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Twilight in the Gardens presents a Day of the Dead-fest this Friday

TWILIGHTINTHEGARDENS

Bored with the idea of a pumpkin patch? Over haunted houses? Too old to Trick-or-Treat? If you’re on the hunt for an affordable and creative night out this upcoming Halloween weekend, this month’s iteration of Twilight in the Gardens, presented by Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, is sure to be a scream. Since 1994, artist Isaiah Zagar has nurtured and cultivated the South Street spectacle into a stunning mosaic array and collection of unique murals. The Gardens continue his vision of interdisciplinary art by hosting Twilight in the Gardens on every month’s fourth Friday, and its October BYOB event focuses on the Day of the Dead.

Traditionally landing each Nov. 1, the holiday is celebrated nationally in Mexico. Banks, schools and businesses close so families may pay their respects to loved ones who have died. Offerings of food and spirits are made at alters, while blankets and cushions lay at their feet so the dead may rest their bones. Mexican marigolds adorn everything in an attempt to attract the traveling souls of the dead to the homes of their loved ones so that they may witness the celebration.

Performance arts group Cirque Manikk will creep through the labyrinth of PMG as ghouls and spectres, plus DJ Ayaosa will spin Latin-inspired dance tunes to get you in the groove. Costumes are encouraged, but if you’re caught without, face painters will disguise your visage with Day of the Dead-inspired makeup if you arrive before 8pm.

Fri., Oct. 25, $8-$10. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South St. 215.733.0390. phillymagicgardens.org



Photos: Henri David’s Halloween Ball

Last night, up in the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Center City Hotel, Henri David held his hugely popular annual Halloween fete which, now in it’s 44th year, is the longest running event of its kind. For those who have never been, the party is sorta like the Olympics of Halloween costumes. Seriously, there wasn’t a single half-assed costume in the bunch. Add in an array of incredibly fabulous drag queens and a crew of beef-cake male strippers and, well, you’ve got yourself one hell of a night.

WARNING: Photos contain nudity. More specifically, male nudity. And lots of it.

You’re welcome :)



More Halloween Happenings

DevilsCrawl400Thanks to Hurricane Sandy’s swift shift, Halloween in Philadelphia will go on as planned. If you haven’t already nailed down your own plans just yet, here’s a few events to consider:

Halloween Smackdown 2012: Whether you want to come dressed scary or slutty, costumes are mandatory at this divey dance party. As an incentive, the best-dressed folks in attendance will receive prizes and possibly a $20 credit to your bar tab. This is all in addition to free candy, Halloween-themed cocktails and tunes from DJ Phunkenstein aka. “The Monster of Ceremonies.” 8pm. Free. The Dive, 947 E. Passyunk Ave.

The Devil’s Crawl: Don’t want to commit to just one bar all night? Well then how about hitting five of NoLibs’ finest watering holes—Gunner’s Run, El Camino Real, King’s Oak, Boardwalk Bar and PYT—all while simultaneously helping a good cause? Here’s how it works: first, visit Gunner’s Run or Boardwalk Bar, pay $10 and donate either a food item or new/lightly used jacket to Feel The Warmth. In exchange, you’ll receive a pair of devil horns, which will allow you take advantage of drink specials at each participating bar. 5pm-12am. $10. Various locations around The Piazza, 1001 N. Third St.

Wild Wednesday Halloween Costume Party: Rather than getting stuck at some shitty frat house, Temple students of legal drinking age can party it up at The Horse where, like every Wednesday they will have super cheap booze including, $1 Bud Light cans, $4 well drinks and $3 surprise Halloween shots. Depending how clever your costume is, you may also be able to score yourself a prize. 9pm. Free. The Draught Horse, 1431 Cecil B. Moore Ave. devilsden1

McCrossen’s Halloween Party: Basically this bash has everything you need for a good time tonight: beer, festive cocktails, a dance floor and free admission. The winner of their costume contest will go home with a $50 gift certificate and a bottle of wine from sommelier Lauren Harris. 9pm. Free. McCrossen’s Tavern, 529 N. 20th St.

Tap our Pumpkin!: While other local establishments may have one or two seasonal brewskies on tap, tonight, Devil’s Den will be serving up an impressive array of special aged pumpkin beers from their cellar in addition to their usual selection 200+ beers. This includes 2011 Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, 2011 Bruery Autumn Maple and a firkin of Southern Tier Pumking on the hand pump. Costumes are encouraged. 7-11pm. Free. Devils Den, 11th & Ellsworth Sts.



Two Last Minute, Hurricane-Inspired DIY Costumes

While this meteorological phenomenon may have put a damper on Halloween 2012, it’s also given folks along the east coast two awesome and super easy DIY costume ideas, possibly to reserve for future use.

It’s hard to say right now what, if any, local Halloween parties will be going down Wednesday night as planned, but seeing as most of us are stuck spending the next 48 hours cooped up in our homes—with or without electricity—what better time to get crafty and construct a new costume?

