September 13, 2014 |
A big, cheerful, gorgeous dumb blonde of a musical comedy, 9 to 5: The Musical , the Walnut Street Theatre's season opener, is, like many a dumb blonde, good for a fun night out. (OK, OK, is every new-wave feminist going to call the gender police? Aw, shucks.) Based on the 1980 movie of the same name (its screenwriter, Patricia Resnick, wrote the show's book), Dolly Parton wrote 16 songs for the Broadway show, each with her signature country sound; the excellent cast belts them out with gusto.
August 8, 2014
AS A lifelong fan of Long Beach Island, I certainly don't need a specific reason to go there. But the current production of "Monty Python's Spamalot" is a doozy of an excuse to schlep to the Ocean County seaside resort. The musical comedy, adapted mostly by Python's Eric Idle from the British comedy troupe's 1975 film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," runs through Aug. 24 at Beach Haven's venerable Surflight Theatre. Ostensibly, it is a retelling of the legend of King Arthur and his Knights Of the Round Table.
August 7, 2014 |
IF THE MUSIC of Billy Joel , ABBA , Green Day , the Four Seasons and Carole King could headline a Broadway show, why not John Mayer ? For one thing, they had hits. But that's not stopping music's raspy-voiced Romeo from trying to write a show. The National Enquirer reports that Mayer is thinking theater, and his possibly autobiographical play has former Mayer flames Katy Perry , Jennifer Aniston , Jessica Simpson , Taylor Swift , Jennifer Love Hewitt , Renee Zellweger , Minka Kelly and Rhona Mitra (what the heck attracted all these women to that guy?
April 27, 2014 |
Back in the days of New Wave, say, 1983, Cyndi Lauper was viewed as pretty unusual. Her first record, She's So Unusual , went against the tide. Here was a diminutive, swaggering Brooklyn redhead with a high voice, higher energy - and a sophisticated pop album, recorded with barely known Philly musicians. "It was my debut record, so we weren't really under the microscope of the label," says Lauper, about to visit Philly with Cher for a Wells Fargo Center show on Monday. "We made that record exactly how we wanted it. " She's So Unusual sold 22 million copies worldwide, with its biggest hit, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," penned by Philly guy Robert Hazard, and the ballad "Time After Time," co-written with Rob Hyman of the Hooters.
April 6, 2014 |
James Franco apologizes We were hoping it was a hoax: some nasty hacker. But it seems James Franco , 35, the greatest renaissance man since, like, the Renaissance, did in fact try to arrange a romantic rendezvous with a 17-year-old girl. Scottish tourist Lucy Clode , 17, met Franco briefly outside his Broadway show Of Mice and Men . They began exchanging Instagrams. Franco sent her a (clothed) selfie, then volunteered to stop by - his base desires in tow, no doubt - at Clode's hotel room.
January 24, 2014 |
James Spinelli was 11 when he became a shoe man. This was in Camden, 1931. Spinelli was poor and small for his age, but he'd already been working for five years, selling vegetables from a little red wagon and peddling newspapers to saloon patrons. He also hawked Camden-style "yum yum" water ice on the corner of Broadway and Royden. So when a guy walked out of a shoe shop downtown and offered a job to a crowd of boys walking by, the skinny kid from Clinton Street said yes. He made $1.50 a week to start, and he's been fixing other people's footware ever since.
November 15, 2013
IF YOU were to construct a backward-directed timeline of female performers who flaunted conventions of public behavior and decorum, you'd likely start with Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga , and continue on through Madonna , Marilyn Monroe and Mae West , who was actually jailed for writing and acting in a Broadway show called "Sex" in the 1920s. But that line would end (and, actually, begin) with Sophie Tucker , whose fame has faded as the decades have rolled by, but who is the spiritual forebear of every headline-grabbing show biz femme fatale who has emerged in her wake.
November 1, 2013 |
One thing about Once : It's not the movie. It's the international touring show budded off from the Broadway show budded off, in turn, from the movie. Starring Irish musician Glen Hansard and Czech musician Markéta Irglová, Once was a dark-horse smash in 2007, earning two Grammys and an Oscar. Persuasive, passionate, it's a busker's love story. But Once in Philadelphia (Academy of Music, through Nov. 10) is different. Sure, it has the guitar-playing Guy and the pianist Girl, plus Hansard and Irglová's poignant songs.
July 7, 2013 |
LONDON - A producer on Friday won a British court victory over Monty Python for a bigger share of royalties from the stage musical Spamalot and said that despite the dispute he still found the comedy troupe funny. Mark Forstater brought a High Court lawsuit against the anarchic comedians over the show, which is based on the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail . Forstater produced the film, and his lawyers claimed it was agreed that he would be "treated as the seventh Python" financially, entitled to the same share of Holy Grail merchandising and spin-off income as the other members.
June 19, 2013 |
Like many with theatrical aspirations, Matthew Wolf started as a waiter in the Big Apple - an ambitious twentysomething aiming for a shot at the big stage. Eventually faced with the choice of leaving Manhattan for grad school or starting a career on Broadway's management side, Wolf decided to go for the office chair. Today, at 39, he's the guy who decides what touring shows will come to Philadelphia each year as part of the Kimmel Center's Broadway Series. For 2013-14, that means still-running best-musical Tony winners The Book of Mormon and Once ; classics Evita, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess , and Flashdance the Musical ; Queen's epic We Will Rock You ; and a new Phantom of the Opera . When he made the leap from onstage to off, Wolf - who had studied music and theater in college - was waiting tables at Cafe Time along with a flock of other talented hopefuls.