Archive: February, 2011
Neighborhood Watch usually looks for Philly's most fashionable, but this week Kala focuses on the stars who strutted down the red carpet at last night's Oscar ceremony.
In the wake of what many are calling the worst Oscars broadcast ever (they say that every year), what else can we do but feast our eyes on the styles of cinema's elite?
Anne Hathaway wore eight different dresses while she was on stage (and each was sincerely remarkable), so we'll only comment on her red carpet Valentino, the biggest miss. The bust seems ill-fitting, and the huge bustles are reminiscent of tumors. This red seems like a bit much for hershe wore a deeper, richer red dress on stage that suited her far better.
Amy Adams' look is almost perfect. The L'Wren Scott dress is a gorgeous color and looks fabulous on her body, but that necklace is all kinds of wrong. She should have worn her hair up as well.
Both Black Swan ladies pulled out the purple this year, and Mila's light-lavender Elie Saab is to die for. Perfect for her coloring, and the romantic draping and delicate lace suits her.
Absolutely perfect. This Marchesa is so age-appropriate, chic and lovely on Hailee. The gold shoes seem like an odd choice, but everything else comes together fabulously.
Bright red, skintight, and boob-tastic? This screams Baywatch. She looks absolutely fantastic, but the Oscars call for something more formal than this Calvin Klein.
Obviously this showy Versace worships Jennifer's new svelte figure, and the color is perfect for her. However, it's doing horrible things to her boobs.
This Givenchy couture gown landed on some worst-dressed lists, but it's perfectly keeping with Cate's typical red-carpet risk-taking. It's delightfully unusual, visually interesting, and she's rocking the hell out of it. Not many women could pull this off. She can, and that's why it works.
Man, did Melissa ever crave that Oscar, which was adorable, but this Marc Bouwer dress is mostly a miss. The lace over-shiny gold foil is bold, but it does look a little like a doily, and the sleeves and color are stiff and ridiculous.
Bow down, ladies. Helen consistently dresses better than girls 40 years her junior. The Color, style and fit are all fantastic on this Vivienne Westwood.
Leave it to Helena to bring the crazy. This actually doesn't look bad on her. Everyone expected her to show up wearing a reconstructed piñata or something equally insane. She just looks like a Goth barmaid. Seems like a step in the right direction.
This 50s couture Charles James moved beautifully on Marisa, but it's a bizarre dress. That tulle seems like it's a different color than the rest of the dress, but not enough so that it seems deliberate. The bottom seems like it's stapled on as an afterthought.
Gwyneth's skirt is very cool with its fluid-like shimmer, but I'm not loving the dropped waist and the neckline is absurd on this Calvin Klein. She should have done something more interesting with her hair.
It's hilarious how much taller Nicole is than her husband. She got some flak for this Dior, but it's original and the beading is lovely. The problem is the color, which washes her out.
Color is great on Sandra, and it's a nice silhouette, but she could have stepped it up with something more interesting than this Vera Wang.
Halle always looks fabulous (oh, how women loathe her), but the color on this Marchesa isn't great, and the messy tulle at the bottom looks like she got into a fight with Portman's Black Swan character.
Like Helen, Annette looks fabulous in a silver-grey. Attention-grabbing without being in-your-face, visually interesting, and the perfect fit on this Ermenegildo Zegna.
This Armani fits Reese beautifully, but it's really boring and a little out of style. Whatever was going on with her Barbie clip-on ponytail was not okay, though.
Okay, I just threw him in so we can all laugh at his scraggly moonshiner beard.
(All photos from nymag.com's Vulture blog.)
Man Cave is a testosterone-laden Monday feature that highlights the weekend haps of an everyday, pop culture-loving Philly dude.
Saturday night I went to N'East for a stand-up competition at the Comedy Cabaret. Congrats to Mike Casey, Tom Cassidy, Mary Radzinsky and Nick Baker. They'll be competing along with Frank Genzano, Bob Marsdale, Erin Mulville and James Royale for a cash prize this Friday at the Cabaret (11580 Roosevelt Blvd, 9 p.m.).
After that, I shot down to Center City for the late show at Chris' Jazz Café where tenor saxophonist Korey Riker and his band played his new CD, Prehumous. Riker who's played with The Roots, John Legend, Erykah Badu cranked his lively album over two robust sets. Supported by an upright bassist, keys/pianist, drummer and brief guest trombonist, the 31-year-old saxophonist wailed his modal, Coltrane-summoning heart out with original licks and deliciously sloppy solos from everyone in the band till last call at 2 a.m.
Sunday night was all about the Oscars. I found five moments more memorable than the rest ...
5) Marissa Leo gets Tourette's. Even though her speech was plenty awkward well before it had to get delayed for an "F"-bomb surprise.
4) True Grit Spoiler Alert! The Oscars may not realize their gaffe showing Josh Brolin get shot in the chest on national television but to be fair, the original film won the Duke an Acadamy Award in 1969, so there's no true western fan who hasn't been given a fair chance to enjoy the plot.
3) You know you're up there in age when Michael Douglas is your son. Kirk Douglas shows Dick Clark who's boss in the "too old for TV" department. YIKES!
2) James Franco dons a dress (and wig). Turns out "Holywood Pretty-Boy" is just an expression. *shudder*
1) The King's Speech wins Best Picture. Kudos to the Academy for awarding the top prize to what they thought was simply the best film, rather than giving in to pressure from the defining epic of contemporary America (The Social Network). They already made that mistake in '94 with Forrest Gump whose Best Picture contenders (Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption and Four Weddings and a Funeral) have all arguably aged better. Personally, I enjoyed The Social Network more, but this ain't the peeps' choice awards; it's the academic elite, keeping it real.
Monday: When Marc Broussard opens his mouth, the storied legacy of Louisiana blues pours out. With three albums including a collection of soul favorites to cull from, Broussard's live shows are electric in every manner. Always appearing with an incredibly tight backing band, Broussard's music is gritty, soulful and downright American. Broussard's recently been drifting closer to the rhythm side of rhythm and blues, but he maintains the heartfelt delivery of the Delta. w/ Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, 8 p.m., $29.50, Sellersville Theater, 24 West Temple Ave., 215-257-5808.
Tuesday: If you have yet to experience the joy that is a Jonathan Richman concert, now is the time. The pioneer of indie pop returns for another career-spanning set of wide-eyed romantic tunes. Things you are bound to hear: selections from his latest release (last year's O Moon, Queen Of Night On Earth), staples from his catalogue like "I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar" and "Pablo Picasso," and at least a few songs sung in Spanish. For your visual enjoyment, Richman will show off his dance moves which, as you know if you've already seen him, are second to none. 8 p.m., $17.50, $15, First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 215-563-3980.
Wednesday: Local treasure Jim Boggia does not, in fact, belong in a museum. Sure, he mines pop music's more obscure history for forgotten gems and songwriting tricks, but his own music is refreshing and modern. He also has a knack for roping in other top-notch musicians for his albums and live shows. For this performance, Boggia will be joined by Tracy Bonham who, in addition to a Grammy-winning rock career, boasts her own eclectic musical tastes. w/ Bleu, 8 p.m., $18 - $20, World Café Live
Thursday: It's time to get old timey, folks! The Carolina Chocolate Drops are one of the finest interpreters of traditional bluegrass tunes around today. Not only that, but the instrument-switching trio has a knack for rearranging contemporary tunes into older styles. Century-old songs of the Carolinas are played with reverent precision, though the guys and gal have plenty of fun while they're at it. The Chocolate Drops' latest album, Genuine Negro Jig, has brought them a heap of well-deserved acclaim, so come see what all the hollerin' is about. w/Birdie Busch & The Great Unknown, 8 p.m., $25, TLA, 334 South St., 215-922-1011.
Friday: Though they tried (very creatively) to sidestep the possibility of their new album leaking to the internet, Akron/Family's latest eventually did just that. Their efforts were not in vain, though, as Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT remains a confounding and impressive record. The first part of the record's unwieldy title is appropriate enough; this is their second album with their streamlined lineup. Though they're now a trio, Akron/Family still manages to fill up every possible space with boundless creativity. w/ Delicate Steve & The Love Club, 8:30 p.m., $10 - $13, The Blockley Pourhouse, 38th & Chestnut Sts., 215-222-1234.
Saturday: He Gets Me High, the new EP from the Dum Dum Girls, suggests a more diverse set of influences than their already extraordinary debut, I Will Be. Aside from a Smiths cover are three new originals that find Dee Dee and the gang in a much more brooding rocker pose. Think more Velocity Girl than girl groups. It's quite a remarkable turn considering that most fans would've likely been fine with more of the garage-punk blasts that the Girls have perfected. Still, this is one new direction that's well-executed and just plain rocks. w/ MINKS, Party Photographers, Dirty Beaches¸9 p.m., $12, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684.
