September 23, 2016 |
Comic book legend Chuck Dixon has written a crime novel and it's set in Philadelphia. Shrinkage is a about a shoplifter named Jeff who gets involved in a series of escalating adventures in Dixon's take on the City of Brotherly Love in the 1970s. "I grew up in Philly and the western suburbs," Dixon said. "Most of my jobs were in the city. I had Jeff's job as a stock boy. It was at John Wanamakers. The opening scene of the novel is a day I recall very well. I wanted this novel to be less fanciful than the others I've written so I turned to what I knew.
August 20, 2016 |
Barbra Streisand has done it all. In her six-decade career, she has been a singer, an actress, an activist, a director, and an urban legend. She is, in short, everything. Babs was Celine before Celine, she was Beyoncé before Beyoncé (sacrilege, yes, but true). She's a pioneer, and, at 74, she's not done yet. In honor of her stop Saturday at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center - only the sixth tour of her career - let's look back at some of her most defining moments. Miss Marmelstein Babs burst onto Broadway with a bang in the 1962 musical I Can Get It For You Wholesale . Much of the musical, set in New York's Garment District and using Jewish harmonies in its pop-music score, was remarkable, but Streisand's tour-de-force performance as the secretary Miss Marmelstein and her eponymous song remain the stuff of legends.
August 3, 2016 |
Any Philadelphian who knows sports knows Ray Didinger. A statesman of football reportage, he's penned locker-room reports and gridiron stories for the Philadelphia Bulletin and Daily News, along with several colorful books. Didinger is on the honor roll of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and is a respected member of Comcast SportsNet's Eagles Post Game Live and the WIP radio roster. "The Eagles locker room is to me what the Mississippi River was to Mark Twain," says Didinger. "I never tire of it. " His is not a name you'd expect to see in Philly's arts pages.
July 2, 2016 |
How do you solve a problem like Tarzan? In the updated version The Legend of Tarzan , the Lord of the Jungle gets a feminist Jane and an African-American sidekick. But is that enough to make Edgar Rice Burroughs' story feel like it's not firmly planted in a bygone century? True Blood 's Alexander Skarsgård takes on the role this time, and, in a way, he's perfect for it. The Swede is muscled, lean, and blond, and spends a lot of time look plaintive. The famed Jane is played by Margot Robbie, an actress who is so full of onscreen vivaciousness that her character's newfound independence is a perfect fit. Unlike a lot of reboots, The Legend of Tarzan opts to tell a new tale, rather than revert to the origin story.
May 26, 2016 |
"Capone," they called Edwin Laboy in the Badlands, a North Philadelphia corner hustler with nine lives. He survived an assassination attempt when a notorious hit man sprayed bullets from an AK-47 into his car. He even lived after gang members kidnapped him and tried to pull out his teeth with pliers. But last month, Laboy, 46, whose street name echoed through the underworld for nearly three decades, met his end in the city's most violent homicide of the year. Authorities said a schizophrenic with a shotgun fired at five people inside a Kensington rowhouse, leaving three of them - a mother of three, a 46-year-old laborer, and Laboy - dead on the floor.
May 2, 2016
ISSUE | LABOR A pioneer and legend The Philadelphia building trades mourn the loss of Samuel Staten Sr., 80, the former business manager of Laborers Local 332, former secretary-treasurer of the Laborers' District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity, and a pioneer of the city's labor community. Staten was a legend in the labor and civic communities. He was more than a mentor; he was an inspiration to me and countless other labor leaders in this city. His courage, leadership, and vision helped make Philadelphia one of the nation's great union towns.
April 24, 2016 |
Local advertising legend Les Waas, 94, the man responsible for two of the most recognizable tunes ever heard in Philadelphia - the Mr. Softee jingle and "Everybody Who Knows Goes to Melrose" - died Tuesday, April 19, of pneumonia at Abington Hospice in Warminster. He was a Philly native and a Philly original. A graduate of Olney High School (Class of 1939), a sheet-metal worker at the Navy Yard, a World War II Army Air Corps pilot, and a world-class prankster, Mr. Waas turned a knack for writing jingles into an enduring legacy.
March 7, 2016 |
Kal Rudman, the music maven and Philadelphia philanthropist, offers me a piece of paper and a bit of advice. "You should open your column," he says, "with this . " The email that's already been printed out for me is from a grateful Philly high school student, and is noteworthy indeed. But first, I have a few questions for Rudman, who turns 86 on Sunday - and whose philanthropic mission is, like his taste in pop music, catholic. Despite his having been "born Jewish, but only on my mother's . . . and father's side," he says, savoring the punch line.
February 29, 2016 |
Camden senior Jamal Holloway will sometimes post inspiration sayings on Twitter. Last week, Holloway wrote, "When you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done. " For Holloway and his friend, classmate and two-sport teammate Brad Hawkins, those words ring especially true at this stage of their scholastic careers. Holloway and Hawkins have been among the most accomplished two-sport athletes in recent Camden High School history. They have been four-year starters in basketball for teams that have won a combined 89 games and three South Jersey titles entering this season's state tournament.
February 7, 2016 |
For William Earle Williams, it was just a gate, distinct from the imposing stone pillars that flank the other entryways to Haverford College, but still just a gate. The limestone columns, with attached benches, along Old Railroad Avenue were graceful, light, and simple. They invited passersby to sit, rather than simply walk through. For decades, Haverford students, staff, and visitors had no idea that the Edward B. Conklin Memorial gate was the work of one of the nation's most influential and underappreciated architectural designers.