Arts & Culture

MORE ‘BETTER’ BLUES: Politically charged comedian and “The Daily Show” regular, Lewis Black, brings his “It Gets Better Every Day” comedy tour to town in an attempt to make humorous sense of the mess American politics has become, 8 p.m. March 6 at Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. For more information or tickets call 215-893-1999.

As we wrap up Black History Month, I decided to check out a retail spot that I've been reading about lately. Trunc is a unique boutique on 2nd street, just down from the Piazza. Trunc is more than a store; it's an experience. In addition to the beautiful interior and variety of products for sale, the two proprietors, Dorthea Gamble and Dagmar Mitchell, act as mentors to many of the artists showcased in the store. Throughout February, they have had receptions and events each week, something that they will continue to offer in upcoming months. I took a moment to put down my wine and cheese at one of the receptions to speak to co-owner Gamble. 

There are many fast-casual healthy food options in the Rittenhouse area, but the newly opened Dig, 1616 Chestnut St., is trying to one-up the competition in the rapidly growing field in the locally-sourced, farmer-friendly food game. Mindful sourcing is modus operandi, as Dig buys from minority-run and small-scale farms and also supports sustainable growing practices.

Out composer Jerry Herman forged one of the most distinguished — and lucrative — careers in musical theater history. The foundation of his success was built on “Hello, Dolly!”, the 1964 adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s “The Matchmaker” that became a worldwide juggernaut continuing to this day.

Jacqueline Goldfinger travels a well-trod path in “Babel,” her new play receiving its world premiere at Theatre Exile through March 8. The bisexual, Philly-based playwright imagines a futuristic world in which birth is regulated, genetics are manipulated, and relationships live and die by the whim of scientific advancement.

“And Then We Danced” is out gay writer and director Levan Akin’s captivating drama about a closeted young dancer in Tbilisi. The film, which opens Feb. 28 at the Ritz Five, is the first LGBTQ feature set in Georgia. Last year, it generated protests from members of the far-right and Georgian Orthodox religious groups at its premiere in Tbilisi for its gay content. (The film is officially Swedish; Akin is Georgian by heritage, but he was born and lives in Stockholm). The controversy stemmed from the film depicting a same-sex romance in the traditional world of Georgian dance, where masculinity, not “weakness,” is valued. 

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine to the mind." 

― Luther Burbank, American botanist

Bonjour mes amis! Are you tired of these frigid temperatures? Ready for winter to be over? Well, we're almost there. Spring is officially here on March 20, but if you can't wait that long to get your green groove on, I suggest you head over to the Philadelphia Flower Show. If you haven't been to the flower show before, it's an event for the senses. Before you even enter the doors, the fragrance of earth and foliage and flowers in bloom teases you of things to come. When you get inside, you are met with a profusion of dazzling colors, shapes and sounds. The Philly Flower Show is known for its show-stopping entrances, and this year will be no different with the theme "Riviera Holiday." 

This week we took time to smell the roses with Matt Rader, executive director of Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS), the organization that presents the show each year. 

Genderqueer ex-nun and comedian Kelli Dunham released her new comedy album, “Not the Gym Teacher” this month. The title references the many times she is mistaken for the gym teacher, though she is actually the school nurse. 

In 1981, when "Cagney & Lacey" first aired, the show recast the role of Christine Cagney with Sharon Gless after the first season because studio execs thought Meg Foster looked and acted too lesbian in the role. 

Chelsea Marcantel’s “Everything Is Wonderful” receives its local premiere at Philadelphia Theatre Company, Feb. 14-March 8. The play explores forgiveness and community in the aftermath of a horrific accident. Out director Noah Himmelstein, who helmed the play last year at Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre, returns to stage the drama once again. 

STORYTELLERS: Out folk artist Chris Pureka (pictured) opens for fellow acclaimed singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer when the two perform 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. For more information or tickets, call 215-222-1400.

Out lesbian director Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” opening Feb. 21 at the Ritz Five, is an exquisite, exceptional romantic drama. Set in the 1700s, the film opens at an art school where Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is teaching drawing. Her attention, however, is suddenly arrested by the titular painting, and the film flashes back to the time when Marianne was commissioned to paint Héloïse (Adèle Haenel). 

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