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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

Dance Celebration Dances on With Stellar Line-Up

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 8:51 PM

Those unabashedly buff Ballet Boyz, late of the Royal Ballet; kick off the 2014-15 Dance Celebration season this month as part of artistic director Randy Swartz's programming that includes performances by seven international companies. For three decades Swartz has nurtured the Annenberg Center as a vital venue for every genre...

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Dito Reigns Onstage the Count and Martha

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 6:14 PM

Last month, donning a Versailles mini-gown and disco heels, drag vocalist Martha Graham Cracker serenaded the overflowing crowd at the official opening of FringeArts stage and brasserie to open the 2014 FringeArts Festival.

Festival director Nick Stuccio asked Martha, aka Dito Van Reigersberg, to be the opening act and...

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YNS Crosses Many Borders, Musical and Otherwise

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 9:51 PM

2014-09-29-201305047083fnDS.jpg Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Nézet-Séguin (photo: DS / Philadelphia Orchestra)

With enthusiastic ease, Yannick Nézet-Séguin divides his time between musical directorships of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal) not to mention as principal guest conductor at the London Philharmonic and in his...

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OutBeat the Nation's 1st GLBT Jazz Fest

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 10:49 AM

2014-09-22-IMG_4960.jpg vocalist V. Shayne Frederick singing Strayhorn's 'Strange Feeling' (ph: LW)

In Philadelphia this month, OutBeat America's first Queer jazz festival was "gay as they say it ought to be..." To quote 'Something To Live For' a tune written by gay pianist-composer Billy Strayhorn....

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New Paradise Lab Dissects Maturity (Whatever That Is) in The Adults

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 2:59 PM

New Paradise Laboratories is unflinching as a theater company willing to experiment with high-wire concepts, kinetic visuals, cinematic sound design, integrating 'physical theater' and character choreography to conjure fantastical stage worlds that challenge safe theater conventions. This month they are again premiering The Adults at the Philly FringArts festival.

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BOM Still Packs Em In

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 5:11 PM

In all its raunchy audacity the national tour of The Book of Mormon lands in Philadelphia for six weeks. The Tony Award winning show still is generating a lot of controversial steam. The Book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez, creators of Comedy Central's South...

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ANDY: A Popera Is Born

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 3:27 PM

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The Bearded Ladies cabaret has an carved out an avid theater following in Philadelphia in just a couple of years. The nine-member troupe explores the many traditions and forms the art of cabaret can take, even for the opera stage. Artistic director...

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Despite Fiscal Setbacks Philadanco Dances on

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 2:32 PM

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Joan Myers Brown (photo courtesy of Philadanco)

Joan Myers Brown is a Philadelphia legend as founder and artistic director of Philadanco and establishing her school of dance, just for starters. Brown is also founder of the International Association of Blacks in Dance...

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ROW Premieres Tchaikovsky Rarity

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 2:45 PM

Pianist and repertoire specialist Ghenady Meirson has been the go to-master for two decades in Philadelphia for authentic Russian operatic repertoire. His Russian Romances concerts at the Academy of Vocal Arts, where he is on the faculty, has an avid following. In recent years he has also established Russian Opera...

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Jazz on a New Summer Night's Dream

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 6:56 PM

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Bandleader Pablo Batista in rehearsal for the premiere of The Journey (photo courtesy of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

The Kimmel Center's Solstice in the City had a little something for everyone including rock concerts in Verizon Hall, an arcade...

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The 27 Club in Rock Limbo via New Paradise Laboratories

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 12:34 AM

2014-06-02-27Saunders.jpg (photo: Matt Saunders)

Putting deceased rock stars onstage usually means a pasty musical wrapped in creepy facsimiles of dead celebrities. New Paradise Laboratory director Whit MacLaughlin avoids such pageantry substantively and even magically in '27' which just concluded its second run, this time...

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EgoPo Theater's Wily Update of Ibsen's Peer Gynt

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 12:17 PM

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Sean Lally as GINT

EgoPo Classic Theatre usually picks literary themes or theatrical styles to explore on stage in different ways over the course of a season. Last year, their race switched characters in an otherwise literal stage version of...

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YNS Pumps Up the Fab Phils Volume Before Asian Tour

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 6:42 PM

US China relations have their ups and downs (currently, cyber spy vs. hacking spy finger pointing) but the Philadelphia Orchestra is about to continue their series of musical cultural exchange with China. The Fab Phils have been our cultural ambassadors there since the Nixon administration. On May 21, they embark...

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Eleone Dance Theatre Inspires at Every Level

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 2:56 PM

2014-05-14-EleoneLaCedaJaren1.jpg (photo courtesy of Eleone Dance Theatre)


At the Freedom Theater in North Philly, Eleone Dance Theatre presented two separate programs this month, the second concert, The Soul of Philadelphia commemorated the 15th anniversary of the co-directorship of Shawn-Lamere Williams and Dr....

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Mendelssohn Club Musically Digs in Anthracite Fields

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 12:34 PM

Earlier this month, composer Julia Wolfe was a bit jet lagged returning to New York from South Korea, where she was on tour with Bang on the Can, but is already back to work on her ambitious choral piece Anthracite Fields, having its premiere this month by the mighty Mendelssohn...

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Warrior Writers at Wilma's Theater's Veterans on Stage

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 12:46 PM

Paula Vogel's Don Juan Comes Home From Iraq continues its month long premiere run at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia through April 22 coinciding with a series of tie-in events with veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Actors from the cast of Paula Vogel's new play Don Juan Comes Home...

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PABallet's Carmina Returns and Sublime Balanchine

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 2:05 PM

For its 50th anniversary season, Pennsylvania Ballet revived John Butler's Carmina Burana, literally back by popular demand for audience members of a certain boomer age who love watching those monks go theatrically wild once again.

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(photo: Alexander Iziliaev)


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Jason Vieaux PLAYS Troubadour to Symphony in C

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 3:20 PM

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Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux's new recording PLAY is not only like pop iTunes, it is part of the revitalized interest in the classical guitar. Vieaux said he is connecting to students all over the world via the internet for his online...

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Black History Month Celebrated by Philly's Roger Lee Dance

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 9:23 AM

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Artistic Director Roger Lee (photo: Bill Hebert)

Philadelphia choreographer-dancer Roger Lee has been hoping to start a dance collective to celebrate Black History Month since he was a high school student studying dance. A graduate of Drexel University, Lee is now fulfilling...

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From Russia, With Musical Love

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 12:38 PM

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Conductor Tugan Kokhiev


In recent weeks the Philadelphia Orchestra has performed several programs around music of Tchaikovsky, while just block away the Academy of Vocal Arts was performing a small scale, but vocally big production of Pique Dame...

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