Archive for August, 2007

A Fever for Fringe

Well, today is the start of Philly Fringe. Okay, it’s officially the 2007 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe, but that takes WAY too long to type, so I will continue to cling to the antiquated (and yet enduring) habit of calling the whole she-bang just “Philly Fringe.”

And, as I look at my stack of already-purchased tickets, and my cluster of post-its with hypothetical scheduling matrices that would get me to some additional shows, I think it’s safe to say that I’m about to go a little bit Fringe-crazy.

I’ll try to put up snapshot reactions/reviews throughout the next two weeks, but till I go to that first show, here (well, after the jump) is linkage to some of the online press about Fringe*:
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I Hear Nothing, I See Nothing, I Know Nothing!

Never had a quaint family film caused so much controversy this year then “That’s a Family”. The Evesham Township School Board decided that a film depicting the loving relationship between same sex parents and their children was just too much for the third grade to handle. Dare I say – I think it was too much for the parents to handle.
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Indy Hall Grand Opening, Viddler Giveaway and BarDiver Pub Crawl


Independents’ Hall
, Philly’s fantastic and spacious coworking space located in the heart of Old City, opened for business a couple of weeks ago, and this Saturday they will be having their celebratory grand opening party. The guys at Viddler, the coolest and most social video-sharing site around heard about the party and decided to hold their upcoming prize giveaway at the event. Then word spread to folks who run bardiver.com. They just released the Philly edition of their site and thought that the party and filming at Indy Hall would be a good time to celebrate their release as well.

It will be a convergence of cool and you should think very seriously about coming down and checking it all out. The grand opening reception will be from 5-7 pm. The filming of the giveaway will be from 6-6:30 pm and when that’s all done, folks will be heading to Sugar Mom’s, the first of four destinations in an Old City Bar Crawl.

University City Jam

Just a heads up to anyone thinking about driving around University City today and for the next few days- Penn students are in the process of move-in. Basically everything is going to be busy all day!
Horray for traffic.

First Person Story Slam Live Blog

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The doors are open and the music is turned up. Ed Tettemer, Philadelphia ad man and this evening’s official host is working the crowd, ready for his cue. The potential storytellers are signing up, all nervously hoping that their name will be drawn out of the hat and they’ll get a chance to take the stage and tell their story tonight. The highest-scoring participant tonight will win the Golden Ticket, which gives them entry to November’s Grand Slam, where storytellers will battle it out to determine who is the Best Storyteller in Philadelphia. The Grand Slam will be held during the First Person Fest in November.

The rest of the updates will be posted after the jump, so extend the entry and keep refreshing in order to read the highs and lows from the tonight’s Trespassing-themed story slam.
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Truck vs. Septa

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A friend and I were standing at the NW corner of 19th and Chestnut today just before 11 am, waiting for the light to change so that we could cross Chestnut Street, when we realized that traffic wasn’t actually moving. As we crossed, we realized why traffic was at a standstill. A large panel truck had tried to squeeze through the space between a paused Septa bus and a parked delivery van and hadn’t made it. The bus had gouged a hole in the side of the truck and had stopped, unable to continue to drive forward or move backwards. We didn’t wait around to see how the situation resolved, but an hour later when we passed by again, the bus and the truck were gone, so it had sorted itself out somehow.

Phillies pound Mets and look to keep fighting

Hmmm…this is a tough one.

The sun is out, and I really want to feel good about everything. But I’ve hit a roadblock. I can’t decide what to possibly feel better about, the Phillies big win over the Mets last night or the addition of a third Genesis concert in Philly.

I can only believe that these are the kind of pickles that really define a person.

Genesis aside, though, it’s tough not to feel at least marginally good about the Phillies right now. Thankfully we’re a nation of short attention spans and short term memories, so we can collectively forget the prior two series in which the Phils lost both games and ground on the Padres in the NL Wild Card race and to the Dodgers, who are right behind them in said Wild Card standings. The Phillies trounced the Padres in the series’ final game and then last night, with the visiting first place Mets in town and The Force That is Chase back in the lineup, the Phillies cranked out nearly twenty hits in a smashing 9-2 win over the Mets.

