Open Arts Philly is a new initiative by Campus Philly to encourage students on a budget to explore the city without going bankrupt. In a place that houses world-famous orchestras and considers the Rocky legacy such high art that they had a year-long debater over whether it belonged in the PMA, that’s a pretty noble mission.
Philadelphia Art Alliance is an exhibition space housed in Society Hill and dedicates itself to promoting the Philly art scene and uniting the arts by presenting music, theater, painting, and sculpture in a single venue.. It’s been around since 1915 and presents up to twelve exhibits a year, as well as hosting touring exhibits, workshops, artist talks and other things.
This Wednesday, November 20th, they come together to make sweet music on the dance floor.
I can’t believe I just said that. Allergy season is really getting to me.
Open Arts is partnering up with Philadelphia Art Alliance for a special College Night event featuring CaveCast, a series of live podcast events that document the Philly music DJ scene. Part lecture, part dance party (stay with me here), it features conversations with DJs about their craft, the Philly scene, and what it’s like to wear a fedora seriously. At least, that’s what I would ask a DJ if I actually knew one or knew anything about DJing to begin with. That’s how Kevin Federline got his start, right?Right?
The DJ featured on November 20th will be Apt One, who according to various websites has been on the forefront of many important movements in dance music over the last ten years, which has seen him play all styles imaginable all across the US and Europe. Which probably means he had some hand in the whole Euro-pop thing so we either have a lot to thank him or a reason to raid this place. He’s also a DJ that is near to my heart because my apartment number is indeed Apt. 1 too, so I feel like he really understands what I go through on a daily basis.
He’ll be talking on air and hosting a free live dance party straight after, so ditch your capstone outline for a different kind of lesson at 9pm on Wednesday, November 20th. It’s cheaper than Tigerbeats, and you’ll come out with some new knowledge on DJing you can impress your new frat bro with! What more could you ask for?
All right, you’ve caught me. The game is up. I am Apt One and this is my party and that’s why I’m writing about it on this blog and saying things like “make sweet music on the dance floor”. Please come.
This event has LIMITED FREE TICKETS. All ages, ID required for drink wristband. Discounted $5 Tickets are available when FREE tickets sell out. Register online here to claim tickets.
I’m going to go ahead and admit that I’m not a huge Rocky Horror aficionado. Not that I hate it, or anything, but the only time I did see it was in middle school and let’s just leave it at the fact that I was WAY too young to understand what the heck was going on with Tim Curry’s outfit, never mind following the plot itself. But try not to let that discourage you- this was the Twilight generation, after all. Simple things were much more my forte.
Maybe the only reason why I haven’t really is because I never actually had the experience of watching the whole cult-performance aspect that comes round every Halloween. Every year around Halloween time, a bunch of cinemas all over the country will screen the 70s cult classic and audiences flock, often in costumes and with bags of props to throw at the screen. To college students all over the nation, going to Rocky Horror at Halloween is kind of a rite of passage. Judging by that standard I guess we can go ahead and say that since in my four years of university studies the only time I even saw what Rocky Horror live was during that scene in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, we can safely assume I am a complete and utter cultural invalid.
Luckily for me and other “virgins” (as they call Those Who Have Never Seen Rocky Horror), QSU is presenting The Rocky Horror Picture Show tonight at 8 at The Reel, with a second late-night option at 10:15pm. Tickets are $2 for Temple students and $4 for everyone else, so you could literally hold your daily pumpkin spice latte order and just spend that money on some real culture. Temple students will be acting out the movie in front of a screening of the film, with Jay Oatis as Frank-N-Furter, Jacob Smith as Brad, and Sarah Berg as Janet. DON’T MISS THIS CHANCE TO SEE THAT RANDO GUY YOU ALWAYS SEE LURKING AT THE LIBRARY BUT YOU NEVER ACTUALLY TALK TO PERFORM LIVE FOR YOU (don’t deny it- we all have that kind of relationship, and it’s always the one person in a position of authority or performance)
Check out QSU’s Facebook page for more info, and make sure to stop by the Reel- leave your inhibitions at the door.
