‘Marie Antoinette’ arrives in February at Curio Theatre

Jennifer Summerfield as Marie Antoinette and Brian McCann as King Louis. Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas

Curio Theatre Company brings audiences into a modern look at one of history’s most controversial figures. David Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette kicks off 2018 for the West Philadelphia theatre. This contemporary take on the infamous French Queen runs February 14-March 10.  Directed by Brenna Geffers, this engaging story of excess, artifice, and revolution opens Friday, February 16 at 8 p.m.
In Adjmi’s contemporary take on the young famed queen of France, Marie is a frivolous, extravagant prisoner of circumstance. She is a confection created by a society that values extravagance and artifice. As the revolution brews and the people of France sour to the excess and artifice that define her life, they prepare to place her head firmly on the chopping block.  In this dark and humorous tale, Marie consorts with kings, lovers, and the occasional sheep, while the chants of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!” filling the streets grow ever louder. Marie Antoinette holds a mirror up to our contemporary society that might just be entertaining itself to death.
Brenna Geffers makes her Curio Theatre Company directorial debut. Jennifer Sumerfield is Marie Antoinette with Curio Company member Brian McCann as King Louis XVI. The ensemble, who portray several people who circle around them includes: Company Member Rich Bradford, Jessica Delcanton, Twoey Truong, and Liam Mulshine.
“It is funny and dangerous and nimble. It is absolutely about right now. I have found myself thinking a lot about the French Revolution in the past year. I am sure I am not the only one’; the inequality of wealth is a huge issue right now.  I have also been questioning a lot of my own preconceptions about the complicity of wealthy white women in the power structures they operate in. What kind of pity or unearned empathy does our society extend to them?,” said Geffers. “Looking at voting patterns of white women in the last year has made me realize how wrong so many of my assumptions have been. I often hear the question ‘why would these women vote against their own self-interests?’ and I wonder – are they actually? Or rather, are they actually voting to protect privilege. Marie Antionette can be a fascinating lens to look at this question through. What kind of culpability are we willing to assign privileged women? How dangerous are princesses? What would Melania and Ivanka do?”
Most performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. Industry Night is Monday, February 19 at 8 p.m.  All performances are held at Curio’s home in the Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Ave. Tickets cost $15-$30 and are available online www.curioutheatre.org or by phone at 215-921-8243.

‘Creature Feature’ at Community Arts Center

Juror Brad Hagmayer’s love for animals and his incredible technical skill come together in his ceramic animal sculptures like “Polka Dot Octopus” which will be included in the “Creature Feature” exhibition opening at Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, on February 3, 2018.

“Creature Feature,” an exhibition juried by Brad Hagmayer, Garth Herrick and Martha Perkins that features artistic interpretations of the theme “creature” using any conceptual framework desired, opens in the Duke Gallery at Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA, on February 3  and runs through March 9. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The show will be anchored by a multi-piece ceramic installation by Brad Hagmayer and Bob Deane and will feature selected entries that are two dimensional works in mixed media, wall sculpture, hand-pulled prints, photography or digital art (no digital print reproductions of hand-made works) plus three dimensional works. Entries must have been completed during the last three years and not previously exhibited at Community Arts Center. Selected entries are in competition for cash prizes in Best of Show, Second and Third Place. Most exhibited works are available for sale.

The public is invited to meet and greet “Creature Feature’s” exhibiting artists at the reception and awards ceremony on February 18 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Artists will be on hand to discuss their work and answer questions. Additionally, there will be artist receptions on February 18th for the BeaDazzle Gallery Wall exhibit of mono prints by Alvina Ridpath and the Stairwell Gallery exhibit of 2D art work of the students of instructor Alice Myers Wallace and 3D art work of the students of instructor Lucy Edwards.

Also at the CAC that day, musician Peter Delaplane will perform a solo guitar recital featuring the works of Bach, Diabelli, Sor, Villa Lobos and Jobim from 3 -4 p.m. The recital will take place in the Ballroom, a separate space from the exhibitions. Peter has been performing and teaching music in the Philadelphia and surrounding area for 20 years and is the founder and musical director of The Rock Garden, a summer music program for 10-18 year olds, which is offered at the Community Arts Center each summer.

Paul Downie, Executive Director of Community Arts Center said, “It will be a wonderful day of art and music at the CAC. We have been planning the Creature Feature show for over three years, spearheaded by CAC faculty member and Potters Guild member Brad Hagmayer. The juried show will feature work by many local artists who share an affinity for “creatures” of all sorts. We’re also very pleased to present Peter Delaplane’s guitar recital, which he has prepared in anticipation of receiving his Masters of Fine Arts degree in music this spring. A highly talented and versatile performer, Peter presents his rock and roll camp here each summer, sharing the magic of music with young people.”

