Archive: March, 2011
As we reported in this week's Agenda section, comedian Michael Ian Black is performing stand-up tonight at the Troc at 7 and 10 p.m. But first, we caught up with him to talk about tweeting, podcasts and some of his favorite snacks.
City Paper: First, I wanted to ask you about the “Very Famous” special you’re shooting for Comedy Central. Can you tell me a little bit about it?
Michael Ian Black: It’s the first stand-up comedy special I’ve ever done. I’m sort of new to stand up comedy even though I’ve been doing it my whole career. If you’re looking for jokes and you’re looking to be on TV, this is a good show. Comedy Central will be shooting me and the audience. So, there might be a wonderful image of you laughing or scowling or throwing up a little. I’m very nervous about it.
CP: Do you have any pre-show rituals to calm your nerves?
MIB: The only ritual I think that helps is to take 6 or 7 Ambien.
Everybody’s beautiful: that’s the core belief behind How Philly Moves, an ongoing project based on the photography of JJ Tiziou. The artist photographed more than 170 Philadelphians in the midst of 10-minute dances — movements they improvised themselves, with no direction from Tiziou. These Philly dancers will appear next month, vastly magnified, across Philadelphia airport in a How Philly Moves mural — and you’re invited to help paint it this weekend at the Gallery. It’s the final community paint day for the six-building-wide piece, backed by the Mural Arts Program and stunningly previewed in the rendering above. “From I-95, at 55 miles per hour, the energy of their movements will be unmistakable,” observes the HPM website.
If you’re interested, don’t worry about your painting skills, or lack of them: it’s a “giant paint-by-numbers, essentially,” Tiziou says. Volunteers will paint on five-by-five squares of parachute cloth. And they don’t have to stay long — though it’s a three-hour session, painters are welcome just to drop in briefly.
That’s not all: an exhibit in the airport’s baggage claim will allow Tiziou to showcase many more dancing Philadelphians from his extensive shoots. Meanwhile, Tiziou is working with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) on a connected piece: a projection of the dancers that will appear on the side of the Kimmel Center from dusk to dawn, starting April 7 (click the link for video of a fascinating chat with the man himself). Tiziou is gathering funds through the website Kickstarter, which allows anyone and everyone to chip in and help get the project off the ground. The site sets a funding goal and asks supporters to pledge whatever they can — an ideal system to back a project that’s all about community, the artist points out. Rather than one person pledging $100, he says, it’s better for that person to give $10 and tell 10 friends. Not only does that mean more funding, it also spreads the grassroots effort “one circle broader.” The effort will allow further photo shoots, bringing new faces to How Philly Moves. It’s a “scaleable” project, the site notes: the more support, the bigger it can grow.
Community paint day details: Sat., Mar. 12, 12-3 p.m., the Gallery, Ninth and Market, Third floor.
Before the Flower Show leaves town on Sunday I’d like to give you a glimpse of its annual preview party, held last Saturday, March 5, with Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Like everything else in this city, the event — and the show itself — is tied up in Paris. Daaaaaaamn you, PIFA. A green carpet entrance and an opening ceremony featuring an Eiffel Tower lighting session with PHS president Drew Becher, preview party Chair Linda Galante and Mayor Michael Nutter flipping a switch. That was fun. I missed His Excellency Francois M. Rivasseau of the French Embassy but got kicked by the can can dancers while trying to avoid the roving mimes and strolling accordionists. Miiiiiiiiiiiiimes. That said, I loved the Rock School masked ballet and I dug hanging out in the “Paris Underground” set with French painter Psychoze. Like the PIFS’ American Institute of Floral Designers exhibit on a massive canvas, Psychoze took over his space and turned what could’ve been just a bunch of tulips (lots of tulips) into a dark yet somehow chipper display. Yay. Get to the Pennsylvania Convention Center before it’s all over. I’m not a flower guy but I was impressed.
Every Friday, Ryan Carey takes a look at who and what’s giving Philly the giggles …
One of Philadelphia's sketchiest comedy duos, Meg and Rob, performed their final show last weekend; Meg is moving to California. But before she ships out, we caught up with them for a brief exit interview.
