Monday, October 31, 2016

Shanghai Acrobats





This remarkable spectacle is a sheer delight. The production begins and ends with a couple in magnificent costumes. Their love story is interwoven throughout the show. Over one hundred acrobats perform death-defying stunts that have the audience sitting on the edge of their seats. Gasps ring throughout Verizon Hall as performers tumble across the stage and through hoops four stories high. An intake of breath accompanies the juggler who starts with three balls and finishes his act juggling eight balls in the air, on the ground and behind his back. Just when the audience has settled in their seats and has decided that there can be nothing more breathtaking to be seen, another act appears that is more mind-boggling than all the others with fantastic underlying music and gorgeous costumes. The audience is cautioned to be quiet as an acrobat balances first on two chairs placed on a stand and finally on six chairs; the athletic team member balances himself upside-down on one hand and rotates his body. It is impossible for the audience to remain quiet.  This widely varied show with multi-talented award winning acrobats intersperses jaw-dropping athletic feats with stunning story-telling through costumed dance. The young man and princess who begin the show with dance and are separated repeatedly by pirates and other rogues are reunited to end this outstanding production. Other upcoming shows in the Family Discovery Series include: Odd Squad Live (November 25-26, Merriam Theater), Cirque Éloize: Saloon (January 13-14, Merriam Theater) and Elephant and Piggie: We Are in A Play! (January 21 Merriam Theater.)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kimmel's Jazz Residency Artists






The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has announced its 2016-17 Season Jazz Residency Artists, individuals whose involvement in this prestigious program will result in World Premieres in May 2017 at the Kimmel Center’s SEI Innovation Studio. The Jazz Residency program is designed to take artists and audiences on a season-long journey to continue the long tradition of creating new jazz in Philadelphia. A five person panel of jazz experts, Todd Stoll, VP of Education at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City; Eric Gould, Chair of Jazz Composition, Berklee College of Music in Boston; Dr. Aaron Flagg, Chair & Associate Director of Julliard Jazz in New York City; Dr. Lesa Terry, musician and faculty member at California State University and Jay Wahl, Music Director of the Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, reviewed 29 project applications. The following experts have been selected: vocalist, composer and lyricist Joanna Pascale; composer Etienne Charles; saxophonist, vocalist and composer Max Swan; and composer and pianist Jawanza Kobie. Audience members will have an opportunity to observe the composition progress of these artists in free public workshops and work-in progress performances in the spring and their World Premieres in May 2017.

Teacher Appreciation Initiative



FOR 2016-17 SEASON

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts – in partnership with The School District of Philadelphia and The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers – has announced a new Teacher Appreciation program. In celebration of the city’s most inspiring teachers, the organization will give away 1,000 free tickets throughout the season and has instated a special discount for educators of up to 35% for select performances.  Principals can nominate inspiring teachers by sending an email to and highlighting why the teachers are deserving. The following Kimmel resident companies are also participating in the program by offering free or discounted tickets: Opera Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Curtis Institute of Music and PHILADANCO. For more information on the Teachers Appreciation Program and how to get involved, visit

Another upcoming opportunity for educators on the Kimmel Center Campus is the Arts Education Fair taking place November 16th from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. This free event, hosted by the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (Creative Philadelphia) and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance will give educators the opportunity to network with representatives from the Kimmel Center Education Department and its resident companies as well as other local youth and school programs arts education opportunities. The event will feature prize packages, ticket giveaways and teaching demonstrations..To RSVP for the event or register a table,visit 

Guards at the Taj

Anthony  Mustafa  Adair  &
Jenson Titus Lavallee
Theatre Exile, located in Studio X, 1340 S. 13th Street, is presenting the Philadelphia premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj through November 13. Set in Agra, India in 1648, two imperial guards, closer than brothers, stand watch at the gates of the grand Taj before it is to be revealed to the public. One has a staunch sense of duty; the other an equally strong belief in the wondrous beauty of the world. Guarding the natural beauty of the Taj Mahal should bring the two childhood friends even closer together, but the king’s decree that nothing as beautiful should ever be constructed again causes a rupture between them.  Joseph has created a thought-provoking piece in which one must decide how far it is possible to go before giving up your soul. For Humayun, (Anthony Mustafa Adair) a good guard follows orders; nothing else is tantamount.  For Barbur, (Jenson Titus Lavallee) following such orders has destroyed his inner peace and outer relationship with the world around him. Joseph takes this shocking drama one step further by testing the friendship between Humayun and Babar. As many are asked on a daily basis, “Where does loyalty lie and is there ever a point in which you put it to rest?” For more information or tickets, call (215) 218-4022 or visit online at 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Radiant Vermin

