With great comic pairs, we often assume that one provides the broad stuff and the other plays straight man (or woman). Think of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, though my savvy performer friends always point out that his contribution is as necessary — and funny — as hers.
But how to characterize the team of Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman — both immensely funny comics, and both serious actors? Their pairing as Tammy and Ron on Parks and Recreation was instant comic legend. And of course, Mullally has countless fans who remember her as Karen Walker on Will and Grace. But what you might not know is that they appeared together to significant acclaim also in Sharr White’s play, Annapurna, a touching story of two lost souls.
Expect mostly comedy in their appearance here on Saturday evening — seeing as how the show is called Summer of 69: No Apostrophe, and the description promises “songs, funny talking, heavy ribaldry, light petting and an astonishing final act of completion.” Read more »
The Shame Symposium @ FringeArts
Experimental performance duo Chelsea & Magda take a look at pleasure and shame through dance and theater. If you miss it tonight, there are performances Saturday and Sunday.
I wish I could say I’ve seen every one of Kelli O’Hara’s Broadway roles, but I’ve done pretty well — five out of ten, including very memorably Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Babe in Pajama Game, and Clara in Light in the Piazza. I also saw her as Ella in Bells are Ringing at Encores in New York.
From this list, you will have deduced (if you didn’t know already) that O’Hara is a musical theater star. This is certainly true — her blue-chip soprano is one of the most beautiful voices around, and in fact, O’Hara’s early training was in opera, and she was a Met competition winner. Read more »
Dance to Audien at SoundGarden Hall. Photo provided
Teyana Taylor @ TLA | Thursday, April 28
Apparently some people on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen can do more than complain that their new BMW has the wrong color birthday bow on it. When R&B singer Teyana Taylor was on the show, she had just signed to Pharrell’s record label, then later moved to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music to release her debut album, out now. Also, she may have been a character on Empire.
Yo-Yo Ma @ Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center | April 28 to May 1
The famed cellist has a slew of Grammys under his belt, including his most recent one for Best Folk Album. He’s teaming up with the Philadelphia Orchestra to perform American composer John Williams’ Cello Concerto, which Williams wrote specifically for Ma. If you’re not convinced: Williams wrote the score for every film you love, from Jaws to Jurassic Park.
Capriccio by Curtis Opera Theatre and Opera Philadelphia, at the Perelman Theater. (Photo by Cory Weaver)
In the middle of World War II, Richard Strauss premiered his final opera, Capriccio — an elegant “conversation piece,” set in a grand salon outside Paris, where an aristocratic brother and sister debate with their guests whether music or poetry matters more.
If this sounds unforgivably frivolous — trust me: it’s not. Capriccio is funny, beautiful, and profoundly moving. But it is difficult to get it right. So let’s cheer the co-production by Curtis Opera Theatre and Opera Philadelphia. Superbly done, both musically and theatrically — and presented in the ideally intimate Perelman Theatre — it’s a major achievement. Read more »
“I decided to go ahead with it because it was a good way for me to tell my story, my complex vet experience,” he said. “Once I did it, it was an immediate transformation on my part. It was something that I wanted to communicate, and a lightbulb went off.”
In a nutshell, Keefe teamed up with co-director Eli Wright to establish a New Jersey branch of Combat Paper, which offers workshops all over the Mid-Atlantic region, providing military vets and community members a chance to not only make paper out of their old uniforms, but create something much more profound. Read more »
Further details about Kimmel Center’s PIFA 2016 were released late last week, including the unveiling of the festival’s signature installation, The Kinetic Tree, at Commonwealth Plaza. There’s quite a lineup of announced performances, and tickets for all of the gigs are currently on sale via the Kimmel website. However, the huge selection of shows can be somewhat overwhelming for those who aren’t quite sure how to navigate the offerings. We hand selected five best bets for PIFA presentations that should be on everyone’s to-do list, including both free and ticketed shows for kids and adults. Take a look at the preview gallery below, and book your tickets by visiting this link.
This interactive presentation, which tells the story of thousands of migrants who have disappeared, is a collaboration between Carabosse Company and Teatro Linea de Sombra. Article 13 features a memorial made of fire, sand, water, video, and performance. The PIFA festival marks the work's American premiere. Guests will literally be surrounded by flames as they walk through the free installation (it's as big as two football fields) at Penn's Landing. April 8-10, 9 pm, free, Penn's Landing.
The Polyglot Theatre's Paper Planet is the perfect way to introduce youngsters to PIFA. The Kimmel's Hamilton Garden will be transformed into a giant forest of interactive cardboard trees, where visitors can touch, play, and explore amongst, well, paper. This will be the Philadelphia premiere of the installation, and it's appropriate for kids as young as 3 years old. April 9-23, various times, $29, Hamilton Garden.
Local knitters are encouraged to participate in this massive contemporary "yarn circus" by submitting white knitted works to the Kimmel, which may be used during a performance of Knitting Peace. The Swedish troupe, Cirkus Cirkor, will fly, dance, and pounce on a set made of 75% thick cotton yarn produced from waste product. The American premiere of this works asks if creating human dialogue through art is possible. April 8-10, various times, $30-95, Merriam Theater.
Aquacoustique will be making their Philadelphia premiere during PIFA, and they won't be performing in any theatre at all. This troupe of musicians will transform public fountains at Independence National Park, the Rodin Museum, and the Penn Museum into stages. They'll turn recycled snorkels, watering cans, and other regular objects into musical instruments and will perform in the water of each fountain. Strange, yes, but utterly memorable. April 15-17, various times, free, various locations.
Grammy-nominated musician Vijay Iyer and performer Mike Ladd have collected dozens of first-person stories from veterans of color over the last decade and weaved them into this evening of music, poetry, and visuals. The Philadelphia premiere of Holding It Down will provide free tickets to local veterans and their families (on a first-come, first-serve basis), and will also offer a workshop where local vets can literally turn their old uniforms into paper on February 20. April 22, $29-39, Perelman Theatre.
Clockwise from upper left: Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Susan Graham, E.T., Simon Rattle
The Philadelphia Orchestra truly remains the city’s only A-list organization so far as attracting world-class classical music talent to the region, and their 2016-17 season, which was announced late yesterday afternoon, solidifies their ability to present diverse and wide-ranging programming… even the entire score of E.T.
In a statement, the Orchestra’s Musical Director, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, suggested that the upcoming season demonstrates the close bond that he has developed with the musicians throughout his tenure with the organization. Read more »
For years, Philadelphia actress Sarah Gliko longed to perform at the renowned Wilma Theater under the directorship of its co-founder, the peerless Blanka Zizka. “But I was off of Blanka’s radar,” says the 36-year-old Point Breeze resident. “And then she saw me in Lantern’s production of The Liar, and things changed.” That was in 2013. Since then, Gliko has been cast in the Wilma’s critically acclaimed Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq in 2014 and last year as Ophelia in the theater’s intriguing adaptation of Hamlet. Then, for her third Wilma play in as many years, she landed the lead in Tom Stoppard’s first work in a decade, The Hard Problem, which opens January 6th. “This role is a real challenge,” she admits. “There’s so much material, and it’s loaded with some very heavy and heady ideas. I have to find the passion and movement underneath these big ideas and elevate the human story that is pulsing below. It’s not going to be easy.” Through February 6th.