China’s Beautiful and Famous Hua Ballet Comes to Merriam Theater on Wednesday, August 28

The Liaoning Ballet of China (Hua Ballet), one of China’s most famous ballet ensembles, brings the magic of Mulan to the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia.

The notable ballet ensemble has dedicated over 35 years to producing new Chinese cultural works and performing beloved ballet classics.

The show will grace the Merriam Theater’s stage on the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus on Wednesday, August 28, at 7 p.m.

This time-honored company toured the world and …

Legally Blonde: The Musical Charms Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre

[Kathryn Brunner plays Elle Woods – Photo by Mark Garvin]

Watching Elle Woods “bend and snap” her way into our hearts in Legally Blonde: The Musical is the perfect way to spend a summer evening.

Concluding its 210th season, the Walnut Street Theatre is hosting the show, directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford. The high-energy musical continues through Sunday, July 14.

Based on the smash hit movie, Legally Blonde: The Musical follows the transformation …

‘Book Of Mormon’ Announces Lottery Ticket Policy For National Tour!

(PCM) THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, is pleased to announce a lottery ticket policy for the National Tour, which begins May 28 at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and plays a limited two-week engagement through June 9. In Philadelphia, the production will conduct a pre-show lottery at the Academy of Music Box Office, making a limited number of tickets available at $25 apiece.

The wildly popular …

Molly Pope’s Candid Musical Polly Mope Comes to the Kimmel Center

Molly Pope stars in Polly Mope at the Kimmel Center

Performer Molly Pope could have been daunted by her mental health issues, but instead, she has turned them into a witty, candid and intimate musical.

Her live show, Polly Mope, is playing to the Kimmel Center’s SEI Innovation Studio from Thursday, May 9 through Saturday, May 11.

Born out of Pope’s time as a Kimmel Center Theater Residency artist in 2017, her performance is …

The Complete List of 2019 Tony Award Nominees

Tony Awards 2019

The complete list of nominations for the 2019 Tony Awards has been released. This year, Hadestown leads all nominees with a total of 14 nominations including Best Musical. Other serious Tony contenders this year are Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations which is nominated for 12 awards and Tootsie which garnered 11 nominations.

In Plays, The Ferryman and To Kill a Mockingbird each received 9 nominations, tied for most in …

Didi Conn on Grease, Middletown and Enduring Friendship

[Didi Conn with Adrian Zmed in the new play Middletown]

Sometimes life imitates art. Just ask Didi Conn, whose recent stage reunion with old friends is giving us a  happy walk down memory lane and attracting new pals.

Conn is best known as Frenchy the “beauty school drop-out” in Grease, the John Travolta-Olivia Newton-John classic movie musical that has celebrated its 40th Anniversary, and she continues to have an active career as an actress, …

Georgia Engel, Television And Broadway Star, Dies At 70

Georgia Engel

Georgia Engel at the Leonard Goldenson Theatre in 2008 (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Veteran television and broadway star Georgia Engel has died. She was 70 years old. The beloved actress enjoyed an incredible career on stage and screen that lasted almost 50 years.

Engle was cast as Georgette Franklin Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1972. She played the character until 1977 when the show ended. During that time, she garnered two Emmy Award …

‘Frozen’ Marks First Anniversary on Broadway, Announces International Productions

Nearly one year ago, on March 22, 2018, the new Broadway musical Frozen opened at New York’s historic St. James Theatre and became an instant hit. Frozen has been in the top 10 best-selling shows every week since its opening, grossing more than any new Broadway musical since Hamilton and setting four St. James Theatre house records in less than a year. Now, in celebration of the musical’s first smash year on Broadway, Disney Theatrical …

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella Brings Magic to the Philadelphia Broadway Series

Kaitlyn Mayse fell in love with musical theater at the tender age of seven when she played a munchkin in a high school performance of The Wizard of Oz.

Already a dancer from the age of three or four, Kaitlyn said she knew during that first show that she had “caught the acting bug.”

The 25-year-old St. Louis native has performed in Oklahoma, Beauty and the Beast, Ragtime and Rapunzel, and now she is starring …

Jorrel Javier Shines in The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

[Jorrel Javier (far left) and the cast of the Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical]

Ever since Jorrel Javier was a young boy, the Lightning Thief book series truly captured his imagination, so it seems fated that he would be on stage in The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.  

The high energy and clever show, which has something to offer both young and old, is making its international touring debut at the Merriam

The Goldbergs Debuts on Television January 1949

There seems to be a debate as to when The Goldbergs made it’s television debut on   the NBC network.  The split is between January 10th and January 17th of 1949.  Whatever date the show actually debuted that was not the beginning of the story of The Goldbergs.  The Story of the Goldbergs starts at the turn of the 18th into the 19th century and is both joyful, exciting and tragic.

