For 32 years, comics such as Jay Leno, Ray Romano, and Kevin James have kick-started their careers on the stages of Comedy Cabaret, tucked inside a pair of cozy restaurants. A trio of vaudevillian jokesters descend on Casa Carollo on May 5. The Legendary Wid juggles a barrage of stuffed animals, lawn decorations, and lamps to illustrate his offbeat sense of humor. Sharing the stage, comic actor John Kensil spreads Vegas-style suavity, and Danny B sets his japery to music.
Since opening in 1975, Candlelight Dance Club has chased a single, unwavering mission: to curate an appreciation for ballroom dance while teaching its many styles. Six instructors stand ready to lead dancers through training to conquer foxtrot, swing, tango, waltz, and rumba steps. By offering both private and group lessons, Candlelight combines one-on-one attention from an instructor with group sessions that provide more camaraderie than a firefighting team moonlighting as a cheerleading squad. A bright, wood-floored studio hosts classes as well as the club’s weekly dance parties, which allow participants to try out learned moves in real time before debuting them in public. Many dance enthusiasts note a handful of dance-inspired benefits as their confidence shines, stress fizzles, and cardio endurance boosts.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Atlantic 10 Conference stimulates collegiate competition between 14 universities. Baseball fans may make their way to any one of the tournament’s four days of competition: watch teams find their footing during session one, see them survive the steady stakes increases of session two and three, or nervously devour a box of Cracker Jack and engagement rings during the championship session four. Each fun pack arrives with an array of goodies to enhance the nine-inning experience, including a ticket to the tournament day of your choice (an $8 value for adults and a $4 value for children, students, or senior citizens), a championship program (a $2 value), an A-10 koozie for cola-can cold-keeping (a $5 value), and an A-10 keychain (a $1 value) designed to fit into most standard sweatshirt hoods.
The second annual Philly F/M Festival culls hordes of independent films and live music, emphasizing the interplay of the two media. Thursday night hosts the event's kick-off party as Philadelphia Slick douses the crowd with waves of toe-tapping beats and games of Simon Says. The neighborhood's lights dim on Friday as the film screenings begin at 7 p.m. with Sound It Out, a phonetically precise documentary that chronicles the last vinyl record shop in Teesside, England. Meet Me on South Street, The Story of JC Dobbs (September 24 at 6:30 p.m.) delves into Philadelphia's artistic subculture and underground crocheting scene from the 1970s to 1996 through the lens of one of its signature and now defunct musical establishments.
Before becoming a performance space, Grasso’s Magic Theatre was a cold storage facility, the building itself more than 100 years old and the stage area once housing an industrial freezer. After purchasing the building in 2001, Joe Grasso spent his nights and weekends renovating it, plying his abilities as a carpenter to refurbish and recycle unwanted building materials and furniture, from old theater curtains to the wooden pews used for seating. His son, Michael Grasso, was just starting a career in magic at the time, which recently culminated in a top-10 appearance on America’s Got Talent in 2010.