October 23, 2014 |
WHEN OPERA star Kathleen Battle performs in Philadelphia Friday, she won't be singing Handel or Mozart. Instead, her lyric soprano will ring out in spirituals, such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Glory, Glory Hallelujah. " "Many times, what gets commented on is the spirituals only," Battle, 66, said in a recent interview. "Sometimes you want someone to comment on your Schubert, as well. People are drawn to the spiritual. It has a universal appeal. " The Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall will host "Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey - An Evening with Kathleen Battle," marking Battle's first performance in Philadelphia since 2003.
September 12, 2014 |
Billie Holiday was born in Philadelphia. Nina Simone lived here. Melody Gardot keeps an address here, as does Rhenda Fearrington, Peggy King, Shamika Byrd, Suzanne Cloud, Rachelle Ferrell, and Dyana Jean. So a summit of Philly jazz divas makes divine sense. And that is what Homer Jackson and Aaron Graves have done with DivaNation - a series of conversations, workshops, and live showcases on Friday and Saturday at Drexel University's Mandell Theater. Name a local jazz chanteuse and Jackson has an epithet of praise for her. Barbara Montgomery "owns the stage.
August 2, 2012 |
WASHINGTON – It is hard to walk into the Phillies' clubhouse at Nationals Park without thinking of Harry Kalas. It is where most of the Phillies' traveling party got the news in April of 2009 that the club's beloved broadcaster had collapsed in the press box before a game, and it was from behind its closed doors that club president David Montgomery later emerged to tell reporters, "We lost our voice today. " This is not that, obviously. It is brought up not as a comparison, but instead as part sign of affection and part milepost on a continuum.
January 25, 2012
Weeks Per Rank/Title/Studio Last Week Total Out Location 1. Underworld: Awakening (Sony) $25.3 mil. $25.3 mil. 1 $8,222 2. Red Tails (Fox) 18.8 mil. 18.8 mil. 1 7,477 3. Contraband (Universal) 12.0 mil. 45.9 mil. 2 4,195 4. Extremely Loud (Warner Bros.) 10.0 mil. 10.7 mil. 5 4,083 5. Beauty & the Beast (Disney)
January 16, 2012 |
The Mark Wahlberg thriller Contraband stole the top of the weekend box office, smuggling away $24.1 million, say preliminary studio stats. It just pipped the 3-D version of Beauty and the Beast ($18.5 million). The rest of the top 10: (3) Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol , $11.5 million; (4) Joyful Noise , $11.3 million; (5) Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows , $8.4 million; (6) The Devil Inside , $7.9 million; (7) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo , $6.8 million; (8)
January 13, 2012 |
OYFUL NOISE," sort of a "Glee!"-meets-gospel-music choral-competition musical, makes a pleasant-enough racket. A cheerful, not-quite-off-color crowd-pleaser that rarely breaks formula, it's the big-screen equivalent of a sloppy smooch from your overaffectionate aunt over the holidays. You grimace. You stand there and take it. And you don't let anybody see you grin afterward. Writer-director Todd Graff, who specializes in this sort of cheerful, campy musical ("Bandslam," "Camp")
January 1, 2012 |
NEW YORK - It's easy to roll your eyes at Joyful Noise, a broad-stroke dramedy about a small-town gospel choir struggling for greatness. Easy, that is, until the song "Man in the Mirror" kicks in. It's only a few minutes into the movie, as the choir at Divinity Church in impoverished Pacashau, Ga., is still reeling from the death of its longtime director (a briefly glimpsed Kris Kristofferson). The appointment of his longtime second-in-command, a mother of two played by Queen Latifah, over his widow (Dolly Parton)
December 6, 2011 |
As music neared our modernity, it lost much of the earthy joy in the sounds of Christmas. Holiday music pulled on the robes of solemnity, or it bathed in nostalgia and sentiments gone threadbare. All that served to magnify Piffaro's celebration of Advent and Hanukkah, which portrayed the early-music ensemble's turf, the 17th century, as a time to celebrate the winter holidays with unabashed joy and dash. In weekend concerts in Philadelphia and, Sunday, in Wilmington, the ensemble, with soprano Julianne Baird, showered the season with boldly imagined performances that could only have been an accurate translation of the solstice mood 400 years ago. Texts drawn from psalms must have invited lusty dancing, and sacred texts, as sung by the soprano, drew images of almost boisterous celebration.
December 6, 2011 |
In a season filled with new and original holiday shows from the region's professional theaters, you'll find some with a more traditional sugarcoating than Delaware Theatre Company's A Cappella Humana , but I doubt you'll find anything more inventive. This retelling of the nativity in modern terms, with three Magi guided by a star only after their GPS conks out, links the story through the ages and is especially effective in Kevin Ramsey's staging of a cast with wide-ranging singing voices and a smooth upper register when they sing as one. Ramsey, whose work is a staple at Delaware Theatre Company, created A Cappella Humana and, along with his niece, Pearl Ramsey, wrote the book for the show.