Arts & Culture

The handsomely mounted period piece “A Quiet Passion,” opening May 12 at the Ritz at the Bourse, is gay filmmaker Terence Davies’ gorgeously lit biopic of poet Emily Dickinson.

The film chronicles Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon) returning home to Amherst where she tells her father (Keith Carradine) that she wants to write and publish poetry. Davies, who penned the screenplay, concentrates on aspects of Dickinson’s character, from her efforts to write to her friendship with Vryling Buffam (a scene-stealing Catherine Bailey) to her arguments with her brother Austin (Duncan Duff) over his extramarital affair and her prolonged illness.

Everything singer/songwriter Mike Hadreas does in the guise of Perfume Genius shimmers.

With an angelic, androgynous voice, a set of songs that slides from rubbery electro-dance, glassy piano ballads and gutsy glam rock and lyrics examining his own sexuality and the trauma of homophobia, drug abuse and domestic violence, his is a brutally honest — yet poetic — look at youthful corps d’esprit. Since 2010’s “Learning,” Hadreas has always, by his own account, been angry and pointed fingers. With his dashing, new “No Shape,” however, the eight-years’-sober and involved (with his keyboardist Alan Wyffels, a classically trained pianist he met in group therapy) singer sounds wearier but more triumphant — replacing disgust and anger with an edgy positivity.

PULLING SOME STRINGS: Out string quartet Well-Strung, known far and wide for putting its own classical-tinged stamp on pop songs, is coming to town, with Thorgy Thor from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” opening the show, 8 p.m. May 13 at TLA, 334 South St. For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1011.

The 12th-annual HUMP! Festival, created and curated by out advice columnist and activist Dan Savage, is on the road again, coming to Philadelphia May 12-13. Each year the festival presents an evening of homegrown amateur short porn films, which feature a wide range of body sizes, shapes, ages, colors, sexualities, genders, kinks and fetishes.

The Philadelphia Theatre Company ends its season with “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” a one-man show written and performed by LGBT activist James Lecesne. The production is based on Lecesne’s acclaimed young-adult novel about the effect a gay teen’s disappearance has on his community.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”      — Cicero

If you haven’t been yet, there’s a lovely little spot just a half-block from William Way LGBT Community Center that has both books and soul. It’s called Writer’s Block Rehab and no, it’s not a recovery facility: It’s a lovely little bar opened up by this week’s Portrait, Ram Krishnan.


When the Prayer for Peace Tour pulls through World Cafe Live  May 10, it won’t only toe the line for ancient-to-future-forward-thinking Delta blues and dirty soul courtesy the North Mississippi Allstars and Alvin Youngblood Hart. The night welcomes activist, author, theologian and bluesman the Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou – Rev. Sekou for short, a child of the black Pentecostal Church of God in Christ – a holy man who, though not gay, calls himself in word and action, “an ally” for all things, people and issues LGBT.

INTO THE GROOVE: Out singer-songwriter and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello brings her unique blend of neo-soul, funk, rock and R&B music to Philly 8 p.m. May 6 at Zellerbach Theatre, 3680 Walnut St. For more information or tickets, call 215-898-3900.

Samy el-Noury is a renaissance man. A well-respected actor, Noury is also a musician, a brown belt in Shaolin Kung Fu, does pretty well on a trapeze, speaks a smattering of French, Arabic and Spanish, is fluent in Japanese and knows his way around a puppet. Not bad for someone who hasn’t turned 30 yet.

The Revolution, the legendary funk/rock band behind some of Prince’s most popular albums and tours, is hitting the road this spring. The troupe reunited for a handful of tribute concerts last year in Minneapolis following the sudden death of the iconic singer, performer and songwriter.

Guitarist Wendy Melvoin, bassist Brown Mark, keyboardists Matt Fink and Lisa Coleman and drummer Bobby Z. were all immortalized on screen and on tape after having appeared on Prince’s bestselling album and film, “Purple Rain,” as well as the albums “Around The World in a Day” and “Parade,” before Prince disbanded the group in 1986.

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