April 22, 2016 |
The law signed by Gov. Wolf on Sunday legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania provides for an ambitious set of research programs to track how the drug works on the 17 health conditions listed in the law. But investigations are already underway, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society held a telephone conference Wednesday to discuss recent scientific findings. Many doctors remain dubious of pot's health benefits and are wary of the politics driving legalization. But the evidence of its effectiveness in some conditions is slowly mounting.
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 23, 2016 |
'We want the public to hear great music at prices they can afford. " That has been Anthony Checchia's mantra, whether founding the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society 30 years ago, or presenting concerts 25 years before that. The society has become the largest presenter of chamber music in the country, now giving 60 concerts of major artists each season. It insists on prices from $18 to $24 (with a $4 Kimmel Center fee for shows at its Perelman Theater), though the same concert in New York a few days later goes for three times that.
March 20, 2016 |
Even the intermediate piano student could play through the first 30 seconds of Schubert's Piano Sonata in B Major, D. 575 and hear that something crazy is going on. It wasn't just Schubert. There are any number of ways one could map in a single program the strangely precarious state of traditional harmony, but none more deliciously subversive than the route Paul Lewis chose Thursday night. The English pianist's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital debut at the Perelman looked harmless on paper - Schubert, Brahms, and Liszt.
March 20, 2016 |
My best guy friend and I live two blocks away from each other, and we share one very particular interest: Gilbert & Sullivan. William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan were the writer-composer duo who created 14 comic operas in the late 19th century. Their humor is satirical and heavy on wordplay and pokes fun at Victorian England and theatrical clichés of the day. Don't make that face. Before Hamilton and rap musicals, there were patter-songs. While others bonded over keg stands in college, my friend and I grew close standing on stage in various G&S productions.
March 6, 2016 |
After almost 56 years of community theater, the Society Hill Playhouse is expected to close on April 1. It's putting on one last premiere - a two-night show Friday and Saturday - titled Liberty Radio Theatre , by Bill Arrowood. It's a show modeled after classic radio drama. "For an old-timey show like this, the Society Hill is the right room," Arrowood said. Deen Kogan, who cofounded the theater in 1959, is "a big noir buff," Arrowood said, "so I wrote the last episode of the play for her. " (On March 19, the theater will host "Noir at the Bar," a gala night of readings by noir authors in honor of the theater and its longtime role as host of NoirCon.)
February 27, 2016
By W. Wilson Goode Sr. The Maasai tribe in Kenya is known around the world because its members are mighty warriors. They are fierce fighters, and they are protectors of the women and children in the villages. I speak of them not because they are mighty warriors, but because of the way they greet one another. They don't do it the way we do it. We say, "Good morning," "Good afternoon," or "Good evening. " They greet others with a question: "How are the children?" Well, how are the children?
February 13, 2016
Valentine's Day @ the PFS Roxy Noon to 10:15 p.m. Sunday at the PFS at the Roxy Bring some beer or a bottle of wine for a BYO party featuring a daylong program of films about love in all its shades, including Rob Reiner's divine fantasy, The Princess Bride (rated PG; at noon); the deliciously dangerous noir Double Indemnity (no MPAA rating; 2:10 p.m.), Romeo + Juliet featuring the young Leonardo DiCaprio (PG-13; 4:30 p.m.), and James Cameron's Titanic , pairing Leo with Kate Winslet (PG-13; 7 p.m.)
February 13, 2016 |
One day in the 1980s, Franklyn A. Barnaby and his bagpipes were on a double-decker bus, part of a wedding party heading along a busy Manhattan street, slowly. "They got stuck in traffic," his wife, Adele, recalled. Outfitted in Scottish ceremonial attire, Mr. Barnaby got off "and started to play in front of the bus. " And, so the family story went, she said, "all the cars stopped to let the bus go by. " Mr. Barnaby got back on the bus and, with more appreciation than usual, went on to play at the wedding event.
February 12, 2016
By Omar Blaik A few weeks ago, as universities across the United States were grappling with accusations of institutional racism both current and historical, I was in South Africa working with several universities' leadership on tackling a parallel challenge: creating open campuses integrated with their host cities in a still largely segregated society. Despite the vastly different social and political context, the challenges of South Africa's higher education system are related to our own struggles with issues of race and class that are unfolding on many American campuses today.