Saturday, August 27, 2016

Late October Performances at the Kimmel

The Kimmel Center
for the Performing Arts
5 Delightful Performances

Are Scheduled for the end

of October by The Kimmel Center

for the Performing Arts 

One of country music’s most celebrated singer-songwriters, Rosanne Cash, comes to the Merriam Theater on Thursday, October 20 at 8:00 p.m. as part of her 2016 international tour. The performance will feature music from her 2014 album The River & The Thread   which earned her three Grammy Awards.    Working with a variety of genres, including folk, pop, blues, country and Americana, have earned Cash four Grammy Awards, 15 Grammy nominations, 21 top 40 hits and 11 number one singles. Following decades of success, Cash was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame this past October.

Renowned and best-selling author, television host and multiple Emmy Award-winner, Anthony Bourdain presents his tour, The Hunger, in celebration of the release of Appetites, his first cookbook in 10 years.    The Hunger gives the audience an all new live show featuring a monologue reflecting on diverse cultures, street cuisine, and Bourdain’s travels to lesser known locations around the world, followed by a Q & A session. This event takes place at the Academy of Music on Wednesday October 26 at 7:30 p.m. In addition to Bourdain’s award- winning television and writing career, he has appeared as a guest judge on Top Chef and a main judge on Top Chef All-Stars.

Comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short will be coming to The Academy of Music for two performances, Friday October 28 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m. Their hysterical show, An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, features stand-up, film clips, musical numbers, and conversations about their lives in show business.  Joining the comedians on the stage will be the Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band, Steep Canyon Rangers.  The show is presented in association with Larry Magid Entertainment. Steve Martin began his career by writing for TV and releasing 4 comedy albums between 1977 and 1981, winning him two Grammy Awards. He then started a successful career in films. Martin Short started touring with Second City of Toronto before moving to New York and joining the cast of Saturday Night Live.

Mexrrissey is a Mexican rock band that has taken the greatest hits of artists Morrissey and The Smiths and reinvented them with Mexican flare.  Mexrrissey, comprised of stars from Mexico’s rock and pop worlds, are known for their brass and string interpretations of Morrissey’s iconic songs. They will perform at the Merriam Theater on October 29, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

One of the most beautiful and competitive acrobatic companies in China, Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China,  brings their jaw-dropping acts  with stunning costumes and impeccably timed stunts to Verizon Hall on Sunday. October 30 at 2:00 p.m. Since its founding in 1959, the company has won many awards in both acrobatic and circus competitions in China and abroad.

Tickets to all shows are available now and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at or at the Kimmel Center Box Office.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Early October Events at the Kimmel

Kimmel Center for the
Performing Arts
          4 Exciting Shows
      Coming To The Kimmel
         In Early October
          for  Single Night
The legendary rock band KANSAS will perform their breakthrough album Leftoverture in its entirety for the first time ever on October 1, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at the Merriam Theater in association with BRE Presents. The band will be touring select cities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the album with more than 6 million copies sold.  The performance will showcase two hours of classic Kansas songs including new songs from their soon-to-be- released album, The Prelude Implicit. Kansas appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks through the ‘70s and ‘80s and played to sold out audiences throughout North America, Europe and Japan. The group was recently inducted into both the Kansas Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. 

Slate, the daily web magazine that explains and analyzes the world in a humorous and intelligent way, has partnered with the renowned Chicago-based comedy theater The Second City, to produce a traveling election-themed live political comedy show. Entitled, “Unelectable You,” the show will be coming to the Meriam Theater on October 7, 2016. At 8:00 p.m. In addition to the talents of The Second City, the Slate/ Second City collaboration will incorporate Slate writers and personalities into each show.    With both scripted and improvisational portions, the production will explore a plethora of topics among them: campaign trail scandals, what makes a candidate electable, and how voters consume  political news. “With the Presidential election right around the corner, this show is a fantastic opportunity to experience news in a hilarious light,” said Anne Ewers, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. To learn more, visit

Joan Baez celebrates her 75th birthday with a special tour on which she will be joined by fellow singer and song-writer Mary Chaplin Carpenter.  The two will appear at the Academy of Music on Sunday October 9 at 7:30 p.m.    
 This show is presented in association with Larry Magid Entertainment and features songs spanning Baez’s career. Joan Baez, a musical force of nature and celebrated activist, introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963, marched on the front lines of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King Jr. and participated in early Amnesty International Tours. 50 years later Joan Baez is still making her voice known both musically and politically. Mary Chaplin Carpenter began her music career in the late ‘80s and has recorded recorded 14 albums which have sold more than 14 million records. She has been awarded numerous awards, among them five Grammy Awards, two GMA Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards and has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Singer-songwriters Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller and The Milk Carton Kids along with other special guests come together for Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees – an evening of acoustic songs to benefit Jesuit Refugee Service’s (JRS) Global Education Initiative. All proceeds from the concert on Wednesday, October 19 at 8:00 p.m. at the Merriam Theater will help provide educational opportunities for refugees living in camps and in urban settings worldwide. With more than 1400 workers, JRS operates programs in over 45 countries.

