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Final Curtain

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2011 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
In Bristol Riverside Theatre's production of William Luce's Barrymore , we meet Philly's own John Barrymore, "The Great Profile" - grandfather of Drew, sibling of Lionel and Ethel - a month before his death at 60. He staggers toward the final curtain of a career whose impact on stage and both silent and talking films ( Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , Grand Hotel ) was rivaled only by the self-destructive zeal with which he pursued women and alcohol. Luce's conceit (Barrymore hopes to reprise his Richard III and rents a theater for the night to run lines before an audience)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
NEW YORK - The Metropolitan Opera has always been more a point of arrival than origination for singers - or repertoire such as John Adams' Nixon in China . So let's not get soapbox-y about the fact that this groundbreaking 1987 opera - about Richard Nixon's even more groundbreaking opening of relations with Communist China - only made its Met debut on Wednesday, and be glad that it was heartily embraced rather than suffering the fate of Carlisle Floyd's...
NEWS
February 27, 1989
Some refer to it as the Budget Balancing Ballet. Every day for the past few months, a different troupe of dancers has been practicing pirouettes. Councilman John Street and Mayor Goode perform a pas de deux. Councilman Jim Tayoun performs an arabesque or two. Maestro Bill Donaldson directs the corps de ballet (otherwise known as the Mayor's Tax Policy and Budget Advisory Committee) in the finale of the first act by bringing down the curtain on the mayor's call for tax increases.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
PRINCETON — "It is she who burned the baby!" Only in Verdi operas would such a sordid accusation appear in formal rhetoric, this line being sung in Il Trovatore, where stock characters, outlandish subplots, and well-worn music formulas vie for supremacy onstage. And though none of those elements has any right to win, Opera New Jersey delivered a compelling fusion of vocal art and blood-steeped melodrama at its Sunday opening at the McCarter Theater. But it took a while to get there.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 1999 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Say this for Patrick Marber: He's not afraid of a big symbolic gesture. Closer, his London hit that opened Thursday at the Music Box, consists of 12 scenes performed on a bare stage and divided by blackouts. In each blackout, the furnishings of the previous scene are gathered and dumped upstage. And there they sit, in an ever-growing jumble, as the play proceeds. Because they're often in shadow or veiled by a scrim, you may not really notice them until the curtain call. At that point, however, their parallel to what you've witnessed in the preceding two hours becomes abundantly clear.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 1993 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Never eat at a place called Mom's, and never trust a play with a character named Boy. There's a character named Boy in Tiny Tim Is Dead, the Off-Broadway-bound creation that the Philadelphia Theatre Company is premiering through Jan. 24 at the Plays & Players Theater. He is impersonated by Chris Thomas, an adorable 7-year-old Philadelphian who wanders through the two hours of Barbara Lebow's play without saying a word. That puts him at a decided advantage over his fellow actors, who are asked to pronounce with a straight face such phrases as "ropes of sorrow as long as time.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2007 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
Those savvy enough to have read last Friday's "Joe Sixpack" column found rare sympathy for Sir John Falstaff's boozy excesses. Though some may relate to Shakespeare's lecherous, obese, scheming and completely untrustworthy knight and his rascally crew of knaves, few would admit it. Yet the intensely serious Giuseppe Verdi came out of pastoral retirement at age 79 to write his only mature comedy about Sir John. Verdi, who loved Shakespeare, had become amused by Falstaff's escapades in "Henry IV" (Parts I and II)
NEWS
November 30, 1986 | By Beverly Beyette, Los Angeles Times
The lights dim. Joan Blondell and a bevy of leggy chorines dance on screen at their Busby Berkeley best, toting their laundry baskets and singing about how they adore ironing shirts. The film is Dames and the year is 1934. But this is no mere nostalgia trip. This is the script for the National Organization for Women's 20th birthday party, a commemoration of two decades of the women's movement, a chronicle of battles fought to open the doors of men-only restaurants, to keep the skies friendly for flight attendants over 30 and to de-sex children's toys.
NEWS
April 16, 1989 | By Pamela Pavlik, Special to The Inquirer
This year, Studio Y Players celebrated their bar mitzvah. The 13 years have been marked by unwavering support from the Klein Branch of the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia, years in which Studio Y could boast a paid staff, four productions a year and big crowds. It has been the Northeast's most professional amateur theater troupe. Next season, however, the troupe will be cut back, and Studio Y will appear in a reduced form. The Klein Branch says that it can no longer pump money into the group, which has always operated with at least a $25,000-a-year deficit.
