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Show us your Philly.

Submit snapshots of the City of Brotherly Love, however you see it, at:

We made this

Publisher Nancy Stuski Editor in Chief Lillian Swanson Senior Editor Patrick Rapa Arts Editor/Copy Chief Emily Guendelsberger Digital Media Editor/Movies Editor Paulina Reso Food Editor/Listings Editor Caroline Russock Senior Staff Writer Daniel Denvir Staff Writer Ryan Briggs Copy Editor Carolyn Wyman Associate Web Producer Carly Szkaradnik Contributors Sam Adams, Dotun Akintoye, A.D. Amorosi, Rodney Anonymous, Mary Armstrong, Meg Augustin, Bryan Bierman, Shaun Brady, Peter Burwasser, Mark Cofta, Alison Dell, Adam Erace, David Anthony Fox, Caitlin Goodman, K. Ross Hoffman, Deni Kasrel, Alli Katz, Gary M. Kramer, Drew Lazor, Gair “Dev 79” Marking, Robert McCormick, Andrew Milner, Annette Monnier, John Morrison, Michael Pelusi, Sameer Rao, Elliott Sharp, Marc Snitzer, Tom Tomorrow, John Vettese, Nikki Volpicelli, Brian Wilensky Editorial Interns John Corrigan, Taylor Farnsworth, Melvin Hayes, Sara Patterson, Brooks Phelps, Julie Zeglen Production Director Michael Polimeno Editorial Art Director Reseca Peskin Senior Designer Evan M. Lopez Editorial Designers Brenna Adams, Jenni Betz Staff Photographer Neal Santos Contributing Photographers Jessica Kourkounis, Mark Stehle Contributing Illustrators Ryan Casey, Don Haring Jr., Joel Kimmel, Cameron K. Lewis, Thomas Pitilli, Matthew Smith Human Resources Ron Scully (ext. 210) Circulation Director Mark Burkert (ext. 239) Sales & Marketing Manager Katherine Siravo (ext. 251) Account Managers Colette Alexandre (ext. 250), Nick Cavanaugh (ext. 260), Amanda Gambier (ext. 228), Sharon MacWilliams (ext. 262), Megan Musser (ext. 215), Stephan Sitzai (ext. 258) Office Coordinator/Adult Advertising Sales Alexis Pierce (ext. 234) Founder & Editor Emeritus Bruce Schimmel 30 South 15th Street, Fourteenth Floor, Phila., PA 19102. 215-735-8444, Tip Line 215-735-8444 ext. 241, Listings Fax 215-875-1800, Advertising Fax 215-735-8535, Subscriptions 215-735-8444 ext. 235 Philadelphia City Paper is published and distributed every Thursday in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Bucks & Delaware Counties, in South Jersey and in Northern Delaware. Philadelphia City Paper is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies may be purchased from our main office at $1 per copy. No person may, without prior written permission from Philadelphia City Paper, take more than one copy of each issue. Pennsylvania law prohibits any person from inserting printed material of any kind into any newspaper without the consent of the owner or publisher. Contents copyright © 2013, Philadelphia City Paper. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Philadelphia City Paper assumes no obligation (other than cancellation of charges for actual space occupied) for accidental errors in advertising, but will be glad to furnish a signed letter to the buying public.

contents Cover story, see p. 14

Naked City ...................................................................................6 A&E................................................................................................38 Movies.........................................................................................41 Agenda........................................................................................43 Food ..............................................................................................49 COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY NEAL SANTOS PHOTO EDITED BY EVAN M. LOPEZ DESIGN BY RESECA PESKIN

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thebellcurve CP’s Quality-o-Life-o-Meter

[ -3 ]

According to Paul Levy of Center City District, Philadelphia’s job creation has been comparable to Detroit’s over the last 40 years. Well, that sounds OK. Let’s just do a Google Image search to see how Detroit is doing — OH MY GOD. What happened? Was there a war?

[ + 2] Scientists decode the genes of a strain

of cholera using intestines kept in a jar at the Mütter Museum since 1849. And that’s how a scientist got ghost cholera.

[ - 1]

The son of a former ball boy for the 76ers says his dad used to taste-test Wilt Chamberlain’s soda to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. And that’s how a ball boy got super-herpes.

[ + 1] Philadelphia Brewing Company announ-

ces it will now accept Bitcoins, becoming the first American brewery to do so. But you can only use it to buy Kenzinger’s Cat — world’s first-ever open-source beer. The price and recipe may vary greatly, and you’re just going to have to trust them that it actually exists.

[ - 7]


[ 1]

Budgets cuts at Philly high schools have left them with too few guidance counselors, damaging students’ college prospects, especially low-income and black students. But, hey, our municipal bonds are getting straight A’s. Some are saying Molly Schuyler — a 125pound Nebraska mother of four — is a favorite to win this year’s Wing Bowl since she recently ate a 72-ounce steak in under three minutes. Win or lose, smothered in wing sauce and chicken fat and barf, she’ll still be the most respectable woman in the building.

[ + 2] As part of an effort to battle income inequal-

ity, President Obama designates a section of West Philly a “Promise Zone.” It’s a step up from the old designations: “Has A Great Personality Zone” and “Butterschools.”

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[ campaign 2014 ]

HE’S NOT BLOWING SMOKE Can John Hanger’s support for legalizing marijuana win him the governor’s race? By Daniel Denvir he voters who packed a candidates’ forum in November — racially diverse progressive activists and union members from voter-rich Philadelphia — will have a big say in May’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Unsurprisingly, all five candidates up on stage played to the crowd, harshly criticizing Gov. Tom Corbett’s cuts to public education and his refusal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. But it was candidate John Hanger who electrified the activists, drawing the afternoon’s loudest and longest applause when he issued a call to reform the state’s marijuana laws. “It’s time to legalize marijuana,” Hanger, a longtime figure in state government, told an ecstatic crowd at Temple University. “This is a question of justice. … African-Americans have been arrested at the rate of five times whites for marijuana possession. That’s why the schools-to-jails pipeline is full!” Hanger’s promise, to immediately allow medical marijuana and to legalize, regulate and tax recreational pot “as soon as possible,” is one way for him to stand out in a crowded field of eight Democrats hoping to capitalize on Corbett’s unpopularity.


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To win the primary election on May 20, Hanger must overcome a fundraising disadvantage and low name recognition. His candidacy will be a test of whether marijuana activism, after years in the political wilderness of smoke-fests and third parties, is ready for mainstream state politics. “This issue differentiates me,” says Hanger, who calls himself “clearly the progressive candidate in this race.” While the virtues of marijuana legalization might be clear to progressives, some political analysts doubt it will be a winning political issue. Franklin & Marshall political scientist Terry Madonna says “it’s hard to believe that young voters will be energized in such numbers to make a difference in the primary,” while West Chester University political scientist John Kennedy says that job creation will be a much “greater factor influencing” the black and youth vote. “Frankly, the more he focuses on it, the more he appears to look like a fringe candidate. Libertarians and other third-party types like the Green Party have been arguing in favor of legalizing marijuana forever,” Kennedy says. “How far has it gotten them?” But in politics, things that seem impossible one year can become inevitable the next. In October, a Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans — 58 percent — for the first time favored the legalization of recreational marijuana. Skyrocketing support from political inde-

“This issue clearly differentiates me.”

>>> continued on page 8

[ is not wearing pants ] [ a million stories ]

✚ STUCK AFTER CLASS More than 12 months after the Philadelphia School District received a bid for West Philadelphia High School, the sale of the vacant 250,000-square-foot building has not been completed, according to New York-based development company Strong Place Partners. Strong’s managing director Andrew Bank says that since formally entering into a contract to buy the school four months ago, he has been exercising a “due diligence period” built into the agreement. He declined to disclose the length of that period. However, the delay raises serious questions about the District’s current budget, which banks on cash from the sale of other District properties put on the market late last year. Given West Philly High’s still-pending sale, that revenue seems uncertain. Explaining the unusually long agreement period, a source within the District said he assumed that before completing the $6 million sale, Bank was likely waiting to secure the necessary zoning variances to convert the building into a proposed 300-unit apartment complex with a ground-floor retail component. However, Bank countered that there was “a panoply” of factors at play. Alluding to possible environmental issues and an application for historic tax credits, he added that a final design had not yet been agreed upon for zoning review. “When our proposal was submitted, it was based on a preliminary evaluation of the building and now we’re ascertaining whether what we proposed ...will actually fit, so that the economics work,” said Bank. He added that precisely how retail would be integrated into the 1912 Gothic institutional building without compromising the historic exterior,which would disqualify any historic tax credit


application, was still “up in the air.” The District is banking on the sale of at least $61 million worth of school properties by July 2014 to cover part of its highly publicized budget gap, and bragged recently that it had gotten 20 offers for seven schools vacated last year. But West Philly High was vacated in 2011 and put on the market shortly afterward, along with 11 other school properties. To date, only one of those buildings, a school annex in Queen Village, has actually sold. That the first round of buildings the District tried to unload are mostly still sitting is likely a sign of more budget trouble to come. — Ryan Briggs

✚ CART BLANCHE Recently, Houston’s city council elected to end a long-standing municipal regulation that barred the sale of alcohol within 300 feet of churches, public schools and hospitals. The prohibition had made it nearly impossible to sell alcohol in certain neighborhoods and the repeal’s supporters argued that supermarket operators were intentionally avoiding lower-income neighborhoods, often home to many churches, in order to cash in on lucrative beer and wine sales permitted elsewhere. What this means for Philadelphia is largely conjectural: No supermarkets in the city are licensed to sell beer or wine because of the commonwealth’s antiquated liquor laws. But do those laws, as they did in Houston, help perpetuate food deserts by making it harder to profitably operate a grocery in poor neighborhoods? Although comparing two different cities is notoriously difficult, >>> continued on page 10

photostream ➤ submit to

DID YOU LEAVE SOMETHING BEHIND?: A rider sports Eagles boxers on the Broad Street Line during the annual No Pants Subway Ride on Sunday afternoon. STEVE IVES

By Daniel Denvir

PHILLY FREEDOM ➤ IN AN EDITORIAL last Sunday, The Philadelphia Inquirer argued against clemency for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. In revealing the domestic intelligence dragnet, Snowden committed a “principled crime,” the paper allowed. But it went on to say he should return to the United States from Russia, where he is evading U.S. law enforcement, to face likely imprisonment. Why? Because Dr. Martin Luther King. The Inquirer lauded King and other civil-rights activists who “famously chose to face the consequences of their civil disobedience” by going to jail. In the Inquirer’s view, Snowden’s “retreat beyond the reach of U.S. authorities doesn’t exactly put him in line for an honor like King’s coming national holiday.” Private Chelsea Manning, who provided classified documents to Wikileaks, is now serving 35 years in a military prison. Does the Inquirer suggest that she be awarded a day off? It is illogical for those who welcome reporting on the NSA’s domestic surveillance to also support sending Snowden, the man primarily responsible for making that reporting possible, to prison. We remain cursed with a government bent on waging wars across the globe and then, in turn, violating domestic civil liberties in the name of national security. That was certainly also true on March 8, 1971, as the Vietnam War raged. “The Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI” broke into the agency’s office in suburban Media and stole documents that revealed a covert but widespread campaign of harassment against protesters. Last week, five of the activist burglars revealed themselves to the public for the first time. Unlike Snowden, they cannot be prosecuted — the statute of limitations is up. One memo they made off with urged agents to “enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles.” Another file provided the first hint of Cointelpro, later revealed as FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to disrupt the civil rights movement and new left. Like Hoover’s FBI, the NSA enables a government dedicated to a state of permanent warfare. It has spun large swaths of the Middle East and Africa into violence and cost taxpayers trillions that could have been spent on sorely needed projects at home. Snowden’s revelations were a reminder that there are people out there who threaten America’s wellbeing. He is not one of them. (

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✚ He’s Not Blowing Smoke

[ the naked city ]

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pendents along with Democrats tipped the scales. Younger voters overwhelmingly back legalization. Colorado and Washington have now legalized recreational marijuana, and 20 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even though it remains illegal for all purposes under federal law. But in Pennsylvania, as with most things socially progressive, support for legal pot lags behind the curve. A May 2013 Franklin & Marshall poll found that just 38 percent of this stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voters support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, with 54 percent opposed. But the tide is turning: as recently as 2006, just 22 percent backed legalization. And in the same May 2013 survey, 82 percent supported legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Former Gov. Ed Rendell says that legalization gets Hanger media and voter attention that would otherwise be hard to come by. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The biggest problem with John is what he always knew it would be: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s raising enough money to get on the radar screen of voters,â&#x20AC;? says Rendell, who is not endorsing anyone in the primary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Politically, that makes what Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talking about with legalizing brilliant.â&#x20AC;? Polls have put U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Katie McGinty (like Hanger, a former Department of Environmental Protection secretary) and state Treasurer Rob McCord in the lead, with Hanger, businessman and former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski trailing. Hanger lacks more than money. He also has little support from the elected officials and labor unions that comprise the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s institutional Democratic Party. But he has picked up the support of outside groups like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Lawsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; political action committee. On Feb. 1, progressive activists will gather at Phillyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Arch Street United Methodist Church to endorse him. But to win over widespread support, he must convince voters that he has the best agenda on public education, job creation and the environment. Rendell believes that Hanger will be persuasive if he can retain the attention generated by his pot legalization message. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very impressed with what Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done,â&#x20AC;? says Rendell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been the most substantive in responding to Gov. Corbett.â&#x20AC;? Hanger, 56, began his career in Philadelphia working for Community Legal Services, where he advocated for gas and utility customers. He went on to serve on the state Public Utility Commission, as president of the environmental group PennFuture and as DEP secretary under Rendell. Hanger, whose persona is more reminiscent of an old-time Puritan minister than a modern-day pot evangelist, is detail-oriented, with a background in the minutia of public policy. He is an eager debater and has sparred with environmental activists

angry over his major expansion of natural-gas drilling during the Rendell administration. Others, though, are attracted to his forceful denunciation of the privatization of public education. â&#x17E;¤ IN 2012, police made 20,568

arrests for marijuana possession in Pennsylvania, including 4,272 in Philadelphia. And even though research shows that whites and blacks smoke pot at similar rates, blacks in Pennsylvania are 5.19 times more likely to be arrested for possession, according to a 2013 American Civil Liberties Union report. It is one piece of a war on crime and drugs that has swelled the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prison population to more than 50,000. Pennsylvania, according to ACLU calculations, spends about $100 million a year arrest-

