10 Things to Do This Week in Theater, Lit and Movies

Karen Allen is the best.

Karen Allen is the best.

Dungen @ PhilaMOCA | Wednesday, March 15
The Swedish psych-rockers perform their original score to 1926’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed, “understood to be the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film,” which will be screening at the same time.

qFLIX Philadelphia @ lots of places | Through March 19
Founded in 2014, qFLIX is Thom Cardwell and co.’s annual LGBTQ independent film festival featuring daily screenings and get-togethers. This year’s program includes several cool international selections — including Girls Lost (from Sweden), Strike a Pose (Netherlands) and Welcome to Dead Hotel (China) — but really the whole lineup is stacked. Read more »

Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk Is Set in the World of Avatar

Photo by Errisson Lawrence, Costumes by Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Photo by Errisson Lawrence, Costumes by Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Most Cirque du Soleil shows feel as though they take place in another universe: one without such rigid laws of physics. For Toruk – The First Flight, the creators took that concept even further, setting the show in what really is supposed to be an entirely different world. But it’s a world audience members will likely recognize.

Toruk is set in Pandora, created by James Cameron for his film Avatar. Rather than mimic the movie, the action in Toruk unfolds thousands of years before the events in the film, at a time when the Na’vi people are dealing with a mythic-like flying beast. Unlike other Cirque du Soliel shows, Toruk has a clear storyline, with the performers not only tackling acrobatic feats, but also acting and even speaking the Na’vi language. It’s the first time the company has designed a show to use an entire arena floor, with a set stretching out over 14,000 square feet.  Read more »

This Is Us Actor Brings His Play Lost Girls to Philly

Theatre Exile's production of Lost Girls opens in previews on Thursday, February 16th, and runs through Sunday, March 12th.

Theatre Exile’s production of Lost Girls opens in previews on Thursday, February 16th, and runs through Sunday, March 12th.

John Pollono is most comfortable in the theater, where a playwright has the final word. When he’s acting on television or in a movie, or watching one of his screenplays turn into a film, so much can change.

“I work a lot in features and in TV, but I keep going back to theater. It’s such a writer’s medium — I can collaborate on my own terms,” he says. With writing a movie, like his script for the upcoming Stronger, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, “there are so many people involved, so many variables. And it’s great, I love doing it, but theater is more of a pure form of writing. When you write a screenplay, writing becomes one of the facets of the filmmaking. With theater, writing is the singular facet,” Pollono says.  Read more »

5 Questions: Jovan Adepo and Russell Hornsby on Fences

Jovan Adepo, left, and Russell Hornsby in Fences. Photo courtesy of David Lee/Paramount Pictures

Jovan Adepo, left, and Russell Hornsby in Fences. Photo courtesy of David Lee/Paramount Pictures

It’s not every actor who gets to work with truly legendary figures, and fewer still who get to work with such luminaries while also being directed by them. But that was the situation for Jovan Adepo and Russell Hornsby, a pair of gifted thespians who got to make the film adaption of the August Wilson play Fences, working alongside – and for – co-star and director Denzel Washington.

Reprising his leading role from a much rhapsodized Broadway production, Washington, along with stage co-star Viola Davis, meticulously choreographed the play so that it would take advantage of the more free-flowing visual cinematic form. He also surrounded himself with sterling young talent, including Adepo and Hornsby, who both play sons of Washington’s indelible Troy Maxon, albeit with different mothers. Recently, the pair of actors were in town to discuss the play, the genius of Wilson’s words, and what it was like to work with Hollywood royalty. Read more »

See a Rock Musical Mash-up Tonight Only in Old City

Rock musicals JIB and Lizzie team up tonight. Photo provided

Rock musicals JIB and Lizzie team up tonight. Photo provided

Get two for the price of one when the cast of the upcoming Lizzie joins the cast of JIB for a one-night-only collaboration, tonight at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City.

JIB is a new Kickstarter-funded rock musical out of Brooklyn, from Old Sound Room and the Windmill Factory, with songs by Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and Jason Webley. It tells the story of a singer-songwriter, a reporter, and a dead composer, all unknowingly contributing to the same evolving score. And there’s a multimedia twist: Every night the show, including the audience, is recorded, creating a “live film.” Read more »

Get a Peek at the Fringe Festival Tonight at Scratch Night

Kelly Filios, Joshua Tewell and Aneesa Neibauer are in Bodas de Sangre/I Only Came to Use the Phone. Photo by Rosie Simmons

Kelly Filios, Joshua Tewell and Aneesa Neibauer are in Bodas de Sangre/I Only Came to Use the Phone. Photo by Rosie Simmons

Earlier this month the guide to the 20th Fringe Festival came out, and we told you to start marking off which of the 1,000 performances you want to check out. Now you can watch trailers — live. Tonight is Scratch Night at FringeArts, a works-in-progress series where Philly artists test out material, giving the audience a look at what goes into developing a new show. It’s free, though donations are suggested. Read more »

Arts List: 6 Things to Do This Week

Mauckingbird Theatre Company's Pirates of Penzance. Photo by John Flak

Mauckingbird Theatre Company’s Pirates of Penzance. Photo by John Flak

The Pirates of Penzance @ Randall Theater at Temple University | Through September 4
In Mauckingbird Theatre Company’s queer adaptation of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, Frederic and Mabel meet on the high seas and instantly fall for each other, but no one can fathom “the strangeness of their heterosexual love” — including Mabel’s father, the Major-General. Read more »

5 Questions With Eagles Great Tommy McDonald

Tommy McDonald played seven seasons with the Eagles, from 1957 to 1963. Photo provided

Tommy McDonald played seven seasons with the Eagles, from 1957 to 1963. Photo provided

Long before Ray Didinger was an award-winning sportswriter, Comcast SportsNet commentator and WIP host, he was an eager kid trotting after Tommy McDonald, No. 25, at Eagles training camp, spouting off the wide receiver’s stats and hoping to carry his helmet.

Year later, Didinger started crossing paths with his boyhood hero as a writer for the Philadelphia Bulletin and the Daily News, and the two formed a close friendship. But it wasn’t until McDonald was being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 that he revealed their long-ago connection.

Didinger turned the story of that friendship into his first play, Tommy and Me, produced by Theatre Exile and premiering tonight at FringeArts. The show’s full run is already sold out.

McDonald, now 82, answered our questions about seeing the play, asking Didinger to present him at the Hall of Fame and being a lifelong Eagles fan. Read more »

15 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Philadanco dancers. Photo by Lois Greenfield

Philadanco dancers. Photo by Lois Greenfield

FRIDAY, JULY 29

Philadanco Founder’s Day Concert @ Dell Music Center
All three Philadanco companies are taking part in this dance show: the professional company that performs nationally and all over the world, D/2, the apprentices who stay local (for now), and D/3, the young aspiring dancers. You’ll also get to see Philadanco alumni doing Suite Otis, a ballet set to the music of Otis Redding. Read more »

« Older Posts