How we’re watching burlesque for a good cause
Philly’s cabaret performers may be off the stage temporarily, but they are united for a cause and ready to sparkle. On July 24, a dozen entertainers of color will dazzle in a virtual showcase of burlesque, drag, and other performances to raise money for racial justice. One hundred percent of proceeds will benefit Black Lives Matter Philly. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish and available through Eventbrite. Here are a few of the entertainers who will make this show awesome.
Caresse Deville’s love for performance started several years ago with hoop dancing, where she performed at parties and parades in New York City. Soon, the Philadelphia burlesque scene inspired her to make the jump into a world she’d admired from the audience for years. She started by producing The Flirt & Flow Show, a bimonthly variety show that combines her love for flow arts and burlesque. Later she made her burlesque debut at this show year and has been performing in Philly and NYC ever since. She‘s the power babe with the devilish touch that’s just too much.
Putting P.leasure O.ver E.very T.hing. in her work and life, Jennifer Eden, the emcee of the show, is a Baltimore-based poet, producer, host and sex educator. This Black queer nonbinary femme has been schoolin’ folks on consent, gender-affirming language, and kink dynamics everywhere from BDSM dungeons to Ivy League universities up and down the east coast for over a decade. In June 2018, she was named the first-ever “Slut of the Month” by Amber Rose’s My Slutbox platform and wears that title proudly, finding empowering in a word meant to invoke shame and guilt.
The all-POC lineup is led by guest headliner Jeez Loueez – a multi-faceted artist, educator, and event producer who’s been hailed as a “Chicago cabaret legend” and currently ranked as the No. 1 burlesque figure in the world. An 11-year veteran of burlesque, Jeez Loueez is also the creator of Jeezy’s Juke Joint, a long-running revue paying homage to Black burlesque and entertainment for the last decade.
Mxstress Lilith is a professional dominatrix and performance artist. They are a board member of Stilettos, an organization that is actively combating racism, colorism, sexual violations and improper working conditions in the adult entertainment industry, and the producer of the pole and exotic arts show Inversions.
VinChelle is the Tri State Tribal Queen on the scene!! She performs consistently six nights a week in Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. She was voted 2017 Philadelphia Drag Queen of the Year as well as best hostess. She hosts and produces several shows in the tri-state area, including “Black Girl Magic Philly” a show highlighting local black entertainers, voted Philadelphia’s best monthly show! Also the creator and host of “The Black Dairies,” a weekly digital talk show! Her main purpose in drag is to make sure you have a good time as well as use her platform to promote black excellence and spread her African culture!
This truly is an all-star lineup of burlesque and drag performers. You’ll also see: Icon Ebony Fierce, Deej Nutz, Selene Rose, Mia Bombshell, Rita Brujeria, Foxworth Vorn and Harley Honey. It’s a show you won’t want to miss.
What’s open – again – in Philly
The city is slowly returning to what passes as normal, and Visit Philly has a list of places that again are welcoming visitors.
The Mütter Museum
It’s been said that “You ain’t seen nuthin’ ’til you’ve seen the giant colon” at this historic medical and medical oddities museum, which once again began welcoming visitors last Friday. Truth be told, visitors sure see something when they see the “Soap Lady,” view the Hyrtl Skull Collection, immerse themselves in other disturbingly informative medical artifacts – or even just ogle a tumor removed from President Grover Cleveland or slides of Albert Einstein’s brain. Before you visit, note that tickets must be purchased in advance online, and masks are required. Muttermuseum.org.
Independence Seaport Museum
Beginning last Saturday, residents and visitors once again could check out the 25,000 artifacts as well as the National Historic Landmark ship Cruiser Olympia at the Independence Seaport Museum on the Delaware River waterfront. New safety precautions include timed admission tickets (so plan ahead!), mask requirements for guests and staff and more. phillyseaport.org.
Lounge on the Waterfront
Safe summer hangs on the Delaware River waterfront are getting a lot sweeter. Three major warm-weather outdoor attractions – Cherry Street Pier, Spruce Street Harbor Park and Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest – have begun to slowly roll out new amenities for guests. Remember that masks and social distancing are required. Check the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s site for more info on how to enjoy these attractions responsibly. delawareriverwaterfront.com.
