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ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Though Lyric Fest often presents art song programs with contextual commentary (biographical or otherwise), the program dedicated to female poets performed twice over the weekend, at Bryn Mawr College and the Academy of Vocal Arts, featured only song texts read here and there. When poets are the subject, their work is their story. The perfect example is Emily Dickinson, who obviously had an honored place in the concert. Her outer life was minimal; her inner life, manifested in her poems, was everything.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
PRINCETON - The old operatic question of why people sing rather than speak will be put to a singular new test with the McCarter Theatre's double production of The Figaro Plays , which spawned two of the most popular operas ever written but promise to stand on their own thanks to their startling political perspicacity. The original Barber of Seville and Marriage of Figaro , written by the real-life picaresque figure Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-99), are being staged in repertory starting Tuesday, overseen by the in-demand opera director Stephen Wadsworth, who finds much provocation in the original texts - what's implied and what was edited out. "You men!
NEWS
March 30, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
What a surprising show this is: first a vulgar farce, then a grim working-class drama, then a tender musical, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at Walnut's Independence Studio on 3, turns and turns again, under the capable direction of Dan Olmstead. Written by Jim Cartwright, the British playwright best known for Road , the characters and set transfer easily to an American locale. Mari (Denise Whelan) is a loud, blowsy, over-the-hill broad, angry at the hand life has dealt her, but definitely not grieved to have lost her husband.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
Attention, Phantom of the Opera lovers: Prepare to fall in love all over again. Cameron Mackintosh has redesigned Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic musical, which for the next month is receiving its North American premiere at the Academy of Music. Actually, remake more accurately describes what he has conceived here. Phantom , now almost 30 years old, needed to catch up with the times, particularly with advances in stagecraft. Accordingly, the sets (now by Paul Brown)
NEWS
March 24, 2014 | BY JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer takiffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5960
READY TO SPRING forward, showgoers? Get your ears engaged and your body in motion with some fine musicians, two big back-to-back radio-sponsored rock fests, the return of Philly's Center City Jazz Festival and more fabulous femmes - Miley Cyrus, Cher and Lady Gaga, too - than your dance-pop-loving heart can take without bursting. Okkervil River, March 28. This brittle, edgy folk-rock troupe (named after a Russian short story) is so literate, its lyrics stand alone as vivid poetry, short yarns.
NEWS
March 21, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Many singer/songwriters have written songs of political protest, and others have delved into sci-fantasy. But no songwriter other than Paul Kantner has produced surprising works - hits, even - that touched on both sci-fi and politics. As cofounder/guitarist of Jefferson Airplane in the '60s, then Jefferson Starship in the '70s, Kantner turned psychedelic rock into his own socially conscious, freedom-seeking platform. On Friday, Kantner brings his newest version of Starship (featuring original and new members)
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
Alan E. Lott, 67, a legendary music promoter who began his career in the Philadelphia record business, died from a heart attack Wednesday, March 5, in Pasadena, Calif. Mr. Lott climbed the industry ranks to become one of the first black record promoters, said his longtime friend Philadelphia radio personality Sonny Hopson. "He got to be one of the top promoters," said Hopson, who was a major radio personality at WHAT-AM when Mr. Lott got his start. "He was good at that. He was a likable person.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Staff Writer
With its 2011 album Slave Ambient , Philadelphia band The War on Drugs stepped into the big time. The album's dreamy, forward-pushing songs, written and sung by bandleader Adam Granduciel, garnered widespread acclaim. Slave Ambient landed on loads of year-end best lists, including The Inquirer's. The foursome moved up the music-industry food chain, from intimate clubs to midsize venues, and played marquee festivals around the world. Any impartial observer would think the band was making significant progress artistically and careerwise.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 15, 2014 | By Steve Klinge, For The Inquirer
Sharon Corr, of the Irish band the Corrs, appreciates the way Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day. "It's a huge celebration, and I don't really believe in under-doing anything. If you're going to do something, do it big, and that's what you guys do, which I think is really, really great. We [Irish] do have that great heritage of great art, great music, so it's good to celebrate. " Saturday night offers a convergence of opportunities to explore Irish music of several shades of green, from Corr's own debut solo appearance at World Cafe Live to the Philly-based Irish American band Solas at Wilmington's Grand Opera House to Celtic Nights' celebration of traditional step-dancing and music at the Annenberg.
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