Arts & Culture

Mauckingbird Theatre Company, Philadelphia’s gay-themed theater group, is kicking off 2019 with its unique take on Noël Coward’s comedy “Fallen Angels,” through Jan. 27 at the Louis Bluver Theatre at The Drake.

Set in London during the 1920s, the original play centers on two women who have been married to their husbands for five years and find their tranquil lives disrupted when a former lover, with whom both were previously involved, plans to visit from France. The women’s anticipation sets off events that come to a head once the former lover arrives in the flesh.


When Philadelphia-born playwright Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing!” begins its run Jan. 23 with Mt. Airy’s Quintessence Theatre Group at The Sedgwick, it will be not only a show of 20th century theatrical, socio-conscious finesse and force, but also proof that Alexander Burns — the out, longtime artistic director of Quintessence — knows how to merge the ideals of classic theater of the past with the necessities of the present.

I’ve mentioned in my column before that I’m a couch potato sports enthusiast. I can watch anything from curling to rhythmic gymnastics (I actually kind of miss them), but my favorite sport is football. Perhaps it was the many years I spent as my older brother’s tackle dummy, or sitting in the freezing cold bleachers watching him score on an exciting flea flicker play. Whatever it was, I learned the ins and outs of the game pretty well. I’m excited about the Eagles making the playoffs. Hopefully, they will go far. But if not, I will rest easy knowing that my football fever will have another outlet: The Philadelphia Phantomz. The Phantomz are a full-contact, women’s football team that is part of The Women’s Football Alliance ( Boasting almost 70 teams, WFA is the largest and most competitive women’s tackle football league in the world. The league is in recruiting mode right now, as it looks for new players for the start of the season in the spring. We spoke to one of the starting players, Amanda Avvento, as she was on her way to a winter practice session in the cold.

With its proximity to the stadiums and arenas of South Philly, you’d probably expect SOMO SoPhi, 3101 S. 13th St., to be just another sports bar with a restaurant as a distant second in priority. Well, read on, intrepid foodies. 

FROM THE PAGES TO THE STAGES: Out author, essayist and humorist David Sedaris brings his insights to the stage for a spoken-word performance 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside. For more information or tickets, call 215-572-7650.

With the new year upon us, something, anything, has got to fill the sensory void left by all the holiday music, festive lighting and big concerts blissfully and sometimes annoyingly occupying your psyche for the last couple of months. You need a new infusion of sonic inspiration, and luckily for us, a bunch of new and established LGBTQ artists from across the musical spectrum are stepping up.

Get your headphones on and your Spotify/iTunes accounts fired up, people, and let’s find some new music.

WE ARE THE GOON SQUAD AND WE’RE COMING TO TOWN … : New York alt cabaret singer Raquel Cion appears for Philly Loves Bowie Week with her cabaret show, “Me & Mr. Jones: My Intimate Relationship With David Bowie,” which explores the lifelong “soul love” that Cion has for Bowie’s artistry, 6 p.m. Jan. 5-6 at Franky Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor St. For more information, call 215-735-0735.

Today is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.

—Brad Paisley

That shouldn’t be hard for this week’s Portrait — Eric Singel and his alter ego, astrologer Starzina Starfish-Browne.

A versatile writer, actor, comedian and producer, Singel has performed everything from roles in serious shows like “The Crucible” and “Torch Song Trilogy” to the totally zany work of sketch comedy.

Another holiday season down — and three months of chilly, damp and dark days to go.

Yeah, you could sit home and get caught up on your Netflix backlog. But there’s real fun and cultural enlightenment to be had in local clubs, theaters, arenas, bars and art galleries, no matter the weather.

So far, 2019 in the Philly region is offering something for every interest. Check out these varied shades of winter. After all, you can watch Netflix any time.

The first time I saw the Mummers was of all places on a tennis court. It was when I first moved to Philadelphia and my parents took me to see the Philadelphia Freedoms tennis team. During a change-over, several large men wearing bright clothing covered in sparkles and feathers playing banjos strode onto the tennis court doing some kind of strut. My jaw dropped to the floor as I stammered, “What on earth is that?” Someone looked at me in disbelief and shushed me by saying, “They’re Mummers!”

I think most of us agree we need some laughs to end this crazy-ass year. Luckily for some of us, a couple of the Queer Queens of Comedy, Poppy Champlin and Karen Williams, are converging on New Hope to make sure the New Year starts with a hearty dose of humor.

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