Emilie Krause, Eleni Delpoulos &
Adam Hammet
Inis Nua Theatre Company, located in the Louis Bluver Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, is presenting the Philadelphia premiere of Radiant Vermin through November 6. Multi-Award winning playwright Philip Ridley has written a cheeky satire about the lengths that “good people” will go to get their piece of the American Dream. This is a macabre masterpiece somewhat reminiscent of Sweeny Todd. Ollie (Adam Hammet) and Jill (Emilie Krause) are offered a free house in a blighted area by government realtor Miss Dee (Eleni Delopoulos) with the sole stipulation that they enhance the property to encourage others to move into the neighborhood. After Ollie accidently kills an interloper from a nearby  homeless camp, a designer kitchen replete with self-replenishing refrigerator  mysteriously appears in place of the dead body. What might happen, Jill muses, if Ollie were to lure a few more homeless into their home? Why a Lamborghini in the driveway, of course. It is such a small path from stopping an intruder to actively recruiting “regenerators” to come into the home with the promise of a hot bath and a free meal. To add to the fun, audience members are invited to vote on which part of the house should be “renovated” next. British actor Adam Hammet and Philadelphia native Emilie Krause are unflappable as Ollie and Jill establishing their Dream Home. Portraying every character in their neighborhood at a fast-paced birthday party 18 months later, they are incredibly quick and witty. It is near the final moments of the production, however, that the audience gets sucker-punched. “Just ponder this choice. Think of the freezing homeless," Jill opines. "Wouldn’t they be better off out of the cold…. as a coffee table?” For more information or tickets, call (215) 454-9776 or visit online at  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Revolution Chop House




Valley Forge Casino Resort, (1160 First Avenue) has announced the opening of Revolution Chop House. Executive Chef Les Bender’s menu  features classic and big cuts of steak, chops and seafood as well as a revolving menu section in which seasonal and local ingredients will be highlighted. Chef Bender, with his 35 years of experience, has garnered many awards, among them induction into the prestigious American Academy of Chefs. He currently oversees all culinary operations for the Valley Forge Casino Resort but the Revolution Chop House will let him focus more on the intimate dining experiences in the steakhouse dining room. Menu highlights include but are not limited to verlasso salmon, braised boneless short rib, king crab legs, filet mignon, veal chops, Colorado lamb chops and a 40 ounce tomahawk ribeye (for two). Guests will receive table-side presentations and personalized preparations. The Revolution Chop House hours are  Sunday-Monday 5pm-9pm;  Tuesday-Thursday 5pm-10pm  and Friday-Saturday 5pm-11 pm. Reservations can be made by calling 610-768-5003. Happy Hour will begin later in the fall.

Nick's New Look





Nick’s Bar & Grill, located at 16 S. 2nd Street has announced the debut of their first ever brunch service.  Every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. the Old City hot spot will serve brunch favorites that use their new in-house smoked meats, their signature ground bacon and beef burgers and other variations of Philadelphia favorites. As a compliment to the new brunch menu, customers can build their own Bloody Marys for only $6.00. To accompany the in-house mix and Tito’s vodka, you can have your choice of rim (Old Bay, Salt, Bacon)and your choice of extras like Stuffed Olives, Olives, Pretzel rods, Lemon, Lime, Celery, Peperoncini, extra Horseradish, extra Tabasco or Worcestershire Sauce. For an additional $1.00 you can add shrimp or bacon. There are ten items on the brunch menu and more will be added soon. The menu will also be complimented with  weekend share plates for groups of two or more.
For more information, call (215) 928-9411, visit, Nick’s Bar & Grille on Facebook or @nicksoldcity on Twitter.

More December Events at the Kimmel



Philadelphia’s jazz orchestra returns to the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday December 3 at 8:00 p.m. for a musical tribute to American saxophonist John Coltrane in his 90th birthday year. The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP) led by world-renowned trumpeter Terell Stafford, will perform Trane-ing Day- a program that celebrates the jazz icon and highlights his ties to Philadelphia. The program will also feature The Harlem Nutcracker by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. 

The New York City based string quartet, Well Strung, will present their holiday show, A Well-Strung Christmas in the Perelman Theater of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. The string quartet will fuse pop and classical music in their show.  The quartet is comprised of Edmund Bagnell (1st violin), Chris Marchant, (2nd violin) Daniel Shevlin (cello) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola) blending their vocals and strings. In addition to performing live and creating entertaining music videos, the quartet performs for school classes and answers questions from the students.