You may or may not know this, depending on whether you’ve spent 3 seconds in my company, but I can be rather childlish a lot of the time. Usually, this wouldn’t be something to brag about- having just recently been declared old enough to walk inside a bar and not embarrass myself by the Pennsylvania state, it’s sort of a given that your dress-up princess days are kinda over.
But there are two nights a year where it’s totally acceptable to be as childlish as you’d like. Once is your birthday, and that’s a totally different story. Another is Halloween.
But you know me, even at my most childish I’m still a born snob. Which is why the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Halloween concert series has been the highlight of my year for the past four years. The premise is simple: one 11AM children’s concert in which the Philly Orch plays spooky and kid-friendly tunes like the theme to Harry Potter and Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (better known as Mickey’s Big Fat Screw-Up to Fantasia fans) to celebrate the Halloween season and to spark children’s interest in classical music. In the past they’ve played such classics as “In The Hall of the Mountain King” and a looooot of John Williams. My favorite part, however, is when the musicians come in costume.
Last Saturday was the orchestra’s annual Magical Musical Halloween. Conducted by Cristian Macelaru, the Philly Orch played such Halloween classics as Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre”, “Mirror Dance” from Faust and even the theme song from “Hook” (I told you- there’s a loooooot of John Williams here.) This year also had a special treat- troupe members from Cirque de la Symphonie kept the kids entertained (and most importantly, quiet) throughout a few songs with snippets of magic tricks and juggling.
The concert was, in all honesty, a great success. In terms of getting the next generation to love classical music, incorporating popular songs and a little fun into the program is nothing short of genius. The Philadelphia Orchestra is great at playing the greats, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also super refreshing to see them render “Hedwig’s Theme” to perfection, too.
Also, take it from someone who’s watched them perform “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” live no less than three times. It. Is. Astonishing. And no wonder- the Philadelphia Orchestra was the one who performed on the studio recording for the original Fantasia.
DROP THE BEAT DUKAS!!
So you’re probably sitting there thinking: that’s great, Magali, but what about me? I didn’t go to this concert! Why are you bragging about how much fun you had and then saying “Oh well, you had to be there I guess!” and not even let us have a little of the fun?
I’ll say the following: 1) That’s kind of the point of reviews (yeah, I hate reading them too but whatever) and 2) YOU HAVE A SECOND SHOT.
Because here’s the thing: the Philly Orch takes care of its students. They want you to come out in hordes and take advantage of the beautiful and unparallel acoustically-amazing concert hall in your own backyard. They want you to have your Mozart moment that isn’t through “Amadeus”. They want to be there when you realize that hey, classical music is actually pretty cool once you listen to a properly tuned orchestra (and not your weird high school jazz band). And most importantly, they get that at $55+ a pop, a night at the opera ain’t cheap. Which is why their EZseatU program is so awesome- as a college student you can sign up for a seasonal subscription for only $25 and receive unlimited concert tickets for the entire season.
It’s a pretty sweet deal, actually- pay $25 for a subscription and get free entry to over a dozen Philly Orch concerts over the 2013-2014 concert season. The way it works is easy: sometimes, concerts (even really, really awesome concerts) don’t sell all their tickets, or happen to have weird single-seating available all over the floor (this is especially trendy during couples seasons like February or spring). The Kimmel Center then gives those seats away to subscriber students who sign up ahead of time for the concert they’re interested in. They’re really nice seats too; I’ve gotten front-row a couple of times.
All you have to do is sign up online the Tuesday of the same week the concert’s taking place (they usually have Thursday/Friday/Saturday shows) and come to the Kimmel Center at least 20 minutes before showtime. You’ll stand in the EZSeatU area (distinguished by a very corporate-looking sign) with a group of other like-minded classicists such as yourself) and get ushered in to whatever seating’s available.
And no, this isn’t a $25 a month subscription thing like in Save the Children or whatever new charity is harassing students on campus these days (what are you, made of money?). The entire season is yours for a one-time payment of $25.