Swedish Historical Museum
The charming American Swedish Historical Museum, housed in a building modeled after a 17th-century Swedish manor, tells the story of the New Sweden colonists who settled the Greater Philadelphia area in the mid-1600s – even before William Penn arrived. Recently reopened, the attraction welcomes mask-wearing guests to explore its galleries (decorated in various architectural styles ranging from Art Deco to Swedish farmhouse) and its collection of Swedish-related artifacts including furniture, silver and fabrics. Americanswedish.org.
Learn more about the many historic sites throughout Philadelphia’s Historic District on a 75-minute, 1.25-mile walking tour, now operating seven days a week throughout the summer. Private/group tours are available as well with advance reservations. Theconstitutional.com.
PHS Pop Up Garden
The PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street is now open for the season! Relax in this urban oasis with craft beers and summery drinks – like a “Woodermelon” cocktail or a “Gritty Granita” – and food from the owners of Khyber Pass Pub and Royal Sushi & Izakaya, all in a redesigned atmosphere that blends the tropics and the Mediterranean. Diners have the option of contactless service and can order and pay from their table using the MobileBytes app. Phsonline.org.
Virtual events that look fun to us
While more people are getting out and about this summer, here are a few upcoming virtual events that allow people to not only have fun, but stay inside. Visit eventbrite.com for details and many more events.
Update on Key Climate Issues in Philadelphia
How’s our climate doing? Find out when you join the Neighborhood Networks Environmental Committee and NW Philly Climate Action Network on Wednesday, July 29, 7 pm, for a free online gathering highlighting the latest news about key climate-related issues and projects in Philadelphia. Speakers will include Meenal Reval on PECO and PGW’s recent hearings on rate hikes, Lynn Robinson on the SEPTA Nicetown Gas Plant, a combined heat/power plant, and a representative of Philly Thrive on Hilco’s conversion of the PES site. RSVP to NWPhillyCAN@gmail.com to receive a Zoom link.
Shady Ladies Tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a a great selection of works about women. A walk through the museum reveals all of the Shady Ladies Tours’ themes: there are “Nasty” (i.e. powerful, ambitious) women, great examples of fashion, sexy secrets, and above all a number of works on the original Shady Ladies theme – courtesans and royal mistresses. In this fun and interesting 75 minute Zoom tour, you will see and learn about works by early women artist like Judith Leyster and Anna Claypoole Peale, the feminist meaning of Mary Cassatt’s paintings, the greatest salonnière of 19th century Paris, the inventor of the French cancan and much more. Saturday, July 25, 2-3:15pm | $10.
Philadelphia WRISE Virtual Clean Energy Happy Hour
Drinking? Movie talk? Drinking and movie talk? We’re in. Join a virtual get together to catch up on what we’ve all been doing during these long quarantine months, and for a fun diversion, we’ll also be talking about movies! Environmental themed movies, of course. There is a wealth of films and documentaries available on multiple streaming platforms right now that focus on environmental themes. Check out the Eventbrite listing for a full list and be ready to drink and talk. Presented by WRISE Philadelphia Chapter. Tuesday, July 28, 5:30-7:30pm | Free.
Philadelphia Virtual Speed Dating age 24-39
Meetusoon has prepared a very special speed dating event for you that is hosted virtually, face-to-face. Get ready to immerse into the unforgettable atmosphere of dating, romantic talks and new meetings. It’s easy, safe, entertaining and you don’t even have to leave your home. How incredible is that? You’re invited to try a traditional, yet modern method of dating – Virtual Speed Dating. It’s your chance to get to know someone on a personal level before meeting offline and going on a socially-distant walk and first offline date. For details, visit meetussoon.com. Saturday, July 25, noon-2pm | $22.
Book Club: Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?
