October 17, 2014
MORE THAN four decades later, Frank Ferrante can still remember the day he discovered Groucho Marx . Not surprising, because it led to his creating a successful show business niche for himself. "My first encounter was a Marx Brothers film, 'A Day at the Races,' when I was 9 years old. I never laughed that hard. These guys thrilled me, particularly Groucho," recalled Ferrante, 51, who Sunday afternoon brings his internationally acclaimed one-man show, "An Evening with Groucho," to Glenside's Keswick Theatre.
September 10, 2014 |
In Communicating Doors , Alan Ayckbourn has written an almost director-proof play. At least I would have argued that before seeing the Liam Castellan-helmed production currently at the Hedgerow Theatre. We'll start with the brilliantly constructed plot, a Hitchcock-influenced comic thriller with a time-travel twist. In 2034, dominatrix Poopay (Kyra Baker) goes on call to the luxury hotel room of the wealthy Reese (Shaun Yates). Instead of sex, he wants her to witness his confession to a lifetime of business-related crimes and killings.
August 11, 2014 |
DURING SPRING training, Roy Halladay regularly reported to work at Bright House Field hours before the sun rose each morning. The dedication to his craft continued into the season. He was meticulous in his routine. Almost every minute of his day was accounted for and had a purpose. Step in his direction when he was making his way from a bullpen session to the weight room and you'd see the steely look of a guy you really didn't care to interrupt. But then one day in Clearwater, a video-game commercial featuring the pitcher and a Carlos Ruiz pillow began airing regularly.
June 23, 2014 |
Facing a double mastectomy and hysterectomy, Eva Moon eased the anxiety with a limerick: I've just had a genetic test And I'm feeling a little depressed It's not just because I'll have menopause But I wasn't quite done with my breasts Humor isn't touted much in clinical trials or in FDA approvals, but when it comes to cancer, laughter is good medicine, according to Moon. A 58-year-old performing artist from Redmond, Wash., with fiery red hair and a sultry voice, Moon spoke at the Eighth Annual Joining FORCEs Conference in Philadelphia last week.
June 6, 2014 |
With humor and words of admiration, philanthropist Lewis Katz was remembered Wednesday at his beloved Temple University for his loyalty, wide-ranging generosity and devotion to his family. During a more than 2 1/2-hour memorial service at Temple's Peformance Arts Center, mourners laughed, applauded and wiped away tears at reminisces of Katz - funny, moving, sad. The message over and over again was to keep Katz's memory and work alive. "You will never be a distant memory," his daughter Melissa Silver vowed.
April 27, 2014 |
'Good girl, bad girl," explained mezzo-soprano Susan Graham when she arrived on the Perelman Theater stage for the second half of her recital. At first, her hair was up and the gown was an off-white dress. Second half, hair was down, the gown off-black and slinky. In effect, Graham's rescheduled recital on Thursday, presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, had many of the add-ons that many recitals lack - glamour, humor, repertoire that was high art (and not so high), plus playful audience dialogue.
March 29, 2014 |
Upper Darby's Todd Rundgren has forever been, as the title of his 1973 masterpiece says, A Wizard, a True Star . As one of few artists you could comfortably call a genius, the genre-jumbling multi-instrumentalist/producer/multimedia jockey has been an innovator of warm psychedelia, contagious cosmopolitan pop, blue-eyed soul, and existentialist prog-rock - sometimes all on one album. His career, while not always platinum-plated, has won a devoted following, judging from the sold-out Sellersville Theater Wednesday.
March 5, 2014 |
Southern Gothic playwriting in Philadelphia theater has no better friend or practitioner than Jacqueline Goldfinger. Since her arrival in 2008, the Tallahassee, Fla., native - who came here when her cellular biologist husband Larry got a job at Temple University - has displayed a knack for blackly comic eccentricity, decay, and alienation the wretched likes of which haven't been seen since William Faulkner. In the dark genre, her plays' flippant humor, the genuine laugh lines, are a treat.
December 20, 2013 |
Often heard though seldom seen, Wolfgang Rihm is considered Germany's greatest contemporary composer. But he lives such a circumscribed existence he's in danger of becoming an enigma. By no means is he a J.D. Salinger-level enigma, but you won't find him coaching the world's great orchestras in the best way to play his complex works - though often they'd welcome the advice. And don't bother asking him to come to the United States for the high-profile performance of Astralis - written in 2001 and one of his most circulated works - on Friday by the Crossing choir at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, which will be repeated Sunday at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Getting him to leave his hometown of Karlsruhe takes some persuading; there and in his tiny Berlin apartment, he writes one uncompromising work after another for the likes of violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and conductor Riccardo Chailly.
December 9, 2013 |
Phillips Simkin, 69, a Philadelphia artist who created installations using his humor and off-the-wall artistic vision, died Tuesday, Nov. 26, of congestive heart failure at his home. In his artist's statement, Mr. Simkin wrote that he regarded his art activities as pseudo-enterprises "often laced with a dose of sardonic wit and humor, parody and puns. " He hewed to that vision. He was most renowned for casting and copyrighting the crack in the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park, which he did after receiving permission from the National Park Service.