Bissinger Promises Caitlyn Jenner Memoir Will Include Olympics, Kardashians

Left: Caitlyn Jenner participates in E!'s "I Am Cait" panel at the NBCUniversal Winter TCA on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, Pasadena, Calif. (Photo | Richard Shotwell, Invision, AP). Right: Buzz Bissinger

Left: Caitlyn Jenner participates in E!’s “I Am Cait” panel at the NBCUniversal Winter TCA on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, Pasadena, Calif. (Photo | Richard Shotwell, Invision, AP). Right: Buzz Bissinger

What can readers expect to learn about Caitlyn Jenner from her forthcoming book that they don’t already know?

Plenty, says co-author Buzz Bissinger, the Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and author of Jenner’s coming-out-as-a-woman profile in Vanity Fair last year.

“In addition to what was in Vanity Fair, there will be additional insights and revelations in the book,” Bissinger said today in an interview with Philadelphia magazine.

Jenner’s memoir, which its publisher expects to release in the spring of 2017, will be part personal reflection and part reporting based on interviews with those who have known her from her youth as Bruce Jenner through the present.

This was one of the conditions Bissinger asked Jenner to agree to when she approached him about collaborating on the memoir last summer, after the Vanity Fair feature had appeared. Read more »

Buzz Bissinger to Collaborate With Caitlyn Jenner on Memoir

buzz bissinger caitlyn jenner

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Buzz Bissinger will be collaborating with Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner on her new memoir, The New York Times reports.

Bissinger, whose book about high-school football in small-town Texas, Friday Night Lights, became a successful TV series and who chronicled the challenges Mayor Ed Rendell faced trying to reverse the downward spiral of city government in A Prayer for the City, also wrote the Vanity Fair cover story in which Jenner came out as female and described her struggles with gender identity. Read more »

Society Hill Playhouse to Close

Society Hill Playhouse

Society Hill Playhouse

Society Hill Playhouse, a fixture on the Philadelphia theater scene since 1959, will close on April 1.

The theater company made the announcement on its website last Thursday; it sent out a press release on Tuesday.

In more than 50 years, the company “has produced hundreds of American and European premieres; developed many notable programs; trained countless artists and technicians and true to its mission, (and) remained unique in its dedication to contemporary theatre and the community,” the company said in a statement announcing the closure. Read more »

Why I’m Buying Girl Scout Cookies By the Case This Year

There are a couple reasons I buy Girl Scout cookies by the case.

For one, they are the most perfect and beautiful cookie in all the land, an almost otherworldly balance of chocolate and wafer and dreams come true. If David Bowie were to return to us as a cookie, it would be as a Thin Mint.

Secondly, I’ve found that Girl Scout cookies appreciate in value as the months go on, and come fall, can actually be used as currency. Bitcoin might be circling the drain, but if you have a freezer full of Do-Si-Dos in November? Well, friend, you’re in charge.

But also, and I very rarely say this, it’s about more than cookies. The Girl Scouts, Tagalongs or no Tagalongs, will always have a place in my heart. Read more »

No, Millennials Aren’t Ruining the Workforce

First, a disclaimer.

Even though I technically fall in the “millennial” camp — a generation that Pew defines as adults age 18-34 — I’m on the upper end of the spectrum, and it’s starting to show. I don’t know how to use Snapchat, I get anxious every time someone talks about Peach, and I just recently upgraded to an iPhone 4. A little over a year ago I invested in a sectional sofa and premium cable, so my days of being even the least bit relevant are numbered.

But, yes, still a millennial. And as such, according to a recent piece in Philadelphia magazine, part of a generation that is responsible for “ruining the workforce.”

Did I raise an eyebrow at that headline? Yes. Did I raise it as high as some of my fellow millennials? Judging by the hundreds and hundreds of heated comments the article inspired, absolutely not. (I mean, Jesus Christ, guys — calm down already. I’ve gotten divorced with less drama.)

As deliciously millennial as it would be to write an opinion piece critiquing an opinion piece, I’m going to pass. (Or, am I going to tip-toe around it for another 400 words in a millennial tightrope-walking act, reluctant to commit and afraid to offend in the absence of a trigger warning?) Instead, in the interest of restoring the peace, I’m here to dispel some common misconceptions about my people. Read more »

Here’s a Philly Man’s Lawsuit Against Empire Creator Lee Daniels

A Philly man is suing Lee Daniels, the creator of the Fox show Empire, saying Daniels took the idea for the show from him.

Clayton Prince Tanksley says he pitched a show called Cream to Daniels at a 2008 event organized by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. He says he gave Daniels a script and a DVD of three 30-minute episodes of the proposed show.

Tanksley says that Empire is “substantially similar” to Cream — with elements such as mood, characters, plots, scenes, and story lines that are “virtually identical” to the materials he gave Daniels at the pitch meeting.

It’s worth taking a look at the lawsuit, below, because it features side-by-side comparisons of Tanksley’s project and Empire. One example:

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1.48.08 PM

Other defendants include producer Danny Strong, Fox TV, as well as Sharon Pinkenson and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. The lawsuit, filed Friday, seeks an unspecified amount of damages, plus interest.

What David Bowie Meant to Philly — and What Philly Meant to David Bowie

“Bowie kids” in front of Sigma Studios on 12th Street near Race during the recording of Young Americans in 1974.

“Bowie kids” in front of Sigma Studios on 12th Street near Race during the recording of Young Americans in 1974.

By 1973, being a “Bowie kid” was an act of individual rebellion complete with its own thriving subcultural support group. The club of trailblazers had already been formed, the glittery dress code had been established and the “outrageousness is next to godliness” ethos was set in stone. Bowie’s 1972 concept album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (and the ensuing U.S. tour and Rolling Stone cover story) had made him an international phenomenon. But he had been recording in England since 1966, and he had been wearing dresses on album covers and publicly declaring his bi- or homosexuality (depending on how the presence of his wife Angie was interpreted) since 1971. Ziggy was simply the most successful packaging of twenty-six-year-old Bowie’s basic themes: alienation, androgyny, other worldliness, production values. And highly theatrical act was the perfect innovation in a rock concert business where demand for showmanship was outpacing supply. Read more »

How to Deal With the Mummers: 4 Steps Inspired by Your Racist Aunt on Facebook

Finnegans New Years Brigade 2016

Finnegans New Year’s Brigade’s Caitlyn Jenner performance on Friday. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

If you believe the Mummers, things will be different next year.

In a press release issued Sunday, parade organizers condemned this year’s antics — including brown face, signs referring to Caitlyn Jenner as a “tranny,” an attack on a gay man and This Unholy Specimen — and outlined an impressive, seemingly sincere plan to make next year a more inclusive event.

Newly minted Mayor Jim Kenney, for one, seems hopeful. “There’s been lots of strides that the Mummers Parade has made over the years, but there is always one dumb thing that happens that really does affect people and offend people,” he said Tuesday. “We have to try to start over, and we’re working on that with the human relations commission and our LGBT affairs leader Nellie Fitzpatrick.” And now there’s discussion of sensitivity training, pre-screening of acts, sanctions and more.

I like Kenney, and I hope he’s right. But at the same time, this is only his fifth day on the job. It’s easy to have hope less than a week into even the most impossible of gigs, to truly believe that a mix of hard work and know-how can bring about change and uncover truth. (I’ve never been mayor, but I have bartended at TGI Friday’s, so I feel pretty qualified to pass on this advice: When your blender shorts out during the middle of the Ultimate Mudslide happy hour that is Philadelphia, Mr. Kenney, just try to remember all of the reasons you don’t want to go to jail. I find writing them on a napkin helps.) Read more »

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