Arts & Culture

“He knew she was right, but didn’t care to relate his own life to her very egocentric observations. Her life had already become quite disenchanted, and Charlotte knew that for Teddy, it was only a matter of time; she hated that he got to be away, but loved the freedom he had.”

~from “Teddy Madison”
by Gregory Montagnino

Gregory Montagnino wears many hats, some of which he’s designed himself. As an author, clothing designer, teacher, event planner and host, this week’s Portrait is a jack of all trades, with a Master’s degree to boot.


Before Terry Brennan’s Tribe of Fools brings “Magdalene” to the stages of the Adrienne Theatre April 6-22 with its quietly enlightened and gnostic gospels-inspired take on the 13th apostle, consider the company Tribe of Fools is keeping.

Since 2003, Tribe of Fools (ToF) has not only been Philly’s most breathlessly athletic, movement-oriented and kinetic assayer of incendiary theater, tackling tales of sexual identity, power dynamics, gender position, neighborhood politics and family, but the troupe is also one of the city’s LGBTQ-friendliest. Themes of machismo and sexual preference weave their way into ToF pieces such as 2011’s “Heavy Metal Dance Fag” and 2014’s “Two Street.”


When it was announced that Roseanne Barr would be reviving her eponymous sitcom from 20 years ago, the response from both mainstream media and social media was to focus on her politics, zeroing in on the fact that the controversial comedian had revealed that she voted for Donald Trump. Her namesake character in the sitcom reboot is also portrayed as a Trump supporter. The show is already renewed for a second season.           

PEACE, LOVE & HIP-HOP: Hip-hop collective Arrested Development burst onto the scene in the early 1990s, deep in the throes of bombastic gangsta rap, with a positive, socially conscious vibe, message and worldview that sold millions of records and won them a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Now the group is back, on the road and celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album, “3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of…” with a performance 8:30 p.m. April 13 at World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St. For more information or tickets, call 215-222-1400.

 “Gemini” is writer/director Aaron Katz’s cool, seductive L.A. noir with a queer twist. 

In this nifty film, which opens April 6 at the Ritz Bourse in Philadelphia and at the AMC in Voorhees, N.J., Jill (Lola Kirke), a personal assistant to in-demand actress Heather (Zoë Kravitz), becomes the suspect in a murder. But “Gemini” is not really about what it’s about — meaning, the “whodunit” element of the story is really just an excuse for Katz to tease the audience while also displaying gorgeous visuals and a dry, wry sense of humor.

MELLOW/DRAMATIC: New Zealand’s award-winning international electropop singing star, Lorde, comes to town as part of her Melodrama World Tour, 7:30 p.m. April 2 at Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. For more information or tickets, call 215-389-9543.

The fantastic French drama “The Workshop,” opening April 6 at the Ritz at the Bourse, is cowritten by out gay writer Robin Campillo, a longtime collaborator of director/cowriter Laurent Cantet. Their film depicts the intense relationship that develops between mystery writer Olivia Déjazet (Marina Foïs) and Antoine (Matthieu Lucci), a student in her summer workshop. Antoine’s radical ideas — as well as his candid remarks and actions — cause friction in and outside the workshop. But this mysterious young man is also quite alluring to Olivia.

Campillo, who made the staggering ACT-UP drama “BPM” last year, chatted via WhatsApp with the Philadelphia Gay News about his new film.

Billy Stritch is so many things that it’s difficult to figure where to start in conversation. Along with composing platinum-plated accidental hits for Reba McEntire and Patti LaBelle (the same song, “Does He Love You?”) and other sophisticated tunes that could belong in the Great American Songbook, Stritch has famously played piano and arranged material for Liza Minnelli.

  Mainly though, he’s an inventive singing, piano-banging interpretive artist whose reputation places him high atop the cabaret mountain. Before he hits Dino’s Backstage & the Celebrity Room in Glenside (March 30-31) along with cabaret avatar Marilyn Maye, Stritch called PGN from San Francisco to discuss his new show, a career composing for famous women and what makes a good collaborator.

Philadelphia’s Rachel Dispenza and Lauren DeLucca, the dry wry local punk duo Coping Skills, are a non-binary force (Dispenza is genderfluid; DeLucca is agender; both use they/them pronouns) in their daily lives. When it comes to their work — albums such as “Relatable Web Content,” and “Worst New Music,” — it is a wearily humorous, monotone vocal world filled with death, taxes, college loans, weather, religion, us

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