March 14, 2016 |
FX's The Americans , which returns at 10 p.m. Wednesday for a fourth season, is about many things: deception, divided loyalties, U.S.-Soviet relations in the 1980s, and the maybe slightly less volatile relations between married spies Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell). But it's also about wigs. "Wigs! Beards! Mustaches! Yes!" executive producer Joel Fields said when I raised the hairy issue of how the Jenningses disguise themselves. Fields, who runs The Americans with creator Joe Weisberg, said he loves spotting a stranger on the set, "getting two paces past them and realizing, 'Wait a second . . . 'That's Matthew,' [or]
February 13, 2016
By John Nivala The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has said that any historic designation of any church property without its consent "allows the government to place undue restrictions on religious structures and property, which in effect interferes with the free practice of our religion. " If Philadelphia were Seattle, that position would be spot on. The Washington state Supreme Court, using the state's constitution, has found that even initiating the designation procedure violates a church's right to free exercise of religion.
December 17, 2015 |
It's been a tough year for proponents of gay-conversion therapy: In 2015, 18 state legislatures considered or enacted laws against ex-gay therapy for minors, a program promising to turn gay men straight was deemed a fraud by a New Jersey civil court, and even President Obama condemned the practice. So it's fitting that, in its twilight, the ex-gay movement is now the subject of a new history, by Temple University sociologist Tom Waidzunas. The Straight Line: How the Fringe Science of Ex-Gay Therapy Reoriented Sexuality , released by the University of Minnesota Press, documents the evolution and decline of "reorientation" - which began with early experiments like induced seizures, electroshock, and aversion therapy, and continued in the mainstream psychology community well into the 2000s.
October 17, 2015 |
"I'm poorly made. " That's Steve Jobs talking - well, wordsmith Aaron Sorkin channeling Steve Jobs - near the end of the film that bears the name of the Apple cofounder and late, lamented, mythologized, criticized tech icon. Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is talking to his daughter, Lisa (Perla Haney-Jardine), a Harvard freshman whose relationship with dad has been rocky, to say the least. First, Jobs denied that he was her father, and even after DNA tests proved paternity, he refused to acknowledge her. In Steve Jobs , directed with cinematic gusto by Danny Boyle from a theater-piece Sorkin script, Lisa comes and goes (ages 5 and 9, two very good young actresses)
September 19, 2015 |
They were looking for the secret of life - not some romantic, gooey notion of the secret of life, but the real secret. And, astonishingly, they found it. Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler is about the discovery of DNA. Under Kathryn MacMillan's direction, this play launches the Lantern Theater Company's project titled "Women in Science/Science on Stage. " The subject is Rosalind Franklin (the excellent Geneviève Perrier), who joins a major lab at King's College. Not only is she a Jew in post-World War II Europe, but also, as a woman, she seems to be somewhere between a freak and a joke.
January 9, 2015 |
TONY WROTEN went out of his way to say how much he loves every aspect of his professional life in Philadelphia. You didn't have to look very hard to see the tinge of wonderment in his eyes, however, when he was asked about a rumor circulating that he may be part of a deal that would send him to the Los Angeles Clippers. "You hear it. You hear what you hear, but whatever happens, happens," said Wroten, the Sixers' leading scorer at 17.2 a game. "I just control the ball on the court, really.
January 5, 2015 |
By Michael Carroll I confess that I am a little envious of the peculiar and controversial public employee retirement program known as DROP, for Deferred Retirement Option Plan. I like the image, the sound of it, and the opening it provides for imagination. I would also like the money. Few inside Philadelphia government understand DROP completely, and even fewer outside have a clue. As I understand it, city employees declare their intention to retire in a few years, which is supposed to give the city time to plan for their departure.
October 28, 2014 |
Doug Wright's over-the-top play is being given an over-the-top production by Luna Theater Company. Quills is about the over-the-top Marquis de Sade, who lent his name to sadism, sexual pleasure derived from inflicting pain, and who wrote novels of shocking, violent pornography. Excess is the name of the game here: sexually, literarily, and theatrically. As Wright explains in his notes on style, "Characters are not good or bad; they are either kissed by God or yoked in Satan's merciless employ.
July 13, 2014 |
His plugged-in friends said he was a fool not to buy health insurance on the federal marketplace. Mark Gaines knew they were right. He was, after all, a 26-year-old law school graduate. But if a judge had asked him for a summation of the Affordable Care Act last fall, it would have been a one-sentence brief. "I didn't know anything about it," said Gaines, who lives in South Philadelphia and was working part-time. "I knew that it was going to make [insurance] open to everyone and make it cheaper.
May 18, 2014 |
Descendants of the family of Msgr. Patrick Garvey, once rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, are challenging the seminary's decision to sell Thomas Eakins' 1902 portrait of Garvey, arguing that the seminary does not own it. Robert E. Goldman, a former federal prosecutor who is aiding the descendants, said the portrait, painted during Eakins' visits to the City Avenue seminary at the turn of the 20th century, was put in the seminary's hands for...