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A look inside the mind of a Philly sports fan

We don't all throw snowballs at Santa, promises 'The Philly Fan'

A moment of triumph for a 'Philly Fan.' Credit: Jacques-Jean Tiziou A moment of triumph for a 'Philly Fan.'
Credit: Jacques-Jean Tiziou

It's a dry spell for Philly sports teams but the Philly sports fan has never been hotter.

Movie goers got their share of Philly sports passion in the hit movie “Silver Linings Playbook,” in which Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro played hardcore Eagles fans.

“I think they definitely got it right,” says by Joe Canuso, director of "The Philly Fan,” which runs its Father’s Day edition June 11 through June 23 at Theatre Exile’s Studio X on S. 13th Street.

"Silver Linings Playbook" was "a fictional piece," he says, "but it was mostly about getting to the essence of what an Eagles fan is. The same thing for ‘Invincible’ [the 2006 movie about Eagles receiver/fan Vince Papale] — they did a good job of capturing the Philly sports fans' psyche.”

Yet, perhaps not as well as “The Philly Fan,” which premiered at the Fringe Festival in 2004.

“It really is a story about a working class guy who is loyal to his teams, his family and his city,” says Canuso about the play. “We hit a nerve because it's more than just about sports. It's about what it's like to be a blue collar guy who for him sports is an outlet for the frustrations he has in his life. People can relate to that.”

“The Philly Fan,” which is staged about once a year, was written by Bruce Graham and is conceived and performed by Tom McCarthy. Look for special appearances by Philly sports celebs during the Studio X run.

“We touch on that how Philly sports fans have gotten a bad rap,” Canuso says. “The national media focuses on a few negatives because that's the way the media is, a guy getting tasered or a guy throwing up on a little girl at a game. Our main thing is to focus on the 99.9 percent of fans who are passionate about their sports teams but not crazy.”

No wonder it's a hit.

'The Philly Fan'

June 11-23, 8 p.m.

Theatre Exile's Studio X

1340 S. 13th St.

$15-$35

215-218-4022

www.theatreexile.org

 
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