The holidays are officially over, and things are getting back into swing in the city. This weekend features a pair of celebrated comedians performing at Good Good, Sonic Sunsets gets back into the groove with their January performance, and chess gets political over at 11th Hour Theatre Company. A handful of unique panels and discussions, exhibits, and a book release party featuring a mother and son team breathe life into the new year.
Mind the Gap panel
Through the lens of contemporary Chinese female artists, the Mind the Gap exhibition (which runs through January 30) seeks to expose the universal hidden gaps in present and past memory. In light of the exhibition, a panel discussion is being held on Friday, January 10, at the Delaware Contemporary (200 South Madison St., Wilmington) with artists Caroline Chen, Echo He, Kathrine Page, and Wenlu Bao. Find out more about the panelists as they prepare to explore the gaps in women’s roles and the concept of women's identity in East Asian contemporary art.
Marissa Halderman’s The Epic of Evolution
Local artist Melissa Halderman will present her recent mixed media and organics artwork this Friday at 6pm at an opening reception at Twenty-Two Gallery (236 South 22nd St.). The exhibition, which runs through February 9, explores the diversity of complex life and the vulnerability and fragility that comes with that complexity. It’s a meditation on the natural world and our relationship to it as the systems that support life on our planet hang in the balance. This is some heavy but quietly impending stuff, you know?
Stars align at Good Good Comedy
Good Good Comedy is bringing back a pair of comedy stars this weekend with Lorelei Ramirez and Sam Jay. Jay, a two-time Emmy-nominated writer for SNL, will perform on Friday, January 10, at 8pm and again at 10pm. Ramirez, a recurring character on HBO’s Los Espookys and a 2018 Comedy Central Up Next comedian, performs on Saturday, January 11, at 8:30pm and again at 10pm.
Sonic Sunsets kicks off its 2020 offerings on Saturday, January 11, at the Discovery Center (3401 Reservoir Dr., Philadelphia). This time around, they're hosting experimental music duo Jupiter Blue and debuting BORBS, a new ensemble that includes BSR contributor Aaron Pond. The performance also welcomes anyone in the audience who decides to join in. I hear epic things about the sourdough bread, which puts the cherry on top for this event.
CHESS the Musical
11th Hour Theatre Company presents CHESS the Musical, a performance that features music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA fame and lyrics by Tim Rice, who penned Jesus Christ Superstar and Lion King. It’s inspired by the political spectacle of the 1972 World Chess Championship between American Bobby Fischer and Russian Boris Spassky. Be a good mate and check it out January 11 through 19 at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.). Tickets are available online or by phone at (267) 987-9865.
Philadelphia Animation Society’s monthly anime screening
Philadelphia Animation Society has been screening Japanese anime and related programming since September 1982. I don’t even know how that’s possible, considering how rare it was to find anime in the 80s and the 90s here in the West. However, access doesn’t mean popularity, and the Society’s screenings and discussions are a rare breed. If you’re into it, check out the first screening of the year at the First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St.) on Saturday, January 11, at 5pm. All are welcome and admission is $5. Check out the full line-up online.
Wildseed: A Seat at the Table
A Seat at the Table is a celebration of women and women-identifying poets and woodmakers. The evening includes a poet-curated tour of the Center for Art in Wood, an interview with the performers, and featured sets by three local poets. It’s happening on Saturday, January 11, from 6 to 9pm, 141 North 3rd St. Be sure to grab tickets ahead of time.
Story Time with Denise and Hunter Fike
A Novel Idea on Passyunk (1726 E. Passyunk Ave.) will hold a special story time featuring Denise and Hunter Fike, local illustrator and author (respectively) of Nonna Makes a Salad. They’re also a mother and son team, and as a mama’s boy myself, I’m a sucker for mom and son teams. Pick up a copy on Sunday, January 12, at 11am.
Theatre in the X community meeting
It’s a new year, and Theatre in the X invites you to a community meetup this weekend to help them craft their next performance. Come and share your West Philly story, enjoy refreshments, and be part of the inspiration for an original play in August. The seeds will be planted on Sunday, January 12, from 5 to 7pm at Holy Apostles and the Mediator Episcopal Church, 260 S. 51st St.