Bradley Cooper is a busy man these days. Between filming Adam Jones in London and recording a recent string of Philadelphia Eagles commercials the Abington Township-bred actor has found time to prepare for the lead role in the upcoming Broadway production of The Elephant Man. This is the second time he’s played the role of protagonist John Merrick. The first time was in 2012 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Two Street by Tribe of Fools: The newest brainchild of the Philadelphia-based Tribe of Fools, the physical theater company has won critics over with its previous Fringe festival hits Heavy Metal Dance Fag and Antihero. The troupe, which consists of Terry Brennan, Zachary Chiero, Tim Popp and Peter Smith, welcomes Peter Andrew Danzig, Isa St. Clair, and Karina Balfour to the group for the FringeArts Festival take on Shakespeare’s classic tale, updated for queer contemporary audiences. More here. September 4-13, The Church of the Crucifixion, 620 South 8th Street. —Bryan Buttler
This Sunday, August 17th, the curtain will close for the final time on Rocky the Musical on Broadway. It opened with such promise, a star-studded opening night and decent reviews. But Rocky had trouble filling seats, meaning it is doubtful we will ever see Clubber Lang or Ivan Drago belt out a tune in Rocky II through V: The Musicals.
They tap-dance in missionary outfits. They sing. They change into really strange costumes and perform a full-on show-stopping routine during a number called the “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” song.
I’m talking about the extraordinarily talented cast of The Book of Mormon, the Tony Award-winning Best Musical playing an extended engagement at Philadelphia’s Forrest Theatre through September 14th. Two of the ensemble members, JR Bruno and “swing” Josh Daniel, are part of the oh-so-wrong musical by the creators of South Park that takes stabs at just about every other musical out there, including The King and I, The Lion King, and Wicked. It’s also pretty damn funny; ironically enough, in the middle of my interview with the cast, a theater manager interrupted us, saying there was an audience complaint: people were laughing too much.
Bruno has been on the tour since it started two years ago and performed on Broadway in West Side Story; Daniel, a fresh graduate of the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, has been on tour for a year. I had the chance to sit down with both cast members after their Thursday evening performance, and we chatted about Philly (this is the first-time visit for both of them), the Forrest Theatre, and what it is like to tour across North America.
We’ve done some research to put together this nifty, one-stop-shop of the best ways you can get the most out of that student i.d. card at local arts venues in Philly—everywhere from movie theaters to museums to games at Citizens Bank Park. (Just remember to take said i.d. card.)
Student price: $8.25 weekdays and Sundays, $8.75 Fridays and Saturdays
If this price is still too steep, consider going on $5.50 Tuesdays and use the extra cash to get drinks at the Rave’s bar.
Landmark Theaters (Ritz at the Bourse, Ritz East, and Ritz Five)
Student price: $7.75 except Saturdays and holidays. $7 on “Bargain Wednesdays”
Go for the newest hipster films, stay for the intimate theater experience.
Student Price: $7
Although most screenings are free, take advantage of the cheap ticketed films to watch independent movies from around the world.
Philly’s only LGBT theater festival, GayFest!, kicks off tomorrow (August 5th.) Now in its fourth year, Quince Productions founder and GayFest! producer Rich Rubin says the theme of the season is new meets old.
There are a handful of Philadelphia premieres—Next Fall, Some Are People, and You Know My Name—playing alongside old-school favorites. The Haunted Host, for instance, celebrates 50 years on the stage. “It is considered by many to be America’s first full-length gay play,” says Rubin. “I’m excited about combining the new and cutting-edge work with historic work. More than ever, there’s a real range of tone and style in the festival.”
So get out there and support our city’s sole LGBT film festival. Here’s a preview of what’s happening this week during the festival: