April 23, 2015 |
On one of last winter's snowy nights, playgoers arrived at the door of a Bala Cynwyd home, shed their jackets and boots, and took their seats - in this case, bridge chairs scattered around a living room. At "curtain time" - although the only curtains were on the windows - Deborah Baer Mozes, a petite woman with a megawatt smile, greeted those assembled, and gave a brief orientation. It was showtime at Salon Ariel - a theater troupe that makes house calls, if you will - and at the front of the room were the actors who would be performing a reading of a full-length play called Hungry Heart . The latest iteration of intimate, in-home performances - think home concerts - Salon Ariel hopes to fill a void in the theater world.
November 29, 2014 |
Get ready to boogie this weekend when the Hip Hop Fundamentals dance troupe performs and instructs at the Please Touch Museum. Learn about the history of hip-hop while dancing and grooving. You'll also learn about dance styles including break dancing. The troupe uses hip-hop as a vehicle to teach academics and break dancing to inspire positive change in youth. Hip Hop Fundamentals, noon and 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Please Touch Museum, Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic.
November 21, 2014 |
As someone who would happily pay to watch Soledad Barrio drink coffee in her kitchen, I was excited to hear that this remarkable, much-honored dancer - star of the Madrid troupe Noche Flamenca - would be returning to Philadelphia after a lengthy absence. Thursday through Saturday the Annenberg Center presents the East Coast premiere of Antigona , an innovative work by Martín Santangelo, the company's artistic director and Barrio's husband. Antigona is based on Sophocles' classical Greek tragedy Antigone . It tells the story of a heroic young woman who defies Thebes' ruler by burying her brother, Polyneices, who had fought on the wrong side during the recent civil war. His corpse was therefore supposed to remain on the battlefield, to be picked at by carrion birds.
November 8, 2014 |
At the Pennsport headquarters of the Golden Sunrise New Year's Association, 54 years' worth of sequins, feathers, and satin are shrouded in plastic sheeting - makeshift protection from the leaks that seem to multiply every time it rains. This crumbling clubhouse - and the 28 staunch members who spend nights and weekends laboring over glittering sea horses, towering scarecrows, and miscellaneous tiki-theme set pieces - are what's left of the Mummers' Fancy Division, which has dwindled from three clubs in 2010 to two in January, and now to just this one. Golden Sunrise may not have the finances to sustain its craft for another year.
October 10, 2014
TO A LARGE degree, the story of modern-day comedy has been written primarily in a handful of towns. New York and Los Angeles, obviously, are among them, but two others are just as important: Chicago and Toronto. Both are permanent residences of Second City, the groundbreaking improvisational-comedy troupe that has been the training ground for a mind-boggling number of comedy megastars from Joan Rivers and Robert Klein to John Belushi and Gilda Radner , from Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara to Tina Fey and three current "Saturday Night Live" cast members.
July 16, 2014 |
Pamela Madger Sommerfield, 83, cofounder of the American Historical Theatre, a Philadelphia troupe, died of complications from Parkinson's disease Tuesday, July 8, at Foothill Acres, a rehabilitation and nursing center in Hillsborough, N.J. Born in Singapore, Mrs. Sommerfield grew up near London and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama there, a daughter, Lynn Berry, said. She and friends established the Saints, an amateur drama group, outside London while she worked for a time at Canada House near Trafalgar Square.
May 16, 2014
WE ALL have our ideas for civic improvement (like putting a roof over the Penn's Landing portion of I-95 or abolishing the Philadelphia Parking Authority). Well, here's another: force 1812 Productions to make "This Is the Week That Is" a year-round proposition. We can't guarantee this would make Philly better, but it certainly would make it much funnier. Unfortunately, as it stands, this year's edition of the ripped-from-the-headlines laugh-fest ends its six-week run June 1, so you have but two weeks to see this comedy cavalcade that delivers on numerous levels.
May 13, 2014 |
Good vision in low light is essential to enjoying Alchemia , which Momix brought to the Annenberg Center last weekend. The gloam can hide the scraps and bits that would make the piece seem magical. But for those with healthy peepers, Alchemia is a brilliant journey into a surreal otherworld where earth, water, air, and fire - in the form of dancers, music, lighting, and props - do their thing. Moses Pendleton, choreographer of the "Doves of Peace" segment of the Sochi Olympics' opening ceremony, is the "Mo" in Momix.
March 9, 2014 |
The last time choreographer Doug Elkins appeared in Philadelphia five years ago, he brought his hit "Fraulein Maria," a delightful frolic. The two frothy pieces he offers for the Dance Celebration Series, presented by Dance Affiliates and the Annenberg Center, are not as fully fleshed, but have an audience-pleasing frivolity and terrific performers. From his new pick-up company, Doug Elkins Choreography Etc., come "Mo(or)town/Redux" and "Hapless Bizarre," which opened Thursday. In "Hapless Bizarre" (a title I'm unable to decipher)
March 4, 2014 |
WHEN Edwin Huntingdon Parker's Philadelphia apartment was robbed, he shrugged and said, "They probably needed it more than me. " That sounded like Parker. He was generous and forgiving almost to a fault. "He was honest even when it was to his detriment," said longtime friend Robert Kahn, AIDS activist and supervisor in the city's Anti-Bias Agency. "He was one of the most honest, positive and generous people I have ever known. " Edwin Huntingdon Parker, well-known in the theater world as a costume designer who worked with local theater and opera companies and toured the world with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, died Feb. 9 of metastatic lung cancer.