Leach: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The tipping point has been reached.â&#x20AC;? ing and locking people up for pot possession. Today, as city schools spiral deeper into crisis, publiceducation advocates decry the state spending $400 million on a new prison. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Prohibition is such a cruel, irrational, destructive policy [that] its support among the public is collapsing,â&#x20AC;? says state Sen. Daylin Leach, who has introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like marriage equality, I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an issue where the tide of history has turned, and the tipping point has been reached.â&#x20AC;? Leach is running for the congressional seat vacated by Schwartz and, like Hanger, touts himself as the progressive choice. According to campaign statements, Schwartz does â&#x20AC;&#x153;not support legalizationâ&#x20AC;? but believes >>> continued on page 10

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✚ He’s Not Blowing Smoke

[ the naked city ]

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Rendell says “stranger things have happened.”


that “possession of marijuana has been over-criminalized.” Wolf “would support the legalization of medical marijuana” but would not say whether he had a position on those who smoke weed just for fun. McGinty opposes legalization, but supports medical marijuana and “also supports reforming our drug laws by ending mandatory prison sentences that send people to prison for years for minor, nonviolent offenses.” McCord said he “is open to having a conversation about this issue” but would “like to spend more time looking at the research and the data before taking a position.” He “believes we should be spending more time getting illegal guns off the streets and less time arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana.” Rendell told City Paper that if he were still governor, he would support decriminalizing recreational marijuana and legalizing medical marijuana. He would consider total legalization after watching how things unfold in Colorado and Washington. It’s already clear, however, that youth-voter turnout shot up in both states. Many credit the legalization referenda on the ballots.

“Hanger has to do something to give his campaign some life,” says Muhlenberg College political scientist Christopher Borick. “While marijuana legalization might be important to only a limited sector of the Democratic primary electorate, he is hoping that, for that group, the issue is so salient that his campaign might garner some consideration. It’s a long shot, but, given his limitations, it’s not a bad strategic move.” The crowded field that makes it hard for a candidate like Hanger to get attention also improves his odds of winning. If just one-quarter of Democratic voters show up to the polls as they did in 2010, Hanger believes a candidate can win with just 300,000 votes. He likes the math. “Who knows?” says Rendell. “Stranger things have happened.” (


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✚ a million stories

<<< continued from page 7


THIS FILM IS RATED PG-13. Under 13 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. No purchase necessary. Texting services provided by 43KIX are free of charge. Standard text message rates may apply. Check your plan. Limit one entry per cell phone number. Late and/or duplicate entries will not be considered. Winners will be drawn and sent a mobile pass at random. Seating is not guaranteed. Sponsors are not responsible for lost or redirected entries, phone failures or tampering. Deadline for entry is Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 5:00 PM EST


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The after-tax profits are about one cent on every dollar of sales. Philadelphia supermarket density seems to indicate that prohibition has had a negative impact. A 2011 study by Trade Dimensions, a company that monitors the retail industry, showed that Philadelphia had 137 “supermarkets” — a loose definition that includes any grocery with more than $2 million in annual sales — or about one store for every 11,300 residents. By this measure, Philadelphia significantly lagged behind nearly all other peer cities that allowed sales in supermarkets. Wealthier big cities like New York had one grocery for every 8,200 residents, Washington, D.C. had one for every 8,400. But smaller cities with median incomes closer to Philadelphia’s also recorded better ratios of supermarkets to residents: one for every 9,400 residents in St. Louis, one to 8,900 in Newark, even one to 8,800 in Detroit. In Baltimore, where the county prohibits the sale of alcohol in supermarkets, the ratio is closer to Philadelphia’s — one grocery for every 10,000 residents. While there are certainly many different variables at play, the corrolation resonated with Dave McCorkle, president of the Pennsylvania

Food Merchants Association. His group has long lobbied Harrisburg to open up beer and wine sales to the grocers he represents, shoring up razor-thin profit margins. “Our businesses in Pennsylvania are particularly stressed at this point,” said McCorkle. “Our after-tax profits are about one penny for every dollar of sales.” But with cuts to the state’s General Assistance program and food stamps on the chopping block, McCorkle sees

alcohol sales in supermarkets less as a tool for expanding into low-income areas and more as a life preserver for existing stores. “Operating costs are higher in the city for a variety of reasons, so [supermarkets] are particularly stressed in Philadelphia,” he said. “Adult beverage sales in those Philadelphia stores would greatly improve the viability of those businesses.” — Ryan Briggs



[ the naked city ]

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TRASH TALK: Top, Dumpster Divers Sara Benowitz (right) and Gretchen Altabef at the opening of “Archives Alchemy” at the National Archives last Friday; their outfits and the show’s artworks employ materials the Archives were getting rid of after a renovation. Below, a detail from Altabef’s large microfilm-and-red-tape weaving.


DUMPSTER Going through the National Archives’ trash with the Dumpster Divers.

WORDS BY Emily Guendelsberger PHOTOS BY Neal


he red-carpet chatter for the Dumpster Divers’ annual awards banquet at Famous Fourth Street Deli is infinitely more entertaining than at the Golden Globes. What are you wearing, Sara Benowitz? “I’m wearing an outfit made from mortgage documents from the 1950s, governmental red tape (which we learned also comes in beige and white), microfilm sewn together and I have the Constitution around my shoulders, held together with red tape.” It’s not the real Constitution, obviously, though until recently it was housed at the Philadelphia branch of the National Archives. Many of the flashy costumes on the 40 or so Divers packed into the awards banquet last Thursday incorporated similar leftovers from “Archives Alchemy: The Art of the Dumpster Divers,” a collaboration between the loose, found-art collective and the National Archives’ trash that would open the next day. The Archives began a renovation about five years ago, moving much of their collection to a more modern facility in the Northeast from the old marble building shared with the old Post Office at 10th and Chestnut. As with any move, stuff surfaced that had outlived its usefulness: miles of microfilm that had already been digitized, for example, and buckets of red tape. That’s literal, not metaphorical, says Leslie Simon, regional director for the Archives. In the 19th century, she says, “they used to fold

things into thirds, and then tie everything together from a court case with red tape.” The move meant liberating thousands of these documents: “We untie the red tape, or cut it,” unfold and flatten each document, then re-file everything in bar-coded folders and boxes for use or scanning. The renovation involved bar-coding 150,000 items. The annual Divers awards banquet is the opposite of the Archives, where inside voices are mandatory and everything is in its right place. There’s no schedule. For about an hour, there’s just the din of dozens of simultaneous conversations between people in sequined bolero jackets or sieves repurposed as Viking helmets. It barely quiets down when someone yells at the top of his lungs: “I have an award to present!” Like their outfits, Diver awards are handmade and have no central governing principle — if you want to bestow an award, you have to first win the battle for everyone’s attention, then do it. Some Divers rolled up with multiple cardboard boxes full of trophies and medals; at least a hundred are given out. It’s chaos. This is how they like it. “This is a group that has no structure. None,” Neil Benson, a co-founder of the group, declares. At the very first meeting in 1992, he came up with the group’s single, surprisingly effective rule: “You can’t adjourn a meeting until you know when and where the next meeting is.” And so a group that first assembled for lunch more than two decades ago still meets monthly to discuss diners, found art, their latest finds (Benson’s all-time favorite: “Katherine Hepburn’s yearbook,” which he says he found in a trash can at 52nd and Market) and whatever else is on their minds. The Divers took a ton of materials from the Archives, but they didn’t put a dent in the stuff marked for the trash. There’s so much that I even somehow ended up leaving with a disembodied book spine the size of half a baseball bat. Simon, noticing it in the debris as we toured the near-complete renovation, picked the ancient-looking thing up with a hey-you-want-this? shrug, as if it were a pretty leaf from a September sidewalk. “When we were taking the shelves down, we discovered a whole lot of spines that had become separated from their books over the years” and inadvertently kicked under continued on adjacent page

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GO LONG: “Coaches and owners don’t want their quarterbacks reading Aristotle and Socrates. They want you reading Sports Illustrated and Superman comics,” says former Eagles QB Mike Boryla, whose one-man show premieres at Plays and Players this week.

continued from previous page

A new one-man show from the former “longhaired hippie quarterback” of the Eagles. AD PHOTOG LY S P E RAP HY

through April 24, free, National Archives, 900 Market St. (entrance on Chestnut between Ninth and 10th), 215-606-0101,


✚ “Archives Alchemy: The Art of the Dumpster Divers,”



the stacks, she explains. Most of the spines have already been tossed or incorporated into sculptures. The one Simon holds out is mahogany-colored leather with gold lettering, from the handwritten 19th-century records of a West Virginia District Court. I can’t bear the thought of this stately object in a dumpster. The same feeling led Simon to call the Divers, whom she’d worked with before. “It just felt natural when we got into threedimensional materials to reach out to them to see if they’d be interested, and they glommed right onto it,” says Simon. Diver Gretchen Altabef ended up organizing the exhibit, coordinating multiple pickups of boxes of stuff to be turned into collages and sculptures and brought back for display at the Archives. (Altabef contributed, among other things, a large, striking microfilm-and-red-tape weaving.) “I have an award for Gretchen Altabef!” someone shouts over the din at Famous Fourth Street Deli. “And I have an award for Gretchen!” yells another, then another — so many that it quickly becomes a joke. But the curator of the show is actually getting this many awards. Without rules or formal leadership, the Divers really show their appreciation when a member steps up to organize something like this. Altabef ends up looking like Michael Phelps. “I have an award for Leslie Simon!” Another cheer. Simon’s still at work at the Archives, though, so it’s agreed that it will be awarded to her tomorrow at the opening. The Archives and the Divers seem like diametric opposites: quiet and noise, order and chaos. But both halves of this partnership see great worth in things the average person wouldn’t bother to save, and that shared value goes deep. As the awards banquet winds down, most everyone is draped in medals. Benowitz and Benson get the coveted Golden Hanger awards for best outfit. Even I somehow walk out with a medallion with microfilm ribbons, awarded to me for unclear reasons. I know just the place for it: right next to my new enormous book spine. (

Mike Boryla



ike Boryla was not your average NFL quarterback. He graduated from Stanford, he loved reading the Bible and classic literature and, after his rookie season as quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1974, lived in a van for six months. Boryla spent three seasons as an Eagles QB; he threw more interceptions than touchdowns in his time here, but did make it to the 1975 Pro Bowl, where he tossed two TD passes in the final minutes to give the NFC the win. Boryla retired from the NFL in 1978, went to law school and became a lawyer in Denver. But he’s back in Philly for the first time in more than 35 years to perform his one-man show about his journey through football, The Disappearing Quarterback, which opens this week at Plays & Players. City Paper recently sat down with Boryla to find out what life in, and after, the NFL was like. City Paper: You’ve called yourself a “longhaired hippie quarterback.” What was life like for a hippie in the 1970s NFL? Mike Boryla: The reason I call myself a “long-haired hippie” is I came from Stanford and California. I was the first rookie quarterback to win three games in a row in the NFL. After that, I bought a blue shell Ford van and designed my new home, and I went back to California and I lived in my van for six months.

I think what was an adjustment for me was I was actually an intellectual. I was a faux athlete — I consider myself a scholar and a Renaissance man. I was not involved in the drug scene at all, but I really was involved in the counterculture. When I say “long-haired hippie quarterback,” it’s more along the lines of rejecting the materialism. As far as an adjustment to the NFL, I had to keep my intellectual side secret. Coaches and owners don’t want their quarterbacks reading Aristotle and Socrates. They want you reading Sports Illustrated and Superman comics. CP: Was there an incident that made you start hiding your intellectualism? MB: It was just understood. People wanted football players single-minded, totally focused on what they’re doing. And they really don’t like them having other interests. For example, no one on the Eagles team or the organization knew I lived in a van for six months after my rookie year. I don’t know what they would have done with that. The players were very aware I was from Stanford, and they knew I was different. They knew I didn’t come from Oklahoma or Texas. They knew that I had actually gone to classes in college, and that I actually graduated. CP: Was the Stanford football team different than your average college football factory? MB: Half my football team went on to medical school and law school after graduation. We had one guy named Jackie Brown who the Raiders wanted big-time — I think they drafted him in the third round. And he goes, “No, thank you, I’m going to Yale Law School.” They were really mad, because they spent a third-round draft pick on him. CP: Why did you go to the NFL? MB: I had actually been admitted to law school in New York my second year in the NFL — I actually had bought the books and met with the dean when I got a phone call from the Eagles that I was selected to play in the Pro Bowl. So I dropped out of law school, they gave me my tuition check back and I went to the Pro Bowl. CP: You were the quarterback of the continued on page 18

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RECORD NUMBERS: Colman Domingo’s one-man show on growing up immersed in soul music and the Philadelphia Sound, A Boy and His Soul, has run off-Broadway and in London; it comes to Philly for the first time this spring.


