Molly Eichel: Showing off their talents (beyond raising taxes)

News Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

AS A JUDGE for Council’s Got Talent, former Mayor John Street is looking for one quality in his former co-workers: “Grace in the face of total humiliation.”

Members of City Council will take a break from their legislatin’ ways to show off their unexpected expertise in the performance arena for Council’s Got Talent, a charity event Thursday featuring Council members that benefits Philabundance. Judges include Street, former Council President Anna Verna and comedian Joe Conklin.

The Daily News‘ own Jenice Armstrong and Stu Bykofsky will MC the event.

The event sprang from the mind of Councilman Bobby Henon, who I hear does a sweet version of “Gangnam Style” when not serving his Northeast Philly district. “I drink a lot of coffee, so if ‘Gangnam Style’ comes out, so be it,” Henon told me, “but I’m kind of over ‘Gangnam Style.’ ”

Henon will be joined by his other freshman colleagues, Cindy Bass, Kenyatta Johnson, Dennis O’Brien, David Oh and Mark Squilla, who will roast Mayor Nutter and the Actual Value Initiative, the city’s new property-tax program.

“I’m not sure if Council even has talent,” Henon said. “But we’ve raised $30,000 so far, and that will make up for our deficiency in dance steps.”

Other performers on the bill include a standup routine by Bill Greenlee and slow-jamming the news by Oh, Bass and Curtis Jones. My most-anticipated acts? A Darrell Clarke take on a tune by Penn grad John Legend, and Jannie Blackwell, who plans to rap.

Philly-born rapper Meek MillĀ did just announce he’ll be playing the Tower Theater on April 5. Maybe he’ll need an opening act?

Street said he’s most looking forward to seeing Blondell Reynolds Brown, who is under fire for ethics violations, show off why she was a professional dancer before entering political life.

Two Philly bigwigs won’t be attending the party, though. Nutter will be presenting at the Philly DoGooder awards that same night, feting City Representative Desiree Peterkin-Bell, Philly. com’s own Leah Kauffman and a surprise winner for Innovation in Community Building that I can’t tell you about yet.

Councilman Jim Kenney wasn’t available to participate, either, but he said he’s happy to support Philabundance. What would he do if he could make it?

“If I had any performance talent, I wouldn’t be in Council,” Kenney said.

Tickets to the event, which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, are a $100 donation to Philabundance. Tickets can be purchased at


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