Sunday: If the Wu-Tang Clan had an artsy counterpart (which it does), it would be Minneapolis' Doomtree (which it is). Their assemblage of emcees, DJs and producers is a mainstay of the city's musical community, with members having worked with acclaimed projects like Gayngs and Atmosphere. Andrew Sims (just Sims to you and me) is one of Doomtree's newest breakouts, having released a new solo album in mid-February. A fusion of hip-hop, electronica and avant-jazz, Bad Time Zoo is a fascinating and intricately-crafted record. Seeing as how Doomtree is a very fluid project, expect at least a few other members to make an appearance during Sims' set. w/ Astronautalis, Zilla Persona & Voss, 7 p.m., $10, The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave., 267-671-9298.
In contrast to our weekly dude column Man Cave, I Am Woman adds a feminine touch by chronicling the weekend adventures of a single Philadelphia socialite.
I should buy stock in H&M. All the cash I've spent in that store would make me one rich investor. What started out as a simple return on Friday, turned into a shopping spree thanks to a 50-percent-off sale that provided incentive to stay. Plus, spring is approaching, which means all of my favorite stores are rolling out new merch. So I have this irrepressible obligation to buy, buy, buy. And the shops in Rittenhouse, I'm sure, will thank me for it.
Saturday I wanted to reward myself for the amazing job I've been doing in school lately so I went for a simple manicure/pedicure and called up a few friends for lunch that afternoon. The meal was decent and the price was reasonable. I had to let my wallet heal from the beating I gave it shopping. We capped the night off by seeing Blue Valentine at the Ritz. I really liked it because it doesn't showcase the typical Disney-fied love story where everything is perfect. It also feed my anti-Valentine emotions that were still lingering. I am not a pessimistic person when it comes to love and romance. I just have a love/hate relationship with love much like the love/hate relationship I have with John Mayer or red meat.
The following day I took a drive out to West Philadelphia for a get together my friend Aaron was hosting. I was not in the mood to go because Aaron and his significant other have the type of relationship that feels like it's being crammed down your throat. But at least it would provide me an opportunity to wear one of my new outfits. I would just sit happily through the story about how they met at Woody's if they dared to tell it for the millionth time. I secretly wanted to Blue Valentine their love. At his house Aaron made martini's so the constant eye batting between the two love birds was ironically easier to handle.
This year's Oscars went back to the old formula of humor and entertainment. The underrated Anne Hathaway hosted with glamour and charm. Smug and annoying James Franco (who I prefer stuck in the cave) hung out in his suit. She could have hosted it herself, actually. Maybe next year.
It started with a dramatic countdown of nominee clips, and then the time-old favorite of inserting the hosts into the reels. Hathaway danced the "Brown Duck" at Natalie Portman's Nina, feathers falling everywhere, while Franco stood there in a bodysuit. Hathaway and Franco rode into Alec Baldwin's psyche a la Inception, after Baldwin was about to give the secret to hosting the Oscars, only to be knocked out by his Ambien Capri Sun. Morgan Freeman's voice came on during the elevator ride, and I just knew he'd be standing there. It turns out to be Franco's dream, though, and both take the Back To The Future car to the Oscars.
What the hell was Franco doing with a cell phone when they walked out? God, what a prick. Their opener was funny, Franco complimenting Hathaway, who said, "You look very appealing to a younger demographic as well." Hathaway gave a shoutout to her mom, whom we saw stand up. I thought it was an awkward distraction until I realized she was mic'd. "Stand up straight honey," she said, "Mr. Steven Spielberg is here." So cute. Franco's grandmother stood up and made a joke about Marky Mark. (I don't have to say that Franco sucks, do I? Ok, then.)
Next came a retrospective on Gone With the Wind and Titanic (sniffle) for winning Oscar trifectas. Alice In Wonderland took Best Art Direction, and Inception took Best Cinematography. Neither a big surprise. So far everyone seems to be respecting the time limit.
Legendary actor Kirk Douglas presented Best Supporting Actress, but the dude was having a senior moment and had trouble speaking. For a while he went off on tangents and cracked jokes on actors in the front rows, and I was getting pret-ty nervous. Finally he said "Melissa Leo," and there was a sigh of relief. Leo was humble and flustered, and oops! dropped an F-bomb. Fucking finally it is primetime. Anne Hathaway made the weirdest noise after introducing Justin Timberlake, kind of like a bark. I guess it was nerves.
