Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Weekender: 2 Concert Giveaways :: 2 Wine Dinners :: 1 Bar with Lots of Drama :: And the 38 Best Things to Do This Weekend

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The Weekender: Nightlife and Events Picks From the Editors of Philly Mag
Hello, Weekenders!
Normally, my mission in life here at the Weekender is to get you out of the house and into the streets of the city for arts, culture, and general carousing. And this week, I do have plenty for you to see and do. But on Tuesday night, I'd like you to be home at 7:30 p.m. to tune into Channel 6 for a special screening of the pilot of Sam Katz's fascinating documentary series Philadelphia: The Great Experiment. Think Ken Burns' New York but cooler because, well, it's about us.    — Victor Fiorillo, A&E Editor

We Hardly Knew Ye: This week, we here at the Weekender bid a fond farewell to one of our favorite new beer bars in the city. But there appears to be nothing fond about this sudden closing, with a pissed off landlord, angry ex-employees, and a neighborhood wondering what the hell went wrong. Sure am glad I'm not in the bar business. Go here to read all about it.

Grand Opening: Memphis Taproom's new Beer Garden
It's That Time of Year: Zahav's wine guy chooses your seder sippers
Great Combinations: Running + beer or science + beer
On Sale Now: The 10th Annual Philadelphia Wine Festival, benefiting CHOP
More Fun With Wine: A rare Moore Bros. wine dinner
Where to Drink (and eat) Tonight: Seats still available for The Corner's Flying Fish beer dinner and Barbuzzo's Piedmont wine dinner

Movie Openings
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: Morgan Spurlock, the brain behind the Oscar-nominated Super Size Me, is back with another documentary, one that is actually called POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. It's a film about product placement, with appearances by Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, and Quentin Tarnantino, and the whole damn thing was paid for with, yes, product placement. Opens Friday at the Ritz East. Details

Speaking of Documentaries: One of the best, Harlan County USA
From the Bestselling Novel: Big-budget romance Water for Elephants
The Problems of Love: Relationships in conflict in Ceremony and The Princess of Montpensier
A New 35mm Print: It's the Von Trapp family!

Fishtown As Nashville: This Friday, Johnny Brenda's presents an evening of good, down-home fun with the second annual Philly Opry featuring lovely gal Birdie Busch (pictured) as host, with appearances from New York's bluegrassy Defibulators and Philly harmonizers The Silver Ages plus something known as "photo backdrop magic". All this for just $12. Details

Time Does Indeed Keep on Slipping: The '70s are back with Steve Miller and badass Gregg Allman
From the Band of the Same (Last) Name: Gene Ween plays a solo show
High Hipster Quotient: Iron & Wine with the Low Anthem
Something Good: 10-time Grammy winning R&B diva Chaka Khan

Elijah Anderson: One of my colleagues on the Yale sociology professor's new book, in which he investigates "the complex interplay of urban social nexuses" by hanging out in Rittenhouse Square, 30th Street Station, and the RTM: "It's @#%! awful. I hated it." See the man that the New York Times once called "one of our best urban ethnographers" this Thursday at the Free Library, where he'll be to talk about The Cosmopolitan Canopies. It's free. Details

No, Seriously: "A juicy biography of an 18th-century mixed-media collage pioneer"
Oh, So That's Why Marge's Hair Is Blue: An exploration of science on The Simpsons
In Case You Forgot About That One: An inside look at the Congo War


Go Fish: If you find cooking with seafood intimidating, you're not alone. Believe me. But my own fishy hesitation was recently alleviated by The Fishmonger's Apprentice, an authoritative book on the subject by local author Aliza Green. This Saturday at the Oyster House, Green will show you how to clean and prepare calamari and butcher a whole fish. It's only $30 and includes a copy of the book. Details

Only Five Tickets Left: Tria's Chateau Fuisse master class
At Albertson's: Cooking Napa-style

Looking Ahead
An Age Test: Depending on how old you are, you a) have no idea who Sid Caesar is b) know him as Coach Calhoun in Grease or c) remember watching his antics on Your Show of Shows on the Peacock in the 1950s. 1812 Productions pays homage to Caesar and his peers with Neil Simon's Laughter On the 23rd Floor. It runs through May 8th at Plays & Players Theater. Tickets are $26 to $32. Details

