Thursday, April 27, 2017

Free Organ Programs




SATURDAY, JUNE 10 FROM 11:00AM - 5:00 PM

Premiere Performance of Works from New Fred J. Cooper Organ Book

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, in association with the Philadelphia Chapter of the America Guild of Organists  (AGO) presents the 7th Annual Organ Day, a six-hour marathon of FREE organ music performed on The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Day taking place on Saturday, June 10, from 11 a.m.  to 5 p.m. Audiences are invited to see “Fred”, the largest mechanical pipe organ in a concert venue in the United States for any or all portions of the day. This year’s Organ Day will include a special celebration as the premiere  performance of the Fred J. Cooper Organ Book. Under the guidance of Philadelphia’s AGO chapter Dean, David Furniss, five notable Philadelphia area composers were selected to each contribute a brief solo organ piece. There will be various recitals, a performance by Opera Philadelphia, brass and organ pieces, an excerpt from a silent film accompanied by the organ and an opportunity for audience members to lay on the stage and feel the organ’s powerful vibrations.

June Events at the Kimmel

Two-time Tony® Award winner and Broadway legend Chita Rivera will perform at the Merriam Theater  on June 3, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Sirius XM RadioStar Seth Rudetsky, Broadway Up Close welcomes Broadway stars to deliver  an evening of song as well as share some of their “behind the scenes” stories. Chita has not only received two Tony® Awards, but eight additional nominations as well. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009.  She received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2002, becoming the first Hispanic to receive the award. In 2015 PBS aired a retrospective special on her life on Great Performances entitled Chita Rivera: A Lot of Living’ To Do.  In November of 2016 Chita headlined at Carnegie Hall. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing.

Presented in partnership with BRE  Presents, Grammy® Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Bank (TTB) led by virtuoso guitarist Derek Trucks and guitarist-singer Susan Tedeschi will play a three-night run at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Merriam Theater Thursday, June 8 through Saturday June 10, 2017. Formed in 2010 after Trucks and Tedeschi recorded and performed for years as solo artists, this 12 piece ensemble is a true collective with every musician featured nightly.  The tour follows the recent release of Live from the Fox Oakland.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and WHYY will host a special live recording of Fresh Air with Terry Gross on Friday, June 9, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall. Fresh Air’s longtime host will sit down with comedian and namesake host of Late Night With Seth Meyers for an interview that will be broadcast nationally on Fresh Air the following week.  The evening serves as a special celebration of Fresh Air’s 30th Anniversary and will include a question and answer session with the audience. Terry began her affiliation with Fresh Air in 1975 when the show was only broadcast in Philadelphia. Since May 11, 1987, NPR has carried a daily one-hour national edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Terry was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame and most recently was awarded the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling (215) 893-1999, visiting online at  or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales for 10 for more can be purchased at (215) 790-5883.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts announces a partnership with Guggenheim Fellow and PEW Fellowship recipient Raphael Xavier to present Here & Now Hip Hop Forum, a full day of free programming on Saturday June 10 from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. in the SEI Innovation Studio June 10, 2017. The day includes three workshops taught by renowned hip hop instructors and performers, a panel discussion bringing together scholars, artists, choreographers and organizational leaders to discuss the future of the art form and an open jam session. The schedule for the day follows: 
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Street Dance Composition Class- Instructor Teena Marie Custer   12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Funkamentals Class Instructor D. Sabela Grimes  5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The Long Game: Optimizing Opportunities for Dancers and Artists Alike  Panel Discussion Moderation Raphael Xavier   8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. DJ Blaak The Ninth Man  Open jam session open for all in attendance.  Advance registration  is recommended as classes will fill up quickly and will be limited to 25 per class. For reservations, call (215) 893- 1993, visit online at, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office.   

 The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP) returns to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts for its second program of the 2016-17 season entitled  A Night in Havana. The performance will take place in the Perelman Theater on Saturday June 10, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. and will feature music of jazz legends including Dizzy  Gillespie. Special guests will include trumpeter Jon Faddis and pianist  Elio VillaFranca. The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia is a non-profit organization affiliated with Culture Trust Greater Philadelphia. It is dedicated to presenting the highest quality of jazz to the greatest number of people. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (215) 893-1999, visiting online at or at the Kimmel Center Box Office.

Broadway Philadelphia, in collaboration with The Kimmel Center For the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization  presents the 2015 Tony-Award®-winning Best Musical Fun Home at the Forrest Theatre June 13-18, 2017. Robert Petkoff will play Bruce; Susan Moniz will play Helen and Kate Shindle will play Alison. Fun Home  won   five  Tony Awards ® in 2015 and made history as the first show written exclusively by women to  win the theater’s highest awards.   Tony Award®-winning director Sam Gold staged both the Off-Broadway and the Broadway productions of Fun Home, and restaged the national tour. The Grammy nominated Original Broadway Cast Recording of Fun Home is now available on PS Classics, Tickets are available online at www., by phone at 800-447-7400 or at the Forrest Theatre Box Office (1114 Walnut Street) Groups of 15 or more are available  online at  or by phone at 866-302-0995.   

