Thursday, October 12, 2017

Buyer & Cellar

Dito van Reigersberg
An evening of non-stop laughter can be found in… (Who knew?)... the mall in Barbra Streisand’s basement. 1812 Productions, located at Plays and & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, is presenting  Jonathan Tolin’s Buyer & Cellar through October 29. Dito van Reigersberg stars in this one-man one-act comedy and he is superb. He chats to the audience, has conversations with his boyfriend, with Barbra’s housekeeper, and with Barbra herself among others. His sense of comic timing is exceptional. If a laugh is not immediately forthcoming, he will wait for it with a tilt of the head or the slightest raise of an eyebrow and the audience roars. If you are not a season ticket holder, you might want to check out this very funny play and extremely talented performer. Discover why Barbra hired this unemployed actor and how he becomes the premiere seller in the cellar. For more information or tickets, call 215-592-9560 or visit www.1812productions.org.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cabaret

Charissa Hogeland

The F. Otto Haas Stage of the Arden Theatre, located at 40 N. 2nd Street, Olde City, had been magnificently transformed into a two-level Cabaret through October 22, 2017. Blink and you are transported to the lavish  gay night life of decadent 1929 –30 Berlin. The Kit Kat Club  comes to life before the show even starts as actors interact with audience members. The very talented and flamboyant emcee John Jarboe  makes dramatic entrances and perches on the laps of smiling audience members. His articulation in the fast-paced “Money"  defies description. The choreography throughout the show is excellent.  The timing is superb  with the dancers' many minute steps and movements working like clockwork. It is even more impressive to note that in some of the numbers not all of the dancers are women dressed in the stockings and heels. The staging has a wow factor of ten!  Cabaret tables are set up on the floor near the stage with phones on each. The emcee comes up and down the aisles and sometimes starts to sing  from the back of the theatre. Charissa  Hogeland,  with her commanding voice as Sally Bowles, sings on the main floor of the Kit Kat club or on the balcony.  She not only can sing a seductive melody, but can also belt out cries of anguish. Mary Elizabeth Scallen’s performance as Fräulein Schneider.is exceptional. Her renditions of  “So What?” and “What Would You Do?” are rendered with as much emotion through her eyes as through her voice. Kenny Morris as Herr Shulz is her perfect foil. The show ends with great drama and emotion…  a fitting ending to a phenomenal work of art. For more information or tickets,  call 215-922-1122 or visit online at www.ardentheatre.org

November Events at the Kimmel

Following a hugely successful two-and-a-half year revival on Broadway, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera begins its North American tour with a remarkable new production. It will return to Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center’s Academy of Music for a 12-day engagement beginning Wednesday, November 1 through Sunday, November 12. With newly reinvented staging this new version of Phantom is performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions on tour in North America. The Phantom of the Opera tells the tale of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House and terrorizes all who come in contact with him.  He falls in love with a young soprano and devotes himself to turning her into a star.

Progressive rock icons King Crimson have announced a two-night visit to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Merriam Theater on November 2 and 3, 2017. King Crimson was officially formed in 1969 in London and came to prominence after supporting the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park. The current 8-piece line-up, the ninth iteration of King Crimson,  has been touring since 2014, honoring the band’s strong reputation with three albums and sold-out shows across the globe.


The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, in association with Live Nation, welcomes back Nick Offerman to the Kimmel Center’s Merriam Theater on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. for his new solo comedy show Full Bush. Nick excels in many areas. He is the star of hit    television series and films, author of New York Times best sellers and a passionate woodworker. He got his start in the Chicago theater community where he was the founding member of the Defiant Theatre. In his spare time, he can be found at his workshop in Los Angeles building hand-crafted items ranging from fine furniture to canoes to ukuleles.

