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Open bar, buffet, fortune tellers: Help support Curio Theatre at ‘The Carnival Macabre’

Posted on 16 October 2014 by Mike Lyons

4027323West Philly’s own professional theatre company, Curio Theatre, is throwing a party this Saturday to celebrate its 10th anniversary and raise money to help keep this important community resource going strong.

This year’s benefit, titled “The Carnival Macabre,” kicks off at 7 p.m. at the St. Francis DeSales Ballroom (917 S. 47th St.) and will include games of chance, fortune tellers, silent and live auctions and dancing. The Gold Standard Café will provide a buffet and there will be an open beer and wine bar along with a signature cocktail. Second Vision will supply the music.

Tickets are $50 and are available online here.

Speaking of Curio, the company recently announced the debut performance of the 2014-15 season: The Matter of Frank Schaefer, which will open Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. The performance takes on the story of the Methodist minister from Lebanon, Penna. who was defrocked after officiating at his son’s gay wedding.

“What grabbed us right away with the story of Frank Schaefer is that it felt like a civil rights movement was starting right in front of us,” said Curio Artistic Director Paul Kuhn.

That’s just a taste. We’ll have more information on The Matter of Frank Schaefer before the premiere. In the meantime, please do what you can to help support the amazing work at Curio.

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Halloween-themed events kick off this Tuesday at The Woodlands

Posted on 14 October 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

FunnyBonesThis month, we’ll be publishing information about Halloween-themed events happening in the area. Here’s a roundup for the upcoming events at The Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion (40th and Woodland). Many of them are for the whole family. Please note that the first two events, dedicated to works of Edgar Allan Poe, will take place today (Tuesday, Oct 14).

Tuesday, Oct 14

Edgar Allan Poe: Funny Bones (kids are welcome)

4:30-6:30 p.m.

The Woodlands is a perfect setting for something mysterious and macabre, like a performance based on Edgar Allan Poe’s works. Literary historian and playwright Rob Velella, who specializes in 19th century American literature, will demonstrate some of Poe’s most loved stories. This event is especially great for kids. For more info and to buy tickets ($15 adults, $10 kids), click here.

Edgar Allan Poe: Master of the Macabre

7:30-9:30 p.m.

Velella, will continue his demonstration of some of Poe’s works, in this after-dark performance. After his performance, Velella will take you on a nighttime cemetery walk to visit Poe’s contemporary, Timothy Shay Arthur, at his eternal resting spot. This event is more suitable for adults and children ages 10+. For more info and tickets ($20), click hereContinue Reading

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Fringe Festival kicks off Friday; West Philly events guide (updated)

Posted on 03 September 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

BalletX

BalletX. (Photo via FringeArts.com)

Each year, the Fringe Festival brings socially-set performances and presentations by innovative artists to various city’s neighborhoods and venues. This year, the festival, presented by Fringe Arts, will take place Sept. 5 – 22 and will feature music, dance, theater, spoken word and circus performances, and visual art installations (some of them free).

Check out below the guide of the Fringe Festival events in West Philadelphia. West Philly venues for the festival include The Rotunda, The Porch at 30th Street Station, University of Pennsylvania, St. Francis de Sales Parish and more. You can also pick up the print version of the guide at the Green Line Cafe at 45th and Locust.

By the way, West Philly based circus-theater company Tangle Movement Arts will present their newest full-length show, Loop, at the festival. Loop premieres on Thursday, Sept 18 at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept 19 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Sept 20 at 3 and 8 p.m. at Philadelphia Soundstage (1600 N. 5th St.). Tickets ($15-20) are now available via www.tangle-arts.comContinue Reading

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5 reasons you should go see Henry IV in Clark Park

Posted on 31 July 2014 by Mike Lyons

This year’s edition of Shakespeare in Clark Park debuted last night with a staging of Henry IV. Whether you are a Shakespeare or theater fan or not, here are five reasons you should get yourself down to the bowl (the remaining shows are on Thursday through Sunday, July 31-Aug 3, at 7 p.m.) :

 

5. Refreshments alfresco

Shakespeare in Clark Park always offers a good excuse to pack a picnic basket and a blanket or just grab an ice cream from the truck and chill to the sounds of Old English Early Modern English echoing through the bowl.

