Arts & Culture

SUMMER CHILL WITH JILL: One of the community’s focal points hosts a concert when indie folk-rock singer songwriter Jill Sobule performs an intimate show 7 p.m. July 7 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. For more information or tickets, call 215-732-2220.


University City usually caters to the nearby college students, with their cash-strapped budgets and varied tastes that fluctuate between health-conscious and irresponsible comfort food. But the newly opened Co-Op, 20 S. 33rd St., is looking to give the grown-up residents and visitors of the area a more-upscale place to dine.


When I was growing up, one of my favorite movies was “Blazing Saddles.” I think it was also the first R-rated movie that my younger brother and I went to. Aside from memories of my sibling literally laughing in the aisles, I also remember the striking figure of Cleavon Little as Sheriff Bart, the handsome black sheriff with a droll sense of humor (who fought both the bad guys and the racist townsfolk he was protecting). Here in Philadelphia, we also have a handsome black (deputy) sheriff, Officer Dante Austin. We spoke to Deputy Dante about his role as the first LGBT liaison to the Sheriff’s Office and his time in military service during “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Sophia Coppola’s spellbinding remake of “The Beguiled” opens in 1864 Virginia. Amy (an excellent Oona Laurence) finds Yankee Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell) wounded beside a tree. She takes him back to the Seminary for Young Ladies, run by Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman). It is there where the pinched schoolmarm Edwina Dabney (Kirsten Dunst) teaches five young girls, including the coquettish teen Alicia (Elle Fanning).

SOUL FIREWORKS: Wawa Welcome America Festival heats up the Fourth of July with a concert honoring Philly natives Boyz II Men and featuring performances by The Philly POPS, Mandy Gonzalez, Tony DeSare and the neo-soul superstar Mary J. Blige 7-9:30 p.m. July 4 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For more information, visit

AMERICAN IDOLS: Pop-superstar boy band New Kids on the Block is back on the road this summer with its Total Package Tour, with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men along for the ride. The fun hits Philly 7:30 p.m. June 24 at Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. For more information or tickets, call 215-389-9543.

One of my favorite authors, Mark Twain, once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

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