IN THE WINGS: Ethan Lipton, Jamie Leonhart, and Migguel Anggelo

The Kimmel Center’s Theatre Residency Program features five talented artists who have collaborated with both the Center and New York City’s famed Joe’s Pub for a summer workshop. The goal: develop new works in the heart of the Kimmel’s creative incubator, the SEI Studio. We had a chance to chat with the artists, and this week, we’ll be sharing their answers to our rapid-fire Q&A. Today, we’re featuring artists Ethan Lipton, Jamie Leonhart, and Migguel Anggelo. See part one of 0ur feature here.

Ethan Lipton Read more »

Rocky Spinoff Finally Extinguishes Italian Market Flaming Barrel

Rocky vs. Creed - Flaming Barrel

Adonis Creed, son of Apollo, re-traces Rocky’s famous Italian Market run in a new spinoff film. The flaming barrel in the Italian Market has finally been extinguished!

The trailer for Rocky spinoff Creed has debuted, and people in Philadelphia are excited. For one, the trailer is fantastic. You can cut a crappy movie into a good trailer, but it gives us hope this will be a solid sports movie. And second, it contains a lot of great shots of Philly!

creed-skyline1

Look how recent that skyline shot is! It doesn’t even have the PNB letters on One South Broad, and they were just removed in November. This is one up-to-date movie.

Another bonus: After nearly 40 years, the flaming barrel in the Italian Market from the original Rocky has been extinguished. Recently, too, if the smoke emanating from it in the Creed trailer is an indication.

Another teaser for the movie, posted online by boxer Tony Bellew, contains a scene of Adonis Creed — Apollo’s son — running on the Schuylkill Banks boardwalk.

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Philadelphia Museum of Art Brings Back Interactive Family Program

Kid painting

Photograph Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Graydon Wood

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is helping to raise a region of highbrows thanks to the reinstallation of Art Splash.

For its third year in a row, the popular family program offers a variety of activities that is engaging for both kids and grown-ups alike, and this year the museum is offering some new and improved perks. Read more »

C+C Music Factory Rapper, Rob Base Holding ’90s Dance Party

Harrah's Concert Do you like the 90s? Specifically: Do you like the really, really early 90s, perhaps even going so far back as to hit the late 80s? Then Harrah’s Philadelphia, the casino on the waterfront in Chester, has a concert for you: This Friday, July 3rd, DJ Rob Base and Freedom Williams of C+C Music Factory will be performing at a 90s party at the casino’s new Block Entertainment Center.

Rob Base is best known for his 1988 top-40 hit “It Takes Two” with DJ EZ Rock, who died in April of 2014. No other Base song cracked that high on the charts, though Base’s second album went gold. “There are many critics and listeners who claim that Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock’s ‘It Takes Two’ is the greatest hip-hop single ever cut. It’s hard to disagree with them,” Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote at All Music Guide, though I wouldn’t go that far myself.

C+C Music Factory was founded in 1989 by David Cole and Robert Clivillés. Freedom Williams came on as the rapper for the group’s first album, Gonna Make You Sweat. That 1990 release went five-times platinum and spawned three top-5 hits, including chart topper “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).” Read more »

Eastern State Penitentiary to Fling Over 2,000 Tastykakes From Their Towers

"Edith Piaf," AKA John Jarboe

“Edith Piaf,” AKA John Jarboe

There’s a Marie Antoinette impersonator, a drag queen singing French, and a ton of syntetically-produced cakes that are going to fly through the air. Anytime the Bearded Ladies get involved with an event, things are bound to get a little strange, but, this year, their partnership with the Eastern State Penitentiary Bastille Day Celebration is a whole other level of crazy. Read more »

