April 8, 2016 |
"How do we use music to increase quality of life for people in challenging situations?" Daniel Berkowitz, the Philadelphia Orchestra's director of collaborative learning, asks the question, and says the orchestra is increasing the number of ways music can answer the call. The group is instituting a new social-impact program, increasing others, and packaging them under an umbrella acronym: HEAR, which stands for health, education, access, and research. Under the heading of health, the orchestra is sending its musicians into Broad Street Ministry as music therapists to work with victims of trauma.
April 4, 2016
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said Saturday it had to cancel a free preview performance in Rittenhouse Square because of inclement weather. In advance of its spring benefit concert next weekend, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary planned to hold a free flash performance with selected soloists in the Center City square from 11 to 11:30 a.m. The full concert still will be held next Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. in St. Martin of Tours Chapel at the...
April 3, 2016 |
The stars are aligned. Music stars, that is. In one of those weird what's-going-on-here? Hollywood convergences, a quartet of biopics about jazz, pop, and country-and-western luminaries is playing on theater screens right now, or is about to be. And a spate of other song-driven bios is heading this way, with even more in development. Of course, music and movies have been intrinsically intertwined all the way back to 1927's pioneering talkie, The Jazz Singer , and music bios have been a staple of studio fare down through the decades (James Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story , Cary Grant as Cole Porter in Night and Day , Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett in The Runaways )
April 3, 2016 |
While we wait for the latest selection of musical biopics, here's a dozen of the more successful, or at least more entertaining, previous screen takes on musicians' lives: Amadeus (1984) Tom Hulce is Mozart, F. Murray Abraham his rival Antonio Salieri, in Milos Foreman's best picture Oscar-winner about the prolific, profoundly influential Wolfgang Amadeus. Eighteenth-century Vienna never looked so good. Bound for Glory (1976) David Carradine stars as Woody Guthrie in Hal Ashby's Great Depression drama.
April 2, 2016 |
Professional rockers and rappers, folkies and bluesniks will convene this weekend in University City to trade children's tunes, entertain "the base," and debate burning issues at the KindieComm music conference, the annual blowout for kids music-making. Among them: "What's the ideal set length for today's short-attention-span listener? Maybe just 15 minutes?" What are today's most relevant issues in song? Having two mommies or daddies? The dangers of polluted water and air? How to pick your friends and your nose (best not at the same time)
March 30, 2016 |
'Freckleface Strawberry the Musical' The long: Julianne Moore - idolized by actors, redheads, and smart parents everywhere - wrote an autobiographical storybook that became six storybooks and this 70-minute, Off-Broadway hit about a 7-year-old girl who wishes her freckles weren't so . . . different. The short: Fun, fast, feel-good musical boldly boosts big kids' confidence. The demo: Elementary school through junior high. (Although we can think of a few news-monopolizing adults who could stand to learn Freckleface's lesson, too.)
March 26, 2016 |
Having great chamber music easily accessible a couple of times a week in town is greeted as the natural order of things. But it was hardly inevitable, and is largely thanks to one man: Anthony P. Checchia, founding artistic director of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Checchia's modesty has obscured the scale of his feat; PCMS, now 30 years old, is presenting about 60 concerts per season. Checchia's fans finally caught up with him Thursday night. They filled the Perelman Theater to hear speeches, stand for an ovation in his honor, and cheer board chairman Jerry G. Rubenstein when he thanked Checchia for building "arguably the greatest chamber music series in the U.S. " No one is likely to argue.
March 25, 2016 |
Abby Mueller wows as Carole King, which is a challenging feat. King's voice is tough to get right. Mueller does more than shine in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical , now at the Academy of Music; she captivates and dramatizes the early life of King, a woman with exceptional talent and a deeper list of accomplishments than most might know. King's discovery of her own voice as an artist, not just a writer, is the inspiring core of this production, a rich show propelled by Mueller's magnetism.
March 24, 2016 |
The last blast of winter blew hard and cold on a recent Friday night outside Trocadero on Arch Street. But inside that burlesque club's intimate Balcony, New Jersey's Agudos Clef - an alternative hip-hop duo with roots in the Dominican Republic - kept things cheerfully incendiary with tracks from their steamy debut disc, Teoria . While flutey songs such as "Raices" vividly described from where rappers Josue Lora and Peter "Nota G" Rodriguez hail,...
March 24, 2016 |
During the last four decades, Philly singer-songwriter Kenn Kweder could only watch as others who came out of the local rock scene he helped midwife in the 1970s rocketed past him. The late Robert Hazard, the A's, and the Hooters are just some of the acts that landed national recording contracts while he remained virtually unknown outside the Delaware Valley. Yet it's the 64-year-old Southwest Philly native who is the subject of a full-length documentary feature that has its world premiere in two screenings at International House on Friday.