July 25, 2012 |
The only thing I hate about Bruce Graham's new play, Mr. Hart & Mr. Brown , is that I can't really tell you much about it without giving away its several surprises. And if you see it at People's Light & Theatre Company, where it's getting a remarkable world premiere and is an engrossing story for a summer's night, you shouldn't, either. Let everyone be as pleasantly surprised as you'll be. Graham, the prolific Philadelphia-based playwright who gets better with each new work, takes Mr. Hart & Mr. Brown straight from a footnote to American history - like many footnotes, quirky and hard-to-believe and about a character well-known for a time and now completely faded from the national psyche.
May 12, 2012 |
Back in the '80s, the sole purpose of outdoor fabrics was to be utilitarian. As for looks, their green and cream stripes seemed more like a government-issue uniform than a designer statement. But when the outdoor-fabric brand Sunbrella started creating better designs, its manufacturer noticed something: Employees, the kind with kids and dogs, started using the fabrics in their living rooms. That was 15 years ago. Once the company made prioritizing design a goal, in the same way it had with technology, sales exploded.
April 6, 2012 |
This weekend, the Quintessence Theatre Group of Mount Airy presents a recitation of Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis," a poetic dialogue in which Venus beckons the young huntsman to consummate their affair. Adonis demurs, raising the tension in what is considered Shakespeare's most erotic poem. Actors will play the couple and narrator, making this more of a full-bodied theatrical piece. In keeping with Elizabethan tradition, there are no sets, the better to emphasize the language and actors.
April 1, 2012 |
When the Fabric Workshop and Museum moved to Arch Street to make way for the expansion of the Convention Center, it gained some cavernous, loftlike spaces on the upper floors of its building that lend themselves to monumental installation projects. In the current art climate, there seem to be many artists who like to work this way. But how many can effectively fill a shoebox-proportioned room that's 130 feet long? Pae White can and does, with a mesmerizing construction of red yarn called Summer XX. White is one of three Los Angeles artists being featured at the Workshop through late spring.
February 9, 2012 |
PASSED DOWN by descendants of the nation's first first lady, a 5-by-9-inch swatch of silk brocade from one of Martha Washington's dresses ended up with family friend Alden Freeman. In 1932, he gave it as a gift to Nan Britton, a woman involved in the first publicized presidential sex scandal. And now you can claim the fabric as your own. Yesterday, it was offered for sale for $40,000 by the Philly-based Raab Collection, which has it in a vault. It may be the only Martha Washington dress snippet ever put on the market.
January 6, 2012 |
Cheerful chic is what you can expect to see settling into furniture showrooms this spring. Manufacturers at the International Fall Furniture Market in High Point, N.C., found a variety of ways to inject buoyancy and a certain savoir-faire into chairs and chests, settees, sideboards and more with color, pattern, and texture. This desire to delight manifested in fabrics and forms from upholstery to case-goods. Century Furniture dressed its Dover rectangular ottoman in a Missoni-inspired fabric.
December 4, 2011 |
In some ways, the furniture-design exhibit at Philadelphia University's Paul J. Gutman Library couldn't be more commonplace. But that's exactly the point, says Gotz Unger, founding director of the university's industrial-design program. The exhibit features a simple-yet-functional, white, two-seater sofa, no frills. Nearby are a few chairs that look like seats that could be found in any office, along with a modern, plain, unadorned table - all very ordinary. Yet, they speak to the transformation in office design created by a young architect and her businessman husband, Florence and Hans Knoll, Unger said.
November 29, 2011 |
WITH THE Eagles playing again Thursday at Seattle, reporters aren't going to get to talk to Marty Mornhinweg this week, until after the game. The usual weekly press conferences with the coordinators aren't being held. So by the time we get a chance to ask Marty about his dustup on the sideline with defensive-line coach Jim Washburn during Sunday's crushing loss to the Patriots, it will be very old news. But the fact that two of Andy Reid's coaches had to be separated during the first half of a game, and were said to be still jawing as they came onto the field for the second half, will become part of the lore of a lost 2011 season.
October 16, 2011 |
More misadventures in home makeover, this time with curtains. You may recall that two years ago I painted my family room myself, on a Type A tear, but I took the Scottoline route. By which I mean, I took shortcuts. Lots of them. I painted around pictures rather than removing them, and the paint only reached 5 feet, 6 inches up the wall, which is my height plus my arm length, minus a ladder, which I don't own. This would be the mathematical formula for do-it-yourself wainscoting.