July 21, 2015 |
Grab your wigs and fake boobs, guys: The glitter is in the audience for Divine/Intervention . The onstage show, which just opened at a nightclub called Voyeur (dark, dark, dark, with gigantic lavender-lit chandeliers), is actually a serious and often moving bio-drama about the counterculture icon known as Divine. Divine's real name was Glenn Milstead, a fat, unhappy kid from a middle-class home in Baltimore. How he wound up starring in John Waters' schlock/shock movies - where he was raped by a giant lobster in Multiple Maniacs , and ate a dog turd in Pink Flamingos , and made it mainstream big in Hairspray - is incidental here.
July 15, 2015 |
The last time his friends saw Glenn Milstead, he was waving from the balcony of his Los Angeles hotel room, singing "Arrivederci, Roma. " The next day, March 7, 1988, he was dead at 42 of cardiomegaly. He had died in his sleep; he weighed more than 300 pounds. The obituaries didn't just announce the death of Glenn Milstead; they marked the end of Divine, the larger-than-life "drag queen of the century," the trash goddess at the heart of such notorious films by director John Waters as Pink Flamingos , Female Trouble , and - teetering on the brink of respectability - Hairspray . The division between the queen and the man is at the heart of Divine/Intervention , a new play conceived by Braden Chapman and written by E. Dale Smith.
December 30, 2014 |
Sister Joan Schmal, 82, who was recognized for her work with youth on addiction issues, died Monday, Dec. 22, of cardiopulmonary collapse at Assisi House in Aston. A member of the sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 61 years, Sister Joan was known for her crisis skills in dealing with youth and ran programs for children of alcoholics and for students struggling with drug and alcohol issues at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School in the Franklintown section of the city.
November 24, 2014
AFTER THAT meeting last Wednesday called together by the stadium district powers that be, I have some thoughts and a real concern to those who live close to Darien and Packer. I agree that all of South Philadelphia should stick together and nothing should go into a neighborhood that the residents do not want. And, yes, our elected officials know they work for us, especially those officials who are now under attack. However, casino hearings were held more than once at the Convention Center last year and the turnout was minimal, even though at the time three locations between Front Street and 10th at Packer/Pattison were possible locations.
September 16, 2014
ONE OF the points that the Democratic candidate for governor makes is that he supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. On his website he cites the Economic Policy Institute and endorses their proposal to raise the minimum wage to the aforementioned $10.10. But when you go to their website you find that their plan calls for a $0.95 wage increase over three years which eventually gets to $10.10 in 2016. I don't believe that Wolf has made that differentiation clear. So if you're thinking that if you vote for Mr. Wolf in November that you're going to be getting paid $10.10 as soon as he assumes office, then you're mistaken.
September 10, 2014 |
When NFL running back Ray Rice applied to a pre-trial intervention program on May 1 - which, if completed, would help dismiss the charges against him - he had to clear more hurdles than many other applicants. Those accepted into the program have typically committed minor crimes, such as theft or drug possession. Rice, accused of punching his then-fiancée in an elevator at Atlantic City's Revel Casino Hotel earlier this year, was charged with aggravated assault - a violent crime.
July 10, 2014
THE HEARTBREAKING and alarming news that one in five high school students is involved with either DHS or the juvenile justice system should be a wake-up call for systemic change. Even though we should never abandon these students or give up hope, the intervention that has the best chance of saving them must happen as early as possible. Blaming their dysfunctional homes as an excuse not to fund early intervention programs only exacerbates the problem. Meanwhile, many teachers apply for positions in urban schools at all levels for the purpose of making a difference.
September 6, 2013
THERE ARE a number of legitimate reasons to oppose intervention in Syria. There are many smart people, people whom I respect and with whom I share a philosophical foxhole, who lay out those reasons with eloquence and passion. * Why now? (Why, indeed, when we did nothing in Rwanda and the Sudan?) * Syrian President Bashar Assad is no worse than the Islamic jihadists challenging his authority. (True, even though he has bigger guns.) * It's a civil war. Why should Americans risk our own blood and treasure to save Syrian souls?
June 16, 2013 |
Doctors have gotten better at saying no to antibiotics when patients have viral ailments, but researchers wanted to tackle a different aspect of the nation's overprescribing problem: giving the wrong antibiotic to patients with bacterial infections. Antibiotics don't work against viruses, although many parents still want them. They do work against bacteria. Yet doctors often prescribe powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics when a drug that only kills a few bugs will do. Infectious-disease specialists want doctors to save the strongest antibiotics for the toughest bacteria.
June 6, 2013 |
THE FAMILY OF Dr. Sidney Wallace ran out of words in trying to describe him: "Physician, scholar, author, teacher, researcher, inventor, businessman, painter, sculptor, cartoonist, songwriter, singer. " And, oh yes, "outstanding husband, father and grandfather. " It was not hard for those who knew Sidney Wallace to believe that one man could embody all these splendid characterizations. Add one more accomplishment: He once cured himself of kidney cancer. Sidney Wallace, a pioneer in the field of interventional radiology, developer of a cancer drug and an artist and musician in what spare time he allowed himself, died May 25 of cancer.