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Merriam Theater

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 1993 | By Leonard W. Boasberg, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
One of the oldest arts establishments on South Broad Street - the half-mile stretch to be known as the Avenue of the Arts - is the Merriam Theater, between Locust and Spruce Streets, just south of the Academy of Music. It opened as the Sam S. Shubert Theatre, in August 1918, with a road-show production of a musical called Chu Chin Chow with a cast of 300. In the next several decades, such celebrated performers as John Barrymore, Gertrude Lawrence, Helen Hayes, Al Jolson, the Marx Brothers, Tallulah Bankhead, Laurence Olivier, Jackie Gleason and Bert Lahr trod its boards.
NEWS
August 26, 2013 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Donna Testa Devereaux, 56, of Villas, Cape May County, a former box-office worker at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia, died of cancer Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Born in South Philadelphia, Mrs. Devereaux was a 1975 graduate of what is now SS Neumann Goretti High School. "When she was in high school, she was an usher" at the theater, then named the Shubert, "just to make extra money," her husband, Robert, said in a phone interview.
NEWS
December 20, 1999 | By Valerie Reed, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
For the last two weeks, 29 students from the Council Rock School District have been preparing for their big break - a chance to perform at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia. During their holiday vacation, they will join a professional touring company in the musical production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for eight performances. Members of the touring company are expected to visit Holland Junior High School today and tomorrow to teach the students staging and choreography.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2004 | By BRYAN QUIGLEY For the Daily News
Banjoist Bela Fleck and double-bass player Edgar Meyer offer "An Evening of Duets" as they tour off their new "Music for Two" recording (8 tonight, Keswick Theatre, 291 Keswick Ave., Glenside, $35, 215-572-7650 or www.keswicktheatre. com). Former Talking Head David Byrne has "Grown Backwards," as his new album proclaims, and he'll display the results at the Merriam Theater (8 tonight, with Juana Molina opening, 250 S. Broad St., $35-$37.50, 215-732-5446). Southern California punk-rockers the Offspring with Melissa Auf der Maur (former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins bassist)
NEWS
December 24, 1999 | By Kristin E. Holmes, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Avenue of the Arts may not be Broadway, but it's close enough for a group of starry-eyed Bucks County students. Come Tuesday, they will share the stage of the Merriam Theater with the likes of Deborah Gibson and Patrick Cassidy and assorted brothers Osmond. A touring-company production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has tapped the chorus of Council Rock School District students on the shoulder and offered the students a glimmer of the bright lights. "The Merriam," said 13-year-old Melanie Krevitz, an eighth grader at Holland Junior High School.
NEWS
March 9, 2014
A story Friday about jazz concerts gave an incorrect time for the "Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60" at the Merriam Theater. It will be at 8 p.m. on Sunday.
NEWS
January 26, 1999 | Inquirer photographs by Michael Wirtz
A 20th-anniversary touring production of "Evita" is coming to the Merriam Theater, from next Tuesday to Feb. 7. With it come roles for two local girls. At an open audition held yesterday, 120 girls turned out at the theater, hoping to be chosen.
NEWS
October 24, 1996 | ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ/ DAILY NEWS
Singular sensations Mayor Rendell and City Councilman Thacher W. Longstreth kick up their heels yesterday at City Hall with members of a touring company of "A Chorus Line. " Rendell invited Longstreth, an occasional political rival, to dance with the touring company to help promote the musical, currently playing at the Merriam Theater.
NEWS
February 12, 1995 | The Philadelphia Inquirer / JOHN COSTELLO
Her performance finished, Tamara Hadley gets a kiss from her husband and dancing partner, William DeGregory, while awaiting a curtain call. Hadley's portrayal of "Giselle" last night at the Merriam Theater marked the final performance of her career. She is retiring after 20 years with the Pennsylvania Ballet.
NEWS
February 1, 2000 | YONG KIM/ DAILY NEWS
Symere Woods (left) and Saabir Lewis pose for the camera after learning they will play the character "Little Coalhouse" in "Ragtime" at the Merriam Theater, Feb. 1 through 12. Above, Qadir Moore auditions a hugging scene with stage manager Nisa Silzer during auditions last night at the theater for boys ages 4-to-6.
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NEWS
June 14, 2015 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
From the opening curtain to the final darkening of the lights, exuberant reactions - both subjectively visceral and objectively profound - rippled through the Merriam Theater at the Pennsylvania Ballet's season closer Thursday night. Choreographer William Forsythe has returned to the States after decades helming Ballet Frankfurt and then his own company in Dresden. The Philadelphia premiere of his 1991 The Second Detail is his third work from the Pennsylvania Ballet. These decades-old, neoclassical ballets will appeal to lovers of Balanchine, whom Forsythe most admired, and, to my eye, advanced the Balanchine aesthetic.