Alton Brown takes recommendations for top Philadelphia eating spots during his “Eat Your Science” tour at the Kimmel Center, November 5, 2017. Television personality, author and Food Network star Alton Brown launched his #ABRoad Eats initiative to discover culinary treasures and connect them with millions of followers while Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science tours the country, stopping at the Kimmel Center on Sunday November 5, 2017. Fans in Philadelphia can submit recommendations for local coffee houses, breakfast spots, lunch joints and late night spots on his website, Facebook, and Twitter using #ABRoadEatsPhilly. Everyone is encouraged to take to social media to recommend their favorite eatery. Brown will tabulate votes each day and make picks from the submissions. “I do not eat a bite of food that does not come from the hashtag,” he says. After his visit, Alton posts photos or videos and write-ups on his social media platforms. Brown created a new form of entertainment – the live culinary variety show with his “Edible Inevitable Tour. “which played in over 100 cities. The Eat Your Science Tour has  sold    more than 200,000 tickets in over 80 cities.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will appear at the Academy of Music on Wednesday November 15, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. as he embarks on a multi-city tour to promote his new book, Promise Me Dad: A Year of Hope. All Price Level One VIP tickets will include a meet and greet and photo opportunity. Joseph Biden served as the 47th Vice President of the United States alongside President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. Beginning his career as an attorney and becoming a member of the senate in 1972 he became the sixth youngest senator in U.S. history. He is now a professor at the Penn Biden Center for diplomacy, foreign policy and national security as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His new memoir, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, available November 14th, focuses on Biden’s life, including his time in office and the recent loss of his son, Beau Biden.

Critically acclaimed electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling is releasing her first ever holiday album entitled Warmer in the Winter. Lindsey will tour in support of her album and will appear at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Academy of Music stage on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. Lindsey Stirling is one of the biggest artist breakthrough stories in recent years.  An acclaimed violinist from Gilbert, Arizona, she has entered a futuristic world of electronic big beats and animation. She has almost 10 million YouTube subscribers, over 1.9 billion views on her YouTube channel, 2 Billboard Music Awards and sold out tours world-wide. She’s created a world where modern classical meets the infectious energy of dance and electronica.  On stage, Stirling moves with the grace of a ballerina then works the crowd into a  frenzy.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and Sirius Radio Presents  welcome The Brian Seltzer Orchestra’s  14th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour to the Academy of Music, Friday November 17, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. The orchestra will perform seasonal hits from their Christmas-themed albums including Boogie-Woogie Christmas, Dig that Crazy Christmas, and Rockin’ Rudolph. Brian Seltzer’s 19 piece orchestra has sold over 13 million records since 1994. Seltzer received the Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement award for his celebrated career and iconic line of Gretsch guitars. A replica of one of them was donated to the Smithsonian institute’s collection.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in association with Live Nation is presenting Mike Birbiglia at the Merriam Theater on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.  Mike Birbiglia is a comedian and storyteller who has performed in front of audiences worldwide, from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall. His most recent shows, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend and Thank God for Jokes were both filmed for Netflix.  His book, Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories was a New York Times best seller and a finalist for the Thurber Prize For American Humor. Birbiglia has also appeared in films and on several TV series. 

The new show Brain Candy Live! starring Adam Savage, editor–in-chief of Tested.com and Michael Stevens, creator of the award-winning YouTube channel “Vsauce” will appear at the Academy of Music on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. They will unleash their collective  sense of fun, wonder and curiosity with the audience and deliver an explosive batch of magical Brain Candy to every mind in the audience. They are inviting everyone to join in and get their minds messy.


American rock band Dream Theater will appear at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Merriam Theater on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. as part of their “Images, Words, & Beyond 25 Anniversary Tour.” Music from the album will be played in its entirety as well as a few of Dream Theater’s latest tunes and some of their rare material.




The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts  presents Finding Neverland  at the Academy of Music on Tuesday November 21 through Sunday, November 26, 2017.  The story follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up  It is packed with mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs, and plenty of laughs. It is a timeless story about the power of imagination and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up. It is produced by Weinstein Live Entertainment and NETworks Presentations.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is touring 8 cities this fall to discuss her new memoir, What Happened. She will be in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Academy of Music on November 30, 2017.  Secretary Clinton will bring a highly personal perspective on what happened during the election and what’s next. What you will see is her story of resilience, how to get back up after a loss and how we can all look ahead. Hillary discusses her experiences as a woman in politics and other topics in a way that she has never done before.











