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contents

DECEMBER ~ 2012

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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FROM ROYAL DUCHESS TO RUSSIAN DOLL | 30 With films like Atonement and The Duchess, Keira Knightley has established herself as Hollywood’s corset queen, an English beauty whom everyone calls when cooking up period drama. In Anna Karenina, she teams with director Joe Wright for the third time, and if the production itself doesn’t leave you intoxicated, Knightley’s performance surely will.

FEATURES Max Ginsburg, Maxwell House Coffee.

TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND THE NEW YORK WAY | 14

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Behind the captivating art of veteran realist painter Max Ginsburg

SOUL KITCHENS | 28 Three house-style venues in the greater Philadelphia area are musical havens.

TRIBE OF FOOLS | 32 Not a tribe and far from foolish, the small Philly theater company makes its boldest statement yet.

Chuck Anderson Trio performing at Psalm Salon.

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OPINION

COLUMNS

ETCETERA

The Republicans Still Don’t Get It | 5

City Beat | 5

Day Trip | 55

Jim Delpino | 43

Harper’s Findings | 55

Alliteration of the Month | 6

Sally Friedman | 44

L.A. Times Crossword | 56

Social Media | 7

STAGE

Harper’s Index | 57

Regional Theater & Dance | 46

Calendar | 58

ART

Murray Dessner | 8 The Female Gaze | 10 Exhibitions | 16

FILM Cinematters | 18 Hitchcock Keresman on Film | 20 A Late Quartet Bad Movie | 22 Taken 2

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina.

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Reel News | 24 Arbitrage; Trouble With the Curve; Hope Springs; Samsara

A Christmas Story; Christmas City Follies XIII; A Christmas Carol; Dave & Aaron Go To Work; The Nutcracker; Every Christmas Story Ever Told; The Sound of Music; Cirque Eloize iD; It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Footlights | 47 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

MUSIC Singer / Songwriter | 48 Maria Muldaur; Donald Fagen; Graham Parker & The Rumour; Hans Theessink & Terry Evans; Jimmie Dale Gilmore Keresman on Disc | 50

Film Roundup | 26 Dying to Do Letterman; Funeral Kings; Anna Karenina; Silver Linings Playbook

TriBeCaStan; Joe Alterman; Arvo Pärt; Mike Keneally; Cash Box Kings Nick’s Picks | 52

FOOD DeAnna’s | 39

Charles Mingus; Frank Kimbrough Trio; The Paul Winter Sextet; Ed Cherry; Best Jazz CDs of 2012

Bar Ferdinand | 40 Tribe of Fools’ Jay Wojnarowski and Kate DeRosa in the 2004 production of Echo.

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WINE Piedmont II: Barbera | 42 W W W. I C O N D V. C O M

Jazz Library | 54 Bobby Timmons

ON THE COVER: Joan Brown Untitled (Self portrait in Turban with Eskimo Dog Pin), 1972. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Art by Women Collection, Gift of Linda Lee Alter, 2011.1.12. © Estate of Joan Brown, courtesy of George Adams Gallery, New York


city beat

opinion

EDITED BY THOM NIICKELS

ThomNickels1@aol.com

The Republicans still don’t get it. EUGENE ROBINSON I KNOW IT’S EARLY, but I have a sinking feeling the Republican Party is taking all the wrong lessons from [the] election. Short term, that’s a boon for Democrats. Long term, it’s a problem for the country. The GOP should be listening to reasonable voices such as that of Newt Gingrich. Yes, I used the words “reasonable” and “Gingrich” in the same sentence. He has occasional moments of lucidity, and one came on the Today show when he said Republicans “need to stop, take a deep breath and learn.” “I was wrong … as was virtually every major Republican analyst,” Gingrich said. “And so, you have to stop and say to yourself, ‘If I was that far off, what do I need to learn to better understand America?’” The voices the party should ignore include those claiming that House Republicans, by retaining their majority, won some sort of mandate to continue pushing a radical conservative agenda. And yes, Gingrich has made this argument as well. The fog lifts, the fog descends. A mandate for the GOP? Don’t make me hurt myself laughing. The ideological hero and policy guru of the House Republican caucus, Paul Ryan, couldn’t even carry his home town of Janesville, Wis. (And Mitt Romney, by the way, lost all of his various home states.) Look, President Obama won 332 electoral votes to 206 for Romney. Much has been written about the demographic shifts that threaten the GOP’s future, but there has been less acknowledgment of an obvious fact about the present: VotGOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. ers preferred Obama’s policies to Romney’s. Obama campaigned on a pledge not to extend the Bush tax cuts for households making more than $250,000. He said umpteen times that he will insist on a “balanced approach” to taming the deficit, involving new revenue as well as spending cuts. At this point, if you woke the president from a sound sleep in the middle of the night and thrust a microphone in his face, the first words out of his mouth might be “balanced approach.” Polls show this is what voters want. The election proved this is what voters want. But I

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THE ELECTION RESULTS HAVE put to rest dire predictions made by some Republicans that Obama supporters would be in for “a great shock.” That “great shock” obviously took a U-turn and ate up — Utah seagull-style — both Mr. Romney and his exercise-maniac-less-than6%-body-fat running mate, the ripped Paul Ryan, whose only marital indiscretion seems to be his ideological love affair with Ayn Rand, an atheist who wrote The Art of Selfishness. Romney was so certain he’d be elected he didn’t even take time to prepare a concession speech and so, like any unprepared fifth grade boy who didn’t do his homework, he kept the networks and the Obama camp waiting on election night while he scribbled one out. A friend who predicted a Romney win said the GOP would return in 2016 with a stronger bite and elect someone who will negate everything Obama does in the next four years. “The pendulum switch from conservative to progressive will not go on forever,” he prophesied, “one day the nation will be broken up into autocephalous or self-governing parts, not through violent civil war but peaceful means.” (Texas is already doing that). But if the U.S. becomes a Red State/Blue State mix, what about the Republican Party’s post-election promise to reach out to the minorities it alienated last month? All knockwurst, of course, since “reaching out” in Republican terms means latching onto minority business owners and then using their faces as Gold Medal proof that they “get it” when, of course, they don’t. Our hearts were really with the Green Party with its commitment to ending bailouts for the financial elite and breaking up oversized banks like Bank of America. Unfortunately, Greens seem to be clueless when it comes to mainstream marketing. Feminism may be a fact of life but it’s still not so normalized that voting for two women is perceived as a “natural.” Image is everything in politics. With that said, why have a Green VP candidate who was once a pole dancer and looks like Patti Smith? THE BEST INTELLECTUAL MEAT cocktail party/discussions take place at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Old City. Last month we heard a panel of experts — professors of religion and science — ask: Are human beings more than just the sum of their parts? While the Science and Secularization theme reminded us of GOP handbook-speak, that was not the case at all, especially with the likes of John H. Brooke, a Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, Ronald L. Numbers, a Professor of the History of Science, Medicine and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin, and John M. Templeton, Jr., a retired pediatric and critical care surgeon. Templeton reminded the audience of a clause in the Hippocratic Oath that says the first duty of a physician is toward the patient. He then asked if anyone thought it would be a good thing if physicians looked upon patients as “just a bunch of chemicals,” and if patients themselves (while under the surgeon’s knife) would want to be perceived as such. While chemicals, to the average Coloradoan, might mean something one goes after, thanks to CHF we learned that sometimes even the great polymath chemists of history, like Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829), who used to hang with opium-smoking Samuel Coleridge and other poets of the romantic era, explored esoteric realms. The Humphry talk came on the heels of Camille “I am the new Susan Sontag” Paglia’s talk at the Free Library, where the UArts teacher/ author explained her new book, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars, where she lays it bare that “The art world is full of snobs…the art world is full of fakes,” and that it’s time to end “the supercilious cynicism about art.” THE PHILLY MARATHON CRAZE, despite two racing deaths last year and a consensus among experts that running on asphalt is bad for you, shows no signs of ending. The Rothman Institute BK Philadelphia Marathon, called the Race Weekend, was held November 16-18, when runners had to be in place at 22nd and the Parkway by 6:30 a.m. for the 7:30 start. The international event has become a kind of carnival with exhibitionists running in Mark Spitzstyle bikini swim trunks, Dracula capes and sandals. Last year, a male and female couple caused a commotion when the guy got down on one knee and proposed marriage. On the Marathon website, you can read runners’ comments in answer to the question: How do you feel? “…Kind of like dying. My eyes won’t open.” one man remarked, while another man chimed, “I feel real happy right now but I’m tired as a bitch.” Each year the Marathon gets stranger and stranger, so it won’t surprise us in the least if five years from now it merges with Philly’s Naked Bike Ride, and then is topped off with a Jay-Z Porta Potty concert and fireworks over the Delaware. No matter what the future holds, we’re still no further along in figuring out how running went from being a solitary sport (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner) to being a hybrid mass media event with billion-dollar sponsors, where solitude is exchanged for membership in the collective amebic (“Got your water bottle?”) mass.

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< 5 / OPINION / THE REPUBLICANS STILL DON’T GET IT

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fear some Republicans are convincing themselves that their “mandate” requires further obstructionism of the kind we’ve seen in the last two years. House Speaker John Boehner may want to make a deal, but his caucus may not let him. Some conservatives even seem tempted to listen to the delusional postgame analysis coming from Romney and Ryan. This is the way to ridicule and ruin. Ryan said the problem was that he and Romney lost by big margins in “urban” areas — which I take as a synonym for “places where minorities live.” But Republicans always lose in the inner cities. It’s the vote-heavy suburbs, such as Virginia’s Fairfax County, where Romney and Ryan failed to connect. Romney, in a conference call with big-money supporters, offered a variation on his “47 percent” hypothesis, which really does seem to be the way this benighted man sees the world. In Romney’s view, Obama won only because he succeeded in bribing specific groups of voters with what amounts to monetary “gifts.” “With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” Romney said, according to the New York Times. “Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women.” And as for Obamacare: “You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity — I mean, this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus.” It doesn’t occur to Romney that Republicans might have countered this alleged gift-giving with a health-care reform plan of their own, other than “go to the emergency room.” If the GOP is really this obtuse, Democrats may win the next few elections without having to break a sweat. And that’s the danger I hope we avoid. Don’t get me wrong: I want progressive candidates to win those elections. But parties without meaningful competition become flabby, lazy, unresponsive. Democratic candidates shouldn’t win by default, and neither should progressive ideas. A smart, creative, reality-based conservative movement is ultimately good for the liberal cause — and good for the country. Step out of the echo chamber, Republicans. There’s a big country out there, and it’s trying to tell you something. For the sake of party and nation, try listening. ■

WE TOOK A FALL hike to Valley Green to pay homage to the great statue of Chief Teedyuscung, erected in 1902 on a small bluff overlooking the woods. (He was the last Lenni Lenape chief to leave the Delaware Valley.) The statue’s location near Chestnut Hill puts it on the outskirts of the city. Valley Green at the turn of the 20th century attracted Victorian gentlemen in ties and riding boots and Edith Wharton-looking ladies in elaborate hats. That era saw a walk through the woods as a time to commune with Nature. Our hike showed us panting joggers and jogging couples with dogs trained to run out of in front of them to clear the path. We observed cyclists dressed in Lance Armstrong drag bounce over foot paths littered with rocks and boulders. No question about it, quiet nature walks had been exchanged for outdoor gymnasium frenzy. When we finally spotted the Chief through a slit in the trees, we couldn’t help but think how the stately statue gives the visitor no clue as to how he died: he burned to death along with some of his friends after a drunken frolic. But at least the statue was in a contemplative mode, and not jogging in a competitive state of agony. WHEN MAYOR NUTTER DECLARED a state of emergency a full 12 hours or so before Sandy devastated the Jersey coast, it was hard to figure out why. The storm officially hit late Sunday night, but during the day the weather was balmy, like Thomas Grey’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. It was the perfect time to wander the streets of Center City and take in a full roster of autumn events, like the Dignity USA luncheon we stumbled across on So. Camac Street before heading off to the Philadelphia Sketch Club for a Gala Reception featuring the work of four Pennsylvania Impressionism Bucks County artists. Curator Sharon Kraynak arranged the exhibition at the Sketch Club and prepared to greet visitors should they opt to ignore the Mayor’s warning. The reception was one of the Club’s finest, attracting mostly Center City members — the suburbanites and those that had to travel by car stayed home. Predicting the track of a storm can be risky business, but the only state of emergency that day were the platters of food and drink that had no crowds hovering nearby. WHEN WE FIRST SAW The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the old TLA Theater on South Street years ago, we had no idea that one day we’d be watching a puppet edition of Richard O’Brien’s camp horror sci-fi Transvestite-from-Transylvania classic. Besides being glad that the now politically incorrect word “transvestite” has not been struck from the canon in a Marxistlike purge, we enjoyed watching Director Amanda Sylvester’s work and Philly actor Ivan Vila as the domestic servant Riff-Raff. Of course, it is the Walk on the Wild Side transvestite, Rocky, who is bent on seduction, never mind the gender or sexual orientation of his target. It’s always refreshing to see sexual cross-pollination, even if puppets in general can be a little scary — breathless human-on-puppet action, notwithstanding. ■

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City Beat Editor Thom Nickels Fine Arts Editors Edward Higgins Burton Wasserman Classical Music Editor Peter H. Gistelinck Music Editors Nick Bewsey Mark Keresman Bob Perkins Tom Wilk Theater Critic David Schultz Food Editor Robert Gordon Wine Editor Patricia Savoie Contributing Writers A.D. Amorosi Robert Beck Jack Byer Peter Croatto

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PO Box 120 • New Hope, PA 18938 (800) 354-8776 Fax (215) 862-9845 ICON is published twelve times per year. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. ICON welcomes letters to the editor, editorial ideas and submissions, but assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material. ICON is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. Subscriptions are available for $40 (shipping & handling). Copyright 2012 Prime Time Publishing Co., Inc.

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a thousand words

STORY AND PAINTING BY ROBERT BECK

SOCIAL MEDIA

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IKE IT OR NOT, making art and selling art couldn’t be more different. Doing both can give you whiplash. At its core, art is about developing a unique process that enables you to discover things you didn’t know were there. Letting recognition happen. Business is about structure, targets, measuring progress and achieving goals. You don’t learn much about business in art school. I sell my artwork and that means I’m in business. I refer to that side of my life as BOBCO, and it’s as real a small business as any shop on Main Street. I’m the Production Department, Sales, Accounts Receivable and Payable, CEO and Janitor. I’m also in charge of marketing, which is a field that has seen a lot of changes in the last decade. There is no one thing you do to market your art. You try everything you can that might bring your work to people’s attention in a favorable light and then see what sticks. It’s hard to tell what’s effective since a lot of your efforts are cumulative, or they create ripples that produce results way down the line. When good things happen I don’t always know why. BOBCO doesn’t have a Market Research Department. I am on Facebook but I use it only as a business tool, not a public diary. I post photos of paintings after completion along with a short description or story. Sometimes I tweet pictures of my progress live so followers can watch it develop. It’s not clear what benefit I get from this beyond putting my name and art in front of 1,500 people, but that’s a good thing in itself. And it’s free … sort of. This past summer I felt I had finished this farm painting and posted a photo of it on twitter. I went over to the barn, scratched the horses, then returned to look at my image with a fresh eye. I decided the old piece of farm machinery under a tree had too much of an out-to-pasture feel and needed a person. I considered a woman on the porch or someone walking on the driveway, but settled on a farmer fiddling with the tractor, and painted him in. There’s no risk in doing that; I can add things and take them out as I please to see what matches the feeling I’m trying to capture. I took a photo of the painting with the farmer in place and tweeted it as the last of the sequence. When I got home I decided to take the two phone shots (with and without farmer), post them on Facebook and ask which of them my friends preferred. I received a lot of likes and many comments, pretty evenly divided. But I wasn’t interested in which image was more popular. I don’t know who

most of these people are and I wanted to see what their comments said about them. I got a lot of thoughtful, well-reasoned replies, which isn’t something you always encounter in the digital social environment. Still, it didn’t tell me how posting my work does me any good. Facebook is a pretty messy forum. I don’t expect to sell from there; I don’t use my website as a sales platform either. It’s a portfolio. I sell from my gallery, and the media efforts are attempts to have people understand what I do and come see the paintings. Traditional print advertising lets me present my name and work in a conventional setting to a demographic that might be inclined to purchase artwork. Facebook, however, is the Wild West. I never know if my post will show up right after some moronic rant, a photo of happy people making faces in a bar, or the image of dog pleading for rescue. Also, the lack

of user rights and veil of anonymity place you somewhere between tool and target. There is, without question, some tentacled entity behind the curtain taking advantage of human behavior for its own gain. None of the social media sites can be viewed as secure and predictable playing fields for your business, your work and your reputation — no one is held to account and agreements are incomprehensible — but it’s the way an entire generation and more communicate today. If you want your voice to reach beyond the next room ignore social networking at your peril. It’s a new world and you have to be brave. You can hear me mumbling that to myself in the blue light of my laptop in the corner office at BOBCO. ■ Robert Beck lives in Bucks County and maintains a gallery and school in Lambertville, NJ. Email: robert@robertbeck.net Website: www.robertbeck.net

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art

EDWARD HIGGINS

This page: Café au Lait, 2010. Acrylic on canvas, 22 x 25 in. Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of the artist, 2011. Opposite page: Urbino Rising, 2001. Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Murray Dessner

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THE LATE MURRAY DESSNER (19342012) was a well trained, skilled artist with broad knowledge of art styles. He drew inspiration from sources as diverse as Greek landscapes and the Vietnam War. That is amply confirmed by a current retrospective of his work at the Woodmere Art Museum through January 6. He was also a fixture on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art where he received his early training. Murray Dessner: A Retrospective comprises some 30 pictures ranging from his student days up to the present, selected by the artist himself as being representative of his career. The show opened just weeks after his death from cancer on September 22. Ironically, “Desi,” as he was known to some close friends, was in the midst of a flurry of activity. He had a well-received show 8

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earlier this year at the Rosenfield Gallery in Philadelphia, and is now in shows at the Berman Art Museum of Ursinus College and the Somerville Manning Gallery in Delaware. One of his teachers at the Academy with whom he was included in the Berman show, Elizabeth Osborne, said in his Inquirer obituary, “[He] had a passion for trying to express color and light and in the end he really got it. He was doing his best work when he died. It is just a heartbreak.” The others in the Berman show include Bruce Samuelson and Vincent Desiderio. Dessner, born in South Philadelphia, was a product of city schools and remained a city resident throughout his life. He entered art classes at the Samuel Fleischer Art Memorial and later, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He was awarded several travel scholarW W W. I C O N D V. C O M

ships that allowed him to study art in Europe. He and his wife of 28 years, Linda, would discover and then vacation in Patmos, Greece, for many years. Dessner painted in a number of styles. He did hard-edge abstractions, figurative paintings, paintings with bursts of color and light, and paintings that were inspired by the mysteries of Venice and Greece. It may well have been that his very knowledge and skill lead to “sampling” so many styles that he was never able to focus upon his own eye. The work, however wellexecuted, doesn’t particularly have its own voice. Still, his work is in the collections of a number of discerning museums and as noted was widely exhibited. His work will now be represented in the Woodmere as one of the paintings being ex-

hibited, “Thoreau” (not pictured here), was recently given to the Museum by the artist. It was part of Dessner’s “exhibition wall” at the Academy when he graduated. Dessner started teaching at the Academy in 1970 until his retirement in 2012. He lived and worked at a loft studio on Sansom Street in Center City for more than 40 years, and according to his wife he continued to paint. One of his students, John Thornton, a painter and filmmaker, was also quoted in the obituary: “He was a wonderful, wonderful guy. He was very encouraging, but honest. You just felt warmly embraced around him. You couldn’t beat him as a teacher.” ■

Edward Higgins is a member of The Association Internationale Des Critiques d’Art.


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BURTON WASSERMAN

The Female Gaze LINDA LEE ALTER BEGAN collecting art in the mid-1980s. From the very outset of her involvement, she decided to focus on creative accomplishments by women. This action was motivated by a desire to help redress the once-prevailing gender discrimination that consigned the artworks of women to a position of lesser status than men in the art exhibition scene. Alter also decided that her collection would not reject selections on the basis of an artist’s age, ethnic background, subject matter focus, style, expressive content or medium. Instead, her principal criterion for acquisition consisted of the aesthetic merit of a given piece of work. Ms. Alter hoped her selections would eventually find a home in a highly respected museum. Then, such institutional practices as ongoing educational outreach, exhibition exposure and significantly conducted scholarship could prove beneficial for bringing recognition to the artists who first brought the artworks into being. By giving her collection to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, her hopes and expectations are likely to become significant realities. The first step in that process is the presentation of the collection in a spectacular exhibition titled The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World. It is scheduled to run through April 7, 2013. At this time, the total installation is installed in the Brooks and Annenberg Galleries of the Samuel Hamilton Building at Broad St. and Lenfest Plaza in Center City Philadelphia. As a consequence of her decision, Ms. Alter is following in the footsteps taken by earlier collectors who supported the role of the arts in society with generous gifts to important art museums. Abbey Aldrich Rockefeller’s financial aid for New York City’s Museum of Modern Art and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s efforts in behalf of what became the Whitney Museum of American Art were essential to their potential success as community treasures. Likewise, Katherine Dreier and her funding were basic to the creation of the Societé Anonyme Collection, now part of the Yale University Museum of Art in New Haven, CT.

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As is well known, women did not suddenly become serious artists in the modern age. Considerable scholarship has shown that women have long been involved with working creatively in esthetic form. Even before the making of the famous Bayeux Tapestry, celebrating the Norman Conquest of Britain in 1066, women were active as designers, painters and sculptors.On the other side of the coin, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, ready Access to advanced study in art was generally denied to women as a consequence of the short-sighted and stupidly negative prejudice held by men who exercised positions of control in the art world. Fortunately, that attitude no longer enjoys the vaunted prominence it did, once upon a time. Recognizing the value of Ms. Lee’s offering, Dr Robert Cozzolino, who curated the show and contributed to the catalog for the exhibition, has observed, “Over the years, we have been impressed with the depth and reach of the collection and her commitment to adding the voices of women to the story of American art. Her gift greatly enhances our holdings of work by women and allows us to more fully examine the place of women artists in the canon of American art.” Helping to bear out his words, it is rewarding to find several items in the installation by Beatrice Wood, an artist who came to prominence early in the 20th century as a colleague of Marcel Duchamp in the development of the Dada Movement in New York. In due course, she moved to California and earned significant attention for her work as a ceramicist. Another well-known name represented in the exhibition is Louise Nevelson. By simply looking at her constructed and painted wall relief titled South Floral, one would not be likely to correctly guess the gender of the artist who made this uncanny artwork. As a three dimensional artwork, this sculpture, composed of discarded bits of wood protruding into space from a flat base, presents a mystically poetic character with a magical life of its own. The ambiguity of the forms draws upon a spectator’s attention with a degree of profound appeal, one that defies easy translation into verbal terms. The exhibition also includes examples by Alice Neel who painted subjects with extraordinary candor and an intensely focused eye. Virtually without exception, her paintings generate

Dr. Burton Wasserman is a professor emeritus of Art at Rowan University, and a serious artist of long standing. Dr. Wasserman’s program Art From Near and Far is on WWFM in Central and Northern New Jersey and Bucks County and WGLS in South Jersey.


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a range of narrative suggestions. Her almost brazen vocabulary of vision calls to mind something of the powerful spirit of van Gogh joined together with painterly mannerisms found in the psychological drama of the early German expressionists. The vast, open horizontal expanse of Morning Clouds – Villa Window by Diane Burko is an exceptionally handsome composition. She has said that large scale landscape appeals to her because she grew up in a crowded, big city environment. Few painters working today can match her talent for treating space with the heroic bravura she brings to her unique grammar of expression.

My one major reservation regarding the exhibition is the absence of any selections by America’s greatest living woman artist, Toshiko Takaezu. On the other hand, as a whole, the exhibition is an inspired compilation of excellent examples by a wide diversity of creative visionaries. Made up of some 400 items by 150 artists, the overall show includes examples in various media. Besides oils on canvas, there are also selections in watercolor, wood, photography, collage, fiber, and bronze. Together, they comprise a truly rewarding group of expressively significant artworks. ■

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Opposite page: Beatrice Wood (1893 1997), The Naug[h]ty Snake, 1972. Ceramic glazed earthenware; 15x16½x8½ inches. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Art by Women Collection, Gift of Linda Lee Alter, 2011.1.15 © Estate of Beatrice Wood, courtesy Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts/ Happy Valley Foundation This page: Faith Ringgold, “We Came to America,” from the series The American Collection, 1997. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Art by Women Collection, Gift of Linda Lee Alter, 2010.27.1 © Faith Ringgold

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m feature

R. KURT OSENLUND

Truth, Beauty, and the New York Way Behind the captivating art of veteran realist painter Max Ginsburg.

MAX GINSBURG LIKES TO quote John Keats. “Truth is beauty,” the New York painter often says, invoking a line from Keats’ famed Ode on a Grecian Urn. If Ginsburg’s authenticity-driven works are any indication, the timeless sentiment is dead-on. Actively creating art through the last seven decades, Ginsburg, now 81, has an uncanny knack for arresting realism, which he employs for his visceral depictions of New York life and beyond. It’s no wonder this ardent observer of the world, whose subject matter tends to merge the humanistic with the political, is a poetry buff: his singular paintings have a lyricism all their own. Though born in Paris, Ginsburg is a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, a Brooklyn boy who went to public school in Borough Park, felt the anti-Semitic sting of World War II, and lived through the Depression. His mother, Rachel, was a pharmacist who’d hold union meetings in the family living room, and his father, Abraham, was a brilliant artist in his own right, a painter and illustrator who, through a chunk of the 1920s, made a fruitful living creating color-rich portraits for movie posters (Abraham’s Hollywood-fueled income led to the Paris In what’s surely the getaway, which saw his artful successor enter the most provocative leg of world). Some of Ginsburg’s earliest paintings are his career, Ginsburg has of his father at work, and what’s captured is a symbolic passing of the baton. The miracle of creative parlayed that gift for lineage is boldly apparent when looking at the fadocumenting Gotham ther and son’s work side by side: similar brushstrokes, similar soulfulness, similar mastery of life into a gripping array rendering the human form. of works that address “I’m a humanist, not a sentimentalist,” Ginsthe world at large, like burg assures, summing up his artistic philosophy. “There’s a difference between extreme feeling “Abu Ghraib” and “Foreand sentimentality.” closure,” a 2011 piece Ginsburg maintains a studio in Long Island that comments on the City, where he hosts models to help him nail every nuance of the figures in his work. The space is economic crisis. amply stocked with used and unused canvases, which line the walls and, in some cases, adorn them. On one side hangs “Peace March,” a 48-by-70-inch oil-on-canvas that was completed in 2007, and depicts a throng of people protesting the Iraq war. Near the rear of the studio sits “Torture Abu Ghraib,” an incendiary piece that recreates the horrors of its setting, with a Christlike, nude man bound and coated in blood and feces, and duplicitous-looking soldiers gazing on. If Ginsburg’s father was somewhat content to work at romanticizing the cinema, Ginsburg himself has strived to take the family tradition further, stripping away artifice while keeping beauty and metaphor intact. A social archivist, of sorts, provoked by his own upbringing, Ginsburg hasn’t shied away from splashing his ideals on canvas. Though he’s created a great wealth of commercial work, which helped pay the bills for him and wife Miryam for many years, a passion to express that ever-poetic truth has been omnipresent, despite its ability to rile up naysayers. Ginsburg admits such works as “Abu Ghraib” have earned him ample pointed fingers, particularly from folks unnerved or miffed by, say, a group of American soldiers eyeing up a helpless victim. Of the many things he inherited from his father,

Hot Dog Man, 2003. Oil on canvas, 34” x 38”

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R. Kurt Osenlund is the managing editor of The House Next Door, the official blog of Slant Magazine. He is also the film critic for South Philly Review, and a contributing writer for ICON, Slant, Cineaste, Fandor and The Film Experience. He compiles his work and posts other goodies at his blog, www.yourmoviebuddy.blogspot.com, and can be reached via email at rkurtosenlund@gmail.com.

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Park Bench, 2004.


War Pieta, 2007. Oil on canvas, 50” x 60”

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Small Paintings Patricia Hutton Galleries 47 West State Street, Doylestown 215-348-1728 PatriciaHuttonGalleries.com Through December 31 Meet the Artists/Open House 12/1, 5–8PM This exhibit features small paintings for gift giving as well as winter landscapes of the Bucks County countryside. Located in an antique house in the historic district of Doylestown, the Gallery displays paintings in a traditional setting complemented by small antiques and silver. The Gallery specializes in Impressionism and Realism by acclaimed artists from Bucks County and the surrounding region, as well as from New England, and features an extraordinary selectional of representational work by local artists. Many of the artists are inspired by the New Hope School, as well as artists associated with the Boston, North Shore, and Cape Cod Schools. With a total of 23 artists working in oil, watercolor, and pastel, there are choices for those who prefer post-impressionist and minimalist-style work. During the holiday season, offerings will also include original, one of a kind Santas with hand-sculpted faces in antique garb, hand-decorated wooden bowls, and extraordinary art pottery, all by local artisans. For a list of artists: PatriciaHuttonGalleries.com

Winter Moonlight, 30” x 24” Oil by Dot Bunn

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Shady Grove Cottage, oil on linen, 16”x16”

Small Works by Gallery Artists Schmidtberger Fine Art Gallery 10 Bridge St. Suite 7, Frenchtown, NJ 908-268-1700 www.sfagallery.com or www.johnspaintings.com December 1-December 31 SFA Gallery is marking the completion of their first year in business with a group show of small to mid-size works by gallery artists. This show features recent oil paintings by John Schmidtberger, the artist/owner. Many of the pieces in this show were completed in recent trips to Mid-Coast Maine, where the artist often visits. His obsession is with light: the gloom of pine forests punctuated by dashes of brilliant light, swimmers relaxing on a dock trailed by long afternoon shadows, old wooden houses struck by the first rays of morning, a seaside cottage framed by the glare of the setting sun. Schmidtberger studied with landscape painter Neil Welliver and earned an MFA from UPenn. His work has been exhibited widely. Some venues include the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, the Jeffrey Leder Gallery in NYC, the Prince Street Gallery in NYC, Elan Fine Arts in Maine, Camden Falls Gallery in Maine, the Trimbur-Henry Gallery in Doylestown and The Quiet Life Gallery in Lambertville. The exhibit also includes exciting new works by gallery artists Corinne Lalin, Ellen Sapienza, Kris Engman, Jon Rischawy, Elizabeth Johnson and Kerstin Engman.

