Arts & Culture

The poignant romantic drama “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” based on bisexual actor/author Peter Turner’s memoir, recounts his brief but intense relationship with actress Gloria Grahame in Liverpool in 1979 and 1981.

The film, which opens at the Landmark Ritz at the Bourse Jan. 26, has Grahame (Annette Bening) calling Peter (Jamie Bell) and asking if she can stay with him after she doubles over in pain in her dressing room at a nearby theater.

“It’s just gas,” she tells him, in a lie they both want to believe.

Best known as the author of “The House of Blue Leaves,” “Six Degrees of Separation” and the screenplay for “Atlantic City,” John Guare is an Irish-American playwright with a sense of oddly realistic whimsy that’s only matched by his erudite language and his gutsy pragmatism.

LET’S DANCE!: International Tango superstar German Cornejos brings his renowned Buenos Aires dance-troupe Tango Fire to Philly to light up with sizzling moves 8 p.m. Jan. 31 at Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. For more information or tickets, call 215-893-1999.

ROOM FOR IMPROV-MENT: The Second City, the legendary improvisational-comedy troupe that brought attention to stars such as Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Amy Poehler, is stopping in Philadelphia for its “Look Both Ways Before Talking” tour featuring the unique brand of satire and of-the-moment sketch comedy Jan. 19-20 at Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad St. For more information or tickets, call 215-893-1999.

Trans director Yance Ford won a Special Jury Prize for Storytelling at last year’s Sundance Film Festival for “Strong Island,” his intimate and intense documentary. The film will screen 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Lightbox Film Center (formerly International House). The event is free with an RSVP.

MJ Kaufman is one of American theater’s most insistent and crucial new artists — one whose work exists in a time when risk, dare and sociopolitical polemic is a necessity. The genderqueer, trans-masculine author’s identity doesn’t change how audiences should look at the world debut of their play “Sensitive Guys” at InterAct Theatre. It only means you should look harder and with deeper appreciation. We chatted with the playwright ahead of the big premiere.

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