Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Julius Thomas III

Original Broadway Cast Member


Joins First National Tour of

As Berry Gordy

Will Star in the Philadelphia Engagement Jan 6-18

Julius Thomas III, original Broadway cast member of Broadway’s MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, has joined the First National Tour for a limited time in the leading role of Berry Gordy and will appear at the Academy of Music as part of Broadway Philadelphia, presented by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization. In addition to portraying Berry Gordy in MOTOWN THE MUSICAL on Broadway, Thomas has also appeared as Roy in The Scottsboro Boys and has been an understudy in The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Additionally he has appeared as Terpsicore in Zanadu, and has had roles in numerous regional theatres. The First National Tour of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL  opened to critical acclaim on May 8 in Chicago and has subsequently been seen by over half a million people. After leaving Philadelphia, the tour is scheduled to visit 15 more cities.to share the stories behind the hits of such musical greats as Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson.  Tickets are available by calling 215-7113-3333, visiting online at kimmelcenter.org/broadway, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad and Locust Sts.,(open daily 10 am to 6 pm) or at the Academy of Music box office, Broad and Locust Sts.,(open during performances only). Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling 2215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


stomping feet and juggling cans

On a scale of 1-10, STOMP, the international percussion sensation appearing at the Merriam Theater through Dec 30, has a WOW factor of 10+. Its return engagement is part of Broadway Philadelphia and is presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization. STOMP has been performing to sell-out audiences for 20 years with a company at New York’s Orpheum Theatre, a permanent London company and North American and European tours. STOMP has been the proud recipient of numerous awards; including an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London’s Tony Award) a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience and a Special Citation from Best Plays.
Brooms are not to be brushed off when seen in conjunction with an incredible stomping routine. Jousting sticks are not merely used for jousting but become an indelible part of a percussive dance routine as well. Lighters clicking on and off in the dark make configurations that astound both the eyes and the ears. An astounding train simulation must be seen to be believed….and this is just the tip of the iceberg. A percussion sensation? YES!  An energetic group? AN 8 MEMBER TROUPE WITH THE VITALITY OF 80!  A comic group? LISTEN TO THE LAUGHTER! An engaging group? AUDIENCE IS 100% ENGAGED!

STOMP is so much more than advertised. It is engaging, energizing, invigorating, and refreshing. It is powerful entertainment being catapulted through the air non-stop. The show continually changes, adding new pieces to its performances.  Performances for this limited holiday appearance are scheduled for Saturday at 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm; Sunday at 1:00 pm & 6:30 pm with special performances on Monday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm and a Tuesday matinee at 2:00 pm. For information or tickets call 215-731-3333, visit online at kimmelcenter.org/broadway, visit the Kimmel Center box office, Broad and Spruce Sts. (open daily 10 am-6 pm) or visit the Merriam Theater box office, 250 S. Broad Street ( open during performances only). Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


STOMP's Hands and Feet Routine

On Friday, December 26, doors will open at 12 noon at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Sts. for this 12:15 PM event.  Currently performing in Philadelphia for a holiday engagement, cast members from STOMP will lend their expertise to students from the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School  and to  any other interested fans inside the Kimmel Center for a special lesson on the singular technique of performing the ‘Hands and Feet’ number from the show.
The cast is requesting that anyone who would like to participate bring a canned item to be donated to Philabundance, the benefactor of the show’s ‘Stomp Out Hunger’ campaign.  Dunkin’ Donuts will be giving out free samples to all Stompers at the front entrance of the building.
Now in its 20th year, STOMP performers make rhythmic music by playing everything from supermarket carts and kitchen sinks to trash cans and hub caps. Their performance continues at the Merriam Theater through Tuesday, December 30.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Beauty and The Beast

