Thursday, September 29, 2016


Scott Greer as Rizzo
Philadelphia Theatre Company, located in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Locust Streets is presenting Theatre Exile’s Production of Rizzo.  Due to popular demand, the production has been extended through October 23. Theatre Exile’s entire original cast is reappearing in the larger venue. If you enjoyed Rizzo the first time, you will be thrilled the second time around.  If you missed the opportunity last fall, don’t miss out now. Scott Greer gives an explosive performance as the brash, complex, larger-than-life street cop-turned Commissioner-turned Mayor. Damon Bonetti is excellent as the reporter who challenges him at every turn. The members of this excellent ensemble cast play multiple roles. Bonetti sometimes serves as a narrator.  At times, other members of this finely tuned ensemble, Robert Daponte, Paul L. Nolan, William Rahill, Amanda Schoonover and Steven Wright step forward, front and center, and either narrate or interact with Rizzo. Projections during the performance enhance the overall experience. Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham has written another outstanding work and has used humor to show both sides of this Mayor that inspired both adoration and hate. Scott Greer is equally convincing when Rizzo is telling jokes and when he furiously vents his anger at those who oppose him. It is said that Rizzo had the biggest funeral in the history of Philadelphia.  “Most people came because they loved him; others came to make sure that he was dead.” For more information or tickets, call 215-985-0420, visit online at or visit PTC’s Suzanne Robert’s Theatre, Broad & Locust Streets Monday-Friday 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

South Pacific

Ensign Nellie Forbush singing,
 "I'm gonna' wash that man right out
 of my hair."
South Pacific is playing at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, through October 23rd on the Walnut’s mainstage. This   Rogers and Hammerstein classic, which premiered on Broadway in April of 1949 has stood the test of time. The question of whether or not love can overcome racial prejudice is as topical today as it was when James Michener wrote the tales of the South Pacific upon which the show is based. There have been several revivals and movies made of South Pacific. Rogers and Hammerstein’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning musical is familiar to all. Walnut Street Theatre’s cast and crew have had the enormous task of making this iconic musical fresh, and they have been resoundingly successful.  Kate Fahrner, as cute and perky Ensign Nellie Forbush, sings one song after another without skipping a beat. Paul Schoeffler, as Frenchman Emile de Becque, sings many a solo (as well as duet) with a deep voice that resonates throughout the theatre.  Also enchanting are the solos of Ben Michael at Lt. Joseph Cable and of course Lori Tan Chinn as Bloody Mary. It is not just these beautiful voices that make the show, however. The fourteen member ensemble is fantastic. Credit must be given to choreographer Michelle Gaudette for the exhilarating moves throughout and to Costume Designer Mary Folino for the exciting apparel. Scenic Designer Robert Andrew Kovach, working in conjunction with Lighting Designer Paul Black has created an island paradise on stage.  Thanks to a revolving section of the stage, elements of scenes can easily be rotated quickly to show different parts of the island. Walnut Street Theatre has succeeded in making a 67 year old show “younger than springtime.”  Don’t miss it.  For information or tickets, call 215-574-3550; 800-982-2787; or visit online at or ticketmaster.

Friday, September 23, 2016

StuPiD F # *@iNG BiRD

Ensemble Cast chanting in tandem,
 "I just want to be loved; I want to
 be liked; I'd rather not be hated."
Stupid Fucking Bird, Aaron Posner’s “sort of” adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull, will be playing at the Arden Theatre, 40 N 2nd Street though October 16, 2016. It begins with a high energy upbeat cast running up the aisles and giving the audience hi-fives. Don’t expect to see high energy again during the production. The action begins with a “Performance Event” which the playwright’s mother (Grace Gonglewski) ridicules. This scene, as every other one in the play, ends with a Russian interlude, which not only symbolizes a scene change but also enables the actors  to change positions on the stage. Posner’s work is brilliant. It is both hysterical and heartbreaking. While it is hilarious, frenetic and chaotic; it is also immensely pitiful and wretched. Character after character suffers from unrequited love. As Mash (Alex Keiper) mourns, “To love someone so much and know how he’ll never love you and to have someone love you who you know you can’t return that love if he were the last man standing is God’s big cosmic laugh.” The Seagull symbolizes universal frustration of desires as it just flies away. The characters seem to converse but, in reality, sit side by side and are usually thinking aloud although they sometimes address the audience. Time and again Aaron Posner addresses the unfilled purpose in life. Dr. Sorn (Greg Wood) admits near the end of the play that “Most days I feel like I’m playing a role in life - the role of me.  I really don’t feel all the things I pretend to feel.” Embrace the cacophony when all try to speak at once. Empathize with the pathos. Enjoy the fresh language. Stupid Fucking Bird is a must see production. For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1122, visit online at or walk-up at the box office, 40 N. 2nd Street.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

