October 5, 2012 |
Next to Normal is, for lack of a better term, a musical tragedy. With its beautifully sung score telling a painful and upsetting story, it challenges conventional expectations of what big Broadway musicals are likely to be. The fine production at the Arden Theatre, directed by Terrence J. Nolen, begins with a huge close-up of a face projected onto the upstage wall (the many stunning and disturbing images were created by Jorge Cousineau). Eyes fly open and we are at once looking and being looked at. The spare set - everything is square or stripes - turns out to be the Goodman family's suburban home.
September 11, 2012 |
Two family-owned nurseries that have been around for generations in the Philadelphia suburbs are wishing the summer hadn't brought unexpected financial heat in the form of the Waterloo Gardens bankruptcy. Both are entangled in the Chapter 11 case filed June 26 by the debt-soaked gardening center that closed its renowned Devon store. Both landed on an unenviable list: creditors holding the 20 largest unsecured claims. And both longtime suppliers of poinsettias, annuals, and other earthly wares to the region's onetime preeminent gardening center are coming to understand the exquisite frustration of being a little guy in a big, old bankruptcy case.
May 29, 2012
Question: Eight months ago, after a brief illness, my 57-year-old friend's husband passed away. Their marriage had always been a bit rocky, and after his death we learned that he'd been involved in some questionable activities. Needless to say, her emotions ran the gamut from disbelief to anger to grief. During this time, I was there for her to listen, care, and encourage, and supported her decision to seek professional counseling. But now I'm concerned she might be moving too quickly through this process.
March 25, 2012 |
The news that NFL players are paid for being able to deliver hits capable of hurting an opponent isn't much of a revelation when you get down to it. That's the nature of the game. Hard hits are celebrated, and just as the NHL and NASCAR owe some popularity to the promise of potential violence at any moment, the NFL puts away a lot of dough because its players smack each other around with great frequency. The league has no problem licensing video games in which the mayhem is taken to cartoonish levels, and has never been bothered by the slavering mythology that NFL Films built around the exploits of guys like Ray Nitschke, Dick Butkus, and Mike Singletary, who were all nice enough when they weren't dismembering opponents.
July 8, 2011 |
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A convicted felon charged with killing a 75-year-old South Dakota hospice nurse so that he could steal her car and drive to Washington, D.C., described the woman during a TV interview as "collateral damage" in what he envisioned as a scheme to kill President Obama. James McVay, 41, is charged with first-degree murder and burglary in the weekend stabbing death of Maybelle Schein. During a jailhouse interview with television station WKOW, in Madison, Wis., where McVay was arrested Saturday, he said that Schein was "in my way and I removed her. " "He did it just more or less as kind of a lark, I guess," Schein's brother, Ted Fetters, said yesterday.
July 6, 2011
THE media jumped all over the incident involving the cow that escaped from an Upper Darby slaughterhouse. It received so much attention, Gov. Corbett even issued a "pardon" for the cow. Meanwhile, the media have paid very little attention to the fact that the governor is pen-happy in signing death warrants for humans. Although he's been in office less than six months, he's already signed (at least) four, including one for James "Jimmy" Dennis, whom many people, myself included, believe is innocent.
August 16, 2010
City Councilman Bill Green's support for a bill to eliminate the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office has earned him some enemies in the African American political community, with State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D., Philadelphia) leading the way. Green obviously was not quite prepared for the political blowback he reaped in June when he cosponsored Councilman Frank DiCicco's bill to eliminate the Sheriff's Office. The political community was abuzz last month after State Rep. Jewell Williams, the city Democratic leadership's choice to succeed Sheriff John Green, had words with Councilman Green at Councilman Curtis Jones Jr.'s birthday bash.
June 17, 2010
THERE have been any number of times since Sept. 11, 2001, when news from the wars overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan detailed the loss of civilian life. Predator drone strikes, although highly successful in taking out the very worst of the worst, have often been associated with these losses. Chances are that when the stories appear, if you have any reaction at all, it's an acknowledgment that war is hell and that sometimes noncombatants end up in the cross-fire. (I put the blame for their deaths on their terrorist neighbors.
May 11, 2010 |
When Tiger Woods cracked up his car at the end of the driveway on Thanksgiving night, the golfer came away from the wreck with a long list of personal and professional collateral damage - some of which is still up on the lift in his private repair shop - and, more tangibly, he sustained a split lip and a sore neck. Fast-forward through the last five months, as Woods dealt with the messy unraveling of his world, still executed a reasonably quick return to golf, and now is forced to withdraw mid-round from a major tournament because of . . . a neck injury.
October 29, 2009 |
I can't imagine how much I would have to love a man to dice kabocha squash for his dinner. Along with "clean the squid" and "open the coconut," cooking instructions that involve reducing the size of roly-poly winter squash are easier said than done. This is the time of year when commands such as "cut the butternut squash into 1-inch-thick slices" fall into the lives of home cooks as frequently as autumn leaves. Such recipe directions in no way hint at the battle that must be engaged to do so. This is unfortunate, because nothing says October and November like the warmly orange and comforting dishes that may be made from these sturdy members of the gourd family.