August 22, 2014
HAVE YOU ever exited a play thinking, "I would have had a different ending," or, "I thought that character should have made that other choice"? Well, now you have the chance to determine the onstage action. Thursday, Philly's comedy-centric 1812 Productions launches its 18th season with a presentation that pretty much defines the phrase "interactive theater. " "Intimate Exchanges" by Alan Ayckbourn centers on the relationships of four people, a married-12-years couple and a younger man and woman.
August 15, 2014 |
THE BIG NEWS out of Stu Bykofsky's Candidates Comedy Night last night was the serious news that the amount of money raised in its 24 years has exploded beyond the half-million mark. The exact figure couldn't be computed immediately, but with U.S. Rep. Bob Brady calling out to three donors demanding $500 apiece (and getting it) and an auction of sports memorabilia raking in the bids, the donations rang like a berserk cash register. For instance, an autographed Donovan McNabb jersey, with an autograph that Stu Bykofsky refused to vouch for, went for $1,000.
August 9, 2014 |
A few months ago, Alina John had no idea what she'd be doing this summer. Now, she's spending a week working alongside Broadway professionals. And it's all thanks to the generosity of a group of Mormons. More accurately, a group of actors who play Mormons. John is one of 180 people participating in an intensive summer workshop at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts taught by the Broadway Dreams Foundation. John, 21, of Burlington County, a recent graduate of the University of the Arts, was given a scholarship from the cast of the national tour of The Book of Mormon that allowed her to attend the workshop for the second summer in a row. On Thursday afternoon, a few days before the weeklong workshop will culminate in a performance, John got a chance to meet Josh Daniel, an actor in the current staging of the nine-time Tony-winning musical at the Forrest Theatre.
August 8, 2014 |
"WHAT IF" is "When Harry Met Sally And Dithered. " Daniel Radcliffe is lovelorn single guy Wallace, who meets his soulmate, Chantry (Zoe Kazan) at a party, though she's already deeply attached (to Rafe Spall). They agree to be friends, and we again examine the question of whether a man and a woman can ignore the sparks flying between them and exist as platonic creatures. The answer in "What If" is obviously "no" - every Wallace/Chantry encounter deepens their intimacy and attraction.
August 5, 2014 |
* PARTNERS. 9 and 9:30 tonight, FX. TWO DECADES ago, Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence were playing very different broadcast personalities on very different hit shows. Tonight, the stars of "Frasier" and "Martin" join forces in a new FX sitcom, "Partners," as very different Chicago lawyers. "We sat down in a room about two years ago and just fell in love," Grammer said of the otherwise unromantic-sounding process that led them back to TV. "Partners," which shares a name with at least two previous sitcoms, is the latest cable comedy to be sold on the "10/90" model, in which a network orders 10 episodes, whose ratings performance may trigger an order for 90 more, as it did with Charlie Sheen's "Anger Management.
August 1, 2014 |
"THE BIG BANG THEORY" is reportedly the most popular sitcom in the world. Perhaps the solar system. It's been translated into more languages than Sheldon knows and generated enough revenue to launch Howard into space or get Raj a girlfriend. As it is so popular, the actors want to receive just compensation. At the moment the number being bandied about for just compensation is $1 million per episode, per actor (and it's not as if they were making $8 an episode last year)
August 1, 2014 |
LET'S CUT right to the chase: I am at a loss as to why "The Book of Mormon" is such a box-office phenomenon. The Tony-glomming musical comedy (as it were) from "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker finally landed at the Forrest Theatre, where, earlier this week, it launched a seven-week run. It arrived with the kind of buildup one would expect for the Second Coming (an appropriate reference considering the show's religion-based plot). And I just can't fathom the reason for this.
June 20, 2014 |
WHEN IT COMES to movies about unplanned pregnancies, ultraliberal Hollywood is surprisingly squeamish on the subject of abortion. The most famous example of this is "Knocked Up," about a gorgeous and with-it single woman who decides to go forward with her one-night-stand pregnancy, even though it means trying to make a suitable mate out of unemployed potbellied pothead pornographer Seth Rogen. Alternatives were not considered. The word abortion was not mentioned - one character describes a procedure to terminate the pregnancy as something that rhymes with "smashmortion.
June 18, 2014 |
When it comes to the small screen - the really small screens, of computers, tablets, and mobile devices - Philadelphia has a flourishing scene. At a time when Netflix is going strong with Web-only programs such as Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards , Philadelphia is home to a range of Web-only series, starring or written or produced by Philly folks. Among the local film crews in town, you'll find Lee Porter's My Ruined Life ( MRL ) shooting near a Rittenhouse park bench.
June 3, 2014
I WAS LOOKING for a moniker to hang on this November's election. We've had the Year of the Woman, the Tea Party Revolt, the Year of the Minority, the Year of the Older White Man. (Oh! That's every year. Sorry.) I wanted a catchphrase as I announce the 24th annual Stu Bykofsky Candidates Comedy Night, which will be held Thursday, Aug. 14, at its longtime home, Finnigan's Wake, 3rd and Spring Garden streets. This year Pennsylvanians will elect a governor, and across the commonwealth (and elsewhere)