It won’t be your typical night at the Kimmel Center: When cheekily named “undie rock” group The Skivvies take the stage, they’re naked (well, minus their skivvies) before they finish singing their first number.
But they aren’t the only ones to strip down during their shows. They’ve had Laura Benanti, Lena Hall, Matt Doyle, Andy Karl, Perez Hilton, Orfeh, and Alice Ripley perform in their underpants. Now, the notorious rock group are on the way to Philly for a Valentine’s Day weekend extravaganza at the Kimmel Center’s SEI Innovation Studio, February 12th through 14th. Read more »
I don’t think you need a good reason to see The Philadelphia Orchestra play the breathtaking Verizon Hall, but over the next several weeks, the fabulous musicians are putting on quite a series of shows: The Saint Petersburg Festival, which celebrates great Russian composers, gives a compelling reason to take in some gorgeous classical music. But, if you need more convincing, here are five reasons why a trip to the Kimmel Center is in high order. Read more »
Jacob Warren-Nager and Jesse Warren-Nager, by Brent Dundore Photography
Every Tuesday, we feature a gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle. Today, we have special guests: Broadway’s Jesse Warren-Nager, currently starring in Philly’s Motown: The Musical, and his husband, Jacob Warren-Nager, share the story of their wedding day.
Names: Jesse Warren-Nager and Jacob Warren-Nager
How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: We were together a little under two years before we got married.
When did you get married?: We got married February 12th, 2010. It will be 5 years this year.
Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: Our wedding was very small: just Jacob, myself, and my mother. It was in an old colonial home in Connecticut, a few blocks form the town hall where the paperwork was done. The most memorable part were the vows. Even though it was pretty much just Jacob and me, saying how we felt outright and our goals to make each other happy was pretty profound.
You can catch Jesse in Motown: The Musical at the Kimmel Center through January 18. Check out our interview with him here.
Want to be featured in a future Tie-the-Knot Tuesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!
Contrary to popular belief, the amazing cultural scene in Philly doesn’t slow down during the winter season: There’s a host of wonderful dance, theater, music, and visual arts events that are lined up during the region’s most frosty months. We surveyed the offerings and picked our ten best Philly bets that will sure to keep you entertained and inspired, even if you have to wear your toastiest winter gear to the venue!
Motown: The Musical, Academy of Music
It's been an insane success on the Great White Way. Now, the musical that CBS called "More than a Broadway show … a celebration of music that transformed America" is on the way to Philly's Academy of Music. Motown: The Musical features over 40 top hits from the likes of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and The Temptations. It is clearly the highlight of the touring Broadway season here in the city. Don't miss our interview with one of the stars of the show, Jesse Nager. (January 6-January 18, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)—Bryan Buttler
The Body of an American, Wilma Theater
Award-winning writer Dan O'Brien brings his gripping, essentially autobiographical, drama The Body of an American to the Wilma Theatre. The work is based on O'Brien's own interactions and friendship with Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Paul Watson, who took a photograph of a dead American being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. Two actors, Harry Smith and Ian Merrill Peakes, play over twenty roles in what's being billed as a work that breaks all theatrical conventions. (January 7-February 1, Wilma Theatre, 265 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)
Direct from a much warmer Miami comes a dance event that almost defies definition: Is it dance? Theater? Performance art? Drag? Contemporary Ballet? The answer is all of the above. Rosie Herrera Dance has enthralled audiences since 2009; critics have called the troupe's performances "so innovative, searing and disturbing" that they warrant “repeat viewings." The group will be performing their numbers "Various Stages of Drowning" and "Dining Alone" at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theatre. January 15-January 17, Zellerback Theatre, 3680 Walnut Street. —Bryan Buttler
The Fabulous Philadelphians are lead by the incomparable Yannick Nezet-Seguin for a three-week celebration of master Russian composers during the Philadelphia Orchestra's St. Petersburg Festival. Listeners will be treated to works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich, as well as the North American premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's "Piano Concerto." January 15-January 30, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street. —Bryan Buttler
This world-premiere production at the Arden Theatre Company is sure to cause lots of thought-provoking discussion: a man dying of kidney failure asks his estranged daughter to give him one of hers. Under the Skin, written by award-winning playwright and Villanova professor Michael Hollinger, poses questions about organ donation, forgiveness, inheritance and family. January 15-March 15, Arden Theatre, 40 North 2nd Street. —Bryan Buttler
You've probably heard world-renowned flutist Julius Baker at one point or another and just haven't realized it: The Curtis and Juilliard professor is featured on the soundtracks to Fame, Beauty and the Beast, and West Side Story. Now, the Philadelphia-based Dolce Suono Ensemble, lead by one of Baker's top prodigies, Mimi Stillman, will present the first major tribute to Baker after his 2003 death. The concert at the Trinity Center for Urban Life will feature eight new world premieres with guest artist Jeffrey Khaner, principle flute of The Philadelphia Orchestra, who also studied under Baker. January 18, Trinity Center for Urban Life, South 22nd. and Spruce streets. —Bryan Buttler.
"Underline," University of the Arts
Two University of the Arts alumni will present their unique and thought-provoking fibers and textile works for the Philadelphia community. Underline features the works of Maggie Casey, a Pennsylvania native and current Philadelphia resident whose award-winning work has been recognized by the American Craft Council and the Rhode Island School of Design, and South Korea native Yunjung Kang, whose studies have taken her literally around the world. Don't miss the opening reception on January 22 at 5PM. (January 21-February 24, University of the Arts, 333 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)
Prodigal Son, Pennsylvania Ballet
Matthew Neenan has been called "one of today's foremost dance poets" by The New York Times. Now, Philadelphians will have a chance to see the choreographer in action during the Pennsylvania Ballet's upcoming program Prodigal Son. The performance will feature Balanchine's ballet that tells the well-known biblical story, along with works by the world-renowned Christopher Wheeldon and Gyorgy Ligeti. (February 5-February 8, Merriam Theatre, 250 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)
Oscar, Opera Philadelphia
David Daniels is widely regarded as the world's leading countertenor who has performed in opera houses around the globe. Now, Opera Philadelphia brings Daniels to the Academy of Music in Oscar, a new opera that had its world premiere in Santa Fe in 2013. The work is based on the trials and tribulations of iconic literary figure Oscar Wilde, whose private life ultimately became devastated after his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. The piece, performed in English, is sure to bring many out-of-town opera fans to Broad Street. (February 6-Feburary 15, Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia)
"Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano," Philadelphia Museum of Art
The legendary Japanese Kano painters, who created intricate large-scale works made of gold leaf and other materials, established a tradition of artistic excellence in their native country. Now, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents the first exhibition outside of Japan to fully examine the Kano painters' works. Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano will feature over 120 works that explore the Kano's academy of professional artists and their various patrons. Expect to see stunning sliding doors and folding screens fit for Japanese royalty. (February 16-May 10, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia)
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 »