November 21, 2015 |
If you love A Christmas Story , the 1983 movie about Ralphie Parker and his holiday memories of his family and fourth-grade friends, the Walnut Street Theatre's heartwarming production of the musical version will no doubt provide a new brand of syrup to enrich your schmaltzy enjoyment of the film. If you hate the film, and its maudlin, faux nostalgia that - through 24-hour cable marathons - has now become a parody of what its originally gritty (yet admittedly warm) realism tried to spoof, well, the Walnut's heartwarming production may enthrall you, as it did me for two hours on opening night.
November 16, 2015 |
It all seems fated, in hindsight: Was ever a movie more suited to being turned into a stage musical than 1983's A Christmas Story ? The tale of young Ralphie Parker and his Depression-era pursuit of the Red Ryder Carbine Action Air Rifle With a Compass in the Stock and This Thing Which Tells Time has become such a holiday staple it famously runs 24 hours straight on Christmas Day on TBS. Its moments have joined "God bless us, everyone", the...
November 8, 2015 |
David Ferree Jenkins Jr., 39, of Scranton and Philadelphia, a classically trained conductor and pianist and the musical director for theater at the University of the Arts, died in his sleep Thursday, Nov. 5, at home. The cause of his death was not immediately known. Mr. Jenkins performed in 49 states and several foreign countries. From Broadway to national tours, he was involved in more than 150 productions, his family said. But in Philadelphia, he was best known as music director at the Brind School of Theater Arts at the University of the Arts, where he was an assistant professor with a heavy course load.
November 6, 2015 |
Sometimes it's what you don't know that can lead to great success. Case in point: "A Christmas Story, The Musical," which on Tuesday has its local premiere at the Walnut Street Theatre, where it will be staged through Jan. 10. The show's score was written by Ardmore native Benj Pasek and his writing partner, Justin Paul , in 2010 when the two University of Michigan musical-theater majors were just 25. Which meant that they weren't...
September 19, 2015 |
A river of champagne flows through the Walnut Street Theatre's production of High Society , and there's not a sour drop in this bubbly, joy-filled show. With a score that includes some of Cole Porter's greatest hits, how could there be? Arthur Kopit based this musical's book on the 1939 play The Philadelphia Story and the 1956 musical film High Society . Kopit's 1998 version stays true to the romantic-comedy plot. Feisty socialite Tracy Lord (Megan Nicole Arnoldy)
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.