MAN Actor and writer Colman Domingo on music, Broadway and how he had to unlearn singing like Teddy Pendergrass. Colman Domingo



’ve finally become one of those actors where people go, ‘Oh, you look familiar!’” says Colman Domingo. Raised in West Philly and now living in New York, Domingo had breakthrough stage roles in Passing Strange and Chicago, and was nominated for a Tony for his work in The Scottsboro Boys More recently, he’s moved from stage to screen, with roles in Lincoln, 42 and The Butler. This May, Domingo brings his acclaimed A Boy and His Soul to Philadelphia Theatre Company. He stars in the one-man show, which details Colman’s upbringing in the city, his family and his deep love of the soul music that served as a soundtrack to his changing life — including coming out. Though it’s appeared off-Broadway and in London, this will be the first time A Boy and His Soul plays here. “The homecoming in Philadelphia will be the ultimate production for me,” says Domingo. “If the door closes on the production there, I’m fine. If it goes to Broadway or gets filmed or something, who knows? But for me, it’s always been the ultimate goal to bring it home to Philly.” City Paper:What was it like growing up here in the golden years of Philly soul? Colman Domingo: It’s funny, ’cause I think anyone who’s living in the “golden years” of something doesn’t realize it’s the “golden

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years” until later. [Laughs.] I listen to music now, I listen to Beyoncé, but my staples are the music I grew up with, because there’s great storytelling in the songs. Immediately, I’m thinking of “Sideshow” [by Blue Magic]. Guys were not afraid to sing in a high falsetto. Who does that anymore? Especially the Philly sound. Even why I sing the way I do — I’m not a trained singer, and it took me a while as a legit Broadway singer. Because, naturally, I sing like Teddy Pendergrass. Naturally, I sing like the O’Jays, because that’s what I understood. Sometimes you could sing a note, but also you could shout that note. And shouting was just as important, because it’s a feeling. [Briefly breaks into “You Can’t Hide From Yourself” by Teddy Pendergrass to demonstrate.] CP: A Boy and His Soul is just you — it couldn’t be more you. How important is it to have that outlet as an artist? CD: I think it’s very important. I’m very blessed to have a rent-controlled apartment in New York. I can actually say that I don’t have to do what I don’t want to do just for money. Money’s important, but I think more than anything, I’m very proud of the work I’m able to do or be a part of. So, when I do films, they’re meaningful. I’m very blessed to have never played a stereotypical drug dealer or something like that. I’ve created one autobiographical piece; the others are inspired by things, they’re not my story. So, I think it’s a great balance. Theater, as you know, takes a lot of time. Now that I’ve been in this business for 23 years, I’m very particular about where I spend that time. If I’m gonna be in a theater for eight shows a week and rehearsing for 50 hours a week, it’s gotta be something I really, really care about. So I say no much more than I say yes, because I know I can also create something that’s what I would like to say. I’m very blessed, because that’s the only power a creative artist has. We can’t sit around and wait. ( ✚ A Boy and His Soul, May 23-June 22, $46-$59, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St., 215985-0420,

✚ PLAY ACTION continued from page 15

Philadelphia Eagles. That’s not an easy job. How did you deal with it? MB: I was a two-year starter at Stanford, and I called my own plays at Stanford and [for] the first two years in Philadelphia. A few times a year, I had to remind myself, “Mike? It’s just a game.” When I got to Philadelphia, I was aware that people thought of it more as a religious cult. When I got out of Stanford, I considered football a game. It was a lot easier for me to be a starting quarterback when I considered it a game. CP: How did you get into football as a kid? MB: [Stands up to perform a short selection from his show.] “I started playing football in the third grade. Little did I know that I’d be playing quarterback for the next 19 autumns. My mom, she helped me put on the uniform. The thigh and the knee pads — I didn’t even know what they were. I was really confused about the shoulder pads. Thank God I figured out the jock strap by myself.” CP: How has Philadelphia changed since the last time you were here 35 years ago? MB: I absolutely loved it here. I absolutely love the down-to-earth, what-you-see-iswhat-you-get, real, gritty people here in Philadelphia. What happened to me was: I read the Bible all the time, and when I left I felt the Lord wanted me to leave and not look back. He did not want me to be one of these guys talking about his heyday for the rest of his life. So when I left Philadelphia and pro football, I went to law school, got a master’s, went back to Denver and never talked about it. I only recently started talking about it to my sons. This is Rittenhouse Square. When I was here, you did not go out walking downtown at night. My hotel is a bed and breakfast down the street. The first time I was there, I got here late, and I went to the woman at the front desk and said, “Is it maybe OK if I walk around outside and get something to eat?” And she looked at me and said, “Of course it is! This is Rittenhouse Square.” ( ✚ The Disappearing Quarterback, through Feb. 2, $25-$30, Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey Place, 866-811-4111,

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LIL DICKY The clown prince of viral-video hiphop plays his hometown. ➤ Feb. 19, TLA, RJD2 Time for Philly’s hip-hop mastermind to wake up the fools who slept on last year’s More Is Than Isn’t. ➤ Feb. 21, Union Transfer,




What’s coming up in arts and music. JEN N




Nicole Atkins

By Patrick Rapa




NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL These are the most sold-out shows of all time. No, I can’t get you in. ➤ Jan. 29, The Tower; Jan. 30, Union Transfer; DR. DOG A two-night jam from one of Philly’s most popular rock bands. ➤ Jan. 31-Feb. 1, The Electric Factory,

Dave Hause


MIRAH/DIVERS Both Zeitlyn sisters on one bill? We demand a duet. A duet must happen. ➤ Feb. 1, Boot & Saddle,

Hurray for the Riff Raff

JD SAMSON & MEN Conscious Brooklyn artdance pop performance music fortified with Le Tigre blood. ➤ Feb. 6, Johnny Brenda’s, MURDER CITY DEVILS This reunion is either the real damn deal or an insanely long nostalgia trip/ victory lap. The Seattle garage fiends have been back together since ’06, so their current incarnation is actually longer than their original go-round — but still, there’s no new record. Who knows. Enjoy the ride. ➤ Feb. 7, Union Transfer, SKINNY PUPPY Is this the greatest Canadian electro-industrial conservationist horror band of all time? ➤ Feb. 13, Trocadero,

DISCO BISCUITS The local jam trailblazers present three straight nights of noodly guitars, gnarly vibes and weird smells. ➤ Feb. 20-22, The Electric Factory, RHETT MILLER Is he the last man standing from the ’90s alt-country scene? ➤ Feb. 27, World Café Live, ST. VINCENT This show comes three days after the eccentric pop scientist drops a new, self-titled record inspired by real-life “vulnerable moments.” ➤ Feb. 28, Union Transfer, THE WAR ON DRUGS This show is a release party for The War on Drugs’ eagerly anticipated third album, Lost in the Dream. True-school rock ’n’ roll from Philly. ➤ March 18, Union Transfer, EX HEX The latest rock project from indie titan Mary Timony of Helium/Wild Flag/your dreams. ➤ March 22, Boot & Saddle, DUM DUM GIRLS Dee Dee and the Girls remain the most reliable and underrated modern-Goth group going. Their third album, Too True, produced by people with Blondie, the GoGo’s and the Raveonettes on their CVs, drops at the end of the month. ➤ March 23, Johnny Brenda’s, NICOLE ATKINS Always brazen and bluesy, the sharknado-voiced Jersey girl is already getting buzz for Slow Phaser, due out Feb. 4. It’s apparently the most epically pretty rock record ever. ➤ March 27, Johnny Brenda’s, CHILDISH GAMBINO Comedian Donald Glover’s funny, punny emo-rap alter ego grows on you, then wears you out, then wins you back. And then? ➤ March 28, The Electric Factory, DAVE HAUSE This Philly hardcore kid (formerly of Paint It Black, currently with The Loved Ones) put out a kick-ass solo record last year. ➤ April 6, World Café Live, HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF Fierce, pretty, formidable folk. ➤ April 8, World Café Live, BLACK LIPS Every single song these lovable Atlanta dirtballs write is dancey, classic and catchy as bedbugs. As heard in commercials for everything. ➤ April 18, Union Transfer, continued on page 24

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin






THEN, a new work performed by Group Motion, which finds fascinating underpinnings to our regular routines. ➤ Jan. 16-19, Arts Bank,

Arch 8 RO



GABRIELLE REVLOCK Philly’s reigning queen of quirky dance pairs up with an offbeat array of partners, including an actor, a classical Indian dancer and her mom. When the duets overlap, hijinks ensue (see p. 15). ➤ Jan. 24-25, Annenberg Center, ARCH 8 An ideal show for introducing youngsters to the art of dance by a dynamic Dutch company known for adventurous athletic movement that’s as challenging as it is entertaining. Invigorating on many levels. ➤ Feb. 1-2, Painted Bride Art Center, TAKE IT AWAY DANCE Engaging tap and contemporary works are accompanied by a live jazz band for an intimate percussive-movement event. ➤ Feb. 8, The Iron Factory,

continued from page 22

MILEY CYRUS Miley used to be a dull, doofy pop star who kept her image clean, her hair long and her tongue hidden. Then she spent a summer in Philly. Never forget. ➤ April 22, Wells Fargo Center,

DECIBEL MAGAZINE TOUR Philly’s world-class metal mag presents Carcass and Black Dahlia Murder. If you know who they are, you read Decibel. ➤ April 28, Trocadero,

HAIM What are we looking at here? The future of sweet, earthy, Fleetwood Mac rock, or the next Grey’s Anatomy montage? It’s kind of a fine line. ➤ May 14, TLA,

By Peter Burwasser



ACADEMY OF VOCAL ARTS Tchaikovsky’s operas are not heard nearly as often as his symphonies, but they are equally great. It is a rare treat to hear his Pique Dame, based on Pushkin. Local Russian music master Ghenady Meirson will play a piano reduction to accompany the singers. ➤ Jan. 18, 21, 23 and 25, Helen Corning Warden Theater, MENDELSSOHN CLUB OF PHILADELPHIA Here is an interesting combination of politically inspired

music separated by two centuries. Haydn’s Mass in Time of War reflects on the French aggression against Austria in the 18th century, whereas composer Arvo Pärt matured in the Soviet era. ➤ Feb. 23, Church of the Holy Trinity,

OPERA PHILADELPHIA/CURTIS OPERA THEATER The excellent collaboration continues, this time with a dramatic masterpiece of 20th-century opera, Poulenc’s Dialogue of the Carmelites, set in the French reign of terror. ➤ March 5, 7 and 9, Kimmel Center,

TEMPESTA DI MARE In an unusual bit of programming, this baroque ensemble features music written for the “Sun King” (Louis XIV) by Lully and for the sun god, Apollo, by Kusser and Stravinsky. ➤ March 8, Kimmel Center, THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA Yannick NézetSéguin has demonstrated particular strength in large choral works. These concerts feature Faure’s sublimely beautiful and gentle Requiem, the yin to Verdi’s yang. The lush program includes music by Gabrieli, Villa-Lobos, Franck and Duruflé. ➤ March 13-15, Kimmel Center, 1807 AND FRIENDS Pianist Cynthia Raim, a local treasure, is the guest artist of this venerable chamber music ensemble. A lovely program of Beethoven, Mozart and Dvorak. ➤ March 17, Academy of Vocal Arts, IGNAT SOLZHENITSYN All three of Prokofiev’s fiery, superbly expressive War Sonatas for solo piano will be performed by a man whose family history is directly tied to the Soviet experience. ➤ March 20, Kimmel Center,

NETWORK FOR NEW MUSIC NNM celebrates the music of John Harbison with two concerts and a spate of music, including jazz-influenced material, as well as works by composers inspired by Harbison. The composer himself will be present to take a spin at the conductor’s podium. ➤ April 4, Rock Hall; April 6, Gould Rehearsal Hall;

ASTRAL ARTISTS Grieg wrote some of his most beautiful music by adapting folk music from the mountains of his native Norway. That material will be the centerpiece of this recital, including some bewitching and seldom-performed vocal selections. ➤ May 4, Trinity Center, ORCHESTRA 2001 Four modern classics are on this invigorating program, highlighting unique views of nature and religion: music by Dutilleux, Schwantner, Messiaen and the powerful 1973 antiwar Kaddish-Requiem by Philadelphia area composer Richard Wernick. ➤ May 9, Trinity Center; May 11, Swarthmore College;

By Deni Kasrel



SUSAN RETHORST/GROUP MOTION Acclaimed New York choreographer Susan Rethorst presents a sublime slice of everyday life with

RASTA THOMAS’ BAD BOYS OF DANCE Ballet meets Broadway, hip-hop, tango and contemporary dance with this crew of buff, limber lads whose presentations are like live pop-music videos. ➤ Feb. 20-22, Annenberg Center, 2014 FLAMENCO FESTIVAL Pasion y Arte’s annual fest brings in master innovators of flamenco: Israel and Pastora Galván plus Rosario Toledo. Come to see thoroughbred performers and be ready to shout out many an enthusiastic olé! ➤ March 3-16, various locations, DOUG ELKINS CHOREOGRAPHY, ETC. An eclectic Vitamixer of dance, Elkins likes to blend high art, social and street styles in a joyful jumble of parodies. This time he spoofs Othello, The Moor’s Pavane and antics of the silent-film era. ➤ March 6-8, Annenberg Center, SUBCIRCLE Be ready for a mind-altering theatrical adventure when Jorge and Niki Cousineau set surreal conceptual works within unique atmospheres. If things seem out of context, well, that’s the point. ➤ April 3-5, Performance Garage, CAMILLE BROWN DANCERS Brown’s poignant yet humorous Mr. TOL E. RAncE provides a lively look at black minstrelsy past and present. Provocative, energetic dance-theater. ➤ April 1112, Painted Bride, PHILADANCO The current corps of this fine, fierce company ranks among the best of ’Danco’s storied history. This Blood, Sweat and Dance program promises to handily highlight its versatile chops. ➤ April 17-19, Kimmel Center, continued on page 26

