THEATER REVIEW: Politics and Identity in Inis Nua’s The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning

Trevor Fayle and David Pica in The Radicalization of Bradley Manning at Inis Nua. (Photo by Kory Aversa)

Trevor Fayle and David Pica in The Radicalization of Bradley Manning at Inis Nua. (Photo by Kory Aversa)

By curious coincidence, Inis Nua’s The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning is the second play this season to begin with the protagonist stripped to his underpants. Previously, a similar image set the stage in Wilma’s An Octoroon — but this one is more extreme: one of actors playing Bradley Manning (more on this later) lies on the floor in a fetal position. He looks bereft and unformed, an object of scorn to the rest of the ensemble, till he finally pulls himself together and gets dressed.

The picture seems to imply a promise to the audience — that we’ll come to understand Bradley Manning in the coming scenes: what he’s about, and how and why he got that way. (The title suggests it, too.) But though The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning is an accomplished, energetic show, that promise is never really fulfilled. Read more »

Uptown Theater Is Hosting a Prince Memorial Today

Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., February, 18, 1985.

Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., February, 18, 1985.

UPDATE: The Prince tribute will be postponed to Friday, May 6th due to inclement weather. It will be at the same time and place.

Original: Since Prince died last week, numerous Philadelphia music venues have paid tribute to the musical legend.

On Friday, the Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation is hosting a memorial of its own for Prince. It will take place under the marquee of the historic Uptown Theater on Broad Street. Guests are invited to bring purple candles to light at 6 p.m.; the event officially begins a little earlier, at 5:30 p.m.

“We felt it was important to have a tribute that was solely a Philadelphia event,” says Linda Richardson, president of the UEDC. Read more »

Five Questions: Jeremy Saulnier on Green Room

Jeremy Saulnier, director of Green Room.

Jeremy Saulnier, director of Green Room.

Considering the bloody, jarring material he often works with, Jeremy Saulnier is an almost absurdly normal and unassuming seeming man. His new film, Green Room, follows the violent travails of a callow, dead broke punk band who get a gig booked at a mysterious club outside of Portland that turns out to be a white supremacist stronghold, lead by the terrifyingly calm Darcy (Patrick Stewart). When a body suddenly turns up in their dressing room, things go from bad to worse in a hurry. Soon, the band is fighting for their lives just to survive the night.

Despite the distinctly B-movie set up, Saulnier, who showed a penchant for such violent meditation in his previous film, Blue Ruin, never lets the material move into slick silliness or flamboyant gore. Instead, it’s a dark, gritty, scarily realistic account of survival. The director spoke with us on the topics of violence, visual storytelling, and finding an audience. Read more »

18 Things to Do This Weekend

Akira

Akira

Midnight Madness: Akira @ Ritz at the Bourse | Friday, April 29
The next installment in the Ritz at the Bourse’s midnight series is the Japanese animated sci-fi classic Akira, based on a graphic novel set in post-apocalyptic Tokyo. Tickets sold out quickly, so the Ritz added another showing starting at 12:10 a.m.

Louds @ Boot and Saddle | Friday, April 29
The members of this Philly-based indie band met while working at Mambo Movers, which is the best moving company in this city (in my opinion as someone who moves a lot). Louds is brothers Charlie and Petie Brooks and guitarists Alejandro Giraldo-Torres and Juston Stens.

Worldwide Warhol @ International House | Friday, April 29
Head to I-House for a free Andy Warhol double feature. First up is Restaurant (aka L’Avventura), followed by The Life of Juanita Castro. Each is only 34 minutes. Bryn Mawr College art history professor Homay King will introduce the films, and Penn art history PhD candidate Iggy Cortez will lead a discussion after.

