February 7, 2016
1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1): An all-Rachmaninoff concert. Tenor Viktor Antipenko and the Westminster Symphonic Choir under guest conductor Vladimir Jurowski join the Philadelphia Orchestra in Rachmaminoff's The Bells , based on the Edgar Allan Poe masterwork. Plus songs and more.
December 29, 2014 |
George D. Murphy, 85, a retired English professor at Villanova University, died Monday, Dec. 22, of pulmonary complications at Roxborough Memorial Hospital. Known for his wit and stylish dress, Mr. Murphy began teaching at the Catholic university on the Main Line in 1954 and retired 46 years later, in 2000. But he kept his hand in teaching, offering literature classes to fellow retirees at Cathedral Village in Philadelphia, the retirement community where he lived. "He was very engaging," said daughter Karen Murphy Cain.
January 25, 2014 |
If an 11-year old Stephen King (or Edgar Allan Poe) had written child versions of their adult horrors for grade-school assignments, they'd no doubt receive suspensions, if not arrests, in today's educational climate. Especially if a classmate died as a result. This idea - and the debate about childhood innocence - lies at the heart of Interact's intense, captivating production of Johnna Adams' Gidion's Knot . It's fair game, after all; little boys have recently gotten expelled, sued, or arrested for kissing girls on the cheek, calling names, and making the shape of a gun with their fingers.
January 22, 2013
* THE FOLLOWING. 9 p.m. Monday, Fox 29. EDGAR ALLAN POE has some 'splainin' to do. Women (and not a few men) will be dying on Fox starting Monday, and Poe will be there - in spirit, at least - to put a literary gloss on the horror. Not that you have to know much more than the refrain of Poe's "The Raven" to keep up with "The Following," the blood-spattered thriller that marks Kevin Bacon's entry into prime-time TV. Bacon stars as former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, who in Monday's premiere is called in to help the agency track a death row escapee whom Ryan brought to justice 10 years earlier.
January 20, 2013 |
The season's most gripping new series, The Following , debuts Monday night (9 p.m. on Fox29). I'd advise you not to watch. The show stars Kevin Bacon as the hunter - and foil - of a terrifying serial killer. It marks the first time a network series has attained sustained cinematic quality. But that accomplishment is a nasty double-edged sword. The pilot rivals anything you'll see at the cineplex in terms of acting, surprise, and suspense. You will go into each commercial break with your heart in your throat.
January 18, 2013
THE 1966 film "Daisies," directed by Vera Chytilova, created quite the stir with its vivid surrealist imagery, nonlinear plot and feminist message. The film follows two mischievous women, both named Marie, who repeatedly defy authority. Banned from theaters by the Communist party of the time, the film comes from a place of political turbulence. It's an anarchist statement that, in some ways, transmits the political attitude of the Czechoslovakian people in the late '60s. International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St., 7 p.m., Friday, $7-$9, 215-387-5125, ihousephilly.org.
October 20, 2012 |
You wouldn't know from a reading of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination that his dead wife showed up on stilts to dance with him one night. You wouldn't suspect from the richness of his poetry and short stories that Poe and his family were starved for calories for much of their lives. And you wouldn't guess from the bitter obituary written by his literary executor and rival Rufus Griswold - who claimed that Poe "had few or no friends" and that few would grieve for him - that his reading public not only adored Poe, but would soon elevate him to the status of dark literary god. Nothing about Poe seems obvious: not the literary squabbles that cost him the support and admiration of people who could have furthered his career; not the scandals surrounding his flirtations with drugs, booze, and married women; not even the details of his mysterious death in a Baltimore hospital.
September 11, 2012
In my imagination, Edgar Allan Poe as a person is much the same as he's portrayed in the striking and beautifully staged Red-Eye to Havre de Grace : dark in mood, deliberate in tempo, flashing with brilliance, often broke and confused, routinely drunk. He is, in a strange sense, larger than life because he lives with a mental abandon that puts him at constant risk. That's probably one reason we don't know the details of his death, although some documentation exists about his last days on a lecture tour, many of them spent on trains and one of them in Philadelphia, where he once lived.
April 27, 2012 |
The Raven opens with Edgar Allan Poe near death on a Baltimore park bench, which conforms to what historians know about the writer's final moments. Circumstances surrounding Poe's death remain a mystery, but The Raven offers its version - we see that not long before, Poe had been trying to get money out of a newspaper publisher, which would kill just about anybody. Poe, as we learn in The Raven, was not just the genius inventor of the detective story, the proto-Goth poet, nor the swooning balladeer to the departed.
April 27, 2012 |
THE BEST THING about the new thriller "The Raven" is John Cusack's amped-up performance as Edgar Allan Poe. Cusack lost 30 pounds and pushed himself to the point of exhaustion to play Poe, a sometime action figure in "The Raven" who gallops on horseback through the fog and shoots guns. Cusack, however, said the really taxing aspect of the role was trying to achieve Poe's famously agitated mental state. "He was a starving writer and a pretty serious alcoholic, so I thought it was correct for him to be very lean and working on the edge.