Gertrude …

Carole King Surprises Beautiful Audience on Broadway

The Fifth Anniversary performance of Beautiful –The Carole King Musical had a truly memorable surprise for the audience —  Carole King stepped on stage and sang with the cast.

The rock and roll icon went on stage of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre as the hit musical celebrates its fifth anniversary on Broadway. This took place on Saturday, Jan. 12.

For the first time in the show’s history, King stepped into the role of herself and …

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Returns to Philadelphia

[Dylan Wallach and Sarah Bockel as Carole King and Gerry Goffin]

Music is clearly a universal language that transports us to a place and time where we first heard a melody or a song and we associate that song with that memory.

So when we sit in the audience and listen to Dylan Wallach portray the icon songwriter Gerry Goffin croon the love song Up on the Roof, we might just remember hearing that tune …

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical Delights Philadelphia Audiences

(PCM) Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch is arguably one of the most beloved characters of the holiday season, so we were absolutely delighted to learn that “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” would be coming to Philadelphia’s Merriam Theather to ignite our holiday spirit.

The Grinch took over the city of Philadelphia on the opening night featuring many festivities including a SEPTA bus decked out in Grinch decor where they were handing out …

The Grinch is Coming to Steal Christmas in Philadelphia This Holiday Season

What better way to start the holiday season than to spend an evening with a tall grouchy green guy who will surely steal your heart?

So head to Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical when it makes its Philadelphia premiere from Wednesday, Dec. 19-Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Kimmel Center’s Merriam Theater.

It will be a delightful time with Cindy Lou Who, her family, the rest of the adorable residents of Whoville, …

Mary Poppins Returns

 

Directed by Rob Marshall

Starring Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda

Music and Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Williams

Based upon the Mary Poppins Novels by PL Travers

 

Wow!!!  That says it all after seeing the sequel to the 1964 Walt Disney Studio hit Mary Poppins.  Mary Poppins Returns is a marvelous magical musical movie, and where Disney returned to it’s roots with The Little Mermaid back in the early 90s. now …

Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical Arrives In Philly For The Holiday Season!

(PCM) If you were hanging around Philadelphia at any time over the course of the Thanksgiving holiday, you most certainly could have had a run in with Dr. Suess’ famous character The Grinch! Mr. Grinch was all over the place on Black Friday, stopping by the Philadelphia Flyers game to have a meet-up with mascot Gritty on the ice, visiting ice skaters at the Blue Cross RiverRink and finally switching on the lights at the …

World Premiere of Madcap Musical Farce The Rivals Shines in Suburban Philadelphia

Rarely do theatergoers have the pleasure of watching an engaging, well-written, and beautifully-performed mapcap musical like The Rivals and also making theater history at the same time.

(Erin Mackey and Kevin Massey in The Rivals at the Bristol Riverside Theatre)

The world premiere of this charming new musical comedy, running through November 18 at the Bristol Riverside Theatre, is based on the famously funny farce about Mrs. Malaprop and has the perfect blend of ingredients …

Noah Weisberg’s Willy Wonka Provides a Sweet Treat for All of Our Senses

It is a journey of Pure Imagination in the current Philadelphia Tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory From the moment Willie Wonka steps on the stage at the Academy of Music he takes his audience on a tasty and magical journey sure to enliven all of our senses.

Wearing his signature fuchsia velvet coat and top hat, the endearing and tricky chocolate factory owner with a big marketing plan is hosting its colorful splendor …

Fiddler on the Roof Dances its way into Philadelphia Broadway Series

The beloved classic Fiddler on the Roof comes to Philadelphia for the first time in decades For the leading man, portraying Tevye in the Broadway Tour of Fiddler on the Roof is a true family affair, both on and off the stage.

Yehezkel Lazarov, a distinguished Israeli actor, director, and multidisciplinary artist, is portraying Tevye the Dairyman, who cares for his wife and five daughters in the remote Russian village of Anatevka, and knows this …

Movies You Should Read For Adults

In my previous article, Movies You Should Read For Kids I stated that no book can easily be translated into a film or a play.  The stage and screen have limitations and so cannot possibly catch the fullness of words themselves, where movies have limitations, books have pure freedom.

I also mentioned that a book, in order to become a movie must go under a metamorphosis that is conducted by someone other than the original …

Movies You Should Read For Kids

We are now living in an age where the senses are constantly stimulated.  Our eyes are bombarded with images both beautiful and terrifying and the same could be said for our ears.  Movies and TV  give us story after story, most of them adapted in some way from books.  After seeing the film versions of these books we think or feel that we no longer need to go back and read the original material.  We …

Dazzling An American In Paris Comes From the Stage to the Cinema

Dance Duo Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild Wax Poetic About An American In Paris Movie

When one ponders the beauty of the Geroge and Ira Gershwin musical An American In Paris the immediate thought is a timeless treasure of dance, romance, and music.

