Arts & Culture

“The Assignment,” opening April 7 at AMC Cherry Hill, has already upset the trans community for its “high-concept” plot about Dr. Rachel Jane (Sigourney Weaver), performing an unwanted gender-reassignment surgery on hit man Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez).

The uproar, which is not unjustified, concerns two issues: first, that the film’s idea of gender-reassignment surgery is an act of punishment; and second, that the Kitchen character was not played by a trans actress. However, director Walter Hill and co-screenwriter Denis Hamill seem more impressed with the idea of their film than doing any justice to its execution.

 

Michael Riley-Hill found his appreciation of nature growing up in a small town. He was fascinated by architecture and buildings and would spend hours sketching and painting in his youth. Riley-Hill attended Kutztown University, where he developed his talent for painting. His unique method of painting one small area of the canvas at a time was questioned, but ultimately was discovered to be part of his innate talent for detailed paintings.

More than 50 years after its Broadway debut, “Cabaret” is still delighting audiences with its bawdy and gaudy spectacle of a group of talented entertainers, including femme-fatale Sally and the ghoulish all-knowing Emcee, performing at the infamous Kit Kat Klub in Berlin during the 1930s. But the good times to be had aren’t enough to allay the ever-growing influence of fascism as Nazi ideals rise to power the city and, eventually, seep into the club itself.

BUCKLE UP AND CHUCKLE UP: Comedian and “America’s Got Talent” finalist Julia Scotti headlines a comedy show to benefit Philly AIDS Thrift featuring James Bradford, Betty Smithsonian and more 7 p.m. April 6 at Tabu, 200 S. 12th St. For more information or tickets, call 215-964-9675 or visit comedyforacause.org.

“Frantz,” by gay French filmmaker François Ozon, is a black-and-white costume drama set in 1919 Germany. A loose remake of the Ernst Lubitsch drama “Broken Lullaby,” this handsome romantic melodrama, opening March 31 at Ritz Theatres, has Anna (Paula Beer) mourning her fiancé Frantz (Anton von Lucke), who was killed in the war. One day, she spies Adrien (Pierre Niney) at Frantz’s grave and befriends him. When Adrien visits Frantz’s parents, Hans (Ernst Stötzner) and Magda (Marie Gruber), he recounts stories about their friendship. However, Adrien eventually reveals his relationship with the dead man to Anna, and the dynamic between them changes.

Out actor/singer Anthony Rapp, best known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in “Rent,” will perform songs and tell stories at the Rrazz Room at the Prince Theatre next month. The show will feature songs from Rapp’s recent CD, which he made with his “Rent” co-star Adam Pascal, entitled “Acoustically Speaking (Live at Feinstein’s/54 Below).” 

 

Chrissy Tashjian wanted the audience to know where she was coming from. The lead singer and guitarist for the Philadelphia-based punk rock band Thin Lips vocalized her concern for the safety of LGBT youth and adults while on tour in Europe with The Superweaks and Modern Baseball, two other Philadelphia-based bands.

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