June 15, 2004
THE SUPREME Court has introduced or popularized many concepts into everyday life: the slippery-slope, separate but equal, the chilling effect. Yesterday the court gave us a new term: The Duck. Definition: Using the slimmest legal reasoning to avoid making a big legal decision. In this case, whether the phrase "under God" belongs in the Pledge of Allegiance. The case is well known: Atheist Michael Newdow sued on behalf of his daughter, saying, quite rightly, that compelling children to utter the phrase is forcing a religious belief on them - a violation of the separation of church and state.
November 1, 1992 |
The court jester (Justin Sweeney) and archbishop (Raymond Humphries) were part of a medieval feast at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Elkins Park last weekend. A five-course meal, singing, dancing, sword play and more were provided for the fund-raiser for preservation of the church.
April 1, 2002 |
Despite Internet hoaxes, bogus magazine items and perennial grade-school shenanigans, April Fool's Day has mostly fallen by the cultural wayside. Yet it has roots in many cultures that reach at least as far back as history goes. Part of its complex pedigree is a fairly direct relationship to the Bill of Rights. April Fool's Day might do better if it were billed as April Freedom Day. Spring festivals of foolery have been common in many cultures since at least the early Greeks. In Europe these festivals featured a "Lord of Misrule," a commoner who took on the trappings of the king or bishop or town mayor for a day. As far back as the 10th century, this inversion of the political order involved elaborate performances that leavened entertainment with social comment.
May 2, 2006 |
Within the first few seconds of the Academy of Vocal Arts' new Rigoletto production, you had to ask yourself how long it had been since this opera had been a truly terrorizing experience. Conductor Christofer Macatsoris made the opera's prelude erupt with all kinds of sordid news - that a profoundly corrupt hunchback court jester would be destroyed while trying to do the right thing, that the truly good would die, and that the truly bad would live. And not once did you think anything that kept you at a distance from the opera - like "Oh, how melodramatic.
November 29, 2012 |
DRAG QUEENS WILL glitz up the next Mummers Parade in Philadelphia. Ten veteran drag performers will join the New Year's Day celebration, each in costumes matching the theme of a Fancy Brigade. "I think it's kind of crazy to be so mainstream now," said Ian Morrison, who handpicked the members of the first "Drag Brigade. " Morrison will participate as his drag alias, Brittany Lynn. He's been performing for 15 years and said that "Philly's come a long way" in terms of LGBT rights.
October 13, 2000 |
Operatic suspense comes in many forms, not the least of which is fearful trepidation of what could go wrong. In its own low-tech way, opera is as complicated as a NASA launch in its marriage of theater and music. Therefore, even when Opera Company of Philadelphia's season-opening Rigoletto was going so well you had to mentally pinch yourself (is this the same company that delivered last spring's workmanlike Tosca and less-than-regal Salome?), you couldn't help wondering when the proverbial other shoe was going to drop.
December 5, 2009 |
'I'm feeling particularly slutty tonight," Stefani Germanotta purred to a sold-out Susquehanna Bank Center on Thursday night. Known to her fans - as well as anyone who's passed within hailing distance of a working radio or TV set in the last year - as Lady Gaga, she arrived with the kind of explosive force that can incinerate artists unprepared for the spotlight. Since the success of her insidious, inescapable single "Poker Face," Gaga has staged a blizzard of reinvention, from sex kitten to bondage queen, as well as what might be a visitor from a far more stylish future.
February 6, 1996 |
For a guy who didn't go anywhere, Donald Hildreth sure had a lot of socks. Hundreds of pairs of them, stuffed in a big duffle bag. Some were brand new, never worn. Had a lot of movie videos, too. Thousands. Stacked on shelves, piled in boxes. Mostly old classics: Bogart, Cagney, Wayne, Marx Brothers. The movie collection was understandable. Nobody can figure out the socks. Strange what you learn about a person after he dies. Donald Underwood Hildreth, 68, was buried last week from St. Rita's Church on South Broad, a few days after suffering a stroke.
December 7, 2007 |
December has just begun, but Daniel Lefler already has what he wants this holiday season. "I'm wearing crushed velvet, and it's awesome," said Lefler, a Haddonfield Memorial High School senior. Not only that, he's getting to wear a jingle hat that tinkles every time he moves his head. For the next few weeks, Lefler will get to publicly cavort with his friends and, best of all, they'll be singing madrigals, a beautiful a cappella musical form with origins in the 16th century.
April 4, 1993 |
Kindergarteners in Connie Campbell's class at the Shipley School visited the Bryn Mawr Post Office recently as part of a social studies unit they have been studying on the community. The unit is designed to help teach young children about the world they live in. With tour guide Bill Coughlin, the students saw how the mail was sorted, stamped and delivered to mail boxes in the post office or sorted for delivery by truck to their house. Erika Acuff and Debbie Singer, both ninth graders at Harriton High School, were accepted into the Futures Program of the National Field Hockey Association.