Archive: June, 2011
The West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival invites you to step outside your cultural comfort zone to explore music and artwork by regional and international artists. Meander through the marketplace, jam-packed with a multi-cultural mix of crafted creations; immerse yourself in live jazz, soul and reggae performances by artists like Chaka Khan, Chrisette Michele and the Philadelphia Freedom Jazz Orchestra; and indulge in an assortment of extravagant cuisine from around the world, catered by local eateries like Relish and Victoria’s Kitchen. Perfect for Father’s Day, this year’s festival also includes kid-friendly music workshops, live performances and an arcade accessible to all.
Fri.-Sun, June 17-19, all day, free, 7100-7400 blocks of Ogontz Avenue, westoaklanefestival.com.
Christopher Seybert dishes on the week's best and worst moments in daytime talk.
Fran Drescher, the Beard
What do Fran Drescher, Liza Minnelli, and Katie Holmes (allegedly!) have in common? They have all unknowingly married gay men. Fran Drescher has created a new television series based on this unfortunate happenstance called Happily Divorced. She was on The View Tuesday to promote it.
Drescher married her high school sweetheart, Peter Marc Jacobson, in 1978 and they divorced 21 years later. After the divorce, Peter came out and they have remained best friends. For comedic purposes, the show is a little different than her real life situation, but one question remains: How did she not know? She said in hindsight there were obvious clues — like his meticulous attention to her appearance — but she always attributed it to "metrosexuality." So ladies, if you find yourself in a similar situation, remember you’re not losing a husband; you’re gaining someone who can dress you for the rest of your life!
Someone’s Older than Reeg?
When Kelly Ripa’s away, the oldies will play! The incomparable Betty White was Regis’ co-host on Live! with Regis and Kelly Tuesday. They proved that age (Regis is 79, Betty 89) is just a number because that morning they were the wittiest duo on TV.
CP's Brian Wilensky is on a mission to hit up every karaoke haunt in town — and then share all the mellifluous details.
Just like anything else, karaoke needs to be moderated — especially when it comes to the volume. That, however, wasn't the case this week at Finn McCool's Ale House, where the high ceilings didn't do much to even out the karaoke noise reverberating off of its cold, marble bar. By 10 p.m. the excessive volume and jabbering of the crowd left a pain in my ear that was unavoidable.
A nice touch to Finn McCool’s karaoke was that the KJ kept the vibe upbeat by playing songs in between singers so it never felt like there was any down time. It even seemed like she had a planned-out playlist. The first few songs she chose were '80s pop numbers and the setlist gradually became more modern as the night went on.
Andrew won the bar over with“My Sharona” by The Knack, sending a quick shimmy through the horde of McCool’s patrons. Next up, a duo chose from a similar vein of music: Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight." A fella donning denim and a cowboy hat sang Bon Jovi’s classic, “Wanted: Dead or Alive,” to a super enthusiastic crowd. Take note: To get the crowd revved up at McCool's, pick songs from the '80s and make 'em rowdy. And bring earplugs, because these mothers get loooouuuuuddd!
Nitty Gritty for Performers: Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m., Finn McCool’s Ale House, 118 S. 12th St., 215-923-3090, finnmccoolsphilly.com.
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady's weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): You are a matchbox marked “Wishes.” Strike them one at a time and light up everything. Husband the flames into spells that start everything over.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): You’re like the video of my nephew doing the robot — all the joy ever, compressed into about 11 seconds. Also, there seems to be some kind of “shorty fire” that is, in fact, burning on the dancefloor.
“I am theater incarnate!” proclaims Alfridge von Waddlegave while telling his life story about how he got his start in acting. He believes it, too — and given that he was born in the rafters of a theater and raised by a stagehand, he just might be right.
The Most Inspiring and Magnificent Tale of Alfridge von Waddlegrave, the Greatest Actor Who Ever Trod the Boards of Earth, on stage now at Underground Arts at the Wolf, is an Aggrocrag theater company production about Alfridge (Alex Fast), who is both a bit of an egomaniac and a bit gullible in his thinking that the troupe he has put together will help him prove himself to be the greatest actor in the world.
That band of actors is one he assembles rather unexpectedly. His first company member, Utz (Andrew Farmer), is an avant-garde toy maker whom Alfridge and his mute sidekick/stagehand, Batholomew (Max Reuben), come across in the darkest of forests. Utz hasn’t had too much luck with his toy sales, so when Alfridge starts finding some functionality for them in his shows, he decides to join their journey.
Along the way, Alfridge crosses paths with his nemesis, Blind Peggy (Keilly McQuail), who seems to be more out of her mind/drunk than anything else. Somehow she knows more than Alfridge realizes, and predicts that his company will just let him down. As they continue traveling, they pick up a crochet-needle-wielding cowboy costume maker, Broncho Wakely (Evan Watkins), and a pretty ensemble lady appropriately known as Ensemble (Kim Blanck), who plays the role of the tree on set.
Watching Alfridge cope with the realization that he may not actually be the best actor in the world is only half the fun of this show. The laughs came from every actor, and all of them delivered perfectly. Each character in this unpredictable was so unique, they seemed to play off one another just right, and there was never a dull moment.
Alfridge von Waddlegrave runs through June 24, Underground Arts at the Wolf, 1200 Callowhill St., aggrocrag.org.
"Metaphor For Memory" is a collaboration between the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Philly's Center for Emerging Visual Artists. Participating artists, like Joseph D'Uva, Josh Emery and Terri Perpich, were asked to "visually explore the power, function and universality of memory: its origins and creation; its visual expressions and sensory triggers; its verity and distortions; its importance in the stories of our lives as the reservoir of remembrance."