Grammy® Award-winning jazz pianist and world renowned singer, Diana Krall,  returns to the Kimmel Center’s Academy of Music on Friday, June 23, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. for the first time since 2013 Krall will be performing standards as well as songs from her new album Turn Up the Quiet, where she collaborated with Tommy LiPuma, the late Grammy® Award-winning producer. Her latest album combines the Great American Songbook and her jazz roots. Krall has released a combined 19 gold, platinum and multi-platinum records, earning eight Juno® Awards and five Grammy® Awards. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017


Arden Theatre Company Announces

One-Week Extension for


Show now runs through April 15, 2017

The Arden Theatre Company will extend the run of William Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM through April 15, 2017.  The show was originally scheduled to close on Sunday, April 9th. Three 10:00 a.m. student performances and four public performances have been added.  A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM is  Shakespeare’s most beloved comedy, with an enchanted forest and fairies, humans and amateur actors putting on a play. Additional performances  include Tuesday, April 11 – 10 a.m, Wednesday, April 12 – 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Thursday April 13-10 a.m., Friday April 14 – 8 p.m., Saturday April 15 – 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. For tickets, call 215-922-1122, visit, or walk up at the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.

Jesus Christ Superstar

A fantastic rock opera like no other, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is being performed at the Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe Street, through April 16, 2017, Told from Judas’s perspective, this 1971 Broadway hit, which has been updated with selfie sticks and remarkable projections, is truly a delight. The amazing stairway, on which cast members, sing, dance and climb up and down, is periodically transformed into clouds, ocean waves, a small fire, and frequently series of words to describe the action or locale The multi-member ensemble is incredible. Bursting with energy, their dance routines are  full of pizazz and their singing, often in the form of repetitive choral chanting has beautiful harmonies and is very effective in moving the story along. Adam Kemmerer (Judas) has a very strong voice as do Darren Ritchie (Pontius Pilate) Steve Steiner (Caiaphas), Robert Farruggia (Annas) and Danny Rutigliano (King Herod)), all of whom have many shows to their credit. Ciji Prosser (Mary Magdalene) has a voice that is so rich it seems to have been heaven sent. It is no exaggeration to say that that the superstar of the show is Patrick H. Dunn who portrays Jesus of Nazareth. His voice is astounding and  his acting is awe-inspiring. For more information or tickets, call 215-785-0100, visit online at or visit the box office at 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pa.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

You For Me For You

Justin Jain & Bi Jean Ngo
Mia Chung’s You For Me For You is presented by InterAct Theatre Company and will be performed in the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, through April 16, 2017. This one-act play is brilliant in both its writing and its staging. Minhee ( Bi Jean Ngo) and Junhee ( Mina Kawahara) are two sisters in a quandary about escaping the horrors that await them in North Korea. The writing is  extraordinarily powerful and poignant. The acting is even more so. To hear Minhee’s torment as she cries out that she is hungry is to feel your own stomach rumble. Liz (Hillary Parker) has the difficult task of being both an American patient and later a nurse that Junhee works with. To demonstrate what the English language might sound like to a foreigner, Ms. Parker has to speak a convincing pidgin  which is barely intelligible, but draws laughs from the audience  When Junhee encounters her later as her nursing supervisor, her English is still broken, but not unintelligible.  The last time that the two meet their conversation is perfectly normal - a very ingenious piece of writing.  This fine ensemble cast is rounded out with outstanding performances by Justin Jain, who plays multiple roles, and Dwayne Thomas who plays a Man from the South. For more information or tickets, call 215-568-8079 or visit online at or 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

May Events at the Kimmel

Lea Michele, best known for her performance as “Rachel Barry” on the critically acclaimed Golden Globe, Grammy and SAG award-winning Fox television series Glee, is kicking off a limited North American tour May 1 at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia. She will reprise her successful Intimate Evening With series with music from her upcoming album, ‘Places’. Lea debuted her first album, ‘Louder’, in March of 2014; it was  no. 1 on itunes and in the top 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums. Tickets are on sale now at, 215-893-1999 and at the Kimmel Center box office.  Every pair of tickets purchased online for Lea Michele’s tour includes a copy of her forthcoming album 'Places'. Visit for all details. 
Jomama Jones will make her Kimmel Center debut in Black Light at the SEI Innovation Studio, Thursday May 4-6, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.  The show was developed as part of the Kimmel Center’s Theatre Residency program in partnership with Joe’s Pub at The Public. Portrayed by the versatile Daniel Alexander Jones,  Jomama will sing original songs from her album Flowering as well as brand new compositions. Accompanied by an exciting band, vocalists and some special guests, Jomama will explore those signs found in the darkest parts of the night. Daniel Alexander Jones is an accomplished actor, singer and creator of performance art.  His alter-ego Jomama Jones returned to the stage in 2010 following a 15 year hiatus. This is a designated BYOB performance, with a limit of one six-pack of beer and/or one 750 ml bottle of wine per two patrons.