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A Beautiful Thing






By Mary Armstrong



Ladysmith Black Mambazo SHA


continued from page 24

SHEN YUN This show of dance, music and song takes you on a fanciful journey as it brings myths and heroes of Chinese culture to life. Replete with large cast, sumptuous backdrops and full orchestra, even calling it an extravaganza is an understatement. ➤ April 25-27. Merriam Theater, MOMIX Momix’s inventive brand of dance illusion will be in high gear with Alchemia, a whimsical exploration of the four elements. Always a visual and sensual delight, Momix transforms bodies and props in spectacular ways. ➤ May 811, Annenberg Center, PENNSYLVANIA BALLET PAB celebrates the end of its 50th season with an edgy abstract work by William Forsythe, a world premiere by resident choreographer Matthew Neenan, plus another piece TBD. ➤ June 12-15, Merriam Theater,

By David Anthony Fox



a masterful storyteller himself. ➤ Jan. 15-Feb. 3, Skybox at the Adrienne,

on the title role. ➤ Feb. 6-March 16, St. Stephen’s Theater,

GHOSTS Henrik Ibsen, one of the masters of modern theater, should be well served in Philly this season, first by Ken Marini’s production of this once-scandalously frank study of corrupt family legacies. And if this production whets your appetite, EgoPo Classic Theater is also devoting its season to Ibsen. ➤ Jan. 15-Feb. 9, People’s Light & Theatre,

DON JUAN COMES BACK FROM IRAQ Director Blanka Zizka has joined forces with Paula Vogel, one of America’s most imaginative contemporary playwrights, for this collaborative project about a returning war veteran, which will have its world premiere at the Wilma. We can’t wait to see what these two amazing women create together. ➤ March 19-April 20, Wilma Theater,

TRIBES Philadelphia Theater Company continues its tradition of bringing us the best in contemporary theater with Nina Raine’s play about how parents work with a deaf child (and, more broadly, about family culture and communication). Tribes was a hit at London’s Royal Court and off-Broadway, and it’s sure to be one here, too. ➤ Jan. 24-Feb. 23, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, SUIT The latest step toward reinventing the Prince brings exceptional pedigree in the form of this highly praised British import about a married couple in South Africa by the great writer/ director Peter Brook. It’s not a musical, but hey — anything that brings life back to this important theater is music to our ears. ➤ Feb. 26-March 8, Prince Music Theater, JULIUS CAESAR Charles McMahon’s

A BEAUTIFUL THING Mauckingbird takes up Jonathan Harvey’s gay love story about working-class London youth. The hauntingly sweet and funny movie made from the original play is beloved, and artistic director Peter Reynolds is

Shakespeare productions have rightly become some of Lantern’s biggest hits. Hallmarks include the imaginative way the small space is used for these very large works and brilliant casting. The latter should be on full display when the gifted, charismatic Forrest McClendon takes

THREE SISTERS For the past two years, the Arden crew, including some of Philly’s best actors, has worked on bringing Chekhov’s magnificent family saga to the stage. Now we’ll have a chance to see the fruits of their labors. ➤ March 20-April 20, Arden Theatre, DOWN PAST PASSYUNK InterAct has had some major successes with plays about culture and politics right here in Philly (including the Barnesbattle-centered Permanent Collection). Down Past Passyunk, which examines a famous cheesesteak vendor battling an increasingly diverse neighborhood, should be right up their alley. ➤ April 4-27, Interact Theatre, MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA Eugene O’Neill’s adaptation of Aeschylus’ Oresteia may be the greatest American play hardly anybody has ever seen, in part because it’s a behemoth (uncut it runs nearly five hours). How brave and thrilling that Quintessence is presenting it with a cast that features the great Janice Dardaris. ➤ April 2-May 27, Quintessence Theatre,

RAY BENSON/MILKDRIVE It’s a two-fer from Austin. Asleep at the Wheel’s lead singer and founder plays a solo gig in his old hometown, with just that gorgeous deep voice and a guitar. And for a lagniappe, MilkDrive will deliver bluegrass-based acoustic originals. ➤ Jan. 25, Ardmore Music Hall, LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO No other group brought the sounds of the South African townships to the rest of the world so effectively. Ladysmith’s harmonies and dancing are a living link to Nelson Mandela, who loved them dearly. ➤ Jan. 31, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, VANCE GILBERT A charming man — dare we say sensitive? — with a jazz-trained voice he uses on smart originals. ➤ Feb. 1, Tin Angel, LEYLA MCCALLA TRIO From New Orleans with Haitian roots, McCalla — whom you may recall from the Carolina Chocolate Drops — melds all that culture with classical cello training, which she liberally translates to banjo. Both instruments are as likely to be strummed as used for melody. Her ethereal voice is especially haunting when she sings in Creole. ➤ Feb. 8, Tin Angel, LIBERIAN WOMEN’S CHORUS FOR CHANGE Blink and you’ll miss these four acclaimed singers from Liberia, now living in Philly. They describe their events as “pop-up concerts” — not quite flash mobs, but not far off. Their brief performances feature unaccompanied voices singing traditional songs with feet gently stepping out the rhythm. (This is a matinee show.) ➤ Feb. 9, FaithImmanuel Fellowship Hall,

DIRK POWELL AND RILEY BAUGUS These men bring the soul of the mountains via old-time music at its pinnacle. ➤ Feb. 9, Calvary Center, C.J. CHENIER AND THE RED HOT LOUISIANA BAND The son of Clifton Chenier — the man whose recordings brought attention to zydeco outside Louisiana — C.J. keeps the steam up. ➤ Feb. 14, Ardmore Music Hall,

NATION BEAT Sure, Johnnie and Jack had hits mixing country with tropical rhythms back in continued on page 28

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Melvin Van Peebles







Cuba-meets-jazz group Ninety Miles. ➤ Feb. 28, Philadelphia Museum of Art,

CHANGE OF THE CENTURY: STILL THE NEW THING! A series of collaborations between the

Mimi Jones

continued from page 26

the ’50s, but Nation Beat digs down deeper. Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” sounds natural with the Brazilian treatment, right down to the lap steel that would have tickled Don Helms if he were still with us. Whether reinventing the music of the American South or the north of Brazil, this band will make you get up and move. ➤ March 2, Calvary Center,

SARAH JAROSZ Recently graduated from the New England Conservatory, Jarosz writes distinctive contemporary songs and sings them with a deliciously soft-yet-strong voice. Her mandolin leads a string trio with inflections of jazz, classical and whatever else crosses her mind. ➤ March 6, Ardmore Music Hall,

the fun has been calmed down to tossing confetti instead of showers of pigment powders, but the dancing and joyful energy are preserved. ➤ March 27, Underground Arts,

DAVE LIEBMAN/RAVI COLTRANE John Coltrane will be at Chris’ in spirit for this quintet date coled by son Ravi and longtime disciple Liebman. ➤ Feb. 8, Chris’ Jazz Café,

TUMBLING BONES With a stress on the banjo and fiddle and a fondness for reviving jug-band tunes from the early days of the last century, these young men are now writing some mighty originals. ➤ March 28, Tin Angel,

MONNETTE SUDLER’S PHILADELPHIA GUITAR SUMMIT For the fifth year, blues/jazz guitarist

By Shaun Brady

JAZZ ANDRE THIERRY AND ZYDECO MAGIC Any Allons Danser dance is big fun, but this one is extra special, being the annual Mardi Gras masked ball. Thierry’s band is special, too. They can sing soft, romantic R&B harmonies in English, with the squeeze box taking the melody breaks, then segue into the most traditional dance tunes imaginable. ➤ March 8, Holy Saviour Club,

KARAN CASEY TRIO Depending on where you caught up with her, you might know Casey as the voice of Solas, as a jazz singer earlier in her career, or as someone who writes her own songs, as she does these days. The consistent thread is that impossibly pure voice. ➤ March 9, Calvary Center, RED BARAAT Northern Indian rhythms plus funk and horns will celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colors — albeit a week or two late. Fear not,


LUCIAN BAN/MAT MANERI DUO Romanianborn pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri pair up to perform a stunning blend of free improvisation, contemporary classical and folk music inspired by composers from Ban’s native region. ➤ Jan. 25, Philadelphia Art Alliance, HEATH/IVERSON/STREET TRIO Legendary Philly-born drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath comes home with two younger collaborators in tow: The Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. Together, the three play music that acknowledges Heath’s roots while revealing the drummer’s eternal youth. ➤ Feb. 1, Philadelphia Art Alliance,

Sudler convenes a gathering of serious six-string practitioners — this year, that means Sheryl Bailey, Mulebone and eight-string virtuoso Tosin Abasi. ➤ Feb. 8, Montgomery County Community College,

ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE Led by percussionist Kahil El’Zabar, the AACM-aligned ensemble celebrates four decades of its unique fusion of fiery jazz and traditional African music. ➤ Feb. 12, The Rotunda,

Bride, Ars Nova Workshop and Bobby Zankel pay tribute to some of jazz’s most innovative voices. Zankel will lead an all-star band in honor of pianist Cecil Taylor; Ornette Coleman will be honored by his son, drummer Denardo Coleman, and bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma; and Zankel’s Warriors of the Wonderful Sound big band and the Sun Ra Arkestra will team up to pay homage to Taylor, Coleman and Sun Ra. ➤ March 8 and 21, April 19, Painted Bride,

NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL: NOW 60 The storied jazz festival has hosted virtually every important name in jazz history, was the site of Paul Gonsalves’ audience-inciting solo on Duke Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” and served as the backdrop for Bing, Sinatra and Satchmo in High Society. It celebrates its diamond anniversary with an all-star band led by clarinetist Anat Cohen. ➤ March 9, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, MIMI JONES Bassist and singer Mimi Jones has worked with Kenny Barron, Roy Hargrove and Terri Lyne Carrington, and founded her label Hot Tone as a home for other female artists blending jazz, soul, and hip-hop. ➤ March 14, Philadelphia Museum of Art, GHOST TRAIN ORCHESTRA Trumpeter Brian Carpenter founded this ensemble to breathe vibrant life into forgotten gems from jazz’s past. Their 2011 debut focused on composers from 1920s Chicago and Harlem, while 2013’s followup, Book of Rhapsodies, culls from eccentric ’30s songsmiths like Raymond Scott and Alec Wilder. ➤ April 12, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts,

PABLO BATISTA’S MAMBO SYNDICATE The master percussionist/Temple grad who toured with Grover Washington Jr. for more than a decade returns to Philly to spice up Valentine’s Day with salsa dancing. ➤ Feb. 14, Painted Bride Art Center,

By Annette Monnier



MELVIN VAN PEEBLES WID LAXATIVE The always unpredictable father of Blaxploitation and early practitioner of spoken word fronts an eclectic funk-jazz band featuring members of experimental hip-hop big band Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber. ➤ Feb. 15, Johnny Brenda’s,

DAVID SÁNCHEZ The Puerto Rico-born Grammy-winning saxophonist has thrived by finding fresh ways to meld jazz with AfroLatin sounds, most recently co-founding the

YEESOOKYUNG “The Meaning of Time” — the first major U.S. solo exhibition of the Korean artist Yeesookyung — will include new works from her Translated Vase series. These biomorphic sculptures are a mash-up of discarded shards of ceramic waste fused with gold-leafcovered epoxy, mutant works that evoke continued on page 30

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Katharina Grosse a free ICA membership. Keep checking their site as the schedule unfolds. ➤ Feb. 12-Aug. 17, Institute of Contemporary Art,


continued from page 28

traditional Korean aesthetics and forms. This exhibition at Locks Gallery is a contemporary lead-in to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s pioneering “Treasures from Korea” collection (see right). ➤ Feb. 7-March 15, Locks Gallery,

ICA@50: PLEASING ARTISTS AND PUBLICS SINCE 1963 The Institute of Contemporary

Funeral for a Home

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Art turns 50 this year, and to mark the occasion they are hosting 50 micro-exhibitions that open every two weeks. These events will feature artists from the ICA’s past and future including locals such as Thom Lessner, Anthony Campuzano and Isaac Tin Wei Lin. Attending just five of these dynamic programs will win you

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Comprising of more than 150 works drawn primarily from the National Museum of Korea’s collection, “Treasures from Korea” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the first full-scale survey in the United States to be devoted entirely to the art of the celebrated Joseon dynasty. ➤ March 2-May 26, Philadelphia Museum of Art,

KATHARINA GROSSE PROJECT The name of this highly visible project is still TBA, and details are shaky, but Berlin-based visual artist Katharina Grosse is working with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to create a site-specific installation along the Northeast rail corridor between 30th Street Station and points north. The artwork will be temporary and transform over time, “creating a choreographed experience that moves viewers through time and space.” ➤ Spring, between 30th Street and North Philly stations,

FUNERAL FOR A HOME In May, Temple Contemporary will celebrate the life and mourn the passing of a single home in the Mantua community. This funeral is a large collaborative effort with artists (Jacob Hellman and Billy and Steven Dufala), local residents and various civic groups. The ceremony itself will follow many of the customs associated with a Philadelphia service, including a procession, viewing, spoken testaments by loved ones (residents and neighbors) from the stoop, music, a meal and, of course, final goodbyes. As attendees watch the home be demolished, all are invited to gather and pay their last respects. ➤ May 31, 3711 Melon St.,, FORCE FIELD PROJECT Call it a derelict cousin of Hidden City Philadelphia. Curators Tim Eads, Joe Bartram and Joe Patitucci are joining forces with videographer Raul Romero and photographer Carlos Avendaño to create art to fill empty spaces. The project is currently seeking innovative work in the fields of installation, performance, dance, video and sound art. Applications are due Jan. 31. The festival will launch at the former Jo-Mar building (1000 E. Venango St.) and will become an annual event. ➤ June 21-22, Jo-Mar,

