August 25, 2010 |
DALLAS - Nick Rainone found his identity in face paint and clown shoes. His father is a clown. His mother was a clown. His fate, it seemed, was set from the beginning. But as a teenager, Rainone rebelled. He joined a punk rock band, got some bad tattoos, and began running from his parents' influence, only to find that what gave him the most happiness was the laughter of others. He found it again on a recent Friday when he earned a chance to become a traveling clown with the Ringling Bros.
August 4, 2010
By Peter Vaira When a serious accident occurs during a circus performance - a trapeze artist falls, a lion trainer is mauled - the clowns are sent in to distract the audience. In the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music , the singer of "Send in the Clowns" has gone through so much romantic tragedy that she feels, "There ought to be clowns. " Philadelphia's Family Court situation deserves similar treatment. It is indeed a circus performance with a serious accident. Millions of dollars in public funds have been spent on a construction project that has yet to get under way; legal fees are running in the millions; and legal community leaders are squabbling with the state's chief justice over questions one might find on a first-year law school exam.
July 15, 2010
I'M THINKING that the actions of the New Black Panthers on Election Day in 2008 were more about TV than turnout. Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson posted up outside the old Richard Allen Homes at 12th Street and Fairmount Avenue, which is in the 14th Ward's 4th voting division. In November 2008, there were 1,535 voters registered there. Only 84 of them were Republicans. Not exactly a location where an African-American running for president would seem to need much assistance. In 2000, George W. Bush got 8 votes to Al Gore's 382. In 2004, John Kerry bested George W. Bush 501 to 24. Maybe it was that explosive growth from 8 votes to 24 that caused these knuckleheads to show up in 2008, when then-Sen.
March 7, 2010 |
Laughter is universal. That's why my wife and I journeyed to Panama, not as Bill and Jill but as Shobo and Sweetheart the clowns. Joining a Texas-based evangelical group last spring, Shobo and Sweetheart shared the joy of the gospel through laughter with all, while our eight companions supported and strengthened the churches there. We would gather in newly formed churches, or in a park, to joke around, laugh, blow up balloon animals, and do a few magic tricks for anyone who would come.
October 30, 2009 |
Kids can enjoy a special treat on Halloween morning as ArtsPower returns with the children's production Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Class Clown, at the Keswick Theatre. The production at 11 a.m. is based on the Jigsaw children's book series by author James Preller. The plot is based on middle- school student Athena Lorenzo, who has been slimed and doesn't think it's very funny. Someone in Mrs. Gleason's class has been playing practical jokes. It's up to junior sleuth Theodore "Jigsaw" Jones and his trusty assistant, Mila, to crack the case.
October 26, 2009 |
"What do you call a frog illegally parked?" (Wait for it.) "Toad. " Antoinette Skerski, 90, groaned - and not because she was a cardiac patient at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "That was a bad one," she told the joker, Mike Quartuccio, whose garish wig looked like a Krusty the Clown castoff. Six other clowns, squished into the small room, began administering RJT (Rapid Joke Therapy), which they warned could cause nausea. "What is Beethoven's favorite fruit?"
October 9, 2009
THIS year, 45,000 Americans will die for lack of health care. Thousands are losing their benefits. But the clowns on Fox News and that drug addict on the radio, along with the sheep too lazy or too stupid to check out their lies, are doing everything they can to ensure things will only get worse. Robert Leonardo, Palmyra
August 27, 2009 |
These are busy days for Pig Iron Theatre Company's Quinn Bauriedel - as are most days for most members of Pig Iron, currently one of Philadelphia's most successful cultural exports. Aside from sculpting its Live Arts Festival world premiere, Welcome to Yuba City - a collaboration with master clown Giovanni Fusetti and Philly native/New York-based composer extraordinaire Michael Friedman - everyone involved, from 10 official company members to the occasional guest, is busy creating side projects, collecting awards, or winning grants.
January 6, 2009 |
"He's so cute," shouts Marisa Rosenstock, a 25-year-old student from Center City. "I love him so much. " "I wouldn't miss a second of him," says Courtney Ray, a 24-year-old merchandiser from Norristown. They, along with more than 600 others - Rocky Balboa impersonators included - are swooning over the best-selling author. But it's not Malcolm Gladwell or John Grogan they've come to see. Despite warnings from security not to touch the star, the throng strains to touch, hug, kiss.
September 5, 2008
YOUR ONLINE poll the other day, asking "Do you think Sarah Palin will wear her hair up or down for the big speech tonight?" is, in a word, disgraceful. I'm sure that had Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty been named the vice presidential nominee, you would have been worried about the color of his tie, rather than the actual substance of the speech he was planning to present, right? Evan Davis Philadelphia IN REGARD to Mr. Andrew Dankanich's comments on the Democratic Convention: He asked, "Is this what politics is all about, the art of illusion and trickery, maybe sabotage and intimidation?"