Arts & Culture

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.”

Theater & Arts

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum

Walnut Street Theatre presents Stephen Sondheim’s classic Tony Award-winning musical Sept. 5-Oct. 22, 825 Walnut St.; 215-574-3550.


2017 Fringe Festival

The 17-day, citywide celebration of innovation and creativity in contemporary performance, Sept. 7-23 at various venues;


Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin Hate Everyone But You

The comedy duo and YouTube stars perform 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.; 215-222-1400.


Havana Nights

A monthly Cuban music and food series, featuring authentic Cuban cuisine, cocktails and music courtesy of Cuban band Conjunto, 8 p.m. Sept. 1 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.; 215-222-1400.


John Witherspoon

The comedian seen in “Friday” and “The Boondocks” performs Sept. 7-9 at Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St.; 215-496-9001.


Kink Haus

Gunnar Montana returns with a new show based on a brutal underground nightclub Sept. 5-24 at The Latvian Society of Philadelphia, 531 N. Seventh St.;


Life Lines

FringeArts presents Tangle Movement Arts’ all-new performance of aerial dance and vertical drama that unspools three women’s stories of rebuilding after sudden changes Sept. 6-9 at Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St.; 215-922-1695.


Other Desert Cities

Bucks County Playhouse presents the award-winning play by Pulitzer nominee Jon Robin Baitz about Brooke Wyeth, who is returning to her parents’ Palm Springs home toting an explosive, about-to-be-published, tell-all memoir, through Sept. 2, 70 S. Main St., New Hope; 215-862-2121.


PGMC Dancer Auditions

The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus holds dance auditions for its 2017-18 concert season 6-7 p.m. Sept. 6 at Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion, 2111 Sansom St.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Queers of the Western Zombie Apocalypse

The Fringe Festival presents a show about what happens when the world ends and a ragtag group of LGBT survivors bands together to fight off zombies and bigots Sept. 7-25 at FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd.; 215-413-9006.


The Scott Brothers’ House Party

HGTV personalities and twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott from the show “Property Brothers” host a live event 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St.; 215-893-1999.


Wild: Michael Nichols

Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an exhibition exploring the work of the legendary photographer, artist, technical innovator and ardent advocate for preserving natural habitats through Sept. 17, 26th Street and the Parkway; 215-763-8100.


Witness: Reality and Imagination in the Prints of Francisco Goya

Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an exhibition of works by the artist who witnessed decades of political turmoil and social upheaval as court painter to four successive rulers of Spain through Sept. 6, 26th Street and the Parkway; 215-763-8100.


The Woodmere Annual: 76th Juried Exhibition

An exhibition featuring works in a wide variety of media from regional artists, through Sept. 4 at the Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave.; 215-247-0476.



I Love the ’90s: The Party Continues Tour

TLC, Naughty By Nature, Montell Jordan, C+C Music Factory and Snap perform 6 p.m. Sept. 1 at BB&T Pavilion, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, N.J.; 609-365-1300.


Made in America Festival

Jay-Z headlines the outdoor festival featuring The Chainsmokers, Solange, Kaskade, J. Cole and more Sept. 2-3 along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway; www.madeinamerica-


Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley

The reggae artist and youngest son of Bob Marley performs 8 p.m. Sept. 5 at TLA, 334 South St.; 215-922-1011.


Queens of the Stone Age

The rock band performs 8 p.m. Sept. 7 at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, 601 N. Columbus Blvd.; 215-922-1011.


Danzig and Corrosion of Conformity

The hard-rock bands perform 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at The Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St.; 215-627-1332.


Patty Larkin

The out singer-songwriter performs 8 p.m. Sept. 8 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.; 215-222-1400.


Nicole Atkins

The singer-songwriter performs 8:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at The Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St.; 267-639-4528.



The Funny Gals

Philadelphia’s funniest queens, including Astala Vista, Sutton Fearce and VinChelle, perform in a show hosted by Bev 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at Tattooed Mom, 530 South St.; 215-238-9880.


Joan Crawford in Her Own Words

Eric Singel performs as the much-maligned star of decades of Hollywood films who returns to defend herself from the sensational untruths 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at Tabu, 200 S. 12th St.; 215-964-9675.


Pop A Pastie!

A talent/variety show based on the old-school style of “The Gong Show” mixed with “The Voice” and judged by a panel of three burlesque stars from The Peek-A-Boo Revue, 9 p.m.-midnight Sept. 7 at Tabu, 200 S. 12th St.; 215-964-9675.


Outta Town

Gabriel Iglesias

The comedian performs 8 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa Event Center, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J.; 609-317-1000.


Girls Night Out: The Ultimate Experience (All Welcome)

The multimedia all-male revue, 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at The Rrazz Room, 385 W. Bridge St., New Hope; 888-596-1027.


Italian All Night Splatterfest 6

A marathon of five outlandish and over-the-top Italian horror films are screened 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville; 610-917-1228.



The iconic singer performs 8 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa Event Center, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J.; 609-317-1000.

Feel-good Mexican comedy “Hazlo Como Hombre” (“Do It Like a Man”) — about Santi (Alfonso Dosal) coming out to his best friends, Raúl (Mauricio Ochmann) and Eduardo (Humberto Busto) — has been breaking box-office records in its home country this summer. Now, American audiences can see the film, opening Sept. 1 in area theaters, and laugh along as machismo is skewered.

Gunnar Montana feels he is on the cusp of some major changes in his life as he proceeds with pulling together his sixth Fringe Festival show, “Kink Haüs,” opening Sept. 5. He will turn 30 soon. He is celebrating almost a year of sobriety. Additionally, his arts venture recently got its 501(C)3 status as a nonprofit.

Like my favorite fictional hero Xena, Dr. Sheena Howard has many skills: teacher, author, filmmaker, activist, mother, wife and now comic-book creator. Howard was the first black female to win an Eisner, which in the comic world is like an Oscar. She won the award for her groundbreaking book “Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation.” Howard is also the author of “Black Queer Identity Matrix” and “Critical Articulations of Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation.” She has appeared on National Public Radio, The Washington Post, ABC and Philadelphia Weekly, as well as other networks and documentaries as an expert on popular culture, race, politics and sexual-identity negotiation. She also writes for The Huffington Post, which garnered her death threats for one contentious column. In addition, Howard is the producer, director and author of the documentary film “Remixing Colorblind.”

‘AMERICA’S’ SWEETHEART: Transgender comedian and “America’s Got Talent” performer Julia Scotti is keeping busy in the days leading up to the release of her first comedy album “Hello Boys … I’m Back” with a performance 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at The Eagle Theatre, 208 Vine St., Hammonton, N.J. For more information or tickets, call 609-704-5012 or visit

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