City Paper: How long have Meg and Rob been performing together.
Rob: We got started doing short films and writing bits for puppets at Puppet Karaoke (it’s exactly what it sounds like).
Meg: Our first official, booked performance was in late 2006; we did a sketch with puppets at a Pixies tribute night. We started performing sketches consistently and without puppets in mid-2007.
R: I’m not good at math. Let’s just pretend Meg & Rob have always existed... like math.
On Fridays, Diana Palmieri breaks down the shenanigans happening on the latest season of Jersey Shore.
It's been one week since Sammi returned to the Jersey Shore, donning her new glasses and, surprisingly, a not-so-annoying demeanor. The roommates were in the midst of a prank war, Snooki and Deena were drunk, Ronnie wasn’t throwing things, and even the shit-filled toilet had been unclogged. All was right at the Shore.
The same lightheartedness pleasantly overshadowed the beginning of last night’s episode, as Vinny and Pauly went on a road trip to Staten Island. Vinny’s family, much like the clogged toilet, has become an honorary staple at the shore. In a bit of an underwhelming scene, Vinny and Pauly were fed like they were headed towards the electric chair, and subtitles were needed whenever Uncle Nino spoke. All was not lost, as Vinny went home with leftovers and Pauly left with a geography lesson. “I did not know Staten Island was an actual island until we went over the bridge.”
When you attend the opening of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) this week at the Wilma, I suggest that you stop in the lobby and peruse the collection of vintage sex objects on loan from Sexploratorium, part of Passional Boutique, for the run of the show. Or until someone nabs them for a personal party.
I heard that you were sad that the DayGlow mega-rave at the Naval Yard on April 16 with Roger Sanchez had sold out. Their paint party suddenly became your pity party. Well, I spoke to the promoters and they just put up another date on another day April 15, and brought in Philly’s own Wes Pentz better known as Diplo. He sold out their DayGlow in Puerto Rico with 6,000 audience members and is sure to fill Philly’s 3,500. Rumor has it that if you guys sell it out, this may not be the last time you see and hear a DayGlow in Philly in 2011. Saying…
Sad partings: Tenley Gwen Bank has left Theatre Exile and her external relations director position. For now, Clara Elser, Exile’s administrative assistant and box office guru will hold the gig. Bank will be back to help out with the end-of-season fundraiser Cabaret of the Exiled. Currently TE’s brilliant dark comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore is at Plays & Players and all I can say is watch out for the cat blood.
Welcome hellooooos go out to two new cats at the Wells Fargo Center: Tim Murphy is the new regional VP and Matthew Homan is the facility’s new general manager. Ask him what makes so much sense about a Rod Stewart/Stevie Nicks double bill.
Smaller than a farmers’ market but bigger than a tool box: it’s the Farmers’ Cabinet from husband-and-wife team Matt and Colleen Swartz with Matt Scheller on 11th and Walnut. It’ll look like Victorian-era bar room and serve it up rustic American. Plus, writes, their PR lady Jennie Hatton, it’ll hold a “nano-brewery, a tiny, two barrel system — a first for the city and beyond." The name comes from a Philadelphia-area publication dating back to 1803, The Farmers’ Cabinet. Get out. Sounds like it’ll open in March.
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): Happy birthday to my very favorite Pisces in the Universe, Shanny Jean Maney. In her honor, everyone should please make caramel brownies, watch Jeff Goldblum movies, and fall in love with the periodic table.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Winter is starting to loosen its grip. There’s one tulip leaf outside my window, winning the award for most optimistic. That’s you. And those really are buds on the trees, not just chill-induced hallucinations.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): To the Taurus who broke up with the guy for the right reasons: The walls of your future house are papered with sweet-but-not-too-sweet love poems. Fresh air is fluttering the perfect window treatments. Your well adjusted future children are shining down the steps like liberated angels.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): “There is no more intrepid explorer than a kitten,” says Jules Champfleury at the top of the March page of my 365 Kittens a Year calendar. This week, delve in, bravely and adorably.
