Arts & Culture

(UN)DRESSED TO KILL: International burlesque star and sex symbol Dita Von Teese brings her latest burlesque revue, “The Art of the Teese,” to Philadelphia to heat up these final days of summer 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at The Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St. For more information or tickets, call 215-625-3681.

Local queer filmmaker Glenn Holsten’s new documentary “I Am” lovingly chronicles the experiences of six students from St. Katherine’s Special Education Day School in Radnor with eight dancers from the Second Company of the Pennsylvania Ballet. The 40-minute short film, which will screen at Prince Music Theatre Sept. 19, shows how the students and dancers created a performance choreographed by Pennsylvania Ballet’s Jessica Kilpatrick.

It would be an understatement to say that David B. Devan, the bow-tied general director and president of Opera Philadelphia, is over the moon about O17, the organization’s debut festival. With seven “operatic happenings” staged Sept. 14-23 in six venues, this is not only a genius marketing opportunity that brings international press to our city, it is also rich with innovation: operas in unique spaces (“The Wake World,” “War Stories”), those that copy a movie-going experience (“The Magic Flute”) and those relevant to Philly (“Elizabeth Cree,” “We Shall Not Be Moved”).

GOING UP SWINGING: Catch queer-focused Tangle Movement Arts’ all-new performance of aerial dance and vertical drama “Life Lines,” in which the acrobats in the nine-woman cast and Philly-based acoustic trio Guide Birds collaborate to tell three women’s stories of rebuilding after sudden changes through Sept. 9 at Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. For more information, call 215-266-6215 or visit www.tangle-arts.com.  Photo: Michael Ermilio

Frankie (Harris Dickinson), the main character in writer/director Eliza Hittman’s phenomenal drama “Beach Rats,” opening Sept. 8 at Ritz Theatres, doesn’t think of himself as gay, but he regularly cruises gay Brooklyn chat rooms. He cloaks himself in darkness on his webcam and is often prompted by guys to show more of his face and body. When Frankie asks a guy he meets online to expose himself, he is embarrassed by (or ashamed of) his desires to articulate what he knows he wants — but he eventually relents. His conflicted nature forms much of this absorbing character study.

There’s something cozy about the “curated” part of the upcoming Fringe Festival, with its rich dedication to the concept of home and its direct auxiliary conceits of proximity, family, comfort and closeness. That’s what you’ll see in Geoff Sobelle’s athletic “HOME,” Thaddeus Phillips and Steven Dufala’s kid-friendly “Billion Nights on Earth,” Pig Iron Theatre’s existentialist “Period of Animate Existence” and Michael Kiley’s spirited “Close Music for Bodies.”

Ah, Fringe is back and all of my favorites are once again ready to thrill, chill, entertain and educate. The always-exciting Brian Sanders’ JUNK presents “Strand,” while Tangle Movement Arts soars high above with the vertical drama “Life Lines.” Drag songstress Cookie Diorio uses her 6.5-inch platforms for some philanthropic frivolity in “Art of the Heel” and the ever-dynamic Gunnar Montana takes us into the “Kink Haüs.” In fact, there is a whole page of LGBT-identified shows and performers this year. The list includes former Portraits Timaree Schmit and Tiel Guarino and a host of other folks you know who will be participating in the SEXxy “List of Common Misconceptions.”

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