I normally wouldn’t start with a WHOWHATWHERE, but since I should’ve gotten this to you sooner (it did happen down the block from me, and my neighbors couldn’t stop from yakking about it from Saturday morning on) let’s just get to Taylor Swift, the Wyomissing/Reading-raised yout’ who, after selling out the first of her Lincoln Financial Field concerts, brought her set openers, Austin Mahone, Ed Sheeran and a swell entourage to Ralph’s Italian Restaurant on Ninth Street. She had the chicken parm, took photos with her crew and that of Ralph’s and left a sweet tip of $500 on an $800+ check. Radar-on-Line has a fun report on the incident that they surely snagged from other local media’s early reports. You can also see a bunch of swell photos of Swift’s Friday night food fest at Ralph’s very own Facebook page. After leaving the Italian Market, Swift spent her Saturday pre-show time visiting with patients at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania.
Actor Vincent Piazza is connected to the Philly area what with having attended Villanova University and, of course, is linked to Atlantic City via his role as Lucky Luciano in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. His ties to New Jersey will run a little deeper once he starts filming the cinematic version of the hit Broadway musical, Jersey Boys, this September with director Clint Eastwood. The story of NJ’s hit-making Four Seasons already has Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio as the film’s executive producers, Christopher Walken playing mob guy Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo, and three other young actors as the rest of the much-loved vocal act. Piazza is rumored to be playing the Tommy Devito role, he being the guy who pretty much started the Four Seasons.
If you haven’t witnessed Anjuli Josephine in a live setting, The Fire is the best setting for her (until the Philadelphia busts out big and requires a larger room). Ms. Josephine is probably best described as being a young Tori Amos-type without all the grueling angst and overt sadness to weigh down the sprightliest of her character-driven pop-jazz-blues songs. She’s even dabbling in soft samba sounds. What’s not to like? Check out the video for her recent “New Love” single and answer me then.
If I had a pick to click for 2014 (wait, NOW I DO), she’d be it. Josephine appears at The Fire Fri., July 26 with Philly’s femme-centric Attic Dancers, Sunset Recorder and experimental folkie Kelley Cosgrove. I haven’t been to The Antiquarian, Sixth off South’s forever and gloriously dingy antique warehouse, in well over a year. That’s probably how I missed the fact that its membership of sellers started charging a buck just to walk in its door. Anyway, the Antiquarian is closing and is set to be redeveloped (into what, there are no answers as yet from the building’s owners). I’ll miss Timmy Transfactor’s used bicycles and vintage high school letter jackets down in the dusty basement.
Speaking of old grand buildings, let’s give kudos to Old City’s Han Dynasty crew who’ll move across the street from their current 108 Chestnut digs, to the recently-closed (after barely a year) Reserve steak house spot at 123. The Reserve space has a balcony, a large bar and 200+ seats, so it’s an ambitious move. Then again, so is expanding Han’s dynasty to include a Manhattan eatery on Thirrd Ave. this August.
We’ve mentioned raconteur, boxing promoter and legendary local cut man Joey Eye several times this year, most recently, at Icepack-in-Print when his pal/director Sonny Vellozzi started their talk show collaboration The Joey Eye Show. Tonight, they’re going live — meaning YOU can go — to where they’re filming (Asylum Arena on Ritner) starting at 7 p.m. PhillyCAM’s Channel 66 will air the program. And remember, the Discovery Channel wants him.
We couldn’t make it to Atlantic City’s Revel Casino last night for its Le Male Burlesque at Royal Jelly, but we’re happy to have received the invitation from none other than Dan Conatrino, the ex-Philly promoter who got national media attention when he was beaten on the streets of New York City as part of a rumored gay bashing episode. Sounds as if he’s feeling better.
