July 13, 2015 |
Near the end, after his breathtaking appearance on The Voice - and later, his aching withdrawal from the show - even as he fell deeper into despair and addiction, even as he posed for photographs for fans on the street by day and searched for unlocked cars to sleep in at night, Anthony Riley was singing more beautifully than ever. Originals. Not covers. Songs he could call his own. And not on street corners or in train stations, but in grand rehearsal spaces, where his towering voice echoed through the empty halls, belonging.
July 4, 2015 |
Clutching a fluffy white cat and memories of the woman he loved and lost, Angelo Jacques Manglehorn is the kind of sad-sack gent whom actors with ham in their hearts would head-butt each other to play. Al Pacino (who else?!) won the bout, if there was one, and furrows his brow in epic woebegoneness in David Gordon Green's thick-as-sap character study, Manglehorn . Set in a small town in Texas and in the rueful echo chambers of Manglehorn's mind (lots of voice-over letters to Clara, his long-gone muse)
July 2, 2015 |
IT'S BEEN a crazy month in Flyerland. Kimmo Timonen finally won his Stanley Cup, albeit with another team. Chris Pronger, who hasn't laced 'em up since the Phillies were good and still has a couple of years left on his gaudy contract, was traded, at least technically. And then, a few days later, he was named to the Hall of Fame. Up until now, the only current players who received such an honor had names like McCartney, Dylan, Jagger and, of course, Springsteen. But the craziest chapter of the month in Flyerland involves, sadly, the Flyers captain who preceded Pronger.
June 19, 2015
THOUGH PIXAR is the closest thing in the movie business to a can't-miss studio, there has been grumbling recently that the company's been playing it safe. Pixar spent the first decade of the new century releasing completely original titles, seven in all, then started living off the dividends of sequels - "Toy Story 3," "Cars 2," "Monsters University. " Nit-pickers wondered: Had the company lost its nerve? If so, they've gone to the right fellow to get it back - Pete Docter, the animator who helmed "Up," the movie that concluded and perhaps capped its great 2000-09 run. No one can say Docter is playing it safe with "Inside Out," a boldly imagined animated feature that goes inside the brain of a sad, struggling girl, and breaks her emotions down into individual characters - Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, Sadness - all trying to manage the girl's mood.
June 14, 2015 |
With her company Applied Mechanics, Mary Tuomanen has given Philadelphia's adventurous audiences some great shows ( Vainglorious is my favorite). The same for her collaborations with Aaron Cromie (the extraordinary The Body Lautrec in last year's Fringe, say). Her new Hello! Sadness! is a solo piece, though Tuomanen created it with Cromie and Rebecca Wright, under Annie Wilson's direction. The title comes from Françoise Sagan's best-selling novel, Bonjour Tristesse , written when the author was 17. That age becomes thematic in the show: the same age as Joan of Arc, and the same age as Fred Hampton when he became the head of the NAACP in Chicago, four years before he was killed by police as a member of the Black Panthers.
June 2, 2015
WE NEED another language to describe the pain of losing a child, because the words we use - "It's unnatural," "No parent should live longer than her son," "What a tragedy" - don't convey the full weight or nature of that suffering. When you look at the faces of those who have experienced the death of a son or daughter, you realize even years later that they are not completely whole. Living without part of your heart, walking on half a limb and navigating the light with a constant shadow, it is the deepest of all sorrows.
April 19, 2015 |
Ed Snider, chairman of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, said he felt pained when coach Craig Berube was fired Friday, six days after his offensive-challenged team completed a 33-31-18 season. "It's always difficult to let somebody go that has worked so hard and has particularly been such a good member of our organization," Snider said in a statement. Berube spent parts of 18 years with the organization as a player, coach, or assistant. He may be given another job in the organization.
April 2, 2015 |
Here is the sad, short story of the life of Sebastian. And the story of the agency charged with protecting him. Sebastian's story is heartbreaking. The other story is proof that while Philadelphia has come a long way in protecting endangered children, there is still a good way to go. Sebastian Wallace died of an overdose in October. He was 2. He had enough of his father's illegally obtained Oxycodone pills in him to kill an adult three times over. Police in Bucks County - where Sebastian was staying with his father - have not said exactly how Sebastian ingested the pills.
March 12, 2015 |
We know enough now about the death of Firefighter Joyce Craig to say that many things went wrong the night she lost her life battling a West Oak Lane basement blaze. It's also clear that Craig's death is wrapped up in a larger problem: The Fire Department needs to recommit to giving its members the training they need and want. Craig's professionalism and bravery are not in question. Neither is the bravery of other firefighters who gave their lives battling fires in recent years: Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, killed in 2012 when a roof collapsed in an abandoned factory in Kensington.
March 12, 2015 |
It should be no secret by now that having guns in the home increases the chances that a member of the family will kill himself or herself. But the extent of the increase may surprise some people. In a study of adults, epidemiologist Douglas Wiebe found that the risk of suicide is three times higher for people who have a gun in the home than for people without guns. Guns in the home also raise the risk of homicide and accidental deaths. "The bottom line is that people with a gun in the home are more likely to die by suicide than other people," said Wiebe, who studies risks associated with gun ownership at the University of Pennsylvania.