In light of recent events surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, Eastwind Books of Berkeley’s July Book Club selection is “Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?” by Mumia Abu-Jamal. In December 1981, he was shot and beaten into unconsciousness by Philadelphia police. He awoke to find himself shackled to a hospital bed, accused of killing a cop. He was convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has denounced as failing to meet the minimum standards of judicial fairness. Saturday, July 25, 6-7:30pm Free.
Voices of Black Entrepreneurs
Join the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute for “Equality and Entrepreneurship: Voices of Black Entrepreneurs,” a discussion around challenges faced by black entrepreneurs and how everyone in the entrepreneurship industry can contribute to fair, inclusive cultures and positive change. Led by Temple University alumnus and founder and CEO of WhoseYourLandlord, Ofo Ezeugwu, the panel will share insight and experiences in the Temple and Philadelphia entrepreneurial communities. Wednesday, July 29, Noon-1pm | Free.
Places that are getting back to (somewhat) normal
A number of places in the city are starting to reopen. Here are a few that told us about their plans, so now we’re telling you. If your venue is getting back to somewhat normal and you have events coming up, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bluestone Fine Art Gallery
Bluestone Fine Art Gallery in Old City Philadelphia is participating in the Hamptons Virtual Art Fair, featuring post-war and contemporary art. HVAF is the new digital intuitive for Summer Hamptons 2020 that takes the place of a physical art fair. This state-of-the-art Virtual Reality platform can be viewed from anywhere in the world from Sept. 2-7, with a special live VIP Sneak Preview July 23-26. The exhibition may also be viewed in person, by appointment, at Bluestone Fine Art Gallery at 72 N. 2nd St. bluestone-gallery.com.
Drink, Eagles, drink
To celebrate Eagles fans everywhere and the special bond the team has shared with them for generations, the Philadelphia Eagles have launched “Broad & Pattison,” a collection of wines inspired by the team and thoughtfully crafted by Winc, a leading producer in the wine industry. All three distinct, handmade varieties – 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 Chardonnay, 2019 Rosé – are available for $17.99 through local wine retailers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and online at PhiladelphiaEagles.com/wine. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Eagles Autism Foundation.
Royal Boucherie, Old City’s American-inspired brasserie from Top Chef winner Chef Nicholas Elmi, reopened for outdoor dining on July 17. Guests can enjoy Elmi’s signature dishes including the Boucherie Burger, cocktails, and more in the restaurant’s second-floor outdoor garden or grab (socially distanced) dinner and brunch in Royal Boucherie’s new “streetery” in the parking space in front of the brasserie. Royal Boucherie’s new opening hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 4-9 pm and Friday and Saturday from 4-10 pm. On Sundays, the kitchen will open early for brunch at 10 am and stay open through 9 pm. Visit royalboucherie.com for details.
Devil’s Den knows the best way to treat yourself in quarantine is with some beer and an online comedy show so the beloved craft beer bar is celebrating with the return of Devilish Grins. On Friday, July 24 at 9 pm, Devil’s Den’s popular online comedy show, Devilish Grins returns with host Alyssa Al-Dookhi. Tickets can be purchased on eventbrite.com and include tiered pricing depending on the attendee’s beverage of choice. Tickets sans beverages are also available. Tickets range from $5 to $30. Visit devilsdenphilly.com for details.
Mural Arts Philadelphia
Mural Arts Philadelphia has announced the return of the Mural Arts Center City Mural Mile Walking Tour, featuring professionally-trained guides who offer a behind-the-scenes look and share the in-depth stories about the people and communities that inspired and shaped each Mural Arts Philadelphia project. Visitors also learn about the neighborhood’s history and the mural-making processes behind some of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s thousands of works of public art. The walking tour departs from outside the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Hamilton Building at 128 N. Broad St., and will visit 12 murals along the route. Visit muralarts.org/tours for details.
FringeArts’ outdoor summer movie series has returned. The first one was last night, but there are still two more to see, on July 29 (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and Aug. 5 (The Hate U Give). This year, the free screenings will be held at 8:45pm in the Holiday Inn Express parking lot next to FringeArts on Columbus Boulevard, where audiences can enjoy the films from their cars. All screenings are free with RSVP. Visit FringeArts.com for details.