Archive: February, 2012
Every Friday, Ryan Carey covers the people and events that are giving Philly the giggles.
Around three years ago, Don Montrey's monthly variety comedy showcase Die, Actor, Die was handed off to Chip Chantry and branded Chip Chantry's One Man Show (with Special Guests). Now, Chip is passing the torch to LOL fav James Hesky (pictured). Hesky will be re-branding PHIT's variety comedy showcase The Monthly Hour, enlisting some Philly joke heavyweights like Jim Grammond (Reasonable Discourse with Jerks), Mary Radzinski (Laughs on Fairmount), Darryl Charles (CheaPodcast), Pat House (Helium) and Mikey Gleason (BirdText video producer) to produce each show. "I want to continue to provide a format for comedians and sketch groups to perform," says Hesky, "but I also want it to be a showcase for this group of comics, all of whom are among my favorites in the city."
The Monthly Hour will feature a monologue by Hesky recapping the major events of the month. Bits, sketches and videos relating to current haps will be interspersed between the standup and sketch guests. There will be a sneak peak at 10 p.m. on Wed. March 7, and the first official show will be Mon., March 26 at 9 p.m.
As for Chip Chantry's One Man Show (with Special Guests), you can catch the final installment on Mon., Feb. 27 at 8:30 p.m. Says Chantry: "I wanted to put on my favorite comics from back when I first started. So guys like Andy Nolan, John Kensil, the Legendary WID, Eric Todd, Mike Rainey, etc." Also on the show will be Don Montrey, Jim Grammond, sketch comedy from Secret Pants, and some surprises. When asked why Chantry is passing along the One Man Show, he said, "I'm gonna be taking some time off next year to do more road dates. I'm also going to be producing a more heavily sketch-oriented SNL-esque live show which will let me focus on writing. We don't have a venue yet, but it's going to be somewhere in center city."
Sara Ann Kelly, CP reader and CEO of her eponymously named public relations and brand development firm, put her iPod on shuffle. This is where it led her ...
1. "Sunday Morning" — No Doubt
Used to remind me of seventh grade ... now reminds me of road trips with my Lovie
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady’s weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “My mother was of the sky. My father was of the earth. And I am of the universe, and you know what it’s worth.” (The Beatles) If you happen to be lonely this week or just a little off, don’t worry. There’s probably a lake or a river nearby, some bright clouds to look at. Be sure and wear a warm hat, the stars do worry.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Last weekend, my wife and I went to see Portlandia Live! One of the things they showed us was a slide of a birthday card that Carrie had made for her mother when she was little. It was signed, “Your famous daughter, Carrie Brownstein.” This week, have a child’s amount of faith in yourself.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): The stars would like to thank every Jungian character who ever wandered into our life and helped us see our shadow selves. It is perfectly acceptable to fall in love with your very worst fears, as long as you remember to break up eventually.
Icepack in print went to press too early to fix it, but the show advertised on Little Bar’s calendar for Feb. 25 isn’t happening. Nor are any shows on the Little Bar calendar. As reported here, a chunk of Little Bar’s hirees (PVP bookers included) left after Saturday night. By Monday night, owner Michael D’Addesi informed the remaining staff that he had sold the bar operations (but not the building which has been long owned by his family) to an incoming restaurant concern (no names as yet) who have no interest in doing live music. Ta da. Anyone who fondly remembers that the 8th and Fitzwater corner used to house the D’Addesi’s Italian food palace Vesuvio will welcome a nosh.
Toy Soldier Ron Gallo and booking agent Marley McNamara tell me to watch out for Feb. 28’s Queens of Soul show at World Café Live. They’re saluting Nina, Aretha, Etta and Janis with locals such as Thom McCarthy, Ali Wadsworth (ask her about the day The Voice came calling) and Kate Faust doing the down-n-dirty work. Gallo will bite off a chunk of the evening as well as telling attendees that his band’s new EP, Tell the Teller, is nearly ready for release.
Before the end of 2011, I joked with Chinatown saloon owner Lee that he should open Hop Sing Laundromat on March 15, the Ides of March. Had a real Cesarean ring to it, don’t you think? Anyway, it’s starting to sound like March might work for the perfectionist Lee. He told Eater Philly as much. Or not.
Moore College of Art & Design has a new president in Cecelia Fitzgibbon, succeeding Dr. Happy Craven Fernandez, who held that post since 1999. Fitzgibbon is the director of Drexel’s graduate arts administration program and spent 16 years as a professor, director and head of Drexel’s arts administration and arts & entertainment enterprise programs. So entertain us and congrats.
Each week, Nina Willbach puts together a rundown of book-centric events. This week: Jews and Booze, black ballerinas and ain't no Houellebecq Girl. [Sorry for that. —ed.]
Impressive permanent collections may have put our area museums on the map, but it's the rotating exhibits that keep visitors coming back. Every Thursday, Abigail Minor updates you on the newest and most browse-worthy. This week: Algebra and design, the Titanic's hundreth anniversary, and the closing of “Righteous Dopefiend.”
SoapBox: Independent Publishing Center and Homeskooled Gallery will celebrate the “comfort and thrills” provided by the written and spoken word at Booked!, a one-night-only interactive exhibit that allows visitors get their creative on in three separate sections.
In the story-writing center, guests can piece together tales by utilizing magazines, books, photocopies, and the center’s in-house typewriter and illustration center. The results will be published as a book that will live forever in The Soapbox’s Zine Library.
A “listening tent” re-creates the warmth of storytelling blanket-fort style. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always lovely to close your eyes and let someone read to you ...
The young at heart should steer clear of Naughty Reads section, however. Here horny toads can recreate the excitement of discovering new, forbidden ideas. Expect political manifestos, sex stuff, bad words and all kinds of reading material to make your momma blush.
There will be word-themed cupcakes and soup, hot toddies and wine. They also encourage visitors to bring zines for Soapbox’s the library, and books to donate to Books Through Bars. The event is free, but please consider giving these kind people a donation. Times are tough for book lovers these days.
Our hero introduces himself this way, “I’m Fishy Waters, I’m a bluesman and teller of tales. And there ain’t no story so big nor tale so tall that I can’t tell it! I just hopped off that freight train that came through your town.”
The time is the Great Depression. Guy Davis’ one-man play takes us through the experiences of a talented, optimistic despite all he has seen and heard, black man from the south traveling and living rough, trying to make a living the best he can.
“I’m a hobo, not a bum! There’s a difference. A bum don’t wanna work. A hobo will work at any job he can find.” The struggles and the ways to edge ahead of other hungry men are pure comedy, experiences common to all out of work when it’s an employer’s market.
Audience interaction is part of the show. Fishy, proffering his flask says to an audience member, “Here! Hold this! It’s bothering my pocket,” as hit seats himself to pick. A group of pretty women are also singled out. “Look there!” pointing into the third row or so, he counts them off, “There’s my wife, my fiancée and my girlfriend, all sitting together. Don’ know how that happened but I’m glad you all are getting along!” He tells stories that are so steeped in tradition we know where they are going, it’s the characters he recalls with the telling that delight. The son of Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis has a gift for dialect as well as the physical ways of to representing dozens of different characters, not a single one resembling the other.
Jim Crow was alive and well and pushing everybody around back then. We laugh at stories of the fella who slapped a white man and how he lived to tell about it. Things are going pretty well, laughing and enduring, up until the lynching story. Comical turns of phrase still pop up, that’s how the teller talks, but the mood can be nothing but somber with no way out but intermission.
Davis loves the country blues and this show is vehicle for keeping players whose styles are as distinct as the characters in the stories alive. John Hurt’s “Candy Man” shows gets the audience roaring along in response. Fishy says, “Robert Johnson? Him, he couldn’t play until he met the devil at the crossroads” and launches into “Hellhound on my Trail.’” This show is about as downhome an experience as you’ll ever get in an Equity theater.
The Adventures of Fishy Waters, through Feb. 26, $50, Crossroads Theatre, 7 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ, 732-545-8100, crossroadstheatrecompany.org.
Every Thursday, Al Harris rounds up the week's top five comedy shows. This week: Get offended by Dov Davidoff, roasted by Lisa Lampanelli and pick a fight with homeboy Joe DeRosa about chicken nugget sauce.
Hailing from Englishtown, N.J., comedian Dov Davidoff will deliver his brash and offensive brand of observational humor to the Philly masses this weekend at Helium. He’s a familiar face on the late-night-talk-show comedy circuit, plus he’s a series regular on NBC’s Raines with Jeff Goldblum. He also had a role in Invincible alongside Mark Wahlberg.
Thu., Feb. 23, 8 p.m., Fri.-Sat., Feb. 24-25, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., $16-$33, Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., 215-496-9001, heliumcomedy.com.
1. There were a few recognizable surnames on Trenton: Corey Syvret is the brother of former Flyer Danny Syvret (Offensive Dynamo). Mitch Versteeg is the brother of former Flyers underachiever Kris Versteeg. Also, longtime Flyers tough guy Todd Fedoruk is a coach there. (At press time, I could not confirm notable connections for players named Ryan, LaBelle or Hayes.)
2. This guy Yannick Tifu of the Royals has moves, and people know it. The Trenton version of the “Sign Man” had a sign made to specifically for the occasion, with Tifu in a tutu. Sigh, man.
3. There couldn’t have been more than 500 people in that arena that could probably hold 5,000+. (The Trentonian today says the “announced crowd” was “2,112.” I did not hear that announcement; maybe it got lost in the echo off all those empty seats.) This meant the players could be interacted with directly. After Tifu scored, he gave a look over to the sign guy like “how you like me now?” Sign guy did not like him then, either.
4. The play was occasionally sloppy, but mostly good solid hockey. Just some blind passes, players out of position, more guys looking down at the puck than up at the net they’re shooting at. There were also some slick moves, once in awhile and fine goaltending.
5. Hardly any penalties and no fights. I’d always heard that the further you go into the minors, the more gladiatorial everything gets. (The ECHL is an "AA" league, one level below the AHL.) Nope. There was plenty of hard checking, but the gloves stayed on.
6. The Royals won 6-3, thanks largely to the agile play of goalie Karel St. Laurent (and the shoddy, momentum killing Titans D). Boo. I guess. But: Good game, good game, good game.
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