wine

 

4. Music

In addition to the terrific acting, this one features some pretty sweet period choir-type tunes and instrumentation.

choir

 

3. Terrific acting

These folks put on quite a show. For Free! (Although a donation at the end is much appreciated).

acting 1

 

2. Community

This may be the number one neighbor-watching event of the year. All kinds of folks dig Shakespeare in Clark Park.

crowd

 

1. The epic battle scene.

We doubted that the battle scene, which features about 100 people from 36 neighborhoods around the city and dramatically gets underway about an hour in, could live up to the hype. It does – and then some. Smoke, swords, screaming, battering rams, barricades … seriously, you have to see this.

battle2

Photos by West Philly Local.

 

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Upcoming events: outdoor music & theatre, film festival, art shows (updated)

Posted on 30 July 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Henry-Workshop-Attack-websize-thincrop

This week is rich in art happenings in the area, from outdoor theatre to a film festival to art shows. We already reported on Shakespeare in Clark Park presenting Henry IV in the park’s bowl. The performances, which feature a community army of over 100 people, begin tonight at 7 p.m. and go on through Sunday.

Also tonight, at 5:30 p.m., Penn Museum (3260 South St) invites music lovers to enjoy an outdoor concert by the West Philadelphia Orchestra. The concert is part of the weekly P.M. @ Penn Museum music series. Tickets are $10 and include museum admission. More details are available here.

BlackStarprogram

Photo from BlackStar Facebook page.

BlackStar Film Festival, featuring films by and about people of African descent in a global context, kicks off on Thursday, July 31. The four-day festival features film screenings (many of them free) and events at the following West Philly venues: International House Philadelphia (37th and Chestnut), Scribe Video Center (4212 Chestnut St), Annenberg School for Communication, Penn (3620 Walnut St), and Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), 118 S. 36th St. An opening night reception with DJ Mr. Sonny James will take place at ICA from 7 – 10 p.m. on Thursday. This event is also free and open to the public. For more information and schedule, visit blackstarfest.org. Follow the festival @blackstarfest and #BlackStar14.

UPDATE: Gush Gallery is opening on Friday, Aug. 1 at 5015 Baltimore Ave. The grand opening show, Embark, is from 6 – 9 p.m. (more info coming soon)

​Sharp with Art Group is presenting an art exhibit titled “Levels” at the Urban Art Gallery (52nd and Spruce) from August 2 – 31.  There will be a free opening reception on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 6 until 9 p.m. “Levels” will feature a diverse selection of art styles, such as street art, abstract art, sculpture, and mixed media works. Six amazing artists will be featured in the show: Natalie Flor Negron, Jae Martin, Nebulus Flair, Seven X, Noni Red and Vinson Houston. In addition there will be live performances by Raw Sinister Theatre, Chase Smiley The RockStar and April Fool Child.

And last, but not least, American Queen TJD, a West Philly artist we featured last fall (Meet American Queen TJD: Not the female Basquiat), invites neighbors to support her at a major art show on Saturday, Aug. 2  at the Arch Enemy Arts Gallery in Olde City (109 Arch Street). The one-day only show, titled “Too Many Basquiats Not Enough New Artists,” features over 100 pieces of art. The event will take place from 6:30 – 10 p.m. and includes music, food and an open bar. More details and tickets ($10.50) are available at americanqueentjd.com.

TJDart

Artwork by West Philly artist American Queen TJD will be on display at the Arch Enemy Arts Gallery in Olde City Aug 2. (Photo via americanqueentjd.com)

 

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Henry IV featuring community army this week in Clark Park

Posted on 28 July 2014 by WestPhillyLocal.com

HenryIVClarkPark

Preparations have begun in Clark Park’s bowl (45th and Chester) for one of the most epic outdoor theater productions in the history of Shakespeare in Clark Park. This summer, the company presents Henry IV for five nights starting Wednesday, July 30. We watched a rehearsal and took this photo over the weekend. This production has an unprecedented number of actors: A community army of over 100 people was selected for battle scenes in the play. These are folks from 36 Philadelphia neighborhoods, from teens to seniors. More details about the production are here. The free shows begin at 7 p.m.

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