August 19, 2015 |
When she was a child at the school of St. Adalbert Church in Port Richmond, Elaine Szumanski was singled out. "One of the nuns told her mother, 'This young girl has a beautiful voice,' " said her husband, Joseph Fydrych. "Her parents began giving her singing lessons, piano lessons. And then, her parents hooked up with a person putting children's acts together. " And that led, years later, to a local production of the musical comedy Nunsense, in which she portrayed a nun. On Thursday, Aug. 13, Elaine Szumanski Fydrych, 63, of Runnemede, a former actress at the Broadway Theatre in Pitman, died of lung cancer at home.
July 15, 2015 |
BY ANY measure, Penn & Teller reside in the upper echelons of show business. With 14 years under their belts at Las Vegas' Rio casino, the one-of-a-kind, comedy-magic duo reigns as that town's longest-running resident act ever. They have been TV staples as both ensemble cast members ("Sabrina the Teenage Witch") and headliners ("Penn & Teller: Bullsh-t!" on Showtime, The CW's "Penn & Teller: Fool Us"). They are published authors, both individually and collectively. And their current run (through Aug. 16)
June 6, 2015 |
Chances are you've heard the Kidz Bop Kids , perennial Billboard toppers singing cleaned-up versions of pop hits . The latest edition of the preteen prefab pop stars helps Sesame Place celebrate its 35th anniversary when the quartet bring the "Make Some Noise" tour to the Langhorne theme park. Don't forget to say hello to Elmo. He rocks, too. 11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at Sesame Place, Route 1 and Oxford Valley Road, Langhorne. Tickets: Free with park admission of Adult (ages 10 & Up)
June 3, 2015
The long: Seventies-born, Emmy-winning educational segue that once interrupted Saturday morning cartoons takes to the stage in a story that aims its catchy rock 'n' roll hits squarely and energetically at elementary schoolers. The short: Kids learn. Parents reminisce. The demo: Ages 5 to 12. The length: One quick hour. The plot: A teacher named Tom dreams up five fantastical Technicolor characters the night before his first class. The set: Tom's studio apartment alternately transforms into Independence Hall, the Capitol building, a map of the USA and, during a visit from Interplanet Janet, outer space.
May 23, 2015 |
'Inspired by actual events" has become one of the more misleading phrases used to push entertainment. In Memphis , now in a musically sensational staging at the Walnut Street Theatre, the claim to a factual basis creates huge dichotomies within the production, and makes a mess of the entire evening. In the 1950s, Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips broke radio's color barrier by becoming one of the first white DJs to play "race music," then a euphemism for rock-and-roll and blues sung by African Americans.
May 3, 2015 |
The sheer number of songs in I Love a Piano wouldn't surprise an Irving Berlin scholar - but their power and number astounded in Ray Roderick and Michael Berkeley's musical tribute. More than 50 selections from Berlin's songbook fill the delightful 95-minute production at the Walnut Street Independence Studio on 3. With a cast led by Ellie Mooney and Owen Pelesh, these songs soared, charmed with their winsomeness, and reminded listeners - with a nostalgic sense of loss - of the age in which Berlin wrote the lyrics and music for most of his greatest hits.
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.
April 22, 2015 |
Reprise alert! Philadelphia Artists' Collective's stunning production of The Rape of Lucrece , Dan Hodge's one-man, many-character presentation of Shakespeare's epic poem, returns to Philadelphia this week for four performances only at the Wilma Theater. The piece, which was a runaway hit at the 2014 Fringe Festival, is a quick follow-up to PAC's The Fair Maid of the West . The combination of those shows - one an obscure tragic work by Shakespeare, the other a rambunctious big-cast 1631 comedy by Thomas Heywood - perfectly represents PAC's mission: the rediscovery of scripts undeservedly forgotten and neglected.
April 4, 2015 |
Children are invited to join the Continental Army, see what it was like to be a continental soldier, and learn army essentials Saturday at Valley Forge National Historical Park. First, kids will receive enlistment papers and old-time continental-style cash. They will then learn how to load, fire, and carry a dummy musket just as soldiers did in George Washington's day. Park rangers in full continental uniform will train the young recruits. Join the Continental Army Junior Ranger Program, 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Visitor Center at Valley Forge National Historical Park, 1400 N. Outer Line Dr., King of Prussia.
April 1, 2015 |
Remember Liberace? The Wisconsin-born piano prodigy who for decades reigned as an American superstar by building an entertainment empire of TV and a mainstay Vegas act that paid him up to $300,000 a week? If you don't, the Walnut's Independence Studio on 3 production of Liberace! contains plenty of historical information to fill you in. Writer/director Brent Hazelton's 2010 show winks at the idea that many may not remember the pop icon. After Jack Forbes Wilson's Liberace announces a drawling "I'm ba-ack!