April 23, 2015 |
WHAT SHOULD Philadelphia do to locate deadbeat owners of vacant houses when so many people are in need of housing? Mayoral candidate T. Milton Street said he wouldn't bother looking for missing owners. "I'd move somebody in those houses and let the owners find me," said the former state senator and onetime squatter-movement leader. "I've done it. It works. " It was a response to one question asked near the end of a mayoral candidates forum sponsored by the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement at the Crystal Tea Room yesterday.
April 2, 2013 |
IT'S TAKEN a little more than 500 years to get to the root of William Shakespeare 's personality, but it turns out he was a bastard. According to a group of academics, the Bard was more Shylock than Puck, a ruthless businessman - hoarder, moneylender, tax dodger - who grew wealthy dealing in grain during a time of famine. You thought he just wrote plays, but researchers from Aberystwyth University, in Wales, argue that we can't fully understand Shakespeare unless we study his often-overlooked business savvy.
January 5, 2013 |
The end-of-term reviews of John Boehner's House speakership are in, and they aren't pretty. "The conduct of the Republican leadership was disgraceful, it was indefensible, and it was immoral. " "There was a betrayal. " "Disappointing and disgusting. " "It's inexcusable. " "Failed that most basic test of public service. " And this was from the Republicans . The spark: Boehner's last-minute decision to let the 112th Congress fade into history without a vote on the $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package for the Northeast.
November 20, 2012 |
Guessing what Bob Dylan might do next - and pondering why he does what he does - has been a time-consuming avocation for amateur Dylanologists for pretty much the entire half-century of his incomparably inscrutable career. On Monday, the mysterious man in the white boater hat played the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, on a double bill that also featured Mark Knopfler, the former Dire Straits frontman who produced Infidels , Dylan's standout album from 1983. This date on the Never Ending Tour had a more compelling raison d'etre than most.
November 10, 2012 |
Opinions can be confoundingly divided between those who hear Metropolitan Opera performances at Lincoln Center and audiences at the high-def movie-theater simulcasts. Obviously, cameras rightly favor the singers over the sometimes questionable productions around them. But in the case of The Tempest , which will be beamed to six area movie theaters Saturday, the division may well be a question of urban tastes vs. others'. Or how many fools you're willing to suffer. The opera in question, which premiered in London in 2004, was created by Thomas Adès, who has been compared in stature to the great Benjamin Britten, often deservedly so. That's a lot of artistic equity, particularly in New York, where foreign composers can still be favored over domestic ones.
June 25, 2012 |
Strong acting and bold direction too often overshadow the work that a design team contributes to a play's success. In the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's staging of The Tempest, the designers provide all the elements that make this production memorable. Not that the actors and director Jim Helsinger don't uphold the Festival's high standards. Greg Wood delivers a compelling, sympathetic performance as Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan exiled for 15 years on a remote island with his daughter Miranda (the earnest and endearing Kelsey Formost)
May 1, 2012 |
Theater companies cut Shakespeare to reflect casting, to indulge shortened attention spans, or to center the play on a director's artistic vision or insight, among other reasons. Curio Theatre's current production of The Tempest proves that a bit of risk lies in any of these approaches. And, like any gamble, it also hints at large, if quick, rewards. The Tempest's traditional three-hour run time presents one of Shakespeare's most straightforward plots. Courtly treachery dethroned Duke Prospero (Brian McCann)
April 29, 2012 |
Near the end of The Tempest by William Shakespeare, the magician Prospero promises that he'll retire, that "deeper than did ever plummet sound, / I'll drown my book. " Starting with the 1623 First Folio collection of Shakespeare, where it is the very first play, books have brought The Tempest to millions and millions of people. And now . . . there's Shakespeare's The Tempest for iPad. Prospero would love it. It's like Ariel in a box. This app is, for one thing, an e-book, a carefully edited text of the play you can read just as in a book, 1616- or 1990-style.
December 17, 2010 |
"The Tempest" is another of Julie Taymor's bold reimaginings of Shakespeare, this time with a huge gender switch at the center. She takes Prospero, the marooned alchemist who lures rivals to his island exile, and turns him into Prospera, in the person of Helen Mirren. Does this complicate our interpretation of the text? I'm afraid so. As when, early on, angry Prospera inflicts punishment on her disobedient slave, Caliban. "For this, to be sure, tonight thou shalt have cramps!"
December 17, 2010 |
It figures that Julie Taymor, theater magician of The Lion King , film conjurer of Across the Universe , Shakespeare interpreter who made her movie debut with Titus , would be drawn to The Tempest , the one about the sorcerer who unsettles the seas before settling scores. Boldly Taymor changes Prospero's gender, casting the magnificent Helen Mirren as Prospera, cast away with her daughter, Miranda, on a remote island where the sorceress rescues the sprite Ariel and enslaves the creature Caliban.