Arts & Culture

“TROUBLE” MAKER: Gay screenwriter, director and pop-culture icon John Waters — who was behind such classics as “Pink Flamingos” and “Hairspray” — hosts a live Q&A about his latest book, “Make Trouble,” 7:30 p.m. April 29 at Central Library, 1901 Vine St. For more information, call 215-567-4341.

The character of Figaro is one of the most finely detailed and renowned in operatic literature. As essayed first by playwright Pierre Beaumarchais in his comedies “The Barber of Seville,” “The Marriage of Figaro” and “The Guilty Mother,” the rakish, witty Figaro is smarter and sharper than his class would (or rather, should) allow, he being the valet to Spain’s Count Almaviva, governor of Andalusia. As a shrewd modish up-market major-domo, Figaro is slyly acerbic and ready with the most cutting and knowing of retorts. It is, however, his role as fiancé to Suzanne — Countess Rosine’s maid — that shows Figaro as a tender, coy and cool romancer.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It’s unthinkable that we even need to have an officially designated month for something so heinous, but sadly there are more than 3-million cases of child abuse each year in the United States alone (and that’s just those that are reported). One in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18; that’s 400,000 kids every year.


For nearly 20 years, namesake vocalist Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have fashioned the elegant Goldfrapp into a distinctly European-toned, synth-based dream symphony with its front woman as one of pop’s most dramatic and ambiguous personae. Sometimes danceable and cool, sometimes folksy and warm, its new album, "Silver Eye," and tour that brings them to Theatre of Living Arts April 24 is all and neither, but rather something new and nuanced. The rarely chatty Alison Goldfrapp opened up about work, inspirations, androgyny and more.

In this — the month of International Jazz Appreciation, Philadelphia Jazz Month and the Center City Jazz Festival — one woman stands out as a queen of the scene, the priestess of the poetic, the saint of the strum and the goddess of the guitar: Monnette Sudler.

THE ‘KEYS’ TO ATLANTIC CITY: Alternative-rock pianist Ben Folds takes a break from his trio, Ben Folds Five, and his recent gigs with various orchestras to perform solo on his “Ben Folds and a Piano” tour 9 p.m. April 21 at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa Music Box, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J. For more information or tickets, call 609-317-1000.

The multi-talented, mono-monikered and openly gay singer/songwriter Laurice will headline a dance party at Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art on April 28. The performer may be unfamiliar to American audiences — perhaps because his music was often deemed “too gay” for airplay — but Laurice has plenty of hits, including “I’m Gonna Smash Your Face In,” “When Christine Comes Around” and “Disco Spaceship.” On the phone from Canada, Laurice chatted with PGN about his upcoming show.

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