Hurricane Sandy

hurricane_sandy_halloween

Yeah, you saw this one coming. While you can opt to embody either the innocent or rebel version of Grease’s leading lady, badass Sandy is likely to be the easiest.

Step 1: Unless for some strange reason you happen to own a black lycra body suit, rummage through your closets and drawers for any and all tight-fitting black garments. A simple strapless black top and leggings works just as good. If you don’t have a black leather jacket, any shimmery black jacket will do. Complete the ensemble with a pair of black pumps and a pretty belt.

Step 2: Draw a hurricane symbol like the one shown above on a piece of cardboard, color it in with red marker/paint then cut it out and tape it to your chest. A simple red “H” would also work.

Step 3: Tease your hair to the high heavens and proceed to curl. For those blessed with a naturally curly mane, this may be as simple as drying your hair upside down then adding some mouse/gel.

Step 4: Apply your sexiest red lipstick.

Step 5: Dangle a real or fake cig from your lip.

“Frankenstorm”

frankenstorm_halloween_costumeAnd for the fellas…

Step 1: Paint your entire face green and blacken your eyes with green/black face paint or matte green/black eye shadows, which can easily be found at any drug store or your girlfriend’s makeup bag.

Step 2: Create a few stitched-up cuts on your face, again using either face paint or makeup. You can easily create a wound with a little red lipstick/lip liner and black eye shadow. For the stiches, black eyeliner would work great.

Step 3: Gel or spray your hair down as flat as possible.

Step 4: Create bolts from whatever you might have lying around your house (a corkscrew being the easiest option), then paint them silver or black and stick on your neck. You can either construct them from

Step 5: Wear all black, possibly a black blazer or suit/tuxedo jacket.

My previous Glenn “Hurricane” Scwhartz (In A Hurricane) DIY costume idea is also now eerily appropriate. I swear I had no knowledge of Sandy when I came up with it.

hurricane_scwhartz2



10 Things We Saw, Heard And Learned At The Old School Show At The Tower And Then At Porcelain’s Funerary Night At Voyeur

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Well, we missed Ginuwine and Jagged Edge with one of those misjudged set orders. S.W.V. and 112 closed out the night. But afterwards we hustled over to Voyeur to see some really messy drag.

1. One of the Sisters With Voices songs that was a crowd-pleaser was “Rain” from 1997’s Release Some Tension. The audience sang every word and one of the sisters called out “Y’all really know this song.”

2. As a shout-out to Philly, they covered a Patti Labelle song called “If You Only Knew.” This was also a singalong moment. Furthermore, when Cheryl “Coko” Clemons took the lead, she blew the damn house down. She went on some runs that were straight-up gospel. You were taken to church whether you liked it or not.

3. “Co-Sign” was done with the funkiness. The first single from 2012’s I Missed Us was a track that felt like SWV never stopped singing together. It had all the R&B charm of their ’90s hits with a modernized and hip-hop edge. They also pulled off some really charming dance moves during this one and throughout their set: synchronized shoulder shrugs and step routines. They sounded great, but, to be real – Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George and Coko kind of stole the show. Leanne “Lelee” Lyons is essential, but, the eye-popping vocals and breath-taking belts were courtesy of Coko and Taj.

4. 112 was kind of whack. They definitely had that old-school flavor of coordinated outfits and dance moves. But the vocals were just so strained at some points. More than a few times we were reminded of singing competition shows like The Voice or The X Factor; people just oversinging the hell out of songs that their poor voice just can’t handle. It’s been 16 years since their debut – they’re not teenagers anymore.

5. It WAS nice during the more ladies-oriented part of the show, that one of em’ took his shirt off. Dude was ripped. Mid-30s and still workin’ that old-school R&B flow of women-worshipping and sexy talk; it was impressive. Also kind of funny because he had a replacement t-shirt waiting for him in the hands of a side stage helper. In fact, the crew on the side of the stage may have been feeling their performance more than some audience members. There were lots of animated gestures of “This is so fly” or whatever.

6. During a chill-down part of the set, the boys took seats on stools to croon some covers. They did a Jodeci joint, some “Down On Bended Knee” and some New Edition. They called N.E. one of the best groups of all time and listed some members: Ricky, Bobby, Johnny, Ronnie, etc. The vocals here weren’t as strained, maybe because they were sitting still, but as they passed verses around, it sort of became clear – there’s not really a market for this, anymore.

7. After 112 wrapped up there was a mass exodus and we thought ‘Did we miss Ginuwine?!’ So 112 was the closer. Baffling. We did get to see “Weak,” which was a truly heartwarming experience. But we were also there to see “Pony.” That would’ve been an everything-warming experience.

8. What happened next was beyond anything the drag community has ever touched. Suspension. Porcelain’s a weird queen. We know this. She’s kind of a Sharon Needles-y creepy queen who specializes in scary drag. So a Halloween night of drag hosted by Porcelain seemed like something not to be missed. Suspension is when chains and hooks and shit get used with a person’s skin via piercings (it seems) to raise someone off the ground by their skin. Does that make sense? Basically, envision giant hooks that get tucked into two holes in her torso that she swings around and performs a song. Blood eventually trickles down. It looks like something from Hostel.