Alli and Gracie, oil on linen, 8”x8”

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Searching for Wabi Sabi – Discovering Molly by Bruce MacDougall Red Filter Gallery 74 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ Thursday–Sunday afternoons 347-244-9758 redfiltergallery.com Through January 6, 2013 Searching for “Wabi Sabi – Discovering Molly,” is a spiritual tribute in photographs to the lost daughter of Bruce Mac Dougall. Bruce MacDougall grew up in Southern California, and began exploring photography at age nine with a Kodak Brownie. While his passion for photography was temporarily put on hold to raise his family and care for disabled veterans, it came roaring back to the surface in 2001 when a friend contacted him and invited him to join “The Photo Boyz” of Sacramento. He continued expanding from film and darkroom to digital and Photoshop, enjoying life as usual until 2010 when tragedy struck and his daughter, Molly, was murdered. Bruce’s cathartic journey to rediscover the meaning and purpose of his life led him to China. As a result of this trip to the Orient, his work incorporates the ancient Buddhist derived philosophy of Wabi Sabi (later incorporated by the Japanese). This approach to life and art focuses on objects and expressions bringing forth a sense of melancholy or spiritual longing. The embrace of simplicity and imperfection is at the aesthetic core of Wabi Sabi values. Bruce’s work captures these principles clearly in displaying the beauty of the flawed … and the splendor of the incomplete. In a world where imagery is so often commercially materialized, Bruce’s work is a peek into a realm of pure emotion that will challenge the way the viewer judges beauty. At the same time as the “Searching for Wabi Sabi – Discovering Molly” exhibit, an extended viewing of Brian Lav’s “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” will also be available to attendees at the gallery.


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PETE CROATTO

Hitchcock LET’S START WITH THE obvious: In Hitchcock, Anthony Hopkins looks nothing like the great director. Crammed into a fat-suit, his handsome features barely distorted by buttery jowls, he resembles Jeffrey Tambor — if the Arrested Development actor swallowed a large beach ball and had his legs amputated. The image created is a constant distraction that places Hopkins, a wonderful actor, in a hopeless situation. Good news for Hopkins, if you can call it that: he’s not the lone faulty party. Sacha Gervasi’s biopic is a lumbering, forgettable collection of half-thoughts. Aside from Hopkins’s stupendous non-transformation, the film’s other memorable aspect is its ironic refusal to create a stir. Gervasi (Anvil: The Story of Anvil) does one thing right, focusing on a distinct period of time. It’s 1959 and Hitchcock, 60 years old and his legacy secure, is high on the success of North by Northwest. The feeling is over in minutes. “Shouldn’t you quit while you’re ahead?” a reporter asks after the premiere. In an unfortunate harbinger of the movie’s style, thunder crashes in the distance. Hitchcock is determined to find something fresh. He passes on The Diary of Anne Frank and Casino Royale. Neither is a “nasty, little piece of work.” Psycho, a new book about mother-loving serial killer Ed Gein, fits the bill nicely. A skittish Paramount won’t make it, so Hitchcock finances the movie — a whopping $800,000 — himself. Why go through

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the trouble? “I want to feel that kind of freedom again,” he tells his wife, Alma (Helen Mirren), who has been his creative lifeblood from the beginning. Alma is the strong woman behind the famed shapely silhouette — killing Marion Crane in Psycho’s first 30 minutes is her suggestion — but she’s tired of getting second billing. She’s tired of her husband’s obsession with beautiful, young blondes. She’s tired of being at his beck and call. She’s tired that she can’t carve her own niche other than being the faithful, supportive Mrs. Hitchcock. It’s been going on too long, so you can’t blame Alma when her dapper married friend (Danny Huston) gets increasingly chummy during their writing collaboration. The conflict behind Alma and Alfred’s union would make for a compelling film. It’s too bad Hopkins looks like a human Grimace. But Gervasi wages a constant battle with no clear winner: recalling the last golden age of Hollywood movies vs. reveling in its dark undercurrent. John McLaughlin’s script focuses more on revealing facts about the production, which keeps the movie locked at a strolling pace. Gervasi’s stabs at darkness are either unintentionally comical (Hitchcock taking out his anger on a pool skimmer) or, reminiscent of that aforementioned lightning bolt, condescending and overdone. Hitchcock periodically talks to Gein (Michael Wincott) and envisions all his enemies as he shows Anthony Perkins (a

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perfectly cast James D’Arcy) how to stab Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson). There’s a politeness to those scenes, which would have benefitted from utilizing Hopkins’ famed intensity. It’s too bad he resembles the Michelin Man in a suit. Missed opportunities accumulate. Two wonderful actresses are present. One is used sparingly (Toni Collette) and the other (Johansson) serves as a subterfuge for Hitchcock’s blonde ambitions. That’s what you hire Jessica Biel, cast here as Vera Miles, for. The feisty, independent Alma gets defined with a stock “you need me” speech and by replacing her ailing husband on set, a scene so hokey that it should have been accompanied by “I Am Woman.” (I won’t even go into the ending.) Hitchcock could have been a Hollywood satire veiled in Eisenhower-era stodginess, a merciless portrayal of a tortured genius and his unsatisfied wife. Instead, it just stands there — one foot in the sunshine, the other in the darkness — wasting our time. [PG-13] ■

A senior critic at Filmcritic.com from 2002 to 2007, Pete Croatto also reviews movies for The Weekender. His essays, reviews, and features have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Publishers Weekly, TCNJ Magazine, Deadspin, and The Star-Ledger. You can read more on his blog, whatpeteswatching.blogspot.com.


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L-R: Mark Ivanir; Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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A Late Quartet

MELODRAMA about a longestablished group of classical musicians, A Late Quartet evokes the era in films where movies were about adults — grown-ups with grown-up concerns, from, say, the 1930s through the ‘50s. (Which is not to say this writer doesn’t enjoy adolescent high-jinx — when it was a new release in theaters, I saw Animal House six or seven times. But then, teen and 20-something angst is something I need not revisit.) A renowned string quartet, a star combo of the classical world, the Fugue Quartet — violinists Daniel (Mark Ivanir) and Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman), violist Juliette (Catherine Keener), and cellist Peter (Christopher Walken) — is shaken to its foundations by Peter’s announcement that he has Parkinson’s Disease. Peter does not want to compromise the group’s high standards, so he suggests they start looking for a replacement. This acts as a catalyst for Robert’s long-suppressed dissatisfaction with being in Type A-personality/lead violinist Daniel’s shadow and doubts about his (cooling) marriage to Juliette. Complicating things further is the couple’s spunky 20

