Wednesday, May 31, 2017


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 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 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 

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, at 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, 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 or Ticketmaster.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

PJ Masks Live!



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

PIFA Preview Celebration Week


MAY 30--JUNE 4, 2017

Community Invited to Help Construct and Tear Down 8-Story Cardboard Tower

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has announced a PIFA preview celebration week taking place May 30 through June 4, 2017.  The week of activities will celebrate the 2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) through free, interactive experiences, a star-studded public art panel, and a spirit of community. Details about the upcoming Festival will be announced at a press conference to be held on June 3 at Dilworth Park.  Serving as the centerpiece of the weekend’s activities, the public is invited to help build The People’s Tower –an 88-foot cardboard structure designed by French artist Olivier Grossetête and inspired by the architecture of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.  This will be the American Premiere of Grossetête’s work, presented in partnership with European artist network In Sutu. Free workshops will be held May 30 – June 2 to create the 1,400 building blocks of cardboard (registration required) and the weekend will conclude with the ceremonial topping of the tower on Sunday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m.
BUILDING BLOCKS WORKSHOP (Registration Required)
Wilma Theatre- June 3- any time between 9:30 am. -  6:00 p.m. The public will help- build the epic, temporary People’s Tower, and watch it soar over Dilworth Park. The People’s Tower will stand overnight and be demolished at 7:00 p.m. the following evening.
Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden- June 4,   2:00 p.m. A panel of star-studded public artists, place-makers and arts administrators will discuss what it means to discuss art within public spaces. Learn how public art is different from art presented in a traditional theatre.
Dilworth Park, June 4, 7:00 p.m.  Community is invited to come and topple the tower that was created the previous day.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Witness For The Prosecution

Keith Baker &
Eleanor Handley
Bristol Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pa, is presenting Agatha Christie’s crime drama Witness For the Prosecution through May 28. This classic work features an ensemble of professional actors alongside Bucks County community members, several of whom have appeared on stage at BRT previously. Kudos to Jason Simms for a mesmerizing scenic design. The chambers of Sir Wilfrid Robarts, Q.C in London are magnificent, befitting a knighted barrister. Even more impressive is the set’s turn-around to become a paneled courtroom. Veteran actor Keith Baker is excellent in his role as Sir Wilfred Roberts, Q.C. Many witnesses appear on the stand. The most outstanding by far is Sharon Alexander, portraying Janet Mackenzie, the housekeeper. To enhance the illusion of a real trial, a sound track is added in the background with voices murmuring after each witness testifies. Eleanor Handley plays a very convincing role as Romaine Vole, the defendant’s wife. Matt Leisy plays Leonard Vole, the prosecuted husband. Watch out for the twists at the end.  There is more than one surprise ending!  This is Agatha Christie at her best and a delightful performance to watch. For more information or tickets, call 215-785-0100 or visit online at 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Happy Birthday

Greg Wood & Jennifer Childs
1812 Productions, Philadelphia’s All-Comedy Theatre Company, is presenting Happy Birthday through May 21 at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place in Center City. Because the troupe produces only comedic works, the audience can expect to find any given performance humorous. Because both Jennifer Childs  and Scott Greer are in the cast, expectations might  be raised even higher. What no one would ever imagine is that 20 years of hilarious comedy could be surpassed by the presentation of one uproarious  British farce. Perhaps  the success lies in the wit of the material written by Marc Camoletti and adapted by Beverly Cross. Possibly it lies in the spot-on direction of Trev Lyford. Conceivably the director and the five actors, who are  married in reality, bring a certain magic to the stage. The cause is of no import. The end result is a smashing success. This is a marvelous  production, certainly one of 1812's best.  You will laugh until you cry as the characters try to sort out cases of mistaken identities and loyalties. Avoid the last minute rush and get your tickets now at (215) 592-9560 or online at