Mission of Burma
Thursday, 8 p.m.
Boot and Saddle
1131 S. Broad St.
$15, 21+, 877-987-6487
Every year, the art-punk noise-pop squall of Mission of Burma seems to have been more and more influential on subsequent alternative rock. Of the many classic ’80s and ’90s indie band reunions in the last decade, theirs has been one of the most surprising and productive, with four new albums under their belt since 2004, all maintaining the quality of their legendary 1982 debut.
Saturday, 7 p.m.
2152 E. Dauphin St.
Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a Brooklyn-based saxophone and synth player who makes all his sounds by himself. His songs tend to start with a lone, searching sax solo like one you might hear from a street performer. Then the keyboards come in, transforming the song into minimalist electronica. It’s rare to hear a sax in this context; after hearing Parzen-Johnson, you’ll wonder why.
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Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll
Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Baltimore Ave. between 43rd and 51st St.
It seems like you can barely get anything for just a dollar anymore, but that changes this evening, when local businesses will be offering all kinds of stuff for a lone buck —everything from food to gaming supplies to a two-minute martial arts lesson. There’s also a diverse selection of live music, jugglers (including fire jugglers), family-friendly entertainment, Polynesian dancing and other delights.
Stolen, Smuggled, Sold: On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures
Thursday, 5:30 p.m.
Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. Sixth St.
Nancy Moses will deliver this lecture on lost and found cultural treasures like Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer,” taken by the Nazis and not returned to Bauer’s family until 2006. That’s one of her more famous examples, but many others are less remembered, such as the theft of 4800 historical audio discs from the National Archives — an inside job, as it happens.
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
2035 Sansom St.
When transgender prostitute Sin-Dee reveals to her best friend and fellow transgender prostitute Alexandra that her pimp has been cheating on her with a cisgender woman while she’s been in prison, Alexandra vows revenge. Director Sean S. Baker’s creative impetus for comedy-drama was a Los Angeles doughnut shop. That’s an artist for you —usually those places just inspire us to eat doughnuts.
‘The Last Man on Earth’
Saturday, 9 p.m.
Laurel Hill Cemetery
3822 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia Film Society has its “Graveyard Shift” series, but only Laurel Hill Cemetery shows movies in an actual graveyard. This year they present this 1964 Vincent Price film about, well, the last man on earth: The only holdout after a vampire apocalypse. It shares same source material (a Richard Matheson story) as the 2007 Will Smith vehicle “I Am Legend.”
Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene
Through Aug. 16
The African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch St.
This exhibit features photography by Gerard Gaskin, documenting the “house balls” of the black and Latino LGBT community — essentially costume/dancing competitions, sometimes gender-bending, sometimes not, usually held in DIY venues. Gaskin himself has never been a member of the scene, but he’s been shooting it for two decades, fascinated by the creativity and power of its participants’ self-expression.
Matthew Hall: Fragments
3rd Street Gallery
45 N. Second St.
Local artist Matthew Hall imbues these pen-and-ink drawings with a tantalizing sense of narrative. We don’t know the whole story, and that’s just how Hall wants it, because he’s interested in what his viewer might infer from limited information. The show’s title brings to mind the fascination with the fragment that gripped both the Romantic poets and their successors, the Modernists.
Alex Strang’s Movie Plotz
Friday, 10:30 p.m.
2030 Sansom St.
Game developer Alex Strang joins the Philly Improv Theater for this show, in which the performers, split into two teams, will take suggestions from the audience and create a pitch for a film, complete with a trailer, right on the spot — and unlike with this year’s slapped-together summer blockbusters, the results will be intentionally funny.
Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes
Fleisher Art Memorial
719 Catharine St.
Almanac Dance Circus Theater presents this outdoor show, mixing dance with circus acrobatics and theater. They describe it as “an absurd and contemplative tapestry of sublime human idiocy, isolationist seafarer cults and the kinds of people that devote their lives to becoming acrobats.” Eccentric? Perhaps, but the four heroes’ high-flying stunts should speak well enough for themselves.
Supper, People on the Move
Thursday through Sunday
Crane Arts Community Space
1400 N. American St.
Cardell Dance Theater performs this work by director Silvana Cardell, exploring the experiences of dislocation and migration — always a prescient theme in American life, with its ever-boiling melting pot. Cardell is herself an Argentine immigrant, and drew on her own experience as well as those of others to create this piece, illustrating both the internal and external senses of movement.
Hands Up: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments
Caplan Studio Theater
211 S. Broad St.
While there’s no solid evidence that Michael Brown ever said “Hands up, don’t shoot” before he was fatally shot by police, the phrase has become a rallying cry against police violence in America. For this show, six black playwrights offer their unique perspectives on a world in which, in the words of Flashpoint Theatre Company, “police violence is expected and commonplace.”