Not Just Aging Hippies at Brian Wilson Show

Brian Wilson at the Mann. Photo by Brad Maule

Brian Wilson at the Mann. Photo by Brad Maule

A friend texted us when we got to the Mann Music Center in Fairmount Park last night to see Brian Wilson: “Saw Liz’s piece about Brian Wilson today. Figured you might be here amidst the aging hippies.” Indeed we were, but there were fewer aging hippies than I’d anticipated. Or, better said, there were a lot of aging hippies but plenty of young people, too. I would characterize the audience mix by the contrast in people in the immediate seats around me. Right in front of me were two guys in their 20s, clean-cut and enthusiastic. In front of them there was a man in his 70s, I’d guess, wearing a calculator watch and what I thought was a hearing aid but which proved to be a profusion of ear hair. They were all white, but there were also people in the vicinity who weren’t. That surprised me, as I tend to think of Brian Wilson/Beach Boys fans as a pretty homogenous bunch, but it wasn’t the last surprise I’d have that evening. Here are 12 Other Surprises From the Brian Wilson/Rodriguez Show at the Mann.

1. Songs by opener Rodriguez were well known by the crowd. The 2012 documentary about Rodriguez Searching for Sugarman not only won the Academy Award, it won every other documentary film award it could possibly scoop up, from Sundance to BAFTA. Still, I had no idea that three years later the man who was essentially a musical oddity in the U.S. would have enough fans that they would clap and cheer with delighted recognition at the opening bars of his songs. Some even sang along. Though he had to be helped on and off the stage by people on either side of him, he was in pretty good voice as he sat in a single spotlight alone and played his guitar. If ever a guy were meant for an intimate venue, it’s Rodriguez, but the Mann’s pavilion—with its homey wooden beams and lightning bugs flickering in the darkness—came close.

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The Stories Behind 5 Philly-Area Landmarks on Coins

Philadelphia will always hold a special place in United States coinage history. After all, the nation’s main minting facility is located in the heart of Philly. For years, Philadelphia was the only city where our national coinage was made (circulating coinage is also now made in Denver). In addition to that, much of our country’s history flourishes right here in Philadelphia. So, it’s no surprise that several Greater Philadelphia Area landmarks are also featured on several of our nation’s coins.

Just in time for Independence Day, here are just five of the Philadelphia landmarks you’ll find on U.S. coins. Use them as a guide to celebrate the Fourth this weekend.

The U.S. Constitution

constitution-dollarIn 1987, the United States honored the bicentennial of our national Constitution with a special commemorative coin featuring this historic document. The 1987 U.S. Constitution silver dollar wasn’t intended to circulate, but these collector coins can be bought for around $25 from almost any coin dealer.

If you want to learn more about the U.S. Constitution, you can stop by the National Constitution Center. Admission is $14.50 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65+ and children age 13 to 18, and $8 for children age 4 to 12. Admission is free to active duty military, museum members, and children age 3 and under.

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Review: Torres At Boot and Saddle

Torres

Singer-songwriter Mackenzie Scott made her way down to South Philly on Saturday night, accompanied by three other bandmates who played backup on keys, electric guitar, bass and drums. Together, the four musicians completed the full Torres ensemble.

Audience members eagerly jammed themselves into the intimate Boot and Saddle venue while a repetitive drumming sequence played through the speakers for ten minutes before Torres took the stage. The percussion soundtrack seemed to simulate an army following their drummer boy into battle. Just as our hearts started to palpitate from the growing intensity, a white-haired Scott with a half topknot do jumped on stage to give her audience a moment of relief. Read more »

IN THE WINGS: Daniel Alexander Jones and Dito van Reigersberg

The Kimmel Center’s Theatre Residency Program features five talented artists who have collaborated with both the Center and New York City’s famed Joe’s Pub for a summer workshop. The goal: develop new works in the heart of the Kimmel’s creative incubator, the SEI Studio. We had a chance to chat with the artists, and this week, we’ll be sharing their answers to our rapid-fire Q&A. Today, we’re featuring artists Daniel Alexander Jones and Philly favorite Dito van Reigersberg.

Daniel Alexander Jones

Daniel Alexander Jones

My name is… Daniel Alexander Jones.

I am a… Boss Read more »

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