March 30, 2014 |
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.
March 26, 2014 |
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)
March 24, 2014 |
FROM NOW until Memorial Day, the calendar is crammed with concerts from our finest artists, as well as some outstanding guests. There are programs at an extraordinarily high artistic level most evenings this spring - and dozens each weekend - a roster that most cities would envy. Opera mavens in particular can celebrate a flood of spring offerings, both by Opera Philadelphia and by the city's three outstanding conservatories: Curtis, Temple and the Academy of Vocal Arts. Don't confine yourself to the highlights on this list.
March 21, 2014 |
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)
March 17, 2014 |
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.
March 17, 2014 |
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.
March 15, 2014 |
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.
March 14, 2014 |
AUSTIN, Texas - The volume turned up Tuesday as the raucous SXSW Music Festival took the baton from the geeky Interactive conference, and thousands of rock and rap fans poured into Austin. SXSW Interactive drew to a close with its final panels Tuesday afternoon. Neil Young rolled out his hi-fi online music store and player PonoMusic. Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen talked Portlandia . Chelsea Clinton gave a keynote. And then the music began. Once again, this year's fest is packed with huge names unable to resist the promotional opportunity SXSW offers, all attaching their names to corporate brands.
March 12, 2014 |
No matter that Tempesta di Mare has been giving enterprising concerts at venues as prestigious as New York's Frick Collection and making good recordings for the Chandos label. For its debut at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater on Saturday, the Philadelphia baroque orchestra hatched a red-letter-day program that at times took the group too far from its comfort zone. Titled Apollo at Play , the program had its best moments in repertoire in which yester-era gods were a more immediate presence in the culture's mythology, namely works from the 18th century, when plays and operas were full of mythical figures treated with the casualness of distant relatives rather than lofty deities.