July 27, 2014 |
When Bonnie Paul asked her daughter, Ilena, if she wanted to join the army in a production of Shakespeare's Henry IV at Clark Park, the preteen hesitated. Their conversation went something like this: "Would I get to kill you?" asked Ilena, 12. "Maybe," replied Bonnie, 41. That sold the girl on the idea, although she and her mother did end up being cast on the same side, fighting rebels rather than each other. The thespian combatants are two of 88 volunteers from around Philadelphia appearing in the epic Battle of Shrewsbury scene of H enry IV , this year's production of Shakespeare in Clark Park, which debuts Wednesday.
July 25, 2014 |
Having written orchestral works that contemplate the essence of rivers and oceans, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams is heading toward the source of it all, with an hour-long piece so expansive it can't be contained by a typical concert hall - and can only go outdoors. Sila: The Breath of the World contemplates the force behind all of nature. (The title is the Inuit name of the abstract deity behind wind, rain, and life.) Friday and Saturday in New York, as part of the Mostly Mozart and Lincoln Center Out of Doors festivals, the piece will bring together, in Hearst Plaza outside Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia chamber choir the Crossing, the JACK Quartet, and any number of other contemporary-music mainstays.
June 20, 2014
THE IDEA of "Broadway on the Boardwalk" has been a staple of the Atlantic City casino era. For decades, gaming halls have staged both Broadway-themed revues and actual musicals, from full-blown renditions to "tab shows" truncated to get gamblers back to the casinos within 90 minutes. But the Broadway-to-Boardwalk blueprint will be taken to unprecedented levels next month as the Atlantic City Alliance - the town's casino-funded marketing agency - stages a series of free Monday night concerts on the Great Wood Way. What makes the program dubbed (what else?
June 1, 2014 |
SEA ISLE CITY, N.J. - Mayor Lenny Desiderio is waxing poetic about white cosmopolitans and sidewalk dining in Sea Isle. What? Yes, in Sea Isle, a place buoyed for decades by such sturdy traditions as No Shower Happy Hour, $1.50 Coors Light mugs (no purchase of mug required), and phone booths that doubled as urinals more often than you'd like to think about. "Martinis, Manhattans, white cosmos, red cosmos," Desiderio says of what people are drinking at SideKix, the urbane little offshoot of his landmark party bar, Kix McNulty's, designed for, say, a more sophisticated Sea Isle drinking experience.
May 31, 2014 |
It's not often I get to write an unabashed rave that's also an expression of civic pride, so listen up: The Arden Theatre's revival of Incorruptible is a valentine to and from the Philadelphia theater community. An Arden greatest hit from its 1995-96 season, it's written by Michael Hollinger, a Philadelphia-based playwright, and features an all-Philadelphia cast, director, and designers. But that's not the only reason you should care. You should care because this production, about a medieval French monastery whose saintly miracle-performing relics and income have both flatlined, has a nimble, sharp script matched with performances by a cast that's a natural fit. Proven entities such as Ian Merrill Peakes as Brother Martin, a high-strung, Machiavellian monk, and Marcia Saunders as Agatha, a tyrannical monster (monstress?
May 14, 2014 |
Neil LaBute is a frustrating, infuriating playwright, who also occasionally taps a direct line into the heart of men's darkness. Simpatico Theatre's version of LaBute's In a Dark Dark House , a taut 2007 drama about a family's secrets, recently retooled by the playwright, provides a conduit for that line, and for all the elements that make him so confounding and compelling. As directed by Harriet Power, this is a nervewracking hour and a half. All three characters - adult brothers Drew and Terry and 16-year-old Jennifer, whom Terry meets at her father's miniature golf course - squirm like bugs under a magnifying glass in the hot sun, each trying to wriggle out of their own skin as one or the other continues to apply the fire.
May 12, 2014 |
Jon Favreau isn't that different from this Carl Casper guy he plays in Chef . Both started off hungry, working fast and cheap, improvising, innovating. Favreau wrote and costarred in Swingers , the 1996 indie about a gang of struggling actor dudes in Los Angeles - at the time, he and his costars ( Vince Vaughn , Ron Livingston ) were struggling actor dudes. They shot on the run, in friends' apartments, in clubs. "Keep a low profile and inherit the reality of the world," Favreau says.
March 31, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Since 2002, a New York congressman has tried to eliminate what he calls an "unnecessary perk" for drug companies: tax write-offs for their ads bombarding television viewers about pills for allergies, arthritis, even erectile dysfunction. His bill has never gone anywhere. Comcast wants to make sure it stays that way. Through its subsidiary, NBC Universal, Comcast lobbies each year to make sure the long-shot proposal from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) stays bottled up. The effort to stall the "Say No to Drug Ads Act" is just one tiny example of how the lobbying arm for Philadelphia-based Comcast has grown to reach into even the quiet corners of the Capitol, and sometimes surprising facets of public policy.
March 27, 2014 |
WIRED 96.5 midday host Casey is leaving the station after nine years. The former morning host said she decided not to renew her contract. The Temple grad's last day was yesterday. "There are so many things I have yet to conquer on my list, and sometimes we have to move on to do so," Casey said. "Love and appreciation for anyone who has been a fan or supported me over the years. I hope we continue our relationship wherever my new path leads!" Calls to Wired 96.5's program director, Dan Hunt , were not returned.
March 21, 2014 |
THANK HEAVEN teens still read books. Without them, Hollywood might be teetering on bankruptcy. Case in point: "Divergent," a blandly staged but perfectly cast movie making a bid to be the industry's next profit center - and like "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games," its based on a popular young-adult book series. Veronica Roth's novels center on a teen girl named Tris (Shailene Woodley) who lives in a bombed-out, near-future Chicago where society has re-arranged itself into factions, each based on human virtues such as selflessness, courage, etc. Tris, like all other teens, must choose a faction when she's of age, then undergo rigorous testing to see if she truly belongs.