May 23, 2016 |
NEW YORK - Tucked into the usual Broadway Playbill for the new hit Shuffle Along at the Music Box Theatre is something that's not the typical size or color: a sepia replica of the show's original 1921 program from the long-demolished 63rd Street Music Hall, evidence of the distant world from which the show comes. Known as the first African American megahit, the 1921 version of Shuffle Along made the careers of songwriters Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle and helped launch Florence Mills, Adelaide Hall, and Josephine Baker.
May 22, 2016
LaRose By Louise Erdrich Harper. 384 pp. $27.99 Reviewed by Michael Broida Out hunting along the blurred line of reservation land in rural North Dakota, Landreaux takes aim at a buck. By the time he realizes his mistake, it is too late: He has mistakenly killed Dusty, his neighbor's son. Landreaux and his wife, Emmaline, take an old form of justice to their neighbors, Peter and Nola, who is Emmaline's half-sister: "Our son will be your son now. " It is the giving of this boy, LaRose, that forms the solemn linchpin of Louise Erdrich's new novel, LaRose . The tragedy that connects these two families is at once singular and deeply historical, as Erdrich weaves in the history of a land and an Ojibwe people at once divided by tragedy yet unified in their love and adoration for the boy LaRose.
May 21, 2016 |
Over the roar of a backhoe and the shriek of power tools, archaeologist Rebecca Yamin stood on the edge of a dusty pit and examined what was left of the western wall of the Van Dyke Building, which stood at Third and Chestnut Streets in the middle of the 19th century. It was the last piece of a puzzle in four dimensions - mapping the site of the Museum of the American Revolution over more than 250 years. "The philosophy behind this work is, if you're going to destroy a site that's historic, we map all the features so at least there is a record," said Yamin, of the Commonwealth Heritage Group in West Chester.
May 17, 2016 |
If you missed this brilliant theatrical commentary on contemporary race relations during last year's Fringe Festival (as I did), don't make the same mistake twice. Underground Railroad Game , reprised at FringeArts - created and performed by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott Sheppard - is both wildly entertaining and profoundly troubling. We, the audience, are cast as middle schoolers; we are about to begin a new thematic unit on the Civil War. Our two teachers have teamed up to make history come alive with the "Underground Railroad Game," whereby little black dolls are hidden in various spots around the school, and students, divided between the Union Army and the Confederate Army, have to transport the dolls to safe houses or else capture them.
May 16, 2016 |
When George B. McLaughlin was a student at a small college in North Carolina in the early 1960s, he knew how to share his music. "He was a DJ on the college radio station for two years," his wife, Maryann, said. And although what is now Pfeiffer University was affiliated with the United Methodist Church, his program was named George's Orgy. In the school's town of Misenheimer, even as the Beatles were beginning their tidal wave, Mr. McLaughlin showcased his favorite: Elvis Presley.
May 5, 2016 |
Before the mid-'70s, a psychiatrist would have been mad to admit he was gay. Quite literally. At the time, homosexuality was listed as a mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . Philadelphia psychiatrist John Ercel Fryer, however, did just that in 1972 - and of all places at the American Psychiatric Association's annual conference in Dallas. "I am a homosexual. I am a psychiatrist," he said, opening a now-famous speech. To protect himself - he already had lost a job at the University of Pennsylvania because he was gay - he wore a rubber Halloween mask, calling himself Dr. H. Anonymous.
April 29, 2016 |
A year ago, Carson Wentz, a tall, strong-armed quarterback from North Dakota State whom the Eagles are expected to select Thursday with the second pick in the NFL draft, was just another name on a list that included a dozen other draft hopefuls at that position - and he wasn't very far up the list, either. Things can change quickly, however, and they certainly did for Wentz as he parlayed a title-winning season with a strong performance in the Senior Bowl and impressive showings at the NFL combine and private workouts.
April 29, 2016 |
Not even the great Harry Houdini can escape TV's unceasing demand for amateur detectives. Starting 9 p.m. Monday on Fox, the famed magician, played by Michael Weston ( House ), will join Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle (Stephen Mangan, Episodes ) in Houdini & Doyle , a Canadian-British period drama that celebrates one of history's more interesting friendships, X-Files style. Doyle, the man behind literature's leading skeptic, is the Fox Mulder in this duo, a man who wants to believe in an afterlife and in communication with the dead.
April 26, 2016
ISSUE | U.S. CURRENCY Putting a relevant face on history I love that African American abolitionist and Underground Railroad leader Harriet Tubman will be on the front of the $20 bill, but Andrew Jackson should be removed entirely instead of put on the back ("Harriet Tubman's place of honor," Thursday). It's past time that history's rich diversity replaces the status quo: Anglo-Saxon, male faces. To those who claim that such changes are politically correct, I say the traditional telling of history has always been politically motivated.
April 25, 2016 |
They're thinking about it. They have to be thinking about it. How could they not be thinking about it? These are the Washington Capitals. This is the franchise that has lost 10 postseason series in which it held a two-game lead, including one last year. No NHL franchise has lost more, and the Capitals have been around only since 1974. They're younger than Jaromir Jagr. And here they are, having won the first three games of this first-round series against the Flyers, now facing a Game 6 at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, and they wouldn't be human, and they certainly wouldn't be Washington Capitals, if they weren't thinking about that history, and if it weren't weighing on them a bit. "I don't think this team has any playoff history.