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ENTERTAINMENT
August 7, 2014 | By Molly Eichel
    "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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 16, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
July 12, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
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...
REAL_ESTATE
May 19, 2014 | By Diane M. Fiske, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2014 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
April 1, 2014 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2014 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
  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.
NEWS
January 23, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Anthony Alexander was an immigrant success story. A native of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Alexander came to the United States in 1995 at age 44. He built his own auto-repair business in West Philadelphia, met a local woman, and had a son. His reputation as a hardworking, honest, law-abiding man was pristine - right up until he shotgunned his ex-girlfriend in front of her family. The question facing Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson is whether the 62-year-old Alexander's reputation alone is so sterling that it negates any criminal intent in the Feb. 26, 2013, killing of 37-year-old Jennifer Fitzpatrick.
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