Now, the Tony Award-winning show that dazzled audiences on Broadway and the stages of London and Paris is now a movie from Trafalgar Releasing, showing at movie theaters around the nation on …

Playwright Neil Simon Leaves Behind Unforgettable Legacy

Neil Simon’s Plays, Musicals, and Movies Will Long Endure After His PassingThe evening when I met Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Neil Simon, whose work I had long admired, was a night I will never forget.

The year was 1996 during a celebration of Jewish Book Month and the prolific scribe was in South Florida to talk about and answer questions about his memoir Rewrites, and sign copies of his book for his devoted fans.

Discovering …

Dazzling, toe-tapping 42nd Street Delights the Bucks County Playhouse

Tessa Grady is Dancing and Singing Her Way Into the Hearts of Audiences Near and Far

By Debra Wallace

When it comes to the Grady family legacy one can easily say like father like daughter.

When Tessa Grady was a young girl it seemed quite natural that she would go into the family business and perform on stage and on television.

Growing up just outside of Hollywood; young Tessa was surrounded by examples of the …

A True Friend Ann Cavanaugh Francis Brightened Our World

Loving Tribute for Ann Cavanaugh Francis Who Left the World a Brighter Place Than She Found ItMy friend Ann Cavanaugh Francis was a friend in every sense of the word.

When she touched your life, she truly made it better in every possible way.

A native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Francis moved to Willow Grove, Pennsylvania (Suburban Philadelphia) with her loving parents, Aileen and Harold. She attended St. David’s School starting at the 4…

Come Witness The Magic of Aladdin with Michael James Scott As The Genie

Philadelphia’s Upcoming Premiere of Disney’s Aladdin Is Everything You Could Wish For

When watching the vibrant production of Disney’s Aladdin it is difficult to divert your eyes for one moment.

Everything about this fantastical show is dazzling, colorful, thrilling, memorable and romantic, and a key ingredient of this success is the infamous role of the Genie, being performed by Michael James Scott for three weeks, from Wednesday, June 13 through Sunday, July 1, at the …

Suburban Philadelphia’s Catie Turner Makes It to American Idol’s Top 10

Langhorne’s Catie Turner Waiting to Find Out Her Future As She Inches Toward the Big PrizeWhile other high school seniors are getting ready for final exams, 18-year-old Catie Turner is performing on the world stage in American Idol.

The quirky and high-energy singer, songwriter, and musician from Suburban Philadelphia has made it to American Idol’s Top 10, a major achievement that she is still pinching herself about in addition to how dramatically her life …

WHY ARE WE STILL SAYING HELLO TO DOLLY?

On April 20th, 2017 the revival of HELLO DOLLY opened on Broadway starring Bette Midler and David Hyde-Pierce in the leading rolls of Dolly Levy and Horace Vandergelder.  In January of 2018 Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber took on the iconic roles and the show continues to stay strong running at The Schubert Theater in NYC.  It was recently announced that Ms. Midler would return to the role in the summer and that …

Sound of Music Tour to Delight Philadelphia Audiences

Jill-Christine Wiley is Glorious as Maria in The Sound of Music as Tour Comes to the Merriam TheaterWhen Jill-Christine Wiley was in kindergarten she fell in love with ballet and dance and attended a memorable performance of The Sound of Music.

The native of Lancaster, PA., fondly recalls being in the audience of her first stage musical – a high school production — along-side her mother, who remembers that Wiley sat on the edge …

The Energetic School of Rock Is Now In Session

Philadelphia Native Stars in Philadelphia Tour of School of Rock Through April 1 at the Academy of MusicWhen a cast of uber-talented children play their own instruments, act, dance and belt out songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, you know that you have arrived.

This is the premise of School of Rock –The Musical, now playing on tour at the Kimmel Center’s Academy of Music through Sunday, April 1.

The show, which opened to rave …

John Legend to Star in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on Easter Sunday

Multi-Award-Winning Music Man John Legend Takes on Iconic Leading Role in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar on April 1

John Legend is always memorable — regardless of the venue.

The masterful 39-year-old singer/songwriter is currently on tour, awaiting the birth of his second child, a son, with his model-wife Chrissy Teigen, and rehearsing for his leading role in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

Before this, the soft-spoken gentlemen has been working on Broadway musicals, …

Sara Bareilles Portrays Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar on Easter Sunday, April 1

Sara Bareilles is Stunning in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert As She joins John Legend and Alice CooperWhen it comes to a role of a lifetime there are few that come close to spending time with Sara Bareilles, who is now portraying Mary Magdalene in NBC’s special event of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert airing on Easter Sunday.

