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5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Experience Motown:The Musical

There comes a time in life when we must not run, we must not walk, but instead just straight up….dance.

And while we’re all on the dance floor of this crazy little thing called life, we must groove it on over to see an incredible Broadway experience in the City of Brotherly Love…and Motown:The Musical has just what everyone is looking for at this very moment in time. 

But in case you need a touch further convincing as to why everyone should experience this Tony Award owning show about Motown Records pariah Berry Gordy and all of the incredible music stars that came along on his wild music tale-Diana! Smokey! Michael!–Philly Mixtape has 5 reasons why (hint..there’s lots of music!) you must grab those tickets to see Motown:The Musical while it’s here until Sunday, June 11th. 

Let’s groove. 

1.All…of…that…music… You don’t need too much truth laid out to know that the main reason everyone should experience Motown:The Musical is for all of those delicious grooves that are laced throughout this incredible show that no doubt still have the ability to take over our worlds from those very first classic beat drops. Let’s see here……”ABC,” “Come See About Me,” “Fingertips Pt. 2,” “For Once In My Life,” “My Guy” (by the way..happy 25th anniversary, Sister Act!), “The Tears of A Clown.” They’re all here and so, so much more…so grab those tickets for what’s sure to be an incredible experience with all of that delightful music that you know you still can’t live without. 

2.The incredible cast…..  Of course, in order to properly serve up all of those irresistible Motown vibes, you need the proper cast to bring the stage heat, and Motown:The Musical is in no shortage of some truly incredible talent from Philly and beyond. From New Jersey based Broadway superstar (and University of the Arts graduate!!) Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye to fellow Broadway champion Chester Gregory as Berry Gordy (he also portrayed Mr. Gordy on The Great White Way last summer) to Chicago opera diva Allison Semmes as the legendary Miss Diana Ross to Sister Act stud David Kaverman as Mr. Smokey Robinson, there’s no denying that this cast absolutely has what it takes to give you the time of your life…..much like Dirty Dancing did at the Kimmel Center a few weeks ago. For much, much more with the cast—including getting to know eleven-year-old talented genius CJ Wright who portrays a young Michael! Stevie! and Berry Gordy!!–dance it on over right here and then get down with this classic Motown groove. 

3.It’s truly fun for the whole entire family…..   Although the story of Motown:The Musical takes place back-in-the-day and beyond, there’s absolutely no reason not to bring the kids out to experience music when it was music..well, there’s really nothing else to say there. And that’s only the beginning of what will truly be a joyful night out for you and the entire family. Go ahead, you all deserve it..and the kids will appreciate you more than ever. 

4.It will get you all sorts of excited for what’s on the Kimmel Center Broadway horizon….  Finding Neverland, The Color Purple, Kinky Boots, Aladdin, School of Rock, Waitress, On Your Feet, Les Miserables and (pearl clutch!!) ….Hamilton:The Musical. Get ready to have Broadway in Philadelphia palpitations because all of these incredible Tony Awards grabbing shows are all locked and loaded on the Kimmel Center schedule. Which of course for you comes down to four lovely words….grab those tickets now

5.Once again…all…of….that…music. In case the first round of classically delicious Motown grooves wasn’t enough to get you groovin’ over to the Kimmel Center box office there’s also…..”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Ball of Confusion,” “Dancing in the Street,” “Can I Close the Door,” “Get Ready,” and you guessed it, many, many, many, many more. There’s just really nothing else to say here because you and the entire family just have to experience…it all for yourselves. So, grab those tickets to see Motown:The Musical while it’s here in the City of Brotherly Love until June 11th and the incredible cast, just as equally incredible story and so, so much more will be waiting just for you. Yes, you. So, go. 

 

 

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25 Reasons Why We’ll Forever Praise ‘Sister Act’

Gird all of the halos and habits and get ready to relive all of the Mother Superior shade you still heave all over the place (of course, there’s never enough, thank you Maggie Smith), because everyone’s favorite movie in the whole entire world, Sister Act, is celebrating twenty-five years of makin’ fabulous music for our oh, so sinful lives.

So, to celebrate such a heavenly occasion (it really is, right Sister Mary Patrick?), Philly Mixtape is serving up a special commemorative piece that’s spillng all sorts of Ms. Whoopi tea and then some, while gettin’ down with all of that spiritual music truth and exposing the real Sister Mary Robert

No shade, Ms. Wendy Makkena, no shade. 

It’s all here and so, so much more, so let’s all kneel down and commune our asses to Sister Act church right now. Because after twenty-five glory-us years…..it’s still truly the only way. 

1.Go on, Mizz Whoopi….  All tea, no shade to the Divine Ms. Bette Midler, but we’re so god, um, darn glad she turned down the lead role of lounge singer-turned-nun-turned-famous gospel diva Dolores Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence. Truly, there’s just no one else that could fill that halo, that sass and those stilettos quite like Ms. Whoopi. And John, Peter, Paul and Ringo, of course. 