If you’re still not sold, look at it this way- our seats for the Halloween concert were $25 anyway once you factored in the cost of the seat plus fees. (THOSE STUPID FEES! They get you. Every! Time!). So you might as well save yourself some money in the long run. Think of it as an investment for that date you’ve been thinking of asking that cute Voice Training major to since the beginning of the semester (stop being a wimp and JUST DO IT).
Interested? Check out the list of upcoming concerts and remember to check in at the Philly Orch’s Subscription website every Tuesday for available tickets. Mysef, I awaitBeethoven’s 7th with bated breath. Have you seen The Fall? Brilliant.
|All RachmaninoffFebruary 13, 14, & 15 8 PM|
|Firebird and CinderellaFebruary 28 2 PM
March 1 8 PM
|Yannick & YujaNovember 7 & 9 8 PM
November 8 2 PM
|The “Organ” SymphonyApril 11 & 12 8 PM
April 13 2 PM
|Tchaikovsky Week 3: The Violin ConcertoJanuary 23 & 24 8 PM||Mozart CelebrationApril 24, 25, & 26 8 PM
April 25 2 PM
|Bronfman Plays BeethovenOctober 10 & 12 8 PM
October 11 2 PM
|Radu Lupu joins YannickJanuary 30 & February 1 8 PM
January 31 2 PM
|Ravel and DebussyOctober 24 & 26 8 PM
October 25 2 PM
|Ax, from Bach to StraussFebruary 6 & 8 8 PM
February 7 2 PM
|From Vienna to the New WorldNovember 14 & 16 8 PM
November 15 2 PM
|Yannick’s EroicaFebruary 20 & 22 8 PM
February 23 2 PM
|Vivaldi’s Four SeasonsNovember 29 & 30 8 PM
December 1 2 PM
|Brahms’s FirstMarch 20, 21, & 22 8 PM|
|David Kim Plays TchaikovskyDecember 12 & 14 8 PM
December 13 2 PM
|Mozart’s “Linz”March 27 & 29 8 PM
March 28 2 PM
|Tchaikovsky Week 1: Symphony No. 4January 10 & 11 8 PM
January 12 2 PM
|Beethoven’s SeventhApril 3 & 5 8 PM
April 4 2 PM
|Tchaikovsky Week 2: The SerenedeJanuary 16 & 18 8 PM
January 17 2 PM
|Bruckner’s Final SymphonyMay 1 & 3 8 PM|
If you hung out with me for at least five minutes over the past summer months, you’ll know that one of my most fervent wishes was to see the Guillermo del Toro summer blockbuster “Pacific Rim” in 3D. It was basically all I talked about during my family vacation to Florida. My parents were not impressed, no matter how much I went on and on about , like its crazy effects and its inspiring racial diversity.
To be honest, I still have no idea what the &$*% that movie is about. All I know is that alien dinosaurs are taking over the earth, that Sons of Anarchy guy who was going to be in “50 Shades of Grey” has a thing with a badass kawaii Rinko Kikuchi, and Idris Elba is commandeering a platoon of Power Rangers to defend the planet. Amazing, right?
That wish alas was not fulfilled, as my parents chose “The Lone Ranger” instead, and when we returned to Philadelphia the film had already left theaters… and a big, empty hole in my heart. I mean, don’t get me wrong- I’m not opposed to seeing Armie Hammer in cowboy gear. At all. On the other hand… DINOSAURS.
Thankfully Philadelphia is a city where dreams come true, and they’re giving me a chance to get my very own Make-A-Wish-Foundation-Dream tonight without even having to go through a tragic life-altering event. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater (because why not?), The Awesome Fest and Enterprise CarShare are teaming up to bring Center City its first-ever drive-in movie theater. That’s right- every Friday from now until November 22nd at 7:30 p.m., you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a double feature on the big screen in the middle of Eakins Oval with a truly spectacular skyline substituting those pesky widescreen black bars. And wouldn’t you know it- their opening night is featuring Pacific Rim.
Interested? Read ahead for all the info.
The deal is pretty simple: every night you’ll be treated to two feature films ranging from Arachnophobia to Grease. Tonight’s special, aside from featuring Pacific Rim will also be screening King Kong vs. Godzilla. Eakins Oval has a giant parking lot in its center, which is where the screen will be placed. There will be approximately 75 parking spaces for vehicles, so get there early! There’s also going to be lots of food trucks and loud, noisy couples in cars. Food, movies, and a questionable amount of exhaust fumes- what could be better?
Here’s the full lineup, with food trucks
• October 18 (TODAY!): King Kong vs. Godzilla & Pacific Rim — Guerilla Ultima, The Tot Cart, Cherry Bomb Bus
• October 25: Grease & The Blob — Foo, Spot Burger
• November 1: The Car & Christine — Just Jackie’s, Mini Trini
• November 8: Arachnophobia & Big Ass Spider! — Surf and Turf, Delicias
• November 22: Planes, Trains & Automobiles & Santa Claus Conquers the Martians — Cherry Bomb Bus, Local 215
Anyone and everyone- racism is illegal now. It’s about $20 per car if you’re driving up, but Enterprise CarShare members will only have to pay $0.25. Too broke to buy textbooks, never mind a car? No worries! Bikers, pedestrians, skaters, and amphibians are all welcome free of charge.
The Oval, also known as The Stage Thing That Randomly Cropped Up In The Middle of That Weird Forested Area In The Benjamin Franklin Parkway And Made Everyone Really Confused For A Long Time.
Every Friday night at 7:30pm from October 18th- November 22 (excluding November 15th, when the parkway will be overtaken by crazy maniacs, i.e. marathon runners for the Philadelphia Marathon). Every night is a double-feature, and the first film will get started around 7:30 p.m. The second film is slated to begin at 9 p.m.
What do you mean, how? You sit down and watch a movie. How difficult is that to explain? This is a blog for deep intellectuals. Stop wasting my time.
Any questions? I DIDN’T THINK SO. But if there ARE… kindly head on over to Uwishunu for their complete guide and FAQ to the event. So grab a blanket, or a lawnchair… or if you’re real fancy, your four-wheel vehicle and get ready to get in THE RIM!!!
I have a question for you, peasants.
If you could name your very own kingdom, what would you name it? The Kingdom of Napouusdsjhkfjsad? Magaliland? Narnia?
The fictional kingdom of Burgundia is the setting for one of Philly Fringe’s most unique plays, happening now at the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5. The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium (which is a thing that exists, apparently), is putting on a performance of “Ivona, Princess of Burgundia”, and after bumping on an advert for the show on Philly Fun Guide I knew I had to get my tickets immediately:
The kingdom of Burgundia has gone gaga (and not a good gaga) over Prince Philip’s announcement that he’ll wed a socially awkward commoner in Polish novelist and playwright Witold Gombrowicz’s delightfully wicked fairy tale, Ivona, Princess of Burgundia. Chaos and confusion spread throughout the land, and mayhem and comedy ensue as the royal court faces their demons in a world where appearance and self-importance reign in this provocative and tragicomic parable.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
1.Socially awkward princess?
2. People making fun of somebody’s outwardly appearance?
3. Keeping Up With The Kardashians-esque absurdity?
IT’S LIKE IT’S THE STORY OF MY LIFE BROUGHT TO THE STAGE.
Minus the marriage part.
Some of you may have be aware that the Philly Fringe Festival has been under way for a few days now. But with a festival lineup of more than 50 shows taking place all over the city, it can be pretty daunting for someone of such high standards (read: little patience for reading through 50 pages brochures of showtimes) to find a hidden gem to spend their sole $20 bill on. Plus, I don’t want to mingle with just any plebeians. They tend to smell quite common.
Here are three reasons why I’m super excited to check this out:
1. I’m obsessed with fairytales. You should have seen me when “Snow White and The Huntsman” came out- I even sat through two hours of Kristen Stewart’s acting. That’s dedication for you. Combine that with Marie-Antoinette esque period costumes and some good ol’ fashioned Love Conquers All storylines, and you’ve piqued my interest.
2.Speaking of, the costumes looks hilarious. I mean, look at this and tell me you’re not in the least curious about how it works:
3. The plot itself looks like something straight from one of Moliere’s plays (Oh, and if you haven’t seen the movie, I strongly recommend you do). A clever mix of absurd comedy with some serious issues about beauty and what it all means to each of us bring about a cool kind of fairytale that’s much more complex than anything Disney’s cooked up lately.
4. With a $5 off student discount on $20 tickets, you can actually afford to see it live!
Bottom line- if you’re gonna check out any Fringe play, make sure it’s this one. Performances have been running since September 5th, and the curtain closes for the last time Sunday, September 23rd. I’ll be going to the Saturday showing, so if you happen to recognize my cutting wit and miniscule height, come say hi! I promise I’ll only be mildly freaked out.
Hallelluhah, let the village rejoice, praise Jesus, Mohammad, Meryl Streep, and any other higher powers you’re privy to. I’m back to posting, peasants!
Now, it’s a brand new year and some things have changed. Instead of launching on a wordy paragraph about my latest existentialist exploits, I have outlined them all out for you in as clear and concise terms as I can muster after writing a paper on Puritans in the New England colonies (not recommended). Here are some things that are changing from last year:
1. I have, due to some and what others might call maturity, gained an incredibly unexpected swelling of self-esteem. Basically, I’ve realized how valuable I am to society and the world in general. I think it’s called self-actualization or something (how Mia Thermopolis of me!). Therefore, please do not get offended if I start referring to you, my loyal readers, by the endearing term “peasants”. Likewise, I might call myself the queen. Don’t worry about it.
2. My insanely stressful schedule might only allow me to ramble about my life online once every few weeks. I’m going to do my best to post weekly, but we’ll see how it does. I promise to do at least one blog post a month, though, so please don’t do anything drastic, like protest outside the GenEd offices, or bring a gun to The Dark Knight Rises.
3. As a cause of said stressful schedule, whenever I do post, please do not be alarmed if I continually TYPE IN ALL CAPS LIKE SOME KIND OF DERANGED ONE DIRECTION FANGIRL IT’S JUST THE WAY I GET WHEN MY LIFE IS IN CHAOS… I’M IN REHAB IT’S A 5-STEP PROCESS OKAY.
THAT SAID I THINK I’LL FINISH THIS INTRODUCTORY POST WITH THE FOLLOWING INSPIRING WORDS:
-QUEEN MAGALI ROMAN
I’m not exactly the best source of advice when it comes to studying for finals. Studying for anything is not really my strong suit, unless you count that time in middle school when the theater class was doing a trip to the Statue of Liberty and I memorized the entire Emma Lazarous poem in the hopes of impressing one of my male classmates (I failed miserably, thank God. He has not aged well.). I am not ashamed to admit that finals week teaches me more about hustlin’ than any ROTC or Rick Ross song ever could. That being said, I do have a redeeming quality. I am a master of
procrastinating relaxing through the most terrifying time of the year. And trust me, when the only thing standing between you and pre-bio final psychopathy, you will need my gospel.
So, from one underachiever to another, here’s my ultimate prone-to-failure-and-not-entirely-healthy Guide to Surviving Death Week.
I don’t like coffee, but I don’t like finals either. And the truth is, you’ve got to band with the lesser of evils here. This point does not restrict itself to coffee specifically- caffeine can be in everything from Coca-Cola to tea, to certain illegal substances (we jest, WE JEST! DON’T DO IT! YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR!). If you’re going to stay awake, might as well have it be for a good cause. Don’t worry about screwing up your entire brain with the extra sugar and unhealthy stuff, we know you’ll make up for it by doing extra rounds at the Center City Trader Joe’s. Yeah.
