February 19, 2014 |
CHERRY HILL During the 1940s, they were next-door neighbors in South Philly's Tasker Homes. "We were poor," Joan Brand, 71, recalls with a smile. "To save the eight cents," says her friend Estelle Mazis, 85, "I walked instead of taking the trolley car. " Their families eventually were able to move out of public housing. Brand and Mazis graduated from high school, married, and began their careers. And both eventually settled in Cherry Hill. But ever since Mazis became Brand's babysitter at Tasker Homes - "I remember you were learning to walk," Mazis says - their lives have been intertwined, their connections ever more intricate.
February 18, 2014 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A.J. Burnett drove his Dodge truck for 16 hours, and Saturday bled into Sunday morning. He stowed his 20-foot Nitro Z-9 fishing boat beyond the center-field wall at Bright House Field. The Phillies were stretching when Burnett, a $16 million infusion to the franchise's most expensive team ever, appeared at 9:55 a.m. The 37-year-old pitcher raised his black Pittsburgh Pirates bag as a greeting. "That's the wrong bag!" a new teammate yelled. Later, Burnett explained that he was four days tardy because he could not make a decision.
December 26, 2013 |
Hello there There was that woman again, showing off the goodies in the Casani Candy Co. booth at the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift and Gourmet Show. Casani owner Jack Lee's assistant had watched her show after show. "She comes in and writes everything down, but Jack, I never see any orders from her," she told her boss one day in 1981. "We'll have to look into this," Jack said. At the next show, there was Pat again. "Can I ask what you're doing?" asked Jack. "I'm showing my customers some of the lines that I carry," Pat said.
December 21, 2013 |
As writer, singer, and bandleader, Jack Terricloth has fronted the ever-changing membership of the World/Inferno Friendship Society, a band that features a percussive cabaret-punk sound, and a penchant for tall tales that combine high-mindedness and satire. They play Friday at Union Transfer. Since the W/IFS' 1997 album The True Story of the Bridgewater Astral League , Terricloth and company (as many as 30 musicians have ebbed and flowed, in, out, in), sometimes the mood has changed (gospel sounds have found their way into the mix)
December 12, 2013 |
In order to like or identify with a character, you have to feel sympathy for his plight. Take George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life . Whatever you may think of his stand against the Mr. Potters of the world, the movie hinges on whether an audience indulges his moment of self-pity on the bridge before he jumps. I mention Bailey because I have never felt sympathy for him and because The Story of My Life , now receiving an emotionally potent production at Delaware Theatre Company, borrows heavily from Frank Capra's film, if to ultimately different effect.
November 27, 2013 |
Amos Lee is Philadelphia's finest export when it comes to honeyed, funky folk-soul music. He's been recording albums since 2004 - each better than the last, with this year's Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song continuing the tradition with a grainy, country-blues lean. He's also toured the world both as a headliner and an opener for the likes of Norah Jones and Bob Dylan. So much is well known. Less so is the role friendship plays in the way Lee writes, tours, and forms his bands - especially his longtime friendship and musical blendship with fellow Philadelphian solo artist, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Mutlu Onaral.
November 1, 2013 |
Jeff Millman touched many people's lives during a half-century of service to the 76ers. Many of the greatest names in franchise history returned to honor him Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center against the Miami Heat. Among the former Sixers on hand were Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Moses Malone, Billy Cunningham, Bobby Jones, Darryl Dawkins, and Doug Collins. In a pregame ceremony, the Sixers dedicated their locker room to Millman, a longtime equipment manager who had several jobs with the team over the years.
October 7, 2013 |
The Facebook message from the stranger was cryptic: I've been searching for you. I'll understand if you don't want to talk to me. Perhaps it was an old friend, Rhonda Gibson figured as she read and reread it. She messaged back. Gibson was startled to read Latonya McGorder's reply. McGorder said she was the mother of one of 10 people involved in a savage gang beating that left Gibson's surrogate son, Michael Hawkins, bloodied and dead in Camden. McGorder said she was grieving not just for her only son, Lance Fulton, 23, sentenced to a 25-year prison term in the attack, but for the victim as well.
October 2, 2013 |
The second act of the career of comedian Gilda Radner (1946-1989) is longer than the first - and growing. Her legacy continues in Philadelphia. Bunny Bunny , written by quondam Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel, is at Indepedence Studio on 3 at the Walnut Street Theatre through Oct. 27. It's staged by 1812 Productions, long dedicated to the traditions of American comedy. Written in 1997, the play was given its world premiere by the Philadelphia Theatre Company. It celebrates the friendship between Radner - she of the famed "freshman class" of SNL , 1975-1980 - and Zweibel, show writer and fellow freshperson.
September 2, 2013 |
In Closed Circuit , Rebecca Hall goes down a rabbit hole: secret courts, clandestine government agencies, surveillance, spying. The British thriller, in which she and Eric Bana are on the case of a suspected terrorist charged in a London bombing, is one of those ripped-from-the-headines affairs. "At the time, I thought it was on-point and topical, but it seems to be getting more so every day," says Hall, who plays a special advocate appointed to a closed courtroom trial, there to weigh the interests of the accused against those of the state.