Since 1968, the Henri David Ball has been the most fab Halloween party in town, hosted by the now 63-year-old Henri David and attended by Philly notables like Gov. Ed Rendell and ' the Snuggie Twins (see above). Our associate Web editor Neal Santos attended the freak show, shot this video and some photos, and came back relatively unscathed.
If you're curious about the man behind the ball, this Philly Mag piece really breaks it down ' dude lost his virginity at 12, is BFFs with John Waters and makes jewelry for Stevie Nicks. Jealous?
Every Thursday, we give you this week's LGBTQ to-do list.
Halloween is arguably one of the best weekends in Philadelphia and ' come on! ' this year it's on a Saturday. You shouldn't have any trouble finding spooky ways to entertain yourself this weekend, but I thought I'd do a little wrap-up of a few gay events I thought looked the freakiest. And by freakiest I mean totally friggin' awesome.
-Celebrate like they did in the '20s at a screening of the 1922 horror film, Nosferatu ($5-$10). The film, which will still spook you out of your skivvies, plays on Fri., Oct. 30 at 7 & 11 p.m. in the Neo-Gothic sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St., 215-563-3980). The thing that takes this event from being kind-f cool to fantastic is the live pipe organ accompaniment by diva organist T. Desiree Hines, who Carolyn Huckabay wrote about back in May. Hines will not only be improvising throughout the film, but she will also key traditional organ repertoire and an original piece by Philly-born composer Joseph Hallman entitled "Petite Suite Macabre."
-Pull out your naughtiest attire to attend Q Lounge's (1234 Locust St., 215-732-1800) S&M Halloween Party on Sat., Oct. 31 at 10 p.m. (free). The entire staff will be decked out in S&M gear, so don't be afraid to take your costume to the limits. The person sporting the hottest get-up will receive a $200 cash prize.
-If you still have some Halloween spirit left on Sunday head back to the First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St., 215-563-3980) for the Name That Tune Costume Party ($25) on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. The deal: Come dressed as your favorite song. Whether it's Madonna, Cher or Debbie Harry, there's a whole slew of hits you can deck yourself out in. Whatever you do, though, skip the Miley Cyrus/Taylor Swift numbers. That's so summer 2009.
Itching for more gay events? Check out our LGBTQ listings.
Our boy Scott Yorko wrote a fab Agenda piece for tomorrow's issue about the live Michael and Michael Have Issues show at the Troc, scheduled for tomorrow. But he just told us that it's been postponed. Here are the new details straight from the Troc:
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 12
@ The Trocadero
An evening of comedy with
Michael and Michael Have Live Tour
Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter
Tix: $24 / Drs: 7pm, Show: 8pm / All Ages
(This is the rescheduled date of the show on Thu. 10/29 that was postponed.
All tickets will be honored at the rescheduled show. Refunds are also
available at point of purchase)
So when you read Scott's piece tomorrow, cut it out and tuck in you 2010 calendar for the February 11 issue. Or in your gournal.
|Courtesy of Hellcat Girls|
First TLA Video closes, now this: Local burlesque troupe Hellcat Girls is calling it quits after six years together. The girls says it's because emcee Athena Onatopp is packing her bags and heading to Austin. But doesn't that mean six of them will be left in Philly? Couldn't they make it work? Yes, sorta maybe: "It's kind of like the Halloween movies. Supposedly it's the last time, until next time," says Deirdre Franklin, better known as "Little Darling" onstage. "We're all still performing individually, and plan to continue to book shows. They may just not be under 'Hellcat' anymore." Well that's better. Their final show as a group ' for now? ' will be on Tue., Oct. 27 at Kung Fu Necktie (1248 N. Front St., 215-291-4919) from 10 p.m.-2 a.m., for $10. The full original line (including Kiki Berlin) will be performing, and Olde City Sideshow will be their special guests.
There was something extra Frenchy about last night's Cirque du Soleil performance at the Liacouras Center. It seemed like every other group in the audience seemed to be swishing tight, accented syllables out of their thin, pursed lips. My guess is they were friends and family members of the performers, all of whom stayed true to the tasteful traditions of the dramatic circus fused with sideshow and street entertainment. I wasn't allowed to take photos, but I was so close to the stage that I'd have only gotten pictures of their derri'res anyhow.
This French-Canadian show sends you home wondering about things you couldn't even imagine with the help of psychedelics, like contortionists walking on their throats while resting their butts on their heads; a man dance-hovering horizontally inside a giant hula hoop; and a tribal-looking dude juggling fire with his bare hands, feet and mouth. Sacre bleu!
The performers don't just come out and do a few cool tricks that you want to go home and practice on your own. They put on full, 10-minute routines of physical elegance so bizarre that your imagination sits and takes notes while you question everything you've ever learned about gravity and the human body. The best part is they do it all in slippers ' sparkly, magical slippers.
Although there were no motorcycles in cages and not a lot of audience interaction, even the clowns, whose airplane sound effects sounded French, pulled squeals of laughter out of les jeunes enfants in the audience. There really is no ethnicity, age or class of people that wouldn't be fascinated by this show. Just watch out for those ruthless audience members ' they'll steal your seat as soon as you get up to go to la toilette.
