June 22, 2016 |
With controversy over immigration, nativist tensions and gun violence dominating the news, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's elegant production of West Side Story has a ripped-from-the-headlines feel. Instead of a border wall, set designer Steven TenEyck's chain-link fence represents the ethnic divides and misunderstandings that will lead to tragedy. There's more foreshadowing in the blood-red color of the tenements in which Tony and Maria, the show's contemporary Romeo and Juliet, pledge their undying love.
October 1, 2015 |
Robert Zemeckis is trying something beautiful, and perhaps impossible, in The Walk : to reclaim the Twin Towers, taking the World Trade Center edifices back from the nightmarish taint of terrorism, the trauma of 9/11, and celebrating human ambition, and folly, in the process. By bringing his visual mastery to bear on the story of Philippe Petit, the French daredevil who, in the summer of 1974, crossed the 140 feet between the New York skyscrapers, balancing on a cable 1,350 feet in the air, Zemeckis pulls off not only a dazzling optical illusion, but a historical illusion, too. Opening Wednesday in IMAX theaters and in wider release Oct. 9, The Walk feels like one of those '50s Hollywood spectacles - Around the World in 80 Days , say - only hyper-enhanced with cutting-edge digital and 3D technology.
April 17, 2015 |
For decades, the Vesper Club was a Mad Men -ny, private dining club tucked on a Center City backstreet. On Friday nights from the mid-'50s through the late '70s, that's where you'd find Frank Rizzo, for example. Tastes changed, members died off, smoking was banned, and, in late 2012, it was booted from its home on Sydenham Street (near 15th and Locust Streets) pending the building's sale. The building returned this week as a supper-club-style restaurant open to the public, with nightly dancing and a downstairs bar that bans cell phones.
January 14, 2015
HOLLYWOOD kept a low profile yesterday, when everyone who's everyone, including the nonstop partying (and according to TMZ, allegedly Rihanna lip-locking) Leonardo DiCaprio , ought to have stayed in their jammies and rehydrated themselves post Sunday's Golden Globes. In case you missed the endless awards-show rehash, the reviews and rumors went like this: Hosts Amy Poehler and Upper Darby's own Tina Fey dissed longtime Philadelphian Bill Cosby , and did a just-OK job co-mastering the ceremonies.
February 1, 2014 |
TRENTON At the Statehouse, if at first you don't succeed, try introducing the bill again. Gov. Christie may have shot down hundreds of bills last session, but that didn't stop lawmakers from moving forward Thursday with some of the same proposals. Bills brought back include one championed by the state's top elected Democrat to form a commission on college affordability - legislation the governor opposed as redundant - and a measure to ban pig gestation crates, which are decried by animal rights groups as inhumane.
January 4, 2014 |
Terence Davies is quite possibly the greatest filmmaker you've never heard of. Celebrated pretty much only by cinephiles, the British writer-director, whose films include The Neon Bible , The House of Mirth , and Of Time and the City , has never attracted a mass audience. That will change, we hope, with the release of two of his films, the 2011 romantic drama, The Deep Blue Sea , and one of his greatest accomplishments, the 1992 masterpiece The Long Day Closes . Based on the 1952 play by Terence Rattigan and set five years after the end of World War II, The Deep Blue Sea stars Rachel Weisz as Hester Collyer, the dutiful but unfulfilled wife of the much older Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale)
May 30, 2013
OUR FIRST reaction to the good news that state Sen. Mike Stack is introducing bills in Harrisburg that would remove some of the legal obstacles that the city faces as it tries to collect on delinquent taxes was: How long has this been going on? We knew that the city has a pathetic history of collecting back taxes, but learning that state law has further hobbled the city from going after deadbeats is a rude surprise. The "culture of nonpayment" has been cited by many to explain how our collection performance is the worst of the country's biggest cities.
February 8, 2013
By Jan C. Ting The so-called comprehensive immigration reform proposed by a group of senators and President Obama amounts to immediate amnesty for millions of immigration-law violators, and the lifting of limits on future immigration, with some window dressing designed to assuage skeptical voters. We've seen this act before. The 1986 amnesty promised to fix the immigration problem by granting amnesty to three million immigration-law violators, strengthening the border, and penalizing employers for hiring illegal immigrants.
January 4, 2013
By Jay Mathews Few education experts have been as true to a seemingly unworkable idea as Richard D. Kahlenberg, an author and senior fellow at the Century Foundation. Since the 1990s, he has been the nation's leading exponent of socio-economic integration. That means he wants as many low-income students as possible to attend schools with a middle-class majority. As Kahlenberg notes in an illuminating new piece in American Educator magazine, research shows that poor kids transferred to schools with middle-class majorities do better on average than in schools with low-income majorities.