The Community Arts Center is at 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA 19086. For additional information, call CAC at 610-566-1713 or visit communityartscenter.org.

February events at MAC

MAC Music Series featuring the Mike Kennedy Band

Friday, February 2nd 

MAC is excited to bring the Mike Kennedy Band to the stage from 8-9:30pm.  Mike Kennedy is a Philadelphia based guitarist, composer, and music educator.  Over the last 20 years, Mike’s performance schedule has covered much of the East Coast and parts of California,Texas, Florida and Ohio. He has performed with commercially known international pop artists, such as LouRawls, Michael Feinstein, Bernadette Peters, Peter Nero and The Philly Pops and The Midtown Men as well as a long list of Philadelphia artists.

Suggested Donation: $5


February 2018 Exhibition: Patrice Zinck and Craig Reger

In February the Media Arts Council presents two very different series of photographs from two local artists: Patrice Zinck and Craig Reger.

Exhibit Dates: February 8th – March 3 Thursday – Saturday, 4-7pm

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 10 – 4-7pm

Patrice Zinck’s images are a reflection of the connection she feels with the subject, this holds true whether photographing landscapes, cars, seascapes or still life, experiencing a unique perspective with each subject.  She has a wide range of interests looking for compelling subjects as well as creating images in her studio.  These images are an extension of her inner self, drawing in the connection or the story felt with the subject she is photographing, becoming more than just about the subject.  Her intention is to capture the essence of the subjects using the creative medium of photography.

Craig Reger is a black and white film photographer who concentrates on the human element. His featured work this month focuses on one weekend: the inauguration of the current President of the United States and the Women’s  March on Washington, which followed as protest. In the midst of the “smaller than reported” crowds for the swearing in ceremony and the awe inspiring turnout for the march, Craig turned his lens toward the individual.


Crafty Hour Workshop: Valentine’s Day Cards

Instructor: Caitlin McMahon
Sunday, February 4, 2018 .   1:30p – 3:30p .  Cost: $15

BYOB, Light refreshments provided.

Valentine’s Day is a day to show all your loved ones how much you care. What better way to say I Love You than with a hand made card! During this workshop you will learn how to create beautiful and unique cards using the iris folding technique. Iris folding is a paper folding technique that uses patterns to create one of a kind greeting cards.

All materials provided.

MAC is at 609-B W. State Street, Media, PA 19063

www.MediaArtsCouncil.org or  484-445-4161


Horticulture Seminar at the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College

Join Curator, Mary Tipping, for an in-depth look into the beautiful world of Hamamelidaceae, the witch hazel family. Through classroom discussion and explorations in the collections, get a close look at this diverse family of trees and shrubs and learn how to effectively use them in the landscape. Participants will receive thorough plant fact sheets on each plant covered in class. There will be a 30-minute break for lunch; please bring your own (morning snacks will be provided). Dress for the weather and walking through the collections to see the witch hazels in bloom! Limit 30.
  •   Friday, February 16, 10 am to 3 pm
  •  Snow Date: Friday, February 23
  •  Non-members – $40
  •  Scott Arboretum Members – $30
  •   Gillespie Room, Wister Center

For more information, please call the Arboretum Offices at 610-328-8025 or visit www.scottarboretum.org.

‘Next to Normal’ Next For Media Theatre

The Pulitzer Prize winning musical ‘Next to Normal’ comes to the Media Theatre Jan. 31-Feb. 25, featuring award winning actors Krissy Fraelich and Ben Dibble. ‘Next to Normal,’ with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness. Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize.

Dad’s an architect. Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 years.’Next to Normal’ takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy and heart.

This deeply moving piece of theatre provides a wonderful opportunity for performers to explore dramatic material and showcase vocal talents with an energetic pop/rock score.

For tickets, showtimes and more, call 610-891-0100 or  visit mediatheatre.org


Isis Productions presents ‘FROZEN’

Inspired by actual events, FROZEN by Bryony Lavery is an intriguing engaging study into the mind of those destroyed by traumatic events. FROZEN won a British Best New Play Award and was nominated for a 2004 Tony Award for Best Play.
Ten-year-old, Rhona is sent to her Grandma’s to deliver garden shears, but she never gets there and she never returns. After this tragic event, her mother, Nancy, remains in a frozen state for twenty years. Meanwhile, Agneatha, an American psychologist who has devoted her life to studying sociopathic serial killers is traveling to England to interview Ralph, Rhona’s convicted killer. Ingrid, Nancy’s oldest daughter, convinces Nancy that in order to move on with her life, she must forgive Ralph. However the consequences of this forgiveness are extremely surprising.

