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Aladdin Tea w/Clinton Greenspan

If there’s one thing that we can all most certainly agree on, it’s that the magic of Disney’s Aladdin will remain as timeless as the summer sun.

From its thrilling storyline to its underlying messages of love, hope and family to the many, many classic tunes that will always bring the Genie out of our musical bottles….it’s always here and so much more

Just ask yourself…..how many times have you belted out “Friend Like Me” in the shower? And we just have to show our music love to the Kleenex grabbing, Oscar-winning ballad, “A Whole New World.” A gleaming piece of ’90s music which not only holds its place in the film and musical versions, but on the Billboard charts as well, where it became a number-one hit in 1992 thanks to the magical pairing of Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson, with lyrics by the one-and-only, Tim Rice. 

And of course, we just can’t wait to see what Guy Ritchie does with his take on Aladdin when it hits theaters next summer with Philly’s own Will Smith taking on the big, big role of Genie…yes. 

With all that being said, the city should feel so incredibly lucky that we get to have a chance to see the critically acclaimed traveling tour of Aladdin while its gracing its presence at the Academy of Music until July 1st. Of course, that also means that you should waste no time in grabbing those tickets to experience what all of the red-hot buzz is about. Really, why would you not want to when it comes to this show?

But before you set forth on a wild entertainment magic carpet ride (and that you will), get to know Aladdin himself–the most fabulous Mr. Clinton Greenspan. Not only is this Texas born actor a true first class (and highly talented) gentleman, but he straight up took over Philly Mixtape for a ridiculously fun chat about Moms, the Ab Roller, walking into doors after auditions (don’t we all?) and of course, all that it takes to slip into the role of Aladdin every night. 

Get to know Mr. Greenspan below…you’ll be glad you did….and then go see this show!! 

Kicking off our little chat, what inspires you to get into the role of Aladdin every night? I’ve already done the show with this cast for a year as a [Aladdin’s] understudy, so I’ve had moments here and there where I’ve got to go on and experience a little bit of what it’s like to get into the role. I started to use my mother as a huge inspiration for the show [of course] one of the main points in the show is that Aladdin is trying to prove himself and show his family that he can do more. So, I’ll use that before every show and either text my Mom or write a little note out on the dressing room mirror.

Not going to lie, I love that. Although they challenge us on the daily, Mom always knows best…..  .Yes, they certainly do! But you just have to appreciate it. 

Moving on to your background, what made you jump into the world of acting? I was actually more engaged in gymnastics–I did them for about six years. But [I remember] I would go over to my grandparents house and they would always have classic music playing on vinyl or have some musical playing-something featuring Gene Kelly, or Julie Andrews, or opera even. I was always interested in that form of art. But it actually took me a bit longer than other stories may tell. My first actual show was in 8th grade..I did Peter Pan outside the school at a community theater and I just fell in love with it all. I asked if I could do improv classes and basic dance classes and it just grew on me. Each year I learned a lot of new things and kept improving and kept it growing in my heart and I just fell in love with it more and more.

Okay, so….this show. Besides being absolutely mind-blowing, it looks–or it certainly is–very demanding physically. How did you adjust to..it all? I think the biggest challenge was building the stamina for it both vocally and physically at the same time. A lot of the numbers that are going on with me and most of the cast, actually, you’re doing some intense dance or movements while you’re singing, so building the stamina was probably one of the crazier challenges of the show.

Any warm up secrets you do verify each show that you can spill for everybody? I do some basic conditioning, tons of vocal warm ups and I actually try to get at least fifteen minutes of cardio in, as well as simple core workouts before I head on over to the show. I also have one of those things–I don’t know what it’s called but it’s just like a wheel.

I think it’s called the Ab Roller…I think they sold those on T.V. You know what….as self explanatory as it is…that makes perfect sense. Yes! 

Let’s break some music mugs…..who’s rockin’ your world these days? I’m always weak for Red Hot Chili Peppers…they’re my go to band. I love those guys. Actually, I try to stick to some older Motown vibes or some funk, some grooves. I like to listen to a lot of Earth, Wind and Fire…they just kind of get me in the mood, whether I’m just trying to wake up or get into a positive attitude before the show. And I also love me some Fleetwood Mac.