Matteo Scammell     &
Brian Anthony Wilson
Beauty and The Beast will be playing on the F. Otto Haas Stage of the Arden Theatre, 40. N. 2nd Street, in Philadelphia through Feb 1.  Although Beauty and the Beast is a classic children’s tale of courage, kindness, and honor, its audience should not be relegated to children and their families alone. Children will surely be mesmerized by Matteo Scammell’s portrayal of the beast. (One child in the audience opening night wanted to know why the beast ate so funny). Others might want to know (as my granddaughter did) "If Belle (portrayed by Emilie Krause) wasn’t really asleep on the stage, how did she stay so still?” There is no doubt that the acting is first-rate. E Ashley Izard plays The Housekeeper you love to hate.  Kevin Meehan shocks many when he discloses he has been masquerading as another character, so well does he play both roles. What brings this production beyond its denotation of children’s theatre is the superb work of its creative team: Sebastienne Mundheim/White Box Theatre, Designer of Shadows and Shadow Objects; Rob Kaplowitz, Sound Designer; Brian Sidney Bembridge, Lighting Designer; Richard St. Clair, Costume Designer and David P. Gordon, Scenic Designer. The special effects that this team has created are incredible. With great attention to detail, every aspect of design is noteworthy.  Even if you are not a huge fan of the storyline of Beauty and the Beast, you must come to see   this presentation for both the complexity and the simplicity of the production.  For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1122 or visit online at ardentheatre.org. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

This Is The Week That Is

Witty, whimsical, wildly entertaining and wickedly droll …. just about sums up 1812 Productions’ ninth annual presentation of its smash political comedy, This Is The Week That Is, playing through December 31 at Plays and Players Theatre,  1714 Delancey Streets.  Written and performed by Scott Greer, Dave Jadico, Aimé Donna Kelly, Susan Riley Stevens, Don Montrey and Tabitha Allen, with additional writing by Greg Nix, this comic masterpiece is directed by 1812’s artistic director, Jennifer Childs. While some similarities exist between this production and previous iterations, in many ways the show is brand new. Tribute is paid to the Ebola frenzy. With a nod to Mad Men and the advertising business, much of the political satire presented has an underlying running joke about branding.  Even the segment that involves participation from an audience member requires him to have a brand for himself for the next mayoral race. Corporations such as Google, BP, Facebook and Starbucks are hysterically personified at a News Years Party in a ploy to examine basic human rights.  Women’s Rights are visited by the Supremes- female Court Justices that is - who magically have the talent and moves of Dianna Ross and her cohorts. Can Pluto regain its status as a planet?  Can it keep up with the bigger masses?  You’ll just have to come to this presentation and see. As headlines change daily, so too does the script for each performance.  Always up-to-date with the latest in the news front, this production evolves throughout its run. No matter what the headline of the day is, you’ll find it ensconced in the show in a manner that will have you roaring with laughter. For more information or tickets, call 215-592-9560 or visit online at www.1812productions.org

Monday, December 1, 2014

Moo Shu Jew Show

The Gershman Y brings back comedy and Chinese food, the perfect Jewish combination for Christmas Eve with The Moo Shu Jew Show on Wednesday December 24 at 6:00PM. This show features some of the country’s best comedians and a multi-course Chinese meal at Ocean Harbor Restaurant (1023 Race Street). Tickets to the show are $69 in advance and $80 at the door. The menu isn’t kosher but vegetarian options are available. The array of comedians is varied as well.
Jon Fisch is a regular member of the New York club scene, appearing regularly at Gotham Comedy Club and Comedy Cellar. He gained national attention when he was voted “Audience Favorite” during season 4 of Last Comic Standing. Comedienne Robin Fox’s 17 years as a stay-at home mom have given her plenty of fodder for her 10 years on the comedy scene. She has become a favorite at clubs all over the Northeast, including The Laugh Factory, Caroline’s and Gotham Comedy Club where she was declared Grand Champion of the “Ladies of Laughter" competition. Dave Konig is a New York-based actor, TV host and comedian. He has won three Emmy awards and has hosted his own parody talk show on USA network. Brooklyn native Stewie Stone is a veteran comedian with over 30 years’ experience on the comedy club circuit. He recently starred in the 2013 documentary, When Jews Were Funny. Stone has been Frankie Valli’s opener for three decades and has also opened for Paul Anka, The Temptations and The Four Tops.  He currently serves as Vice President of the Friars Club in New York City and performs around the country.

For tickets to what promises to be a delightful evening, call 215-545-4400 or visit online at GershmanY.org.