’m totally funding it myself, which means I don’t have any money. Which is fine, because I’m doing it for a bigger reason. It’s also just fun.
CP: Would there be a difference between “Broke-Ass Stuart” and “Rich-Ass Stuart”? What would some differences be?
BAS: Not much would be different; I’d still be going to the same shitty bars with the same shitty people. I’m a guy that thinks with his gut, so maybe I might have some nicer meals sometimes, but really it’s just the way I look at the world. I don’t need “things” to be happy.
CP: Where does your phrase “you are young, broke and beautiful” originate?
Taking over 11th street between Vine and Callowhill, last night’s DesignPhiladelphia kickoff party was abuzz with design-focused activity.
The first stop on the tour was an opening reception and award ceremony at the Liao Collection, a mass emporium of exquisite Asian antiques. This year marked the festival’s first award ceremony where a “design champion” was rewarded for his or her hard work creating space and resources for design in Philadelphia. This year’s award was given to Mayor Michael Nutter, who has given much support to Philly’s creative initiatives.
Across the street, Grizzly, Grizzly hosted the architectural works of Patrick Gaven (through Oct. 29), who created an aluminum table and aluminum/maple room divider along with several design sketches with minimalist style. Each piece is simple and engineering-oriented, leaving any superfluous ornamentation behind. Not far away, in one of Vox Populi’s open spaces, artist Piper Brett created a mass sacrificial piece in the spirit of “make-it-or-break-it” culture. Noting the need for celebrity and success, her works combine bling, pornography and ritual sacrifice.
Diana Palmieri recaps last night's episode of the Jersey Shore.
After waiting patiently on the ledge all week for Jionni’s response to Snooki’s admission that she made an oopsie and actually had sex with Vinny, he tells her that he can’t get over it. Considering how the two are very much together in reality right now, he either forgave his little meatball or saw the obvious dollar signs when he looked into her eyes when she came home.
Meanwhile, Deena is focused on two things; day drinking and “doing sex” with Pauly. Pauly. “Why can’t me and Pauly do sex and be cool? I think I’m pretty,” she reasons. Since she only has control over one of those things happening, she and Snooki drink to pass the time before going out to the club. That night, Mike yells at a crowd of Italians chanting “shame,” but they may just be projecting what they feel being in the same room as the whole cast.
After everyone goes home for the night, the meatballs stay out until they are escorted away from a club after getting ice thrown at them. Undeterred, they head home and make a beeline for the hot tub in lieu of actually bathing. When the sun comes up, without ever having gone to bed, the two get decked out in their skankiest boardwalk attire for mimosas. When they return home to crash, everyone is preparing Sunday dinner, but Ronnie burned the burgers while barbecuing and set it on fire because it reminded him of Sam.
During dinner, everyone talks about how they are happy they are leaving Italy soon to return to Jersey. Why? The legitimate reasoning be that they miss tanning and Karma. Vinny starts acting like a little bitch when he lays claim, upon their return to Seaside, to the small bedroom for himself and Pauly because they have a “good thing in that room.” Is that good thing shower caddies and hair mousse? Regardless, everyone argues over sharing a room with Mike. He tells everyone not to worry, that he might not even go to Jersey.
HIGH Amidst everyone ganging up on Mike this week, he accidentally gets locked in Deena’s bathroom. “Leave him there,” Ron says. “He wants to act like shit, live in the toilet.”
LOW Before touching up his blow-out, Pauly cleaned the electric razor with Mike’s toothbrush, which was laying on the counter. He and Vinny then watched guiltlessly as Mike cleaned his molars minutes later. Gross, even by Shore standards.
If you haven't read this week's cover story on jazz pianist Jimmy Amadie, you should. Shaun Brady really knocked it out of the park on this one.
"Who the fuck is Jimmy Amadie?"
