Arts & Culture

 

Drag star, comedian and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” 2014 winner Bianca Del Rio brings it in her new book.

In the pages “Blame It On Bianca Del Rio: The Expert On Everything With An Opinion On Everything,” the author (the alter ego of actor and costume designer Roy Haylock) is every bit the comedy fireball she is on stage, delivering commentary on topics including romance, health, friendship, sex, family, style, work and more. Which, she is quick to add, you probably shouldn’t follow.

 

“Mrs. Harrison” is out playwright R. Eric Thomas’ latest production with Azuka Theatre: a one-act dialogue between two women in a bathroom at their college reunion. Aisha is a successful black playwright, Holly a floundering white comic. Between them is a misremembered history.

STIRRED AND READY TO SHAKE: Whether you see it as a large band or a small orchestra, Pink Martini is bringing its entertaining blend of jazz, classical and old-timey pop music to the ears of the area 8 p.m. May 19 at Keswick Theater, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. For more information or tickets, call 215-572-7650.

“There she is, Miss America

There she is, your ideal

The dream of a million girls who are more than pretty can come true in Atlantic City.

For she may turn out to be the Queen of femininity.”

This week’s Portrait is Anesha Robinson, the reigning Miss Southeastern, PA who was crowned this past March. Robinson will soon be competing for the coveted title of Miss Pennsylvania. Robinson started off her competition life in pants and a jacket and has continued to defy the odds and convention ever since. We made an appointment for a FaceTime chat, and I was surprised to see her in full pageant regalia, tiara and all.

 

Out actor Lawrence Arrigale, director Mariangela Saavedra and  playwright Paul Rudnick at Allens Lane Theater, for a start

Before Paul Rudnick became both a critics’ choice and the gay voice of a generation, the young Rudnick wrote hilarious novels (“Social Disease,” and “I’ll Take It”) and a quietly quirky play (“Poor Little Lambs,” about a female Yale student joining the Whiffenpoofs, an all-male singing group.)

Then he wrote “I Hate Hamlet.”

“There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.”

~Nathaniel Branden

This week’s portrait, Bobby Glorioso, certainly knows the value of Branden’s words. Not long ago, he was facing self-esteem issues and addiction. With the help of an old friend, he managed to turn things around. In just a short time, Bobby G. has risen from a low point to a new outlook where he is, as he says, “sitting on top of the world.”

LET THE HEALING BEGIN: Out country singer Brandi Carlile hits the road for her new album, “By The Way, I Forgive You,” stopping in Philadelphia for a performance 7 p.m. May 18 at Kimmel’s Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. For more information or tickets, call 215-893-1999.

Voice of Equality Productions is opening the summer season with the modern gay-theater classic “Love! Valour! Compassion!”   

The Tony Award-winning play, written by Terrence McNally, follows eight gay men who spend three summer weekends together at a vacation house, where they end up hashing out their passions, fears and differences. The play originally opened off-Broadway in 1994 and quickly became a social and critical touchstone for the LGBT community.

 Philly went from winter to summer in less than a week. One Monday we were all shivering in our hoodies and, by Friday, everybody was in flip-flops and yoga pants and reserving sidewalk tables at favorite restaurants.

The point is, we’ve all but missed spring. Suddenly, it’s almost beach-body time. Fuel, the city’s healthier casual-food outlet, has a slew of new dishes under 500 calories.

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