November Events at the Kimmel



AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, the most honored new musical of 2015 and winner of four Tony Awards® will make its premiere at the Academy of Music for a one-week engagement November 22-27, 2016. The show, for which the Kimmel Center is a producer, is part of Five Cent Productions and Elephant Eye Productions and will open the 2016-17 Broadway Philadelphia season. Inspired by the Academy award winning film, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is the romantic story about an American soldier, a spirited city and a mysterious French girl, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. The show features music and lyric by George and Ira Gershwin. It has won several Tony, Drama Desk, and Drama League Awards and many others, too numerous to mention.

PBS Kids’ Odd Squad, winner of four Daytime Emmy® Awards, has a new interactive adventure on the stage with Odd Squad Live!  During all three performances, Friday November 25, and Saturday Nov 26, all Odd Squad agents will be able to help solve a strange case at the Merriam Theater.  Geared toward 4-8 year olds, Odd Squad Live! Incorporates lessons in math and problem solving, all paired with music and audience involvement.  Odd Squad is about a spy organization run by kids who investigate anything strange, weird or odd.  These performances are presented in association with Mills Entertainment as part of the Kimmel Center’s Family Discovery Series.

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON will go on a scientific journey through our favorite films in An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies.  From Star Wars to Frozen, he will provide an entertaining review of the science in our favorite movies - what the film makers got right and what they got wrong.  He frequently give talks across the country whenever a science issue makes the news and has a knack for taking complex issues and making them relatable to his audience. He is known not only for his speaking skills but also for his sense of humor. He will appear at the Academy of Music on November 30, 2016 at 7:30 pm.

Upcoming Events at the Kimmel



Smokey Robinson, “The King of Motown” will be playing hits from the 1060’s and ‘70’s on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 8:00 p.p. at the Academy of Music.  Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Robinson founded The Miracles while still in high school.  Following multiple #1 hits, he continued to write for them and other Motown recording artists. He has received numerous awards, including the Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, and The National Medal of Arts Awards from the President of the United States.  He has also been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

The collaboration of  two of Philadelphia’s greatest dance companies, Rennie Harrie Peremovement and Kimmel Center’s PHILADANCO will perform in a program that blurs the lines between modern dance and hip-hop entitled “Straight Outta Philly.”  The program will include a story about Philadelphia featuring new choreographer Rennie Harries.  It will run at the Perelman Theater on Friday November 18 through Sunday November 20.  PHILADANCO is celebrated for its innovation, creativity and preservation of predominantly African American traditions in dance.  Rennie Harris Puremovement dance company works to encompass rich and diverse African-American traditions of the past while including the voices of a new generation.

November Events at the Kimmel



Two artists from the Blue Note Record label, pianist Chucho Valdes and saxophonist Joe Lovano will come together for a first time collaboration at the Merriam Theater on November 4 at 8:00 pm. Demonstrating the leading edge of jazz, they will be joined by a bassist, drummer and percussionist as part of the Kimmel Center’s jazz series.   Chucho Valdez has been a key figure in the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz for the past 50 years. He has won numerous Grammy® and Latin Grammy awards. Throughout his career he has released many albums. Joe Lovano is also a Grammy® Award winner. He played his first Carnegie Hall gig in 12974, toured with many major jazz musicians, and then signed with Blue Note records in 1991.  Since then he has produced nearly 25 recordings as a leader, becoming one of the great jazz artists of our time.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will collaborate with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia (MCC) for British Organ Invasion at Verizon Hall on November 5, at 3:00 pm. The presentation will feature a program of works by British composers performed by the Mendelssohn Club. The Keystone State Boychoir will also share the stage for selected works. As one of the country’s longest-standing choruses, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia strives to develop choral music as an art form through taking artistic risks that stretches and challenges their singers and audiences.