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IM Academy, a college preparatory school for grades 1-12, provides extraordinary educational opportunities to children with language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia, utilizing research-based intervention strategies and an arts-based learning environment that is college preparatory in scope and sequence. An exciting Summer Enrichment Program is offered for all grades, June 30-July 25. Additionally, the AIM Institute for Learning and Research is an international, multidisciplinary service delivery model designed to bring the latest research and educational training opportunities to parents, teachers and therapists who work with children who learn differently. AIM Academy, 1200 River Road, Conshohocken. To learn more about AIM or register for a monthly Open House, visit ‹ COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF PHILADELPHIA: YOUR PATH TO POSSIBILITIES


ommunity College of Philadelphia offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in business, humanities, health, liberal arts, science, technology, and the social and behavioral services. Our Main Campus and three Regional Centers are conveniently located throughout the city. With a range of student support services, campus life activities and intercollegiate athletics, the College provides an excellent, well-rounded college experience that will help you achieve your educational goals. The Smart Path to a Bachelor’s Degree: If you plan on earning your bachelor’s degree, save money by spending your first two years here. Tuition is more affordable than fouryear colleges and universities, so you will spend less — much less — for your four-year education. The College makes transfer seamless through Dual Admissions partnerships and dozens of transfer agreements. Dual Admissions allows you to earn your associate’s degree at Community College of Philadelphia and then enroll, with junior standing, at one of 12 four-year colleges to pursue your bachelor’s degree. Support services and financial assistance, such as advising and scholarships, are included to help you achieve academic success. The College has Dual Admissions agreements with Arcadia University, Cabrini College, Chestnut Hill College, Cheyney University, Eastern University, Holy Family University, Immaculata University, La Salle

University, Peirce College, Rosemont College, St. Joseph’s University and Temple University. Transfer agreements with schools such as Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia University, West Chester University, Widener University and more will help you complete your transition to a four-year program. Excellent Career Paths, Diverse Opportunities: The College offers a wide variety of programs that prepare you to start an in-demand career after graduation or continue your education. Our programs provide a foundation for careers in architecture and construction; art, design and media; business and technology; health care; law and public service; liberal arts; science; social and human services; and technical programs such as automotive technology and culinary arts. Learn More or Apply Today: The College offers open houses, webcasts and campus tours throughout the year. Let us help you get started on your path to college, join us for an upcoming information session: Back to College Night for adults considering college or returning to college (Tue., Jan. 28, 6 p.m.); Information Sessions at the Northeast Regional Center (Thu., Feb. 6, 4 p.m., or Wed., Feb. 19, 6 p.m.); Information Sessions at the Northwest Regional Center (Thu., Feb. 13, 5 or 6 p.m., or Thu., Feb. 20, noon, 1 or 2 p.m.); and Information Sessions at the West Regional Center (Sat., Feb. 8, noon, or Mon., Feb. 17, 6 p.m.). Visit for more information about upcoming information sessions. To apply online and for more information about Community College of Philadelphia’s programs and support services, visit ‹GWENDOLYN BYE DANCE CENTER


wendolyn Bye Dance Center has been offering dance classes for children, teenagers and adults for more than 25 years. Year-round and summer programs for 2014 are offered for beginners to professional include ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, creative dance, musical theater, Zumba, Pilates and Exercise with Dance. The school has a professional faculty of international reputation and is the home of professional modern dance company Dancefusion. Also ask about our Main Line location. Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, 3611 Lancaster Ave. Register by calling 215-222-7633 or visiting ➡ CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

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ratz College has been a pioneer in Jewish education since it opened its doors in 1895 and is the oldest pluralistic college for Jewish studies in North America. The Gratz College Division of Adult Jewish Learning is for adults in the community who enjoy learning in an intellectual atmosphere with instructors who are highly regarded experts in their fields. We offer a wide variety of day and evening courses including history, literature, theology, Torah and ancient texts, Holocaust, Israel and the Middle East as well as Hebrew and Yiddish language for all levels. Classes begin the week of February 3. Convenient times and locations. Register online at Adult Learning also offers many distinguished scholar lectures and programs for the community. The College offers BA, MA and Doctoral level programs, and MA in Holocaust and Genocide studies and an Ed.D. in Jewish Education. Visit for a calendar of events or contact Barbara Rosenau, 215-635-7300, ext. 182, or, for more information. ‹MAIN LINE SCHOOL NIGHT: CONGENIAL LEARNERS, ENGAGING FACULTY


pring has arrived at Main Line School Night. Registration is now under way for the spring 2014 semester, with new classes starting every week from February through June. Learning for Life Since 1938, Main Line School Night offers 500 courses in a broad and eclectic range of subjects including cooking, fitness, creative arts, foreign languages and cultures, literature, history and current affairs, computers, dance, music and more. “Try Something New” is this spring’s theme at Main Line School Night, with more than 30 percent of the courses offered for the first time. A recent joint effort with the Haverford Township Adult School brings additional classes. Main Line School Night is collaborating with Vox Ama Deus to offer uplifting musical performances and engaging lectures. Additionally, students can enroll in online classes and enjoy the benefits of lifelong learning from anywhere and at any time. Main Line School Night offers daytime, weeknight and weekend classes at the Creutzburg Center, the organization’s headquarters, in Radnor, Lower Merion High School in Ardmore and approximately 40 other locations throughout the greater Main Line region. For more information and to view the full class listing, call 610-687-0460 or visit ➡ CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

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he Theatre School at Walnut Street Theatre is celebrating its 29th year as the most popular theatre school in the Delaware Valley. Artists of all ages and skill levels have enjoyed the inviting educational atmosphere that can only be found at America’s oldest theatre. With a dynamic list of courses for kids, teens and adults, there is something for everyone. Students have gone on to perform on many Philadelphia stages, including the Walnut’s Mainstage. You may have seen students in shows like Elf and The Music Man. Students have also gone on to perform on Broadway, like Paige Brady, currently playing Matilda in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Exciting classes are taught by working actors and actresses. This spring semester, students will have the opportunity to work with the recently Tony-nominated Rob McClure (Chaplin). In addition to classes, students perform in showcases for friends and family, and enjoy discounted tickets to Walnut Street Theatre productions. Spring courses are offered on evenings and weekends from Jan. 25 through mid-April. Classes start as low as $200 for 10 weeks. For registration and class information, call 215-574-3550, ext. 510, or visit

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et a taste of the University of the Arts Continuing Education programs during the Preview Workshop Day on Sat., Jan. 25. Workshops include Adobe Lightroom Basics, Digital Camera Basics, Figure Drawing, Papermaking, Photoshop Basics and Social Media Basics. These one-day workshops are designed to give you a short introductory experience to many popular subjects and can help you decide on a longer spring course. Students who register and complete a workshop on Jan. 25 are eligible for a 10 percent tuition discount on one 30-hour course within the same term. For those looking to embark on a new career, increase marketability in their current field, or explore a new area, the UArts certificate programs are the way to gain knowledge quickly and connect with others in the industry. UArts offers certificate programs in Social Media Marketing, Communication Design, Digital Photography, Web Design + Development, and Portfolio Development, as well as courses in visual arts, crafts, design, technology, dance, music and writing. For more information, call 215-717-6095, email or visit



Preview Workshop Day Saturday, January 25, 2014 These one-day workshops are designed to give you a short introductory experience that can help you select a full course or allow you to explore a new subject area. Workshops include: r Adobe Lightroom Basics r Digital Camera Basics r Figure Drawing r Papermaking, and more! Students who register and complete a workshop are eligible for a 10% tuition discount for one 30-hour spring 2014 CE course. (No retroactive refunds will be given.) View courses or register at: C I T Y PA P E R . N E T | J A N U A R Y 1 6 - J A N U A R Y 2 2 , 2 0 1 4 | P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R |




icepack By A.D. Amorosi


I know, I know — you’re the criminal pervert type, but have you considered a walk on the milder side? I’m not suggesting a nice cheddar. I’m talking porn. Surely something at PhilaMOCA and International House this week will make you feel gouda. Through Feb. 15, West Philly’s I-House is taking a serious look at the cinema of the sexual revolution — the ’60s/’70s Free to Love free-for-all — with diabolically erotic fare like In the Realm of the Senses and guests like avant-auteur Barbara Hammer. Meanwhile, on Jan. 17, PhilaMOCA’s Eric Bresler and Danger After Dark’s Travis Crawford screen Philly-made porn flicks from the 1970s: Al Goldstein’s SOS: Screw on the Screen and Icepack familiar R.C. Horsch’s The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig. SOS is Goldstein’s love song to dirty NYC, but the flick’s scenes at Philly’s late Locust Strip Cinema with vaginal ping-pong-baller Honeysuckle Divine are priceless. Then there’s Memoirs — shot throughout Philly with legendary porn stars like Georgina Spelvin. “I had originally intended to do my Distribpix hardcore/XXX double feature last month, but the digital restoration of SOS was literally finished — just for us — last week,” says Crawford. “The extra time was beneficial, as it allowed me to get in touch with Horsch, the recently-sprung-from-federal-prison director of Erotic Memoirs.” Horsch, famously busted for weed, will be on hand at PhilaMOCA for a post-screening chat. ➤ Here’s something that could add fuel to the red-hot rumor that chef/owner Peter Woolsey is heading to the FringeArts Pump House to run its restaurant this (late) spring: You may recall when Woolsey employee Kenneth Bush left his post as chef at Bistrot La Minette to join Jose Garces’ ranks as sous chef at his Trading Company. Well, now Bush is rumored have just left Garces to suddenly re-join Bistrot La Minette. Why? Does it have anything to do with Woolsey maybe heading to FringeArts? No comment from Woolsey or FringeArts’ Nick Stuccio yet, but Bush and Woolsey are supposed to be heading to France for some fun research soon. ➤ Sounds as if the long-rumored, Simon Crane-directed fast-and-furious racing flick Hot Wheels will film in Philly late this spring. May I suggest that Legendary Pictures put to good use that southern stretch of Delaware Avenue that Philly hot-car drivers and motorcyclists use every night around 10 p.m.? The roar reverberates into the Italian Market miles away. ➤ There’s always more Icepack at ( 38 | P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R |

I THINK YOU’VE GOT A FEVER: Beverly Agard (center), the mother of dancer and choreographer Gabrielle Revlock (right), has never taken a dance class. But she still keeps getting recruited as a performer, as in this workshop last year and in Revlock’s upcoming Confetti at the Annenberg Center. KATHRYN RAINES

[ dance ]

DAUGHTER’S LITTLE HELPER A Philly choreographer works her amateurdancer mom into a premiere of duets. By Julie Zeglen hiladelphia choreographer and dancer Gabrielle Revlock has several “dance crushes” — performers who piqued her creative interest enough that she enlisted them as dance partners for Confetti, her upcoming all-duet show premiering next weekend at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts. Confetti is an abstract interpretation of how two people can influence and change each other through movement. Most of Revlock’s 12 dance partners (14, if you count two hand trucks that “dance” in the opening section) come from a dance background, like Greg Holt, a fellow contemporary choreographer and dancer. Some are less expected, like 8-year-old Lily Savage, a student at the Rock School and daughter of another dancer in the show. But the least traditional is Revlock’s own mother, Beverly Agard — who’s never taken a dance class in her life. “No,” Revlock laughs when asked to confirm that her mom is not a professional dancer. “At the very beginning of this process, I did little interviews with people [in the show] and asked them what type of dancer they were, and she said that she was a salsa dancer.


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My mother has never taken any salsa, so I don’t know where that’s coming from.” Agard, a horticultural therapist by day, fostered her daughter’s lifelong enthusiasm for the art form. “I always loved dance and took her to a ton of dance performances when she was younger,” she says. “I took her to The Nutcracker, and she came out knowing all the steps.” But she entered the world of contemporary dance herself only two years ago, when Revlock encouraged her to participate in Sylvain Emard’s massive group dance Le Grand Continental as part of the 2012 Fringe/Live Arts festival. She’s sporadically appeared in her daughter’s work ever since, both on stage and in video. “I knew that she’d be really game, and that she had this uninhibitedness that I think is lovely; I wanted to work with that,” says Revlock, who is known in the Philadelphia dance scene for her quirky dance style and incorporation of humor into her pieces. “I get sick of my own gracefulness sometimes; I want to just be irregular. She can do that, I have a hard time doing that. Also, because she’s my mom, she lets me drag her around the stage and sit on her.” She laughs. “Maybe with other people there’s some of that awkwardness of, ‘Do you mind if I stand on you?’ But I can just do that to my mom!” The mother-daughter duet is the second in the show. As the previous section’s music fades and Revlock lies on the ground with Holt

My mom lets me drag her around and sit on her.

>>> continued on page 40

[ more hippie than hipster ] soundadvice

[ album reviews ]

➤ dj-kicks |C

➤ sharon jones & the dap-kings | B+

!K7’s venerable DJ-Kicks series — which sees its 20th year (and 50th installment) in 2014 — has been in a resolutely housey mode of late, and the two mellow-leaning volumes that dropped late last year were no exceptions. Both offer streamlined thumpers, synth reveries and soulful vocal cuts. But where Barcelona’s John Talabot packs 27 cuts into a strangely tepid mix, Breach’s livelier effort covers —K. Ross Hoffman more ground in half as many tracks.

