archives:2007 » Aug 29th


Phillip Bannowsky skewers the absurdities of capitalism.

>>Gas You like it
Autoplant: A Poetic Monologue by Phillip Bannowsky

Sun., Sept. 2, 4pm. $10. Black Lodge, 1508 Brandywine St.

In 1969 Phillip Bannowsky took a job as a welder on an auto assembly line in Newark, Del. Little did he know he was beginning a lifelong meditation on the human cost of mass production. First performing Autoplant in 1992, Bannowsky—a poet, educator and union activist with international reach—reprises the show as part of the Philly Fringe in celebration of the monologue’s print publication. Bannowksy is Spalding Gray’s blue-collared spawn, spitting grimy lines boiling with the destitution of life oppressed by repetitive labor. There’s no superlative crossroads for the working stiff: Every day your hours go to the highest bidder. But there are ways to survive. Bannowsky may have sacrificed a lot for Chrysler’s sake, but Autoplant is proof he didn’t give up the ghost. “The folly of the assembly line is that it assumes the replaceability of human parts,” he writes, “sort of like throwing the whole elephant to the scavengers just to poach its ivory, or killing a bull just to barbecue his balls.” (Tara Murtha)

>>Thesp in show
Last Afternoon
Sat., Sept. 1, 8pm. $10. Through Sept. 12. Actor’s Center, 257 N. Third St. 215.925.7060.

Fledgling theater company Acorn Asylum has the distinction of beginning its tenure in Philly with all original work and a cast of actors who also happen to be the writers, directors, set designers, house managers, lighting technicians and makeup artists. Fresh from their opening run of two one-act plays (written by company co-founders Sam Sherburne and Johnny Smith), they’re venturing into full-length territory with Last Afternoon, a play about friendship and lies. Expect a few rough edges, sure, but mostly a thrilling chance to check out the genesis of what might be the next big thing. (Leah Blewett)

>>Mercury Rising
Quick Silver
Wed., Aug. 29, 7pm. $20. Through Sept. 15. Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. 215.407.0556.

For those who can’t wait for the Live Arts and Philly Fringe’s official kickoff on Aug. 31, intrepid local company Gas & Electric Arts will premiere their festival entry Quick Silver on Aug. 29 at the Adrienne. Penned by prize-winning playwright Kira Obolensky, Silver is set in the early days of the 20th century in Danbury, Conn.—then the hat-making capital of the world. Unfortunately for Danbury the hatters became more famous for union busting and polluting the city’s Still River than for their outlandish chapeaus. But while Obolensky’s script draws on Danbury’s sordid past, director Lisa Jo Epstein’s production is anything but a simple historical drama. In keeping with G&E’s reputation for daring work that fuses theatricality with social reality, Silver is a surreal urban fable that counts among its characters a shape-shifting tiger, a wannabe environmentalist poet, a forlorn journalist in search of a story, a restless teenage debutante and a factory owner who has difficulty holding on to his head. Brought to life with puppets, songs and a three-member ensemble, Obolensky’s disturbingly contemporary tale reveals the link between the gluttonous industrialists of yesteryear and today’s climate of corporate corruption. (J. Cooper Robb)

>>Speed Fiend
Smashed With Ed Rush
Fri., Aug. 31, 9pm. $10. Fluid, 613 S. Fourth St. 215.629.3686.

Ed Rush is synonymous with the best of electronica; he’s an artist who consistently makes amazing music while pushing his sound to new places. Whether through his solo work, his collaboration with Optical or his job as co-head of legendary label Virus Recordings, Rush has been at the forefront of the drum ’n’ bass scene since its inception. His is dark and twisted music—punishing drums, massive bass lines and high BPMs—the perfect soundtrack to these dark and messed-up times. Friday night is a chance to hear where drum ’n’ bass has been the past decade and where it’s headed. It’s also an opportunity to check out some of Philly’s homegrown stars: Karl K, Kaos and Jae Kennedy (aka Koldfront), DJ Quest and Sharpness. Philly, are you ready to get smashed? (Jack Schonewolf)

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