Tickets for all shows are available now and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales for 10 or more can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883.  More information at  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tommy and Me

Matt Pfeiffer & Simon Kiley
Ray Didinger can add one more notch in his belt of multiple successes…that of a successful playwright. Although having penned 11 books, three of them best sellers, Tommy and Me is Ray’s first foray into the world of playwriting.  The autobiographical world premiere is presented by Theatre Exile and can be seen at FringeArts, 140 North Columbus Blvd. in Philadelphia. Didinger tells the story of his boyhood hero worship of Eagle’s wide receiver Tommy MacDonald. He uses a very clever technique to illustrate the extent of his hero worship (complete knowledge of all MacDonald’s stats) as a young boy to his involvement in MacDonald’s career as an adult. Two characters play Ray Didinger in this tale - Simon Kiley as young Ray and Matt Pfeiffer as the adult Ray.  Both actors are frequently on the stage at the same time and feed off each other as in “Remember when…” Simon Kiley is a wildfire and loaded with personality. He is very young and has quite some time to perfect his craft, but he needs to speak less rapidly. During the first third of the play, his speech was so rapid that is was rendered practically unintelligible. When he finally slowed down, his performance was very good.  Pfeiffer's performan was flawless.  Ned Pryce had a small part as young Tommy and I found myself wishing that he had more lines.  He is a very engaging young man and is sure to make a name for himself in the Philadelphia theatre scene. Tom Teti was very convincing as a mature and sincere Tommy MacDonald who had been passed over for the Hall of Fame by lesser players than himself. Thanks to Ray Didinger’s thirty years of steadfast dedication, the time finally came for inclusion.  When the day of his induction came, Tommy refused to give an acceptance speech but, instead had ideas of his own.  Thanks to the work of projection Designer Michael Long, the authenticity of Tommy’s performance was shown on the screen after Tom Teti performed it on stage.  Tommy and Me is a fascinating peek into the lives of two men -a sports broadcaster and an ex-football player and the tremendous impact both of them had on each other’s lives.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

September At the Kimmel

Bill Maher

Amos Lee
Philadelphia native Amos Lee returns home to perform songs from his new Album, SPIRIT, September 11, 2016. Formerly a Philadelphia school teacher and bartender, singer-songwriter Amos Lee returns to his hometown on September 11, at 8:00 p.m. to perform at the Academy of Music to celebrate his forthcoming sixth full length album scheduled for release on August 19, 2016.  Spirit is the first album in which Lee has acted as his own producer. The performance is presented in association with Live Nation. “In the studio, Amos Lee has an unparalleled ability to flawlessly blend together country to blues, folk to gospel, soul to rock,” said Anne Ewers, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Lee has toured with Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and collaborated with Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams Alison Krauss, Calexico and Zac Brown Band.

Jazz 100
2017 marks the Centennial Celebration of four visionary icons of jazz: Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mango Santamaria and Thelonious Monk. Jazz 100 showcases the individual artistry of each artist as well as the unifying threads between them which helped shape the evolution of jazz. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will celebrate 100 years of this musical genre on Friday September 30, 2016   with Jazz 100 at the Merriam Theater. Jazz 100 brings together a world-class ensemble of virtuosos, bandleaders and composers including Chris Potter (saxophone, woodwinds), Avishai Cohen (trumpet) Wycliffe Gordon (trombone, vocals- North America), Lizz Wright (vocals- North America), Robin McKelle (vocals – Europe), Roman Diaz (percussion, vocals), Ben Street (bass), and Adam Cruz (drums).  Jazz 100 is part of the Kimmel Center’s Jazz Series, which includes 10 performances and allows patrons to pick 4 or 5 show packages of the shows they want to see while saving 15%-20%. The jazz package also grants ticket buyers access to the best seats.

Tickets for all three shows are available now and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1993, visiting online at or at the Kimmel Center Box office.  Group Sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883. More information is available at