That being said…
2. Nap. A lot.
I don’t know what it is about me but for some reason I seem to wait until the last possible moment at night (usually by 2 a.m.) to go to bed, then wake up at 9 a.m. every morning and wonder why I can barely drag myself out of bed to shut off my alarm (“Snoop D.O. Double G” by Snoop Dogg, if you must know. It’s the only song terrifying enough to get me out of bed). But the thing is, you need sleep. You do. Even half an hour of rest will give you more energy to tackle that 15 page studyguide better than that extra cup of coffee I suggested you take earlier in the article. See what I’m doing? I’m so tired I can’t even remember what I wrote earlier in the blog post! That’s exhaustive journalistic research for you!
3. Put on Some Mood Music
For the actual studying part, I’ve found music actually helps me concentrate a lot more than if I just stare at Microsoft Word. There’s something a little disconcerting about trying to remember the details of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination at 3 a.m. with nothing but dead silence around you. Pull up Grooveshark and plug yourself into the zone. I’ve found that instrumental soundtracks like The Social Network, Pride and Prejudice, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo work exceedingly well.
3. Take a Break or Else you May Actually Scare People With Your Obsessive-Studying-Bordering-On-Sociopathy
Otherwise known as my favorite hobby in the world, unwinding is amazing. I do this even when it’s not finals week. I do this when in school, and I do this when at home. Dare I say it…I even do this during the summer. I know. I sicken myself. Even though you might find yourself swamped with Italian verb charts, try to find some time to take a walk, or read a magazine, or watch an episode of Miranda. If you structure in regular free time instead of straight-up working for the entire day (aka Facebooking every five minutes), it will be easier for you to concentrate during the times your body knows to work. Staring at a computer screen for 6 hours never helped anyone (except maybe Mark Zuckerberg but that’s another story entirely).
Actually while we’re at it…
4. Watch this video
It will automatically make all your problems disappear. And you can quote me on that.
5. Keep it in perspective.
Visualize yourself acing this thing. Imagine… you wake up in the morning feeling like Kanye West (because, let’s admit it, P. Diddy’s twitter account isn’t nearly that excellent). You grab a homemade muffin off a polka-dot buiscuit tin and wear sneakers to show off that you’ve powerwalked to class. When you get there, the door opens with an explosion and when the air clears, it’s you, doing a pose in the doorway because you’re self-confident and that makes people do strange things for some reason. You’re walking up to your seat, Starbucks coffee in hand, but it’s filled to the brim because you don’t even need caffeine to get you through the day anymore. You have 5 number 2 pencils, just in case. The hot T.A. actually notices you for once. You are no longer yourself. The old you is no more: the new you has risen from the ashes, and it is beautiful. You are beautiful. You. Are. Ryan. Gosling.
6. Don’t sweat it.
Literally speaking, please remember to shower- it’s bad enough showing up to an 8 a.m. exam without having to plug your nose because everybody was so nervous they forgot to follow basic rules of hygene. Figuratively speaking, try to remember that this is only one exam. Hopefully some of the classwork you did throughout the year will help pad the horrendous F you’re not going to get. And even if you drop out of college because you failed every single one of your courses and are chin-deep in student debt and can’t find a job and your parents throw you out and the Pope excommunicates you, you can always lead a good life. As exemplified by Mr. Alan Moore, below.
If you know me at all, you know that while I appreciate and respect truly innovative and creative and overall GOOD music, my reasons for listening to certain artists can sometimes be quite shallow. As in “OHMYGODHEISSOATTRACTIVEUNFLOOKATHISFACEANDHISHAIRIDONTKNOWWHO
To my credit, bands with attractive members usually do end up being really talented. Unless you’re talking about One Direction- there’s all sorts of catastrophes going on there that I will not even get into right now.
Case in point, going into the Alumni Concert for John Legend, I did not have entirely pure intentions. And can you blame me? Ever since stumbling upon the video for the appropriately titled Estelle song “Let’s Fall In Love”, and hearing his sudden, strident verse smack in the middle of a song about falling in love (clearly it was a sign), it was basically all I could do not to throw my computer out the window and just lay down on the floor, facedown, crying.
