TSN: Cities2Night.com — Hurricane Friendly Labor Day Weekend Parties

Hurricane Friendly Labor Day Weekend Parties

by Tara Nurin
Hurricane Friendly Labor Day Weekend Parties

While most of your friends are battling the Hurricane Earl downpour that’s forecast for part of the weekend, you can be front and center at Adelphia in Deptford on Sunday watching the hottest and most likely ONLY lingerie show this Labor Day weekend.

Mynaughtylingerieshow.com and Q102 are hosting a fashion show where naughtily-clad beauties prance around in their panties. No, you’re not allowed to offer them down-filled pillows as props. On Friday, Adelphia’s keeping it slightly cleaner with an 80’s night featuring cover band A Buffalo Stance crooning “Ha ha ha ha, ha ha,” to a room filled with leg warmers.

For those of you observing the holiday of First Friday, Landmark Americana is celebrating with you. Twelve times a year, the Glassboro club honors the first Friday of the month by sacrificing $1 U Call Its to its pagan revelers. Not to be outdone, Taylor’s Williamstown is marking the best day of the week with its Famous Friday specials: $2 Coors, $3 Skyy and Red Bulls, bar food until 1am and DJ Carm until 3am.

At Camden’s Wiggins Park on Sunday, you can check out The Camden Backyard BBQ from 2pm to 10pm. Hear The Radiators play a free show, along with Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, New Orleans singer and pianist Marcia Ball and other Big Easy musicians. It’s an event so jubilant that your friends who are spending the Labor Day holiday at the Shore may even harbor a tinge of jealousy. Not, that you’d want that, of course.

Adelphia: 1750 Clements Bridge Road, Deptford, (856) 845-8200; Landmark Americana: 1 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, (856) 863-6600; Taylor’s Williamstown: 2021 N. Black Horse Pike, Williamstown, (856) 875-9700 Wiggins Park: Foot of Mickle Boulevard, Camden, (856) 216-2170


TSN: Jersey2Night — Flugtag Flies into Camden

Flugtag Flies into Camden

We’ve all seen the commercials. Redbull’s Flugtag fills the skies with flying tacos, dinosaurs and Winnebagos launching off of ramps for the ultimate Redbull fueled goal – the wings of course! Well this Saturday, September 4, from 1pm to 3:30pm Flugtag makes its Philly-area debut. 34 teams and hundreds of onlookers will converge on the Camden waterfront to compete to see whose daffy flying machine will catch air the longest before plunging into the Delaware River. The air parade happens at Pier One, at the very end of Cooper Street in Camden, and gates open at 11am.

Flugtag, which means “flying day” in German, is an extraordinarily different experience each time. Any competition that calls for teams to design and build the goofiest possible air-bound chariots with the goal of launching them off a 30-foot “runway” into the river below is amazing and we need to be there – especially since this event has been going on since 1991 and this is the first year for Redbull lovers in our area to be able to see it right here at home!

But it’s not enough for these eyebrow-raising flyers to be well-engineered; they’ll be further judged on creativity and showmanship. A People’s Choice award will be given to the team that garners the most online votes between Friday and the final flight on Saturday. Some of the teams have their own websites and pretty elaborate videos of the making of their carriages.

There will be a satellite viewing station set up at Penns Landing and access for boats to watch right there on the river. For pre or post flight drinks, The Victor’s Pub is right there at the other side of the parking lot, making for a convenient beer and sandwich stop. For an option that’s sure to be less crowded, the 20 Horse Tavern is just a few blocks away.

The Victor’s Pub: 1 Market Street, Camden Waterfront, (856) 635-0600

20 Horse Tavern: 835 S. 2nd St., Camden, (856) 365-9211

TSN: Fringe Benefits

Fringe Benefits

Philadelphia’s festival of avant-garde performing arts returns

By TARA NURIN • For the Courier-Post • September 3, 2010

When you’re a self-described “couple of theater kids from New Jersey,” the potential to attract the attention and eyeballs of a Philadelphia audience — any Philadelphia audience — can be hailed as a significant coup.