By now we know what to expect from Jones and co., and Give the People What They Want (Daptone) does what the title says. The band’s output is so reliably strong, their emulation of iconic ’60s-vintage soul so effortless, that it’s dangerously easy to take them for granted, even given the circumstances surrounding this album’s postponement: Jones’ recent (triumphant!) battle with pancreatic cancer. The passion in these grooves, and especially in her powerhouse voice, makes it hard —K. Ross Hoffman to imagine anything holding this band back.

➤ blank realm | B This new one by Australian garage-blues quartet Blank Realm will give you flashbacks. But you won’t flash too far back. We’re talking summer 2013, when the living was easy. Back to the backyard, with the smell of meat cooking, a killer selection of vinyl to pull from and a bottomless cooler of Lime-a-Ritas. Grassed Inn (Fire) is good-time, falling-down-the-stairs rock ’n’ roll — a little bit War On Drugs, a little bit The Clean and a whole lot of fun. —Elliott Sharp


By K. Ross Hoffman

➤ bruce springsteen | BA collection of B- and C-sides, covers and re-recordings, High Hopes (Columbia) doesn’t exactly top the list of Springsteen’s most essential recent records. Even the most devout Boss completionists might agree that scrapped cuts from The Rising (“Harry’s Place”) and obscure Australianpunk-band covers (The Saints’ “Just Like Fire Would”) probably didn’t need to be released. High Hopes does have its highlights, though: The full-band version of “The Ghost of Tom Joad” is inspired and a studio recording of “American Skin (41 Shots)” has been a long time coming. —Marc Snitzer

[ movie review ]

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN [ A- ] SURPRISES ARE THE last thing you expect from a period piece directed by Ralph Fiennes. But, as he did in transplanting Shakespeare’s Coriolanus to present-day Bosnia, Fiennes upends convention in relaying the story of Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and his longtime mistress, Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones). But rather than Coriolanus’ shot across the bow, Fiennes’ second directorial outing begins in a relatively familiar, though well-executed, style, with a married, middle-aged Nelly reflecting on her relationship with the late author. Dickens is a full-fledged celebrity, one whose fame allows him to write and act in plays, though readings of his serialized novels draw greater crowds. Nelly hails from a theatrical family, and though she’s less eager to act than her siblings, Dickens declares that “she has something” — although that something, as it turns out, is not a talent for the stage. Even though he keeps his affair with Nelly secret, Dickens is coldly cruel to his wife (a magnificent, if too-briefly-seen Joanna Scanlan), boarding up the doorway between their separate rooms and eventually distancing himself from her through a letter to the editor. Once Dickens’ relationship with Nelly begins in earnest — though still not in public — The Invisible Woman shifts dramatically, in every sense. As Dickens and Nelly retreat from public view, the other characters drop away, and the camera frames them in tight, gleaming close-ups that evoke J.M.W. Turner paintings. Fiennes and Jones’ performances grow more hushed as well — more precise, as if their physical and emotional intimacy allows them to clarify, even purify, themselves. The Invisible Woman has other surprises in store, less in terms of plot than structure and style, and it firmly establishes that Fiennes is as great a director as he is an actor. —Sam Adams

Tight closeups evoke Turner paintings.

NOW YOU SEE HER ... Felicity Jones plays Charles Dickens’ longtime mistress, Nelly Ternan, in Ralph Fienne’s period piece.

CROOKED REIGN ➤ WITH WIG OUT AT JAGBAGS (Matador), Stephen Malkmus has now made more records with his trusty Jicks than he did with Pavement. Building from the revelatory (relative) focus and melodic directness of 2011’s Mirror Traffic, Jicks #6 stands as the tightest, nimblest and possibly most fun Malkmus LP yet. It’s notably the shortest since his solo debut and — note the title — easily the silliest. “Tennyson” gets rhymed with “venison,” “Hades” with “Slim Shadys,” “party crash” with “Balderdash” and “Cert” with “that ain’t no dessert.” A similarly glib wit extends to the musical arrangements: Check the horn blasts and Thin Lizzy-style guitar leads of the rollicking “Chartjunk,” or the way the album’s occasional, brief jammy passages — the fake-out freak-out introducing “Houston Hades” or the wry dub reggae outro of aging-punk rallying cry “Rumble at the Rainbo” — are folded into carefully devised structures. There’s a surprising amount of heart here too, especially for such an inveterate obscurantist snarkmeister. Malkmus’ prettier, more subdued numbers have always been some of his best, but the freewheeling, atypically earnest nostalgia of “Lariat” and contented nonconformity of “Independence Street” are uncharacteristically affecting. Maybe it’s blasphemy for some, but I’ve long connected Malkmus with Phish’s Trey Anastasio: fellow smirky, shaggy-haired Gen-X guitar icon, and noted Pavement fan. Despite its lack of extended six-string wig-outs, Wig Out seems to point to that connection more than ever. And not just because the Grateful Dead get name-checked (along with yurts, tripping and “glass-blowing funky neighbors”). Malkmus seems like more of a hippie than a hipster these days. But darling, don’t you go and flip your wig. Maybe it’s his age, maybe it’s all those years living in Portland, or very possibly that’s just the difference between 2014 and 1992. (

Stephen Malkmus | [A-]

Wig Out at Jagbags (MATADOR)

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✚ Daughter’s Little Helper

[ arts & entertainment ]

<<< continued from page 38

“Patience is the number one word,” says her daughter. gyrating over her, Agard emerges from stage left, a bundle of broom handles in hand. She drops them, and Holt steps aside. For the next six minutes, Agard and Revlock engage in a partly synchronized series of steps ranging from jazzy jumps to morose floor rolls. At one point, another dancer emerges and attempts to drag Agard off of the stage, and Revlock drags her back, then takes a seat on her mother’s knees. In a rehearsal about two weeks before the show’s opening, Agard seems to have the moves down pretty well, only hesitating to watch her daughter for direction a few times. It’s clear that Agard is no pro. But being an amateur has its value. “I’m sure some people will be horrified by the section, but I hope that some people will actually enjoy watching her make choices,” says Revlock. “The beauty of her doing things a little bit differently each time, I think, is really interesting.” Acting as protégée to someone who was once your own protégée can make for a strange power shift, though. “I’ve been reprimanded a few times,” says Agard. “When I got on the cell phone when she was giv-

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ing direction, she didn’t like that.” Also, “she likes things very wellrehearsed. Somebody like me, it takes a lot of going over and going over. I’m 62.” “Patience is the number one word,” says Revlock. I probably had the most rehearsals with her, and we’re still trying to remember the choreography. And then I realized, that’s what this section is. And if she doesn’t remember it, fine. In fact, great. All the better. I love seeing her thinking about what’s coming next and trying to remember.” Agard, in her own defense, credits herself with at least some of her daughter’s talent. “She says I’m a good improviser. And she was always a good improviser. Maybe she got that from me.” ( ✚ Confetti, Jan. 24-25, $20-$30, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St., 215-898-3900,




Ride Along

✚ NEW THE INVISIBLE WOMAN |ASee Sam Adams’ review on p. 39. (Ritz at the Bourse)

JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT Read Shaun Brady’s review at (Wide release)

RIDE ALONG Read Drew Lazor’s review at (Wide release)

✚ CONTINUING 12 YEARS A SLAVE | B+ The most painful portrait in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, based on the true story of a criminally enslaved freeman, is one of its stillest. Noosed to a low-hanging tree branch after scrapping with cruel overseer Tibeats (Paul Dano), Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) struggles to breathe, his mud-dug tiptoes the only force preventing his trachea from being crushed. All the while, McQueen’s staid wide shot reveals Northup’s fellow slaves in the background, aware of their friend’s plight, but too fettered to do anything about it. It’s these difficult observations of powerless people that give McQueen’s third feature such teeth. John Ridley’s screenplay, largely faithful to the 1853 source material, follows Northup’s journey, from blissful family man to Louisiana field hand, at a pace that seems

to disregard the rudimentary passage of time. While both his captors (Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassender) and companions (standout Lupita Nyong’o) prove fragile and impressionable, the steadiness of Northup’s humanity is almost superhuman. McQueen is not a perfect filmmaker, but he’s succeeded in building an unflinching visualization of America at its most shameful. —Drew Lazor (Ritz Five)

AMERICAN HUSTLE | BA lumpy cocktail of polyester suits and plunging necklines, David O. Russell’s semi-fictional take on the Abscam scandal wants to be a movie and a half. The performances are oversized, the plot overloaded, the camera work arbitrarily frenetic. When Russell’s not ripping off GoodFellas — which, very frequently, he is — he likes to pointlessly swing the camera toward an actor’s hands and back up again, not because hands are important but because he just can’t keep still. Unlike, say, Robert Altman or David Mamet, Russell doesn’t have any particular affection or feel for the professional con artists played by Christian Bale and Amy Adams, and he garbles a subplot about how Adams got stuck for months using a fake English accent with Cooper’s FBI agent. But then almost everything about American Hustle is garbled; the good bits (which are significant) are mixed in with the junk willy-nilly. Even for Russell, who’s hardly a master of structure, it’s an unforgivably sloppy mess. That people buy into it feels like the biggest swindle of all. —Sam Adams (Wide release)


ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES | B More than most sequels, Anchorman 2 has a tough row to C I T Y PA P E R . N E T | J A N U A R Y 1 6 - J A N U A R Y 2 2 , 2 0 1 4 | P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R |


hoe. What made the first film great was its chaotic unpredictability and the rush of momentum that made it (barely) hang together. The Legend Continues, released nine years later, wisely takes a different tack, taking the edge off impressively coiffed newsman Ron Burgundy’s Stone Age prejudices and placing him at the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle. Leaving San Diego, where he’s been reduced to a drunken SeaWorld announcer, Ron (Will Ferrell) takes a job at the fledgling GNN, bringing the rest of his news team — Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carrell — with him. Ferrell and director/co-writer Adam McKay find ways to top the first film’s key setpieces, even the one that seems fundamentally impossible to surpass, until the one-upmanship becomes a joke in itself. The film’s take on the rapidly squandered promise of round-the-clock news lends a surprisingly poignant note, but not so much as to overshadow the delirious, low-calorie silliness. —Sam Adams (Wide release)

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY | C The first two films adapted from the work of playwright Tracy Letts, Bug and Killer Joe, were both nastily barbed plunges into contagious amorality, tautly directed by William Friedkin. As with those earlier films, Letts penned the screenplay for August: Osage County, but whether the blame falls on his adaptation, the original Pulitzer-winning play or John Wells’ slack direction, the third time loses the charm. The cast is packed with A-listers, but they’re engaged in a virtual tournament of acting at one another. For sheer ferocity, Meryl Streep walks away with the trophy. She’s let off the leash as the pill-popping matriarch whose husband drowns himself at the outset, stitching together a Southern Gothic grotesque out of wild gesticulations and claws-bared put-downs. Julia Roberts fares better, at least when she’s not being drawn into shout-offs with Streep, while Chris Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch add heft to this emoting tug-of-war. But most of the performances become as stifling as the un-air-conditioned Oklahoma setting, and Letts scripts the recriminations and confessions as a relentless succession of explosions — as monotonous as a two-hour fireworks display. —Shaun Brady (Ritz Five) HER | B+ Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoe42 | P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R |

nix) works for a company called, where he dictates mock-personal correspondence to a computer that then prints it out in a facsimile of human script. There are parents and children, husbands and wives, whose whole lives are built on his letters; he’s seen them through college and sleepaway camp, first dates and 50th anniversaries. But IRL contact is tougher for him — at least until Samantha, an artificially intelligent operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), comes along. Her presents itself as a movie about technology, but writer-director Spike Jonze isn’t overly concerned with the sci- in his sci-fi romance. What interests Jonze is love, and how — or whether — it survives the way that relationships allow people to change, sometimes in incompatible directions. Johansson’s voice-only performance places Samantha as a girlnext-door type, developing unfamiliar emotional needs and then disguising them with jokes; you don’t need to see her eyes to picture her waiting for the right response. It’s a magnificently designed film, shot in smoggy pastels with the (human) characters in collarless retro-chic shirts. But it’s also more intellectualized than it could have been, as if Jonze is waiting for the audience to meet him halfway as well. —Sam Adams (Ritz East)

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS | B+ Inside Llewyn Davis, the story of a humbled folk singer surfing couches in 1961 Greenwich Village, is one of Joel and Ethan Coen’s most perfect films. After two viewings, I’m hard-pressed to identify a significant flaw in the film, which is built around a rich and nuanced performance by Oscar Isaac. Llewyn (Isaac), modeled on the singer Dave Van Ronk, is a folkie who doesn’t much like other folks. He’s functionally homeless, toting a swollen duffel bag and a battered guitar case from one friend’s apartment to another. Inside Llewyn Davis is a movie about artistic failure — and that’s not a spoiler. It’s 1961 in the Village and Bob Dylan

is on the horizon. Llewyn’s a dinosaur who doesn’t see the comet coming. But more than that, it’s a portrait of crippling depression. Between Llewyn’s shell-shocked affect and the chilly light of Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography, it’s a cold, valiantly unlikable movie, without the stylized performances that usually endear even the Coens’ most repugnant characters. Isaac channels most of his non-hostile emotions into Llewyn’s songs, which form the movie’s emotional backbone, but even on stage he’s turned inward. Although Dylan has yet to plug in his electric guitar and the coffeehouse scene is still lively, Llewyn’s already dead. —Sam Adams (Ritz East)

