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 »

Francois Zayas and Venissa Santi Win Kimmel Center Jazz Residency. See Them Perform Tonight

Francois Zayas and Venissa Santi

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 »

PHOTOS: “It Gets Better” Finale Concert at the Kimmel Center

Community Choir

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.



Weekend Roundup: Guerrilla Queer Bar at Raven Lounge, Tig Notaro at The Troc, the It Gets Better Project Concert at Kimmel Center and More

FRIDAY

Out comedian Tig Notaro performs Friday night at The Trocadero.

Out comedian Tig Notaro performs Friday night at The Trocadero.

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Don’t Miss It: Aretha Franklin Live at Kimmel Center

The Queen of Soul is making her Kimmel Center debut next month and tickets go on sale today. On Monday, December 29th, Aretha Franklin will sing both her greatest hits and songs from her new album Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classicswhich features ditties made famous by Etta James, Gloria Gaynor, Alicia Keys, and Barbara Streisand, and others.

While promoting her new album, Franklin appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and brought down the house with this cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep:”

5 Films You Need to See at the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival

Want to travel around the world and expand your horizons without ever having to leave the metropolitan area? The 34th annual Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival (PJFF) offers a diverse array of films that seek to engage, entertain and educate Philly audiences of all backgrounds. It is the city’s longest-running film festival, offering a safe environment to form and share opinions. Here, we’ve curated a list of flicks to see before the festival closes on November 16th.

The Zigzag Kid (2012, Netherlands): Recent Bar Mitzvah Nono tests his newly acquired manhood by embarking on a secret mission with his father’s sworn nemesis, Master Jewel Thief Felix Glick. Together Nono and Felix travel through the French Riviera, wreaking havoc and encountering sultry women. This coming-of-age film uses wit and humor to inspire audience members of all ages. Sunday, November 9th, 1 p.m., The Gershman Y.

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PHOTOS: “It Gets Better Project” Open House at Kimmel Center

Representatives from The Attic Youth Center discuss their services.

Representatives from The Attic Youth Center discuss their services.

Last evening, many familiar faces in the Philadelphia LGBTQ community, along with some local organizations, teamed up to present an Open House at the Kimmel Center for its weeklong “It Gets Better Project” residency. Guests were greeted by live piano music from a member of the touring “It Gets Better” company, and had an opportunity to mingle with representatives from a dozen local non-profits, folks like ActionAIDS, Go! Athletes, OPAL and more. The entire cast of the “It Gets Better” stage show was on hand to chat with open house attendees. Read more »

PHOTOS: Philly Youth Kick-Off It Gets Better Project at Kimmel Center

“It’s Philly’s LGBTQ youth that are leading the change,” says 17-year-old Bella, a high school student from Kensington. She, along with a panel of other emerging leaders in the Philadelphia LGBTQ community, kicked off this week’s Kimmel Center It Gets Better Project residency, and if last evening’s performances and discussions were any indication, Bella (and Whitney) were right: Children really are our future.

The afternoon featured three distinct opportunities for local youth to participate in community building and performance. First, students from the Kimmel Center’s Show Stoppers and Wolf Performing Arts Center teamed up to film an outdoor performance of Sara Bareilles’s “Brave,” which will be screened at Saturday’s It Gets Better Project concert. Led by touring actors Mario Mosley and Tyler Houston, the triple threats danced their way down a picturesque Philly block, causing lots of local commuters to pause for the show.



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Why the Kimmel Center Got Involved With the “It Gets Better Project”

A scene from the It Gets Better concert.

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 »

Kimmel Center Teams With Local LGBT Nonprofits For the Weeklong It Gets Better Project

It Gets Better Header

The It Gets Better Project has become a household name. Created in September 2010 by columnist Dan Savage as a simple YouTube video encouraging LGBTQ youth that high school harassment and bullying will cease and that life will “get better,” the initiative has turned into a world-wide movement. Over 50,000 users have created video messages for LGBTQ teenagers, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ke$ha, and Ellen DeGeneres, amongst many others. Now, the project is fittingly on it’s way to the City of Brotherly Love.

The It Gets Better Project engagement at the Kimmel Center kicks off next week with a weeklong long residency that includes a series of free events leading up to a Saturday evening multimedia concert at the Perelman Theatre. Read more »

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