Each day we dig into a different category of our listings database to compile a to-do list of our favorite entries. Today, Diana Palmieri rounds up a week's worth of classes/workshops and food/drink events.
■ MAKING EVERY MARKETING DOLLAR COUNT! Do you need more ideas, clients, and money to make a solid marketing campaign? Before plotting to sabotage or steal from competitors, learn how to do more with less at this marketing workshop with Lee Swartz of Black Lion Marketing and Yoon Cannon of Paramount Business Coach, Tue., March 15, 8:30-10am, FREE, Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, 252 W. Swamp Rd., Doylestown, 215-348-3913.
■ PDP PRESENTS CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS In this open workshop, Christopher Williams teaches the art of puppet manipulation as dancers assume the roles of puppeteer and puppet. Sat., March 12, 1 p.m., $15, Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St., 215-569-4060.
■ PSU PHILA MASTER GARDENERS: "SMALL SPACE GARDENING" Is your small space keeping your green thumb from ... being green? Learn how to make the most of your four-feet-by-two-feet patch of dirt at this Small Space Gardening workshop. Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. with Lucille Amadie and Sue Sipos, Philadelphia County Master Gardeners. Sat., March 12, 9:30-11 a.m., $10, Fairmount Park, Horticulture Center, North Horticultural Dr. & Mon.tgomery Ave., 215-471-2200.
■ TRAVELS AT TWELVE: THE LAND OF MORNING CALM Journey to the ancient and modern gardens of Korea in less than an hour with Dongah Shin as she relays stories from her travels. No need to bring your passport. Thu., March 10, 12-1 p.m., FREE, The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave., Swarthmore, 610-328-8023.
For more culinary happenings, check out What's Cooking.
■ A TASTE OF THAILAND: COOKING CLASS Have you ever cooked with lemon.grass, kaffir lime, coconut milk or galangal? Come relish the burst of new flavors you'll experience at this afternoon cooking class. Sat., March 12, 1 p.m., $65, Under the Oak Cafe, 804 Oak Ln. Ave., 215-924-1410.
■ AN AFTERNOON IN PARIS LUNCHEON Maternity Care Collection celebrates mothers with all things mothers love: food, entertainment, music, raffles, and fashion at this “An Afternoon in Paris” lunch. Sat., March 12, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Millennium Hall, 1200 Market St., 215-971-0700.
■ BREWER'S PLATE: FAIR FOOD'S FUNDRAISER Enjoy hours of noshing and drinking courtesy of more than 50 of the best local establishments. And it's all for charity. Sun., March 13, 5-8 p.m., $45-$125, Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South St., 215-898-4000.
■ BRUNCH ITALIANO COOKING CLASS Proprieter for La Cucina at the Market, Anna Maria Florio, will teach you how to make an Italian brunch. You can trust her guidance of preparing specialties such as gnocchi and frittata; her name ends in vowels. Sat., March 12, 11am-1 p.m., $55, Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch sts., 215-922-2317.
■ PASTA CLASS Spend the night in Italy at this pasta making class at Osteria. Learn authentic recipes for pasta and ravioli, then devour similar creations. The only Italian you'll need is "Mangia!" Tue., March 15, 6:30-9 p.m., $175, Osteria, 640 N. Broad St., 215-763-0920.
■ WINE CLASS: WINES OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL Drink some of the tastiest wines, like Vinho Verde, Tempranillo or Albarino straight out of Spain and Portugal. You’ll have just as much fun drinking them as you’ll have pronouncing them. Wed., March 16, 6:30-8 p.m., FREE, Pinot Wine Boutique, 227 Market St., 215-627-9463.
■ WINES OF CHILE AND ARGENTINA: WINE CLASS Learn about the best grapes and wines from Chile and Argentina. Finally, you’ll be able to brag that drinking actually was educational. Fri., March 11, 7-8:30 p.m., $39, Pinot Wine Boutique, 227 Market St., 215-627-9463.
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