Isis Productions presents FROZEN, directed by Neill Hartley starring Kirsten Quinn, Allen Radway, and Renee Richman-Weisband. Performances run at the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5 in Philadelphia.
The preview performance is on Thursday, March 8th at 8 PM. Opening night is Friday, March 9th at 8 PM. Shows from March 8th (preview), Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM for 16 performances through Sunday, April 1st. Tickets are available at: www.isisperforms.com,

British ensemble VOCES8 at World Cafe Live

British ensemble VOCES8 takes a cappella chamber singing to a new level. Called “impeccable” (Gramophone) and “slickest of the lot” (BBC Radio 3), the 8-voice ensemble performs everything from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary commissions.  On Sunday, March 4 at 3PM, the acclaimed group will come to Philadelphia as part of LiveConnections’ “Season of Community Collaboration” at World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut Street).

“VOCES8 is one of the most compelling groups I have ever heard live,” said Mary Javian, Concert Curator for the LiveConnections Presents series. “The founders trained at Westminster Abbey and come from a choral tradition that is centuries old, yet the group has a delightfully fresh take on music from the past and present.”

This concert kicks off a two-year LiveConnections initiative called “A Song Everyone Can Sing,” focused on accessibility and inclusion through singing. VOCES8 will be joined by choirs from C.W. Henry School, a public school in Mount Airy; Our Lady of Confidence Day School, which serves students ages 15-21 with intellectual disabilities; and Germantown Recovery Community, which serves individuals receiving therapeutic, mental health and recovery services. The three community choirs participated in workshops with VOCES8 co-founder Paul Smith in the fall. Smith’s has innovative “VOCES8 Method” uses rhythm and sound to enhance literacy and numeracy, and is designed to accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities. Smith returns this winter to conduct follow-up workshops in preparation for the performance.  VOCES8 will also present two LiveConnections Bridge Sessions for 250 students from public schools on March 5, 2018.

“These concerts blur the line between audiences and performers,” said Javian. “At LiveConnections we believe the communities we work with, including youth from public schools and individuals with disabilities, are all potential collaborators.”

 Tickets ($20/$10 for students) are currently on sale at liveconnections.org.

‘The Humans’ at Walnut Street Theatre

Jennie Eisenhower (Aimee Blake), Mary Martello (Deirdre Blake), and Alex Keiper in “The Humans” at Walnut Street Theatre. Photo by Jenny Lynn.

Walnut Street Theatre continues its landmark 209th season with Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play, THE HUMANS. Directed by Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard, the play, which was the recipient of over 20 Best Play Awards in 2016, begins previews on January 16th, opens on January 24th, and runs through March 4th on the Walnut’s Mainstage.

After a sleepless night, Erik Blake brings his family from Pennsylvania to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s new apartment in lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the crumbling pre-war duplex, mysterious things start to go bump in the night and family tensions reach a boiling point. American middle class hopes, dreams, and fears are first coaxed – then shoved – into the light in this humorous, hopeful and heart-tugging new play.

Karam was commissioned by the Roundabout Theatre Company to write THE HUMANS after his previous play, Sons of a Prophet, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His plays borrow heavily from his personal life and all share a deep focus on family. With THE HUMANS, Karam challenged himself to write a play in real time on a single set. The entirety of the play is a 90-minute slice of the Blake’s family Thanksgiving, allowing Karam to touch on the connections, personalities, and interactions of the family.

THE HUMANS had its world premiere in 2014 at the American Theatre Company in Chicago and was termed a “kind, warm, beautifully observed and deeply moving new play,” by Chris Jones from the Chicago Tribune. The show then opened Off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company in 2015 before transferring to Broadway in 2016. Both the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions won multiple awards including the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, and the Tony Award for Best Play.

Walnut Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard takes the director’s seat for this production. Havard noted, “I am humbled to share this piece with Philadelphia audiences in my 35th year of creating wonderful art here at the Walnut. Truly, this is an opportunity to work with some of the city’s finest actors in Stephen Karam’s magnificent play, which pays tribute to what makes us all human.”

Walnut veteran Mary Martello will take the stage as the dry-witted but warm and unwavering matriarch, Deirdre Blake. In her almost twenty years on local stages, Martello has been awarded five Barrymore Awards, received a Lunt/Fontanne Fellowship, and has performed in almost twenty-five shows at the Walnut.

The Blake children, Brigid and Aimee will be played by Alex Keiper and Jennie Eisenhower.

Deidre’s mother, Fiona “Momo” Blake will be played by Sharon Alexander (And Then There Were None, Good People, The Producers). Ibrahim Miari makes his Walnut debut as Brigid’s soon-to-be social worker boyfriend, Richard Saad.

THE HUMANS runs at the Walnut January 16 through March 4. Open captioning will be available for the 7pm performance on Sunday, February 11. This production is sponsored by Frank and Ramona Gwynn. Media Partners are NBC 10, Metro, and 101.1 More FM. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.