So the pressure’s on for a tiny amateur group of producers and actors, plus a writer-director, who have spent the past few months in a Barrington basement fastidiously rehearsing their self-written and produced play, “Prudence,” and worrying about who, if anyone, will show up to appreciate its world premiere tonight at the 13th annual Philly Fringe Festival.

Tonight’s performance of “Prudence,” a dark psychological comedy in three acts, forces the mostly 20-somethings who comprise the Ocelot on a Leash Theater Co. into some monumental and nerve-wracking “firsts.”

It marks the first time the troupe will perform in a venue anywhere near the size of the theater they’re renting for the festival and it’s the first time writer-director Mary Ellen Cosablon is staging a full-length play. But this cadre, consisting of Cosaboon, a professional fundraiser from Barrington; producer Wes Senza, a recent law school graduate from Collingswood; and actors Marcus Roorda, a Cherry Hill civil engineer, Gina Martinelli, a chemist from Collingswood and Kellie Cooper, a veterinary assistant who lives in Sicklerville, say their participation in the professionally produced 16-day festival that runs tonight through Sept. 18 is teaching them strategic business skills they wouldn’t have learned by cowering within comfort zones of Haddonfield and Voorhees venues.

“You get to reach so many more people when you’re part of Fringe,” says Cosablon. “It’s not just the potential for bigger audiences and more exposure through the festival’s marketing operation. I’ve used their tools to learn how to write targeted press releases and I’ve asked everyone in the troupe to send them to organizations they’re part of.”

Across the Philadelphia region, artists involved in 250 different Fringe performances are undergoing similar preparation and learning curves and probably similar nerves. The less formal companion to the concurrent Live Arts Festival, Philly Fringe invites participation from anyone who has a presentation to put forth and the money to stage it. Because Live Arts shows are selected and programmed by curators, they’re culled from the world’s most dynamic, avant-garde and contemporary theatrical offerings, while Fringe, although operated by the same organization, serves as a popular showcase for mostly regional — and often relatively inexperienced — talent.

One such freshman troupe consists of a dozen Rowan University students, plus an alum or two. The humor that guides their improv comedy routines travels along a familiar path for regional jokes — New Jersey.

“So we have Bill and Sookie, these characters from (the HBO drama series) “True Blood,’ ending up in Seaside Heights. And they can read minds,” says Steve Grande, whose Second Place Champions puts on an act called “Greetings from New Jersey! A Comedy about Growing Up and Living in the Great “Garden State!’ ”

“They run into the guys from the “Jersey Shore’ and what do they hear when they get to Snooki? Nothing! They get a flatline. She’s got nothing on the brain.”

References to Jersey’s pop culture, politics and prurient interests are sure to get laughs from audience members who cross the bridge into the city to attend the two shows. But Grande promises his rising comedians will succeed in tickling the funny bones of non-Jersey participants.

This is critical, say festival veterans, because knowing the Fringe audience can be key to attracting an audience at all.

Greg Campbell, whose professional Philadelphia-based Luna Theater Co. is taking part in its fourth Fringe this year, says he expects his 12 performances of “Thom Pain (based on Nothing)” to sell out the Upstairs at the Adrienne space in part because the internationally acclaimed show that first debuted at the seminal Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland is “perfect” for this festival.

“It’s quirky and dark and intelligent. It’s what people at Fringe want to see,” says the director, who lives in Wenonah.

Although it’s rare for a professional company to enter Fringe, Campbell held onto the rights to the one-man script for four years before deciding he’d finally found the right actor to make now the time and Fringe the place to stage its Philadelphia premiere.

While the critically lauded “Thom Pain” is expected to be a seat-filler, staging a production for Fringe can be risky for lesser-known works, which are typically so low budget they tend to use inexpensive yet creative techniques such as lighting the stage with candles, bike lights and flashlights. While troupes benefit from the buzz the festival generates, they risk losing money because they have to compete with about 250 other Fringe performances and 17 Live Arts pieces.

Conversely, Live Arts pieces don’t need to rely on a core of loyal supporters and, thus, aren’t nearly as risky to mount. The works selected for inclusion into Live Arts are, as Stuccio puts it, “the world’s best and brightest in theater.”