Lewis Black brings his infamous yell and sarcastic wit to the Academy of Music in The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth Tour on November 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm. Known for his bitter rants and angry finger pointing, Lewis Black will present his candid humor combined with his self-proclaimed “pissed-off optimism in this show which is presented in association with Live Nation. “Best known for his intense release of anger during live performances, Lewis Black has had comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime and EPIX. He has also won multiple Grammy awards for his comedy albums and has published threeThe Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will collaborate with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia (MCC) for British Organ Invasion at Verizon Hall on November 5, at 3:00 pm. The presentation will feature a program of works by British composers performed by the Mendelssohn Club. The Keystone State Boychoir will also share the stage for selected works. As one of the country’s longest-standing choruses, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia strives to develop choral music as an art form through taking artistic risks that stretches and challenges their singers and audiences.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Back-To-School Family Programming at the Kimmel





The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts celebrates the start of the school year with two new music technology classes, an extension to the popular Show Stoppers musical theater program and a second season of the successful Family Discovery Series. Each month in Commonwealth Plaza families join professional artists for a one-hour program designed for the youngest music lovers. This FREE program, GROW UP GREAT introduces children between the ages of 1 and 5 to jazz concepts, songs, musical instruments storytelling with song and musical theater. THE FAMILY DISCOVERY begins its second season aiming to introduce children to a variety of events that families can attend together. Shanghai Acrobats, Elephant + Piggie and Paw Patrol Live are just three of the programs.
The Kimmel Center’s Education initiatives return for another season to engage and inspire the next generation of artists. There are new music technology courses, free performing arts classes, jazz camp of Philadelphia, the business of making music, student matinees, (grades k-12) creative music program for jazz, (ages 11-22) show stoppers (after school musical theater program for grades 9-12) Broadway Dreams Foundation Summer Initiative (week long personal instruction- ages 6-67) and jazz standards (new three year program designed to introduce students to jazz.)
The Kimmel Center will host an Arts Education Fair on November 16th from 3:00 pm – 6:00pm.  This afternoon will include networking with the Kimmel Center Education Department and its Resident Companies as well as exploration of youth programs, and school visits. The event will feature prize packages, ticket giveaways and teaching demonstrations.

Braunhaus Schmitz Oktoberfest




OCTOBER 7-9 2016

Braunhaus Schmitz will hold the first annual 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest , turning the Armory into a likeness of Munich for Columbus Day weekend. Ceilings will be draped to replicate tents in Munich. There will be authentic festival benches and tables imported from Germany as well as traditional foods and beer. General admission for all sessions include open seating on traditional Bavarian benches, first Liter of beer glass stein to take home, entertainment by German Hungarian dancers, as well as featured entertainment.  One lucky guest will also have the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Germany for Oktoberfest 2017. VIP tickets for each session include all of the above plus VIP quick entrance, reserved seating by the band and dance floor, table service and  a meat and cheese tray on the table when you arrive. General admission tickets are $45 each and VIP tickets are $65 each.  Some VIP tickets are nearly sold out so get them today. For more information and tickets, visit 
 This Octoberfest will be in addition to Braunhaus Schmitz’s 8th Annual South Street Oktoberfest  Festival which will be held on Saturday September 17 from 12:00pm to 8:00 pm on the 700 block of South Street.  Visitors will feast on bratwurst, bauernwurst, potato salad, sauerkraut and jumbo pretzels and steins of beer. Also included in the festival will be live Oompah music, a Liter Lift Competition, a bounce house and a life size connect four. Advance VIP tickets for South Street are sold out but some VIP tickets will be available on the day of the event by inquiring inside Brauhaus Schmitz.  The public is welcome to attend for free for general admission.  All food and drink are pay-as-you-go under the Oktoberfest tent.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mrs. Warren's Profession

