Shaun Brady

Steven Dufala transfers his inventive artwork to the Fringe Fest stage

Steven Dufala recognizes the irony of working on a show called “HOME” when he’d been effectively without one – at least an artistic one – for more than a year. Although he’s best known as one-half of the pranksterishly surrealist art-making duo the Dufala...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 12:42 PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art gets “wild” with Michael Nichols

Probably the most remarkable photograph in “Wild: Michael Nichols,” the new exhibition that just opened at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), is a 1996 shot depicting a tiger in mid-pounce, leaping directly at the camera. A veteran wildlife photographer and photojournalist, Michael...

Monday, June 26, 2017, 2:38 PM

Looking back at gay African-American Composer Julius Eastman

By the time of his death at age 49 in 1990, composer Julius Eastman was all but forgotten. A decade of erratic behavior fueled by drug abuse left him homeless, his career in shambles. Much of his music had been lost or scattered. It took eight months before the Village Voice took notice of his...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 11:29 AM

'Parrot Talk' returns to Da Vinci Art Alliance

We’ve all heard parrots mimic the human voice, squawking out a greeting or asking for a cracker. But how well do the brightly plumaged birds understand the world that their limited vocabularies describe? How well, for that matter, do we? That question is exemplified by Alex, the famed...

Monday, April 24, 2017, 1:36 PM

Art in a war zone

The timeliness of Penn Museum’s new exhibit, “Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories From Syria and Iraq,” is sadly apparent immediately upon entering the gallery. The first item on display is not, as one would assume from a museum of archaeology and anthropology, an ancient artifact...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 5:50 PM

Dancing with shadows

For more than 45 years, the inventive Pilobolus Dance Theater has amazed audiences by creating living sculpture from artfully arranged human bodies in a singular combination of dance and athleticism. A decade ago, when Hyundai challenged them to form the image of a car for a TV commercial, they...

Thursday, April 6, 2017, 1:53 PM

'Adapt!' turns an immigrant’s flight into a dreamlike journey

Speaking softly over the phone earlier this month, Blanka Zizka’s voice was sporadically interrupted by a series of sudden, sharp noises in the background. Finishing a thought about “Adapt!,” the new play that will conclude the Wilma Theater’s 2016-17 season, she offhandedly explains, “What you’re...

Friday, March 10, 2017, 10:00 AM

Bowie collaborator Donny McCaslin performs Johnny Brenda's

David Bowie remained a musical chameleon until the end of his life, as well known for his ever-shifting identities for his iconic songs. Saxophonist Donny McCaslin has undergone his fair share of evolutions over the course of his own 30-year career, but he never imagined that his path would cross...

Monday, March 6, 2017, 1:00 PM

The irreverent ‘Hand To God’ coming to Philadelphia Theatre Company

Actors know all about using their own bodies and voices to conjure a character on stage. But what happens when you stick a second character onto the end of your arm? Robert Smythe, who’s directed many a wary performer through their first experience with puppetry, insists that the process isn’t all...

Friday, March 3, 2017, 1:05 PM

Tubular: The greatest tuba coverband you've ever seen

One of many bad ideas perpetrated by the subjects of the classicmockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap” comes when every member of thehapless faux metal band picks up an electric bass to perform the lowend-centric ode to posteriors, “Big Bottom.” That memorablyugly-sounding precedent didn’t deter the...

Friday, September 16, 2016, 2:17 PM

5 can't-miss shows at the 2016 Fringe Festival

One of the highlights of this year’s Fringe Festival, Jace Clayton’s “Room 21,” was inspired by the Barnes Foundation’s eccentric arrangements of artwork. Even outside of the Barnes, however, surprising juxtapositions seem to be key to the curated performances. Past and present, virtual and...

Thursday, September 1, 2016, 2:41 PM

Nari Ward embarrassed his kids in the name of art

For viewers who encounter it taking up nearly an entire wall at the Barnes Foundation, Nari Ward’s “Iron Heavens” is a striking, faintly disturbing piece that suggests the threat of violence against a dark night sky. For Ward’s children, though, it was just another embarrassing thing that dad did.“...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 8:11 PM

Telling Trayvon's story onstage

When Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in February 2012, Amir Randall was only 12 years old and barely aware of the racial conflagration that quickly erupted. Four years later, as a 16-year-old actor tasked with portraying the slain Florida teenager, Randall has been stunned to discover the...

Friday, May 13, 2016, 9:28 PM

'O Monsters' explores numbers, poetry and speculative realism

New Paradise Laboratories has a habit of making shows that arehard to describe even after seeing them. So tryingto wrap your head around what an NPL show is before seeing it is dauntingto say the least. Here’s a quick stab: “O Monsters” is a play abouttriplets living in a mathematical world, where...

Monday, April 25, 2016, 9:49 PM

Jennifer Childs will not 'go gently'

Late last month, in a South Philadelphia recording studio, British rock icon Sierra Mist threw a tantrum – a series of them, actually.At one point she could be found banging on a bathroom door, complaining about her bassist bringing his young son to the session. Later, she had a meltdown because...

Monday, April 25, 2016, 7:58 PM

Alyson Shotz's newest exhibition shimmers at PAFA

Think of metal sculpture, and whether the image that comes to mind is a general on a horse or a twisting, arcing abstract, the same adjectives usually apply: solid, heavy, imposing, rigid. Alyson Shotz turns those notions on their head with her sculptures- flexible, shimmering works that evoke...

Friday, April 22, 2016, 2:44 AM

Reggie Wilson celebrates Philly with Re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia

No matter where you’re from, one step to becoming a local is a fierce dedication to a particular food.Choreographer Reggie Wilson isn’t quite a Philadelphian yet, but he’s got that first step down. After 18 months of frequent trips to Philly from Brooklyn, the founder of New York’s Fist & Heel...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 12:30 AM

Leyla McCalla on the new sounds of New Orleans

Singer-songwriter-string performer Leyla McCalla began to recognize similarities between the culture and politics of the New Orleans and her parents’ native Haiti after moving in 2010. The former member of Grammy-winning string band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, brings Creole, Cajun, Haitian,...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 3:00 PM

Two sides of Shakespeare

The fact that Shakespeare’s plays still feel so relevant 400 years after his death says something both reassuring and distressing about human nature. On the darker side, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre Artistic/Executive Director Carmen Khan points out, “[One of the murderers] in Macbeth basically...

Monday, April 4, 2016, 8:58 PM

Beautiful music

Over the last couple of years, Petra Haden has recreated movie soundtracks with her dazzling vocals.On her 2013 album “Petra Goes To the Movies,” and more recently on jazz guitarist Bill Frisell’s similarly-themed “When You Wish Upon a Star,” Haden’s versatile voice could be heard singing melodies...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 11:06 PM