You love these dirty hippies, don't you? We sure do, especially in the out-of-doors ' the place where their boot-stompin' bluegrass works best. They'll be playing a show at noon today at such a venue: the Drexel University Farmers Market (33rd and Chestnut streets), for free. Sounds like a nice little lunch break.
|Courtesy of Future Islands|
Most of the songs by Future Islands don't waste any time getting to the good stuff. They just jump right into the catchy synth hooks and dance licks. Consider yourself warned: These songs will remain in your head for hours, but in the most pleasant way. The sound is a bit fuzzy, very DIY-influenced, and feels carbonated. Though the music is airy and fun, the vocals tend to contrast that, providing grounding for each song. There's a desperation in the singer's voice, but at the same time there's always this hint of a smirk. Is that smirk the sound of a little hope coming through? Or are they just creeping along the line of self-parody? Maybe the latter: One of their videos shows frontman Sam Herring dramatically singing his little heart out, only he's singing into a toothbrush. The videos on their MySpace page are DayGlo-bright collages of people dancing, wearing giant tiger heads, manning hot air balloons, and kissing up a storm. It's an accurate reflection of their music.
Mon., Oct. 5, 8 p.m., $5-$10 donation, with Lonnie Walker, Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave., myspace.com/dangerdangergallery.
|Courtesy of Rookie Card|
Atheists in heaven and angels selling clouds are just a few of the things you might witness at a Rookie Card improv show. Though Rookie Card is not exactly a veteran improv team ' only forming this past March ' these guys are no rookies (hardy, har) at comedy. The five members ' Marc Reber, Jake Alvarez, Jesse Kimball, John Di Santo and JP Boudwin ' are all grads of the Philadelphia Improv Theatre, and together they form a crazy bunch willing to discuss almost anything on stage, from religion to Hitler to weird sexual relationships. They'll be playing at the Philadelphia Improv Festival tonight at 9:30 p.m. at Society Hill Playhouse (507 S. Eighth St., 215-923-0210), for $10. I caught up with them (minus Boudwin) at the Raven Lounge this week before one of their shows.
Critical Mass: So how would you describe your style of humor?
Marc Reber: One of things I notice is that we are kind of fearless as a group. We do a lot of jumping in on scenes and changing the focus of scenes, so each of our scenes have other scenes within them.
John Di Santo: I would say our style would be just kind of, like ' sloppy.
Jesse Kimball: Absurdly juvenile meets dark and tragic ' in a kind of sloppy, fearless way.
Jake Alvarez: Our show has been described as being really clusterfucky.
Jesse Kimball: They say you need to learn the rules before you break 'em, but that's not true ' because we still don't know the rules, and we break 'em.
CM: How do you start a show?
JK: The form that we do is called the 'Herald.'
JA: It's a very basic form, but we're one of the few groups in town that does it.
JDS: You have an opening with a word suggestion, and you have three scenes all in the first round.
MR: For example, the word is "hippo."
JK: So we come out and we're in a safari, and then because hippos have big teeth, Reber and Di Santo are doing a dentist scene, and the next scene is a pool cleaner and this lady trying to seduce him. And in the third beat, you find out that the dentist is actually the pool cleaner's husband.
JDS: In the third scene, you try to find connections among all the previous scenes.
JK: It's like Pulp Fiction, kind of.
CP: What kind of audience do you like?
JDS: The larger the audience, the more energy that's generated and the better generally the show becomes, because you're kind of guided by the audience.
JK: It's a lot like a DJ playing, because whatever they're playing, people are getting into it, and then they'll spin it into something else. The audience influences what the next thing is going to be.
CM: Do you guys follow specific character roles?
JA: I tend to fall into the devil.
JK: Reber plays Jesus a lot. I play a wife a lot. I like to play coming-of-age teenagers that are seeking a male figure.
JDS: I usually play a hot Latino woman.
CM: Why did you choose improv over standup?
JDS: What I like is that the sum ends up being greater than the individual parts. There's a term called 'group mind' where everyone ends up thinking on the same wavelength, and that is like a high. That's the best part.
JK: It's like havin' sex with four other dudes at once, but less messy.
|Courtesy of Moore College|
Beyond not wanting members of PETA to pour fake blood on you, there are many reasons to trade in real fur for the faux kind ' it's less expensive, not raised on factory farms, and often looks just as good or better than the real thing. Case in point: Junior and senior fashion design students at Moore College of Art and Design created fake fur pieces for tonight's Jumpstart Fashion Show, and they're stunning, playful and super inventive. Materials used include toothpicks, nails, bobby pins, Brillo pads, dusters, mops, plastic bags and cotton balls ' basically things lying around unused in most homes. Which brings us to another upside of faux fur: It can often be made from found and recycled materials, which, in our opinion, is a lot more respectable than simply buying so-called organic fur.
The fashion show is going down from 6-6:30 p.m., for free, at Moore College (20th Street and Ben Franklin Parkway, 215-965-4000). Click below for more images from the event.
|Courtesy of Moore College|
|Courtesy of Moore College|
|Courtesy of Moore College|
|Great Lake Swimmers|
Apparently no one is sick of the soft, dreamy love songs being churned out by so many beard-rock bands, all of which seem to hail from either the Midwest or Canada. Even the most jaded among us, though, will find the music of Great Lake Swimmers hard to resist ' especially now that summer is officially over and the cold weather is settling in, with no plans on leaving anytime soon. Most of the band's songs roll in slow and thick, and lull you right to sleep. Whether it's the plucking of the banjo or the gentle lyrics that tickle your heartstrings, Toronto's Swimmers will build a cozy atmosphere of tunes that'll make you feel warm and fuzzy at Johnny Brenda's (1201 Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684) tonight at 9 p.m., for $12. The beer might help you achieve that feeling, too, though.
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