BY JAMES DOOLITTLE In nonchalantly telling my spouse that the reason I showered yesterday for the first time in two days was to attend the opening gala for this year’s Philly Film Fest, her question of “where” produced another, even more obvious question: Why was the Film Society holding this year’s fest at a strip club.
In and of itself, an honest query, but a quick review of the Penthouse Lounge & Grille‘s website reveals a stated attempt to provide Philadelphia with “an upscale concept restaurant”, which based on last night’s shindig means a tray of coconut shrimp is so much more appealing when proffered from a tray hovering over the exposed surface area of about 68 percent of her breasts.
That’s right, Philadelphia – we finally got our Hooters back, albeit one retrofitted with a sleek, designer-approved interior, where tight black skirts have replaced tight orange shorts, and bacon-wrapped oysters have replaced any one of your favorite Hooterstizers. It’s fitting, and really, so in line with this guy’s relationship with Philadelphia, where one day you’re dispensing fried pickles on a tugboat in the Delaware, the next — mixing apple martinis in Old City.
Truth be told, I was mainly out to smoke cigarettes and gawk at celebrities, hence my inability to patiently wait in line for a slab of ham. This year, the tag-team of DJ Stephen Merritt (the mix, too low) and wallflower Paul Rudd (the posture, too…wallflowery) easily out-dazzled last year’s celebrity marquee (sorry Fishburne ). But for this here Wook, the highlight was simply being some 10 feet away from a dude who I swear was The State’s Ken Marino, whose presence wouldn’t be out of the question, considering he was a co-writer and star of the opening night feature, The Ten. My only reservation still resides in his omission from the Festival’s daily “Newsline” run-down of what bright shining stars were in attendance. What a staggering omission. Didn’t they realize that this was the guy who once wanted to dip his balls in it? Considering the locale of choice, it would’ve been a fitting end to the crab dip.