Q&A with Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

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 »

20 Things to Do This Weekend

Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket. Photo by Leo Mascaro

Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket. Photo by Leo Mascaro

Friday, June 10

Korey Riker @ Kimmel Center
Kimmel Center Jazz Residency artist Korey Riker will perform a world premiere of jazz songs inspired by EDM — the drum and bass–heavy electronic dance music. Known for his tenor saxophone skills, Riker has played with the likes of Erykah Badu, Elvis Costello, the Roots and John Legend.

Philadelphia Latino Film Festival Opening Night @ Kimmel Center
PHLAFF’s opening night celebration includes the Philly premieres of two short films, Normal and Being Ñ.

The Shame Symposium. Photo by Kevin Monko

The Shame Symposium. Photo by Kevin Monko

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.

Read more »

Q&A with Broadway Diva Kelli O’Hara

Kelli O'Hara 2016
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 »

Local Talent: Korey Riker

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

His instruments: He’s known for his badass tenor saxophone skills. He also plays flute, guitar, clarinet, and the EWI, short for “electronic wind instrument.”

after the jump »

6 Shows To See This Week That Have Nothing in Common

Dance to Audien at SoundGarden Hall. Photo provided

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.

Read more »

Opera Review: Capriccio is a Triumph

Capriccio by Curtis Opera Theatre and Opera Philadelphia, at the Perelman Theater. (Photo by Cory Weaver)

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 »

Project Turns Military Uniforms Into Paper and Vets’ Experiences Into Triumph

Keefe, center, with participants at a Combat Paper NJ workshop.

Keefe, center, with participants at a Combat Paper NJ workshop.

David Keefe holds a MFA with a speciality in printmaking and painting, and is a practicing artist in New Jersey.

He’s also a Marine vet, who served in Iraq, 2006-2007.

Needless to say, when the Printmaking Center of New Jersey suggested he cut up his old military uniform and transform it into paper, he had to think about it.

“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 »

Five Best Bets for PIFA 2016

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.

Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016-17 Season Highlights Diversity of Sound

orchestra preview

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 »

Best Things to Do in Philly in January

January 6

Sarah Gliko stars in Tom Stoppard's "The Hard Problem," opening January 6th at the Wilma Theater. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

Sarah Gliko stars in Tom Stoppard’s “The Hard Problem,” opening January 6th at the Wilma Theater. | Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

The Hard Problem at the Wilma Theater

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. 

Read more »

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