All of the above, my man. So, one question I like to ask all of my tea patrons is what words of wisdom would you give to any performer who decided right this second to slide into this crazy entertainment business? Have patience and understanding and not have any self-doubt. This business can get hectic and scary and you can get a little lost but you need to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and why you want to go further in what you’re doing. I like talking to the youth about this if I go visit a school or talk to people outside the stage door because even if it doesn’t seem like there’s an impact from our side, they might remember just like a ten second moment of us telling them just keep fighting, just keep working on it and don’t give up. Because as basic as it may sound, it’s so true. It’s a rough business, but if you have the passion for it and you love it you just gotta keep fighting through and never lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing. 

Before we part ways….any totally embarrassing audition stories you’re up for sharing? Actually….one of the auditions I had for Aladdin is. I had a little boo-boo on the lyrics and then afterwards when they had me read and said thank you, I headed towards the door and I for the life of me could not open the dang door..literally could not get out of the room. Any performer knows that after you hit that final note, you want to get out of there. So, the fact that I struggled so hard to pull the handle down was the most embarrassing thing for me…and they were all just laughing. And to this day, I still struggle with doors a little bit. 

Don’t we all. Okay, one last sip……describe Aladdin on one word…… Unbelievable. 

Get those tickets. 

Cover photo courtesy of Playbill 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekend Entertainment Groove

Happy first weekend of summer!

Now, let’s make it a good one, shall we? And then do it all….again. Ready, set, SPF. 

Aladdin If you’re curious to witness what all of the high-flying buzz is about (really, how could you not be when it comes to this show??), there’s still some time left to catch the magnificent traveling production of everyone’s favorite Disney fairy tale before it flies out of town…so don’t be a Jafar and grab those tickets now! And of course, Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie and the rest of this truly incredible cast will see you there! But first, jump right here for all of the action and make those three wishes come true. Tonight-July 1st/Academy of Music /check showtimes/$44-$188/240 S. Broad St. 

You Can Never Go Down The Drain If you’re looking for a truly side-splitting night out over the next weeks, look no further than this entertaining spectacle right here. Fresh off the official Facebook page…..”Mr. Rogers always said: no matter how bad things are, “You can never go down the drain.” Using and abusing iconic songs from the program, Philadelphia’s Bearded Ladies Cabaret puts this idea to the test. In this performance, expect a goldfish funeral, gay romps into the land of make-believe, and some earnest questions about irony. ” Bottom line? Don’t miss it and go right here for those tickets….now. Tonight-July 1st/Wilma Theater/various dates & showtimes/265 S. Broad St. 

Mamma Mia! Since there’s still quite some time until the gayest movie sequel ever made descends into our worlds (now until July 20th is, like, forever in Cher and Meryl time) why not go see the critically acclaimed national production of the original to help pass the grueling seconds along while it’s in Philly this summer? Yes. Just a word to your bell bottoms…tickets are going quick–because as we all know this show is life within itself–so don’t delay and shimmy on over to them right here and right now. Ready, set, “Fernando.” Tonight-through July 15th/various showtimes/ticket prices/Walnut Street Theater/825 Walnut St.

Sing Your Life Karaoke  What better way to kick off the first weekend of summer other than to go sing your little heart out courtesy of the fabulous Ms. Sara Sherr and her always sun-kissed Sing Your Life Karaoke collection, which will be serving Philly all summer long at all of these fabulous locations listed below. Fri/9-1 Southhouse, 2535 S. 13th St.Sat/9-1:45 Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap,1301 E Susquehanna Ave Sun/9-2 Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street Tues/9-2 12 Steps Down, 9th and Christian Thurs/9-2 Milkboy South Street/401 South St.

Miss Amateur Drag Attack Pageant Now that summer has officially arrived, the time has come for you to perfect that walk, gurl. So, tonight head to Tabu for the biggest amateur drag syravaganza this side of SPF as The Cuntessa, Alexianna, and Miss Tabu 2018 herself, The Lady E, will be teaming up to judge an array of fierce queens…for their lip synched lives. Of course, only one queen can snatch the crown…so don’t miss any of it! For more info, sashay it on up right here. Tonight/9 pm/Tabu/200 South 12th St. 

Bang the Drum Philly w/Jihad Muhammed   Looking to dance your f@#king ass off this weekend? Try…all of this.  Tonight/10 pm/Club Mousai/1227 Walnut St. 