JT confessed that he is Banksy. I'm so happy he got that off his chest. Toy Story 3 won Best Animated Feature like everyone thought it would, followed by more old movie tributes. Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin came out dressed like Mark Twain for some reason, to present the Screenplay awards. Their shiny all-white tuxes were very dapper. Aaron Sorkin won Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network. Winter's Bone was much more deserving. That film flowed like hot butter. And I'm so tired of that merely cool movie being treated like a work of genius. Sorkin wouldn't shut up and got cut off by music.
David Seidler won Best Original Screenplay for The King's Speech, which cleaned house tonight with four wins. Seidler, who's up in years with hair as white as Bardem's and Brolin's suits, began, "My father always said to me, I would be a late bloomer."
Hathaway opened the next bit in a Liza-esque suit, and broke into song about Hugh Jackman not duetting with her. She would fit in on any Broadway musical, and she could've done something more ambitious. Franco came out dressed like Marilyn, and made a Sheen joke ...
Russell Brand and Helen Mirren presented Best Foreign Language film. (Dogtooth y'all! FTW! Pleeease?!?!) Brand and Mirren did their bit, and my pick was beat out by In A Better World. I'm pretty sure the voice-over announcer stuttered on "academy." Oops.
Reese Witherspoon presented Best Supporting Actor, which went to Christian Bale for The Fighter. Meh. I think it was weight-loss/career length points. Bale's performance was convincing, but not outstanding. My picks were Jeremy Renner for The Town or John Hawkes for Winter's Bone. At least Bale managed to wrap things up without the music.
Aussies Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman presented Best Original Score, with the orchestra playing classics from E.T. and Star Wars. To my frustration, it went to mother-effing The Social Network. It should have gone to Inception for its score's intricacy and suspense. Inception did manage to pick up Sound Mixing and Editing.
Cate Blanchett (one of my favorites; chameleon extraordinaire) presented Best Makeup and Best Costume Design. She said, "That's gross" at The Wolfman, which won Best Makeup; and Alice in Wonderland's Colleen Atwood picked up Costume Design, her third win. Atwood then bored us with a stuffy speech and got the GTFO music.
Coolest speech of the night was from Luke Matheny, who won Best Short Film for God of Love. "Oh wow, I shoulda gotten a haircut," he said under a mess of curls. He went on, "Finally my mother, who did craft services for the film," which got a round of applause, and called his girlfriend his "dream come true." Really rad, dude. I'm gonna see his movie just for that.
Gawd, Anne Hathaway's dresses are gorgeous. The blue one; you can't deny the blue one. What if Exit Through the Gift Shop won? Who would accept Banksy's award? We'll never know; Inside Job got it. Bob Hope retrospective y'all; he's still kinda funny. Inception got a well-deserved Visual Effects win. I loved how subtle its use of computer graphics was.
A.R. Rahman's and Florence Welch's performance of "If I Rise" from 127 Hours featured her haunting voice and dramatic lighting. Hey, it's Celine Dion! (For the In Memoriam part.) OMG, that old lady from Titanic just died! Leslie Nielsen is dead? So are legends Dino de Laurentiis and Lena Horne. Halle Berry, who's still stunning, did a tribute to Horne, whom she admired during her emotional acceptance speech in 2002. And The King's Speech got Best Director for Tom Hooper.
Seriously? Best Actress and Actor before 11:30? You guys rock! Jeff Bridges presented Best Actress. Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Williams were outstanding and truly deserved their noms, but Portman's been a shoe-in for months. And she won. Her speech showed loyalty and gratitude, and it's a softer Portman than I remember seeing.
Colin Firth, ev-eryone's pick, won Best Actor for The King's Speech. "I have a feeling my career has just peaked," he started. He tried to finish, he said, before his "stirrings" to dance made their way to his legs. And finally, "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some impulses I have to attend to backstage." Only he could get away with sounding like, well, the king of England.
The King's Speech won Best Picture for a quadruple-whammy of Best Actor, Original Screenplay, and Director as well. I'm just happy it wasn't The Social Network. 'Cause all unauthorized biographies of billionaires are comparable to Citizen Kane, don't ya know.
