Joe Torsella and Nick Stuccio on Long Beach Island, 1985.
PM: You guys have both had successful careers. Joe, you launched the Constitution Center and were recently an ambassador to the U.N. Nick, you founded FringeArts. And you’ve known each other since you went to high school together in northeastern Pennsylvania.
JOE: I actually am responsible for all of Nick’s success, by virtue of our high-school relationship. That seems bold, I know.
NICK: But it’s kinda true.
JOE: We met each other in early high school, I think in Mrs. Podesta’s … what was the class, geometry?
NICK: Geometry. We knew each other casually. But we became friends when Joe here decided to direct a play. Because Joe was going to be a famous theater director. Read more »
La Peg at FringeArts | Photo by Kevin Monko
Rick Nichols checks in at La Peg, Peter Woolsey’s two month old French brasserie at the once-upon-a-time pump house that is now the home of FringeArts. Nichols finds that the transition from early 20th century high-pressure water station to present day restaurant has been difficult.
That its menu takes liberties with disciplined bistro classics doesn’t help matters. My bowl of Vietnamese beef-noodle pho consomme was cloyingly sweet. And while my wife was happy with her steak-frite, as was I with a small plate of roasted striped bass, my choucroute garnie – so wonderful when the sauerkraut is cooked long and slow enough to soak up the flavors of the sausage – tasted as if a bag of crunchy, coarse-cut kraut had been warmed up at the last minute, then layered with grilled sausage, entirely missing the point of the dish.
Reinventing pump house as eatery proves daunting [Philadelphia Inquirer]
La Peg [Foobooz]
Candy Volcano | FringeArts
If you’re looking for cutting-edge live arts and experiences this fall, look no further than FringeArts. Its autumn lineup comes on the heels of a record-breaking 2014 Fringe Festival and includes performances at La Peg, the on-site restaurant and beer garden serving as a the cultural center of the Delaware waterfront.
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The Philadelphia FringeFest continues this weekend.
Here’s our Friday-Saturday-Sunday fun-time list of events in the Philly region: we’re loving how art-centric this September weekend is shaping up.
It was 1993 in Paris, and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier asked each other: what if there was an exhibition that never ended, that constantly reinvented itself each time it was presented? From this conversation, "do it" was born, an exhibition that began with twelve artists proposing artwork based on written instructions–which could be interpreted differently each time they were carried out. "Since then, hundreds of artists have been invited to submit instructions, and "do it" has taken place all over the world from Austria to Australia, from Thailand to Uruguay, from Canada to Iceland, giving new meaning to the concept of an exhibition in progress." The Galleries at Moore will host an opening reception for the Philadelphia exhibition of "do it" this Friday evening. The reception will offer light refreshments and feature performances from Philly-based artists Kate Watson-Wallace and Helen Hale. The event is free and open to the public. More information is available here. Friday, September 12th, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., The Galleries at Moore, 20th Street and The Parkway.
For all of you Pinterest and Etsy addicts: head to the Craft Phila fair this weekend to get your fix and check out talented, independent artists display their visual art, crafts, and fashion wares. You can peruse a plethora of handmade goods set up steps away from the Liberty Bell–everything from photography to jewelry–in a broad range of styles and prices. Admission to the fair is free. For more information, head here. Saturday, September 13th, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. & Sunday, September 14th, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., 6th & Chestnut/Market Streets.
The Doylestown Arts Festival is back for its 23rd year, with two days of over 150 juried artists and vendors with goods on display, live entertainment from a variety of musicians, a food court with plenty of delicious vendors, bike races, and tons of activities spanning the entire downtown area. More information about the festival, including a schedule and map, can be found here. Admission is free. Saturday, September 13th & Sunday, September 14th, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., State, Main, Oakland, & Hamilton Streets, Doylestown, PA.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) will open the much-hyped new David Lynch exhibit, called “The Unified Field,” this weekend. The exhibition will feature, among other things, 90 of Lynch’s drawings and paintings from 1965 to present, and some early short films, including 1967′s Six Men Getting Sick. - Josh Middleton. The exhibit will run through January 11th. More information is available here. Saturday, September 13th, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., $8-15 or free for members, PAFA Historic Landmark Building, 118 N. Broad Street.