Foreigner/Whitesnake “I Want to Know What Love Is” and Tawny Kitaen for life. Get those tickets.  Saturday/BB & T Pavilion/7 pm/1 Harbour Blvd Camden, NJ 

Paramore   Hayley Williams and “Airplanes” for life.  Grab those tickets.  Sunday/530 pm/Festival Pier/Spring Garden St. & Columbus Blvd

John Fogerty/ZZ Top  Yeah, it’s that kind of a concert weekend. Because the ladies go crazy for a sharp dressed man, you should absolutely impress your lady and own those tickets. Sunday/BB & T Pavilion/7 pm/1 Harbour Blvd. 

Also on the local and legendary for your first Friday of summer……..

Lots of fabulous dancing @Woody’s (202 S 13th St.) all weekend long……..DJ Jimmy DePre @Tavern on Camac (Friday & Saturslay/10 pm/243 S. Camac St.)………Black Caviar @NOTO(10 pm/1209 Vine St.)………….Ray LaMontagne @Festival Pier (730 pm)………..The English Beat @Underground Arts(9 pm/1200 Callowhill St.)……..Ghastly@Coda(11 pm/1712 Walnut St.)………..Eric Nam @TLA(8 pm/334 South St.)……….Yeek@Kung Fu Necktie(8 pm/1248 N. Front St.)……….Steve Cole@South(8 pm/600 N. Broad St.)………….Hit Bargain@The Barbary(830 pm/951 Frankford Ave)……………James Pace Band@The Grape Room(8 pm/105 Grape St.)……….

For your Saturday……

Dr. Dog @ Festival Pier (8 pm/Colymbus Blvd. & Spring Garden St.)…………..Finch @Voltage Lounge (9 pm/421 N. 7th St.)………..Tim Atlas & Gibbz@The Barbary(7 pm/951 Frankford Ave)……….Jeremy Enigk@Union Transfer(830 pm/1024 Spring Garden St.)……….Matt McAndrew@Bourbon & Branch(7 pm/705 N. 2nd St.)…………MINKA@The Foundry(9 pm/1000 Frankford Ave)………….Josiaj Johnson@Milkboy Philly(830 pm/1100 Chestnut St.)……….Holy Trinity@The Dolphin Tavern(9 pm/1539 S. Broad St.)…………DJ Spade@NOTO(10 pm/1209 Vine St.)……..Tia Fuller@South(9 pm/600 N. Broad St.)………

For your Sunday…..

Showtunes Sundays @ Tavern on Camac (9 pm/243 S. Camac St.)………..Sinful Sundays w/ The Godess Isis @Tabu (10 pm/200 South 12th St.)……..White Denim @Johnny Brenda’s (8 pm/1201 Frankford Ave)…………Magic Sword @The Foundry(8 pm/29 E. Allen St.)……………WOLF @Milkboy Philly(7 pm/1100 Chestnut St.)……………Tia Fuller @ South(9 pm/600 N. Broad St.)…………Jody YoBro@Bourbon & Branch(7 pm/705 N. 2nd St.)………..Not Fur Longs@Ortlieb’s(2 pm/847 N. 3rd St.) 

And for much, much more first weekend of summer shenanigans…check this and this out. 

Cover photo courtesy of Graphic River

 

 

 

 

 

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Philly Pride Weekend Entertainment Groove

Happy Pride Weekend, Philly! 

However you paint the rainbow over the next few days, be sure to do it with love, kindness, respect and as a remembrance of all of those who fought to give us the glitter covered life we breathe today…because we truly wouldn’t be here without them. 

And of course, may you never ask the DJ anything this weekend……they’ve got it all under control. 

So, let’s celebrate, shall we? Yas. 

Sing Your Life Karaoke  Barbara, Celine, Whitney, Ariana, Bey. Yas, Pride kween, the fabulous Sara Sherr has them all in her always shimmering Sing Your Life Karaoke collection, so go sing your little heart out this weekend you fabulous diva-in-training, you. Fri/9-1 Southhouse, 2535 S. 13th St.Sat/9-1:45 Les & Doreen’s Happy Tap,1301 E Susquehanna Ave Sun/9-2 Bob and Barbara’s, 1509 South Street Tues/9-2 12 Steps Down, 9th and Christian Thurs/9-2 Milkboy South Street/401 South St.