Mrs. Warren’s Profession is being produced at the Lantern Theatre in the St. Stephen’s Church, 10th and Ludlow Streets, through October 9, 2016.  Written by George Bernard Shaw in 1893, Mrs. Warren’s Profession explores challenging themes including the plight of the working poor and many are just as relevant today as they were in Victorian England. Shaw’s play pits multiple-Barrymore-Award-Winner Mary Martello as Mrs. Warren against newcomer Claire Inie-Richards as her daughter Vivie Warren. David Bardeen, Andrew Criss, Daniel Fredrick and John Lopez, all connected to Mrs. Warren in some manner or another, complete the ensemble cast. The four act play changes locations thanks to imaginative work of scenic designer Dirk Durossette. Backdrops turn around, benches are added, “shrubs” are pulled away and book cases reveal an inside interior as a chandelier is lowered. As in many works that have stood the test of time, each act builds in intensity.  Mrs. Mary Martello’s flamboyant portrayal of Mrs. Warren’s success and Claire Inie-Richards’ strong, firm portrayal of a “modern” woman’s success are the focus of the first few acts, along with the interactions of the men in their lives. Vivie has finally come to terms with the fact that prostitution paid for her college education because her mother had no alternative way to make a living wage. When she discovers her mother is still “in the life” the real theatre begins. It is Act 4 that not only shows George Bernard’s Shaw’s brilliance in the writing of this Victorian masterpiece, but also the depth of the emotional wells of Mary Martello and Claire Inie-Richards. The dialogue between the two of them is the most dramatic part of the entire piece, but the facial expressions displayed by Vivian when interacting with her mother are priceless. Although once banned on moral grounds, this is undoubtedly one of Shaw’s best works. For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0395, visit online at or visit the Lantern Box Office, 10th & Ludlow Sts, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

TORUK- The First Flight

TORUK- The First Flight
The First Flight

The new Cirque du Soleil
touring show

inspired by James Cameron's

                       Tickets on pre-sale to
                Cirque Club members now!

             Tickets to the public go on sale

                       Starting September 9

TORUK, The First Flight will be presented at the Wells Fargo Center from March 8-12 as part of a global tour in arenas around the world. This new Cirque du Soleil show is inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATAR and carries you to the visually stunning world of Pandora, set thousands of years before the first humans ever set foot on Pandora.   It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnections of all living things. Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller”, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR.  When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters in their own hand. Upon learning that Toruk can help save the Tree of Souls, they set out on a quest to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky.  Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate. Tickets can be purchased at  Cirque du Soleil will be launching a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight. It will enhance the overall show experience and enable audience members to be part of the action before, during and after the performance. The app can be downloaded at  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Circadium- School of the Contemporary Circus

Greg Kennnedy-
 International Juggling Champion





Shayna Kennedy, married to international juggling champion and former Cirque du Soleil performer, Greg Kennedy, is on the Board of Educators of Circus Arts which links circus schools across the country. Adam Wooley, a professional coach of Philadelphia circus arts, is on the board with her.  Up until now, as soon as students graduate from high school, if they wished to continue to perfect their skills in circus arts, they had travel to Canada, home of Cirque du Soleil, or to Europe, where there are circus school available. It has been Shayna’s dream to have a school in in the United States where people can perfect their performance skills. Scheduled to open in Philadelphia in 2017, Circadium will be the first program of its kind in America. Sheila Bass from the Mayor’s office, Councilwoman Cindy Bass and Mandy Lyon, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance all spoke with great excitement about the upcoming addition to the Philadelphia scene, with Ms. Lyon adding how appropriate it was to have the school located in Philadelphia, home of the first circus. Greg Kennedy performed juggling feats and Nicole Burgoise performed on the trapeze.  Shayna Kennedy then further explained that applicants would need a high school diploma and be able to commit to three years of rigorous training for 35 hours a week. Applicants need not have attended circus schools or camps if they have acting and gymnastic skills. A kick-starter campaign to raise $50,000 has just been launched.