Bearded Ladies Cabaret to perform "Beards Are for Shaving: A 007 Cabaret"

Commonwealth Classic Theater does al fresco performances of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town."Actors in photos: Eric Scotolati, Paul Parente, Kristin Egermeier
Commonwealth Classic Theater does al fresco performances of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town."Actors in photos: Eric Scotolati, Paul Parente, Kristin Egermeier
Posted: July 20, 2012

IN "BEARDS Are for Shaving: A 007 Cabaret," the Bearded Ladies Cabaret combines comedy, classic James Bond plots, commonwealthclassictheatre.org and the secret-agent films' famous ladies. But this is about more than shaken, not stirred martinis. The experimental cabaret group uses Bond's army of beauties as a fertile foundation to explore gender roles with the guidance of Judith Butler's theories on gender. Butler's ideas concerning power, gender, sexuality and identity have significantly contributed to feminist theory and sexual studies.

"We watched all the Bond films in preparation for this show and uncovered the basic plot formulas," said Heath Allen, Bearded Ladies' music director and pianist. And then the group spun them: "I don't want to give away the plot, but let's just say that Pussy Galore will not be taking a roll in the hay with 007." This is the group's third original show in a series of three late-night cabarets at the Wilma Theater. Previous shows included "No Regrets: A Piaf Affair" and "Wide Awake: A Civil War." With a free martini in hand and endless laughs, this new show should be another fan favorite.

Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St., 8 p.m. Friday, 10 p.m. Saturday, July 25-27, $20-$25, 215-546-7824, beardedladiescabaret.com.

— Amanda Wagner

OUR KINDA ‘TOWN'

Summer is usually the season for Shakespearean comedy outdoors, but Commonwealth Classic Theater Company bucks the trend with al fresco performances of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town." The Pulitzer Prize-winning three-act play takes place in a sleepy, peaceful New Hampshire town, though the characters themselves are alive and distressed. The small-town setting illuminates the universality of the issues the characters face. Hearts are broken, lives are lost, and human existence is questioned. It's no wonder a 1946 production of the play was banned in Soviet Berlin sector over fears it would lead to suicides. This definitely isn't " A Midsummer's Night Dream." "Our Town" will be performed in the courtyard at International House, so bring chairs and blankets. Admission is free. Later this month, the company brings the production to East Falls, Lansdale, West Chester and West Goshen. n

"Our Town," 7 p.m. Saturday, free, International House, 3701 Chestnut St., 215-387-5125. More show dates and locations at commonwealthclassictheatre.org.

— Alissa Falcone Art Attack is a partnership with Drexel University and is supported by a grant from the Knight/NEA Community Arts Journalism Challenge, administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

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