Sunday, September 24, 2017

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Bristol Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pa, is presenting the  multiple Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee  through October 15. With 6 quirky tweens vying for the top prize of $200, a trophy, bragging rights and self-esteem,  4 other audience members are added as last minute additions. It’s not always easy to discern how much they have been coached.  The show has a few basic themes which it reiterates throughout: “The best spellers don’t necessarily win.” along with “Winning isn’t everything and losing doesn’t make you a loser.” To prove the point, a 'comfort officer' is on stage to walk the losing contestants off stage and offer them a box of juice as he consoles them on their loss. The very talented ensemble cast sings their way through 18 numbers in a 95 minute performance, with several of them demonstrating strong solo voices. All have quite a litany of theatre  works to their credit and hopefully we can look forward to seeing each cast member in many more shows in our region. For more information or tickets, call 215 785-0100 or visit online at brtstage.org. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Mary Martello & Scott Greer
Walnut Street Theatre, located at 825 Walnut Street, is presenting the Tony Award winning musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum through October  22nd.  A Funny Thing…  premiered 55 years ago and some of its jokes are a little dated; however, there is still an abundant amount of material  to appeal to anyone in the audience. As the opening number so aptly states, “something for everyone, a comedy tonight.” Those who enjoy physical comedy will not be disappointed and it’s almost impossible to keep track of the number of times there are instances of mistaken identity. Those who enjoy seeing beautiful women will delight in the parade of courtesans as they try to win a potential client’s favor.(Surprise. They are not just pretty faces.  They can all sing as well!) The set is simple which allows the audience to concentrate on the characters and their whimsy. The ensemble cast reads like a who’s who of Philadelphia actors. Each and every one plays his  part to the hilt but it is Scott Greer who steals the show as Hysterium, slave to Senex (Ron Wisniski) and Domina (Mary Martello). Greer is a one-man comedy show and his expressions are priceless. For more information or tickets, call (215) 574-3550 or visit www.walnutstreettheatre.org or ticketmaster.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Red Velvet

Ensemble cast of  Red Velvet 
The Philadelphia Premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s  Red Velvet will be presented by the Lantern Theater Company, 10th and Ludlow Streets, through October 8, 2017. It is based on a true story of 19th century actor Ira Aldridge, who made history playing the first African American actor  to portray Othello in 1833 London. Riots on the streets protesting the Slavery Abolition Act mirrored the critic’s reviews of Ira Aldridge’s performance. The show closed after two nights. Although he went on to become a very successful actor throughout Europe and Russia, Ira Aldridge never again acted on the London stage  Red Velvet begins with a young Polish reporter asking an aging Aldridge why he never returned to Covent Gardens. The play is so skillfully written and the production so skillfully staged that the audience almost forgets that they are watching a flashback. Scene changes are  done  in an instant with a flick of a curtain. The sound and lighting effects are first-rate. Although the subject matter is serious, there are many humorous moments. The ensemble cast is outstanding and Forrest McClendon lets us feel every ounce of Ira Aldridge’s rage upon learning that the show is closing after two performances. Lantern Theater Company is well known for producing good theater. This production is not only good; it is exceptional. For more information or tickets, call (215) 829-0395 or visit www.lanterntheater.org.               
            
                          

Sunday, September 3, 2017

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

TO TOUR NORTH AMERICA


Philadelphia is one of 8 cities that have been announced in Hillary Clinton’s fall tour of North America. The tour is produced by Innovation Arts and Entertainment . Hillary Clinton will appear at The Academy of Music on Thursday, November 30, 2017 to discuss her new memoir, What Happened. Hillary Clinton takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president in an election marked by rage, sexism, stranger than fiction twists, Russian interference and an opponent who broke all the rules. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age and appearance and the double standard confronting women in politics. She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary and why Americans need to understand these forces to protect our future. Visit www.HillaryClintonBookTour.com to register and receive an invitation along with a password to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public on September 18.

September & October at the Kimmel



For the first time ever, Philadelphians will have a chance to experience the real estate experts Drew and Jonathon Scott, creators and hosts of the top-rated Property Brothers TV series. .Drew and Jonathon will offer fans an uncensored look into their lives during this one-of-a-kind show featuring audience participation, entrepreneurial do’s and don’ts , behind the scenes bloopers and plenty of laughs. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with HGTV Presents, welcomes The Scott Brother’s House Party to the Merriam Theater on Wednesday September 6, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. For years the Scott Brothers have won over the hearts of millions with their sibling rivalry, humor and remarkable ability to transform ordinary houses into extraordinary dream homes.

Great news for PJ Masks Fans! PJ Masks Live! Time To Be A Hero! will be appearing at the Merriam Theatre September 22 & 23, 2017. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with Entertainment One (eOne) and Round Room Presents are proud to announce PJ Masks Live! Time to Be a Hero! The brand-new, fully immersive musical production, starring the heroic trio from the beloved series PJ Masks, will take the stage at the Merriam Theater from September 22-23 2017, The live show is  based on eOne’s top-rated animated TV series which airs daily on Disney Junior. PJ Masks, the hit series, follows the nighttime adventures of three young friends who transform into their dynamic alter egos, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko when they put on their pajamas at night and activate their animal amulets. Together they embark on action-packed capers, solving mysteries and learning valuable lessons along the way. Shows are on September 22, 2017 at 6:30 PM and September 23, 2017 at 1:00 PM & 5:00 P.M.