Doubtless more than a few people will be asking that question when they see Amadie's name on the schedule for this Friday night's Art After 5 performance at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is, after all, a 74-year-old pianist with only a handful of CDs to his name. He didn't make his recording debut until 1996, at the age of 60. His résumé, which does include notable names like Mel Tormé and Woody Herman, stops abruptly at 1967. Which was also the last time he played in front of an audience. Until this weekend.
But on this occasion, it's Jimmy Amadie himself who poses the question. I've asked him, given the severe tendonitis in both hands that sidelined his career more than four decades ago and the health problems that have plagued him in recent years, why he feels the need to return to the stage at all.
"Let's be honest," he answers, sitting in a recliner in his Bala Cynwyd home, right next to the grand piano he can rarely touch. "Who the fuck is Jimmy Amadie? Where's he been? He's a musician like everybody else — why doesn't he play? Is he lazy? Is he a bum? Well, if it takes your hands to play and you have no hands, you can't play."
Read the rest of the article here. Then go see Jimmy's first show since 1967 tonight.
Jimmy Amadie plays Fri., Oct. 14, 5:45 and 7:15 p.m., free with museum admission of $16, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Ben Franklin Parkway, 215-763-8100, philamuseum.org.
Every Friday, Ryan Carey covers the people and events that are giving Philly the giggles. This week, he rounds up the events making up City Spotlight, the final week of Philadelphia Comedy Month.
Old Comedy Buffet Mon., Oct. 17, 8 p.m., $10 ➤ While all the young hotheads are organizing shows and festivals, it's easy to forget that these old fogies are still telling dad jokes. But look, just because they've been doing comedy since before your poppa met your momma doesn't mean they ain't edgy.
Adrift + Best of Wawapalooza Tue., Oct. 18, 8 p.m., $10 ➤ A final dip back into the improv and sketch pools, Adrift is a improv-alicious trip on a stranded boat hosting a high school reunion, floating in the middle of nowhere. Wawapalooza is a fringe-fest favorite by Philly group I'd Rather Be Here. They're gonna take their best bits from the series and showcase them for you in one night.
In the Beginning … Wed., Oct. 19, 8 p.m., $10 ➤ Local favorite Pat House hosts this hopefully embarrassing show featuring some of Philly's best comics showing videos of and telling stories about their first times on stage. If you're into witnessing public masochism, this is for you. Stick around for the Center City Comedy Showcase at 10 p.m.
College Comedy Night Thu., Oct. 20, 8 p.m., $10 ➤ Check out the next generation of standups doing their best material, hosted by prize Philly academics Joey Dougherty and Alex Grubard. Stick around for a 10:00pm run of Stage Fright: An Improvised Homage to Hitchcock.
Poker Night was one of many improv comedy shows in Philly Improv Theater’s (PHIT) first annual QComedy Festival, which was specifically timed to coincide with this year’s National Coming Out Week.
Organized by PHIT's Ralph Andracchio (pictured), the premise revolved around a giggly group of gays and their snarky trophy lesbian as they "shoot the shit” around a friendly, no-frills game of poker. Throw in a handful of lewd gay jokes about “smegma sculptures,” “docking” and bananas, and you’re presented with a show that is clearly not meant for the faint-of-heart or your prudish grandparents. And though the one-liners certainly got laughs from the audience, you couldn’t help but feel they were jokes you’d already heard at one point or another, or that the improv aspect of the performance felt unusually scripted.
All the same, the performers demonstrated a hilariously accurate representation of Philly’s gay culture, from the pretentious portrayal of the hairless “super twink,” to the older gay man with the “I used to be studly” attitude. The perfection of the portrayals could be seen even in details as tiny as how each group member sipped their beers, whether with dainty discretion or hard-hitting chugging. Though Poker Night was not nearly as interactive as advertised and didn’t redefine the wheel of improv comedy performance, it did prove to be an entertaining act that couldn’t help but plaster smiles throughout the audience.
For more information about the QComedy Festival, visit qcomedyfest.com.
Photo by Nathan Irvin Photographs
Check this space all week for reviews and coverage of the 2011 FirstGlance Film Festival.
