September 18, 2015 |
Speakest thou to me, pal? En garde! Fights - with swords (broad and not), daggers, rapiers, pikes, and cutlasses, plus various arm-twistings and foot-stompings - are front and center in this gleeful kill-fest, featuring the most violent, difficult, and hazardous-to-actors fight scenes from Shakespeare's plays. Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre highlights the scenes that keep the combat choreographers in business. This collage of the "bloody bits" was written by Derek Davidson and directed by Kevin McGuire; the opening gambit is the famous "O for a muse of fire" speech from Henry V , over-emoted by Deaon Griffin-Pressley, who is silenced by a punch in the mouth.
December 10, 2012 |
Before we get going with the following playlist of 2012 big hits and might-have-beens, I'd like to make my apologies. First, dear reader, if you were intent on finding Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" or Psy's "Gangnam Style" here, I'm sorry. The latter is best appreciated on YouTube, and the former, come to think of it, is as well - I recommend the version with Jepsen, Jimmy Fallon, and the Roots playing toy instruments. And I have my own regrets about the 23-song list that follows.
December 4, 2012 |
The stage at Plays & Players Theatre these days looks like a combination hamster cage/prison cell/Lego village, an environment that seems too tiny to hold several of the city's most outsized theatrical practitioners. The staging of bunkbeds and cartoon props may physically squeeze Dave Jadico (comic thespian, writer, 1812 Productions staple) and Aaron Cromie (director, actor, mask- and puppet-maker). But nothing gets in the way of the fast-moving, belly-flopping, arm-flailing duo in Dave & Aaron Go to Work , a silent film-inspired comedy that's equal parts Buster Keaton and The Odd Couple . The play, now in previews, opens this week.
October 20, 2012 |
Titus Andronicus' Patrick Stickles has no qualms about borrowing from the past. Over the course of three albums, his band, originally from Glen Rock, N.J., has combined punk-rock brio with historical, literary, and philosophical allusions. On 2010's The Monitor , Titus Andronicus conflated Civil War references and Abraham Lincoln quotations with the saga of a modern-day young adult in the middle of an existential crisis. On "In a Big City" from the album Local Business , which comes out Monday, a day before the band plays the First Unitarian Church, Stickles drops a line from Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy into a song that blatantly alludes to the '80s hit "In a Big Country.
July 23, 2012 |
Dr. Nathan R. Carb Jr. was a memorable teacher, his students and colleagues said when he marked his 50th year of teaching at Rowan University in 2009. "I teach, I try to entertain, and I hope you learn," Dr. Carb told a class the day an Inquirer reporter visited. "That gives me the impression I exist. " Taking notes, a student asked, "Dr. Carb, can you repeat that?" "Very likely not," he said. "It's all spontaneous. " On Saturday, June 30, Dr. Carb, 79, chairman of the English department from 1983 to 2003 at what is now Rowan University, died of multiple systems atrophy at his home in Pitman.
April 20, 2012 |
I had been dutifully watching the trailer for Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre's new production of Titus Andronicus , listening to Aaron Cromie, who directs it, burble on, talking-head style, about going to graduate school, blah blah blah. And then his head started to bleed. And the blood gushed down his face, and still he talked. This, I said to myself, is going to be a Titus Andronicus to remember. And so it is. Rarely performed because of its impossibly gruesome events, Titus Andronicus includes three behandings, one betonguing, many beheadings, and an assortment of rape, gouging, stabbing, slicing, bloodletting, and cannibalism.
September 24, 2011
Music "Popped! Music Festival. " This festival moved from FDR Park to the Liacouras Center with its buzzed-about lineup of performers. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Saturday for a schedule that includes Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, Foster the People, Rakim, Cults, Kreayshawn, Titus Andronicus, DJ ?uestlove, Nikki Jean, Sun Airway, the Budos Band, Patty Crash, Charles Bradley, Mates of State, Zee Avi, Black Landlord, and Anamanaguchi. The Food Bazaar moves to the Piazza at Schmidts from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday with the Philadelphia Film & Music Festival-connected Girard Fest, which has its own full slate of bands including Cheers Elephant.
June 3, 2011 |
Will Sheff, the leader of Okkervil River, the mostly Austin, Texas-based band that will co-headline The Trocadero on Friday night, with New Jersey punk-rockers Titus Andronicus opening, was on the phone last week from Brooklyn, where he has lived for the last three years. And since it was his first day home after three weeks on the road, Sheff was not only fielding questions about I Am Very Far, the well-wrought and rocked-out new Okkervil River album, he was also taking care of domestic duties.
December 12, 2010 |
Being a pop music fan these days is more about songs than albums. By now, that's a certainty, if not a cliche: iPods and MP3s broke the CD into little pieces, and now we're all free to assemble our personal playlist puzzles. But that's not the half of it. In 2010, it's not just about songs. It's about memes and tweets and YouTube videos, links and posts and status updates. It's about the Internet, and how the Web that made music free now makes music fans - and music-makers - free to overshare and obsess, all the time.
November 5, 2010 |
The title of Sara Marcus ' new book says it all: Girls to the Front . For a female concertgoer, that seemingly simple request gives her a space of her own, a place to listen to music and dance uninterrupted. But in the late '80s and early '90s, it was a call to action for young women who were giving birth to their own feminist wave and who had seen too few of their kind playing music onstage. It was also a rallying cry for the riot-grrrl movement, a collusion of feminism and punk rock that birthed bands like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile and Huggy Bear.