REVIEW: Philadelphia Orchestra’s Opening Night

Philadelphia Orchestra

Before the last number of Wednesday’s season-opening concert, the Philadelphia Orchestra‘s incomparable music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, told the audience assembled in Kimmel’s Verizon Hall that it was more important now than ever to spread the word about the excellence of the ensemble.

Alas, it was a not-so-subtle sub-theme that filled the evening, that the Orchestra’s musicians were back in negotiations and that they were currently working without a contract. Several members of the organization, ranging from musicians to administration, spoke of these negotiations after the opening number, which was a ravishing interpretation of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.” In retrospect, the tune was an eerie prelude to talks about the Orchestra’s future. Read more »

PHOTOS: Mark Wahlberg Attends Screening of Invincible at Kimmel Center

The gossip mills were right on the money last night. Mark Wahlberg did show up on the red carpet for the screening of Eagles-inspired flick Invincible at the Kimmel Center. The film closed out the weeklong Festival of Families Film Festival hosted by Greater Philadelphia Film Office. Local paparazzo HughE Dillon got this great shot of him with former Eagle Vince Papale (left, whom Wahlberg portrays in the film) and comedian Michael Blackson.

Mark Wahlberg

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5 Non-Fringe Arts Events to Check Out This Month

Conrad Tao is bringing his new work featuring iPad to The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Conrad Tao is bringing his new work featuring iPad to The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Don’t get us wrong: We love the Fringe Festival (we put together two whole guides for it here and here), but September is also the kick off of many other performing arts events in the Philly region. We rounded up some of our favorite picks for shows opening this month that will surely kick your fall into high gear.

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

A crowd favorite, the Zelda Symphony Orchestra is returning to the Mann Center with a new installment of their concert series, simply titled “Master Quest.” They’ll be performing a four-movement symphony that incorporates tunes inspired by the video games The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, A Link to the Past, and more. Friday, September 18th, 8 pm, $40-100, Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue. Read more »

New Menus And A New Season At Volver


Menu testing at Volver | Photos by Joni Nimrod


A couple weeks back, we got the chance to bop over to Volver and sit in on one of their menu testing sessions for the new season. It was a pretty cool experience (read: super-cool, and basically one of my favorite parts of this job–getting to witness the way chefs think and work when they’re not in the thick of service), and also represented our first look at what the menu at Volver might look like in this new season.

Well now, with the scheduled resumption of service set for Wednesday night, we have the full menu for you to look at.

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Former Eagles Linebacker Makes Film Debut in The North Star

Benjamin Jones (Jeremiah Trotter) carries Lewis (John Wooten) in The North Star.

Benjamin Jones (Jeremiah Trotter) carries Lewis (John Wooten) in The North Star.

The feature film debut of former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter will premiere at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center on September 17th. It is Trotter’s first film acting credit.

The North Star was helmed by first-time film director Thomas K. Phillips, who wrote, directed and produced the film. It was shot over 24 days in Bucks County in the summer of 2012 and tells the story of Benjamin Jones (Trotter) and Moses Hopkins (Thomas C. Bartley Jr., a Washington, D.C. native). The two characters are slaves who escaped from Virginia to Buckingham, Pa., in 1849. Read more »

DO THIS: Happy Hour at Bar Volver is Seriously Amazing

Bar Volver

Several months ago, I took a good friend of mine to Volver for drinks. He’s a little bit of a New York snob (which he’ll openly admit), but I knew I won him over when he said that this was the first place in Philly that he’d been to that felt like New York.

I, too, loved the place, even though it had received the reputation of being way out of my price range. Yes, dinner at Volver is, by far, quite an expense, but Bar Volver is a whole other experience. In short, it’s a little place of hip heaven just a few blocks away from the Gayborhood (attached to the Kimmel Center), and you really ought to check it out. Read more »

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