While we wait for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s ninth season at its new sister network FXX as well as a start date on that second Mac’s Tavern in Rittenhouse, several of its stars are hitting the circuit. Kaitlin Olson didn’t reveal too too much when she spoke to Vanity Fair’s blog about opening the first Mac’s in Old City and designing its bathroom. “Rob’s friends from high school had the idea to open a bar and came to Rob and asked if he and I wanted to be partners. We both immediately thought it was a great idea. We are partners, and they pretty much run it and it is the easiest gig in the whole world. I don’t want to say that I designed it, but I re-did the women’s bathroom. I said when we started that the food had to be good and the women’s bathroom had to be pretty, so I’m responsible for that… in case anyone likes that.” (The rest of the chat can he found here.)
Then there’s this weird possible revelation from Sunny’s Glenn Howerton at Rolling Stone where I think he says he’s retiring from the sow after the 10th season and that perhaps the cast will follow. “There’s a certain point where you wear out your welcome and we don’t want to do that. We want to leave them wanting more.” I’d heard before that they’d give it up when it stopped being fun, but has it stopped already? You tell me after you’ve read this.
In my Icepack-In-Print mention of this weekend’s ComedySportz Philly’s 20th anniversary. I neglected to mention that one of its alumni, Delaware actress Aubrey Plaza, opens in the comic The To Do List at area cinemas on Friday.
So chefs Jose Garces and Marc Vetri (along with Monsu’s Peter McAndrews) will bring bits of their menus to Philadelphia Eagles games at the Linc (Kevin Sbraga did it last year) this season. That’s cool, but when will Vetri’s Osteria space in the Moorestown Mall opening (last heard, September) and when will the rumored two Garces venues there commence to moving forward?
Your long big-rawk weekend commences with Black Landlord drummer/Ortlieb’s GM Bob Bannon’s new biker band, CustomPowerRide! gets a headlining shot for its second show, this one at Kung Fu Necktie on July 27. Then there’s the long-time Philly thundergod punk act Jukebox Zeros who’ll play one of their increasingly rarer gigs July 30 at KFN when they play with NYC’s Sonny James.
WHOWHATWHERE — TMI DIVISION: Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino got called out by his mom, Paola, for being uncircumcised on their internet-talkie The Show. Who knew or cared about either? Luckily Vinny got out of that jam and into another when he visited Dusk at Caesar’s in Atlantic City last weekend, only to have the casino’s lights go out. Luckily, he had a whole slew of his relatives there to keep him company. The QFest 2013 film event got a visit from the ex-governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey, at the after-screening reception of HBO Documentary Films’ flick Fall to Grace at Sofitel Philadelphia. Of course, he hung out with QFest development director Thom Cardwell. Dave and Buster’s Plymouth Meeting celebrated its fifth anniversary over the weekend. We hear that GM Rocco Casciato, treated everyone to a round of Whack-a-Mole. Power pop giants Simple Plan hit up Q102 Performance Theater in Bala, not to be confused with QFest 2013. DelFrisco’s was busy-busy-busy last weekend what with b of the Toronto Raptors hosting a wedding rehearsal dinner for his brother in the Vault at Del Frisco’s on Saturday night and rapper/actor/reality show maven T.I. dining in the private Double Eagle Room, with a small group on July 21. He arrived at Del Frisco’s right before the steak house closed (he only stayed around the corner at the Four Seasons with his America’s Most Wanted Tour mate 2 Chainz) and the restaurant obliged his late arrival. Don’t hate here because she didn’t hook up with The Roots on July 4. Philadelphia Style’s Best of Style casino-themed soiree at Vie on N. Broad got a handsome mix of TV casters (Mike Jerrick, Sheena Parveen, Howard Eskin), chefs (Michael Schulson, Daniel Stern), young philanthropists (Jesse and Beka Rendell) and more. Alice Cooper scared the House Of Blues crowd at the Showboat Casino in AC. And, returning to where I started Ice Ill this week, Taylor Swift’s tour mates made their appointed rounds when they weren’t at Ralph’s with Mahone showing up at the Lil Wayne/T.I./2 Chainz show at the Susquehanna Center as well as the Franklin Institute where he stepped inside the giant heart, and Sheeren playing a secret Q102 concert at the Philadelphia Museum Of Art.
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