Awesome festival features the '80s

ASSOCIATED PRESS Meek Mill's concert on Friday at the Tower Theater will be streamed live on his website,
ASSOCIATED PRESS Meek Mill's concert on Friday at the Tower Theater will be streamed live on his website,
Posted: April 04, 2013

ARE YOU READY for an "Awesome" summer?

The actual quality of your season may vary. But at least it will be chock-full of movies and music courtesy of the Awesome Fest, presented by Parx Casino, and I've got all the exclusive details.

The 10-week citywide fest is going '80s this year, as it takes over the city, including University City's Drexel Park, NoLibs' Liberty Lands and the Trocadero Theatre's weekly Movie Monday screening.

Festivities kick off with a concert by the Psychedelic Furs on June 14 at the Troc ($20 tickets go on sale at noon Friday at, followed by an '80s prom at Parx Casino.

Other big-name bands from the decade will fill out the bill. I've heard some names bandied about, and it might be time to restock the Aquanet.

In addition to new films - such as a documentary about John Waters' muse Divine - old movies will be featured, including a tribute to John Hughes, the man who brought you "The Breakfast Club," "Sixteen Candles" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

The fest closes out the weekend of Aug. 16 with a 25th-anniversary screening of the cult classic "Killer Klowns from Outer Space," including the first Philadelphia appearance by the filmmakers, Stephen and Charles Chiodo.

To give you a taste of what's to come, the Awesome Fest will present a screening of the dead-man-walking comedy "Weekend at Bernie's," accompanied by a Q&A with star Andrew McCarthy, at the Wizard World/Comic Con on May 31. Organizers have another movie, with a very special '80s guest star, on tap, but I've got to keep that under wraps for now.

"Thematically, it's a fun playground to play in. Who doesn't love the '80s?" said founder and artistic director Josh Goldbloom. "As Molly Ringwald says in 'Pretty in Pink,' 'You're going to OD on nostalgia.' "

Music beats

* Philly rapper Meek Mill hits the Tower Theater on Friday for a homecoming show. Can't make it? Starting at 8 p.m., Mill will live-stream the entire show, including his backstage antics, on his website, There still looked to be some nosebleed seats left Tuesday night if you want to experience the show live.

* She was just here for St. Patrick's Day, but Charm City rapper Rye Rye, whose bubblegum-pop voice gets stuck in my head for days, will perform April 10 at Tabu's regular Ratchet Wednesday party for a scant $5-$15 ticket price. Coming up on April 24 is popstress Cara Quici, who played Aviva Drescher's anniversary party on an episode of "The Real Housewives of New York."

* Philly rap stalwart Bahamadia released her first new music in a good long time recently, dropping "Dialed Up," an 11-minute work composed entirely on a handheld mobile device (but, I promise, it doesn't sound that way). Give it a listen at bahamadia.bandcamp .com, and cross your fingers for a new full-length soon.

Radio times

Radio One's 100.3 (WRNB-FM) officially switched formats Tuesday, changing its name to Old School 100.3. The station, which used to be urban adult contemporary, will drop the contemporary, focusing instead on well-known hits from the '60s to the early '90s. Radio One also owns Praise 103.9 and Hot 107.9.

No word yet on the fate of the staff or programs, including syndicated morning voice Tom Joyner, although the new website is still pushing an upcoming tour featuring WRNB DJ and Philly hip-hop progenitor Lady B.

Batter up

Stand up, CAPA supporters and fans of singing nuns.  

Ta'Rea Campbell, the West Oak Lane-born star of the stage-bound "Sister Act," will sing the national anthem at the Phillies' home opener, against the Kansas City Royals, on Friday. In the Philly-set musical, which mentions the likes of Larry Kane and Wawa, Campbell plays Deloris Van Cartier, a/k/a Sister Mary Clarence, the role originated by Whoopi Goldberg in the popular '90s flick.

Campbell also heads back to her roots Wednesday morning to talk with students at her alma mater, the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Sister Act will be at the Academy of Music until April 7.



On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

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