Tag Archives | Kimmel Center

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Review: ‘Motown The Musical’ at the Academy of Music

Bringing Detroit’s soulful music to the masses was the goal, and Berry Gordy showed he was ready for the challenge by creating the melodies of Motown. Written for the stage by Gordy (adapted from his own memoir), Motown The Musical is now onstage at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, as part of the Broadway […]

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Photo courtesy The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Mahler’s Longest — and Greatest — Symphony

Although not frequently performed, the Symphony No. 3 is Gustav Mahler’s most encompassing work, the piece which best exemplifies his life and career. Yannick Nézet-Séguin led a magnificent performance of it during the closing week of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016-17 season. The Symphony No. 3 contains the greatest balance between anguish and love and its finale is […]

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Sasha Cooke. Photo by Dario Acosta.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents Leonard Bernstein’s First Major Composition

Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 was the major undertaking at The Philadelphia Orchestra’s concerts of May 3, 5 and 6, 2017. Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the piece as a prelude to a year-long celebration of Bernstein’s centenary. (He was born on August 25, 1918.) Nézet-Séguin conducted the concerts in the midst of a three-week stint leading Wagner’s […]

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Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943).

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents The Rachmaninoff Festival

During his lifetime, Sergei Rachmaninoff was more famous as a pianist than as a composer. Logically, therefore, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s current Rachmaninoff Festival is concentrating on the keyboard. The Rachmaninoff Festival includes three separate concert programs being given over three days, with short biographical plays preceding each concert and “Russian musical salons” after each concert. […]

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Mason Bates. Photo by Mike Minehan.

Review: Yannick Nézet-Séguin Leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in ‘Energetic’ Music

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s latest program with The Philadelphia Orchestra was an intelligently thought-out adventure. The central work was Alternative Energy by Mason Bates, in its East Coast premiere, and Nézet-Séguin chose two other compositions with similar subject matter. Bates focused on the uses of energy in 20th and 21st Century America, and as he imagined it […]

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Laura Michelle Kelly. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Review: ‘The King and I’ at the Academy of Music

More than sixty years after its debut, The King and I remains one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most popular and enduring musicals. The handsome national touring company of the recent Broadway revival is currently playing at the Academy of Music. This production is being featured by the Kimmel Center as a part of their Broadway Philadelphia series. Richard Rodgers’ timeless […]

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Michael Tilson Thomas. Photo by Kristen Loken.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Seeger, Berg & Beethoven with Guest Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

Contrast was stark in the concert which Michael Tilson Thomas led with The Philadelphia Orchestra. The first half displayed two radically dissonant pieces from the 1930s — Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Andante for Strings and Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto, while the second half was devoted to Beethoven’s classic Symphony No. 3 (the Eroica). You could make […]

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Adam Langdon. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Review: ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ at the Academy of Music

Words like breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and touching only begin to describe the epic journey experienced in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, currently playing at the Academy of Music. The story follows fifteen-year-old Christopher, a science and math genius on the autism spectrum, who decides to investigate the mysterious death of his neighbor’s […]

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The viola section, featuring Rachel Ku,. Photo by Jessica Griffin.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Brahms’ Eleven Chorale Preludes, Bach’s Cantata No. 150, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4

The Philadelphia Orchestra set of concerts during the last weekend of February was one of the most imaginatively conceived in recent memory. The program consisted of selections from Brahms’ Eleven Chorale Preludes, Bach’s Cantata No. 150, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. Johannes Brahms is the favorite composer of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Most musicians will avoid picking a favorite, […]

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Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Mozart and Brahms

During the 44 years when Eugene Ormandy was music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra (1936 to 1980), he led almost every concert. There was scant need for guest conductors. Now the symphonic world is different. All prominent conductors dash from one city to another, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin needs to do this more than others because […]

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Samba de Roda. Photo by Mariza Viana.

Review: Balé Folclórico da Bahia at the Merriam Theater

They say “music is the universal language.” Balé Folclórico da Bahia definitely proved that in their one-night-only performance in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater. The show, Bahia of All Colors, was nearly two hours of non-stop exuberant sound, movement and energy. Considered by Brazil’s Ministry of Culture as the “best dance company in Brazil,” Balé […]

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Review: ‘Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion’ at The Kimmel Center

Jerry Blavat, “a Philadelphia borne dancer, radio and television disc jockey, performer, entertainer, producer and nightclub owner” (according to the program insert), produced his 38th show at The Kimmel Center, called Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion, on Saturday night. Blavat has worked in the music business for more than fifty years, and is […]

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Review: ‘Saloon’ at the Merriam Theater

Montreal’s Cirque Éloize explodes on stage at the Merriam Theater with a two-day run of its touring production of Saloon, presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center and the Shubert Organization for Broadway Philadelphia. Under the creative direction of Jeannot Painchaud (the company’s President and Artistic Director), the rip-roaring show, set in the Wild West, combines […]

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Review: ‘Once’ at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia

Once is not your usual Broadway musical. From the moment you enter the theater, the inventive staging immediately breaks through the proverbial fourth wall, as you are physically drawn into the performance, welcomed on stage to buy an actual drink, and soon find yourself among the cast of actors/musicians jamming to a few spirited Irish […]

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World Stages: International Theater Festival: Nalaga’at Theater Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble: ‘Not by Bread Alone’

The World Stages: International Theater Festival takes the center stage at The Kennedy Center, March 10-30, 2014 bringing together some of today’s most exciting theatrical visionaries presenting an unprecedented focus on theatre from around the globe. Twenty-two theatrical offerings from nineteen countries, and every continent except Antarctica, are represented in this theater Festival of dynamic […]

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