Arts & Culture

STRIP STAKES: Things heat up in the kitchen when “Chefs: The Sizzling Kitchen Showdown” hits the stage featuring live athletic chefs cooking through a series of escalating culinary challenges — and when they lose, they lose their shirts, 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave. For more information or tickets, call 215-572-7650.


Trans actress Daniela Vega gives a remarkable performance as Marina, a trans woman grappling with intolerance following the sudden death of her lover, Orlando (Francisco Reyes), in the Chilean drama “A Fantastic Woman.” The film opens Feb. 16 at Landmark Ritz Five Theater.


Jody Kuehner will take drag drama to new levels of socio-feminist change, audience interactivity and intimate personal recollection this month. The Seattle-based dancer/performance artist, who performs in drag as Cherdonna Shinatra, will bring her show “Clock that Mug or Dusted” to FringeArts Feb. 22-24. 

If you need something to bring out the euphoric high of the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, you can take in an emotionally fraught family Thanksgiving with Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play “The Humans,” at the Walnut Street Theatre through March 4.

“Sweet Love” was a hit song from songstress Anita Baker, but it could also be a job description for this week’s Portrait. Emory McLeod is a wedding and custom-cake coordinator at Cake Life Bake Shop. A charming young woman with a lovely and frequent laugh- and I found out just before we started our phone interview that her partner is Nima Etemadi, winner of The Cupcake Wars and one of my favorite profiles from a few years back. Sweet!


To start its 2018 season, Opera Philadelphia presents British composer George Benjamin’s and librettist Martin Crimp’s “Written on Skin.” The modernist tale of lust, violence, purity and deceit features out countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in the dual role of “First Angel” and “Boy.” 

LOVE HANGOVER: R&B/hip-hop-soul superstar Mary J. Blige brings her tour for her latest album, “Strength of a Woman,” to keep the fires of Valentine’s Day smoldering  Feb. 16-17 at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J. For more information or tickets, call 609-317-1000.


“Double Lover,” the latest film by gay writer/director François Ozon, has Chloé (Marine Vacth) falling in love with Paul (Jérémie Renier), her psychologist. When she discovers Paul has a twin, Louis (Renier in a double role), Chloé starts seeing him behind his brother’s back.

In the hands and mouths of San Francisco playwright Lauren Gunderson (writer of 2015’s “Silent Sky”), Theatre Horizon guest director Kathryn MacMillan and four of Philadelphia’s wiliest actresses (Jaylene Clark Owens, Claire Inie-Richards, Jessica Bedford and Charlotte Northeast) will get a little closer to 1789-era Paris this month with “The Revolutionists.”

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