A kids' chorus from PS 22 in Staten Island finished the night off. Now kids' choruses can get away with some mediocre stuff, but not these guys, who did a perfect "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The T-shirts were not so appropriate for the occasion, though. The curtain rose and the hosts and all of the winners walked out. Now that is a proper ending.
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC Love is as mysterious as the night, full of sensuality, intrigue, and passion. A Little Night Music is a musical about these themes of love and its limitless possibilities. Runs through March 13, $5-$16, Kelsey Theatre, Mercer Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Rd, West Windsor, NJ, 609-570-3333.
|Rob McClure as Mozart|
AMADEUS Experience the critically acclaimed Amadeus at the Walnut Street Theater. See the confrontation between mediocrity and genius and between the court composer Salieri and God. Runs through March 6, $10-$85, Walnut Street Theatre, Main Stage, 825 Walnut St., 215-574-3550.
CATS One of the world's acclaimed musicals opens The New Candlelight Theatre's 2011 season. With all the lights, costumes, and spectacle, Cats will have you purring, or maybe licking on the poor chap next to you. Runs through March 12, $15-$55, New Candlelight Theatre, 2208 Millers Rd., Ardentown, DE, 302-475-2313.
DOUBT Still cringe at the thought of nuns teaching (and beating) you back in Catholic school? Doubt is about one nun's desire to keep tradition alive in a changing word and changing church. Runs through March 20, $12, Old Academy Players, 3544 Indian Queen Ln., 215-843-1109.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS Being forced to read this in high school probably blinded you to the seat-gripping story. Boy from the wrong side of the tracks chasing a rich girl, a convicted thug on the run, and who can forget Miss Havisham? Runs through March 5, $10-$15, Curio Theatre Co., 815 S. 48th St., 215-525-1350.
GUYS AND DOLLS Got a gambling problem? "Guys and Dolls" is about one man's reform and how he helps his friends find repentance for their own sins. Runs through March 12, $10-$17, Shannondell at Valley Forge Performing Arts Center, 10000 Shannondell Drive, Audubon, 610-277-9505.
|Anthony DeSando as Don Juan|
JULIUS CAESAR Director Mark Wade reimagines Shakespeare's classic with an all-female cast. Runs through March 6, $10-$15, Arcadia University MainStage, 450 S Easton Rd, Glenside, 215-572-2112.
DON JUAN Quintessence Theatre Group presents the greatest lover in history, Don Juan, and his conquest of every woman's heart in the Italian countryside. Runs through March 13, $10-$30, Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave., 215-248-92298206.
RABBIT HOLE Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, a family falls through a rabbit hole and learns to deal with tragedy in order to find hope and meaning in life. Runs through March 12, $10-$12, Forge Theatre, 241 First Ave., Pheonixville, 610-935-1920.
SHIRLEY VALENTINE A wisecracking comedy about a middle-aged English women named Shirley and her lust for adventure. Runs through March 13, $10-$25, Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Rd., Media, 610-565-4211.
THE CRUCIBLE Witchcraft and wizardry isn't as cute and cuddly as Harry Potter suggests. Taking place during the Salem Witch Trials, "The Crucible" tells a deceitful tale about the lies and betrayal surrounding the accusations. Runs through March 18, $13-$21, Tri-Pac Performing Arts Center & Village Productions, 245 E High St, Pottstown.
|Brian Sydney Benbridge|
THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL First NASCAR, now musical theater: It looks like hicks won't stop at anything in their attempts to take over the entertainment industry. This doozey of a comedy is about a trailer park turned upside down by its newest resident, a stripper. Pull out the Miller Lights and lawn chairs ready for this one. Runs through March 3, $28-$37, Montgomery Theater, 124 Main St., Souderton, 215-723-9984.
THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE This dark comedy set in Ireland promises to be the goriest event of the season. Directed by Matt Pfeiffer. Runs through March 13, $18-$40, Plays & Players Theater, 1714 Delancey Street, 215-735-0630.
THE UGLY ONE Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the ugliest of them all? When a salesman finds out he's too ugly to sell his own product he turns to the knife for a face lift that will hopefully raise his sales figures too. Runs through March 2, $30, Walnut Street Theatre, Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut St., 215-574-3550.
Need more drama? You'll find more in our theater event listings database.
|Dafni D. Comerota|
|Meryl Levitz, Ed Cambron, Anne Ewers and Roz McPhearson|
|Rames and Hoyt|
|Nice knees ...|
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