15 Things to Do in Philly This Week



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The Duggars Pulled from TLC; Will They Be at the Philly Block Party?

The Duggars

The Duggars

It was just a matter of time: TMZ and other news outlets are reporting that reality television “celebrities” the Duggars have been pulled from the TLC lineup after allegations surfaced that Josh Duggar molested girls as a teenager. However, we’re left wondering if the family will be making an appearance at next week’s mega TLC Summer Block Party here in Philadelphia. Our guess: Probably not.

The Duggars are scheduled to be one of many hosts at the afternoon bender at Penn’s Landing next Saturday, May 30th, including Kate Gosselin, Buddy Valastro, Whitney Thore, and cast members of Say Yes to the Dress and Little People, Big World.

In a statement on Thursday, Josh Duggar addressed the sexual molestation allegations, in part saying:

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation…We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

We reached out to Discovery Entertainment (the parent company of TLC) for comment via phone and email and did not get an immediate response. Stay tuned for further updates.

Dock Street Is Playing Non-Stop Wu Tang While It Ages a Beer

Dock Street Wu Tang Beer

Dock Street’s forthcoming Dock Street Beer Ain’t Nuthin’ to Funk With.

Vince Desrosiers is creating a beer that can bring da ruckus.

Desrosiers, the head brewer at Dock Street in West Philadelphia, is currently aging his new golden saison. Playing next to the barrel for the six months it’ll sit there? Wu Tang Clan, streaming from Spotify.

“I listen to music every day in the brewery and I’ve wanted to do a series of beers based on the music I like,” Desrosiers says. “It’s hardly an original thought but my musical taste is all over the place and Wu Tang seemed like a great place to start.”

Dock Street’s forthcoming golden saison beer, with spicy pineapple and orange-tart flavor, will therefore be christened Dock Street Beer Ain’t Nuthin’ to Funk With. Read more »

15 Things to Do Memorial Day Weekend in Philly

REVIEW: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at The Wilma Theater

Jered McLenigan and Keith Conallen

Jered McLenigan and Keith Conallen

When you go see a Tom Stoppard play, you have to be ready to work, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is no exception. A Neil Simon piece this is not. Stoppard requires audiences to listen to every word, every nuance, every moment, and come the end of the nearly three-hour evening, one may feel like they’ve run some sort of an intellectual marathon.

At the Wilma, Blanka Zizka‘s intense staging of Stoppard’s absurdist comedy indeed makes the audience work, but not to the point of fatigue. I’ve seen Stoppard where I’ve wanted to rip my hair from my head come the end of the performance, but that clearly wasn’t the case here. Instead, Ms. Zizka, who may very well be considered one of Stoppard’s greatest interpreters, moved her stellar cast to give performances worthy of numerous Barrymore awards. Read more »

WATCH: Bon Jovi Debuts New Song at Rutgers-Camden Graduation

Jersey-born rocker Bon Jovi was presented an honorary doctorate of letters this week at the Rutgers-Camden graduation at Susquehanna Bank Center. The gesture recognizes his career as an entertainer and work to raise money for the causes of homelessness and poverty.

During his commencement address, he pulled out his guitar and broke into song, a new ditty he wrote for the occasion called “Reunion.” It includes some inspiring lyrics, telling the graduating class of around 293 to do things like “write your song,” and “start your own revolution”–you know, take-life-by-the-balls kind of stuff. Give it a listen in the Twitter video up top and below. Or watch the full video here.

(h/t 6ABC)

 

INTERVIEW: Yoko Ono

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Next month, Ocean Galleries in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, will debut an exhibit of artworks by John Lennon. Curated by his wife Yoko Ono, “The Art of John Lennon” comprises limited edition prints adapted from the “Imagine” singer’s original drawings—from his iconic pencil-scribbled self portraits, to whimsical, comic book-like illustrations with sayings like, “He tried to consult the stars, but no one returned his calls.”

“The Art of John Lennon” is a traveling exhibit created by Ono around 15 years ago with the intent of not only sharing her husband’s work with the masses, but to support local nonprofits. In this case, Ocean Galleries requests that guests donate $5 to see the exhibit, which will be given to Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

I chatted with Ono this week in anticipation of the exhibit. She shared anecdotes behind some of the works in the exhibit, told me a funny story about Philly, and opened up about falling in love with Lennon’s music again after all these years.

Let’s talk about this exhibit coming to Ocean Galleries. Why is it important for you to exhibit John’s work in small galleries like this across the country? 

I really think that it’s very important—even if it’s in a very small space … because it has a power and that power you’re going to get anywhere.

How did you go about selecting the pieces that would appear in the exhibit? 
In the beginning—15 years ago when it was starting—I [chose based on] what hit me the most. And then, gradually, I realized that each one was hitting me very strongly. I started to get into his work more. Now, I really feel that each one is so special. So I rotate them: This time I show some things, next year I’ll show something different.

