PaperClips215's top picks for First Friday

First Friday April • Top Picks from PaperClips

Here are PaperClips’ Top Picks for what not to miss this First Friday, April 4th! There is a lot happening on Friday and beyond, so make sure to check out their Events Calendar for a complete listing of events throughout the month. If you are out exploring the arts in Philadelphia, use #clips215 to share, tweet, and gram along with the PaperClips team!

Mark Nadler in I'm a Stranger Here Myself (photo courtesy of The Prince Music Theater)

I’M A STRANGER HERE MYSELF (Prince): Intimacy, Song, and Rage in Weimar Germany

I’M A STRANGER HERE MYSELF, created and performed by Mark Nadler and directed by David Schweizer, is both a lament and a celebration of Weimar Germany and the bohemian lifestyle celebrated by the young during this time. Incredibly impoverished, pincered by a swiftly inflating currency, stabbed by the growth of hate and, underneath that hate, a creeping fascism; yet this impossible position also gave rise to an incredibly fertile undergrowth and the arts mecca which Berlin became.

Arlen Hancock in Ellie Brown's DEAR DIARY, BYE. Photo: Ellie Brown.

DEAR DIARY, BYE (Ellie Brown): Schoolyard scraps and crushes galore

And maybe that’s what makes Ellie Brown’s DEAR DIARY, BYE such a fascinating show. The play, directed by Seth Reichgott, presents her 1984 diary. Brown wasn’t so different from any other ten year old – she liked boys, she got sick of her parents, she was teased, and she liked more boys. There’s a pleasure in this kind of uncensored presentation, a la Nature Theater of Oklahoma.

photo by Jessica Giacobbe

ALL THIS HAPPENED, MORE OF LESS (Subcircle): Scenes from a dance marriage

Multimedia theater designer Jorge Cousineau is moving abstract objects under the rustic dance studio in the Maas Building in Northern Liberties. Niki Cousineau is rehearsing with her Subcircle dancers for new piece  All…

Philadelphia theater calendar

Philadelphia Theater Calendar: April 2014

January | February | March | April | May | June July | August | September | October | November | December Arsenic and Old Lace. By Joseph Kesselring. March 11–April 27, 2014. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street. Don Juan Comes Back from…

Directors Gallery Salon 1: Designing the Future

Directing the Future: An Interview with DG Founder Jill Harrison

Since moving to Philadelphia in 2009 (from New York, where she began her career), and joining the Philadelphia theater community as a freelance director, producer, and educator in the fall…

Josh McIlvain and Deborah Crocker serve up some fresh hot American Wisdom.

AMERICAN WISDOM (SmokeyScout): Interview with Playwright Josh McIlvain

And now, AMERICAN WISDOM, a mainstage collection of three of Josh’s one-acts, is a handshake between Philly and New York, featuring actors and directors from both sides of the ancient and abiding divide—and performing for one weekend in each city. What’s more, it was launched through an IndieGoGo campaign, representing McIlvain’s collaboration with his audiences.

Keith J. Conallan in DON JUAN COMES HOME FROM IRAQ, Wilma Theatre, photo by Alexander Iziliaev

DON JUAN COMES HOME FROM IRAQ (Wilma): A Disparate Jigsaw

Call it Don Juan or Don Giovanni, the Don Juan story, handed down through time, is pre-loaded with a mix of serious and comic elements and a supernatural dimension. DON JUAN COMES HOME FROM IRAQ, from theater luminaries Paula Vogel (playwright) and Banka Zizka (director), has the gravitas down and doesn’t lose sight of humor, but extra pieces lodge within this puzzle’s slippery treatment of time and reality.


BE/LONGING I: LIGHT/SHADOW (Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers): A review of the world premiere

We could be at a yoga studio, or a modern dance class, or even just Whole Foods (which might explain why everyone is so good looking and in such great shape) but the tableau onstage at Drexel’s Mandell Theater is the latest creation of choreographer Kun-Yang Lin. Be/longing: Light/Shadow is a world premiere based on a summer of research in Indonesia.

Grace Gonglewski as Masha, Kraig Swartz as Vanya, and Deirdre Madigan as Sonia in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Philadelphia Theatre Company): Absurdist Farce on Russian Angst

The angst-laden work and gloomy characters of Anton Chekhov provide funny fodder and apropos appellations for Christopher Durang’s VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, now in production at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. The Bucks County playwright set his Tony Award-winning comedy where he lives, making for a decidedly quirky yet familiar combination of current local references and recurrent allusions to the Russian classics in a zany family reunion filled with adult sibling rivalry and childish temper tantrums.

Buckminster Fuller before his geode dome at Montreal's World Fair.

