March 28, 2015 |
The Lantern Theater Company's current production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew is so fresh, funny, and full of life that nothing in it offends. Were it not for K.O. DelMarcelle's winking tango choreography and some strong performances, this Shrew would almost bore with its innocent mirth. In Taming of the Shrew , the Bard's title refers to Katherine (Joanna Liao), a fire-tongued scold (the script refers to her as much worse), whose nasty attitude terrorizes the townsfolk of Padua, in northern Italy.
March 28, 2015 |
Remember Baby's thrilling run and Johnny's spectacular lift at the end of the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing ? Well, onstage, in this national touring production at the Academy of Music, there's no run and not much thrill. It's more like dusty dancing than dirty dancing, as the sexy electricity has been replaced with nostalgia. Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter for the film, wrote the book for this musical, which is faithful to the original (according to my companion for the evening, a fan of the movie who knows all the songs and most of the lines and who met her first husband back in the day at Grossinger's, a Catskills resort much like the Kellerman's of the show)
March 27, 2015 |
The concept, one imagines, inspired not a few raised eyebrows: Shakespeare plus tango. Intriguing, no? Or merely perplexing? So was born the Lantern Theater Company's current production of The Taming of the Shrew , which runs through May 3. The romantic comedy, written between 1590 and 1592, is a sometimes heartwarming, sometimes caustic take on the battle of the sexes, set in the Italian city state of Padua, and here updated to the 1930s....
March 25, 2015 |
The annual "Shut Up & Dance" show gives the dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet a chance to stretch their wings, to do something new, to play. At this year's performance, Saturday at the Forrest Theater, some tried their hand at choreography, while others danced front and center for a change. They and some of their friends in the dance community were there to raise money for the nonprofit Manna - which delivers free meals to those with life-threatening illnesses - while doing what they do best.
March 22, 2015 |
What made Jessica Lang Dance's debut in Dance Celebration at Annenberg Center for the Arts on Thursday night - Philadelphia's introduction to the troupe - such a pleasurable surprise was the range of the six works on Lang's artfully planned program. She's the Bucks County girl who made good choreographing for companies around the world and is now a Bessie Award-winning choreographer in New York. Lang set a masterful table with the first Mondrian-inspired piece, "Lines Cubed," and as tastes of the variety of her choreography, offered five more delectable courses.
March 20, 2015
THINK OF "Dirty Dancing," and it's likely the first thought conjured is of "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," the hearts-take-flight duet sung by Bill Medley (of The Righteous Brothers) and Jennifer Warnes that is the signature tune from the small-budget 1987 flick that today stands as a pop-culture totem of the Reagan administration era. But the Oscar-and-Grammy-winning song's lyricist is far too modest to claim sole responsibility for the success of the film whose stage version hits the Academy of Music Tuesday for a 13-night, 16-performance run. "For me, it's more than just the movie and just the song," offered Franke Previte (pronounced PREV-it)
March 20, 2015 |
It takes years for Tony Award-winning shows to make it from Broadway to Philadelphia. But Jessica Lang earned a Bessie Award - the dance equivalent of a Tony - in October, and her work is opening at the Annenberg Center on Thursday. Randy Swartz is thrilled. "We want to see the work she did last year in New York that won her that Bessie, and that's what we're bringing to Philadelphia audiences," says Swartz, the artistic director of Dance Celebration, which is presenting Jessica Lang Dance.
March 16, 2015 |
For more than 50 years, Patti LaBelle, the pride of Southwest Philadelphia, has owned center stage, effortlessly blowing her audiences away with vocal highs in "New Attitude" and "Over the Rainbow" and sultry, soul-stirring lows in "Little Girls" and "You Are My Friend. " But starting Monday at 8 p.m., the soul-music icon will embark on a new endeavor that, she admits, has her shaking in her stilettos. LaBelle will compete in the 20th season of ABC's hit show Dancing With the Stars . Her partner, Artem Chigvintsev, might have a hard time keeping up with LaBelle.
March 13, 2015 |
He would be in town for only two weeks. That meant that area students of Indian classical dance had less than 14 days to be taught by the 79-year-old master. So they came from miles away, ages 5 to 55, to learn a 2,000-year-old dance under the instructive eye of C.V. Chandrasekhar of Chennai, India. "Never try to slide your feet," advised the dancer and choreographer as he demonstrated a graceful hop. "Jump, and you'll be able to find your position. " Chandrasekhar, a scholar and interpreter of Indian classical dance, taught the students Saturday at a studio at a Wayne shopping center during an exclusive U.S. engagement that will culminate in a performance at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia.
March 10, 2015 |
New Jersey's public-sector unions don't particularly trust Gov. Christie: He has twice underfunded their pension system since he signed a law in 2011 obligating the state to contribute more, and last month he again proposed a payment that falls short of what's required by statute. So to Statehouse observers, the participation of the state's largest teachers' union in private talks with a commission the governor had tasked with proposing changes to public employee benefits marked a significant development.