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daughter Alexandra (Imogen Poots), also a violinist, is being taught by Daniel… and she’s showing signs of being hot for teacher. While a fan of some classical music, I’m not knowledgeable about the world of professional classical musicians. But I am familiar in the ways musicians that are devoted to music — and to varying degrees each other — can clash, be it over musical differences or personality conflicts. In Quartet, it’s how to approach one of Beethoven’s late string quartets, wherein Robert wants to strive for spontaneity and Daniel, accuracy. Peter, the oldest of the four, is the heart of the Fugue Quartet but icy martinet Daniel (who also builds violin bows) is the brains and dominant persona. Enough drama for you? A Late Quartet is beautifully filmed in a wintry, snow-covered New York City — it’s a film that really projects the beauty of that city. (We don’t see the broken glass on the cracked sidewalks, excrement of indeterminate origin, and/or stray latex gloves littered about.) As to be expected, Hoffman and Keener are excellent; their characters feel like real people — chubby, lines on their faces, weary, not airbrushed Mount Olympus “beautiful people.” Ivanir (Schindler’s List, assorted Russian guys on TV) is very fine as the flinty perfectionist, but Walken steals the movie by…wait for it…giving a restrained, nuanced performance. Like William Shatner, Walken, who’s

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made a career of playing unhinged, volatile characters, can take overacting to undreamt-of heights, but here he plays it gentle. He’s a proud (but not pompous) gentleman who LOVES music — listening to it, playing it, and teaching it. The wildest Walken gets is when he irately says to someone who disappointed him: “Shame on you.” (And that, in its own way, is just as intense as Walken’s Frank White cold-bloodedly shooting people in King of New York.) Yes, this is the movie where you leave the theater without any cool Walken quotes or any desire to try out your Walken imitation for your friends and family. Poots is a little inconsistent, but maybe that’s the point (of her character); like some 20-something females, she’s alternately vulnerable, cocky, indignant, and capricious. The music — lots of Beethoven, natch — is potent, passionate, and plenty other “P” words besides. I’d like to know what classical musicians would have to say about A Late Quartet, but it’s a not-quite-tidy (which is good, really) serious drama (a little melodramatic, but what the hell) about what happens when adults meet the world…and as the late George Carlin said, in such a contest, always bet on the world. n In addition to ICON, Mark Keresman is a contributing writer for SF Weekly, East Bay Express, Pittsburgh City Paper, Paste, Jazz Review, downBeat, and the Manhattan Resident.


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bad movie

MARK KERESMAN

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Taken 2

AS LONGTIME READERS OF ICON may recall, I can’t let an opportunity for a good pun to slip by…as discriminating viewers may feel as if they’ve been taken to the cleaners with the latest Holly-wooden big-action product Taken 2. Liam Neeson is ex-super-spy Bryan Mills, who one movie ago rescued his kidnapped daughter from Albanian sex-traffic kidnapper-scum. The father of the first movie’s villain vows revenge against Mills, who sent his son to sex-traffic kidnapper-scum Hell. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and the way to an ace spy’s heart is to kidnap his daughter again, in order to lure him to his doom. So… While many people (including me) enjoy a good slam-bang action movie, said movie has got to make some kind of…I dunno, what’s the word..? SENSE, yeah, that’s the ticket. I’m not expecting a documentary (and few folks are, I’m sure), but give the audience a little credit for some brains. But then, Taken 2 was directed by Oliver Megaton, the genius behind Columbiana, which stands as maybe the dumbest movie ever made that does not feature any Baywatch alumni. Unlike Columbiana, however, Taken 2 is almost an educational film. What have we learned, alert viewers? Taken 2 is set in Turkey. Taken 2 “suggests” Albania (the homeland of the villains) borders Turkey. It, alas, does not. Maggie Grace plays Kim, the teenage daughter of Mills — yet Grace is 29. (All the actresses in the world and they cast someone pushing 30 as a teenager?) Kim failed her driving test (repeatedly) in America, yet drives through the streets of Istanbul like she was trying out for the lead in Transporter 4: Estrogen on Wheels. Or, conversely, like a NASCAR driver through crowded streets in Istanbul without hitting a single pedestrian. About Istanbul: Has Megaton ever spent any time there? While some might consider Turkey as a Middle Eastern nation, it is not an Islamic-dominated society. Lots of Turkish women do not wear the burqa (traditional head-covering) — in fact, Euro-American fashions are ubiquitous. Istanbul is one of the most modern, cosmopolitan, international-type cities in the world (you know, like “our” sophisticated NYC or freeway-ridden LA, or “their” Paris or Munich), yet Taken 2 gives the impression that it’s an “exotic” Third World hellhole. Being such a cosmopolitan city also means that when a bunch of shooting starts on a busy (naturally) street, lots of police will show up…and even if an ex-spy were to, oh I dunno, shoot-up a public place, I bet the local constabulary (who still use cars from the 1970s) will want to sit him down for a stern chat. But what about “action”? Crash, boom, bang…but unless you are under the age of 25, there’s precious little in Taken 2 you haven’t seen done before or better. Better, actually — this is one of those movies in which the hero may as well be invulnerable and have X-ray vision. As with old TV superhero shows, where’s the “fun” in seeing Superman (the 1950s version) take on justplain-old/not-especially-dangerous criminals? As with Angie Jolie’s character in Salt, our hero is so darn good at his craft that there’s nary any doubt of his prevailing…and the villains are so damned incompetent that Neeson/Mills barely works up a sweat whilst dispatching them. OK, you’re a kidnapper: Aren’t you going to search your prey to make sure they aren’t carrying something that might make them, uh, less kidnapped than you desire, and perhaps expend a little effort to guard them? When daughter Kim gets into the act, she throws grenades and runs across rooftops just like an actress that spent time learning how to toss explosive devices and sprint in dangerous situations like some sort of pro spy, soldier, or mercenary. Then there’s the shaky camera work and super-fast cutting that massively detract from the action scenes by making it hard to see just whom is doing what to/at whom. (I guess directors and/or producers can save money on stunt-work that way.) Acting? What acting? One-dimensional Albanian thugs talk in English (don’t they?), and Neeson and Famke Janssen (plays wife/mom) pretty much phone-in their performances. How this movie got to be in America’s movie top ten is beyond the so-called scope of this writer…but then, lots of people eat junk food to excess, so there’s that. If you want to see good-looking folks expend lots of vague sound ‘n’ fury just to get your money, here you go. n

Liam Neeson.

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REVIEWS OF RECENTLY RELEASED DVDS BY GEORGE OXFORD MILLER

Samsara

★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC

Arbitrage (2012) ★★★★ Cast: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling Genre: Thriller Rated R for language, violent images and drug use. Running time: 107 minutes. Robert Miller (Gere), the owner of a multimillion dollar capital venture fund, is the kind of me-first, anti-hero you love to hate, and both feelings intensify as we get to know him. He cheats on his wife (Sarandon) who appears not to care as long as he supports her extravagant lifestyle. He hides his $500 million debt from a potential buyer, as well as his daddy’s-girl daughter (Marling) who is the gung-ho CFO of his company. And he mesmerizes everyone with his broad smile and cheery outlook. But when he has a car wreck and kills his mistress, his duplicitous empire begins to spiral out of control. To what extremes will the Wall Street wizard go to keep his fame and fortune intact? With morals long ago tossed out the penthouse window, no one is safe from his desperate attempts to cover his assets. Hitchcock would be proud of this classic thriller that reveals the soul of a man whose bankrupt morals know no boundaries. Trouble With the Curve (2012) ★★★★ Cast: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake Genre: Drama Rated PG-13 Running time 111 minutes. Eastwood is back with his favorite role as the scowling curmudgeon. This time instead of growling at an empty chair, he’s an over-the-hill baseball scout fighting to keep his own seat in the stands. After a life of scouting for the Atlanta Braves, Gus (Eastwood) suffers from failing eyesight and a 24