Granted The Mighty Cole is still on the Disabled List and with the Fightin’ Phils’ porous bullpen, no game is over until we’re out either in the parking drinking warm beers lot or watching the Daily Show and drinking cold beers, but there are bright spots. Yes, Chase is back and so is Shane Victorino. Adam Eaton is back on the mound tonight and while that isn’t exactly the most exciting news, we should all be somewhat relieved that he trimmed his goatee, making him look less like a loser science teacher and more like an average pitcher getting paid above average pitcher money. Jayson Werth is absolutely on fire right now, going 9 for 9 in his last 9 at bats, and Mr. Miyagi, Pat Burrell, has remained consistent, despite the frequent shifts in the lineup and the fact that Charlie Manuel has zero confidence in him after the 6th inning.*

So now the first place Mets are in town until Thursday and while even a sweep won’t pull the Phillies up even with them, it is a chance for them to stay in it. The Padres are back out west, duking it out with the NL West leaders, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Braves are in shambles, wondering why their blockbuster, mid-season trade hasn’t equated itself to more wins. These are desperate times for the Fightin’ Phils. They’re riding on fumes and only a few bucks in their wallet and headed to AC for the weekend. It can work, but it’s going to take a little work.

And a little luck.

Only time will tell. By the end of the week, the Phils will either be passed out drunk on the boardwalk, wondering when their wallet got stolen or hob-nobbin’ with Trump and and taking baths in expensive booze and gold bars.

Then we’ll see how we feel about the team, but for now, it’s all about the traffic on the Atlantic City Expressway and the cops hiding in the trees.

One thing at a time.

* this is something that continues to confuse me. since the all star break, burrell has been one of the team’s hottest hitters, yet in close games or games when the Phillies are up a couple runs going into the seventh, manuel takes burrell out. then, without fail, the bullpen blows the lead and burrell’s hot bat is now absent in the lineup, replaced usually with wes helms, who has hit a mammoth 5 homeruns this year and routinely looks like a lost farmer out looking for his dog that ran away months ago. i know i’m one of the last remaining burrell fans in philly, but even a burrell-hater has to admit that this makes little sense. it’s like entourage. this season has been a little slow and i’ve heard numerous people say their down with it and have moved on to shows like flight of the conchords or even further away to showtime, and weeds. but entourage has remained consistent in it’s on special way and is now regained it’s form. yet everyone has already bailed on it and so now it’s greatness is wasted. now, i’m not saying burrell is great. no. but he is consistent, and that should count for something.

Theater Season in Philadelphia ON SALE

Every Philadephian and visitor to our city should know about Philly funguide.com and funsavers. The site gives you great information about what is going on in Philadelphia and if you sign up for funsavers you can get half-price tickets for many of the events.

Tomorrow, Tuesday August 27, they are offering half priced tickets for entire theater seasons for the Arden, Walnut Street Theater, Peoples Light and Theater Company, Flashpoint Theater Company, Theater Exile, Theater Horizon, Luna Theater Company, Curio Theater Company, Lantern Theater Company and others.

Theater is so expensive but not if you purchase these specials. They start at $7.50 a play with many topping out at $12.

The Walnut Street season which is the most expensive offers 5 plays at $25 each. That is about what you would pay for the tax on a NYC ticket. But you will see productions of Les Miserables, Peter Pan, The Price, The Odd Couple, and Man of la Mancha, for the price of one $125 seat in NYC.

With the money you saved you can treat yourself to a pre-theater dinner. Check it out

First Person Story Slam tomorrow!

Tomorrow night the First Person Arts folks will be presenting the last First Person Story Slam of the summer (it’s not the end of the series, just the last one to be held while the weather is still balmy). These story slams happen at L’Etage (6th and Bainbridge, above Beau Monde) and the doors open at 7:30 pm with the festivities starting at 8 pm. Make sure to get there a little early, as the seats fill up fast (although you can always sit on the couch onstage like Scott and I did last time). The theme this month is Trespassing and I’m certain the stories will be wild and well-told.

The organizers are adding a new element to the Story Slam, for those who can’t make it or want to experience it from a different perspective. Starting this month they’ll be asking different area bloggers to attend and live-blog the event. I’ll be doing the honors tomorrow night, and will be posting my updates in this very space. Come on by and say hi before the show gets started!

US Scareways: Worse than you thought.

For me, one of the major drawback to living in Philadelphia is the airport, a major hub for the worst airline in the country, US Airways. Or, as my very well travelled friend calls them: US Scareways. Everyone I know who has flown with them has had a miserable experience. My fiancé and I were once forced to fly them back from Florida, and gained some lovely firsthand knowledge. The plane was old, shabby and improperly pressurized. I don’t recall any in-flight service, although I’m sure we must have at least gotten soda or water. A pilot and a flight attendant along for the ride sat behind us blasting a dvd for the entire cabin to hear. Thank goodness it was a short flight.

We refuse to fly them again. Last year we returned to my home airport to fly out of Newark on Continental. There were some takeoff delays but the prices were excellent, service good and they gave us full meals included. For trans-atlantic, once again, we wouldn’t even consider US Airways and ended up flying out of JFK for a much cheaper fare on British Airways than available from PHL.
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