For the 4th year, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is presenting what has become a beloved tradition, A Soulful Christmas. This year's performance, taking place on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in Verizon Hall, will honor Grammy Award winning gospel artist Richard Smallwood. This joyous event brings together more than 300 voices from local choirs to perform holiday spirituals and gospel favorites, complemented by messages of hope for the season delivered by local church leaders. A Soulful Christmas will feature the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale led by Artistic and Music Director J. Donald Dumpson alongside hundreds of singers from the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale Youth Choir and seven other choirs. Special guests will include Brian Lenair, saxophone, Marvin Mills, organ, Patty Jackson, WDAS-FM radio announcer and Fred Blain WNAP-AM radio announcer. 

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

The 2016-17 Broadway Philadelphia Season, presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center and the Shubert Organization, presents the smash-hit musical Mamma Mia! based on the hit songs of ABBA. Mamma Mia! Is produced by Work Light Productions. The show will return to Philadelphia for a limited holiday engagement December 27-31 at the Merriam Theater as part of its farewell tour.  Allentown native Lizzie Markson will appear in one of the lead roles, “Sophie” in the national touring production coming to Philadelphia. Mamma Mia! is the eighth longest running show in Broadway history and one of only five musicals to have run for more than ten years on Broadway. The special edition cast recording is available on Decca Broadway.

Tickets are available now and can be purchased by calling (215) 893-3333, visiting, or the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales for 10 or more are available by calling 215-790-5883

December Events at the Kimmel



Obie-winning playwright and songwriter Ethan Lipton returns to the Lipton SEI Innovation Studio December 1-3 to debut his newest work, The Outer Space. Lipton’s newest hilarious and bittersweet song cycle follows a married couple as they leave the noise, pollution and overpriced rents of earth for the vast terrain of the final frontier. Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directs this out-of-this-world musical about the sacrifices we make for viable living and love. The Outer Space will be part of The Public Theatre’s spring season beginning in February 2017. The Outer Space brings up many questions about life and love and tests this couple’s fortitude on their journey to their new home. Ethan’s work has been seen in major cities across the country and internationally in Scotland and Australia.

The fabulous Norah Jones will be coming to Philadelphia to sing at the Academy of Music for one night only on December 2, 2016 after returning from her month-long whirlwind tour of Europe. The 9-time GRAMMY Award winner, who has sold over 45 million albums, will be singing songs from her new album Day Breaks. Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Billboard all named Day Breaks one of this fall’s must-hear albums. Norah’s unique sound intertwines several styles of American music: country, folk, rock, soul and jazz.

Comedian Hasan Minhaj makes his theatrical debut at the Perelman Center at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Homecoming King on Friday, December 2 at 8:30 p.m. Homecoming King tells the story of the “New Brown America” and is based on events from Minhaj’s first generation Indian-American experience. The show focuses on Minhaj’s arrival in the United States, meeting his sister, interracial love, racism, bullying, and his family’s quest to achieve “The American Dream”. Hasan Minhaj has been making audiences laugh for years on The Daily Show and has made appearances on several other shows.  Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King originally opened off-Broadway for a limited run.  After receiving rave reviews, the show is touring North America

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is presenting the 32nd Anniversary tour of Mannheim Steamroller: Christmas by Chip Davis for two performances on Saturday December 3, 2016 at the Academy of Music. This performance is presented in association with Magic Space Entertainment and celebrates the group’s first Christmas album which was released in 1984 and revolutionized the Holiday Season music category. Grammy Award winner Chip Davis founded Mannheim Steamroller in 1974.  The group has sold over 40 million albums, including 28 million Christmas albums, 19 gold, 8 multi-platinum and 4 platinum certified records.

Tickets for all events can be purchased by calling (215) 893-1999 ,visiting online at,or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales for 10 or more can be purchased by calling (215) 790-5883.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Legend of Georgia McBride

