Bruce Jenner is, once again, “trending” on social media, this time because People magazine is reporting that a source close to Jenner has confirmed that the former olympian and reality show star is, indeed, transgender and transitioning into a woman:
“People has confirmed that Bruce Jenner has been quietly making a very personal change. The former Olympian will soon be living life as female. ‘Bruce is transitioning to a woman,’ says a source close to the family. ‘He is finally happy and his family is accepting of what he’s doing. He’s in such a great space. That’s why it’s the perfect time to do something like this.'”
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He’s not going anywhere: The Philadelphia Orchestra announced today that everyone’s favorite energetic maestro, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, has signed a contract renewal through 2022.
“The warm embrace of The Philadelphia Orchestra and its audiences has been humbling and exhilarating since I made my debut in 2008. Knowing that this love affair with the Orchestra and the City of Philadelphia will continue is an immense joy. I believe what we are doing artistically is so important, and it’s having a big impact on this community,” said Nezet-Seguin of the announcement. “But to do this work takes time, so I am thrilled that I will continue here as music director for at least another five years. Our work together is in many ways really just beginning, and now being able to settle in and think and plan long-term is really wonderful.”
The Board of Directors also renewed Chairman Richard B. Worley and Orchestra President & CEO Allison Vulgamore.
For a sneak peek of what’s to come out of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2015-16, see our piece on the preview of the season.
For all those Bradley Cooper fans out there, you’re in luck: The handsome actor will go behind the camera for a new TV project that was given the green light by CBS. Read more »
Haddon Township School District isn’t necessarily against PARCC, the highly controversial standardized education assessment that has been adopted by dozens of states nation-wide. But district officials are telling parents how their kids can get out of taking it. And parents opposed to the test are hailing it as a win.
In a letter dated January 26, 2015 (below), District Superintendent Dr. Nancy Ward outlined Haddon Township’s provisions for parents who wish their children to be exempt from the high-stakes exam, which has come under fire by education advocates in other states: Trisha Kocanda, a superintendent outside of Chicago, wrote an open letter on PARCC, which was later published in The Washington Post. In it, Kocanda said she was “wary. We are concerned about the amount of instructional time it will displace, the impact this will have on students, and the usefulness of the results.”
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Deborah Voigt was fired because she was too fat.
I hate to start a piece about the extraordinarily talented Ms. Voigt by pointing out her weight—this is an artist who has literally had standing ovations that have lasted a half-hour after her iconic performances of Aida and interpretations of Wagner. However, that’s the story everyone knows about the soprano after her very public 2003 termination from the Royal Opera House‘s production of Ariadne auf Naxos. Voigt, who, at the time, weighed in at nearly 330 pounds, literally could not fit into a black dress that designers created for the opera. And this was all a secret, until she told the truth in an interview several months later. Read more »
Several weeks ago, I wrote about the utterly ridiculous In Touch Magazine photoshopped cover of Bruce Jenner amidst growing speculation that Jenner is transgender. Well, the rumors haven’t stopped, and today, they’ve seen to come to a giant head with two different reports that have the web spinning. Read more »
The Philadelphia Zoo‘s Zoo360 Program is nothing new: The initiative is a one-of-a-kind series of animal trails allowing various species to roam freely throughout the Zoo’s campus to explore a variety of environments and travel longer distances. Last year saw the opening of Big Cat Crossing, but this year the gorillas get their chance at a little extra elbow room. In the spring, the Zoo will revamp its Great Ape Trail to include a Gorilla Treeway, an enclosed network of walkways that allow the beasts the chance to explore the grounds—and animals and spectators—from high up in the trees. A rendering of the project:
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Full disclosure: last year when I attended Glamsino Royale, the casino benefit thrown by ActionAIDS, I had a little too much fun. Evidence is provided below …
But in all seriousness, the fundraising evening, which transforms the Hotel Palomar into a high-rolling very gay casino for one night, is one of the best events in the city. This party for a purpose benefits the great work that ActionAIDS does throughout the Philadelphia region: the organization is “committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies,” including “case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention and volunteer services.”
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Pop open that bottle of wine, put the popcorn in the microwave, and get on your favorite PJs: It’s a snow day and a perfect chance to cuddle down to binge watch your favorite movies and television series on Netflix. We sought recommendations from some of our favorite local gays as to what they love to screen during a blizzard (ahem, even if this one was a bust) from the comfort of their own homes and came up with this fabulous list of both gay and “straight” films/shows for your viewing pleasure. They are all available via Netflix streaming or, in one case, via iTunes rental.
From Netflix: "Set in 1950s New Zealand, this chilling true-life drama chronicles an obsessive friendship between two teenage girls that ultimately begets blood." (Recommended by G Philly editor Josh Middleton)
From Netflix: "A woman and her daughter are caught in a game of cat-and-mouse with three burglars in their New York City home and are forced to retreat inside a vault. As the intruders try to breach the room's security, the embattled duo must stay one step ahead." (Recommended by Brett Kali)
From iTunes: "Pride is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It's the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers' families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all…" (Recommended by Stephen Westover and Pete Haas)
From Netflix: "This Emmy-winning original thriller series stars Golden Globe winner Kevin Spacey as ruthless, cunning Congressman Francis Underwood, who will stop at nothing to conquer the halls of power in Washington D.C. His secret weapon: his gorgeous, ambitious, and equally conniving wife Claire, Golden Globe winner Robin Wright." (Recommended by Roy Hage)
From Netflix: "An unapologetically sexy and vulgar romantic comedy based on the best-selling novel by Charlotte Roche. When an embarrassing shaving accident lands rebellious teen Helen (Carla Juri) in the hospital, she develops an unlikely bond with her male nurse (Christoph Letkowski) who she seduces with stories of her sexual adventures while using her illness to reunite her divorced parents." (Recommended by G Philly contributor Justin Nordell)
From Netflix: "Set in 1965, 'Burnt Money' (released in Argentina as 'Plata Quemada') tells the true story of Angel and Sam, gay lovers who turn to crime, bank robbery and murder, holding Argentina and Uruguay in suspense as they lead the authorities on a two-month-long manhunt. Delicately balanced between gripping action and tender romance, director Marcelo Piñeyro's film premiered at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival." (Recommended by Patrick Hagerty)
From Netflix: "The lives and loves of five gay men living in Pittsburgh provide the drama in this American edition of the acclaimed British series. Amid the usual ups and downs of relationships, the friends grapple with everything from health issues to politics." (Recommended by Hugh E Dillon)
From Netlifx: "Caleb has the hots for Gwen, who relates better to gay men than to straight ones. To help his pal attract Gwen's attention, Caleb's roommate persuades him to pretend he's gay. But the plan backfires when Gwen's gay roommate falls for the imposter." (Recommended by Dan Schwartz)
From Netflix: "Determined to fall in love, 15-year-old Adele is focused on boys. But it's a blue-haired girl she meets on the street who really piques her interest. Soon, Adele is exploring her desire for girls as she negotiates her way to becoming a woman." (Recommended by G Philly intern Mel Stevens)
From Netflix: "Still refreshingly caustic at 87, Broadway legend Elaine Stritch looks back on her life and career in this feature-length portrait composed of candid reflections, rare archival footage and testimonials from her dearest friends." (Recommended by the author)
The Philadelphia Orchestra announces their 2015-16 season this evening at 5:30PM at a special event at the Kimmel Center. However, we have a sneak peek of the exciting music that these master artists will be performing through 2016. Read more »