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Lew Whittington
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LewJWhittington writes about arts, culture and gay politics for several publications2014-10-29-IMG_5568.jpg

Entries by Lew Whittington

Marsalis Honored at 2015 Marian Anderson Award

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 6:42 PM

2015-11-12-1447352934-6405893-MarsalisAndersonAwards1.JPG Marsalis performing with his septet at Marian Anderson Awards (photo by Dave Ickes courtesy of Marian Anderson Award)

Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis was the honoree at the 2015 Marian Anderson Awards. Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter presented Marsalis with the award...

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Hannibal's Musical Metaphysics

(2) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 5:50 PM

2015-11-11-1447265530-1814745-MLK2015079JeffFuscoPhilaOrch.JPG Composer Hannibal & Maestro 'Yan' (photo Jeff Fusco)

Hannibal Lokumbe is on a first name basis with everyone he meets; he still hails from his home state of Texas, but has toured the world as a virtuoso jazz musician and symphonic composer. This...

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Opera Philadelphia announces 017 opera fest

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 4:27 PM

2015-11-03-1446562786-5778577-daviddevanchriscrisman940x540.jpg David Devan (photo ChrisCrisman)

Since becoming Opera Philadelphia's General Director four years ago, David Devan has so successfully rebranded the company's image that he keeps upping the opera ante. The always OQ ready Devan talked to colleagues, city officials and board members Oct...

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On the Road With Seth and Audra

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 3:05 PM

2015-10-09-1444400758-8844485-AudraMcDonaldgreysweater_creditAutumndeWilde.jpg Audra McDonald (photo Autumn de Wilde) 2015-10-09-1444400884-189470-sethheadshot.jpg Seth Rudetsky (photo courtesy Kimmel Center)

Seth Rudetsky is all over the airwaves as Satellite Radio host of On Broadway and Seth Speaks and otherwise divides his time as a...

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Faderman's the Gay Revolution a Must Read

(3) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 5:59 PM

2015-09-16-1442423610-1095878-lillianfaderman405172506.jpg Gay historian Lillian Faderman.

For GLBTQ Americans, there is much to celebrate this year after the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, not to mention basking in other recent victories like the repeal of Don't...

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Vulcan Lyric's Powerful Glory Denied

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 11:24 AM

2015-08-20-1440090474-5616691-BrandonSnookandJasonSwitzerphotoBobBezushko.JPGBrandon Snook & Jason Switzer in Glory Denied (ph: Bob Bezushko/VulcanLyric)

Conductor Andrew Kurtz has established a new opera troupe in Philly called Vulcan Lyric, building on his previous venture, Center City Opera Theater, which focused on presenting new operas and collaborating with...

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Dana Thomas' Compelling Dual Bio of Fashion Icons

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 8:50 PM


Even if you don't follow the world of high fashion, Dana Thomas' dual biography of British designers John Galliano and Alexander McQueen is one of the nonfiction titles of the year. Thomas probes the torrential world of haute couture as she chronicles the...

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qFLIX Philly's New GLBTQ film fest

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 3:47 PM

Since the early 90s, GLBTQ film festivals in Philadelphia, under various names, built a huge local audience of queer cinefiles and celebrated diversity and community. Not to mention proving an impressive midsummer tourist draw. Qfest Philly was shut down in 2013, but is back now as the rebranded qFLIX Philadelphia...

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A Starry Night of Gershwin by the Philadelphians

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 6:38 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra concluded their regular season in Philly, with what proved to be a triumphal sold out performances of Leonard Bernstein's Mass, a pet project of musical director Yannick Nezet Seguin. Then the orchestra headed for a 14 city European tour, their first since Yannick became musical director. By...

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Graffito Works Launches in Philly

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 2:48 PM

A dozen of Philadelphia's most accomplished and experimental dance artists have joined Graffito Works; a new company formed by New York-Philly based artistic director Steven Weisz and is his most ambitious dance project yet.

Graffito Works launched this month at Grounds For Sculpture gallery in Hamilton, NJ and at...

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New Philly Digs for InterAct Theatre

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 10:37 PM

Philly's InterAct Theatre Company is finishing their 28th and most ambitious season presenting four productions of new plays. Artistic director Seth Rozin capping it off directing the premiere of The Three Christs of Manhattan, which he also wrote.

As if that wasn't enough to do, things also got...

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Fab Phils Pumped for European Tour

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2015 | 2:21 PM

YNS caps off a championship season in Philly

Yannick Nézet-Séguin primed the Philadelphia Orchestra in Philly, in preparation for their current European tour, which includes performances in Vienna, Dresden, Paris, Luxembourg, Cologne, London, Berlin, el. al, over three weeks. It is the first European tour the orchestra has been...

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Cassandra Wilson's Unique Holiday Tribute

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 3:34 PM


Billie Holiday was born in Philadelphia in 1915, grew up in Baltimore, moved to New York, started to sing while still in her teens and soon changed music history as the inimitable Lady Day. To honor Billie's centenary year, Cassandra Wilson latest...

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Eternal Jazz Vanguards

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 7:12 PM

April is jazz appreciation month and Philadelphia is celebrating in bars, clubs and opera houses all over town. The one-night-only appearance of jazz masters Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea proved to be a stellar highlight.

2015-04-14-1429048833-3334111-HerbieChickattheAcademyofMusic.jpgHancock and Corea at the Academy of Music...
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New Bio of Lady Day Has Body and Soul

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 8:23 PM


To kick off jazz appreciation month on the centenary of her birth, jazz writer John Szwed has just released Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth . As iconic as Lady Day is, the woman, artist and her personality, her singular jazz artistry...

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Vanguards Jason Moran & The Bandwagon in Philly

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 10:44 AM

Jazz pianist-composer Jason Moran returns to the Kimmel Center for a one night only concert March 29 with The Bandwagon, his trio with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits. Moran was nominated for an Oscar for his score for the movie Selma. Moran is not only a prolific composer...

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Ludwig Scores Cymbeline

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 1:26 PM

Bucks County native David Ludwig's is from an illustrious family of musicians (his grandfather was legendary pianist Rudolf Serkin), but he has been on his own musical trajectory as a composer. Along with a constant stream of commissions by orchestras, chamber groups and virtuoso performers, Ludwig teaches composition at the...

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Gergiev in Philly

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 4:45 PM

It was not without irony that Russian maestro Valery Gergiev was conducting Russian classics by Sergei Prokofiev and Dimitri Shostakovich for his two concert evenings in front of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Gergiev is principal conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra and artistic-general director of the storied Mariinsky Theatre, is a...

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PhiladelphiaTheatreCo. Celebrates 40 With Stars Aligned

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 2:48 PM

The Philadelphia Theatre Company is marking its 40th anniversary season and weathering a rough season of solving ongoing fiscal problems. Meanwhile, the shows must go on, Sara Garonzik, PTC's artistic director said this week "and more" as the company looks to the future with Theatre Masters Series.

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Reed Luplau's Wilde Dances in Opera Philadelphia's Oscar

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 3:19 PM

Opera Philadelphia is presenting the East Coast premiere of Oscar by composer Theodore Morrison and librettist John Cox. The production is a co-commission with The Santa Fe Opera, where it opened at Santa Fe Opera in 2013 under the stage director Kevin Newbury and Conductor Evan Rogister, who are...

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