The legendary rock band YES, after a 25 year hiatus, is kicking off a global tour with a stop in Philadelphia. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, in association with BRE Presents & LME is proud to announce that the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees will appear on the Verizon Hall stage on October 1, at 7:30 PM. Founded by Jon Anderson in London in 1968, the band has undergone various member formations throughout its history, featuring 19 musicians in all.  In 1983, guitarist Trevor Rabin joined the band bringing forth a more commercial musical orientation, resulting in the highest-selling album to date. Rick Wakeman joined the band in 1997. YES has sold 13.million albums. This past April it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Back by popular demand, Kinky Boots returns to Philadelphia at the Academy of Music on Tuesday, October 3 and runs through Sunday, October 8, 2017. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots has won every major Best Musical Award. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentleman’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son.  With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

After more than 60 years in the music business, Herbie Hancock continues to amaze audiences. Fourteen-time Grammy ®Award winner and Academy Award ®winner, Hancock returns to Verizon Hall on Wednesday,October 4, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. to dazzle audiences with his timeless music. He began his career at eleven, shocking audiences as he performed a Mozart piece with the Chicago Symphony orchestra. In high school, he perfected jazz. He then joined the Miles Davis Quintet at age 23. Hancock has recorded over 50 albums . Last year he was awarded  the Lifetime Achievement Grammy® Award for his distinguished career. 

The Kimmel Center, in association with Live Nation, welcomes back comedian, television and movie star Kevin James to the Merriam Theater on Saturday night, October 7, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. for a one night only event that is sure to be full of laughs. Kevin James is currently the star and executive producer of the  sitcom Kevin Can Wait  for Sony Television and CBS. which premiered in September 2016. James began his career as a stand-up comic and then developed his own sitcom, King of Queens, which ran for 9 years on CBS. James was the producer, co-writer and star of several hit comedies, among them Mall Cop 1 & 2, Zookeeper and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. 

Grammy ®Award winning soprano Renée Fleming is making her debut solo recital in Verizon Hall on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. Fleming was a host of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series broadcast in theatres nationwide and PBS’ Live at Lincoln Center. She was also awarded the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2013. A graduate of Julliard, Renée Fleming is celebrated both nationally and internationally. She appeared at the Beijing Olympic Games, at the Brandenburg Gate and at Buckingham Palace. Winner of four Grammy Awards, she is also the recipient of the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal. 

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts welcomes back the famed humorist, writer for The New Yorker and NPR  contributor, David Sedaris for one night only at the Academy of Music on October 16, 2017, at 8:00 p.m.  An Evening With David Sedaris will include the speaker’s satirical observations, in-depth stories, a Q & A session with the audience, as well as a book signing.  In addition to his numerous books, Sedaris has penned pieces for The New Yorker for over two decades.


The Kimmel Center, in partnership with Team Never Quits and Mills Entertainment, presents The Patriot Tour featuring retired  Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Taya Kyle, retired U.S. Army Capt. Chad Fleming and retired Navy SEAL David Goggins at the Merriam Theater on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.. This evening will highlight the incredible stories of perseverance of four remarkable patriots who have had their lives profoundly changed by their service and their sacrifice. Featured speaker Marcus Luttrell is the recipient of the Navy Cross for combat heroism and  founder of the Lone Survivor Foundation Taya Kyle is the author of the The New York Times best-selling book American Wife, Executive Director of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation and the wife of the late U.S. Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle. Captain Fleming has been deployed overseas six times with the U.S. Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was wounded in combat three times and has undergone 23 surgeries. Chief Petty Officer David Goggins is a former Navy Seal and is the only member of the U.S, armed forces to have completed  SEAL training, U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force tactical air controller training. He is now considered to be one of the greatest endurance athletes in the country.

Grammy® and Latin Grammy® Award-winning singer Lisa Downs will appear at the Merriam Theater on Sunday, October 22, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. following the release of her latest album Salón Lágrimas y DeseoDowns’ album bridges a variety of genres as she blends sounds she learned during her upbringing in the American Midwest and Mexico. Her music  mixes jazz, hip-hop, blues and folk with South American and Mexican roots. Her lyrics focus on the human condition and the fights of many for civil liberties. Downs’ cross cultural success and human rights work has made her a voice for people everywhere.

