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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

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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The Joyous Choreographic World of Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 6:00 PM

The Miami based troupe Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre is in the line-up this month of a vibrant season of international dance companies being presented at Dance Celebration at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia. 2015-01-14-RoseHerreraDanceTheatreAdamReign.jpg (photo Adam Reign)

Rosie Herrera has emerged as one of...

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Cirque De La Symphonie P+Fab Phils = Classical Fun

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 3:31 PM

Cirque de la Symphonie returned to Verizon Hall in front of and often flying over the musicians of thePhiladelphia Orchestra with their troupe of aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, clowns and contortionists. Christian Marcelaru, Phil. Orch. dynamic associate conductor, dug into a wildly diverse play list of familiar repertory and excerpted works...

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Queen of Soul Commands in Philly

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 3:53 PM

Singers come and go... and then there's Aretha, the undisputed Queen of Soul, still playing to audiences who clamor to hear her iconic hits from the '60s, but know she has always has something more to say musically. Franklin likes to dip into the past, but has no intentions of...

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All I Want for Christmas Is JUNK

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 1:54 PM

Want a holiday entertainment but loathing the thought of sugar plum fairies? Tired of standard holiday fare in theater and in the concert hall? Consider catching JUNK- that's choreographer Brian Sanders' acrobatic dance troupe JUNK, currently unwrapping their leaded tinsel show 1.1...

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Philly's 3 Legendary Sax Tenors Highlight Sterling JOP Concert

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 10:35 AM

Trumpeter/bandleader Terell Stafford returned to the Kimmel Center Dec. 3 with his 17-piece Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia , after touring, in a second appearance here, sounding even tighter than they did at their inaugural last January, which is saying something.

JOP Artistic...
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Rossini's Hot Playlist

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 1:56 PM

What is it about Rossini operas that make them still hot tickets? Could it be those galloping orchestrals or heart-stopping vocal vaults? Or perhaps those preposterous story lines are needed distractions in a time of stress. Who knows, who cares, opera fans in Philly can't get enough. In September, Opera...

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Extra! Extra! Newsies Delivers on Tour

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 4:48 PM

Those dance dynamo paperboys of Newsies occupied the Academy of Music in Philly for the kick-off of their boffo 1st National Tour of the 2012 multi-Tony Award winning musical. Who says they don't write musicals like this anymore? Harvey Fierstein (book), Alan Menken (music) and Jack Feldman (lyrics) and the...

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Dance Celebration Dances on With Stellar Line-Up

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 9:51 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 | 7:14 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 | 10:51 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 | 11:49 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 | 3:59 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 | 6:11 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 | 4:27 PM


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 | 3:32 PM

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 | 3:45 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 | 7:56 PM

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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