Mamma Mia! Since there’s still quite some time until the gayest movie sequel ever made descends into our worlds  (now until July 20th is, like, forever in Cher and Meryl time) why not go see the critically acclaimed national production of the original to help pass the grueling seconds along while it’s in Philly this summer? Yes. Just a word to your bell bottoms…tickets are going quick–because as we all know this show is life within itself–so don’t delay and shimmy on over to them right here and right now. Ready, set, “Fernando.” Tonight-through July 15th/various showtimes/ticket prices/Walnut Street Theater/825 Walnut St.

Photo Pop Pride Party If you check yourself right here, you’ll notice that Toasted Walnut is the Pride place to be this weekend. So, to properly kick things off, Philly Drag Mafia Mother and Academy Award Winning Actress, Brittany Lynn, is taking over tonight…so, you better be ready, kween. So, join Ms. Lynn as she’ll be sipping tea and serving out beads, boas and instructions on how to have a respectful Pride weekend. But perhaps the best part of tonight’s fab shindig is that $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Leeway Foundation, which supports women and trans artists, as well as cultural producers working in communities to make it better for all of us. Werk. Now, sashay over to Toasted Walnut tonight, kids!, and go right here for those ticketsTonight/6 pm/Toasted Walnut Bar & Kitchen/1315 Walnut St. 

Jay Rock/Sir/Ab-Soul/SZA/ScHoolboy Q/Lance Skiiiwalker/Kendrick Lamar That lineup, though. Hurry up and get those tickets right here..if you still can. Tonight/730 pm/BB & T Pavilion/1 Harbour Blvd.

Please Touch Pride  Philadelphia Family Pride is also hosting a fun event this weekend….and it’s fun for the whole pham!! Because, hey, it’s never too soon to teach the kids about all of this love stuff. So, at 9AM, bring all of yours and meet in front of the Torch and Please Touch will be waking you up with a morning full of special crafts, special musical performance by the Pop Ups and what breakfast wouldn’t be complete without a little Drag Queen Story Time. For more info on this sure-to-br beloved event, you should email adam@phillyfamilypride.org and he’ll tell you what to do next. Have fun, kids!  Saturday/9 am 

Proud AF/The B2B Pre-Pride Party and Drag King Show  First….an outstanding showing of Philly’s hottest Drag Kings including Molasses Jones, Mo’Betta & Gavin Carpenter, all while the ATL’s very own and very hilarious Kia Comedy owns the Tabu stage…and ya damn life. And then? We dance like nobody’s f@#king business and leave ALL drama behind. So, do it and then..let’s werk.  Saturday/9 pm/Tabu/200 South 12th St. 

Big Gay Boat Party The time has come…to once again celebrate your love with not just the grandest event (or, according to Brittany Lynn, the gaaayyyest) of Pride weekend….but of the summer. Yes, kids and kweens, the oh, so Big Gay Boat Party is about to set sail once again, so grab Gilligan and your gaggle of gays and get ready for a night of beats, eats, boys and lots and lots of dancing on the deck of the Moshulu!!  All with your VIP Pre Party hosted by the dynamic duo of Amber Hikes and Brian Sims to properly kickstart...it all. Now, what could be better than that? Absolutely nothing. So, go on gurl, and get your tickets and more info right here, right now.…and then…let’s dance. Also…a big shout out to Toasted Walnut and Philly Gay Calendar for putting this one together for the weekend! Slay. Saturday/10 pm/The Deck/401 S. Columbus Blvd. 

Philly Pride Run 5K & 1.5 Mile There’s only one thing that would make this run for love that much more fabulous….if East Coast slaying drag goddess Pissi Myles would be there to sing the National Anthem. Oh, wait…..yaaaaas she is. Now the question is….will she dare to run in those heels? It really would make a fun You Tube video, wouldn’t it? But there’s only one to find out…go and show your love this Sunday, bitch, and get ready to stride for your unicorn filled life and Ms. Myles will see you there! And of course, a big shout out to William Way Center for all that you do for the community. Keep on. Sunday/9 am/William Way LGBT Community Center/1315 Spruce St. 