2017 AFROPUNK BATTLE OF THE BANDS WINNER & Kimmel Center Theater Resident Alum Courtnee Roze Presents The Culture in SEI INNOVATION STUDIO October 26-28,2017. She will be performing the music she created in Philadelphia during her Kimmel Center Theater Residency. Roze is a percussionist, lyricist, writer and bandleader based out of New York. She will take audiences on a musical journey through her life, highlighting various influences that have inspired her sound - hitting on issues such as racism and love. The Culture will not only feature a diverse musical soundtrack but will also include non-traditional vocal patterns, dance and tactical staging. These will be designated BYO performances. Acceptable forms  of BYO are a 6-pack of beer or a 750ml bottle of wine per two patrons. No corkscrews or rolling coolers permitted.  Ice, cups and corking services are available at no costs. 

Five-time Grammy Award winner Michael McDonald brings his new album and greatest hits to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, along with special guest Marc Cohn. Wide Open is his first new studio album since 2008 and his first original material in more than 17 years. Presented in association with BRE Presents, Michael McDonald and Marc Cohn will appear on October 27, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. at the Merriam Theater. Michael McDonald’s musical career began  in the 1970’s  when he joined the Doobie Brothers. He was largely responsible for evolving the group’s boogie rock sound into a combination of jazz and soul. After multiple award-winning songs with The Doobie Brothers, McDonald moved on to a solo career. He recently co-founded a record label and is touring along with other artists. Marc Cohn has a distinctive soulful croon. He is best known for his Grammy Award-wining hit “Walking in Memphis.”

Appreciated around the world  for his concerts, famous sound tracks and record career, Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi will have a one night only performance at the Merriam Theater on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. His performance will integrate an array of musical genres as well as songs from his latest album Elements. A native of Turin Italy, Ludovico Einaudi was introduced to the piano at an early age by his mother. He graduated as a composer from the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan. Called “a classical artist for the YouTube age” Einaudi has composed music for some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Tickets for all above mentioned performances are on sale now. They can be purchased by calling 215-893-1993, visiting online at kimmelcenter.org. or visiting the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales for groups of 10 or more can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883. 




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Highlights of Kimmel's 2017-18 early season

KIMMEL CENTER ANNOUNCES
STAR-STUDDED PERFORMANCES
FEATURED IN THE 2017/18 SEASON
 
HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE OPERA STAR RENÉE FLEMING, HGTV’S
 SCOTT BROTHER’S, BROADWAY BLOCKBUSTERS LIKE
 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA AND MORE!
TICKETS GO ON SALE TO THE PUBLIC JULY 14


The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts kicks off  the 2017-18 season with internationally acclaimed superstars of rock, dance and comedy, returning favorites and the best of touring Broadway. Tickets for a select number of 2017-18 performances listed below go on sale July 14 with many performances already on sale.

EARLY 2017/17 SEASON LINEUP

THE SCOTT BROTHERS’ HOUSE PARTY!

Presented in associated with Mills Entertainment
Merriam Theater 
September 6, 2017
For their millions of fans around the world, twin brothers Jonathon and Drew Scott are masters of transforming ordinary houses into dream homes on their mega hit HGTV show Property Brothers. Now fans can see them in person.  There will be audience participation as they share their do’s and don’ts and reveal hilarious moments that don’t make it into television. There will be door prizes, behind the scenes bloopers and plenty of laughs.

KINKY BOOTS

Academy of Music
October 3-8, 2017
 Kinky Boots is Broadway’s huge-hearted, high-heeled hit. With songs by Grammy® and Tony Award® -winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical is a celebration about the friendship you discover and the belief you can change the world when you change your mind.

HERBIE HANCOCK

Verizon Hall
October 4, 2017
Now in the sixth decade of his professional career, Herbie Hancock remains at the forefront of world culture, technology, business and music. In addition to being recognized as a legendary pianist and composer, Herbie Hancock has been an integral part of every popular music movement since the 1960’s. In honor of his work, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime achievement Award in February 2016.

RENÉE FLEMING IN RECITAL

Verizon Hall
October 15, 2017
One of the most beloved and celebrated singers of our time, Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her voice. Her career has earned her the title of “the people’s diva”, the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Solo and a National Medal of Arts.  In recent years Ms. Fleming has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’ Live in HD for movie series.  This is her Verizon Hall debut.