LIVING
November 17, 1994 | By Howard Goodman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Very little that winter could lift Abbie Hoffman from his depression, and springtime brought no respite. On Monday, April 10, his younger brother, Jack, called with news about their mother's lymphoma. It had entered a grave stage. The doctors warned she might live no more than 30 days. Abbie listened, too quiet. "You can't leave me now," Jack said desperately. "You're the patriarch. " "Well," Abbie finally said, "maybe it's time you took charge. " They hung up. Jack occupied himself with business in his Framingham, Mass.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
PRINCETON — "It is she who burned the baby!" Only in Verdi operas would such a sordid accusation appear in formal rhetoric, this line being sung in Il Trovatore, where stock characters, outlandish subplots, and well-worn music formulas vie for supremacy onstage. And though none of those elements has any right to win, Opera New Jersey delivered a compelling fusion of vocal art and blood-steeped melodrama at its Sunday opening at the McCarter Theater. But it took a while to get there.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2011 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
In Bristol Riverside Theatre's production of William Luce's Barrymore , we meet Philly's own John Barrymore, "The Great Profile" - grandfather of Drew, sibling of Lionel and Ethel - a month before his death at 60. He staggers toward the final curtain of a career whose impact on stage and both silent and talking films ( Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , Grand Hotel ) was rivaled only by the self-destructive zeal with which he pursued women and alcohol. Luce's conceit (Barrymore hopes to reprise his Richard III and rents a theater for the night to run lines before an audience)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
NEW YORK - The Metropolitan Opera has always been more a point of arrival than origination for singers - or repertoire such as John Adams' Nixon in China . So let's not get soapbox-y about the fact that this groundbreaking 1987 opera - about Richard Nixon's even more groundbreaking opening of relations with Communist China - only made its Met debut on Wednesday, and be glad that it was heartily embraced rather than suffering the fate of Carlisle Floyd's...
NEWS
April 1, 2008 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Growing old gracefully is one thing, but growing old artfully is the idea that propels the four-person Quartet, in a charming, cheery production at the Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 3. It's set in Britain, in a country house for retired musical artists, mostly charity cases. Three of them were opera singers, good enough to have performed on a decades-old recording of Verdi's Rigoletto, just rereleased. The newest resident was the fourth star of that production - now down on her luck, retired for decades yet still commanding an ovation when she enters a theater.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2007 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
Those savvy enough to have read last Friday's "Joe Sixpack" column found rare sympathy for Sir John Falstaff's boozy excesses. Though some may relate to Shakespeare's lecherous, obese, scheming and completely untrustworthy knight and his rascally crew of knaves, few would admit it. Yet the intensely serious Giuseppe Verdi came out of pastoral retirement at age 79 to write his only mature comedy about Sir John. Verdi, who loved Shakespeare, had become amused by Falstaff's escapades in "Henry IV" (Parts I and II)
NEWS
May 16, 2002 | By Kaitlin Gurney INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
When Rowan University announced it would close its well-loved Glassboro Center for the Arts in March, the campus and community responded in an uproar. Professors said they would stage sit-ins. Students and borough residents began circulating petitions. Rowan president Donald Farish was bombarded with letters. Yet only six tickets - for a 900-seat theater - have been sold for the center's Saturday matinee swan song. Cookies and juice ordered for a postshow reception may go uneaten.
NEWS
January 27, 2000 | by Jay Ambrose
President Clinton, now in the last year of his presidency, says he wants to make every day count, and so far there is a lot of counting to do, amounting to billions upon billions of dollars. Whenever the president blinks, it seems, there is a new program proposal, each one more expensive than its predecessor, until at last it begins to seem as if something has gone haywire, like a broken slot machine that keeps spewing out coins. What all the proposals are leading up to, of course, is tonight's State of the Union speech, in which Clinton will put all these pieces together in a plan that won't be just any old plan.
NEWS
January 27, 2000 | Scripps Howard News Service
Maybe Alan Greenspan should give the State of the Union address. He, unlike the man who actually will be giving the speech this evening, is no lame duck. He's embarking on a new four-year term. As chairman of the Federal Reserve, he unarguably deserves credit for sustaining the longest U.S. economic expansion while President Clinton's contributions are more dubious. Nor has Greenspan ever been impeached for his conduct in office. Nonetheless, it is Clinton who will stand before a joint session of Congress and deliver his last State of the Union address.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 1999 | By Clifford A. Ridley, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Say this for Patrick Marber: He's not afraid of a big symbolic gesture. Closer, his London hit that opened Thursday at the Music Box, consists of 12 scenes performed on a bare stage and divided by blackouts. In each blackout, the furnishings of the previous scene are gathered and dumped upstage. And there they sit, in an ever-growing jumble, as the play proceeds. Because they're often in shadow or veiled by a scrim, you may not really notice them until the curtain call. At that point, however, their parallel to what you've witnessed in the preceding two hours becomes abundantly clear.
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