2.”Good night, ladies and gentlemen…you don’t give a shit.” Actually, we give lots of shits about the opening credits of Sister Act because it not only kicks it all off, but we’re blessed with the fabulous “Lounge Medley” (hey there, Ronelles!) that every true fan of the movie absolutely knows by heart….with all of those moves, of course. #burnin 

3.”Say goodnight, Ernie”   Oh, Ernie…we hardly knew ye. Really, he may have made a couple of wrong turns in his life, but, sigh…..

4.Go on, Mr. Harvey Keitel…  The original gangsta. No further witnesses. 

5.And of course, purple mink coats from your lover’s ex-wife are a must….  It’s ours, we deserve it. Connie LaRocca 4 Eva….

6.It’s where all of the fabulous queens learned how to throw proper shade…   Thank you, Maggie Smith, aka Mother “Boogie Woogie on the Piano” Superior. And of course, gurl groups 4 lyfe. 

7.Lesson number one….  #younuns 

8.”Gravy” and Ms. Kathy all day… And more of Ms. Kathy Najimy serving up the fierce with every god damn (sorry, you just have to) line she delivered along with every single scene she stole as delightfully overjoyed Sister Mary Patrick. 

9.Long live Sister Mary Robert…well, sort of…   While it’s a known tea spill that Sister Mary Robert’s vocals were actually served up by the lovely Ms. Andrea Robinson, you have to hand it to Ms. Wendy Makkena…no one takes a dive out a moving car quite like she can. Now, get out of bed, you daisy head and get to watchin’ Sister Act for the fifth time today. 

10.The first choir class…..  No explanation needed. 

11.”Just a Touch of Love”   Is truly all we need. And to watch the C+C Music Factory blessed montage over and over and over again. Ready, set, Double Dutch. 

12.And again…..  

13.”Hail Holy Queen” Or should we say, Hail, Holy Yaaaaas Kween whenever this delightful takes over our Showtunes Sundays lives. That answer would be yas….kween. Now, step. 

14.”My God”  Sing along if you know the words. That would be…everybody. 

15.”Roll With Me Henry”  We’ll be rollin straight to the juke box and over to the dance floor whenever Ms. Etta James’ “Henry” enters over our old school music lives. In which fans of Sister Act know that it’s pretty much..everyday. Let’s roll. 

16.”It’s better than sex”   Or, so we’ve heard….

17.”If My Sister’s in Trouble”  While no one has truly any idea just whatever happened to Lady Soul (and that definitely-from-’92 wardrobe), Sister Act’s R&B blessed theme song and nun worthy accompanying video will cement the truth that it’s really just…that…movie. Praise ’em up for the ladies of Lady Soul. 

18.”Rescue Me”   If you haven’t done your chores while grooving along to Fontella Bass’ smash hit, then you definitely missed, like, all of the spots. 

19. Sister Act 2:Back in the Habit  No explanation needed as you most likely know every bit of the sequel just as well as you know its predecessor. And the moment Ms. Lauryn Hill takes over our ‘Habit’ lives with “His Eye is on the Sparrow”….still pure heavenly bliss. 

20. Sister Act:The Musical   Another no explanation needed as you most likely, well, you know where this is going you fabulous Broadway kween, you. 

21.One more time…. 

22.”I Will Follow Him” Sigh……

23.The closing credits, though…..   You know you make me wanna…..watch them over and over again. Dolores Van Cartier on the cover of People magazine for life. 

24.San Francisco Luv…  The true star of the show here…the flawless and captivating city of San Francisco, for which nun of these classic Sister Act shenanigans would truly exist. Or without Buckwheat Bertha, of course. We simply can’t leave her out now, can we? 

25.Do you really need another reason? If so, there’s two words for you….Bless You. And then start it all over again. In a word, thank you Sister Act…thank you. 

 

 

 

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5 Reasons Why Everyone (Meaning You) Should Go See ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ This Week

Get ready, because the moment that every single theater kid, kween, guy and gal in Philly has been waiting for has finally arrived….the Forrest Theatre (1114 Walnut St.) is now open for lots and lots of local entertainment business during its 2017/2018 season. 

And sashaying things off in a most fierce way will be the traveling production of the critically acclaimed and Tony Award snatching (isn’t that right, Mr. NPH?) rock musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which struts its stuff in Philly starting today through this Sunday, April 23rd. 

Just to spill a little tea on Ms. Hedwig, the show was written by John Cameron Mitchell (who also played the starring role in the critically acclaimed 2001 film adaptation),and is a certified rock musical about a fictional rock and roll band fronted by a transgender East German singer, Hedwig Robinson.

