Monday, April 15, 2013

Pinocchio

Gepetto making Pinocchio


The Arden Theatre, located at 40 N. 2nd Street is presenting Greg Banks’ version of Pinocchio, based on the story by Carlo Collodi. It will be performed on its Arcadia Stage through June 23. If giggles are any meter of a run’s success, this show is destined to be a phenom.  My young granddaughter was absolutely delighted with the performance and it’s hard for me to say what thrilled me more- her reaction or the absolute ingenuity of this production.  Built upon a theatre’s construction site, the audience reacts to a foreman’s requests to go home with demands to see Pinocchio.  A very humorous 10 minute give and take with the audience ensues with construction workers demanding that they be allowed to do their job and the audience waving their programs as proof that they are, indeed, in the right place to see a show. Laughter abounds.  Children plea.  The foreman relents and cajoles his men to “tell the audience the story” and so the familiar tale begins.  All props are items that can be found at a construction site.  Thanks to the excellent efforts of scenic designer Tom Gleeson, costume designer Lauren Perigard, lighting designer Jim Leitner and sound designer Daniel Perelstein everything works.  The special effects astound the kids.There is a question and answer period at the end of each performance when children  have an opportunity to ask cast members questions about the production. They can meet and greet cast members after the show.  If you can find a child to take to this production, grab him and watch his joy.  If not, treat yourself to the last presentation of the 15th season of The Arden’s Children’s Theatre.  If you have never been to a production of  Arden's  Children's Theatre, you will discover  why it is a real treat.  For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1122 or visit online at www.ardentheatre.org.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Permanent Collection

Tim Moyer and Frank X


InterAct Theatre, located at 2030 Sansom Streets, is reprising its 2004 Barrymore Awarded Outstanding New Play, Permanent Collection through May 5.  There is no reason to wonder why the initial presentation was the most successful production in InterAct's history.   Provocative and thought-provoking, the question of racial bias rears its ugly head when Frank X, portraying Sterling North, a newly appointed black Executive Director of a museum, tries to add historically significant African Artifacts to the permanent collection in its main gallery.  Tim Moyer, his perfect foil, portrays longtime operations manager of the museum who insists that the collection stay intact, per the founder’s instructions in his will.  Maureen Torsney-Weir returns in her role of Gillian Crane, the shrewd journalist and Tom McCarthy is once again seen as founder Alfred Morris.  As excellent as the performances are of each actor (and they really are outstanding), McCarthy’s short moment’s on stage steal the show.  Not enough can be said about the work of the design team. Working hand-in-hand Set Designer Nick Embree and Lighting Designer Peter Whinnery have fashioned a creation nothing short of brilliant.  If you have never seen this show, you must see it now.  If you saw it in its initial run, you will want to see it again.  It’s just that captivating. For more information or tickets, call 215-568-8079 or visit online at www.interact.org.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Preview Party of The Jost Project's Upcoming CD

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On Tuesday, April 16, from 7-10 PM, one month before their new CD is released internationally, Philadelphia –based The Jost Project is having a Preview Party concert at Chris’ Jazz CafĂ©, 1421 Sansom Street in Philadelphia.  There is a $10 cover charge for the party with a $5 charge for students.  Band members are internationally renowned vibraphonist Tony Miceli, vocalist/harmonicist Paul Jost, acoustic bassist Kevin MacConnell and drummer Charlie Patierno.  Their new CD, ”Can’t Find My Way Home”, will be released on May 15 by Dot Time Records, the jazz and world music label based in NY and Europe.  This talented group has a unique specialty.  They are reaching the generations that came of age with rock and roll and The Beatles and bringing their attention to jazz.  The group was initially formed by Miceli and MacConnell with the idea of performing rock music of the 60’s and 70’s in a jazz format.  When Jost joined the group, it was named The Jost Project.  All three members of the group are exceptionally talented and have had years of success independently.  Tony, a Philadelphia native, conducts master classes at the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in addition to performing and compiling CDs.  Peter Jost, a resident of Vineland NJ is a prolific composer in addition to being a performer and has composed over 40 CDs.  Kevin MacConnell, highly respected on the jazz scene, resides in Spring City, Pa and has made national and international performances with a variety of stars.  Don’t miss the party on April 16th. Come and hear The Jost Project present their unique jazz interpretations of such songs as Walk This Way and Maybe I’m Amazed before the CD is released in May.