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 »
Photo by Jauhien Sasnou
The Sincerity Project
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.
Arden Theatre Company
Matt Decker directs just six actors in the Dickens play that features 40 characters.
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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 »
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 Cinderella, is 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 »
If waiting in line at Best Buy for a $100 flat screen television is your idea of a nightmare, don’t fear. We’ve rounded up some of the best events for everyone in the Philadelphia region on Black Friday that don’t involve a single shopping bag or cash register line.
A Philadelphia Nutcracker
This unique production of the holiday dance classic by the Philadelphia Dance Theatre takes the action and moves it to areas throughout 19th century Philadelphia, including Germantown, Mt. Airy, and Chestnut Hill. The Gothic-style Thomas Mansion on Wissahickon Avenue is the setting for the Act I party scene that everyone has come to know and love. You'll have to prance over David Kurtz Center to see the rest! (7:00PM, David Kurtz Center, 3000 W. Schoolhouse Lane, Philadelphia)
Polaris and Radiator Hospital at Johnny Brendas
Polaris, the house band lead by Mark Mulcahy, rose to fame in the 90's when they were featured on the now defunct The Adventures of Pete and Pete. They are teaming up with Radiator Hospital for a one-night only concert at Philly's notorious Johnny Brenda's. Tickets are going fast for what is sure to be a great night of fun and music. (8:00PM, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., Philadelphia)
Black Friday Comedy Marathon
After you had to deal with all of your lovely in-laws the night before, you may need to laugh…a lot. No worries: Philly Improv Theatre is presenting a 24-hour series of comedy acts that run all day on Black Friday and into Saturday. Aptly called the Black Friday Comedy Marathon, the festival has something for just about everyone, including stand-up, variety shows, and sketch acts. With late-night sessions called "Porn: The Musical," this is one marathon that isn't for the faint of heart! (Starts at 10:00AM, Philly Improv Theatre, 2030 Sansom St., Philadelphia)
Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella: Kids' Night
The national tour of the Broadway hit Cinderella has two performances on Friday at the Academy of Music, but here's a deal that's just as good as a pair of glass slippers: the 8:00PM show has a special Kids' Night discount where young theatre goers can attend for up to 50% off. Don't miss the sweeping music, the award-winning costumes, and all of the tunes that you know from the multiple made-for-television versions of this classic musical. (2:00PM and 8:00PM, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)
Morris Arboretum Holiday Garden Railway
The return of the Morris Arboretum's most popular attraction starts Friday. Guests will be wowed by replicas of Philadelphia landmarks made out of all-natural materials, including barks, leaves, and twigs. Of course, there's the quarter mile of toy railroad track that weaves throughout the arboretum's winter gardens. (10:00AM, Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia)
Say Anything and Saves The Day Concert
It's one of the hottest tickets in town: bands Say Anything and Saves The Day are teaming up for a remarkable concert that celebrates the 10th anniversary release of Say Anything’s …is a Real Boy and the 15th anniversary of Saves The Day’s Through Being Cool. Reggie and the Full Effect will be joining them on stage as all three bands perform their albums in full for concert goers. Tickets are going extremely fast for the evening at the TLA. (7:00PM, Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St., Philadelphia)
Last Chance To See Full Circle: Works by Richard Pousette-Dart
It is your final chance to see the work of the twentieth century's most create draftsmen, Richard Pousette-Dart, at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibit, Full Circle: Works on Paper, features 60 of Pousette-Dart's most iconic works, including 6 of his notebooks. The exhibit closes on Sunday after a nearly three month run. (Opens at 10:00AM, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia)
A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place
Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street, or, more specifically, Sesame Place? This family-friendly holiday celebration features everyone's favorite characters from the television show in special Christmas shows and at Santa's Furry Workshop. Don't forget to bring your own little monsters to Cookie's Monster Land and stick around for the Christmas Light Show. (Opens at 1:00PM, Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne)
Mary Poppins at Walnut Street Theatre
Everyone's favorite magical nanny has flown into Philly. Based on the beloved Disney film, the Broadway treatment of Mary Poppins is playing the Walnut Street Theatre. A great family affair that has two Black Friday performances, the musical features everyone's favorite songs, including "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Feed the Birds," and my favorite tongue twister of all-time, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" Tickets can be purchased here. (2:00PM and 8:00PM, Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., Philadelphia)
If you’re a vegetarian, like me, you don’t really look forward to the centerpiece on the big ole’ Turkey Day meal (but, I’d be willing to bet that you do overload on mashed potatoes and that green bean casserole thingie). Instead, you’re plotting out your Thanksgiving week, which is notorious for parties, events, and festivities that you simply can’t pass up (just like that cranberry sauce in a can). We here at G Philly came up with our best bets of everything going on in gay Philly during the week of Thanksgiving, broken up in a day-by-day, easy to follow guide. Consider it your recipe for a holiday well-done. Read more »
Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man.
I’ve already reported that ticket sales are through the roof for Bradley Cooper’s turn as John Merrick in the Broadway production of The Elephant Man, but new stats show that they’ve soared right up to record-breaking status—and the show’s still in previews. More from Playbill:
The Broadway revival of The Elephant Man, starring two-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola, has broken the Booth Theatre box-office record.
The production, which began previews Nov. 7 and will officially open Dec. 7, grossed a record-breaking $966,896 for the week ending Nov. 16.
Here’s how the show is billed:
The Elephant Man tells the story of a 19th-century British man (Cooper) whose severe disfigurement made him a star of the traveling freak show circuit. When the renowned Dr. Treves (Nivola) takes Merrick under his care at the London Hospital, he discovers that beneath this shocking exterior lies a brilliant mind and an unshakable faith. Soon all of Victorian high society becomes fascinated by Merrick, especially the beautiful actress Mrs. Kendal (Clarkson). But with his new life comes new complexity… and as Merrick’s condition grows more severe, a ‘normal’ life begins to seem all but impossible.
The show’s only open for 14 weeks. You can snag tickets here.
Bradley Cooper’s turn as the severely deformed John Merrick in the current Broadway production of The Elephant Man is only in previews, but sources are reporting that he’s already pulling in some big-time mula for “The Great White Way.” More from AP:
Broadway’s overall box offices are doing swell business these days, and it’s mainly thanks to two leading men—Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper.
Jackman is starring in “The River.” Cooper is in “The Elephant Man.” They’re still in previews but have become some of the hottest tickets in town.
Jackman pulled in $917,000 at the Circle in the Square over eight shows last week, a sellout performance with the average ticket going for $160. Cooper attracted $520,000 for just four sold-out shows. His show’s average ticket came in a hair more at $163.
The Broadway League’s numbers show last week’s total Broadway haul from its 35 shows was $27.6 million, or $2 million more than the same week last season and about $4 million than last week.
The Elephant Man officially opens on December 7th at New York’s Booth Theatre for a 14-week run. Get tickets here.
Jacob Kemp is having a full-circle moment: When he was a boy, his mother, a Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, native, sat him down to watch the movie Newsies.
“There were boys dancing, huge bunches of boys dancing, in an athletic way, through story and through action,” he recalled. “It kept me in dance class for a long time.” Read more »
Mark MacKillop in “Room XIV.”
Imagine being on an international tour of the musical West Side Story and having to wake up in a different hotel room every week. That was reality for Broadway actor/singer/dancer Mark MacKillop for a year when he performed across the globe.
“It really wasn’t all that hard because our schedule was pretty similar in each city,” said MacKillop when I chatted with him. “But the hardest thing was getting used to the pillows in each hotel. It made it hard to sleep sometimes!”
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