THE LOVE SONG OF R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER (FringeArts): Fringe’s First First Friday

Among the first presentations in this exciting space, THE LOVE SONG OF R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER, shows First Friday, April 4th, at 7 and 9pm. This part theater, part musical, part film is dubbed a “live documentary.” Acclaimed filmmaker Sam Green narrates, accompanied by an original score played by Yo La Tengo. Together they create the movie experience in front of the audience in real time. Nick Stuccio, president and Producing Artistic Director of FringeArts, sat down to chat about this unique offering, as well as the developments with the new space and Fringe Festival.

Alex Bechtel's The West

THE WEST (Alex Bechtel): Billy the Kid Reimagined

Alex Bechtel’s world-premiere production THE WEST is packing the house at the Off-Broad Street Theater in its short six-performance run. The ensemble-devised work, with Bechtel as the lead creator and director, features a cast of twelve emerging Philadelphia theater artists and an absurdist reinvention of the last days of the notorious Western gunman Billy the Kid.

The Lantern joins a rich tradition: James Bond gives a lesson in cultural sensitivity in "You Only Live Twice".

The fault, dear Brutus, Act II: Interview with Makoto Hirano about “Super Racist” Julius Caesar

You may have seen the Lantern Theater Company’s JULIUS CAESAR, which recast Shakespeare’s political tragedy in Feudal Japan. You may also have seen the open letter that local playwright and performer Makoto Hirano hand-delivered to The Lantern on “How to Stage Your Show Without Being Super Racist,” which he signed “Makoto Hirano, Dance-theatre artist, actual Japanese person, and actual Samurai descendent,” reposted on Phindie with Hirano’s consent.

Incubator artist R. Eric Thomas.

NOTES from the INCUBATOR (Simpatico): Entry Two: Getting So Frustrated

My mother tells a story about a time when I was young—3-years-old or 4—and I was trying desperately to get the swing I was seated on moving. My little legs kicked and kicked but I stayed motionless. After a minute or two, an adult came over and gave me a push and that’s all it took. I caught the momentum and I was swinging! As she tells it, I turned to the little boy on the swing next to mine and exclaimed in a giddy, high-pitched voice “I was getting so frustrated! Were you getting frustrated, too, Brooksie? I was getting so frustrated!”


Merilyn Jackson’s Book Review of The Art of Falling

Have you heard the one about the anorexic dancer who fell off a balcony and landed 14 stories below onto a squooshy flat of doughnuts loaded on top of a car? The fat, cream, sugar and flour she never ate saved her life. What was killing her on the inside was what saved her from the outside. I loved the irony Kathryn Craft set-up in her debut novel, The Art of Falling, by this improbable circumstance.

Images courtesy of Nicole Bindler and Gabrielle Revlock.

CardioCreativity (Dance Apocalypse): A Not-So-Blue Monday

Got a bad case of the Mondays? CardioCreativity dance classes can help beat your work or school day blues. Created by Gabrielle Revlock and Nicole Bindler as a segment of their larger Dance Apocalypse project, these classes transcend the average dance or fitness regiment by allowing participants to unleash their creativity in a performance-based setting while burning calories. The class occurs every Monday through April 7th and appeals to everyone, of all ages, sizes and socioeconomic classes. Even if you’ve never danced in your life, you can still join in and have a good idea of what’s going on during the class.

Krista Apple-Hodge portrays Queen Elizabeth I in the PAC’s MARY STUART (Photo credit: Kate Raines, Plate 3 Photography)

The Women of The PAC’s MARY STUART

The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective concludes its 2013-14 season with Friedrich Schiller’s MARY STUART, directed by PAC co-founding artistic director Dan Hodge (whose previous credits include the company’s potent inaugural production of THE DUCHESS OF MALFI in 2010).

Nancy Lisagor: Is A Stitch Interrupted • Stadler-Kahn

This Week in Clips • March 24 through 30

We have lots of events coming up this week! We’re hoping the impending snowstorm avoids Philadelphia, because we don’t want to miss any of them. This week, you’ll notice a little calendar button next to our events. Click that button to add the event to your GCal!

Tere O'Connor's BLEED at FringeArts this weekend

BLEED (FringeArts): Tere O’Connor’s dance embraces all

The much-talked-about BLEED, running this weekend only as the next page in FringeArts’ idiosyncratic year-round programming, opened in New York last year to what seems like universal praise. The dance piece is the culmination of two years of work and three other dance pieces, which O’Connor made, then digested and collapsed into BLEED.


A benefit night to remember – Shut Up & Dance 2014

Shut Up & Dance 2014 benefit for MANNA proved one for the books. Every year the performance is typically wonderful for a number of reasons, primary among them its great sense of Philly community spirit in support of MANNA and not the least of which is the esprit of the participating dancers. Some years are standouts artistically and this was just one of those years.