LILA DOWNS

Part of the Kimmel Center’s Philly En Vivo! Series
October 12, 2017
Global superstar Lila Downs portrays exquisite artistry that bridges traditions across the Americas showcasing influences from folk and ranchera music of Mexico and South America, to North America folk, jazz, blues, and hip-hop. As a devoted human rights activist, Lila includes lyrics in her songs that highlight current issues relating to social justice.  She will be touring on behalf of her current album, Balas y Chocolat which went platinum in Mexico.


DISENCHANTED! THE HILARIOUS HIT MUSICAL

Perelman Theater
October 26-29, 2017
Poisoned apples, Glass slippers. Who needs ‘em?  Not Snow White and her posse of disenchanted princesses in the hilarious hit musical that’s anything but Grimm. Forget about the princesses you think you know,- the original storybook heroines have come back to set the story straight After multiple sold-out runs nationwide, these royal renegades return to bring their subversive, not-for-kiddies musical to you.


THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Academy of Music
November 1-12, 2017
Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera returns to Philadelphia with a brilliant new  scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award® winning costume design by Maria Bjornson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule  Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler and new staging by director Laurence Conner.


NICK OFFERMAN: FULL BUSH TOUR

Presented in association with Live Nation
Merriam Theater
November 4, 2017
Humorist Nick Offerman returns with his musings on survival in the wild and the cultivation of body hair.


JAZZ ORCHESTRA OF PHILADELPHIA

Monk’s dream- celebrating the Music of Thelonius Monk

Perelman Theater
December 2, 2017
Led by world-renown trumpet player and educator Terell Stafford, Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia is becoming the face of Philadelphia jazz, establishing the city as a national and international destination for music lovers. Helping to celebrate the music of Thelonious Monk will be special guest pianists Orrin Evans and Eric Reed.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson Charles Dickens & Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord

Brian McCann, Gregory Isaac &
Andrew Criss
What happens when we die?  Scott Carter gives us something to ponder in The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, &  Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord which is being presented at the Lantern Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets through July 2, 2017. We are given an opportunity to witness Charles Dickens, Thomas Jefferson & Count Leo Tolstoy, each cleverly dressed in clothes of their own time period, enter and subsequently be locked into a single room after their demise. The world’s greatest thinkers try to determine what they have in common that might have caused them to be sealed in the room together. Andrew Criss portrays Count Leo Tolstoy, Gregory Isaac portrays Thomas Jefferson and Brian McCann portrays Charles Dickens as they have a battle of wits.  All three have written a new Gospel but none of them can agree on the wisdom of the other’s content. They dispute the importance of spirit vs., words, vs. reason. There doesn’t appear to be anything all three can agree on beyond the fact that there will be no escape from the room until there is an agreement. After a period of prolonged pacing and pondering, each sits back down and begins a rewrite, the projected images of which appear on the walls behind them. The individual writings appear to lead to collective epiphanies. While this is billed as a new comedy by Scott Carter, the audience does not find much to make them laugh but  certainly finds much to contemplate . For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0395, visit online at www.lanterntheater.org  or visit the Lantern Box Office at 10th and Ludlow Streets

Saturday, June 3, 2017

PIFA 2018

DETAILS FOR 2018 PIFA

Festival To Take Place June 1-10, 2018

The Kimmel Center Recognized as the only U.S.- Based

Member of European Artist Network In Situ

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts announced that the Biannual Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) will take place June 1-10, 2018. Anne Ewers, Kimmel Center’s President & CEO also announced the Kimmel’s exclusive membership in In Situ – a network of European presenters specializing in art in public spaces. The Kimmel Center is the only U.S. member, and its affiliation allows the Kimmel Center to bring unique European performances to Philadelphia.  The centerpiece of PIFA 2018 will be the return of Transe Express, The French performance troupe that PIFA lovers will remember from their amazing spectacle during the 2011 Festival when more than 200,000 visitors packed the Avenue of the Arts to witness the ‘jaw-dropping sensation’ The group will bring the World Premiere of Crystal Palace- a 30-foot human chandelier with more than 50 live performers and dancers. Crystal Palace will be a full, 90 minute performance that artistically recreates the history of dance – from The Waltz and Tango to the Charleston, the Swing and Disco – through air acrobats and integrated dance groups. There is still time to view The People’s Tower In Situ in Dilworth Park. This 88-foot community built cardboard tower will be on display until Sunday at 7:00 p.m. when the community is invited to come tear it down.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

