Arts & Culture

The Philly POPS are getting into the swing of spring with “Cole Porter’s Broadway: Too Darn Hot,” a tribute to the legendary gay composer, songwriter and Broadway icon. 

Philly native and musician David Charles Abell will guest-conduct the performances, which run April 12-14 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The shows also will feature guest vocal appearances by jazz stylist Catherine Russell and Broadway stars Lisa Vroman and Ben Davis.

In a chat with PGN from his home in London, Abell said he discovered and became enamored with Porter’s music back in an era when finding music was a more complicated task.

I recently had a chance to go into the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the first time. It’s a lovely building and currently housing “Long Light” — an exhibition featuring a collection of photographs from David Lebe.

The exhibition showcases 145 photographs beautifully displayed to honor his different styles developed over five decades. It includes his powerful representations of gay experience and living with AIDS.

Lebe’s experiments with light and paper are beautiful and haunting. His series of pinhole photography shows what can be done with a little ingenuity and a lot of creativity. His skills as an artist and technician are matched by the raw emotion captured in his photographs.

Mexico-born artist Ada Trillo had her first exhibition at the Rittenhouse area’s Twenty-Two Gallery in 2017. The inspiration came from her homeland: drug-addicted Mexican sex workers at the “intersection of sympathy, dignity, and hope.”

The black-and-white photographs lent each subject an elegance of line and an air of regality. Since that time, Trillo’s work has been included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

Two years later, with “Chasing Freedom: Migrant Caravan Portraits,” the Philadelphia-based Trillo moves her lens to the currency of life along the U.S.-Mexico border. Here, she continues to find love and dignity among the ruins; a sense of intimacy among the South and Central American refugees.

 The controversy surrounding the 1980 film “Cruising” — a psychological thriller about a serial killer preying on gay men in 1970s New York City — will probably never die.

But the original soundtrack lives on — and has actually gotten new life with a recently expanded re-release on the Waxwork label across three vinyl LPs.

The re-release offers music that never made it onto the originally released 1980 soundtrack, including five rare Germs songs recorded specifically for the album. It also has a new leather-faced cover that’s sure to arouse curiosity.

Set in 1979 Paris and in the gay-porn world, “Knife+Heart,” opening April 5 at the Landmark Ritz at the Bourse, is a cheeky queer thriller. Not only is director/co-writer Yann Gonzalez’s tongue planted firmly in cheek — his film features comic porno humor — but he also takes some real chances, most of which pay off.

The film opens with a sequence that cross-cuts between sex and death. Fouad (Khaled Alouach) is an adult-film star who meets an untimely end when a masked man ties him to a bed, strips him naked and murders him with a dildo that doubles as a knife.

DANCING IN THE DARK: Blaqk Audio, the synth-pop/EDM side project by AFI members Davey Havok and Jade Puget, gets a gothic groove on with a tour in support of its latest album, “Only Thing We Love,” which hits Philly 8 p.m. March 30 at Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. For more information or tickets, call 215-627-1332.

Celebrating 19 years of music, speakers, sports, dancing and fun, CAMP Rehoboth’s 2019 Women’s FEST will be held April 11-14 in downtown Rehoboth Beach.

Growing larger every year, FEST, an event primarily geared toward lesbians, brings several hundred of mid-Atlantic women together for the best in national and regional entertainment and special events.

Last week, I briefly stepped into the Suzanne Roberts Theatre with playwright Christina Anderson to check out the set for her play, “How To Catch Creation.” The Jason Sherwood design is a revolving set with an impressive representation of the Golden Gate Bridge. It allows the scenes to shift quickly from era to era.

Anderson, who originally hails from the Midwest, is in town for the Philadelphia Theatre Company production of her show, which runs through April 14. She’s known for tackling heavy subject matter and infusing it with a little bit of humor.

Wife-husband restaurateurs and chefs Bridget Foy and Paul Rodriguez have bounced back from the fire that destroyed Foy’s namesake restaurant on South Street in 2017 with the recently opened Cry Baby Pasta. And you just might weep if you can’t get a reservation.

The cozy and elegant space was packed on a Wednesday night and we soon found out why. The menu is simple and concise — but the menu items are executed to perfection.

If you step into the stylish and casually refined confines of West Philly’s CO-OP for brunch, there’s a pretty good chance that any diet is going out the window.

Sure, there’s a significant portion of the brunch menu that keeps it light (parfaits, fruit bowls, veggie bowls, salads), but they just can’t compete with the classic comfort foods — which are made even more appetizing here.

When it became clear to Philadelphia-based playwright and dramaturg Jacqueline Goldfinger that her newest play, “Click,” was going to be produced, she knew whose sound would make it whole.

“I immediately thought of Pax to create the music and soundscape, as their deep knowledge of both traditional theater music and other forms — including opera, cabaret and chorale — have been enormously important in creating the complex on-and-offline worlds of the play,” Goldfinger said.

Pax is Pax Ressler, the non-binary Philadelphia theater multi-hyphenate whose compositional soundscapes surround and infest “Click” like a virus and move like a tech-savvy monolith.

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten a significant amount of music or art to consume from Amanda Palmer. Now she’s back in action with a new album, “There Will Be No Intermission,” and an international tour and book release.

The bisexual singer-songwriter, author and performance artist made a name for herself as half of the gothic/punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls before pursuing a solo career.

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