Saturday, August 31, 2013

Viva Philadelphia

Michael Krajewski
The Philly POPS is opening its new season with the theme “Viva Philadelphia” under the direction of their new music director Michael Krajewski.  The POPS’ 35th season begins on Columbus weekend, with performances on Friday October 11 through Sunday October 13.  Friday concerts will be held at 8 PM and Saturday and Sunday concerts will be 3 PM matinee performances. The concerts will continue to be presented in Verizon Hall of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia.   In this concert series, Krajewski will share the stage with many vocal talents…Eddie Bruce, the “Poperazzi” vocal trio and the POPS Festival Chorus.  They will provide tributes to Mario Lanza, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Andrea Bocelli.   The season continues with the annual Holiday POPS! Series, followed by the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel and then a salute to Marvin Hamlisch.  It  then continues with the movie music of legendary John Williams and ends with the four original stars of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys”, now known as the Midtown Men with music of the 60’s.  Season subscription tickets and individual tickets are available. For more information or tickets call 215-893-1999 or visit online at    

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Importance of Being Ernest

James Ijames and Chancellor Dean
 Mauckingbird Theatre Company, located in the Off-Broad Street Theatre of the 1st Baptist Church at 1636 Sansom Street, is presenting The Importance of Being Ernest through August 25. Touted as the only theatre company in the nation devoted solely to presenting works seen through a “queer” lens, Mauckingbird has once again created a first class production.  Having recently reread The Importance of Being Ernest, I can attest to the fact that although Peter Reynolds adapted Oscar Wilde’s play to give it a gay bent, he has left the script virtually intact; Jack (Chancellor Dean) falls in love with Gwendolyn, portrayed by Brent Knobloch and his cousin Algernon (James Ijames) fancies Jack’s ward, Cecily, portrayed by David Hutchison. As in any farce, circumstances change from one minute to the next followed by laughter from the audience. The acting is first rate;every actor delivers his lines with a straight face although I believe there were twinkles in the eyes of some as the laughter from the audience reached the stage. Gwendolyn’s mother and Algernon’s aunt, Lady Bracknell, is played by the incomparable Nancy Boykin. The antithesis of every other character, her formality in the absurd brings the house down. Set in Victorian England in both the city and the country, set designer Andrew Laine designed a brilliant set that  looks like an authentic aristocratic Victorian parlor, then magically becomes a place in the country. Watching this performance is truly an incredible experience.  Find out for yourself just what The Importance of Being Ernest is.  For more information or tickets, call 215-923-8909 or visit online at

Saturday, August 3, 2013

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!

Abramson and Johnstone
The national tour of You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!, a side-splitting relationship comedy, is continuing in Philadelphia at the New Penn’s Landing Playhouse (inside the Independence Seaport   Museum) at 211 S. Columbus Blvd and Walnut St. Previews will begin September 18, following by a planned Opening Night on Wednesday October 2. The show is scheduled to run through December 29, 2013.
You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! takes a humorous look at a relationship that seems on edge from the start due to powerful opposing personalities. After a series  of trials and tribulations the couple learns to navigate the conflicts that come with romance, money and children by embracing each other’s differences, taking on parenting as a competitive sport and dropping out of couples’ therapy. Writers-actors- and real-life married couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn have adapted their memoir of the same name for the stage.  Directed by Van Kaplan, the play stars Robin Abramson and Gregory Johnston who have been given rave reviews all over the country.
You Say Tomato will run in the evenings at 7:00PM Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8:00PM Fridays and Saturdays with additional matinees performances at 2:00 PM on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For tickets or further information, call 855-448-7469 (855-HIT-SHOW) or visit online at