James Lecesne
Rarely do you hear cries of “Bravo” ring throughout the theater at the end of a performance. Such accolades were cheered for several minutes after James Lecesne finished performing his one-man show at Philadelphia Theatre’s Company’s Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets. There are only a few more days left to see The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelksey which is scheduled to run through June 4, 2017. If you hadn’t planned on catching this production, perhaps, you should change your plans to include seeing it. James Lecesne not only wrote The Absolute Brightness… but also brilliantly depicts the nearly dozen characters in this piece, from a teenaged girl to her beauty-shop mom to the police detective trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Leonard Pelkey.  At once humorous, inciteful, and sometimes sad, the interviews conducted by the detective Lecesne portrays are unbelievably realistic as he does a quick turn and becomes another persona with a different voice, facial expression and mannerism. His performance is mesmerizing. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-985-0420 or visiting www.philatheatreco.org.  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Motown

Chester Gregory as\
Barry Gordy
After a record-breaking run in 2015, Motown the Musical has come back to the Academy of Music for a two-week return engagement through June 11, 2017. Presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization, Motown the Musical enjoyed the best-selling two week engagement in Kimmel Center history during its 2015 run. Judging by the audience’s reaction on the opening night of this engagement, history might very well repeat itself. When groups portraying The 4 Tops and The Temptations performed, the audience applauded. When Jackie Wilson sang and danced, no one sat still in his seat. By the time Chester Gregory began the first of his many solos as Barry Gordy, the audience was screaming. If this show were only the history of Motown, it would be a success, but it is ever so much more. There is political commentary with a nod to historical happenings told in both song and projections.The visual and sound effects give a very convincing portrayal of the race riots that occurred around the  time of Martin Luther King's death. The projections are phenomenal throughout the production. They vary from psychedelic to historic, from harsh to light, from obscuring to enlightening. The cast is brimming with talent; their rich voices and very fancy footwork are a delight to our senses.  If this weren’t enough, there are several times in the show that the audience is encouraged to participate and everyone happily does so. With over 4 dozen songs  in the score, there is something for everyone. This is a feel good  show and everyone leaves the theatre having had a wonderful time. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, visiting www.kimmelcenter.org. 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.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

July's Upcoming Events At The Kimmel



The Buddy Holly Story will come to the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater for previews on June 24, 2017 after it has completed its run at the Bucks County Playhouse. Directed by Tony nominee Hunter Foster with choreography by Lorin Latarro, Buddy:The Buddy Holly Story will have its official opening on June 28, 2017 and run through July 9. Virtually the entire cast from the 2016 record-breaking run at the Bucks County Playhouse is scheduled to return for this production. Leading the talent is John Dewey, reprising his role as Buddy Holly. Also returning to the production are Zach Cossman as Jerry Allison; Andrew Frace as Hipockets Duncan; James David Larson as Joe B. Mauldin; Kent M. Lewis as Norman Petty; Brandi Chavonne Massey as Apollo Performer; Elizabeth Nestlerode as Vi Petty; Karack Osborn as “The Big Bopper” Gilbert Sanchez as Ritchie Valens; and Maximilian Sangerman as Tommy Allsupp. They will be joined by newcomer Natalie Ortega who will appear as Buddy’s wife, Maria Elena. The Buddy Holly Story features more than 20 of Holly’s greatest hits.  Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, visiting online at kimmelcenter.org or at the Kimmel Center Box Office.  Group sales for 10 or more can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883.

After a successful 2016 sold-out tour, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, in association with Mills Entertainment, welcomes back Bring It! Live featuring Miss D and her Dancing Dolls. The stars of Lifetime’s hit series will perform hotter-than-ever-.never-before-seen routines with audience participation. Bring It! Live will be in the Merriam for two shows Sunday July 16, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. V IP packages include an add-on photo opportunity with Miss D and the Dolls or a deluxe option, which includes premium seating, a souvenir tour program, and a photo opportunity. Add-on VIP packages can be purchased if accompanied by a valid ticket to the live performance. Tickets are on sale now. More information is available at kimmelcenter.org. 

In honor of the 10 year anniversary of “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” Tim and Eric are hitting the road this summer for a special “10 Year Anniversary Awesome Tour!” Tim and Eric will have a number of new spoofs, riffs, songs and dances. The comedy duo of Tim Heidecker  and Eric Wareheim have developed a distinct and creative style with a bizarre sense of humor. They will perform on Thursday July 20, 2017 at the Merriam Theater. Tickets may be purchased at the Kimmel Center Box Office, at kimmelcenter.org, at AXS.com or by calling 215-893-1999.

