From the outside, the Kimmel Center looked as it always does on Monday evening. But, on the inside, the Queen of Soul took everyone inside Verizon Hall (donned with a disco ball, mind you) to church.
The iconic Aretha Franklin, in her first public Philadelphia performance since her 2010 concert at the Mann Center with Condoleezza Rice, showed exactly what it means to be royalty: she donned a stunning floor-length sleeveless black and white sequin gown for the first half of her act, looking every inch a queen. Her opening number, a cover of “Higher and Higher,” roused the nearly sold-out crowd to their feet…as if they needed a reason to give Ms. Franklin a standing ovation. Read more »
It’s hard to pick a favorite from last season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but admit it, it’s probably Adore (aka Danny Noriega). Yes, Bianca’s a force of nature, and Courtney is just so damn pretty and talented, but nobody just doesn’t give a fuck quite like Adore. And that’s why we’re crazy about her.
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Francois Zayas and Venissa Santi
Tonight, Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza will be jamming to the sounds of two of Philly’s most talked about jazz artists, Francois Zayas and Venissa Santi, as part of the Sittin’ In performance series. The free jam session starts at 8 p.m. and also features the beats of DJ PHSH.
But there’s another reason why music lovers should head on down to Broad Street this evening: Zayas and Santi will be named the winners of the Kimmel Center jazz residency, a prestigious honor for the two musicians. Read more »
The huge community choir performs the closing number of the “It Gets Better” concert at the Kimmel Center.
It was quite a Saturday evening to remember as the Kimmel Center wrapped up its weeklong “It Gets Better Project” residency with a concert featuring nothing less than a 150-piece choir comprised of various Philadelphia area singers and members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. Concert goers were surrounded by some of Philly’s most renowned LGBTQ supporters, including State Representative Brian Sims and Kimmel Center CEO and President Anne Ewers. The musical event featured cover songs from the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Cher, Elton John, and Gnarls Barkley, amongst many others. We were there to capture the night’s festivities.
Community choir members Adlai Waksan, Gershon Cattan, Simone Allender, Jill Chambers, and Vibes, a seeing-eye dog in training.
Members of the Philadelphia Voices of Pride Chorus: Robert Lamb, Kirsten Schaney, Dan Schwartz, and Paul Jensen.
Members of the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus: Tom Conway, Patrick Agagni, Thoth Weeda, Ron Johnson, and Paul Foster.
Music Director of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles Joe Nadeau with Kimmel Center Artistic Director Jay Wahl.
The crowd waiting to get into the theater.
Kimmel Center CEO and President Anne Ewers.
Samantha Giusti and Amy Scarano.
Philadelphia Fight's Chip Alfred and Danny Alvarado.
Sean Atley, Jasper Lloyd, and James Vanderbilt.
The theater was nearly sold out for the 7:30 PM concert.
Brian Sims provided welcoming remarks for the concert.
A scene from It Gets Better: Tyler Houston plays C.J.
The cast of It Gets Better.
Mario Mosley as Tootsie (center), with the rest of the cast.
The cast breaks it down to a cover of Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time."
Cast member Jason Currie interviews Tom Ryan, who coordinated a "It Gets Better" video with the Camden Riversharks.
The 150-member community choir.
A scene from the It Gets Better concert.
This week, the Kimmel Center presents the Philadelphia engagement of the “It Gets Better Project,” a series of performances, panels, and concerts that celebrate LGBTQ youth. Branded around the now-famous YouTube campaign encouraging young folks to embrace their identities and sexualities, the residency here in Philly includes partnerships with over 40 local community organizations. We had the chance to chat with Kimmel Artistic Director Jay Wahl about the project’s impact on the region and what exactly “It Gets Better” means to him. Read more »
Mimi Stillman started playing flute when she was six years old after her mother, an amateur clarinetist, taught her how to play the recorder (remember those from elementary school?) and read music.
“I had fallen in love with the sound of the flute from being taken to concerts, hanging out at my brother’s youth orchestra rehearsals, and recordings, and told my parents I wanted to play it,” she recalls. This lead to Stillman studying at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School growing up in Boston, where she played youth orchestra and chamber ensembles from the time she was 9. At 12, she was the youngest wind player ever accepted into the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, where she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in music by the time she was 17. Read more »
When you hear out singer-songwriter Jo Stones make some sweet love to a keyboard, you know the guy has got talent: The Philly Gayborhood favorite recently released his first single, “The Letter,” on iTunes, and will be spooking out listeners this Halloween at a free noontime concert at LOVE Park. We threw Jo some rapid-fire questions about his music, his performances, and his guilty pleasures. Read more »
Postmodern Jukebox performing “Anaconda.”
Last week, Postmodern Jukebox, the sensational musical group lead by the talented Scott Bradlee, released a bluegrass hoedown cover of Nicki Minaj’s R-rated track “Anaconda.” Let’s just say the internet went crazy:
In less than a week, this utterly catchy mix (yes, I’ve downloaded it) got over one-million hits on YouTube. Lucky enough for us in Philadelphia, the band, which infuses bluegrass, big band, jazz, and slow-jam styles in their covers of popular top-40 hits, is coming to the TLA later in October. Read more »
Oh, Atlantic City: You are never going to learn, are you?
Last evening, country music star Blake Shelton offered what was billed as a “free concert” between Caesars Pier and Central Pier. The catch? Local casinos, including Bally’s and Caesars (the two closest to the concert and, arguably, the logical choice for most concert attendees), charged a steep $50 to park in their lots. The normal price? $5. Read more »
Tonight, Cher, along with fabulous special guest Cyndi Lauper, is bringing her Dressed To Kill tour to the Wells Fargo Center. I decided to get my hair-flipping started early by putting together a pre-show playlist of Cher and Cyndi remixes to get you Philly queens even more hyped for tonight’s big show. (As if that’s actually possible.)
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