9. In the same league as her stunts of pissing on stage, drinking it and showering herself in her own piss, this is a divisive performance. Some people love it, find it inspiringly daring or even sexy. Other, like me, felt my stomach turn. You either gaze with awe or cover your eyes. It was astonishing.

10. Even Isis got in on it with pierced holes in her back. But she sang P!nk’s “Try” while hanging by her back skin. So it was vaguely more stomachable.



4 DIY Philly-Centric Halloween Costumes

With all the different Halloween parties coming up this weekend (including those listed in PW’s Halloween Guide this week), now would be a good time to really start thinking about your costume if you haven’t already, especially if you don’t plan on going out and buying one. Obviously, some of you may be more ambitious than others when it comes to your Halloween get-up, but here’s four Philly-inspired costume ideas that are cheap and relatively easy to put together last minute.

A Philly Fan (Any Team)

philly_sports_fansThis is so simple and yet so brilliant. And given the track records of our professional sports teams, this is one costume you’ll be able to wear year, after year, after year.

Step 1: Deck yourself out in any and all local sports apparel you have whether it be the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sixers or a combination of all four. Don’t forget silly accessories like a foam finger or football hat.

Step 2: Using red body paint, make it look like you just slit your wrists. Depending how realistic you want it to look, you can follow tutorials like this one or this one.

Step 3: Make your hair look messy like you’ve been ripping it out.

Step 4: If you’re a lady, paint running mascara down your face (by smudging eyeliner and/or black eye shadow down your eyes and cheeks). You may want to use some extra eyeliner and a little bit of red lip liner around your eyes to really give the effect that you’ve been crying. This tutorial may help (fast-forward to 6:30).

Step 5: Throughout the evening, periodically shout out—to no one in particular—such Philly fan catchphrases as “Fire Andy!” and “WHHYYY??”

Glenn “Hurricane” Scwhartz (In A Hurricane)

hurricane_scwhartz1

Basically just recreate this “Caught In The Rain” costume with your own umbrella, business casual outfit, a pair of cheap reading glasses, a lot of hairspray and gel and of course, a bow tie. You could also rock a poncho, as long as the bow tie sticks out. Or you could skip the accessories and go out as regular Glenn, but that’s not nearly as interesting.

A PPA Officer

ppa_officer

Everyone will get this immediately. Switch up the wardrobe and this could also work for just about any despised local figures—Mayor Nutter, Andy Reid, Michael Vick, etc.

Step 1: Rock navy work pants and a baby blue button up shirt.

Step 2: Make the PPA patch out of paper or cardboard.

Step 3: Buy a pair of devil horns or an entire devil kit (horns, pitchfork and tail). You can find this pretty much anywhere that sells costumes, including Rite Aid.

Step 4: Either make or buy a fake little gold badge.

Step 5: Stash any old parking tickets you might have in your pockets.

Your Neighborhood

philly_neighborhood_poster

There’s really no limit to what you can do with this. I’m merely offering suggestions. You could also take these suggestions and go out as Philadelphia in general, although this would most certainly require you to get far more elaborate.

Step 1: Using some cardboard, recreate either the expressway ramp sign for your neighborhood, several individual street signs and/or a basic “Welcome To…” sign.

Step 2: Tape said sign(s) to yourself or hang around your neck with string.

Step 3: Dress like stereotypical neighborhood folk. For those living in super gentrified neighborhoods, feel free to mix and match accordingly. If you own a shirt from a neighborhood business, that would work too. You could also just wear all black and create a line of white or yellow dashes down your body like an actual street.

Step 4: Tape various pieces of trash to your clothes that you’d likely see in your respective hood. For instance, if you live in South Philly, perhaps that’s a Geno’s or Pat’s wrapper. If you live in Kensington, maybe that’s a Colt 45 label and fake syringe. I think you get the idea.

Step 5: Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. The more details you incorporate, the better.



Ladies, Take Back Halloween!

sexycostumes_cartoon

Cartoon by Andy Marlette

I’ve never really understood this whole obsession with using Halloween as an excuse to roam the streets in what’s essentially just themed lingerie.

Only once in 25 years have I opted to go the “sexy” route—“Naughty Nun Nicole”—and mainly just because I thought it was funny. (Side note: the “sexy” nun getups are actually more expensive than regular nun costumes, despite having far less fabric.)

This explains my excitement the other day when I stumbled onto TakeBackHalloween.org, a “costume guide for women with imagination.” From “glamour grrls” like Diana Ross and Grace Kelly to such iconic women as Frida Kahlo and Joan of Arc, the Web site offers ladies an array of costume ideas as well as tips on how to pull of the look and links to where you can buy the various components.

Even better, the site focuses on practical costumes that can be assembled with things you already have in your closet or can easily find at a Halloween store as opposed to garments you have to sew yourself. You can also find a lot of helpful suggestions and interesting commentary on their blog.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much be Medusa for a night than a Sexy Pirate.

frida_takebackhalloween



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