The highly-anticipated special event, an exuberant staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim …

Exploring Complex Family Dynamics in The Humans

Actress Alex Keiper Brings Warmth and Humor to The HumansSpending Thanksgiving with your family can often bring up a roller coaster ride of emotions served with the turkey, stuffing and other holiday fare. This is the premise behind The Humans, a well-written, beautifully performed, touching, and memorable award-winning play starring Alex Keiper, now playing through March 4, at the Walnut Street Theatre, during its landmark 209th season.

Stephen Karam’s 2016 Tony Award®

Waitress Broadway Tour is Serving a Slice of Heaven

 Leading Lady Desi Oakley Whips Up a Hit in the Waitress Broadway TourFrom the time Desi Oakley was a young girl growing up in Wichita, Kansas, she loved performing in musical theater and her passion continued to grow. Now she is starring in the Broadway tour of the musical Waitress and can’t believe the incredible journey that got her here.

It started with her first role as the spunky middle daughter, Brigitta von Trapp, …

Finding Neverland Soars into Philadelphia’s Academy of Music

(PCM) Holiday time is always the perfect opportunity to escape to magical places with loved ones, and what better way to spend Thanksgiving then with Peter Pan.

This holiday, the story of playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, will soar into the Kimmel Center’s Academy of Music in Philadelphia from Tuesday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 26.

The engaging and memorable musical is based on the Oscar-winning film starring Johnny Depp …

Phantom of the Opera Returns to Philadelphia’s Academy of Music

Spectacular Phantom of the Opera Returns to Philadelphia’s Academy of Music
Interview with Swing and Dance Captain Adryan Moorefield

There are some love stories that are timeless, and the spectacular current production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” is definitely one of them.

The much-anticipated, triumphant return of this lavish and opulent musical, is gracing the stage of the Kimmel Center’s Academy of Music until November 12, and it is the ideal …

‘Addy & Uno’ The First Family Musical About Disability

(PCM) Five child-like puppets, each with specific disabilities, are opening our eyes to how friendship and caring for one another can truly change our world. “Addy & Uno,” a fresh new off-Broadway musical playing at the 14th Street Y Theater in New York City from Sept. 2 through Sept. 24, boldly, and affectionately tackles some difficult topics, including bullying, disability and friendship.  It does this with puppets, humor and unforgettable music. The brainchild of author …

Simply Barbra’s Broadway Starring Steven Brinberg Comes to New Hope

(PCM) For all of us who love Barbra Streisand, and there are countless numbers of us, it is more than thrilling to share an intimate evening filled with her music and memories.
That’s why performer Steven Brinberg has for many years attracted audiences, large and small, and now his show is coming to an intimate club in New Hope on Saturday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Razz Room, 6426 Lower York Road, in …

The Buddy Holly Story Rocks New Hope and Philadelphia!

(PCM) From the moment the curtain rises in New Hope and Philadelphia, it is so easy to fall in love with John Dewey in the title role in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.” After the summer of 2016’s record-breaking run at the Bucks County Playhouse, nearly the entire cast has returned to the playhouse and is debuting in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center to bring Buddy Holly’s music alive.  The original cast is …

Have the Time of Your Life During the Current Tour of Dirty Dancing

(PCM) When Jennifer Mealani Jones was a young girl growing up in Maryland, she wanted to do everything that her brother did; including baseball, gymnastics, and dancing.

The now 25-year-old professional performer believed that dancing was her destiny, since her mother’s side of the family was doing the Hawaiian Hula, and her father’s side was Salsa dancing. “So whatever music was playing, I remember everyone around me was dancing,” Jones recalled. “I have been dancing

Exclusive Interview With Anthony Chan Star Of Philly Broadway Series ‘The King And I’

(PCM) When Anthony Chan thinks of the many children who play his siblings in the Philly Broadway Series production of “The King and I,” he gets a wide smile on his face.

The 24-year-old Chan is playing the part of the King’s eldest son, Prince Chulalongkorn in the current production at the Academy of Music, from March 22-April 2.

This is the national tour of the Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic …

Exclusive Interview: Adam Langdon is Stellar in ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

(PCM) Spending an evening with Adam Langdon in the leading role for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” is truly a transformative experience for the senses.

The 24-year-old actor from Brooklyn began his thrilling national tour in September, portraying 15-year-old Christopher Boone, a boy who learns and communicates differently than many of us do, yet he has numerous life lessons to share with everyone who crosses his path.

This emotional story is …