Dito van Reigerberg,  Matteo
 Schammell , Mikéah Ernest Jennings
The Arden Theatre Company, located at 40 N. 2nd Street, is presenting Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride on its Arcadia Stage through November 27, 2016. With the inimitable Dito van Reigersberg playing Miss Tracy Mills drag queen par excel lance, and Mikéah Ernest Jennings playing Rexy, a somewhat drunken drag queen, what could entice Casey (Matteo Scammer) to forego his beloved Elvis act and go on stage in drag?... certainly not his pregnant wife Jo (Jessica Johnson) but perhaps a paycheck from the club owner Eddie (Damien J. Wallace). This is a hilarious and engaging show. When Casey first puts on a wig and dress and has to lip sync an Edith Piaf song he doesn’t know, Tracy Mills helps out in wings with a bit of advice: “Just say watermelon mother f…. and no one will know the difference.  When you come to the chorus, sing, padum, padum, padum…” Success breeds success as Casey develops his own persona of Georgia McBride, refashioning his dazzling Elvis jumpsuit and adding glitzy heels and a countrified air. The jazzy costume changes are completed almost as quickly and as frequently as the detailed set changes. Tracy Mills makes a flamboyant entrance from behind the top tier of seats and shimmies her way onto the stage, lip syncing and flirting with the audience on her way. The entire ensemble cast is fabulous. The set and design by Jorge Cousineau, the costume design by Olivera Gajic, the lighting design by Maria Shaplin, and the choreography by Melanie Cotton fuse to make this production legendary. It is an outstanding night of pure fun. For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1122; visit online at, or walk-up at the box office, 40 N. 2nd Street.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Free Mexrrissey Concert





The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has announced that its Saturday, October 29th performance by Mexican rock band Mexrrissey will now be a FREE ticketed event – a gift to Philadelphia in celebration of the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. The group will perform for one night only at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad Street. They will demonstrate a Mexican flare to the greatest hits of artists Mexrrissey and The Smiths. Fans can visit to secure free tickets. (fees may apply)

 Attendees are encouraged to stop by Bar Volvér at the Kimmel Center’s campus restaurant before or after the performance to purchase “The Mexrrissey Rocktail.”

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts & The University of the Arts

The Kimmel Center for the
Perfoming Arts



The new partnership between the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Arts will create a school-time involvement designed to expose every student in Philadelphia to an arts experience at the Kimmel Center cultural campus; provide The University of Arts students access to artists performing on the Kimmel Center’s cultural campus through master classes; create credit based competitive projects  for the UA students culminating in showings at the Kimmel campus; and develop cross organizational opportunities for staff and faculty. As part of this new partnership agreement, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is purchasing The Merriam Theater.  The theater was purchased by the school in 1972 and has been managed and operated by the Kimmel Center for the past seven years.
There are many events planned to celebrate the new partnership, among them:

October 11-November 19, 2016- 10:00a.m.-6:00p.m. - The University of Arts College of Art, Media & Design presents an exhibit of faculty work throughout the Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts.

October 16, 2016- The Hyatt at the Bellevue – The University of the Arts 140th Anniversary Gala

October 17, 2016- 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. Merriam Theater; The University of the Arts Inauguration of President David Yager      2:00 p.m. Reception, Solmssen Court, Hamilton Hall, The University of the Arts

November 14, 2016- 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. SEI Innovation Studio, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts  Fine Arts visiting Artists Lecture by Eric Fiscl

November 16, 2016- 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Commonwealth Plaza The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Education Fair 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Arts Education Fair, Educator’s Reception, Hamilton Hall, and The University of the Arts

For more information on this new partnership, contact Leslie Patterson Tyler at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts  (215) 790-7173 or Paul Healy at The University of the Arts at (215) 717-6161.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

This Is The Week That Is: The Election Special

Thinking process inside Trump's brain
The 11th iteration of 1812 Production’s political satire This is the Week That Is will be playing at Plays & Players Theatre, 17th and Delancey Streets through November 7. As funny as this show is every year, there is nothing like an election year to add an additional spark and sparks do fly with this performance. Although there was a murmur or two about the uneven handling of the Trump and Clinton candidacies, the Philadelphia audience loved it. Thanks to the innovative projection video work of Jorge Cousteau, every time Jennifer Childs bemoans “What happens in the future?” flashes of light, twirling planets and a man in white wig and lab coat  (suggestive of “Back to the Future”) appears along with an hysterical newspaper headline, such as “Canada Builds Wall.” The writing/performing ensemble of Alex Bechtel, Nia-Samara Benjamin, Sean Close, Dave Jadico, Justin Jain and of course Jennifer Childs are brilliant without exception. Their many sketches- Hillary’s party at which her guests all believe they would be better candidates than she, Von Trump family’s performance, the meeting of UA (undecided voters anonymous), the side-by-side contretemps displaying the inner workings of Trump’s and Hillary’s brain, are side-splitting hilarious. Don Montrey has up-to-the-minute current events as the head news writer and Dave Jadico, as always, has something entertaining to say “from the lobby". Put aside your political worries and come out for an evening of pure laughter. You’ll leave the theatre feeling better than when you walked in.  For more information or tickets, call 215-592-9560 or visit online at

