September 26, 2012 |
Among the greatest prayers of Judaism is the Amidah , a recitation of 19 blessings that devout Jews say three times a day. Jews all over the world will recite the Amidah Tuesday night and Wednesday as they mark Yom Kippur, the solemn day of atonement when God is said to decide who will live or die in the coming year. Many will bow deeply as they face Jerusalem. But as members and friends of Mishkan Shalom Synagogue in Manayunk gather Wednesday for this holiest of days, hundreds will recite the Amidah not by bowing, but lying still, on their backs, in the yoga position known as "the Corpse.
April 7, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court says you can be strip-searched even if you are arrested for not wearing a seat belt. Or you didn't leash your pooch. Or you forgot to use your turn signal. Or your muffler is too noisy. Seriously. It's enough to scare you straight. There are some chilling true-life tales tucked into the 40-plus pages that the high court published Monday after it ruled that strip searches may be necessary to ensure safety in jails across the land. Otherwise, the court said, people who are arrested and placed in the general jail population may smuggle in weapons or drugs.
March 30, 2012 |
Bruce Graham's fine new play, The Outgoing Tide, at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, is deeply moving and surprisingly funny, a straight-talking, unpretentious meditation on Alzheimer's and end-of-life suffering: "Quality of life. Kiss my ass. " Directed with invisible finesse and strength by James J. Christy, the excellent cast provides bedrock realism, refusing any of the topic's maudlin possibilities. The fact is, Gunner (Richard Poe), a tough guy who ran a trucking company and dealt with the Teamsters, is losing his memory and his mind; he still has enough left to plan his exit, refusing to settle for years of humiliating deterioration in a "home.
February 29, 2012 |
ST. LOUIS - Caroll Marlow, 71, said she has been rescued from clinical depression by researchers at Washington University who want to help people older than 60. After more than 40 years of living with depression, she said, experiences and feelings that are routine for most other people are new for her. She goes to lunch to laugh with her sisters; she's closer to her children and friends. She dates her husband. And she found a job. "I love it; I work a swing shift and I just love it," she said.
February 15, 2012 |
My friend Susan, having just relocated from New York, joined the school dance committee in order to meet new parents at her daughter's school. Eager to help, she made a suggestion about decorations at a meeting. What she got back from the parent sitting across from her was a roll of the eyes and a surly: "Um, aren't you new here?" "It felt like junior high all over again," Susan told me later. "I felt humiliated and angry, and yet it was over nothing. Part of me wanted to say: 'Are you kidding me?
December 6, 2011 |
Cutting-edge music declared too difficult to perform was, in the past, sent to Leopold Stokowski, who didn't need to understand pieces to conduct them convincingly. Now, conservatory students such as the Curtis 20/21 ensemble pioneer the unperformable, in this case Siddhartha's Dream by David Shapiro. From the Perelman Theater stage Sunday, the composer claimed this ensemble was among the few that could hope to handle it. Meditation music, it's not. Commissioned for the concert and presented in a laudable partnership with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the piece attempts to portray the Buddha's ability to see all of mankind at once - all seven billion of us. The piece circled the world in 18 minutes, each orchestral section having a sliver of a showcase, all from different harmonic universes that have only their anarchy in common, ending with a wild piano cadenza suggesting Stravinsky on crack.
November 20, 2011
A Novel By Julian Barnes Alfred A. Knopf. 163 pp. $23.95 Reviewed by Glenn C. Altschuler The Sense of An Ending , Julian Barnes' 14th novel, begins innocently enough. Anthony Webster, the narrator, recounts a few incidents from his school days, which were marked by his relationship with three chums and a girlfriend named Veronica Mary Elizabeth Ford. Skipping past career, marriage, fatherhood, and divorce, Anthony reveals that he had settled, fairly comfortably, into his "more emptied" retired life in London, never indulging what-ifs, when he was confronted by his past, in the form of a bequest of 500 pounds - an apology of sorts - and two documents, left to him by Veronica's mother, Susan, whom he had met once, at a weekend in Chislehurst.
November 16, 2011 |
"SONIC DREAM space": That's what this 12-by-6-foot room is supposed to be. But at first glance it's just a small rectangular room, painted white, with a chair against the back wall. As the lights go down, and the music comes up, the room begins to live up to its name. The room, located in Jeweler's Row, is the home of the Sound Resolution Center. Equal parts meditation space and art project, the center specializes in 25-minute sound sessions meant to plunge a participant in a room filled with ambient music and changing lights.
October 28, 2011 |
In The How and the Why , two women meet, discover they are both (of all things) evolutionary biologists - at the opposite ends of their careers - and enter into a dialogue that reveals as much about their present identities as it does about their pasts. The How and the Why , robust and real in performances by Janis Dardaris and Victoria Frings, opened Wednesday night in a production by InterAct Theatre Company. The play, a two-scene piece with an intermission, was originally staged earlier this year at Princeton's McCarter Theatre and is written by Sarah Treem, the writer and producer of HBO's In Treatment . It's a smart look - the dialogue is especially taut and revealing - at these two women, one with a stellar career on bright automatic pilot, the other with a career that may become stellar if she doesn't snuff out the pilot light she needs to illuminate her talent.
June 27, 2011 |
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Brandon Heinz, an eighth grader in the Bristol Township School District, told occupational therapist Charles E. Gallagher that he had been asked to sit still "millions of times. " The problem is that it's not always easy. For Brandon, 14, and his classmates - students with autism, attention-deficit disorders, or other special needs - controlling signs of anxiety is often a struggle. So Gallagher made a suggestion: Breathe. "In through your nose, and out through your mouth," he instructed.