Emmy and Tony Award®-winning actor Hal Holbrook brings his one-man play Mark Twain Tonight! to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts' Merriam Theater for one night only on Thursday May 4, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. Now 92 years old, Holbrook has performed Mark Twain Tonight! more than 2,200 times over 62 years, adjusting the material to stay relevant and topical. Holbrook portrays Mark Twin by reciting excerpts from many works from his career, including favorites like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Hal Holbrook first received critical acclaim for Mark Twain Tonight! in 1954 after developing the show while in college. He won a Tony Award® for his portrayal of Twain in 1966. Mark Twain Tonight! was revived in 1977 and 2005 and continued to tour around the country with Holbrook reciting from his repertoire of over fifteen hours of memorized Twain material.

Following a sold-out show at Carnegie Hall as part of the New York Comedy Festival, his appearance on ‘Joe Swanberg’s acclaimed series Easy, and the announcement of his role on the forthcoming Netflix original GLOW, Marc Maron adds new dates to his current run of THE TOO REAL TOUR including a stop in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater on Friday, May 12th. Tickets are currently on sale at, and the Kimmel Center box office. Maron is best known for his podcast WTF with Marc Maron which averages over 6.5 million downloads on itunes each month. Marc has interviewed such people as President Barack Obama, Julia Louise Dreyfus, Jeff Goldblum and Keith Richards. His new show will include meditations on his family, his cats, relationships, music, the media, grocery stores, fashion and our current political climate.

The staged production of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage – will play the Kimmel Center’s Merriam Theater May 16-21 2017. The production is part of Broadway Philadelphia, presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization. Christopher Tierney of Broadway’s Spiderman will star as Johnny Castle alongside Bronwyn Reed as Frances “Baby” Houseman. The 26 member company will be belting out 36 numbers of live music and performing sensational dancing accompanied by an eight piece live band on stage.

Philadelphia native and University of Arts alumnus Norman Mackenzie will return to the Kimmel Center for a solo performance on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in Verizon Hall on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. A music  collaborator, conductor and renowned concert organist, Mackenzie made his first appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 12 and then again as an organist at the age of 20. He has been Director of Chorus for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 2000.  During his tenure with them he has made numerous tours and received several Grammy Awards®, including Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance.
International Irish superstar Daniel O’Donnell celebrates the release of his new CD/DVD Back Home Again at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Academy of Music on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. O’Donnell has been featured in 12 PBS specials and has charted at least one new album every year since 1988, becoming the first artist in the history of the UK Artist Album Chart to do so. He has received various Lifetime Achievement and Entertainer of the Year Awards including an honorary MBE from Queen Elizabeth and is involved in philanthropic charitable causes.

Motown the Musical marked the best-selling two week engagement in Kimmel Center history during its 2015 run. Producers Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Motown Founder Berry Gordy and Broadway Philadelphia announce the return engagement of Motown the Musical for a two week engagement May 30 - June 11, 2017 at the Academy of Music, presented collaboratively by The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Motown the Musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Barry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye among others.

Friday, March 24, 2017


Tina Packer &Mary Lee Bednarek
The Lantern Theater Company, located at 10th and Ludlow Streets, next to St. Stephens Church, is presenting William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus through April 16th, 2017. One of Shakespeare’s lesser-known works, this production of Coriolanus is so well done that it should be required viewing for all theater-goers, Shakespeare fans and non-devotées alike. Scenic designer Meghan Jones and lighting designer Drew Billiau have designed an intricate set that surrounds the audience.  Actors, always on the move, are backlit as they move from one arena to the next.  Robert Lyons, an accomplished Shakespearean actor, is outstanding as Coriolanus, the superb warrior and patrician who has little empathy for the common man that elects him to counsel. Tina Packer is brilliant as his mother Volumnia. The depth of anguish she portrays seems to emanate from her toes and ebb throughout her body. In addition to the war scenes, there are several hand-to-hand battles. Fight director J. Alex Cordaro has choreographed the most outstanding combat sequences ever to hit the stage. Shakespeare was thinking of class unrest in England when he wrote this piece about class distinctions in the newly formed Republic near Ancient Rome. Keeping in mind the similarity of the polarization of the poor and rich in our society today, this production has war scenes taking place with contemporary weapons. The Lantern continues to uphold its tradition of producing incomparable Shakespearean productions. For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0495, visit online at, or visit the box office at 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia. Pa.