Read more »

Arts Shortlist: See a Play About WikiLeaks

The Elixir of Love. Photo by Ken Howard

The Elixir of Love. Photo by Ken Howard

See What I Wanna See @ Christ Church Neighborhood House | April 28 to May 15
For 11th Hour Theatre Company’s 11th season, the founders collaborated on this musical about truth and perception, based on short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Here’s a menacing preview:

“Dear Julia” Opening Reception @ Philadelphia Magic Gardens | Friday, April 29
In the nearly 50 years Isaiah and Julia Zagar have lived on South Street, Isaiah has been the more recognizable name, known for his mural-sized, mirror-dotted mosaics adorning the neighborhood and the Magic Gardens. This new exhibit, on display through June 26, is a “visual love letter” to Julia, with mixed-media work by both Zagars alongside other artists. Proceeds are going to The Julia Zagar Residency Program for Women Artists.

The Elixir of Love @ The Academy of Music | April 29 to May 8
A poor car mechanic pines for a rich uptown girl, but she’s in love with a handsome sergeant. Find out if the love potion he drinks will win her in this Santa Fe Opera production at Opera Philadelphia. The show, set in the 1940s Italian countryside, is in Italian with English supertitles. Have you ever heard an opera in English? It’s disconcerting.

Read more »

LISTEN: Questlove Talks Prince, Ping Pong, Philly in Interview With NPR’s Terry Gross

Terry Gross (Daniel Burke/Fresh Air), Questlove (Jeff Fusco)

Terry Gross (Daniel Burke/Fresh Air), Questlove (Jeff Fusco)

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson has had a tumultuous and emotional few weeks, with the deaths of his friends and music legends Prince — about whom he penned an essay for Rolling Stone — and Billy Paul. Just over a month ago, the Roots drummer lost his father, Lee Andrews, at the age of 79. His friend Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, died a week later.

His live interview from Sunday with Terry Gross, host of the WHYY-produced, nationally syndicated radio show Fresh Air, will be broadcast on WHYY and other NPR stations tonight at 7 p.m., and is streaming now on NPR’s website. In their talk, Questlove opens up about some of his recent losses:  Read more »

Delco Proper’s Tim Butterly Tells Us Why Philly Is Like Sweatpants

Tim Butterly on Delco Proper. Photo provided

Tim Butterly on Delco Proper. Photo provided

The first episode of Delco Proper opens with three friends in a car, about to go to a funeral. Tim Butterly’s character is itching to beat up a guy they knew in high school, for reasons unknown, but he’s quickly admonished by fellow Philly comic John McKeever: “Izzy, we talked about this. No fighting at a funeral.”

Tommy Pope chimes in from the passenger seat: “You’re right. He’s gotta wait for the wake.”

And so we’re introduced to the very recognizable, NSFW world of the Delaware County-set Comedy Central web series.

Butterly, who says fans will definitely see Izzy in his stand-up, performs at MilkBoy (1100 Chestnut Street) tonight for the first in a new monthly comedy showcase, Laughs On Philly: Unpasteurized. We caught up with him to ask about Delco Proper and what to expect tonight.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
Born, raised, currently living in, and will most likely die in the Harrowgate section of Philadelphia. If you aren’t familiar with that part of the city, it’s because local news stations have a habit of calling it Kensington or Port Richmond whenever they report on whatever murder happened that day. It’s lovely.

Read more »

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 »

From the Archives: Billy Paul on Life After “Me and Mrs. Jones”

In 1982, when the auto accident that paralyzed singer Teddy Pendergrass sounded the last chord of Philadelphia International Records, I was a very young writer at Philadelphia magazine. At the time, a lot of people in the music business were asking what had gone wrong for Gamble and Huff’s magical musical empire. I set out to interview anyone who could help tell the story, since neither Gamble nor Huff would speak to me. One of the earliest and most powerful interviews was with singer Billy Paul, who died yesterday at the age of 80. It was powerful because, of all the Philly International songs, Paul’s hit was my favorite. There was something that had made me stop whatever I was doing and sing along when the orchestra abruptly halted and Billy Paul’s voice just sailed and moaned without accompaniment, “Meeeeee, aaaahand Missus, Missus Jones!” But, at the time, Paul was also among the most angry of the people who had been part of the Philly Sound, the one most obviously trying to hold it together. And, apparently, he did. He was 45 when I met him in early 1983, and a lot of the people I interviewed for that story died long before him.

From my June 1983 Philadelphia magazine story, “The Day the Soul Train Crashed”:  Read more »

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