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swollen prostate. When the front office wants to send him to the showers, his boss (Goodman) calls in reinforcements. Gus’ estranged daughter Mickey (Adams), poised for partnership in a law firm, takes a leave of absence to help her father scout for the next Babe Ruth slugger. The melodrama unfolds not on the diamond but in the bleachers. Gus and Mickey face each off with a lifetime of stored up curves, zingers, and bean balls. Throw in a love interest (Timberlake), a pitcher that Gus once signed up, and familial reconciliation heads for a no-hitter. Instead of a sports movie, this film digs deep into the human relationships that shape every inning of our lives. Hope Springs (2012) ★★★★ Cast: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones Genre: Drama/comedy Rated PG-13 for thematic content involving sexuality. Running time 100 minutes. At some point in life, most of us ask the ultimate question, “Is this all there is?” After 31 years of marriage, Kay (Streep) says by God, she wants more. Arnold (Jones), committed more to his unchanging schedule than to her, fears any hint of change. His day unfolds with a numbing sameness that begins with bacon and eggs and ends with falling asleep in front of the Golf Channel before stumbling to his separate bedroom. Kay reaches the breaking point, but instead of throwing hubby under a bus, she books a weekend retreat in Great Hope Springs, Maine, for intense marriage counseling. With more heartfelt humor than belly-laughs, Kay and Arnold fumble at regaining their zest for life and intimacy in the bedroom. Streep disappears into Kay’s persona whether frying eggs or contemplating bananas while reading a book on sex

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tips. Jones captures fearful, fidgeting Arnold from the inside out. Don’t expect surprise plot twists, just some of the best acting you’ll see on the big screen. Samsara (2012) ★★★★★ Genre: Documentary Directed by Ron Fricke. Rated PG-13 for some disturbing and sexual images. Running time 90 minutes. If a picture is really worth a thousand words, this nonverbal masterpiece would max out your Kindle. As a travelogue without dialogue, it’s a visual trance and musical dance. This transcendental film mesmerizes with visuals that reveal the miraculous within the mundane. Filmed on high-resolution 70mm film in 25 countries, each sequence connects dots linking the worlds of nature and humanity, ancient traditions and modern technology, and the living and dying that defines everyday life. Samsara in Indian religions is the concept of “continuous flow,” the cycle of life, death, and rebirth of all existence. Every moment of life is sacred, every breath a gift. As a guided meditation, Samsara transports us from Yosemite to the Himalayas, from Mecca’s hajj to China’s dancers of the 1,000 Hand Goddess, from nature’s wonders to human disasters. Like the third-eye, the camera reveals a world around us as we’ve never seen. ■

George Miller is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and believes that travel is a product of the heart, not the itinerary. See his webmagazine at www.travelsdujour.com.


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An EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Chris Hedges - COMING SOON CHRIS HEDGES spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years. He has written for Harper’s Magazine, The New Statesman, The New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs and others. He has written 12 books, including Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), Death of the Liberal Class (2010), Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), I Don’t Believe in Atheists (2008), American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (2008) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

An EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Joe Queenan - COMING SOON JOE QUEENAN is a cultural critic and movie reviewer. He writes for the New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times and the Guardian. He is the author of Queenan Country, Balsamic Dreams: A Short But Self-important History of the Baby Boomer Generation (2006), Closing Time, and One for the Books. He has been a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show, Today, Good Morning, America, Charlie Rose and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and appeared more than two-dozen times on Politically Incorrect.

An EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Carl Safina - COMING SOON CARL SAFINA, the founding president of Blue Ocean Institute, explores how the ocean is changing, and what those changes mean for wildlife and people. His writing conveys the scientific dimensions as well as moral and social implications of our relationship with nature. He has been awarded The New York Times “Notable Book of the Year,” Los Angeles Times “Best Nonfiction,” Library Journal’s “Best Science Book,” and the National Academies’ “Year’s Best Book for communicating science.” He has been profiled on Nightline and in The New York Times, named among “100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century” by Audubon magazine, and featured on the Bill Moyers PBS special Earth on Edge. His TV series, Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina, premiered on PBS in April 2011 and the first full season of ten episodes began in October 2012.

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film roundup

PETE CROATTO

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina.

★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC

Dying to Do Letterman (Dirs: Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina). Diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer, stand-up comic Steve Mazan sets a goal in January 2006: to perform his act on Late Show with David Letterman within a year. (For comparison’s sake, Ray Romano tells Mazan he spent 11 years before Letterman proffered an invitation.) An Internet campaign gets attention, but not in a good way. An executive producer informs Mazan, who has at worst five years left, that appearing on the show is impossible. Determined to get there on skill, he develops new material, hits the clubs, and deals with mounting pressure from creditors and his wife, Denise, who is eager to start a family. The earnestness and dignity of Mazan, who is actually quite funny, makes you pull for him as he navigates his personal issues and the frequently frustrating world of professional stand-up comedy. An entertaining and enlightening documentary. [NR] ★★★1/2 Funeral Kings (Dirs: Michael and Kevin McManus). Starring: Dylan Hartigan, Alex Maizus, Jordan Puzzo, Charles Kwame Odei, Kevin Corrigan. The not-so dangerous lives of altar boys. It’s another typical week for friends Andy (Hartigan) and Charlie (Maizus) — copping altar wine, leering at cleavage, cutting class — filled with a few eventful developments. Andy’s wayward older brother has left behind a locked trunk. The new altar boy (Puzzo) is kind of a square, though he did star in a big movie with alleged nudity, which makes him a millionaire. And there’s a high school party — with beer and girls — they have to figure out how to attend. 26

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Deliberately paced, slice-of-life comedy/drama is more concerned with moments and tone than an actual narrative arc, which is a bit frustrating. Cast that aside and you get a gentle reminder of how big and scary and wonderful the world is as a 14-year-old boy. At that age, survival is based on how much bluster you can muster and endure. The McManus Brothers’ feature directorial debut. [R] ★★★ Anna Karenina (Dir: Joe Wright). Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson. I have not read Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, but I will after thoroughly enjoying Wright’s haunting adaptation. Here, the scenes are set up as a play, giving a sweeping theatricality to the title character’s epic late-19th century tale of woe. Anna (Knightley), a devoted mother married to a government official (Law), is perfectly content as a pillar of St. Petersburg high society. When Anna visits Moscow to help alleviate the rift between her sister-in-law (Macdonald) and her relentlessly cheating brother (Macfadyen), she meets the dashing Count Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson). Knowing the trouble in betraying her dull husband, Anna initially resists Vronksy’s advances but ends up eschewing convenience for love — and discovers the consequences in following your heart. Terrific story, which (sadly) still has relevance today, becomes electric thanks to the breathtaking work of cinematographer Seamus McGarvey and production designer Sarah Greenwood. You cannot look away as Anna’s world turns from magic to misery. Knightley is

