Archive: February, 2012
Parting is sweet sorrow, no doubt. So we’re particularly sorrowful now that the Pennsylvania Ballet’s principal dancer Riolama Lorenzo has retired. The Cuban-born, one-time New York City Ballet dancer has been with the PaBa for 10 years, taking on famed roles such as Giselle with grace. Last weekend she did her final performances at the Merriam, took her emotional final bows on Sunday and danced through her choice of Matthew Neenan’s Keep as her last performance. The entirety of the night’s program Pushing Boundaries: Forsythe & Neenan was stirring but Lorenzo’s last blast was something all-together different — joyful and sad all in one moment. Sigh. (For more, see Janet Anderson’s review here.)
It’s no secret that Il Portico on Walnut Street does the old world Tuscan dining thing — subtly spiced baby lamb chops, pillowy pastas, a radically tender veal Osso Bucco — to perfection. They’ve got towering crystal chandeliers and an elegant environment of deep mahoganies — very sexy. But on Valentine’s Day, executive chef/owner Al Delbello kicked off a musical program in Il Portico’s upstairs space, Club Adesso, with disco-phonic DJ Jimmy DePre (he learned under Jerry Blavat). Along with DePre, there will be live Latin and small jazz ensembles throughout the weeks to come. Fans of Rittenhouse Row know Adesso from its heated hip-hop weekend soirees. Be about it.
We named this year's fiction judge a little bit ago. It's Duane Swierczynski, former City Paper editor in chief and a the author of cult fave crime novels like The Wheelman, The Blonde and more. The new one, Point and Shoot, which comes out March 7. He has killed a lot of people (only on paper, far as we know).
Well, we finally have a poetry judge! Meet Brian Teare (pictured), award-winning poet and assistant prof at Temple University. He's been published in Volt, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review and a bunch of other places. He's the author of three collections so far, and his fourth, Companion Grasses, comes out next year.
So there it is. The people you need to impress. The deadline is Feb. 29. The rest of the info you need is right here.
The Philly Youth Poetry Movement will set hearts ablaze
With the Dream Big Literary Arts Festival that spans four days.
This one's all about activism, literacy, and peace
Through events like a poetry slam, speech contest, and spelling bee.
There will be an open mic and workshops galore
As well as an MC battle to settle any score.
We'll see Mayor Nutter and hip-hop artist Black Thought from The Roots.
Youth can register online to prove their voices aren't mute.
Friday's Slam League Kick-Off at Franklin Institute is free for all.
Monday is for community service; no act is too small.
This festival will push every young person to soar,
Or at the very least, it won't be a bore.
Photo by Kendall Whitehouse
Movie critic (and the guy who compiles our weekly repertory film listings) Michael Gold reviews his favorite Netflix Instant flick of the week.
Whether by Twitter, Tumblr or text message, all you hear from TV-lovin’ couch potatoes these days is Downton Abbey this, Downton Abbey that. Maggie Smith is on more lips than Miley Cyrus, and PBS has achieved a newfound relevance more shocking than the meteoric rise of an Asian-American Harvard grad in the NBA. Despite the efforts of many a critic, Generation Me’s obsession with an Edwardian costume drama remains largely unexplained.
Truth be told, I don’t find Downton diphtheria (think Bieber fever for people with discerning taste) so surprising. Especially since it was only 11 years ago that Robert Altman tapped into America’s hidden love for the British gentry when he released Gosford Park. Also starring Dame Maggie as a sharp-tongued countess, Gosford Park combines its intricate class study with an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. Gorgeous camerawork immerses viewers in a lush country estate, making us flies on the wall as upstairs-downstairs tensions boil and the quarrels of the highborn unfold. Though the first season of Downton is streaming on Netflix as well, Gosford Park’s biting take on the supposed travails of the wealthy makes it well worth a watch.
Every week, Chris Brown digs into our listings bin and pulls out a little something-something to do every day of the week.
Each week, Michael Gold breezes past those big-name theater companies to turn a spotlight on Philly's indie stages.
“Was that my dad?” That was Sharon Van Etten's response when someone in the sold-out crowd at Johnny Brenda's professed their love for her. She looked like she was at home, coyly joking with the audience, which lost it when she proclaimed her song "Love More" was "born and raised in Philadelphia."
The audience's admiration swelled as she played through most of her acclaimed new album, Tramp (Jagjaguwar). The Jersey-born folk-rock songstress’s live performance had a maturity that was matched with the heartfelt, passionate voice she’s known for. But this time around, the songs seemed to hold more weight, like they were more important than before. And there was lots of variety. Harmonium accompaniment created a delicate air around “All I Can”; “Leonard” was full-on indie-pop; and “Serpents,” the first single off Tramp, rocked in a way that could’ve moved a larger venue than Brenda’s.
The opening act, Austin, Texas’s Shearwater, picked many songs from their latest, Animal Joy (Sub Pop). Their energized post-rock leaning alt-folk was elegant. Many songs, such as “You As You Were,” twinkled on the edges. But each sounded like it could reveal a bigger story than what was noticed by crowd. Lead singer Johnathan Meiburg had a voice that sounded god-sized, as if it could move an ocean. With the waves they made, I bet this band’s next appearance in Philly won’t be as an opening act.
CP contributor Chris Brown put his iPod on shuffle. This is where it led him ...
1. "I Am Ahab" — Mastodon
In hindsight, the guys in Mastodon may have shot themselves in the foot by releasing so many high-level concept albums on the heels of one another. Then again, no one could have predicted The Hunter would have been such a massive letdown. Fortunately, this song is from Leviathan, which is anything but a downer. It's a musical interpretation of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, which is as awesome as it sounds.
Reporter Meg Augustin takes you inside some of Philly's most fab dwellings to showcase our city's unique grasp on design and architecture.
Shauna Alterio and Stephen Loidol (pictured), the artistic couple behind Forage Bow Ties and the blog Something’s Hiding in Here, have managed to stay married for 12 years, which is no easy feat if you're living and working in the same space. “It comes down to trust,” says Shauna. “Trust,” Stephen echoes, “and we’re comfortable and know what each other brings to the table.” After years of working with one another, the duo co-creates everything from ties and cute mustache-on-a-sticks to music boxes and letterpress cards, some of which can be bought on their Etsy page.
The couple met while studying art in Kansas City. “It was in a kissing booth at a school carnival,” Shauna reminisces, “and I paid.” She studied printmaking and letterpress and he was in sculpture. Shauna, a year ahead, had to pack up for her graduate work in Detroit after only about a year of dating. She chose Detroit’s Cranbrook on the basis that it had been the school where Charles and Ray Eames first met and fell in love. If that wasn’t romantic enough, Stephen proposed to her before sher left, and the couple married not long after.
Shauna eventually got a job at Anthropoligie, which is the reason they moved to Philadelphia. It was here they found their glorious renovated loft that functions as part work space, part living space. And it’s wholly inspiring.
The large home is part of a converted tire factory in the Tacony area. Since their six years in the loft, the space has reflected their lives, work and love. “When we first moved in, we just bought a bunch of furniture to fill the huge space,” says Stephen. Since settling in, however, the couple has donned it with a constant rotation of collections, furniture, art and work spaces that have evolved with their interests. Previous home tours of the space featured whimsical wallpapers and brighter colors but now the space is slightly more refined, subtle and romantic. “We are a product of our environment,” notes Stephen, “We put a lot of energy into decorating because it inspires our work.”
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