Photo courtesy of Yoko Ono

John Lennon’s Let’s Have a Dream. | Courtesy of Yoko Ono

One of my favorite pieces is Let’s Have a Dream (right). What’s the story behind that sketch?
John was really getting into the family scene. He was really getting into [his son] Sean, actually. I was surprised at how he felt so strongly connected with Sean. Maybe in some ways, subconsciously, he knew he wasn’t going to have much time with us. I don”t know. But there was that feeling.

I also like On Cloud Nine (below, right), which pictures the two of you naked sitting on a cloud. Nudity was a recurring theme in your works and activism. Why? 
It has to do with softness and the fragility of human beings.

How did John’s work influence the art you were making? 
I was doing my artwork for about 30 years before I met him. I was eight years older than him … I was very much deep into my own artwork, and I think that there were a lot of technical things I knew … So there was more giving than taking.

So he was more influenced by you?
I don’t think so. That’s another thing that was very interesting: He was an artist before I met him—he started when he was 9. He was very good, and extremely different from my kind of work. In a way, we didn’t really influence each other, but we loved each other, which helped in a way. … You know what I think: We were in Japan together, and I think he was influenced more by classic Japanese paintings.

John Lennon's On Cloud Nine. | Courtesy of Yoko Ono

John Lennon’s On Cloud Nine. | Courtesy of Yoko Ono

You guys met in an art gallery, right? Can you take me back to that moment?
[Singing] We met in an art gallery … When he came in, he was looking around, but not expressing his emotions so much. When he went up to see a [canvas on the ceiling], he went all the way up the ladder and saw it and came down. He said, “Hmm,” and sort of gave a little smile and left—never explaining how he thought about it. Later, on a TV show, he said, [imitating Lennon’s voice] “Well, you know, I saw this thing and I didn’t like it.” So  he felt something, but he was too shy to tell me about it at the time.

There are a lot of themes of peace and love in John’s art. How do you think his images speak to what’s happening now in the world, especially in places like Ferguson and Baltimore? 
He was so upset about people killing each other and hurting each other. … He would have hated what’s going on now in the world.

What are your thoughts?
Ditto. I’m with him, okay? … We tried hard to bring peace and a better world. And we still do. Don’t give up. Don’t give up.

Do you have any memories of Philadelphia?
Yes. It’s so funny: John was in L.A. and I was in New York, and they wanted me to come to Philadelphia to do a show or something. I went with a very attractive, tall girl, who was my assistant at the time. And she had glasses on. Everybody went up to her thinking it was John. She said, “I don’t look like a guy, do I?” She was a little bit offended. [Laughs]

Do you have a favorite John and Yoko song? 
Any song that John wrote—especially when it was about us—I love very much. I used to have favorites, but now I’m starting to listen to his songs more … and I’m starting to like all of them, really. … I didn’t usually like to listen to John’s songs. It reminded me of John not being here, but I started to listen to them because I had to, because of business. Then I started to really like them.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Ten years is a very long time these days. … In 10 years, maybe we’ll all be moths, or something. [Laughs]

It seems like you work really hard to preserve John’s legacy. How do you want to be remembered?
I don’t know. … I don’t know how people see me. I have no idea. I’m more concerned about John’s legacy, because he’s not here. I’m the only one who can work on it.

“The Art of John Lennon” will be on display at Ocean Galleries for a limited time only, from June 18th to 22nd. For more information on that and special events around the exhibit, go here. Check out more works from the exhibit below. 



Where to See Fireworks in and Around Philly This Summer

It’s that time of the year again to hear a lot of boom in the sky. Fireworks season is in high gear, and we compiled some Philly-area hints as to where to catch some fabulous displays. Of course, there are some tips and strategies that are universal, no matter where you see a show:

  • Get there early: Sometimes, the best seating gets taken long before the show starts. Bring some food (or, if it’s allowed, something to drink) and enjoy an evening under the sun before the display starts.
  • Take public transportation: Parking can get extremely tight at these events, and, well, if you’ve ever tried to leave a crowded fireworks show at night, you know what kind of a nightmare it can be. If you must park, try to get out of the facility as quickly as possible after the show ends.
  • Bring water: This may sound silly, but even though the sun has set, it’s still hot outside. Plus, with your mouth all agape, wowed at what you’re seeing in the sky, it’s bound to get dry in there. Don’t take the chance of getting dehydrated. Bring a bottle or two of water and stay quenched.

Without further ado, the fireworks:



6ABC’s Alicia Vitarelli to Spotlight 3 Philly Restaurants on The Chew

TheChew2

Alicia Vitarelli with Le Virtu with a cameraman and Brigantessa chef Joe Cicala (far right)

Set your DVR: At 1 pm this afternoon, 6ABC Action News anchor Alicia Vitarelli will appear on The Chew, where she’ll take the show’s crew to three local restaurants with family-influenced recipes on the menu. The segment will find her visiting South Street West dessert queen Holly Ricciardi of Magpie, a Jose Garces spot and Joe Cicala of East Passyunk’s Le Virtu and Brigantessa.

Foobooz has more on the actual food they’ll be preparing here.

TheChew1

Vitarelli with Magpie owner Holly Ricciardi (center).

 

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