Wicked, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster will return to Philadelphia’s Academy of Music on July 25 through August 27, 2017. Tickets for the return engagement are on sale now at www.kimmelcenter.org., at the Kimmel Center Box Office or by calling 215-893-1999. Wicked looks at what happened in Oz from a different angle. It’s the story of a young woman born with green skin who is smart, talented and misunderstood. Winner of over 100 international awards, including a Grammy Award and Three Tony Awards, Wicked  has been performed in over 100 cities in 14 countries around the world.

Saturday NIght Fever

Lauren Dalal &
Fran Prisco
A new iteration of Saturday Night Fever can be seen on the main stage of the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street, through July 16, 2017. Put on your dancing shoes for this high energy, non-stop disco-action production. Set in Brooklyn, New York, Saturday Night Fever peers into the lives of young adults who find themselves with few things to anchor their lives outside a sense of community and a love of dancing. Fran Prisco, portraying Tony Manero, longing to be a disco king, is a dancer "par excellence". His moves on the dance floor are phenomenal. The large ensemble cast executes their dancing with precision time-and-time again. The male members can not only dance, they sing in beautiful harmonies as well. Several female ensemble members have beautiful solos, most notably Nicole Colón as Annette, Crystal Joy as Candy, and Laurel Dalal as Maria. This extremely talented cast is an excellent vehicle for the Bee Gees’ songs which comprise the mainstay of Saturday Night Fever.  The sixteen songs have almost a dozen quickly changed and very artfully done scene changes. Everything about this production works. For more information or tickets, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787.  Tickets are also available 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Gypsy

Mary Martello as Mama Rose
Philadelphia theater-goers have a relationship with their favorite actors. When one of their own, the iconic, multiple Barrymore Award® winner Mary Martello was announced as the lead in Arden’s  spring production of Gypsy, tickets sales began to  soar and performances began to “sell out”. The Arden Theatre company, located at 40 N. 2nd StreetOlde City, Philadelphia, soon had to announce an extension of the run through June 25, 2017, before the show even opened! Mary Martello does not disappoint. She brings the house down with her very first rendition of “Some People”.   Every musical number thereafter has a wow factor of 10+. Anthony Heald, as Herbie is her perfect foil as they romanticize, "Small World."  Ms. Martello is not alone in doling out outstanding performances. Caroline Dooner, as Louise, emits a beautifully soulful “Little Lamb” and Rachel Camp, as June, belts out a delightful duet with Louise as they harmonize to “If Momma Was Married”.  Alexa Hunt gives an extraordinary performance as Baby June. We let her entertain us as she sings, dances, and splits across the stage. There is no end to show-stopping moments in this production. Maliki Akil’s solo dance routine is breath-taking. Caroline Dooner's portrayal of "Gypsy Rose Lee" is magnificent. The video and sound designs of Jorge Cousineau and lighting of Thom Weaver are Barrymore-worthy. And did I mention Mary Martello? The perfect pitch of each song, the dancing across the stage,and the incredible acting all point to a sixth Barrymore for Ms. Martello. What a performance! What a show!  What a production! Get your tickets while they are still available. Call 215-922-1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org

Sunday, May 21, 2017

PJ Masks Live!

‘PJ MASKS LIVE! TIME TO BE A HERO’

IS COMING TO PHILADELPHIA

SEPTEMBER 22 AND 23, 2017

Entertainment One (eOne) and Round Room Presents are proud to announce that “PJ Masks Live! Time To Be a Hero’, a brand-new fully immersive musical production, will take to the stage at the Kimmel Center’s Merriam Theatre September 22 & 23 2017.  The live show is based on eOne’s top-rated animated TV series, which airs daily on Disney Junior. Catboy, Owlette, Gekko and the Baddies will amuse fans of all ages with live performances featuring world-class production, familiar and original music, acrobatics and immersive interactivity. PJMasks, the hit series follows the thrilling nighttime adventures of three young friends who transform into their alter egos, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, when they put on their pajamas at night and activate their animal amulets.  Together they embark on action-packed capers, solving mysteries and learning valuable lessons along the way. 

Show Info:
Dates – September 22 & 23, 2017
Times – September 22- 6:30 p.m. September 23 at 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at www.kimmelcenter.org