But hey, if it leads me to good music, does it reeeeally matter what sign pointed me in the right direction? It’s all about the journey, after all! Isn’t that what Ghandi was always saying?
Or was it Lance Armstrong?
ANYWAY. The point is, being fully aware of every aspect of John Legend save his music (well, not really. I do know “Wake Up Everybody”. I’m not stupid, you know…), I couldn’t wait to see whether I was the only pathetic girl in the audience who scrambled to get a ticket on her hands the minute Temple announced its Alumni Weekend headliner.
I’ll going to go ahead and spoil it for you right now: I wasn’t. Not even close.
After a short opening act by Maryland rapper Dunson, the lights dropped, a spotlight appeared out of nowhere and focused on a lone man wearing all black standing smack in the middle of the audience in the floor seating area.
For a moment it was like everyone was slightly offended that this punk got a spotlight when some of us barely got a pretzel at the concession stand, and then it hit us… the punk was John Legend! In the flesh! In the middle of the audience! At his own concert! He was literally a spectator in his own performance!
I mean can you say #YOLO or…
I think it was right around then that everybody’s dignity decided to take a few hours off and there was enough screaming to put the entire Twiligt fandom to shame. It was fully ridiculous, to the point where my seat neighbors started having what any certified psychiatrist would define as “An Experience”- mainly, clutching at their hair and shouting. It didn’t exactly help that once he finished serenading the audience literally face-to-face, he sauntered over to the stage and began the show with as much ease and confidence as only somebody with 9 Grammy wins under his belt could pull off.
I don’t usually use the word “swagger” unless I’m making fun of my father, but in this case I’ll make an exception. The entire performance just reeked of it. From his backup singers, who conveyed more sass in one synchronized dance move than I will ever have in my entire life, to the seamless transitions from swaying by the mic stand to taking the piano, Legend played it all as smoothly and naturally as if he didn’t have over a thousand people screaming “I LOVE YOU JOHN LEGEND” at regular intervals throughout the stadium. I mean, you’d have though that would have at least broken his concentration a bit. But then again he’s probably used to it.
At a certain point, he even invited a fan on stage to dance with him, and they got so frisky that right about then my seat neighbors and I went from having an Experience to having a full-on meltdown that I can only describe with the help of Golden Girl Blanche Deveraux:
To be honest I’m kinda glad it wasn’t me up there because if it had been I might have done something drastic like stare at him in awe without moving and put him in an awkward situation (like personally sending me to a mental hospital, for example). Thankfully, the girl handled it expertly and simply swayed along like it was no big deal, which to be frank is suspicious, judging from the amount of people having heart attacks simply from watching this. And when he gave her a rose at the end of their dance, everyone was basically gone.
Beyond the adventures of the Sexually Frustrated for John Legend Club, the performances given were pretty amazing. Although the sound quality was poor at times, and the speakers were angled in a way that it was tough to hear certain words, I don’t think anybody had any trouble hearing him when at one point he wailed “I DON’T WANT TO BE ALOOOOOONE TONIIIIIIIGHT”.
Honestly, it’s like he knows.
Sound quality withstanding, highlight songs included “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)”, a rousing performance of “So High” (click the link for a video of the concert!), “Wake Up Everybody”, and a closing rendition of “Green Light” in which Legend fully walked into the audience again, came back on stage, stood on top of his beloved grand piano singing, and thanked everyone for a wonderful night.
Is there anything better than film festivals? I think not. Any event where large numbers of important celebrities gather to watch and present gritty, deppressing films to impress otherwise unimportant Utah residents just takes the freaking cake as far as I’m concerned. I’m no film major, but I’m a pretty avid follower of the festival circuit, or at least, the actors gracing the red carpet. I’m practically glued to the television during Awards Season, relentlessly cheering on Woody and Scorsese for their prospective prizes as passionately as if I were some kind of demented Eagles fan who actually believed the Eagles have ever stood a chance of winning anything. Who wouldn’t give anything for a golden ticket to Sundance, or Cannes, or, let’s face it, your local multiplex cinema (have you seen movie ticket prices these days?!).
