Undie Rock Band The Skivvies to Make Philly Debut

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It won’t be your typical night at the Kimmel Center: When cheekily named “undie rock” group The Skivvies take the stage, they’re naked (well, minus their skivvies) before they finish singing their first number.

But they aren’t the only ones to strip down during their shows. They’ve had Laura Benanti, Lena Hall, Matt Doyle, Andy Karl, Perez Hilton, Orfeh, and Alice Ripley perform in their underpants. Now, the notorious rock group are on the way to Philly for a Valentine’s Day weekend extravaganza at the Kimmel Center’s SEI Innovation Studio, February 12th through 14th. Read more »

WATCH THIS: See a Man Get Cut in Half at Philly’s The Illusionists

You’re about to see Kevin James, one of The Illusionists on the way to Philadelphia to play the Academy of Music, saw a man in half:

If the video freaked you out, imagine what it’ll be like in person. The Illusionists are coming to Philadelphia February 24th through March 1st. The show, which played Broadway this past holiday to nearly sell-out audiences, highlights mouth-dropping magic and contortion acts from seven of the world’s greatest performers.

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Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: Jesse Warren-Nager, of Motown: The Musical and Jacob Warren-Nager

Jacob Warren-Nager and Jesse Warren-Nager

Jacob Warren-Nager and Jesse Warren-Nager, by Brent Dundore Photography

Every Tuesday, we feature a gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle. Today, we have special guests: Broadway’s Jesse Warren-Nager, currently starring in Philly’s Motown: The Musical, and his husband, Jacob Warren-Nager, share the story of their wedding day.

Names: Jesse Warren-Nager and Jacob Warren-Nager

How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: We were together a little under two years before we got married.

When did you get married?: We got married February 12th, 2010. It will be 5 years this year.

Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: Our wedding was very small: just Jacob, myself, and my mother. It was in an old colonial home in Connecticut, a few blocks form the town hall where the paperwork was done. The most memorable part were the vows. Even though it was pretty much just Jacob and me, saying how we felt outright and our goals to make each other happy was pretty profound.

You can catch Jesse in Motown: The Musical at the Kimmel Center through January 18. Check out our interview with him here.

Want to be featured in a future Tie-the-Knot Tuesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!

Audra McDonald Went “Homeless” for LGBTQ Youth

Audra McDonald and her husband, Will Swenson.

Audra McDonald and her husband, Will Swenson.

If we needed another reason to utterly adore Audra McDonald, the multiple Tony Award-winning actress who has been a staunch advocate for LGBTQ rights for years, we’ve got it: the outspoken performer took to the cold New York City streets overnight to raise awareness about the staggering amount of LGBTQ homeless teens.

McDonald "sleeping out" from her Twitter.

McDonald “sleeping out” from her Twitter.

McDonald, who, along with thousands of others, took part in a “sleep out” sponsored by Covenant House, a youth shelter “safe space” for teens. The singing actress is on the international board of directors for the organization, which serves over 2,000 homeless and “trafficked” youth every night. The “sleep out” raised over $1.8 million in New York alone.

McDonald’s story, which is documented in full on The Advocate, explains the reasons why she, along with others, went homeless for the night:

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Broadway’s Jesse Nager on Motown: The Musical and Performing with Mariah Carey

Jesse Nager (second to left) and cast in Motown: The Musical.

Jesse Nager (second to left) and cast in Motown: The Musical.

I’m chatting with Jesse Nager on the phone: it’s a week before Christmas and he’s in Minneapolis with Motown: The Musical until after the holidays. When I asked him what that’s like, to be away for Christmas, he quickly responds, “I’ve got my husband with me, and that’s all I need.”

Surely, that isn’t the only thing that has made Nager a success, both on Broadway and across the states. An alumni of the famed LaGuardia Performing Arts High School in New York City and a graduate of University of Michigan, Nager took to heart what one of his former professors at college once told him about show business: “If there’s anything else you can do and you can be happy doing it, do that.” Not very encouraging words, for sure, but Nager has added on a bit of an upbeat aside to those words of advice. Read more »

Q&A: John Angeles on STOMP and Performing During a Ferguson Protest

Angeles and the STOMP cast performing at the City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting.

Angeles and the STOMP cast performing at the City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting.

“I was a little nervous before I got on,” says John Angeles, a New York-based performer who is bringing the international sensation STOMP to the Merriam Theatre right after Christmas. Angeles and his fellow cast mates were scheduled to perform at the City Hall Tree Lighting ceremony, but previous acts, including children’s choirs and gospel performers, were loudly booed by the hundreds of “Black Lives Matter” protestors who swarmed the scene.

“I remember thinking, ‘I don’t even know why I’m on the stage,'” he recalls. “But then I decided that I was gonna play as hard and as loud as I could. They stopped protesting for a minute. Someone actually told me that we were the only act that the protestors didn’t ‘boo.'” Read more »

Things to Do in Philly in December: Aretha Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Bill Nye, Frozen and More

Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

The Sincerity Project
December 4-13
FringeArts
Of all of the fledgling theater companies in Philadelphia right now, the ensemble-based and movement-oriented Team Sunshine Performance Corporation is the most promising. Its summer co-production of Henry IV: Your Prince and Mine and 100-person sword-bearing army in Clark Park drew rave reviews. Now they’re back with this years-in-development play about the growing pains faced by millennials. Look for an onstage choir, a little nudity, and a bunch of 20-somethings baring their souls and questioning what it means to get older. Well, a little bit older, anyway.

Great Expectations
December 1-14 
Arden Theatre Company
Matt Decker directs just six actors in the Dickens play that features 40 characters.

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International Sensation STOMP Returns to Philly for the Holidays

A scene from Stomp. Photo credit: Steve McNicholas

A scene from Stomp. Photo credit: Steve McNicholas

The international sensation STOMP is returning to Philly just in time for the holidays (and, just in time for great ticket gift giving). The high-energy percussion percussion show-down that defies explanation will be playing the Merriam Theatre from December 26-30, 2014.

Stomp originated as a UK street performance over 20 years ago that has since grown, and grown, and grown. Now, the show has played over 50 countries and has entertained more than 24 million people worldwide. Read more »

For Broadway’s Kecia Lewis, There’s No Business Like Show (Even When Her Knees Are Killing Her)

Kecia Lewis and Paige Faure in Cinderella.

Kecia Lewis and Paige Faure in Cinderella.

It’s the first day of the cold spell that rocked Philly, and I’m on the phone with Broadway’s Kecia Lewis as she is sitting under an umbrella and staring at a palm tree in Florida. Lewis, who will be heading to the Academy of Music to star as the Fairy Godmother in the iconic Rogers and Hammerstein musical Cinderellais literally taking the show on the road: she’s driving, with her son, Simon, and her dog, from city to city on her own for the duration of the show’s national tour. Riding cross-country was always one of her dreams, but, as she’s finding out, it isn’t a cakewalk. Read more »

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