This year, he’s especially excited about “Bang on a Can,” a 10-hour live marathon of neo-classical music played by its most notable pioneers; “Dance,” a reconceptualized meta-performance of the 1979 movement choreographed by Lucinda Childs and scored by Philip Glass; and “Cedric Andrieux,” a self-titled performance that has the famed dancer narrating his life through his body and words and sharing stories of his decade dancing under a father of modern dance, Merce Cunningham.

Stuccio’s picks are staging at World Cafe Live, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, three of the city’s most esteemed venues for music and the fine arts, where arts patrons will spend upwards of $30 on a ticket.

Far from those marqueed halls is where Cosablon and her coterie of experimental Fringe artists will be setting their stages and selling tickets for a fraction of Live Arts prices. Cosablon’s actors, for their part, will be reciting their lines in the 125-seat Rotunda in West Philadelphia with just a green dropcloth and a park bench standing in for a park scene.

For their simple production, the soft-spoken and newly pregnant thespian has just one wish: “I hope people come to see it.”

TSN: The Beer Blues

I thought this was a fairly big scoop for me b/c nobody, I mean nobody had written anything that cast beer week into any doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I love the event but there were some
concerns this year that didn’t otherwise get publicly aired. Published in Philadelphia City Paper last month.


Philly Beer Week is a tricky proposition for local breweries and bar owners.

by Tara Nurin

Published: Jun 16, 2010


Philly Beer Week (PBW), though hailed as a coup for the city’s craft-beer reputation, does not guarantee enhanced revenue for local bars and breweries. In fact, this year, many in the beer business came out of the 10-day event disappointed in sales, citing a variety of causes and effects for why PBW is a tricky proposition.

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Before this PBW, Gene Muller, co-owner of Flying Fish, hoped he wouldn’t see a repeat of previous years, when bars that typically requested up to three of his kegs a week took a month or more to resume the practice. Unfortunately, he saw several events featuring Flying Fish canceled, and several others drawing too small a crowd to matter.

It’s a lot of the same for proprietors. London Grill’s Terry McNally lost money on a handful of her functions; she spent hundreds of dollars on beer for an event featuring Belgium’s Boon Brewery that failed to attract a single participant. McNally and others we spoke with blame the crush of PBW events, which numbered nearly 1,000 this year.

Another commonly cited scapegoat for PBW troubles is the 2010 festival’s migration from March to June — it’s believed an already-hectic event season (e.g. The Roots Picnic, the Manayunk bike race). This, combined with an existing dearth of gone-for-summer college students and shore-going residents, compounds difficulties for breweries and bars. Some participants are calling for a meeting with board members to urge them to cap the number of events and shift the festival back to March.

Though he promises he’ll survey feedback, PBW executive director Don Russell doesn’t believe his board should scale back Beer Week, return it to its original date or devote the entire first weekend to local beers, as some, like Yards founder Tom Kehoe, have recommended.

“Philly Beer Week is not just about 10 days in June,” says Russell, who notes that individual bars and brewers are responsible for scheduling their events. “It’s about promoting Philadelphia as America’s best beer-drinking city. … Plus, we’ve had outstanding outdoor events. You don’t have a dunk tank on Fairmount Avenue in March.” He also points out that events like the Opening Tap kickoff were dedicated to local beers only.

Some bar owners have independently recognized the strain PBW puts on local breweries and have taken steps to rectify it. Clark Newman of Lucky 13 programmed Yards and Philadelphia Brewing Co. nights and kept a draft line open for each throughout the week. But not all bar managers feel quite so much sympathy. Mike McKee, who handles purchasing for the Pub on Passyunk East, says PBW provides an opportunity to see what customers like. “Local brewers get to spend 355 days a year on most bars’ taps,” he says. “This way, for 10 days, other breweries get a chance.”

These are points brewers and other local industry insiders readily concede. However, that doesn’t change the fact that PBW, for all of its benefits, puts a short-term hit on many balance sheets. “Brewers across the region work so hard all year long to put on the circus,” says Victory president Bill Covaleski. “But when the circus leaves town, somebody’s scooping up some pretty big heaps of elephant shit.”