Through July 1, Center for Emerging Artists, 237 S. 18th St., Third Floor, cfeva.org.
CP's Dylan Williams offers a preview of the summer TV season.
True Blood: This supernatural HBO drama, centered around telepathic protagonist Sookie (Anna Paquin) and her romantic misadventures with various vampires and other mythical creatures in the small New Orleans town of Bon Temps, is often scorned as a wannabe Twilight story. And, although the concept for True Blood came about four years before Twilight became a best-seller, the HBO drama has some big Vampiric shoes to fill. So far, it has done the job pretty well. The third season left us thirsty for more sexy, southern vampire shenanigans. Relationships across race, age and mythic species torment the dark and beautiful protagonists, and Paquin’s enticing (and gap-toothed) performance alone sucks many viewers in (pun intended). Season four is said to be loosely based on the fourth book from The Southern Vampire Mysteries (the series upon which the show is based). Sundays beginning June 26, 9 p.m., HBO.
Suzanne Katz made a splash at her son David Katz’s Meme restaurant the other night for the first (but hopefully not last) of their collaborative home-cooked family-style dinners where press from Esquire and the New York Times were in attendance and the lamb tangine was superior. (Meanwhile ex-Times critic Frank Bruni and New York mag’s Adam Platt ate at Marc Vetri’s eponymous restaurant on the night of the Great Chefs event). When talk at Meme came to a photo of the younger Katz with his mom, David said, “See I was good looking even then.”
It’s belly dancing with a twist — modern American tribal-style belly dancing — when Barajagala Tribal Bellydance come to play. The new Philly performance troupe (steady members and student practitioners) uses as much hot house music to dance to as they do traditional music with bits of flamenco in their step. They’ve performed at the Rim Café and other art galleries around town. They’ve got gigs as part of Media, PA’s Wednesday night Dining Under the Stars series where they close off a couple of blocks and all the restaurants open up on the streets. (Seven Stones Café, June 22 and July 20 at 7 p.m., 22 S. Plum St., Media) and Rogue’s Gallery in the Rittenhouse West area on June 23. Shake it.
The AMC cable network and Kevin Smith want to do a reality show about The Secret Stash, the Clerk director’s New Jersey comic book store. They want comix geeks, they want them local and they need them ages 21 to 35. The Hollywood Reporter has sign-up info. Hit it.
The Blockley’s What is Jazz/What is Hip Hop event with Ropeadope on June 18 just got a little more interesting now that Schoolly D is its host and Wyldlyfe’s Chess, Apwat and Ty Ward jumped aboard as singer MCs.
Attention, slackers: Father's Day is Sunday, which means if you don't get a card in the mail today — or maaaaybe tomorrow if you're lucky — your dad is gonna feel so sad that you don't love him.
Skip the frantic trip to Target (those cards suck anyway) and head instead to Third and Bainbridge, where Tall Cow is stocked with fun, quirky Dad's Day cards with plenty of blank space inside for you to write a sappy message about how sorry you are you can't afford to buy him a paisley tie this year. (Among them: "Wise Guy" and "Here's Looking at You," pictured.)
Tall Cow, whose Queen Village shop opened in March, is the brainchild of Allison Mitchell, who tells us she's been selling her cards wholesale since 2004. "I moved to the neighborhood last year and decided it was time for a retail space," Mitchell says. "The spot on Third Street was empty for a while, and each time I walked by, I would envision it as the perfect space to start my brick-and-mortar."
After renovating (and de-odorizing, we'd guess) the former Chic Petique, Mitchell created a "warm, inviting space" — and she points out that dogs are still welcome to come sniff around.
In addition to her own line, she sells cards from Saturn and Yee-Haw Industries, as well as screenprints from Little Owl and our personal snark-tastic local favorite, Mean Cards (one of which proclaims, "I've Been a Constant Source of Disappointment," which would make for a great Father's Day card, but only if your dad has a sense of humor.)
Once you've checked Pops off your list, you may as well do some shopping for yourself — Mitchell's stocked the shop with tons of goodies both old and new, including Lucky Fish pillows, Scintilla lambswool throws and Melo hand-poured candles (a Philly local).
As for the vintage stuff? "It's composed of items my partner, Deanna, and I pick up as we see," Mitchell says — "salt-and-pepper shakers, state plates, candle sticks."
"I've also included stationery, plan books, artisanal wallets and eco-friendly baby toys," she says. "I've also incorporated some fine art from local artists to serve as a bit of a gallery on my walls."
It's about time this part of town had a small-scale, non-Hallmark-y card shop. Wander over on your lunch break, take a peek and make sure to thank Allison for saving your butt this Father's Day weekend.
Tall Cow, 616 S. Third St., 267-909-8195, tallcow.com.
WHO: DJ Doc Adam, DJ Stereotype, MC White Mike Oz
WHAT: Lisascissorhands and Sugar Industries are celebrating the first anniversary of their monthly throwdown. Over the past year, Get Some has hosted local favorites such as Isaac Jordan, Jay Ski and Romes, and now for this special night they’ve brought in Portland Ore.’s infamous Doc Adam. Doc holds down an impressive resident DJ schedule, has a deep list of production credits and is a part of AnteUpPDX.com. Get some spiffy gear on your body, put some spending money in your pockets and party the night away.
WHY: Who knows what ya gon' get, but I’m sure it’ll be good.
See Also: CP's DJ Nights Listings
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