The Best of Local Playwrights: The New Play Festival at the Kimmel
For Catholics With A Sense Of Humor: Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You
Lots of Buzz For...: Ballet X's Proliferation of the Imagination

A World Premiere: When was the last time you heard a soprano, a tenor, a jazz singer, an all-girl kids choir, a Grammy-winning Beninese chanteuse, oh, and a gigantic pipe organ all in one show? That will be the case at the Kimmel Center this Sunday when modern-day classical composer Jonathan Leshnoff (pictured) debuts his new work, Hope: An Oratorio. Tickets are $48 to $68. Details

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Ad Infinitum: Handel's Messiah in a church
Totally Last Minute and Nearly Impossibly to Pronounce: Frautschi, Baltacigil, and Solzhenitsyn

But Really, Don't Try This at Home: If your kid spends way too much time playing Halo: Combat Evolved, drag him to the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology this Saturday for Gladiator Day. He'll get to witness fighting the old-fashioned way as re-enactors from Ludus Magnus Gladiatores (The Great School of the Gladiator) will battle it out like its 100 B.C. There will also be less bloodsport-celebrating events like a make-your-own helmet craft and Roman-inspired food from Wolfgang Puck Catering. Details

Easter On a Farm: Shady Brook's egg-hunting hayride
For Kids for Whom the Easter Bunny at the Mall Is Just Not Enough: Ride with him in a helicopter
An Old Favorite: Peanut Butter & James presents the Rozz & Val Show

Special Events
See, Recycling Can Be Fun: If you've seen the modern classic Office Space, you no doubt remember the scene in which the guys take the printer out to a field and go all medieval on its a$$. And if you haven't seen it, my apologies, but for whatever reason, I can't find it—at least not the real version—on YouTube. Anyway, the Hacktory has put together a printer recycling event that involves beating the crap out of and throwing off the roof old, dysfunctional printers. It's free, and they'll even provide the printer. Details

One of My Favorite Annual Festivals: Fishtown Shad Fest 2011
Still Going: PIFA apparently hasn't spent that $10 million yet
A Little Less Stupid Than the Whole Pirate Thing: The Philly Zombie Crawl
Beakers and Bioenergetics: The awesome Science Festival continues

Looking Ahead
We Said We Wanted Progress, Not Prog: If the Roots, Michael McDonald, and Earth, Wind and Fire on the Parkway (for free!) isn't quite your speed, maybe WMGK's 11th Annual terribly named Let Freedom Rock festival will be more up your alley. This year's July 4th bill includes Yes (fronted by that young French Canadian guy) and some version of Styx. The good news here is that tickets start at $15. On sale this Friday at 10 a.m. Details

I Bet That "Black Hole Sun" Bee-Girl Is Really Hot By Now: Soundgarden on the river
But Without the Groupies and Drugs: Led Zeppelin tribute Get the Led Out
Still "Barely Breathing": Songster Duncan Sheik

Weekender Deals

Save 15% when you stay two weekend nights at the luxurious Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, just steps from the theater and the finest dining in New York. Offer good until May 29.

Totally Last Minute Giveaway: Eat and Drink at the Union League
Tonight at 7 p.m., the Union League is hosting a special dinner for Grant's Whisky. There will be lots of food and lots of whisky, including certain Grant's varieties not generally available this side of the Atlantic. Note that we're talking about tonight. And it's at the Union League, meaning jackets required, ties requested, and ladies should wear cocktail attire. Oh, and it's 21+. If you want to go, consider the following: I am thinking of 5 numbers between 350 and 550. The same is true for all 5 numbers: the hundreds and ones digits are even numbers or the numeral zero, while the tens digit is odd. The sum of the digits in each number is 13. What is the sum of the 5 numbers? The first person to email the correct answer in the subject line to gets to go with a guest. Please, only enter if you can definitely make it. And include a daytime phone number.

Ticket Giveaway: Two Concerts, Your Choice
Two interesting shows coming to the Trocadero next week. First up, on Tuesday, it's Scala & Kolacny Brothers, a Belgian all-gal choir with a conductor and pianist (the brothers). If you remember the trailer for the Social Network, that's Scala singing their version of Radiohead's "Creep." They also cover bands like U2 and Nirvana. Then on Thursday, the Balkan Beat Box returns. If you're a fan of Gogol Bordello, you'll like BBB. If you want to check one of the shows out, email ASAP with your name and choice. Note that both shows are all ages.

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