THE LEGEND OF HERCULES | D The first of 2014’s two movies dealing with Zeus’ half-human son sets the bar so low that Brett Ratner could swap out his upcoming blockbuster, Hercules, for footage of beanpole Ryan Gosling in Young Hercules and still come out on top. The Greek demigod’s appeal rests in his many mythic adventures, but Renny Harlin’s unimaginative rip-off marathon ignores all that built-in B-movie gold for no good reason. In its place: a stiff leading man (Twilight’s Kellan Lutz), along with his d-bag brother (Liam Garrigan), a perpetually confused love interest (Gaia Weiss) and royal parents (Scott Adkins and Roxanne McKee) who appear to be about six months older than their progeny. Touches lifted unceremoniously from Gladiator and 300 clutter the entirety of the mercifully short movie, but Hercules is saved from complete misery by rising action star Adkins and his fondness for ass-kicking and awesome screaming. —Drew Lazor (Wide release)

finale seems especially ridiculous in the context of modern warfare, but by that point the film will have already separated the unabashed flag-wavers from anyone looking for a more nuanced approach. —Shaun Brady (Wide release)

PHILOMENA | B In the early ’50s, when Irish teenager Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) finds herself with child, she turns to a remote convent, where her sin is shrouded. For decades, she hides knowledge of the baby, who was given up for adoption against her wishes, quietly searching for him with no luck. Then she becomes acquainted with sneering journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) and convinces him to organize a new investigation. Traveling to America to follow up on a promising lead furthers the fish-out-of-water antics, dropping folksy Philomena into ordinary situations she finds extraordinary. These are the moments director Stephen Frears lays it on thickest, coaxing Dench to kick Philomena’s adage output into overdrive. Still, it’s difficult to discredit the genuine warmth the director develops between this broken mother and her reluctant surrogate son. It’s a sentimental affair, but it can’t be called insincere. —Drew Lazor (Ritz Five) THE WOLF OF WALL STREET | AThree hours long without an ounce of fat, The Wolf of Wall Street is an utterly controlled monument to self-indulgence. As Jordan Belfort, a small-time broker who makes several fortunes

[ movie shorts ]

command, who’ll do anything for him as long as the money keeps coming — and it does. Wolf runs the risk of making financial corruption seem attractive, but that’s because it is — at least to those of sufficient amorality, willing to pay the fines and do their brief terms. It won’t turn people off financial crime any more than any cautionary tale can stop people from trying drugs, but it’s a frightening and clear-eyed look at why so many indulge, and why they get to keep on indulging. —Sam Adams (Roxy Theater, UA Riverview)

✚ REPERTORY FILM FREE TO LOVE: CINEMA OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION International House, 3701 Chestnut St., 215-387-5125, Shorts Program: Five quick and dirty films. Thu., Jan. 16, 7 p.m., $9. Freedom to Love (1969, Germany, 90 min.): A married couple of doctors makes a case for greater sexual expression. Fri., Jan. 17, 7 p.m., $9. Gift (Venom) (1966, Denmark, 96 min.): This film about extreme hedonism was partly credited with ending censorship in Denmark. Sat., Jan. 18, 5 p.m., $9. The Telephone Book (1971, U.S., 81 min.): A woman’s hunt for the world’s most obscene prank caller. Sat., Jan. 18, 8 p.m., $9. Fritz the Cat (1972, U.S., 78 min.): Not so surprisingly, the world’s first X-rated animated film was adapted from an R. Crumb comic. Sat., Jan. 18, 10 p.m., $9.

PHILAMOCA LONE SURVIVOR | CPeter Berg undoubtedly intended to honor the sacrifices of soldiers fighting in ugly wars by recounting the story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and his fallen compatriots. But is “honoring” synonymous with “cataloging in minute, gory detail”? Once the Taliban goes on the attack, the four SEALs’ suffering is depicted with the fleshrending fetishism of The Passion of the Christ combined with the snowballing misfortunes of a Coyote/Roadrunner cartoon. Mark Wahlberg (as Luttrell), Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster generate a genial camaraderie if not much in the way of individual characters, but Wahlberg devolves increasingly into action-hero mode as his team diminishes. The fist-swinging

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selling penny stocks to increasingly well-monied chumps, Leonardo DiCaprio finally pays off the unrealized potential of his long collaboration with Martin Scorsese. Working from the real Belfort’s autobiography, screenwriter Terence Winter structures Wolf as a series of swindles and bacchanals which grow redundant and draining by design; Jordan’s the life of the party, but he’s also the one waking up in a puddle of fluid the morning after. He’s surrounded by men, including Jonah Hill as a composite second-in-

531 N. 12th St., 267-519-9651, The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig (1973, U.S., 70 min.), SOS: Screw on the Screen (1974, U.S., 74 min.): A double-feature screening of Philly-shot adult films from the ’70s. Fri., Jan. 17, 8 p.m., $10.

More on: ✚ CHECK OUT MORE R E P E R T O R Y F I L M L I S T I N G S AT C I T Y PA P E R . N E T / M O V I E S .




[ the hammers are a blur ]

CHAUFFEUR YOURSELF: Johnnie Hobbs Jr. and Wendy Scharfman star in Driving Miss Daisy at Walnut Street Theatre through Feb. 2. MARK GARVIN

The Agenda is our selective guide to what’s going on in the city this week. For comprehensive event listings, visit IF YOU WANT TO BE LISTED: Submit information by email (listings@ or enter it yourself at with the following details: date, time, address of venue, telephone number and admission price. Incomplete submissions will not be considered, and listings information will not be accepted over the phone.


1.16 [ theater ]

✚ DRIVING MISS DAISY Alfred Uhry’s popular 1987 drama won the Pulitzer Prize and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best off-Broadway

Play, and the 1989 film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Seeing this intimate and powerful play live in a small theater makes the Walnut’s revival worthwhile, especially since it stars local legend Johnnie Hobbs Jr. as Hoke Colburn, the black chauffeur hired to drive elderly Jewish matron Daisy (Wendy Scharfman) around racist and anti-Semitic post-World War II Atlanta. Catch it while you can; after its short Philly run, Driving Miss Daisy leaves for the Walnut’s fourth annual national tour. —Mark Cofta Through Feb. 2, $30-$40, Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut St., 215-574-3550,

[ theater ]

✚ GHOSTS People’s Light & Theatre Com-

pany offers a rare opportunity to see Henrik Ibsen’s 1881 family drama — a condemnation of rigid Victorian society’s mistreatment of women usually overshadowed by his more famous dramas A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler. Ghosts features Kathryn Petersen as a wealthy widow who finances an orphanage to honor her late husband. Her bohemian son’s return from Paris and a moralistic financial advisor’s visit stir long-suppressed memories of past misdeeds, strangled passions and buried family secrets. Late, great American dramatist Lanford Wilson (Talley’s Folly, Fifth of July) translated the play, giving it contemporary resonance. Keith Conallen, Peter DeLaurier, Ian Merrill Peakes and Mary Tuomanen complete director Ken Marini’s mustsee cast. Ghosts serves as a unofficial companion piece to EgoPo Classic Theatre’s Ibsen

season, which continues with A Lady From the Sea in February and Gint in May. —Mark Cofta Through Feb. 9, $26-$46, People’s Light & Theatre Company, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern, 610-644-3500,


1.17 [ metal ]

✚ THE SWORD Wanna know a secret? The Sword is the greatest metal band on earth right now. It must be a secret if the Austin four-piece is busting eardrums in the (admittedly sizable) Underground Arts rec room instead of setting off pyrotechnics on a rotating stage in

some hockey arena. But that’s the world’s mistake, not theirs. Simply put, The Sword does it right. The riffs are righteously heavy and tight, thick and doomy but never really a downer. And there’s nothing “nu” here; this band worships at the altar of the classics: Led Zep, Maiden, Blue Cheer, Slayer, Ned Stark, The Nazgul, Cthulhu, The Rockbiter, Vigo the Carpathian and Black fucking Sabbath. In fact, nobody out there has come as close to matching Ozzy’s soaring/lumbering cadence as The Sword’s J. D. Cronise. The dude sounds like Master of Reality, even if his dark arts/Norse/sci-fi lyrics would fit better on Headless Cross or Tyr. Yeah, I’m totally nerding out right now. —Patrick Rapa Fri., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m., $18, with Serpent Throne and Sunburster, Underground Arts., 1200 Callowhill St.,

[ rock/pop ]

✚ CATE LE BON We were first introduced to Cate Le Bon as something of a protégé of her Welsh compatriot Gruff Rhys, of Super Furry Animals — she released her 2009 debut LP on his Irony Bored label, and sang with his synth-pop side project Neon Neon. But while the two artists share a predilection for melodic psychedelia and the occasional ramble into slightly baroque ramshackle folk (plus a fondness for singing in their country’s mother tongue), Le Bon’s sensibilities have proven considerably darker and more dour than her affably goofy countryman. Mug Museum (Wichita/Turnstile), her first album since relocating to Los Angeles, is her lightest, loosest foray yet — it features several pop tunes that could legitimately be called “sprightly”

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[ the agenda ]

thegrumpylibrarian Caitlin Goodman tells you what to read

❤ LOVED: Philip Roth, The Human Stain ❤ LOVED: Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road ✖ HATED: Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections ➤ Recommendation: No prize for the readers who guessed that this month’s submission comes from a man, picking the manliest books for a serious pipe-smoking man person. The Grumpy Librarian acknowledges but does not believe that The Human Stain is a contemporary novel, although perhaps the fact that Roth even acknowledges feminism (even in such a narratively contemptuous manner) counts for something in his canon. A healthy corrective might be Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, in a Turkish bath sort of way, but if you made it through college without having to read it, then congratulations and go with God. Sprawling-ness seems like a risk, judging by your distaste for Franzen, but you should try Don DeLillo’s White Noise, even if it is yet another novel about the plight of the middle-aged white man and his groundbreaking fears of death and impotence. White Noise is also very funny, and a pleasing length to fit nicely in your briefcase. Or you could just pick up the collected works of John Updike and find one of those bars that still allow smoking but don’t allow women. ( Send the Grumpy Librarian two books you like and one you hate and she’ll tell you what to read.

— but still finds room for plenty of somnolent, gracefully dirgelike ballads and a couple of leery, lurching rockers. The uptick in eclecticism only shores up her musical resemblance to the Velvet Underground, which, far from whiffing of pastiche, feels unfussy, warmly familiar and entirely welcome. —K. Ross Hoffman Fri., Jan. 17, 9 p.m., $10-$12, with Kevin Morby, Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., 267-639-4528,

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[ gypsy music ]

✚ EAST GIPSY BAND/ FANFARE CIOCARLIA This is a Gypsy music weekend. Early Friday evening, East Gipsy Band will welcome frequent collaborator and sax genius Tim Ries when they play at the foot of the great staircase in the Art Museum, promising a set blending Hungarian Roma traditions with contemporary jazz. One speedy dance number may feature plenty of traditional violin and the cimbalom

w h at n at u r e d e s t r o y e d it also preserved

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POMPEII now open

Presented by

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[ the agenda ]

played so fast the hammers are a blur. The next may shift Gusztav Balogh’s vocals from traditional to a frankly romantic Western sound; the cimbalom’s still there, but the piano’s now leading the way. East Gipsy Band has the chops to mix it up with authority. On Saturday, West Philadelphia Orchestra hosts a band they call one of their biggest inspira-




[ rock/pop ]










—Mary Armstrong East Gipsy Band, Fri., Jan. 17, 5 p.m., free with museum admission of $20, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Ben Franklin Parkway, 215-763-8100, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Sat., Jan. 18, 9 p.m., $20, with West Philly Orchestra, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St.,

Celebr ating Americ an Craft Beer and Classi c Arcade Games


tions: Fanfare Ciocarlia. FC comes from a part of Romania where traditional music has survived in an unbroken line for centuries. You need to hear them render “Caravan,” the composition Duke Ellington’s Orchestra made legend for its exotic edge. This band sets the standard for imaginative brass bands and exuberant energy.

To some, it may seem like Matthew Houck, aka Phosphorescent, appeared on the indie-rock scene without warning. In fact, he toured for years under the name Fillup Shack and recorded five respected full-length albums and an EP before last year’s critically adored Muchacho.

Like R.E.M., Phosphorescent builds echoing, gorgeously layered narratives that make you feel like you’re sitting on a bench in a humid summer park, watching fireflies blink




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â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Elizabeth Thorpe Tue., Jan. 21, 8:30 p.m., $18, with Caveman, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden, 215-232-2100,



Bandcamp. His stylistic range is as sprawling as his output â&#x20AC;&#x201D; enfolding jazz, country, thrash punk, metal, hip-hop, techno and innumerable wacky sound experiments and spoken interludes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but his aesthetic remains fundamentally beholden to Zappa, Rundgren, Brian Wilson and The Beatles, which, combined with his unerring, apparently JON DEMIGLIO

on and off. Whether we notice it or not, Houck keeps on quietly keeping on. And with each album, more of us are paying attention.

