December 26, 2014 |
The Triumph of David was a mess. Old, original paint on the 17th-century canvas was faded and flaking in many spots. Newer paint from several inexpert restoration attempts had become discolored. Standing before the massive painting at Villanova University, art conservator Kristin deGhetaldi could tell all this with her experienced eye. But in order to bring the painting back to life, how could she tell where the old paint ended and the new paint began? The answer: a mix of art and science.
November 1, 2014 |
Suffering Chinese prisoners. Art in social politics. Fraudulent, self-aggrandizing claims by performers like Mike Daisy. All these flammable topics are right up InterAct Theatre Company's alley, right? They're the company that specializes in righteous indignation and intentional provocation. Well, prepare to be outfoxed by one of the smartest, most cynical, heart-wrenching, brain-teasing comedies I've seen in a long while, Christopher Chen's Caught , in a brilliant InterAct premiere.
May 5, 2014 |
With its white walls, exposed beams, pale gray floors, and reflections of light filtering through the trees outside its large front windows, the second floor of the Print Center invites a calm, meditative state of mind in the midst of Center City. When the art on display there summons correspondingly quiet, introspective contemplation, the effect can be uncanny. For the most part, the sculptures and prints that make up Matt Neff's first solo show achieve this state of grace. The title of Neff's exhibition, "Second Sight," refers to the writer and activist W.E.B.
March 5, 2014 |
The Ballard Spahr L.L.P. lawyers who represented the City of Philadelphia in the proposed sale of Philadelphia Gas Works to a Connecticut energy company had to overcome more than the normal tussle between buyer and seller to close the deal that was announced Monday. Because PGW is a city-owned utility, the lawyers had to clear political hurdles, too. The Ballard team was led by partner Gregory L. Seltzer, who worked with city officials to negotiate the $1.86 billion deal, which is subject to approval by City Council and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
February 12, 2014 |
Snow fell Sunday night as about 60 people slid into the pews of the First Unitarian Church side chapel for Julianna Barwick's sold-out concert. Dressed in black dress, black tights, and black boots, the Louisiana-born, Brooklyn-based singer and musician offered an enchanting solo performance. Since her Sanguine EP (2006), Barwick's music has changed very little: she loops fragments of melodies to build angelic songs with swirling harmonies. Sometimes, there's some sparse instrumentation: a couple of piano notes, a delicate synth pulse, accompaniment from a small string section.
January 30, 2014 |
Before heading out for his 8 a.m. shift at the University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, security guard Luther Babb slathered his face with Vaseline. "It's the oldest trick in the book to fight this cold," said the 44-year-old from West Oak Lane. The temperature outside was 12 degrees, with a wind chill of 5 below zero. Frederick Thomas, who runs the taxi stand at 30th Street Station, stocked up on hand warmers. Hemo Abdelaziz, the owner of a University City food truck, held his bare hands above a grill for as long as he could - the only source of warmth in an otherwise freezing space.
March 24, 2013 |
Was Phil Spector actually guilty of the Feb. 3, 2003, murder of Lana Clarkson? That question was posed repeatedly by the media in increasing tones of hysteria over the six years it took for Spector to be tried, retried, found guilty, and sentenced to serve 19 years to life in prison. It's raised yet again in Phil Spector , a fascinating, maddening, and ultimately unsatisfying 90-minute biopic starring Al Pacino as the music producer and Helen Mirren as one of his attorneys, Linda Kenney Baden.
March 8, 2013 |
At some moments, Django Django sounds like surf guitar master Dick Dale got time-warped into a 1990s British rave. At other times, the London band sounds like a loping, psychedelic cousin to Animal Collective; then again, the band can seem like acid house producers obsessed with big-beat climaxes. The musicians are fascinating because they're hard to pin down. "We don't really see boundaries too clearly," says vocalist Vinnie Neff, on the phone from London. "When you love a lot of music like we do, I see it as a problem: We could never make a decision about what direction we were going.
February 23, 2013 |
However brain-bending, the Ridge Theater Company's staging of The Rite of Spring ultimately proved at Thursday's Philadelphia Orchestra concert that this ultra-graphic ballet score needs no visual aids. Yet Stravinsky's self-sufficient music should have them every so often. The Dan Safer choreography reminded you the piece is about human sacrifice. But what the music says to the imagination is so fantastical that the most engaging element of the staging was farthest afield from the basic scenario.
November 2, 2012 |
YOU'LL HAVE no trouble spotting the double entendre in "Flight," a stunning drama featuring Denzel Washington as an airplane pilot who's at once a hero and an addict. Washington's "Whip" Whitaker is a pilot who doesn't have to be at 20,000 feet to be high. That's the obvious reference, and it's presented here with subversive nerve: Whip's actually a better pilot than most when he's found the right mixture of alcohol and cocaine. But there's yet a third meaning to the movie's title, and we see it kick in after the bravura crash-landing sequence that director Robert Zemeckis uses to open the movie, wherein the born-to-fly Whitaker makes a series of fantastic and unprecedented maneuvers to save a crippled airliner from nose-diving into the ground.