It’s hard to believe that ComedySportz Philadelphia is only 20 years old. Wasn’t Mel Brooks their first ref? Wasn’t Carol Burnett a green team captain? No matter. The comic improvisational Hunger Games celebrates its two decades of audacity during its anniversary weekend, July 26 and 27. Friday, they’ll be at their usual home at the Skybox at the Adrienne for a story slam that recalls its illustrious history. Saturday, they’ll move to World Café Live for two shows featuring Sportz alumni such as Jen Childs (1812’s artistic director) and her husband, actor Scott Greer.
Speaking of Philly comic teams whose names end in Z, Space 1026’s Rose Luardo and Andrew Jeffrey Wright’s Comedy Dreamz dedicate their July 25 show at The Barbary to departing Body Dreamz choreographer Dorothy Dubrule, aka D.Du. They plan to audition new choreographer candidates during breaks in the mirth-making. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, D.Du. Sike.
Brendan Olkus fol-lows up his beleaguered Emmaline with the Saint Lazarus Hotel, which opened quietly at Front and Girard on Friday, right down the under-the-El block from Kung Fu Necktie. The guy alternately known as DJ Brendan Bring’Em got the whole building and is considering expansion upstairs, but for now is concentrating on The Saint’s dark, intimate first floor, heavily tiled walls, old-man bar and his usual bespoke-fixtures aesthetic — handmade, sewn and blown lighting, tabletops, wainscoting and such. Check out the spot’s old-school beer cooler.
Speaking of new bars, when I heard a taproom was coming to the Italian Market, I assumed Talluto’s was frosting up mugs to go with the meatballs. Nah. Cardenas Oil and Vinegar Taproom, which announced its arrival in June, looks like it’s setting up shop on Ninth Street for an imminent opening.
In the pre-download era, getting music via imports or licensing deals was a big gig and Marty Scott, founder and onetime pre-z of JEM Records, Inc., was king of all he surveyed. JEM broke Brit acts like The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees as well as L.A.’s X. JEM’s most famous release was the import/distri-bution deal for the Japan-only Cheap Trick Live at Budokan. The Trick’s live import sold so many albums in its first month that Epic released it in the U.S. and made stars of them. Anyway, Scott and JEM are back in biz, with distribution coming via the Philly-based MVD and publicity by ex-JEM/Passport publicist Howard Wuelfing. They’ll be signing artists and licensing catalogs, starting with the never-before-released Bongos album Phantom Train. The band will be making a major announcement from the stage of Maxwell’s, July 31 when they play the last-ever show there.
Surrender to citypaper.net/criticalmass.