Arts and Culture

Great Expectations continues tonight through Saturday

February 24, 2011

curioCurio Theatre Company‘s staging of Great Expectations continues with performances tonight, tomorrow night and Saturday. All three performances begin at 8 p.m. and so far the play, which is adapted and directed by Jared Reed, has gotten rave reviews. Theater criticism is not our strong point so we turned to folks who know more than we do.

Here is a comment from Roger:

“The plot is complicated, the actors play multiple characters, the performance is “in the round,” and the show lasts almost three hours! I went last Saturday night, dead tired … and found myself riveted to the action, enjoying every minute! The Curio people never cease to amaze … each time the old sanctuary at Calvary has a new set-up and each production presents something totally new and exciting. We have one of the best theatre companies in the city, and it’s all right here at 48th and Baltimore.”

Tickets are $10 to $15.


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Grateful Dead and Phish archivists at Drexel tomorrow

February 23, 2011

The “tapers” section of a 1985 Grateful Dead concert.

Few bands have richer concert histories than the Grateful Dead and Phish. Both bands were always far more successful touring than they ever were in the studio or on the charts. They attracted massive global followings and recordings of their concerts have been traded over the years with the enthusiasm and passion of avid baseball card collectors. Two people who play a key role in that recording history will be speaking tomorrow night at Drexel University’s Stein Auditorium (3215 Market St.) at 6 p.m.

Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux and Phish archivist Kevin Shapiro are at Drexel for two days of talks and workshops. They have been brought to campus through the University’s College of Media Arts and Design. Lemieux has helped make dozens of Grateful Dead live shows available to the public. He also interacts with a very knowledgable fan base that has grown out the Grateful Dead’s early decision to allow fans at concerts to record their shows. Shapiro has done the same for Phish.

Both archivsts help the bands make decisions about releases and preservation. They will also talk about the impact of digital technology on their work.

A podcast of Lemieux and Shapiro playing and talking about select tracks from shows in Philadelphia will be available online today. The podcast will be available from 3-7 PM as a stream via

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West Philly’s “The Heart of Baltimore Avenue” featured mural on interactive site

February 22, 2011


The featured mural on the cool Mural Arts Program interactive site, Mural Explorer,  is The Heart of Baltimore Avenue, a mural on the 4700 block of Baltimore Avenue begun as a tribute to Amare Solomon, the owner of the nearby Dahlak restaurant, but became a tribute to the whole neighborhood.

The multimedia site, which is awesome, features a slideshow on the making of the mural and a short video interview with artist David Guinn as he works on the piece, which was finished in September 2008. The mural also has its own dedicated site.

Above is a small portion of the “Heart of Baltimore Avenue.” When you get to the site, go to “explore mural” and push on the green plus signs to hear stories about characters in the mural.

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Penn Museum exhibit closed until Friday

February 13, 2011

One of the mummies that will be on display at the Penn Museum beginning Friday.

As you might have heard, the mummies have made it. The Penn Museum’s “Secrets of the Silk Road” exhibit will be closed today through Friday, February 18 so that the museum can prepare artifacts and mummies from China that the Chinese government forbade it from displaying.

The exhibit opened to much fanfare last week, but about 100 pieces, including two mummies, were missing, prompting the museum to waive the $22.50 admission price when the exhibit opened on Feb. 5. The fragile artifacts are up to 3,800 years old.

The exhibit reopens on Friday at 1 p.m. mummies and all. The full exhibit runs through March 15. But then the mummies are back on the road and will not be part of the exhibit from March 17 to its close on March 28.

For the full background on the mummies controversy see this story from the Inquirer.

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West Philly weekend

February 11, 2011

Here are some things going on this weekend. For more, check the Happenings page:

Fun-A-Day Art Show • Friday 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. & 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. • Studio 34 (4522 Baltimore Ave.) • Free admission

The Seventh Annual Fun-A-Day Art Show presents an eclectic array of art your friends and neighbors made every day for the month of January. Also featuring performances, food and refreshments. Don’t forget to bring your kids. On Saturday don’t miss an open mic reading event (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and the main show (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.).

Mariposa Food Co-op Flea Market • Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • New Mariposa building (4824 Baltimore Ave.) • Free admission


Vendors will be showing off their: hand-made jewelry, baked goods, new-to-you clothes, books, records, services, pottery, pet treats, and artworks. You can also meet some local body workers and get a sample of their skills at the market. And while you are at the market, check out the Mariposa tables. You can talk to a representative about the expansion, see the plans and learn how you can make a financial contribution to the expansion.

30th Annual Chinese New Year CelebrationPenn Museum (3260 South St.)

pennThe celebration features music and dance performances, healing and martial arts demonstrations, games, workshops, children’s activities, and grand opening as well as grand finale lion dance performances. The celebration is free with Museum admission donation ($10 general admission; $7 senior citizens [65+]; $6 students [with ID] and children [6 to 17]; free for children under 6, members, and PennCard holders). See the complete schedule of events here.

Great Expectations • 8 p.m. • Curio Theatre • 815 S. 48th St. • Tickets $10 to $15

The Dickens classic opens tonight at the Curio. There is also a Saturday performance at 8 p.m.

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Girls Rock West Philly

February 8, 2011

musicThis is a very cool event going on in the neighborhood tonight. First, author Sara Marcus will read from her book Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution at the Kelly Writers House (3805 Locust Walk on the Penn campus) at 6 p.m. The book explores the Riot Grrl movement, which started in the mid 1990s and has taken root in a number of cities in the form of female empowerment efforts.

In Philadelphia, those efforts include Girls Rock Philly, a rock & empowerment camp where girls ages 9-17 learn instruments, write songs & form their own bands. The founder of that group, Beth Warshaw-Duncan, will join Marcus, Kathleen Hanna (the front woman of the pivotal Riot Grrl band Bikini Kill) and activist/musician Katy Otto for a panel discussion on topics ranging from the panelists’ own participation in the movement to “what women in music can and should be doing today.” Copies of Marcus’ book will also be available at the discussion.

Then it’s time to rock. A  concert will follow the discussion nearby at The Rotunda (4014 Walnut St.) beginning at 8 p.m. The benefit show for Girls Rock Philly will feature Trophy Wife, Whore Paint (Providence), Slutever and Cat Vet. Suggested donation is $5. All proceeds go to Girls Rock Philly.

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