On paper, the plan in Philly-bred director Jennifer Barbaro's music video, Burning Witches, makes total sense. A rock 'n' roll band is on stage playing to a crowd of nuns. After hearing the righteous rock assault, the nuns strip and get down and dirty. Hijinks ensue. Oh, and the footage is be intercut with the frontman lying down, preparing to die, because being a big-time rock 'n' roller isn't easy.
Surprisingly, the finished product doesn't deliver. The band isn't aware of the failed execution, but the dancers sure are. Their facial expressions suggest that they're merely counting the seconds until it's all over. And when they strip it's clear it's because the director told them to. The music itself doesn't help, either. The band sounds like a diet version of Godsmack.
The grand concept of the singer battling his demons comes across as really dumb, at best. Whenever you see him on stage, he's either preening like a Billy Idol-wannabe, bro-ing out with the guitarist, or twirling his guitar. Never do you get the impression that he's struggling with something. If he's struggling with anything, it's not on the screen.
Things come out flat and over-rehearsed. The band's look — with dyed hair, leather and tattoos — just doesn't seem real. It's like they think if they're dressed the part, the rest will just magically happen. It doesn't.
CITY PAPER GRADE: D-
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady's weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): “I’m cute together with everybody” (Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation). Feel free to get pretty and go out and put your face next to whoever’s face you choose. It’s worth the risk every time.
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Learning a lot can make you tired, so practice your napping. See how many different times and places you can snuggle in a handmade quilt and fall asleep.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): Since life is brand new for you, meditate on all the words you can think of that begin with the prefix “trans”: Translate, transmute, transubstantiate, transfix, transcend, etc. Enjoy the miracle of moving from one thing to another, and back again.
ICEPACK ILLUSTRATED: Mummers fancying hookers, Summer Fiction in autumn — plus chicken, donuts, Magnet and Diplo
As someone who has written about parties for his entire life, I’m saying, right here right now, that no party — not Vagabond, not stuff at Catacombs and Second Story, not Rock Tits or Making Time, or any bash I’ve ever thrown — ever had me laughing at the shock and awful feeling of thinking about Mummers having sex every Tuesday at the Downtowners Fancy Brigade clubhouse at Second and Snyder. With prostitutes. And one free beer. And access to food after paying the $30 cover charge. A Mummer fucking with a plastic cup of Bud in one hand and a half-a-hoagie in the other. Thanks for the image, boys.
Let’s change the photo in my mind: How about floating chicken. That’s the snap that came with a press release regarding the opening of the fried chicken and donut shop that’ll pop its top at 7 a.m. Oct. 17: Federal Donuts on 1219 S. Second St. Man, is Two Street busy. The Fed is owned by Zahav/Percy St. BBQ-ers Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov, BODHi Coffee owners Thomas Henneman and Bob Logue, and City Paper contributor Felicia D’Ambrosio. We think the photo hovering over our heads is that of “the Glazed” traditional Korean style birdie.
Where’s my copy, damn it? As I previewed exclusively back in August, Eric T. Miller’s Magnet print mag (born in 1993, moved onto the web-only in 2008) starts its new monthly run NOW with a Wilco cover and my feature on Philly’s Spank Rock. Hit the newsstand.
The other most wonderful man from SouthWest Philly (after me), precious Precious director/producer Lee Daniels has enlisted W. Merritt Johnson (Temple Grandin screen writer) to film an original drama series for Showtime based on African-American and Latino competitive drag ball culture in New York City’s LGBT communities. Hopefully, he’s almost done with post-production on The Paperboy, his next film based on Pete Dexter’s book with Nicole Kidman, John Cusack and Zac Efron.
When I ran into Top Chef champ Kevin Sbraga at Jen Carroll’s 10 Arts bye-bye that I covered at Meal Ticket, he told me that he was opening his self-named S. Broad Street restaurant within like two weeks. He wasn’t kidding. Sbraga (440 S. Broad St.) starts its $45 four-course, prix-fixe dinners this Saturday, Oct. 15. His wife Jesmary is making the desserts.