Wallow in those hazy indian summer vibes this Saturday at Johnny Brenda's 6th annual Pils Picnic, an end-of-season celebration and nod to delicious local pilsners. There will be picnic fare for all (deviled eggs and cold fried chicken!) and plenty of brews on tap, including Troeg's Sunshine Pils, Sly Fox 2nd Street Keller Pils, and Neshaminy Trauger Pils. Plus, DJ Das Haas will be spinning a solid mix of classic R&B and doo-wop jams. Saturday, September 13th, 12 p.m., 21+, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue.
We know the Radio 104.5 Block Party shows have stirred up some serious tomfoolery this season–but the final concert in the summer series features acts worth the push-and-shove. Grouplove (pictured), Sir Sly, Wolf Gang, Vance Joy, and Brick + Mortar will take the stage at (the new and improved) Festival Pier on Saturday. Though the show is free, you will need a printed ticket to gain access to the venue. For more information, click here. Saturday, September 13th, 3 p.m., Festival Pier, 601 N. Columbus Blvd.
If you're not up for small talk with the colorful crowds flocking to Fringe Festival shows this weekend, but still want to revel in the artsy-ness, check out "Mirroring Sky." Inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens and the streets of our city, the self-guided soundscape is essentially a romantic stroll for one through Philly's pathways, enhanced by a special app for your smart phone. It's the perfect Fringe fix for introverts and the socially awkward. If you're craving group interaction, there will be a free guided tour of the production this Saturday. You can RSVP here. Saturday, September 13th, 6:30 p.m., Rittenhouse Square, 18th & Walnut Streets.
From 7 Show To See This Week: Stop me if you've heard this before: White male rapper makes a name for himself from a quick wit and serious freestlying skills. Battling an unfortunate cliche, Andy Bothwell has made a name for himself with his poignant lyrics and popular free styles at shows. One time at a Philly show he went in for three minutes about WaWa and dinosaurs at the crowd's request. If that isn't worth a listen then I don't know what else would convince you. Sunday, September 14th, 6:30 p.m., $12, The Barbary, 951 Frankford Avenue.
This memorial event, which honors the life of Jessica Beth Schwartz, raises funs to provide pediatric transplant recipients with college scholarships. Guests at Urban Saloon can expect to hear the sounds of The Sermon! and Brian La Pann, and will have the opportunity to take part in a silent auction. Tickets, which are $40.00, include open bar can be purchased by clicking here. Sunday, September 14, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., Urban Saloon, 2120 Fairmount Avenue.
Additional reporting by Bryan Buttler.
The 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival kicked off this past weekend, and, wow, what a weekend it was. Here’s what everybody is talking about. Read more »
Lorde performs at the Mann Center on September 5th.
Maybe you’ll see Cecily Tynan there, singing along to “Royals.” The 17-year-old Kiwi is one of her personal faves. Mann Center, September 5th.
Zachary Chiero and Peter Andrew Danzig are gay Mummers in Tribe of Fools’ “Two Street,” part of the FringeArts Festival.
Every year, we wonder if the event previously known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe is going to lose its mojo. But based on this year’s lineup, which includes everything from an interactive public art installation floating on the Delaware River (WetLand) to Two Street, a gay version of Romeo and Juliet as told through the lens of South Philadelphia and the Mummers to one of the most unusual walking tours you’ll ever join (Experiment #39) and a few dozen other shows, and the fact that the FringeArts venue is now fully open, complete with brasserie, outdoor performance plaza and 240-seat theater, it seems the mojo is stronger than ever. Various locations, September 5th to 21st.
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