Philly’s no Hollywood, and, admittedly, that’s probably a really good thing. This month, however, two very different film festivals are sweeping over Philadelphia, and we couldn’t be more excited. The topics are incredibly diverse, ranging from science documentaries to behind-the-scenes featurettes of the music industry and student films- there’s really something for everyone.
1. Science Film Fest
As part of the Philadelphia Science Festival taking place this upcoming week, the Science Film Fest is screening more than a dozen top science films with related lectures and programs at the IMAX theater of the Franklin Institute. “Man on a Mission” (April 21st), for example, gives a behind the scenes journey to space with one of the first civilians to make the trip, and “Pink Ribbon” (April 28th) uncovers the devastating reality of breast cancer, juxtaposing it with the shiny pink story of success it’s become. With ticket prices ranging from $10 to virtually free, it’s definitely a that won’t trim your wallet. Skip the line and buy your tickets here.
2) WXPN Music Film Festival
Produced by Philadelphia Film Society, and sponsored by the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Pennsylvania among others, the WXPN Music Film Festival‘s bringing some of the best movies centered solely about music curated by the local leading authorities on both film and music. And with Record Store Day looming on the horizon (April 21st, people), it could not come at a better time. Plus, it includes a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday, April 28th. The festival will take place at the Annenberg Center and other theater locations throughout Philadelphia, and with only $8 per ticket with a student I.D., it costs less than seeing “The Artist” for a fifth time and packs a decidedly louder punch (Ha. Ha. Haaa. Get it? Because it’s a silent film!). Check out the lineup here and below.
Before there was Cameron, there was Hitchcock. Before IMAX, there was film stock. And before “The Artist”, there was “A Trip To The Moon”. In an age where most movie scripts could be summed up in a simple mediocre episode of Gossip Girl (Don’t leave me! I love you! No you don’t! Yes I do, let me prove it to you at the last possible minute!), perhaps the best solution to the cultural drama overload is to just silence the actors once and for all.
Ah, for the golden age of silent cinema. A time when movies were called “motion pictures”, popcorn cost two cents, and hormone-inbalanced vampires didn’t rule the ticketing office. If you managed to catch any 2012 awards season footage, you’re aware that early silent film is having a huge moment. Jean Dujardin won his Oscar for his role as silent film star George Valentin in “The Artist”, and Martin Scorsese’s beautiful “Hugo” tells the story of Georges Méliès, a retired silent film director who directed the unforgettable picture “A Trip to The Moon”. With the charming cinematography and antique production, it’s enough to make us actually wish for the days when the most sophisticated film effects involved a pulley rope and smoke machines.
But never fear! It doesn’t have to be that way! Thanks to International House Philadelphia, a local nonprofit presenter of international arts and cultural programs, you can still immerse yourself in the magic of silent film screenings. IHP is presenting a two-part feauturette this Wednesday, April 18th at 7pm:
“A Trip to the Moon” was the first official science fiction film to hit screens in the early 1900s, and has been ranked in the top 100 most important films of all time. Thanks to one of the most technically sophisticated and expensive restorations in film history, “A Trip to the Moon” is now screening in full color. “The Extraordinary Voyage”, a documentary featuring interviews with some of contemporary cinema’s most imaginative filmmakers like Scorsese and Jean Pierre Jeunet, follows the digital restoration of the film from Méliès’ fantastical original 1902 production to its premiere at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
With student ticket prices averaging at a mere $7, this is one screening you definitely don’t want to miss. And with a brand new soundtrack created by Sofia Coppola favorites Air just for the occasion, who could stay away?
Check out this clip from the beautifully hand-colored film, and hear a sampler for Air’s album here.For more information about the screening and to find out more about International House Philadelphia, and upcoming screenings, check out their official website.