Run don’t walk to your nearest Pitchfork to hear the new single from Diplo and Switch’s Major Lazer (“Original Don”) and see the news of a second Lazer album’s contributions from Vybz Kartel, Bruno Mars, Sean Paul, Dirty Projectors singer Amber Coffman, and cats from Vampire Weekend.
The absolutely smashingly subtle and innovative brass and string arranger Joshua Stamper (see his credits on records by Danielson and Twin Sister) brings similar chamber/jazz stylings to his own music (Interstitials) and his live performance at this Sunday’s Andrea Clearfield Salon (Oct. 16).
Because it was a friend and family night and I met them once very long ago, that makes me family, right? So I stormed into the soft opening of The Trestle on S. 11th to greet Josette Bonofino and Ian Cross, the owners of the once-and-present go-go spot, soon to come with a full menu, weekend DJ nights and by January 2012, drag and burlesque shows. Man, is it dark in there — painted black and everything. I dig it.
The Philly chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International hosts a scholarship fundraising dinner at Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen in Radnor on Oct. 16. Everyone attending gets a copy of the new book, Susanna Foo Fresh Inspirations, wines from the Wente Vineyards, the sponsor of Les Dames nd the feel-good vibe of kicking into a fund benefitting women seeking education in the culinary and hospitality fields (ldei.org).
Here it is autumn and Bill Ricchini’s Summer Fiction has a new single he calls “cool in a Gram Parsons meets Donovan kind of way” called “By the Sea.”
Going up and down East Passyunk to see if Gordon Dinnerman’s Bierra Italiano hot spot had opened yet (end of October) and to sneak a peak at Stateside from ex-Barbuzzo chef de cuisine George Sabatino (duck sausage? Can’t wait) I happened on to Medium Bob’s Curiosity Shop a block off Passyunk at Mifflin. There’s cool men’s and women’s vintage clothing, shoes and jewelry to be found at Bob’s as well as swanky odd housewares.
WHOWHATWHERE: Jennifer Lawrence, currently filming Silver Linings Playbook in Upper Darby should be appearing Oct. 20 at the Philadelphia Film Festival’s Zellerbach Theater opener, Like Crazy, you know, since she’s in it. Singer Erika Schiff’s birthday party at Rogues Gallery got a visit from Schoolly D, John Bolaris, Tony Ward and Stu Bykofsky. Wait? Huh? Really. When he isn’t filming Entourage, Adrian Grenier is a terrible dresser as you can see from his outfit at the Pool at Harrahs in Atlantic City. John Lithgow stopped at Barnes and Noble in Princeton, NJ to sign copies of his book Drama and hang with lots of dramatic types. Banned-in-Delaware radio sensation Tyrese made a splash at WDAS FM’s studios in Bala Cynwyd where he is welcome anytime.
Check this space all week for reviews and coverage of the 2011 FirstGlance Film Festival.
Noah Hutton, director of indie doc More To Live For, has not taken his role as a filmmaker lightly. In fact, he might be nearing the boundary between filmmaker and activist. He has not released a tear-jerking documentary on the devastation of cancer or traced the battle of a patient’s chemotherapy treatment for mere emotional response. Instead, Hutton focuses his lens toward a different angle on the subject of cancer. His intended audience consists of the undiagnosed, unrelated, maybe completely unaffected members of the community who are most likely unaware how simplistic and valuable it might be to get involved.
While the primary voices come from three men whose lives were challenged immeasurably by their cancer diagnosis, it is the ever-present, undertone of a cry to action that speaks loudest. It spells out the desperate need for all members of the community to be tested as potential bone-marrow donors, and join in the fight to beat the epidemic as it spreads around the world. As we see in the chronicles of subjects Seun Adebiyi (pictured), James Chippendale and Michael Brecker, the actual bone-marrow transplant isn't the hurdle. We are simply battling the odds to find a match.
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