May 21, 2015 |
Who says teenagers don't pay attention to the news? One recent day, students in Nicole McNally's high school world history class were acing their weekly current events quiz. Sports? Entertainment? Popular culture? No problem for this brainstorming team. "Great job, guys," McNally said. And it was, but for more reasons than getting kids to check out the news of the week. These students all attend the Y.A.L.E. School in Cherry Hill for children with social learning disabilities in grades one through 12. For the last several weeks, classes in both the middle and high schools have been competing in a weekly current events challenge.
March 23, 2015 |
On the epic finale of Empire , record mogul Lucious Lyon announced that performers - including Patti LaBelle, Rita Ora, and Snoop Dogg - would donate a percentage of their fees from a benefit concert to Black Lives Matter. It was another example of how - in the shadow of the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers, particularly in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y. - current events have seeped into prime time. Television shows often exist in a world in which current events rarely have an effect on the plots.
May 3, 2014 |
Should anybody be surprised that some of Philadelphia's better actors find their way out of the dense thickets of, say, The Three Sisters , and into the reckless satire of This Is the Week That Is (2014)? The work may be harder in the heady succession of comedy sketches and songs in this show by 1812 Productions, but it's so much fun actors can be caught laughing at one another as much as Wednesday's opening audience laughed at them. Written and performed by Jennifer Childs, Scott Greer, Dave Jadico, Aime Kelly, and Alex Bechtel, the show casually slides into its stride by sending up subscription-renewal speeches (it's that season)
April 18, 2014
IF THE "Daily Show," "The Colbert Report" and late-night gabfest monologues still don't quench your thirst for political and pop culture satire, you're in luck. Thursday, the jolly jokesters at 1812 Productions will raise the curtain on their latest edition of "That Is the Week That Is. " The plucked-from-the-headlines comedy revue runs through June 1 at Center City's Plays and Players Theatre. For the uninitiated, the 7-year-old "TITWTI" is inspired by the early-1960s TV show, "That Was the Week That Was," the granddaddy of everything from the "Weekend Update" segment on "Saturday Night Live" to current programs hosted by the likes of Jon Stewart and Bill Maher . "It's a political satire show based on current events," explained Don Montrey , the show's writer.
March 23, 2014 |
The timing could not have been predicted or contrived. Just as Russian/American relations veer toward breakdown over the annexation of Crimea, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presented a concert of Sergei Prokofiev's three so-called War Sonatas - Nos. 6-8, Opp 82-84 - a surprisingly overt reaction to Stalin's purges of the 1940s, played by a pianist with a certain family history of Russian persecution, Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Whatever the influence of current events on Solzhenitsyn's performance Thursday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, the impact on the audience was immeasurable.
March 18, 2014 |
DAVID BRENNER was a West Philly corner kid who made good. In many ways, he never stopped being a West Philly corner kid. Whenever he returned from comedy tours and TV appearances, David always wanted to be taken to the old neighborhoods where he grew up. He remembered hangouts like Moe's, Golub's Market, Barson's and Phil's luncheonette. He could recite the menu from long-gone Fireman's at 52nd and Baltimore, where you could get a full-course meal for $1.75. And the characters he hung out with: Bird, Stan the Dancer, Beans, Needles, Goobie.
February 13, 2013 |
JUANITA G. HALL had a lonely childhood, and she grew up yearning for a large family with happy descendants gathered together for mutual comfort and caring. She got her wish. She had eight children, who went on to have 30 grandchildren and more than 30 great- and great-great-grandchildren - five generations of love. And Juanita, the lonely child from Georgia, was the proud matriarch. "I never wanted my children to be lonely growing up the way I was as a child," she would say. Juanita Hall, a political junkie who liked to keep up with current events, a spectacular cook in the Southern tradition and a woman whose primary focus was always on caring for her family, died Thursday of complications of a stroke.
January 25, 2013 |
Question: My 20-year-old college daughter announced this week that she was seeing someone. She said her name was (blank) and that's all I can recall. She has never had a relationship with a boy, or a girl for that matter, so this is a complete shock. We love her completely and want to react with compassion and support, but I just don't know what to make of it. Is it for real or merely reaching out to someone caring at a challenging time of her life? I feel like I've been traded to a team I never wanted to play for. I am already reacting differently to anti-gay slurs in the media and articles about the Supreme Court and gay marriage.
December 2, 2011 |
The opening-night audience - longtime fans of 1812's annual news-and-views send-up This Is the Week That Is - cheers to see Patsy (Jen Childs) back in South Philly, wearing her pink Eagles sweatshirt, giving Washington a piece of her mind. When she announces that 1812 Productions is the only company devoted to comedy in the whole country, she offers an aside, "I know, I know. Can yez stand it?" All the expectable, mockable suspects are rounded up for our amusement: the Republican presidential candidates, the Occupiers, Greece, superheroes, the Republican presidential candidates, President Obama, Michelle Obama, Wall Street bankers, spin doctors, the Republican presidential candidates, Harvard professors, newscasters, television talk shows, and, wait, did I mention Republican presidential candidates?
July 30, 2010
TO COLUMNIST Fatimah Ali: If you really listened to Rush and Glenn Beck, you'd know they aren't trying to make a class distinction between the poor and unemployed and the middle and upper classes. Their concern is where we'll get the money to fund the extension of unemployment. When you take on the tea party people (those angry racists that threaten your worldview), would you dare believe that they might be just concerned people like me who perhaps don't agree with the direction our country is taking?