August 8, 2014 |
"INTO THE STORM" is a "Sharknado" movie with a troubling lack of sharks. But there is a whale of sorts - an EF5 (big) tornado pursued o'er the amber waves by the Ahabian storm chaser (Matt Walsh), whose obsessive zeal to find and film a gigantic tornado endangers his overworked and fearful crew. They track a super cell to a town in Oklahoma where a high school principal (right-sized Richard Armitage, from the "Hobbit" movies) watches nervously as clouds approach a packed graduation service.
August 7, 2014 |
"IF YOU have a character who is smelling and tasting green onions and also has a hand on their bottom, your audience understands them better," said Diana Gabaldon , the mega-best-selling author of the Outlander series. Gabaldon was explaining why she needed to travel to Philadelphia in order to write the most recent entry in the series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood , which takes place during the Revolutionary War. If she imbues her characters with more sensory details - from bad breath to some backside-related flirting - her faraway characters become real for her readers, who have gobbled up 17 million copies of her books in print.
July 16, 2014 |
Flashpoint Theatre does it again: Herringbone , the second show of its summer season - following the The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington - is another knockout, with Ben Dibble giving a performance of stunning virtuosity in a musical that's strange and compelling by any standard. Everyone who attends Philadelphia theater regularly knows Dibble's range, from Shakespeare to children's shows; he sings, he dances, he acts in comedies and tragedies.
July 12, 2014 |
If jurors walked away with one word lodged in their heads after the first day of defense testimony in the federal trial of five former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges, it is likely to have been impeccable. A parade of character witnesses employed that adjective over and over again Thursday to describe the reputations of the former jurists now facing mail- and wire-fraud charges. How would Judge Michael Lowry's character best be described? "Impeccable," said several of his childhood pals.
June 23, 2014 |
Some fathers bond with their sons over a baseball game, a museum visit, a day at the zoo. Others wake up at 4 in the morning, drive from Virginia to Philadelphia, dress up in Batman, Robin, and Nightwing costumes, and become celebrities at the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. "It's something we do together," said Dave Huffman, 47, outfitted in full Batman costume. "We've met a lot of fun people. " Huffman drove up from Chesapeake, Va., to spend the day with his sons at the Convention Center, where 25,000 visitors were expected over four days.
June 4, 2014 |
In 1990, Eric Bogosian - a darling of Manhattan's performance art scene because of the brusque Talk Radio and such one-mess shows as Drinking in America - crafted the perfect, tic-filled vehicle for himself in 1990's blackly comic Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll . This set of manic soliloquies had him bouncing off walls and leaping about the stage in a tangled weave of grotesque faces and fin de siècle commentary, speaking through characters that...
May 19, 2014 |
Unlike some people contemplating expansion of their homes, Marianna and Michael Sullivan did not regard their house in Rydal as a fixer-upper. It was designed in the 1950s by Philadelphia architect Arthur B. White, who had won prizes for his work. When they bought it 15 years ago, the Sullivans were only the second owners of the 2,000-square-foot structure, which resembled White's own home in Rydal. The couple, both college professors, loved their classic modern dwelling in Montgomery County, but they needed more space.
May 13, 2014 |
It's sometimes said people don't know how to live anymore. The four characters in Kim Rosenstock's Tigers Be Still , now at the Off-Broad Street Theater, certainly don't know how to function. Sherry (Anna Zaida Szapiro) has lain in bed for a month. Her sister, Grace (Felicia Leicht), has spooned with a bottle of Jack Daniels on the couch for days between bouts of stealing things from her ex-fiancé's condo. Their mother (an unseen, though central, presence) hasn't left her bedroom in a year.
April 1, 2014 |
GIBBSBORO Fifth grader Raymond Ennis penned a sticky scenario for his classmates: Would you keep your promise to play with your little brother or jump at the chance to hang out with a friend? The response was swift and decisive from the youngsters in his reading group during a lesson on character at Gibbsboro Elementary School. "If you make a promise, you should keep it," said Raymond, 11, drawing nods of agreement from a small circle of students. At Gibbsboro Elementary, character-building is part of the curriculum for all ages and subjects.
February 1, 2014 |
In "Possessions," one of five very fine entries in The Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2014: Animated , the ghost spirit of a broken old umbrella springs to life, causing a night of splendid havoc for a weary Japanese traveler. A gorgeously realized homage to the concept of Tsukumogami - that after 100 years, tools and instruments attain souls and self-awareness - Shuhei Morita's 'toon works as a metaphor for the process of animation itself: Whether the artist is using pencil and paper, or spacewarp software, the inanimate is transformed into something alive and vital.