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Arts and Culture

Theatre in the X’s ‘Running Numbers’ is amazing; two shows left

August 7, 2017

Photos West Philly Local.

Theatre in the X last night staged the premiere of Running Numbers, the tale of a graduating high school senior trying to navigate his way through obstacles in his neighborhood and his family to get his way into college and, just as importantly, pay for it.

In our decidedly unsophisticated opinion, it is really, really good.

The play follows CJ, a brilliant student, as he tries to figure out how he is going to pay for a Penn education. He could get student loans, but his mom doesn’t want to sign the forms (she wants to hide her under-the-table earnings) nor does she want him saddled in debt for the rest of his life. Or, he could go work for the local pimp and drug dealer and make fast cash. Both options weigh heavily on CJ, but he takes the second option and we find him in the opening scene undergoing police interrogation after his arrest.  Continue Reading

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Theatre in the X is back with the premiere of ‘Running Numbers’

August 3, 2017

Some of the best – and probably the most intimate – theatre in the city gets underway in Malcolm X. Park (51st and Pine) next week when Theatre in the X opens the world premiere of Running Numbers.

Running Numbers is a drama about a high school senior “whose dreams and desperation of going to college and overcoming his environment lead him to fast cash and dangerous situations.” The work is inspired by  “Financial Aid”, an incredible spoken work piece by Carvens Lissaint.

Cheyenne Barboza wrote Running Numbers and Christina May directs. The cast includes Abdul Sesay, Jarrett McCreary, Khadijah Davis, Iman Aaliyah, Aurica Hurst, Angelica Jackson-Thomas, Carlo Campbell, Walter DeShields, Niya Colbert, Brandon A. Drummond and Dwayne Alistair Thomas.  Continue Reading

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Free Movies in Clark Park beginning Friday, Aug. 4

August 1, 2017

Free Shakespeare in Clark Park performances have just ended, and now it’s time for some free movies. Movies in Clark Park, an annual program by University City District (UCD), kicks off Friday, Aug. 4, with a free screening of the classic E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. Film screenings will be held every Friday (weather permitting), through Sept. 1., beginning at 8 p.m. Please bring your chairs or blankets!

In addition to movie screenings, there will be food and dessert offerings from a rotating list of vendors and some extra activities from local businesses and organizations. Here are more details on the scheduled screenings and extra activities (courtesy of UCD):  Continue Reading

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BlackStar Film Festival back to celebrate Black filmmakers first week of August

July 28, 2017

The sixth BlackStar Film Festival, the annual showcase of independent black filmmakers, will take place from Thursday, August 3rd to Sunday, August 6th at venues around West Philly.

This year’s venues include the Institute of Contemporary Art, World Cafe Life, Lightbox Film Center, and Pearlstein Gallery of Drexel University as well as Fishtown’s Johnny Brenda’s.

The event celebrates storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and global indigenous communities through work by black filmmakers.

In addition to feature documentaries and narratives, there will be several sessions featuring short films at the festival. On the opening day (Thursday, Aug. 3) at 3:50 p.m., the Shorts Program will include black enuf*, an “animated documentary exploring racial identity,” according to its website Continue Reading

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Rome in the Bowl: Shakespeare in Clark Park opens to big crowd

July 27, 2017

The Shakespeare in Clark Park production of Coriolanus opened last night to a big crowd in The Bowl near 43rd and Chester. The play follows the demise and vengeful crusade of Roman military leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. The amazon all-female cast carries the work, and a pack of riotous citizens of Rome made up with Philadelphia residents keeps the play lively (see more photos below).

Coriolanus continues through the weekend, concluding Sunday. Shows run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The rain location is the Harold Prince Theater at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St.  Continue Reading

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Shakespeare in Clark Park presents all-female Coriolanus July 26-30

July 25, 2017

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Shakespeare in Clark Park returns this week for its 12th season with five performances of Coriolanus, a timeless political tragedy of manipulation and revenge. This year, SCP will roll with an all-female cast led by Barrymore Award winner Charlotte Northeast as the title character. The professional cast of women warriors will appear alongside a Chorus of 50 Philadelphians who will become the riotous citizens of Rome. The production is directed by SCP Artistic Director Kittson O’Neill (Interact Theatre Company).

“It’s easy to see Coriolanus, a blunt war hero, as an indictment of “Macho” culture, but there is so much more to this story,” O’Neill, who is pulling double-duty as the director of the show, said in a statement. “By moving our production to a matriarchy I think audiences will more readily see themselves in our hero: we can all be inflexible, we all have deep prejudices and we don’t always get the glory we have rightly earned.”  Continue Reading

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