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.
May 10, 2009 |
The artsy borough of New Hope, a flood-prone hamlet along the Delaware River in Bucks County, prides itself as a gay-friendly place of antiques dealers, collectibles retailers, restaurants, and other small-town merchants. So the opening in late March of a Dunkin' Donuts at the town's main intersection - the highest-profile retail location and just over the bridge from Lambertville, N.J. - has caused economic distress of sorts for the borough of 2,400 that swells with shoppers and motorcycle enthusiasts on nice-weather weekends.
August 6, 2006 |
Opera audiences here seem to converge from different decades, whether they're dowagers unchanged since the 1950s, sun-baked disco bunnies from the 1980s, or the tattooed-and-pierced 21st-century set. How well the Santa Fe Opera serves this patchwork constituency is an annual source of curiosity that draws artistic directors from Philadelphia to Seattle. And that's why any given season here is an operatic crystal ball for much of the rest of the country. This year, the diva worshipers won the durable, oft-venerated mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter in the title role of Carmen (through Aug. 26)
April 24, 2006 |
The Tempest, Shakespeare's last play, is stuffed with juicy roles and theatrical opportunities: a magical island full of mysterious creatures, an exiled duke turned wizard, a shipwreck, a love story, and an enslaved sprite who casts spells on buffoons and drunks and fops and wicked aristocrats. It's a strange, gorgeous world. So it's an odd Tempest that takes place on a bare stage. Even odder, this latest production from Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival stars the monster Caliban.
October 4, 2004
I GRADUATED from Cardinal Dougherty. Then I spend eight years in the armed forces with every contingent of minority there is in this country. Everyone uses foul racial words against their own, and it is always OK. But if someone else outside the box even mentions one of those words, they apparently are wrong - and deserve punishment. As your article indicated, Dougherty's athletic director did not use the "n-word" to express his own thoughts, he repeated the regretful use of it by others regarding the school's football team.
July 26, 2004 |
It is fitting, perhaps, that Barnum opened the summer season last month at the Main Street Theatre of Quakertown. For while the musical has finished its run, a backstage circus grinds on at the popular regional playhouse. A long-smoldering snit between the theater's owner and its board of directors has flared anew, landing the principals in court and raising fears that a local jewel might not survive its 11th season. In recent weeks, two competing boards of directors have emerged, each claiming legitimacy.
January 4, 2004 |
When black-nationalist icon Mumia Abu-Jamal calls for revolution, there is little chance he is thinking of Narberth, a cozy enclave on the Main Line that is 95 percent white. What passes for social upheaval here is an influx of upscale professionals from the city, the subsequent opening of a French pastry shop, and, for the first time in 100 years, a Democratic majority on the Borough Council. Yet it is here that alleged loyalties to the left-wing "Free Mumia" movement have triggered what the mayor calls the worst political crisis in 20 years - one that threatens to take all the nastiness of the liberal-conservative culture wars to neighborly Narberth, which has a population of 4,200.
November 24, 2003 |
The leaves of brown come tumbling down every autumn. Usually, however, the branches don't come tumbling after. So far three mega-windstorms, packing gales louder than chain saws, have howled through the region. The effect has been a fall dominated by the frantic clicking of brittle leaves, the endless clinks of wind chimes and the haunting music of air rushing through wires and tree limbs, at least the ones still standing. The storm last week that generated a wind gust of 49 m.p.h.
May 11, 2003 |
Matrix, Matrix, Matrix. "There's no doubt that The Matrix Reloaded is going to be gigantic," says Peyton Reed, director of Down With Love, the Ren?e Zellweger retro romance with the counterprogramming audacity to open Friday, one day after Keanu Reeves' leather-trenchcoated Neo swoops into almost 4,000 theaters. "It'll be the number-one movie of the summer," predicts Greg Dean Schmitz, producer of Yahoo's UpcomingMovies.com. "It will blow your mind," says Monica Bellucci, the sultry Italian who plays opposite Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss and Laurence Fishburne in the hugely anticipated $127 million sequel that finds Zion on the brink of Machine Army domination.
April 5, 2003 |
From the very beginning, the production of The Tempest by the Lantern Theater establishes that the play belongs to Prospero. Before the first scene's storm, we see Prospero sitting on a sort of natural throne built into the top of the hill suggested by Nick Embree's earthy, vine-covered set. From his perch, Prospero looms over the compact St. Stephen's Theater playing area, providing a strong visual reminder that nothing will occur in the play...