The story is based on Mitchell’s life as the son of a U.S. Army Major General who once commanded the U.S. sector of occupied West Berlin and the character of Hedwig was inspired by a German divorced U.S. Army wife who was a Mitchell family babysitter and moonlighted as a prostitute at her trailer park home in Kansas.

But besides its gripping and highly relevant storyline, Hedwig truly rocks thanks to the genius of musical artist Stephen Trask, who used the 1970s glam rock style of our dearly departed David Bowie (who actually co-produced the Los Angeles production of the show), as well as the work of John Lennon, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop to give us such loud, memorable rocked out smashes like “Wig in a Box,” “Wicked Little Town” and of course, everyone’s favorite, “Sugar Daddy.” 

The musical opened Off-Broadway in 1998 and went on to win the Obie Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The production ran for two years, which only helped it to remount itself with various casts by the original creative team in other US cities;eventually gaining steam across the pond with a successful run in London’s West End.  

In 2014, Hedwig returned to Broadway at the Belasco Theatre and went on to win that year’s Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actress for Lena Hall (as co-lead Yitzhak), and of course, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Mr. Neil Patrick Harris, who is a big reason why the buzz for the national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch is still going strong.

And here’s five more reasons why everyone (meaning you) should get those tickets to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Forrest Theatre this week. Rock on..now. 

1.It’s kicking off what’s shaping up to be a fabulous 2017/2018 season at the Forrest Theatre…    From Hedwig starting today through Sunday, April 23rd to Fun Home in June to The Color Purple around the holidaze all the way to Waitress just in time for Valentine’s Day, Forrest has quite a roster of critically acclaimed Broadway smashes lined up over the next bit of time in our crazy lives, so why not stop, take a seat and grab tickets…to them all. 

And the fact that it’s all kicking off with Ms. Hedwig and all of that music you just absolutely can’t wait to see life on the Forrest stage…well, that gives way to the conclusion that it’s going to be quite an incredible season over at 1114 Walnut St. 

2.Because if you get those tickets right now…you’ll save some coins! Yas.  Because you’re all just so fabulous, the kind kids over at The Kimmel Center have noticed all of your shimmering accomplishments and as a very special treat, they’re offering this special code–HWFGNA329–that’ll help you save a sexy twenty percent off those tickets for Hedwig! Although select performances do apply, don’t miss a chance to chantay right into this beloved musical before it struts out-of-town this Sunday. Seriously..don’t. Go here now. 

3.Because Rolling Stone magazine really, really, really likes ‘Hedwig:’ It is an evening of spirit, wit and crunch worthy of Madison Square Garden — that is, if there really were a Hedwig. She is actually a brilliant work of fiction, the creation of actor-writer John Cameron Mitchell and composer-lyricist Stephen Trask, and she is the centerpiece of their dynamite one-act theater piece, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Since opening last Valentine’s Day at the tiny Jane Street Theater in lower Manhattan, Hedwig — with Mitchell in kinetic drag as Hedwig; Trask and his real-life band, Cheater, as the Angry Inch; and Miriam Shor in reverse drag as the grumpy Yitzak — has been getting rave reviews and playing to ecstatic houses. An original-cast album is due shortly on Atlantic Records, and Mitchell and Trask have signed with New Line Cinema to put Hedwig on the big screen.”

And RS goes on to spill……”All this good fortune is for good reason, too. In the whole long, sorry history of rock musicals, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the first one that truly rocks.” 

Enough said. For much, much more on all things Hedwig and the Angry Inch, peep these Rolling Stone’s from May 7th, 2014 and July 20th, 2001 and prepare yourself for the whole thing. 

4.Because your respect for Doogie Howser, M.D. is the true reason the show’s here right now…  And much like our soon-to-be Philly love for Hedwig, it’s a certain kind of love and respect that will never, ever end. Grab those tickets. 

5.Because no warm weathered season in Philly is complete without taking in one or two hundred shows…    Whether you live for every single grand performance that takes place at the Forrest Theatre, Walnut St. Theatre, Kimmel Center and The Academy Music, or if you love to rock and/or groove it out at NOTO, Tabu, The Fillmore, The Foundry, Johnny Brenda’s and Rumor or any other fab venues the City of Brotherly Love has to offer, just get out there and show your love to the performance arts community. It’s really that simple. 

And you know what else is simple? Getting those tickets for Hedwig (here’s that code again…HWFGNA329) and a chance to sashay straight into not just a fabulous season at the Forrest Theatre, but of your life. Now, rock…and walk. 

Are you an entertainer, promoter or event planner who’s struttin’ along fabulously in Philadelphia? Then Philly Mixtape wants to hear from you! For questions, comments and everything else in beat-tween (everyone’s welcome here, so don’t ever be shy), become a fan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and/or email Patrick DeMarco at iluvbeatz96@gmail.com and let’s promote it ALL up proper!

Hedwig and the Angry Inch cover photo courtesy of The Kimmel Center