The Duggars Pulled from TLC; Will They Be at the Philly Block Party?

The Duggars

The Duggars

It was just a matter of time: TMZ and other news outlets are reporting that reality television “celebrities” the Duggars have been pulled from the TLC lineup after allegations surfaced that Josh Duggar molested girls as a teenager. However, we’re left wondering if the family will be making an appearance at next week’s mega TLC Summer Block Party here in Philadelphia. Our guess: Probably not.

The Duggars are scheduled to be one of many hosts at the afternoon bender at Penn’s Landing next Saturday, May 30th, including Kate Gosselin, Buddy Valastro, Whitney Thore, and cast members of Say Yes to the Dress and Little People, Big World.

In a statement on Thursday, Josh Duggar addressed the sexual molestation allegations, in part saying:

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation…We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

We reached out to Discovery Entertainment (the parent company of TLC) for comment via phone and email and did not get an immediate response. Stay tuned for further updates.

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REVIEW: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at The Wilma Theater

Jered McLenigan and Keith Conallen

Jered McLenigan and Keith Conallen

When you go see a Tom Stoppard play, you have to be ready to work, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is no exception. A Neil Simon piece this is not. Stoppard requires audiences to listen to every word, every nuance, every moment, and come the end of the nearly three-hour evening, one may feel like they’ve run some sort of an intellectual marathon.

At the Wilma, Blanka Zizka‘s intense staging of Stoppard’s absurdist comedy indeed makes the audience work, but not to the point of fatigue. I’ve seen Stoppard where I’ve wanted to rip my hair from my head come the end of the performance, but that clearly wasn’t the case here. Instead, Ms. Zizka, who may very well be considered one of Stoppard’s greatest interpreters, moved her stellar cast to give performances worthy of numerous Barrymore awards. Read more »

Gay Sex and the Philly City: It’s Not Me, It’s You

gay couple

I had a therapist about a year ago tell me, “You need to let your hair down when it comes to sex. You need to let loose”

I, quite frankly, took offense to that. I mean, I have been out since I was 16, and if the back seat of my first car (my late grandfather’s white clunker) could talk, well, I’d be labeled a big old whore. (God, the things that happened in the parking lot of the Best Buy store about 20 minutes from my parents’ house …) Yet, my therapist thought I needed to be more playful with the people I dated, or that I needed to show other guys that I could be a fun-loving sexual being.

Read more »

Where to See Fireworks in and Around Philly This Summer

It’s that time of the year again to hear a lot of boom in the sky. Fireworks season is in high gear, and we compiled some Philly-area hints as to where to catch some fabulous displays. Of course, there are some tips and strategies that are universal, no matter where you see a show:

  • Get there early: Sometimes, the best seating gets taken long before the show starts. Bring some food (or, if it’s allowed, something to drink) and enjoy an evening under the sun before the display starts.
  • Take public transportation: Parking can get extremely tight at these events, and, well, if you’ve ever tried to leave a crowded fireworks show at night, you know what kind of a nightmare it can be. If you must park, try to get out of the facility as quickly as possible after the show ends.
  • Bring water: This may sound silly, but even though the sun has set, it’s still hot outside. Plus, with your mouth all agape, wowed at what you’re seeing in the sky, it’s bound to get dry in there. Don’t take the chance of getting dehydrated. Bring a bottle or two of water and stay quenched.

Without further ado, the fireworks:

IN THE WINGS: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Star Jered McLenigan

When Wilma Theater’s Artistic Director Blanka Zizka decided to direct both Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s dark comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, she made a radical decision to hire one cast to perform both shows. The lead actors, including Jered McLenigan, began rehearsals for the latter two weeks before Hamlet rehearsals. Now, after the opening of the Shakespeare drama, they are continuing the rehearsal process. McLenigan took our rapid-fire Q&A, where he discusses drinking his bottled tears on opening night, making himself up to look like Morgan Freeman and that time he made eggs for Eddie Vedder. 

Jered McLenigan

My name is … Jered McLenigan. I’m named after my father Gerard, whose name is pronounced like mine. My parents decided to spell my name phonetically and gifted me with a lifetime of misspellings. (Just kidding, mom and dad. Love you.) A lot of my friends and family call me Jerry.

I am … saltwater and stardust. Also I am allergic to shrimp.

On opening night … I wake before dawn, and in the deep blue ultraviolet early morning hues I bathe in dew and plant a seed in the earth with my mouth. I let the First Rays of Our Sun that break over the horizon shine into my eyes as I weep into a glass jar, saving the tears. I spend the next 12 hours wrapped in a coat of Spanish moss, meditating, chanting and purging; I hold a rose of Jericho and watch it bloom. Just before stepping onstage I drink my bottled tears.

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You Can Make Your Own Personalized Muppet

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

If you’re as excited as I am for the recently announced ABC Muppets sitcom, you might want to run to the F.A.O. Schwarz website (don’t worry: even if the iconic NYC store is closing, the online shop is up and running), where you can create your own personalized Muppet that’ll be shipped right to your front door.

The rather ingenious concept is called “Muppet Whatnots,” and these custom puppet creations are being billed as the zany extras that you often see in the background throughout the Muppet movies and TV specials. For $99.99, you can create your own personalized puppet that looks just like one of the iconic characters that you’ve grown to know and love (or, make a Muppet doppelgänger for a loved one). Read more »

IN THE WINGS: Cherry Hill’s Ben Lipitz, Star of The Lion King

Hakuna Matata! The triumphant return of Disney’s blockbuster Broadway musical The Lion King hits the Academy of Music stage May 20th through June 14th, and one of the tour’s leading men/warthogs is local. Ben Lipitz is a Cherry Hill native who plays the lovable Pumbaa in the Julie Taymor directed show. We caught up with Mr. Lipitz to grub worms, dirty jokes and his crush on Miss Piggy.

Nick Cordileone and Ben Lipitz in 'The Lion King.'

Nick Cordileone and Ben Lipitz in ‘The Lion King.’

My name is … Ben Lipitz

I am a … right-handed actor who can tell a great dirty joke. Read more »

11 Things to Do in Philly This Week

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