Wed., Jan. 22, 9 p.m., $12, with Jimmy Whispers and Gunk, Johnny Brendaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684,

â&#x153;&#x161; R. STEVIE MOORE

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condensation of his oeuvre), finds Moore answering his own (semi-ironic) musical question, in a whispered, selffulfilling mantra: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The songs are too weird.â&#x20AC;? But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not quite it. Or, OK, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s occasionally not it. If anything, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Moore himself whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too weird. More simply, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a question of priorities. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;K. Ross Hoffman

[ rock/pop ]

In his highly particular way, R. Stevie Moore is the ultimate cult artist. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s staunchly dedicated to home recording and DIY distribution. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flabbergastingly prolific; besides 30-odd â&#x20AC;&#x153;commercialâ&#x20AC;? releases since 1976, his website lists more than 200 full-length titles available on cassette, CD-R, VHS and

[ the agenda ]

limitless knack for insidiously catchy hooks, makes him precisely the sort of artist whose followers love postulating about alternate realities with improbable, topsy-turvy top-40s. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t I Write a Hit?,â&#x20AC;? which led off last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Personal Appeal compilation (a handy single-disc


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amusebouche By Adam Erace

DRAFT LIST TRIA TAPROOM | 2005 Walnut St., 215-557-8277, Mon.-Fri., noon-4 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; $6-$16. ➤ THERE ARE 28 sleek chrome taps fitted into

a vertical gray-veined slab of marble behind the long, luxurious bar at Tria Taproom. With an extra dozen spouts under the counter, they hold the establishment’s entire portfolio of liquid assets. That’s right: There are no bottles in this bar. Jon Myerow and Michael McCaulley went all-draught in early November when they turned Rum Bar into Tria Taproom, the latest addition to their fermentationcafé brand. Whether you order Dogfish Head’s new Czech-style, pear-infused Piercing Pils, the 2010 Cab Franc from Karamoor in Fort Washington, Domaine Dupont’s Calvados barrel-aged reserve cider or a Sprecher root beer, it’s coming from a keg. “It’s sustainable, it’s fresh, it’s fun,” says Myerow about going totally taps for the new Tria. “It just felt right.” The drink list comes via iPad, and Tria is one of the only places I’ve seen integrate the technology well. Each listing comes with helpful tasting notes, price, pour size and a nifty availability meter that shows the percentage left in the keg. The menu, by Tria executive chef David Boyle and Taproom chef Holly Joyce, is on plain ol’ paper, a collection of beer-themed snacks (mussels in pilsner broth, lambic-lacquered octo), wood-grilled flatbreads and, of course, cheese. Creamy-centered fried oysters sat up on toasted brioche garnished with apple slaw and remoulade. St. Louis-style ribs — a little salty — wore a dark caramel glaze made with Victory Storm King Imperial Stout, a smattering of spiced almonds and orange segments. Topped with crispy shallots and oregano vinaigrette, the burrata salad was the best, the cheese spilling its stracciatella contents onto a bed of broccoli rabe and meaty maitakes. The flatbread paved with ground fennel sausage, smoked mozz, wrinkly shishitos and pistachios was decent, but ordinary-tasting. Instead, get the one piped with pink stripes of foie gras mousse, a foil for duck confit, fig-cherry mostarda, Gorgonzola and tarragon. It had the bearing of a restrained dessert, fortunate since the only desserts are soda and beer floats dispensed, as you might expect, from the omnipresent draught system. (

PARTY OF TWO: George and Jen Sabatino at the table. NEAL SANTOS

[ turning the tables ]

DINNER WITH GEORGE What happens when you invite “Best of Philly” chef George Sabatino and his wife and business partner, Jen, over for dinner? By Caroline Russock ➤ EDITOR’S NOTE: In this new series, Turing the Tables, food editor Caroline Russock will write about what unfolds around the table when she invites some of the city’s best chefs to dinner in her South Philly home. George Sabatino has cooked for me more times than I can count — sous-vide burgers and baby eggplants with kimchi at Morgan’s Pier, award-winning sausage at the Hop Chef competition, parsnip soup with vanilla-poached lobster during his last service at Stateside, pork-butter-glazed focaccia at Boot & Saddle and a few meals at Barbuzzo — before I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance. Those who have experienced Sabatino’s food firsthand know that he doesn’t mess around; plates are perfect and flavors are spot-on. There’s a reason Philadelphia magazine named this guy the best chef in Philly. So when I decided to invite George and his wife, Jennifer, over to dinner at my place, I was, let’s just say, a little nervous. “Don’t go crazy.

Keep it simple,” was the mantra I repeated when planning the menu in my mind, wheeling my cart around Whole Foods. The original plan was a citrus-and-herb-roasted pork shoulder, scallion mashed potatoes and a broccoli salad, but by the time I got home I had added grape-studded focaccia, radicchio with oranges and pomegranate seeds and a mango upside-down cake to the menu. I headed into the kitchen with to prep. Dinner was at 7. “7 is awesome, but George can’t eat anything after 9:00” was the text message that I received from Jen after inviting the Sabatinos to my place for dinner on a recent Wednesday evening. George was scheduled for 5:45 a.m. surgery the following day to mend a broken clavicle, an injury he had sustained in April only days before opening Morgan’s Pier. “I was busy,” George nonchalantly explains, asked why it took seven months to schedule the surgery. Jen shakes her head. Over olives and apertivos, the pair told of the spill George took from a Vespa he had received as a signing bonus when he went to work for Avram Hornik at Morgan’s Pier. Broken bones aside, Sabatino has had quite the year. After leaving East Passyunk’s Stateside, Sabatino went from a tiny subterranean kitchen serving a restaurant with 35 seats to Morgan’s Pier, where the capacity is closer to 1,200. And while the transition was nowhere near seamless, he went on to receive a glowing two-bell review from the Inquirer’s Craig Laban >>> continued on page 50

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[ food & drink ]

✚ Turning the tables <<< continued from page 49

“I just want it to be the best,” he says about his hopes for Aldine.


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with summer-perfect plates like an all-kinds-of-melons salad and a Goldfish-cracker-crusted Filet-O-Fish. When the Pier shuttered for the season, George made his way down Broad Street to open the kitchen at Boot & Saddle, masterminding a menu of refined bar fare. Those close to the Sabatinos thought that after Boot & Saddle was riding along smoothly, it would be time for the couple to focus on the solo project that they have been talking about for a while now. But, in typical Sabatino fashion, there was another project on the Delaware River horizon. Four Corners asked George to head up the kitchen at Waterfront Winterfest, an ice-skating rink/winter wonderland. Never one to shy away from, well, anything, George knocked out a warming cold-weather menu. Simple enough if, say, you were cooking in a fully outfitted kitchen. But George was prepping at nearby Morgan’s Pier and serving out of a makeshift (and freezing-cold) kitchen set inside an old shipping container. As we sat down to dinner at my place, we began to talk about the Sabatinos’ next project, Aldine. They had been looking for a space to open their own place for nearly a year, but the search was reminiscent of Goldilocks and the Three Bears until they found Noche, a second-floor club on the corner of 19th and Chestnut. “It just felt right,” Jen tells me about the first time they walked in. George and Jen married in the fall, and their honeymoon trip to San Francisco included food R&D, eating around the city and gathering inspiration for their new endeavors. Saison was a favorite, along with SPQR, where the personable yet totally unstuffy service challenged ideas about the Michelin-star rating system. George is unabashed about his Michelin aspirations. “I just want it to be the best,” he says about his hopes for Aldine. The plan is to offer herbivore and omnivore tasting menus at $55, along with a small a la carte menu and beverage pairings both boozy and non-alcoholic. The set menus will be a series of small bites interspersed with larger plates. He shares a sample menu that he recently demonstrated for investors in New York with elegant and intriguing combinations — spot prawns with fennel and oyster tartare and coconut, granola and white chocolate. As dinner winds down, I ask George and Jen if they’ve eaten anywhere notable lately. “We’re creatures of habit,” Jen tells me. “We love Nam Phuong.” And for special occasions, their go-to spot is Vernick. “Greg’s flavors are always spot-on,” says George. Three hours and a few second helpings later, it’s time for George and Jen to weigh in on dinner at my place. “Everything was seasoned perfectly. You can come and work for me anytime.” A pretty serious compliment coming from a chef like George. (

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[ i love you, i hate you ] To place your FREE ad (100 word limit) ➤ email CAN I Sit on your lap and ride you like the beast that you are? You are so fucking sexy I wanna touch myself and taste myself...I wanna spend more time with you! Can’t you see that we should be together. I am tired of wasting my time...I wonder if you are tired of wasting your time? Like I said before I am not going to be around forever. You and me that is how it should be! Then I keep having dreams about you chasing me in a field of flowers and it is so cute because I pretend to fall and you fall on top of me then we make love like no tomorrow. I want you inside of me...I love you my you dream about me? Let’s just make it a reality.

in that cesspit apartment. You say you’re a dog trainer but your own dog, Shits and pisses all over the place. Your own brother won’t have anything to do with you. And your so-called fiancée only sees you twice a month, and is NOT leaving his wife to marry YOU. You don’t have PTSD from watching your mom that’s called GUILT for all the sick shit you say about her. Maybe you should stop! Why don’t you go work on all that and whatever the hell else is wrong with you and stop texting, emailing, threatening and being an all around douche. Also,

you how a QUEEN loves. To think, all this because of a flirt ;)

I HATE YOU BUT I LOVE YOU Sounds confusing but it isn’t I hate you alot... I really do...I am so tired of you making fucking excuses and then seeing your text the other day saying that you loved me! I fucking hate you for a number of reasons that I will not waste time putting on this piece of paper but you know what you know how you treat me and you know that

and get married behind my back while we were together. May hell be with you. You lying sack of shit. I must say that karma is a bitch and I hope that you get everything you deserve in this lifetime. You destroyed a deep spiritual love that I had for you and I will never forgive you! I know that one day your nasty ass will come crawling back and when you do I will spit in your face and laugh - you fucking pathetic nymphomaniac! damm loser...Now everything makes sense what a waist of fucking 13 years.

I LEFT PHILLY I left Philly and left for a better life. I realized yesterday that keeping in contact with you and or reliving the horrible past over & over again was giving you power and giving me aggravation. I have chosen to let it go, forever. Nothing I can do will change the past and I certainly never want anything to do with you for you never once showed me compassion. I wait for you know what. It’s my time to be happy again and move on.

CERTIFIABLE You are fuckin’ crazy. Why in the world would you think these people you used to know would talk to you day after day, week and after week, in some anonymous forum, when they could just ask a mutual friend for your number and freakin’ call your ass? What do you think? you’re so special that you’d have some kind of special relationship with these people? Something that actually means something? Please. Grow the fuck up and take a bite out of reality. Just because you freakin’ can’t let go of those assholes and write to them all the time, doesn’t mean they’re paying a damn bit of attention to you. There’s no secret message, no secret love, no secret secret. You are just a naive fool asking to waste your life on the written word. Go out in the real world and get yourself a real boyfriend. And quit harassing them! They don’t want you! Move on!

IT’S AN HONOR Genius beauty, exquisite lover, dearest friend, you’re the love of my life. You raise me up, stretch me, and ground me each day. Your sexy confidence, broad mind, limitless talent, enormous generosity, wicked sense of humor (THAT LAUGH), all that you are inspires me to love life and to love myself. All things beautiful take me to you. The depth of your words, your touch, your being totally fuckin’ sends me. It’s felt like a lifetime since our first kiss was up for discussion. Dolphin, I can’t imagine a future without you. It is an honor to be your partner.

LET’S BE GRATEFUL DON’T SMILE NOW! The only thing that I want to know is why the fuck are you checking around everything that I do! Then you have that stupid-ass grin on your face thinking that shit is funny and it is not! I really don’t care for you and I know that you don’t care for me! When I see you smirking I think to myself, I wish that I could smack the taste out of your mouth. Then you look at people with that long blank look on your face like you are zoned the fuck out! Do you even know your fucking job? I don’t think that you do! Please find something else to do besides watching me, I think it is getting lame! Oh but the lamest part about the shit is you think that I don’t know! Oh! I know but...I will play stupid for awhile...

FIFTHY PSYCHO Hey! In case I wasn’t clear enough before I just want to reiterate what a worthless piece of insane filth you are. As I said before, nobody likes you and you’re surely destined to spend the rest of your life alone and unhappy. I’ll never forget the look on your old horse face when you told me how you enjoy making other people miserable because you’re miserable. How sick. Did you ever think maybe you’re so miserable because you’re an old, lazy, self-centered, smelly, racist bitch. You claim to have friends but none of them would step foot

You call me a lot and complain about stupid shit... don’t you think that I am tired of hearing it all the time! I don’t think that it is fair especially if I am having a nice day and I am full of good spirits you sit up there and rain on my fucking parade! I am sick and tired of it! Can’t you find someone that you are sleeping with to complain to, isn’t that what normally happens in your world? If I don’t answer any of your calls don’t be upset, just leave a message and I will think about calling you the fuck back!


taking a shower more than once every two weeks would probably help you more than you know.

I BLAME POF You sit at work and read these every week, and now there’s one about you. You get on my damn nerves with your bipolar ass and your flock of fucking groupies. I mean you really drive me up a fucking wall and sometimes I just want to choke you, but still I love you more then words could ever express. You are a stone-cold weirdo and an absolute amazing human being. You deserve UNCONDITIONAL love and ABSOLUTE happiness. I’m going to show

you are just a piece of crap when you wanna be! I hate the fact that you are just playing it off like you are so fucking innocent and you are not! You disappointed me in so many fucking ways. I just don’t know what the fuck to do with this relationship. I hope that you get yourself together. Because I think that it may work!

I HATE YOU FOREVER To the shit-head Kendall, I must say that I am still shocked by your marriage... How can you do this to me? to us? During difficult times, while my dad in hospice care and mom going through chemo when I needed you. Start fooling around with other woman

We have been together for 2 years now. I love you more now then I ever have, Im so glad that I met you. Who would have known that I would find my true love over the phone? not me. I thank God for you being in my life, you have made me so happy and I wouldn’t trade you for the world. Thank you for treating me like the Queen that I am. I can’t wait until we get married and spend our life together forever. If you ever went away from me I would wish I had Aladdin’s Lamp to bring you back to me. I know that I haven’t shown my appreciation but I want you to know that I appreciate you and I love you. Love Sheena ✚ ADS ALSO APPEAR AT CITYPAPER.NET/lovehate. City Paper has the right to re-publish “I Love You, I Hate You”™ ads at the publisher’s discretion. This includes re-purposing the ads for online publication, or for any other ancillary publishing projects.

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Philadelphia City Paper, January 16th, 2014  

Philadelphia's Trusted News and Entertainment Source

Philadelphia City Paper, January 16th, 2014  

Philadelphia's Trusted News and Entertainment Source