IBA Pride Brunch If you’re looking to mix a lil’ business with brunch this weekend, this event is just for you as Cuba Libre over on 2nd & Market will be hosting a shiny afternoon filled with munchies and a fab cash bar, all while you get to know the Philadelphia Independent Business Alliance. So, after the parade, put on those power lunch worthy white Keds and go mingle it up…you never know who you’re going to meet at one of these things…just sayin.’ Plus, it’s free, so bring some friends! Sunday/1 pm-5 pm/Cuba Libre/10 S. 2nd St. 

Philly Loves Bowie night @Hedwig & The Angry Inch If there’s one event that’s guaranteed to close out Pride weekend in a most fablous way, it’s this one right here, kids and kweens. This Sunday night, join the always yas-worthy Ms. Mimi Imfurst as she not only slays another spectacular Hedwig romp for the city of Philadelphia, but she’ll be pouring out the love as proceeds from Sunday’s ticket sales will go into the PHILLY LOVES BOWIE WEEK FUNDwhich magnificently helps out our little brothers and sisters at CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA. In a word…don’t miss any of it for one second. For more love-filled info, check this out right here.  Sunday/7 pm/Ruba Club/416 Green St. 

Philly Pride Presents  Hard to believe, but it’s been thirty years since Philly began serving up its annual Pride festivities. So, you know this year is made to be extra special…so let’s do it. Of course, the mother of all events will once again be served up by Philly Pride Presents, who have all of this weekend’s details lined up right here, including details on tomorrow’s annual Philly Dyke March, where you can get your best spot for this Sunday’s sure-to-be fabulous Pride parade, and how you can get up close and personal with this year’s Pride headliner, the always fabulous, Ms. Margaret Cho. Check it all out and don’t miss a sassy second of any of it this weekend! Happy Pride, Philly! 

Also on the shimmering local and legendary entertainment decks for your……..

Friday…..

Lots of fabulous dancing @Woody’s(202 S. 13th St.)  & @Tavern on Camac (243 S. Camac St.)all Pride Weekend Long…………..Parquet Courts @Union Transfer (830 pm/1024 Spring Garden St.)………..The Wonder Years @The Fillmore (730 pm/29 East Allen St.)………..Shwayze @The Trocadero(8 pm/1003 Arch St.)……….Vicetone@NOTO(10 pm/1209 Vine St.)………..Too Many Zooz@The Foundry(9 pm/1000 Frankford Ave)……….Walter Beasley@South(10 pm/600 N. Broad St.)………..Bent Knee @Boot & Saddle(730 pm/1131 S. Broad St.)……….West Philadelphia Orchestra@Johnny Brenda’s(9 pm/1201 Frankford Ave)……….Control Freak @The Dolphin Tavern(9 pm/1539 S. Broad St.)……….Darla@Bourbon & Branch(730 pm/705 N. 2nd St.) 

Saturday…..

Kenny Chesney@Lincoln Financial Field(5 pm/One Nova Care Way)……………Horse Feathers@Boot & Saddle(830 pm/1131 S. Broad St.)…………Combichrist@The Trocadero(8 pm/1003 Arch St.)………….Hot Snakes@Union Transfer(9 pm/1024 Spring Garden St.)…………Skating Polly@Kung Fu Necktie(730 pm/1248 N. Front St.)………..Logan Henderson@The Foundry(8 pm/1000 Frankford Ave)………….DJ Scene@NOTO(10 pm/1209 Vine St.)………Sold& Dull Knoves@Ortlieb’s(8 pm/847 N. 3rd St.)………Thomas Blondet@The Barbary(10 pm/951 Frankford Ave)……..Pat Finnerty@Johnny Brenda’s(830 pm/1201 Frankford Ave) 

Sunday…….

Big Gay Brunch @Amis (10 am/412 S. 13th St.)………………Sunday TEA:The Pride Edition @Cibo(4 pm/1227 Walnut St.)…………Sinful Sundays w/The Goddess Isis @Tabu(9 pm/200 S. 12th St.)……….Showtunes Sundays@Tavern On Camac (9 pm/243 S. Camac St.)…….DJ SOJO @Vesper Dayclub(11 am/1031 Germantown Ave)………….Congenital Heart Walk@Philadelphia Zoo(830 am/3400 W. Girard Ave)…………

Cover photo courtesy of Philadelphia Magazine