What’s Worth Seeing in October: Neil Young, Thurston Moore, Midtown Village Fall Festival, and More

neil young

Neil Young

Neil Young
October 8th and 9th
Academy of Music
The gritty Canadian singer and guitarist has always had a huge Philadelphia fan base, and his shows here are the stuff of legend. He performed a solo set and one with Crosby, Stills and Nash at Live Aid, he headlined a special 2008 concert to commemorate the end of the Spectrum, and his 2007 Tower shows were memorialized by filmmaker Jonathan Demme in the documentary Neil Young Trunk Show. If you don’t catch at least one of his two performances here this month, you’ll be missing out.

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Out Baritone Jonathan Beyer Talks About His Gay Take on the Academy of Music’s The Barber of Seville

Jonathan Beyer

Jonathan Beyer

Jonathan Beyer met his boyfriend of eight years, Brandon Cedel, when they were both students at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. They lived in Center City for a good number of years, where, as Beyer gleefully points out, they were once voted the “cutest couple” in their apartment building.

“We beat out these old grandmas,” he says. Read more »

Tickets to Philly Engagement of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella On Sale Today

The cast of Cinderella.

The cast of Cinderella.

Did you know that Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella did not make its Broadway debut until 2013? Originally written as a screenplay, the much-loved musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale aired in 1957 with the lovely Julie Andrews as the title role (there were subsequent re-makes of the made-for-TV musical, including that one in 1997 starring Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother and Brandy as Cinderella, but let’s conveniently forget that even happened…).

Finally, Cinderella made it to the Great White Way last year, and lucky enough for Philadelphia, the National Broadway tour opens at the Academy of Music in November. Tickets for the Thanksgiving holiday engagement go on sale today at 10:00 am. Read more »

PHOTOS: Evita Opens With a Tango Party at the Academy of Music

Evita Header

Don’t cry for me, Philadelphia!  Last evening, to celebrate the opening of the national tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Evita at the Academy of Music, Broad Street transformed into a tango stage, complete with performers from the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School heating up the sidewalks. Iconic former Argentinian First Lady Evita Peron even graced the City of Brotherly Love with a signature wave from the balcony of the Academy. We were there to capture the moment.



Evita runs through June 22 at the Academy of Music.  Tickets and more information can be found by visiting the Kimmel Center’s webpage.

Opera Philadelphia Announces Ambitious, Star-Studded New Season

david daniels opera

Star countertenor David Daniels will perform the title role in Theodore Morrison’s “Oscar” in February.

Opera Philadelphia’s 40th anniversary repertoire, announced earlier this week, is the company’s most ambitious and star-studded to date. Some of opera’s most well-known singers will be performing in the City of Brotherly Love as part of the five-production 2014-2015 season.

It is one of the first times in recent history that Opera Philadelphia has attracted internationally known and acclaimed performers to its stages at the Academy of Music and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts — it’s not every day that Philadelphia audiences are treated to the likes of David Daniels (who many would contend is the world’s leading operatic countertenor), Lawrence Brownlee (an internationally known bel canto specialist, although he won’t be performing from that repertoire in Philly), and Eric Owens (a Philadelphia native whose bass-baritone has been heard at opera houses the world over.)

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The Academy of Music’s 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball with Jill Scott and the Bacon Brothers

academy-music-157-anniversary-concert-ball-21-michael-bacon-kevin-bacon-1765-940x540

The 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball, Philadelphia’s annual white-tie gala, celebrated the Academy of Music’s 157th birthday on Saturday, January 25th.

Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra along with host stars the Bacon Brothers and special guest artist Jill Scott entertained attendees during the concert. Nézet-Séguin told the audience that he had been a long-time fan of Scott’s and when he found himself in his dream job of conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, he just had to perform with the home-town girl. He called it a dream come true.

The night began with an open house reception before the anniversary concert at the Academy of Music where guests dined on delights by chef Jose Garces. During the concert portion, newly installed Adele Schaeffer, chair of the board of trustees of the Academy of Music, told the audience that the evening’s funds would be used to restore the building’s HVAC system, which dates back to 1966. After the concert, guests made the annual trek up Broad Street to the Hyatt at the Bellevue Hotel. The ball included dinner and dancing to the music of six bands, including The Eddie Bruce Band, in the Grand Ballroom.

See HughE Dillon’s photos from the Academy Ball after the jump »

The Return of Jill Scott

jill-scott-phila-academyEach January, the who’s who of Philadelphia pays big bucks to attend the Philadelphia Orchestra’s annual Academy Ball and Concert at the Academy of Music. There are glorious gowns and fine jewels. There’s lots of society gossip. And there’s always a special guest performer, with past rosters showcasing everyone from Rod Stewart and Billy Joel to Yo-Yo Ma and Lang Lang. But this year, for the 157th edition of the grand fete, the Orchestra has chosen a much more local talent: North Philadelphia-born-and-raised Jill Scott.

Now, if you’re wondering Where the hell has Jill Scott been?, it’s not an unfair question. After a long series of Grammy- nominated songs and albums and her own 2009 show on HBO (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency), Scott more or less went underground—but not without good cause. In 2009 she had a baby boy, and one year later, she was sued by her longtime record label for millions of dollars for breach of contract, tying up her life and career. That suit has since been settled.

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