August 20, 2015
ACTRESS-SINGER Sheryl Lee Ralph was a co-star in the original production of "Dreamgirls" on Broadway and alarmed about the health of some of her friends. It was the 1980s and Ralph knew of male dancers who developed painful neuropathy that prevented them from performing. Others were marked with strange, purple lesions and later died from what was thought to be a "gay men's cancer. " Back then, as researchers tried to figure out what was going on, the disease was marked by intense stigma and shame.
August 17, 2015 |
Philly tried, but it couldn't stay mad at Erykah Badu for long. When fans from the postponed show Thursday - Badu was a no-show, reportedly because of plane problems - arrived at the Dell Music Center, they walked to their seats with various attitudes. There was the "I had this ticket and was still available" stance, the "I had to call the babysitter again " walk, and the "this is the same outfit from yesterday" strut. Near the 8 p.m. start time, many of the seats weren't filled, sending a clear message: Badu was now on Philly's time.
August 15, 2015 |
Iconic neo-soul songstress Erykah Badu didn't make it to the Dell Music Center Thursday, to the disappointment of about 6,000 Philly fans. The reason given was flight difficulties. Badu tweeted her apologies and said she would play the Dell Friday night. 215 ILLADELPHI I've never missed a show in 18 years. I know how you guys must feel... Send prayers. I will be there tomorrow. Forgive me. — ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) August 14, 2015 Patty Jackson of WDAS made the announcement and didn't mince words about Badu's absence, calling it "dumb" and "disrespectful" to Philly fans.
July 12, 2015 |
If it were anyone else taking on the winds, rain, and lightning of Thursday night for an outdoors show, the first of the summer season at Dell Music Center, it would have been a washout. This, however, was Patti LaBelle, Philadelphia's first lady of R&B, who is still going strong at 71, 52 years into her career. The opening act was supposed to be local trombonist Jeff Bradshaw's large band, featuring Najee and Kenny Lattimore, but they did not play. LaBelle came on early at 9:45 p.m. and proceeded to warm the chilly audience with a piercing, nuanced voice that raged and seduced.
July 8, 2015
PHILLY'S OWN Patti LaBelle recently wowed audiences with a surprise performance on the BET Awards. Earlier this year, the music legend competed on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and also made a guest appearance on the season finale of the Fox hit "Empire. " She told me yesterday that the key to staying young in spirit even at age 71 is to keep trying new things, which is why she took a chance at competing on a dance show. "It was, like, I did something that I had said 'no' to for years," LaBelle said.
July 1, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Elena Delle Donne, pride of Delaware, hit a new frontier, scoring 45 points last week for the Chicago Sky. It was her second 40-point game of the young WNBA season. Delle Donne got plenty of online shout-outs, but not everything was congratulatory. Somebody working for the Sky had the inspired idea of having Delle Donne read some mean posts on Twitter about her big-time game. First, in the reaction piece filmed by the Sky, Delle Donne noted that the SportsCenter tweet itself about her game spelled "Della wrong," then she got to the reaction tweets, the first noting they would "rather watch professional lawn mowing.
January 17, 2015 |
NEWARK, Del. - One of the most popular members of the 76ers' minor-league team, the Delaware 87ers, won't be taking the court but hopes to make an impact. Elena Delle Donne, one of the top players in the WNBA and a Delaware resident and University of Delaware graduate, has been hired this season as an ambassador for the team, known as the Sevens. The 6-foot-5 Delle Donne figures to be a candidate to earn a berth on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. This is her offseason; the WNBA doesn't begin its season until the first week of June.
September 10, 2014 |
As symptoms kept piling up, Elena Delle Donne couldn't help but think where they might lead. "I was doubting my career - doubting whether I could be a professional athlete," Delle Donne said over the phone on Saturday. Yes, Delle Donne's current back troubles, which kept her out of the second half of Sunday's Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, are tough stuff. Would she even be trying to play if the stakes weren't so high? Back spasms, however, aren't close to the toughest obstacle Delle Donne has dealt with this season.
August 22, 2014 |
UNTIL an unfortunate shooting outside Dell Music Center last week at a rap concert, things had been looking totally rosy at the Fairmount Park venue this summer. Four out of the five Essence of Entertainment concerts so far have been sellouts (5,284 seats plus 600 lawn seats). The fifth (July 24, Roberta Flack/Peabo Bryson) pulled a respectable 4,000 patrons. A recent (Aug. 1) gospel show top billed by Mary Mary sold twice as many tickets as in prior years. Overall, ticket sales at the Dell have doubled this year, and for the first time in memory patrons attempting to buy tickets the day of show have been turned away.
August 16, 2014 |
Police have identified the 20-year-old man killed outside a concert to promote peace at the Dell Music Center on Wednesday night. Alexis Guevara of Frankford was outside the venue at 8:37 p.m. when he was shot twice by an unknown man, Lt. Norman Davenport said. He was pronounced dead the next morning at 10:18. The concert venue was hosting a show called "Philly Support Philly: Peace on the Streets. " It was unclear whether Guevara had been attending the show, police said. Davenport said police hadn't yet determined a motive in the shooting.