October 25, 2013 |
LISA LAMPANELLI is old enough (52, but who's counting?) to remember and respect Philadelphia as a Broadway tryout town. So when the chance came to test the waters here with her New York-bound (she hopes) theatrical production "Skinny Bitch: Not a Stand-Up Comedy Show," in the Kimmel Center's intimate Innovation Studio, she jumped. "It's not about selling a lot of tickets, filling a Radio City Music Hall or Carnegie Hall" - which she's done - "it's about developing the work," Lampanelli reflected, after her opening weekend of SRO shows here.
October 21, 2013 |
CAMDEN Driving through Camden on a rainy day, Mayor Dana L. Redd stops at Camden High School, where volunteers are setting up for their first night game since the installation of a new field and lights. Redd trudges across the rain-soaked ground and steps into a tent filled with gold-and-purple centerpieces and streamers. "Lots of Panthers pride in here," she says, shaking hands with organizers and promising to return - in boots - for her part in the pre-game parade. For Redd, who has led Camden for three years, pride is what she says she's returned to the city.
July 18, 2013
D EAR HARRY : I'm having trouble getting my mortgage rate reduced from its present 5.5 percent. The home is worth about $210,000, and the mortgage is $106,000. I retained a lawyer who has done nothing except send me some application forms, which I filled out. The mortgage company is acting as if it never got my application, and our lawyer told me to stop paying in order to get their attention. I have very good credit (score of 770), and don't want to jeopardize it or see my home come up for foreclosure.
July 14, 2013 |
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) , the ultra-light theatrical romp that compacts the great playwright's lifetime output in ways that make CliffsNotes look expansive, is actually tried-and-true vaudeville. It's the classic clash between high and low art - just add some manic frat-house energy, and laughs are inevitable. But that doesn't mean you automatically have a show. That's why the three-member Commonwealth Classic Theatre cast, starting a run of 11 free performances through July 27 at various regional venues, must have felt shot out of a cannon Thursday at the Morris Arboretum.
June 24, 2013
WITH THE (lackluster) primary behind us, Philadelphia politicians now look ahead to two days - Election Day on Nov. 5, and the 23rd annual Candidates Comedy Night on Wednesday, Aug. 21. (Details below.) This year's show will be small, with candidates for controller and district attorney - two Republican challengers and two Democratic incumbents. In past "off years," I have buttressed the show with Pennsylvania suburban candidates, but there are none of note this year. You know the Democratic candidates, because they are the incumbents: Controller Alan Butkovitz and D.A. Seth Williams.
June 7, 2013 |
LAST TIME we saw Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson making mischief together was "Wedding Crashers" - being, as Vaughn put it then, "young and stupid. " Wilson's response: "We're not that young. " And that was eight years ago, before Wilson entered his Brian Wilson-ish "Drillbit Taylor" period, including "Marley and Me" and a gig as the voice of Marmaduke. That would put visible miles on any man. Now the duo is back, turning their over-the-hill-gang status into a running joke in their reunion comedy "The Internship.
June 6, 2013
D EAR ABBY: I'm a single mother of two boys, 16 and 12. While my older son has been private about coming into puberty, my younger son is very open about it. I'll be honest: The subject makes me uncomfortable. Last night I walked into my 12-year-old's room and interrupted him pleasuring himself. I was shocked, and I started to laugh because I was embarrassed. I did tell him he needed to be more private about his curiosity. But I was laughing and could not stop. Where do I go from here?
May 20, 2013 |
At 86, Mel Brooks still looks like the Marx brother from another mother, his sunset years lit by kliegs. He is the subject of an American Masters special ( Mel Brooks: Make a Noise , airing Monday on PBS), recipient of an American Film Institute life achievement award (on June 6, to be shown on TNT later next month), and librettist of a proposed Broadway musical based on his 1974 movie hit Blazing Saddles . How do you measure this singular talent? Short in stature (65 inches)
April 23, 2013 |
Every lifetime should have at least one: The great teacher, the one who inspired, the one who changed your life. For decades of students in Delaware County, Robert Malkovsky - Mr. Mal, or just Mal - was such a teacher. Six-foot-four with a booming voice and a big laugh, he was a gentle giant who ignited a fire for physics in his students. He explained the incomprehensible. He would quietly foot the bills for prom dresses. He made all kids feel as though they were worth listening to. And so Mal's death - so unexpected because he appeared to have won his long battle with pancreatic cancer - was devastating news to those who knew him, as though a light had gone out for them.
March 22, 2013 |
SIX YEARS AGO, Mouphtaou Yarou remembers, there were many, many difficult phone calls home to Benin. He came here from that small West African country for high school, and for basketball, and for all of the attendant opportunities, but he wondered sometimes what he had gotten himself into. He wondered whether it was worth all of the anxiety. "I was very homesick," he said, a couple of days before the Villanova Wildcats begin another NCAA Tournament journey. Yarou, 22, is their senior big man, the oncourt leader of a team that swung wildly between disaster and elation - sometimes in the same week.