Monday, October 10, 2016

Take A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline

Jessica Wagner
With a clever set design by Robert E. Wolin, Take a Closer Walk With Patsy Cline will be appearing at the Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe Street, through October 16.  Jessica Wagner, who performed the title role in Always, Patsy Cline, reprises her role to an enthusiastic audience. Take A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline begins as a radio broadcast with announcer Danny Vaccaro paying tribute to the singer and narrating her beginnings and accomplishments.   “Patsy” (Jessica Wagner) is usually accompanied on stage by a quartet of very talented young men  - Jared Calhoun, Nate Golden, Christopher J. Perugini and Sean C. White who also appear by themselves at the radio station to do singing commercials.  During the commercials, “Patsy” disappears off stage for a rapid costume change. There are many such changes throughout the program, not only for Patsy but for the quartet as well.  Kudos to Linda B. Stockton for designing the numerous costumes.  Director Susan D. Atkinson must be admired for her outstanding work in moving the characters on and off the stage seamlessly in order to facilitate a costume change. Patsy Cline’s maturity is denoted in her move from saddle shoes, to cowboy boots to high heels.  The tenor of her voice also changes as she "ages"; songs with a higher pitch are chosen for the beginning of the production and Patsy’s voice deepens as she gets older.  From WINC 1400 to The Grand Ol Opry to Carnegie Hall, Patsy Cline loved performing before an audience and with Ms. Wagner’s recreation, this is evident. This marvelous show will have you clapping your hands and singing along to more than 20 of Patsy Cline’s favorite hits. If you liked Always, Patsy Cline, you’ll love Take A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline.  If you didn't see it, don’t miss Jessica Wagner's rendition of Patsy Cline this time.  Tickets are available by calling 215-785-0100 or by visiting online at  

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Kittson O'Neill
Kittson O‘Neil’s phenomenal performance in the Philadelphia premiere of George Brant’s GROUNDED being presented by InterAct Theatre Company is dazzling. Staged in the Proscenium Theatre of the Drake Hotel, 302 S. Hicks Street through October 23, GROUNDED is a smart, tightly written play which should be on everyone’s must-see list. Kittson O’Neill is absolutely astounding in her solo role of an air force pilot whose pregnancy has grounded from her from flying in the sky she loves and transported her to a trailer in a desert to operate drones in a war half a world away. The intensity of staring at a screen for twelve hours a day in search of enemies and then dropping a warhead with a click of the joystick takes its toll, not only on the pilot’s home life but on her psyche as well. Unable to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow officers after a job well done, the pilot has lost all sense of who she is and her place in the world. George Brandt has given us an inside look into the soul of an officer who might be suffering from PTSD. O’Neill has taken this compelling script and has demonstrated her skill in displaying a wide-ranging array of emotions, from simple delight to a roaring rage. Fly; don’t walk to get your tickets to see this award winning play.  Tickets are available by calling 215-568-8079, visiting online at  or at the box office at        

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Jazz 100

Lizz Wright
On September 30, 2016, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts opened their Jazz Series with the World Premiere of Jazz 100 at the Merriam Theater.  2017 marks the centennial celebration of four jazz greats: Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria and Thelonious Monk and Jazz 100 delivers the flavor of all four artists with an exciting approach.  The band, led by musical director and pianist Danilo Perez, includes Chris Potter on the saxophone, Avishai Cohen on the trumpet, Wycliffe Gordon on the trombone, Ben Street on bass, Adam Cruz on drums and Roman Díaz on percussion and vocals.  Lizz Wright, with her deep, rich, melodic voice joins the band as a vocalist and sings several of Ella Fitzgerald’s songs with a purity not heard since the Queen of Jazz has died. The band is extremely versatile. To enliven the program, the tempo of the pieces presented constantly changes. Several of the musicians are given an opportunity to be prominent. The pianist has a few entertaining solos pieces. Chris Potter’s solo on the saxophone is magnificent and Wycliffe Gordon has a duet between himself and his trombone as it trills and slides and Gordon scats. Master percussionist Roman Díaz from Havana Cuba has the audience in an uproar, foot-tapping to the beat of his bongos and participating with the vocals he chants aloud. This entire program is nothing short of electrifying. The Kimmel Center’s Jazz Series includes 10 performances and allows patrons to pick 4 or 5 show packages. For information or tickets, call 2215-593-1993, visit online at or visit the Kimmel Center Box Office.