Archive: March, 2012
One of the saddest things about finding out that William Shatner was under the weather on the day we were to speak was that the dazzling array of questions I prepared to ask the boldly-going-nowhere, one-man-show actor would go to waste. The Shatner’s World namesake, appearing tonight at Merriam Theater, would have been hard-pressed to answer questions about albums like his Seeking Major Tom as well as those about his past on Philadelphia stages such as his 1951 run at A Shot in the Dark at the Walnut Street Theater with Julie Harris and Walter Matthau. I couldn’t despair too much, though. A few years ago I spoke to Shatner about his recording process and various television gigs for a now-defunct men’s magazine. Shatner was as utterly charming as expected and I'm guessing tonight will be a weird treat.
City Paper: You seem to be comfortable, to an extent, playing into what could be a persona of self-deprecation in terms of making music. What made you decide to go that route?
William Shatner: Delving into my emotional memory … probably “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Someone asked me if I was joking. I have a vague recollection of that first time being shocking that someone would ask me that, because I had a very definite, very serious intent. This conversation took place many times: I’d ask them if they had heard anything else from the album (The Transformed Man, 1968). They always said “no.” They didn’t know what preceded “Lucy.” They didn’t know what followed. All they knew was “wow, what a weird interpretation. Were you joking?” I realized then that people weren’t listening to the album but rather that one cut put out by Rhino. And for that reason, they more or less laughed at it. I … went along with it because there was nothing else I could do.
Reporter Meg Augustin takes you inside some of Philly's most fab dwellings to showcase our city's unique grasp on design and architecture.
Ten years ago, if you heard the word “wallpaper” in a designer’s plan for a room, it was time to bow out. Wallpaper was a time-consuming (and swear-inducing) endeavor that was used to cheaply add poor floral décor to a space. Today, that’s all changed. At some point, wallpaper manufacturers decided to catch up with the times and retire magnolia-and-fern border papers. Now, not only are typical wallpaper creators coming up with new, modern styles, but a bevy of graphic and textile designers are moving their style to the wall. In fact, wallpaper has once again become the hot new way of adding modern, graphic pizzazz to any space.
Luckily, we live in a city that’s at the forefront of design. Queen Village’s Colonial Wallcoverings (707 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-687-6457) has been in business since 1976 — a sign that they not only know wallpaper, but know how to change with the times. Colonial now carries a large collection of wallpapers from the world’s top designers. “My mission,” says owner Paul Sterling, “is… to provide the best designs in wallpaper from skilled designers who recently graduated from design school and those who have been in the business for a long time.” Always looking for new designers, including local ones, Sterling stays on top of the industry, and in some cases, creates it.
For spring, Sterling is looking forward to more colorful designs and more organic themes. “It’s like bringing the Philadelphia Flower Show into your home without the watering part,” he says. Also on the spring forecast are animal prints and bold, colorful designs that match this season’s latest graphics.
We’ve gathered a few of his favorites to showcase what’s on the forefront of wallpaper design.
Every Monday, James Friel rounds up the week's sure-bet live shows.
Monday: Picture yourself painfully crawling through a dark swamp while being chased by some beastly creature. That is what New Jersey sludge metal band Clamfight, (pictured) sounds like with their chunky, punishing guitar and Slayer-esque vocals. It’s true southern sludge. 8 p.m., $5, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 215-291-4919.
Art-geek extraordinaire Courtney Sexton presents a weekly selection of Philly's must-see gallery exhibits.
Portland, Ore., may have the upper hand when it comes to pop-up restaurants, but Philly’s all over pop-up art exhibitions. Elie-Anne Chevrier, a “collector, mid-century connoisseur and all-around treasure hunter,” got the idea for Sugar, Chestnut Hill’s newest art/design boutique, after running a pop-up home store called NOMAD. With NOMAD, Chevrier cultivated a collective space where people felt “at home,” and wanted to expand the concept. “I want guests to experience the art and be inspired by the current show, enjoy our vinyl music collection, live with our home designs and curios and then be able to choose some of these inspirations to take home.”
During the month of March (and perhaps longer), Sugar is hosting its first pop-up art exhibit, “Crystal Days” (yes, that is an Echo and the Bunnymen reference), featuring local artists Douglas Witmer, Timothy Buckwalter, Michael MacFeat and Tami Seymour. Witmer’s definition of “pop-up art” is fluid — “In this case,” he says, “it’s a show in an historic former garage space that [we] were offered with just a few weeks notice.” The exhibit is an eclectic array of fine-art paintings (Witmer’s are mostly in the color-field style), absurdist installations and found-object art. Get on over and get some sugar.
Through March 31, free, Sugar, 12 W. Willowgrove Ave., Chestnut Hill, 267-312-2686, hello-sugar.com.
In Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (read City Paper's review here), Emily Blunt plays Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, who facilitates Dr. Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor’s) efforts to bring a Yemeni Sheikh’s (Amr Waked) fly-fishing dream to the desert. Blunt gets a meaty role in this romantic comedy-drama. From Harriet’s crisis moments when she learns her boyfriend Robert (Tom Mison) goes missing in war, to her budding relationship with Fred, Blunt creates a character that’s engaging. She spoke with City Paper about the film and her related experiences with travel, fly-fishing, romance and crisis.
CP: You tend to play uptight or vulnerable, and Harriet is a little of both. What drew you to this character?
EB: I liked that she was a complex girl in a complex situation — that’s fun to play. She’s bubbly and tenacious and good at her job, but she suffers this loss when her boyfriend goes missing / is presumed dead. What a predicament — to be on this crazy mission with perseverance and hope and she’s feeling grief and loss. She has this huge spirit.
CP: You have some interesting body language in the film — slightly rigid in the early scenes, then depressed and eventually relaxed, romantic. How do you approach your character’s disposition?
Every Friday, Ryan Carey covers the people and events that are giving Philly the giggles.
Local comic Jess Carpenter produces a show at L'Etage on the third Thursday of every month called Comedian Deconstruction. Two or three local standup acts perform a 10- to 15-minute set on a specific theme, and then their act is sketched out by different local improv troupes. Next week's theme is "sports". LOL WITH IT favs Pat Barker and Sydney Gantt will be "deconstructed" by Grimacchio (Jason Grimley and Ralph Andracchio) and Nielsen (Abigail Bruley, Brad Zinn, Dan Corkery, Jacqueline Baker, Kate Banford, Katie Monaco, Meredith Weir, and Molly Silverman).
Carpenter previously paired up groups to comedians via random assignment. Now he says, "I don't do the out-of-the-hat thing anymore, because when certain comedians are paired with specific improv groups, it's really magic."
The anti-fracking group Protecting Our Waters (POW) has seen some major developments recently in the fight against fracking in PA. So to mark their achievements and regroup, they’re joining with Weaver’s Way Co-Op to throw a shindig.
Frackdown Smackdown will be a family-friendly (that means no drinking) benefit featuring folk music, dancing and discussion about the anti-fracking movement’s next moves. Entertainment will be provided by local folk signer/songwriter Tom Gala, fiddler Hollis Payer and the funky Humbleman Band.
There’s going to be food for sale, but supporters are asked to bring their own eating and drinking utensils, and snacks and beverages to share.
Sat., March 10, 7 p.m., $10 suggested donation, Summit Presbyterian Church, 6757 Greene St., 215-768-2698, protectingourwaters.wordpress.com.
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady’s weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): You have a knack for telling your friends exactly what they need to hear in order to evolve; bits of wisdom like prizes in a video game. Ask them to do the same, and collect their bright answers like coins.
Aries (March 21-April 18): To the Aries who is going for the Don Draper Merit Badge for Sleeping With One’s Boss — sure. I like to picture this happening in full Mad Men regalia, but you are sooooo much better than him — all the oomph, but light years more humane.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): If there’s anyone in your past who ever underestimated you and made you feel like you are less than your hot, gorgeous self, mentally compose this email (mentally!) (Heading: Dear Jackass) “Sometimes I think about you and all of the fun you are missing.” Then go out and have some more fun. Ha!
Ezra Miller gives a phenomenal performance as the titular school shooter in We Need to Talk about Kevin (read City Paper's review here), a film especially timely in the wake of the recent high school shooting in Ohio. Miller, who has played a gay teen in Every Day and a recovering drug abuser in Another Happy Day, spoke with City Paper about how he prepared for his breakout role, his own bad behavior, and his experiences playing Egyptian Ratscrew.
City Paper: Given your previous screen roles, it seemed only a matter of time before I saw you play a full-on raging psycho. What appealed to you about playing Kevin?
Ezra Miller: It was a long time coming. Initially when I read the script, [Kevin] struck me as someone whose persona and actions were difficult to understand, but I found an avenue, a channel to identify with him on a basic, primal human level — he is a kid who wants his mother’s love and attention. Building on the fundamental elements of wanting love [provides] strong justifications that guide him through his deed. What lies beneath is something very basic and human. As an actor, it continued to provide a challenge and excitement through the whole process.
CP: Did you have fears that this performance would lead to you being stereotyped for future roles?
EM: Certainly that’s a concern, but it comes down to a choice. I will always have an option, and because I feel wary of getting pigeonholed, as it were, I will be selectively avoiding roles that fall down the same alley for a while. It is quite fun, and you see and understand how villain actors can get stuck on that track — it is a joyous endeavor. You explore characters with vast complexity and they contain multitudes. I want to keep going to new places. I’ll be saying no to some killer [roles] in near future.
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