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11th annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival to present ‘New Wave of Jazz’ this Saturday (sponsored)

Posted on 14 July 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

                              Click to enlarge

One of the biggest local events of the year, the Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival, will return on Saturday, July 15 from noon to 7 p.m. to Saunders Park Greene at 39th and Powelton. The 11th edition of the festival, which has grown from a few hundred attendees to more than 3,000, will feature the “New Wave of Jazz.” Philadelphia saxophonist Jaleel Shaw will be headlining the event.

This year, the FREE festival offers a family-friendly event showcasing the best of Philadelphia: a mix of up and coming young artists who are shaping the future of jazz, a diverse gathering of people, a view of the city and a chance to enjoy a neighborhood that is rich in arts and culture.

Artisans and vendors along with a variety of specialty food trucks will be on site. Activities such as a moon bounce, face painting, community resources and digital pop-up computer lab will be available for everyone’s enjoyment. Free parking is available one block away at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center’s lot at Powelton Avenue and State Street.  Continue Reading

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Theatre in the X is back at Malcolm X; two more Sundays left

Posted on 08 August 2016 by Mike Lyons

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Martin and Malcolm arm wrestling for the future of the movement in The Meeting, one of three short plays that comprise this year’s Theatre in the X (Photos by West Philly Local).

Theatre in the X, the all-black free theatre that is quickly becoming an August staple on 52nd St., kicked off its third season Sunday evening in Malcolm X Park at 51st and Pine.

This year’s works include New Black Math, “a creative explanation of what a Black play is”; The Meeting, a poignant and provocative fictional meeting between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.; and Love, Queens who Suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,  a choreopoem that examines gun violence, abuse, love and heritage from the perspective of a black woman. Continue Reading

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Dark and delightful “Cripple of Inishmaan” on stage at Curio

Posted on 20 April 2016 by Mike Lyons

CrippleofInishmaan

Peter Danelski as Billy (“the cripple”). Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas

 

The Curio Theatre Company will wrap up its 11th season with the dark comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh.

A Hollywood film crew invades the tiny island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland to shoot a documentary about the place and its people. We soon learn about the dark side of living on a blustery island with just a few hundred people can be like, especially for the gentle Billy (“the cripple”) who vies for a part in the documentary.

A production of The Cripple of Inishmaan on Broadway garnered a bunch of accolades in 2014 with Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe playing Billy.  Continue Reading

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“Glen’s Village”: Must-see doc on West Philly kid, his mom and redemption

Posted on 03 August 2015 by Mike Lyons

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OK, first thing … You need to carve 30 minutes out of your day and watch the mini-documentary Glen’s Village, a film about a kid who grew up around 52nd and Haverford, was dealing crack by the 9th grade and is now, thanks to the strength of his mother and himself, a student at Penn. (It’s embedded below).

The film takes you through Glen’s childhood growing up with a dad who was, as one person in the film puts it, basically a “drug kingpin.” He was later deported to Jamaica, leaving Glen’s mother to raise him alone. It wasn’t going well as he entered his teens and by ninth grade Glen was regularly skipping school and selling drugs.

But at University City High School he turns it around. As one of the school’s star students, Glen testified before the School Reform Commission as it considered closing the school. UC High’s closure is an important part of the film, as is his work at Sayre High School, where he teaches part time to fulfill his scholarship obligations.  Continue Reading

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Free family events this weekend: West Park Arts and River Fests

Posted on 12 June 2015 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Two popular annual community events are happening this Saturday and Sunday in West and Southwest Philly. Details are below. Please check our Events Calendar for more events.

West Park Arts Fest – Saturday, June 13

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Kyo Daiko performs at West Park Arts Fest (photo courtesy of West Park Arts).

 

West Park Arts Fest, a fun day of free performances and activities for the whole family, will take place on Saturday, June 13, from 11 a.m. – WestParkArtsFest5 p.m., on the School of the Future grounds (4021 Parkside Ave). The festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Philadelphia. Outdoor Mainstage performers include: Gretchen Elise, Kyo Daiko, Gegisom MLK Choir, Ceo Black, and more. Universal Dance and Drum Ensemble, Kun-Yang Lin, Lady Hoofers, and other artists will perform on the Dance stage. Children’s Pavilion activities include: a drawing workshop, Treehouse Books giveaway, reading out loud and bookmark making, activities with Franklin Institute and Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia Zoo animals and artifacts, storytelling with Kala Jojo, and more! Also, there will be many wonderful vendors and free historic trolley tours of Fairmount Park Centennial District at 12:00, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. (sign up here). More information about the fest is available here.

River Fest & Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade – Sunday, June 14  

BoatParadeOn Sunday, June 14, families are invited to spend the day at the beautiful Bartram’s Garden (54th and Lindbergh). The annual River Fest will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include tons of great stuff: free boat, pony and hay rides, Youth Bicycle Rodeo, Philly’s oldest tugboat, free food (hot dogs, pretzels and snacks), Ice Cream on the River (free ice cream for those who paddle out to the floating ice cream parlor), a petting zoo, live music performances, and more. Plus, the Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade, which starts at noon. Check out the Bartram’s Garden website for more information.

 

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Curio Theatre Company to stage farcical comedy Noises Off

Posted on 29 April 2015 by Mike Lyons

NoisesOff

The Curio Theatre is closing out its season with the rollicking comedy Noises Off, a Michael Frayn play about a play, which previews on April 30 – May 7 and opens on May 8.

Noises Off introduces the audience to the epically incompetent cast of Nothing On – the play within the play – and their travails in everything from dress rehearsals to close of the play’s 10-week run. The play takes its title from the theatrical stage direction indicating sounds coming from offstage.

Peter Reynolds is directing the Curio production, Paul Kuhn designed the set and Tim Martis designed the lighting. The costume designer is Aetna Gallagher, and Kathleen Soltan is the stage manager.

The cast includes Kyra Baker, Newton Buchanan, Steve Carpenter, Isabella Fehlandt, Rachel Gluck and Andrew Carroll.

Tickets for the performances range from $15 to $25 and are available here.

Oh, and here’s an added bonus: If you show up to opening night dressed in 80’s attire (the production is set in the 80’s) you have a chance to win two passes for next season.

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