NEWS
March 22, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Book of Mormon will be back in Philadelphia's Forrest Theatre late this year for a month-long reprise of its successful 47-day 2014 engagement, part of Broadway Philadelphia's 2015-16 season, officials of the Kimmel Center and the Schubert Organization announced Friday. The Kimmel and the Schubert Organization are joint presenters of the season. "Each season, we seek compelling theater productions with story lines that resonate with our diverse audiences," Anne Ewers, Kimmel president and chief executive, said in a statement.
NEWS
February 27, 2015
IT HAS BEEN said that there are no such things as problems, only opportunities. Well, here's an opportunity for Philadelphia to make lemonade out of a Broadway lemon. "Rocky," the musical based on the iconic 1976 rags-to-riches film about a ham-and-egg boxer from Kensington, closed its Broadway run last August, a mere five months after its much-hyped debut. But just because New York wasn't a hospitable host doesn't mean that Rocky Balboa's hometown couldn't be. From this vantage point, bringing the musical to Philly as a permanent attraction is a no-brainer.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
When Torn Between 2 Fathers attacks the cycle of absentee fatherhood with sympathy, disgust, and inspiration at the Merriam Theater this week, it will be another victory for the play's writer, director, and costar Priest Tyaire. The 41-year-old Delaware native started his theater career from scratch at the age of 34 with Tears of a Teenage Mother , intending it only as a tribute to his mother, who had her first child at 15 and went on to earn a master's degree. But it sold out its several performances, so Tyaire kept writing.
NEWS
February 8, 2015 | By Nancy G. Heller, For The Inquirer
Excitement filled the Merriam Theater on Thursday night as the Pennsylvania Ballet presented a program featuring a world premiere by resident choreographer Matthew Neenan and a trio of rising stars. Mayara Pineiro, who joined the corps last fall, was outstanding in Neenan's Shift to Minor . Brand-new soloist Oksana Maslova distinguished herself - with the superb Ian Hussey as her partner - in Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia . And Alexander Peters, a Pennsylvania Ballet apprentice just three years ago, was a revelation in the title role of George Balanchine's Prodigal Son . Set to a piano score by György Ligeti played by the excellent Martha Koeneman, Polyphonia was an impressive opener.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Toward the end of a thoroughly enjoyable interview, saxophonist Maceo Parker, who brings his show to the Merriam Theater, wishes to say his mission is all about one thing: "Love, love, love, and love . You're in Philly, right? That's all about brotherly love, so you know what I'm talking about. " Parker first became famous as James Brown's most soulful and credited sideman (how many times have you heard the Godfather of Soul shout for "Maceo"?). The saxophonist got his start in his hometown of Kinston, N.C. "My older brother Kellis played trombone, the other, younger one - Melvin - drums.
NEWS
December 26, 2014
TODAY'S COLUMN is a twofer. First, it marks the end of our second year chronicling the always-fascinating regional theater scene. And, because this is the final column of 2014, it's a look back on the highs (and lowest of the low) on local stages during the past 12 months:   In the news The news this year was mostly good; the regional theater community appears to not just be surviving, but generally thriving. Perhaps the grayest cloud was the one that earlier in the year settled over the 40-year-old Philadelphia Theatre Company.
NEWS
December 22, 2014 | By Nancy G. Heller, For The Inquirer
'Rhythm," in the immortal words of Gloria Estéfan, "is gonna get you. " Especially if you visit the Merriam Theater between Thursday and Dec. 30th to see the latest installment of STOMP . This all-percussion show, which makes theatrical magic with objects from the local hardware store, was cocreated by British musicians Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas in 1991. The word-less, plot-free phenomenon has been playing in both London and New York City for more than 20 years. STOMP also has two international touring companies.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2014 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer| narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
SOMETIMES, even the master of horror, Stephen King, needs a little inspiration, a certain something to get the bones rolling in his head. That's where John Mellencamp came in, and that's how their project, the musical "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," took form - evolving from the standard cabin-in-the-woods idea into a supernatural yarn about brothers at odds, set in the South with a backdrop of Spanish moss and the blues. "I had never written a play, let alone a musical, but I figured we'll learn as we go along," King said in a recent interview with the Daily News . "I had done an outline, but once [Mellencamp]
NEWS
October 26, 2014 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the audience settles in and the lights dim at the Merriam Theater on Monday night at 7, a full-scale theatrical celebration returns to Philadelphia for the first time in three years. The Barrymore Awards are back - and back in a robust style that reflects the thriving nature of the city's stage community. Not since the demise of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia in 2012 have local theater efforts been recognized across the boards, so to speak. A small teaser ceremony was held last year.
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