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excellent. Screenplay adapted by Tom Stoppard. [R] ★★★★ [Exclusive nterview with Keira Knightley on page 30] Silver Linings Playbook (Dir: David O. Russell). Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, John Ortiz, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles. Against all good judgment, Pat, a troubled young man (Cooper), leaves a Baltimore insane asylum early for the comfort of his Philadelphia-based parents (De Niro, Weaver) determined to find his silver lining: reconciling with his wife and returning to substitute teaching. Such optimism, given the restraining orders involved and Pat’s unbalanced behavior, is delusional — until he’s introduced to young widow Tiffany (Lawrence), another tortured, attractive soul. Tiffany agrees to reach out to Pat’s wife, if he becomes her dance partner. Philly native Cooper, shedding his handsome guy act, and Lawrence are terrific together, so you occasionally forget Russell’s heavy-handed treatment of the material. Again, The Fighter director uses the feel-good genre as a club, slamming us with inspirational dialogue (conveniently listed on the poster) and sweep-us-off-our-feet camerawork, giving the movie a disingenuous feel. But what’s particularly galling is how Russell, working from Matthew Quick’s novel, keeps honoring the lower middle-class by caricaturing them, burying Pat and his family’s dignity with each Eagles jersey and working class accent. Silver Linings Playbook is a snob’s version of how real people live, so it will probably rule the Academy Awards in three months. [R] ★★ n


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Located in a hotel in Easton, the Lafayette Bar is the Lehigh Valley's jazziest jazz joint. Photo by Josh Finck/Aka P'Kour

AN AMERICAN-EDUCATED LITHUANIAN SINGS stardust standards in a bar in a low-rent hotel. An autoharp-playing troubadour-raconteur recalls a blindfolded visit to an ancient tree in a mansion that used to be a speakeasy. A mountain dulcimer-playing ex-bed-and-breakfast owner recites an ode to pie in a B&B in a former general store. These special scenes took place in unusually homey, funky music houses within a 60-mile radius of Philadelphia. Each place has excellent acoustics, superior sightlines and an anything-can-happen atmosphere. All were launched within the last eight years by charismatic, caring hosts who believe concerts are made for consorting.

China and makes a mean banana-stuffed spring roll, and her husband Jamey, a musical jack-of-all-trades. He played bass with John Lee Hooker, engineered tour sound for Frank Zappa and designed tour equipment for Bonnie Raitt. In the 1970s he transformed a Boston vaudeville house into a rock palace for the likes of the Allman Brothers Band. Back story: The salon began in 2002 as a pass-the-guitar experiment. Two years later the experiment became a cultural laboratory called the Philadelphia Society for Art, Literature & Music, or PSALM. The Biblical acronym has a passing connection to psalmist-warrior King David, who used music to promote harmony among enemy tribes.

PSALM SALON

Many longtime Philadelphia music fans consider the PSALM a descendant of the Main Point, the beloved Bryn Mawr coffeehouse that lasted from 1964 to 1981, served homemade food and helped accelerate the careers of everyone from Joni Mitchell to Bruce Springsteen. Many musicians consider the PSALM a spiritual roadhouse. Pete Kennedy, the multi-instrumentalist, producer and co-leader of the Kennedys, has likened concerts there to tea ceremonies. Jamey Reilly has a calm, Buddha-esque personality that belies his beyond-busy life as booker, digital-studio owner, husband, father and surrogate parent to Asian students at St. Joe’s. He likes to hire healing acts, which makes sense for a yoga-center founder and physical therapist who recovered

The setting: A living room in a 1920s mansion that used to be a speakeasy in a residential neighborhood by St. Joseph’s University and City Line Avenue. The vibe: A listening lair with a stage, 60 chairs and a staircase that doubles as a sitting-room-only balcony. Fringe benefits: Friday shows emceed by Gene Shay, the venerable, venerated folk disc jockey. Concerts streamed live in HD. And where else can you eat homemade Cantonese food while watching singer-songwriter-humorist Christine Lavin twirl a baton? Hosts: Suyun Reilly, who ran a restaurant in her native 28

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from two accidents that paralyzed his right arm for two years. He has particularly fond memories of Tibetan throat singers and metal-thonged Aztec dancers. “Those dancers,” he says, “were very popular with the ladies.” Past acts: The Nields, the dynamic sister duo; Aztec TwoStep, the folk-rock road poets; David Bromberg, the multi-instrumental maestro. Future acts: David Amram (Dec. 14), the renowned composer and world musician; Susan McKeown (Dec. 28), the Irish singer-musicologist who has collaborated with the Klezmatics; Johnny Kay and the JK Rockets (March 30), starring the guitarist in Bill Haley & the Comets. Details: PSALM Salon, 5841 Overbrook Ave., Philadelphia, www.psalmsalon.com, 215-477-7578. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. BYOB; complimentary drinks and snacks. Homemade Cantonese food available for purchase. No advance tickets via box office or telephone. Free blues jam first Wednesday of every month featuring the Philly Blues Kings with bassist Jamey Reilly, the salon’s co-owner. Note: the Reillys want to move the PSALM to a nearby commercial building with a bigger capacity and a bigger kitchen for making high-end pub food with a Chinese accent. Snapshot: Bryan Bowers is turning a solo show into a Shakespearean serenade. Had Shakespeare lived in our times, he might just have written an act for Bowers, a 72-year-old, 6foot-3 minstrel with a burly build, a white beard, a pleasingly


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craggy voice and the mountainous personality of a King Lear lumberjack. Bowers plays disarmingly delicate music-box waltzes on the autoharp, which he cradles between thigh, arm, chest and cheek. He sings about love’s seven-odd ages. Let’s see, there’s true love lost. And love for songs as true-blue friends. And love of dying kicking and screaming, which is personified perfectly in “When I Go,” which Dave Carter recorded four years before he died suddenly at age 51. Bowers relishes the ravishing refrain “I will crumble down unaccountable in showers of crimson rubies when I go.” The crowd is small but captive. Among the eight listeners are a husband and wife who have hosted Bowers Viktorija Gecyte is filling the at their home and a who last room with a dusky, easy voice woman saw Bowers 35 years ago at the that seems to come from Main Point. He innowhere and go everywhere. tensifies their attention with a story Supported by a supple trio of about his pilgrimbass, drums and piano, she age to a bristlecone sails through the slipstream of pine tree born in California over “That Old Black Magic,” “That 4,800 years ago. He walked to the anOld Devil Moon” and other cient giant blindfolded, to prevent stardust standards. Long behim from revealing fore the beer-sign clocks the tree’s whereabouts to potential strike midnight, she turns a desecrators. saloon into a salon. “Methuselah” certainly carved its initials into the soul of Bowers, who lives near an old-growth forest. “I’ve had many occasions to feel insignificant in my life,” he says, “but that was the best one.” LANDHAVEN B & B The setting: A former general store in a picturesque village in Berks County, 58 miles from Philadelphia and 100 miles from the Holland Tunnel. The vibe: A rustic sanctuary that conjures sing- and pick-alongs around a hot potbelly stove. Fringe benefits: Hanging out on the back porch and watching the setting sun paint farm fields. Mixing with musicians before and after shows, sometimes during breakfast the next day. And where else can you watch performers wear vintage hats plucked from 56-foot-long general-store shelves that hold antiques for sale? Hosts: Donna Land, a cookbook author-editor and food stylist, and her husband Ed, a retired film/video editor for the Chicago branches of ABC and NBC News. Back story: The Lands visited Berks County in 1997 in search of a happier job for Ed and a new life as empty nesters. Ed’s brother, who lives in nearby Bechtelsville, helped settle them on an old general store, which began as a post office and ended as a dress shop. The couple then spent a half-dozen years restoring and converting the 19th-century property into a comfortable, comforting B&B with bodacious bathrooms. In 2004 the Lands began presenting concerts at Land-

haven, inspired by a lively Thursday-night jam down the road at the Barto Hotel. Donna, a cheery hugger, feeds musicians with lasagna and Tuscan chicken and concertgoers with brownies and pot-popped popcorn. Ed, 6foot-4 with a handlebar mustache and a wicked wit, triples as sound man, metalsmith and carpenter. Spectators sit in his Sack-Back Windsor chairs, which are scattered among a Heinz 57 variety of seats. Past acts: John Jorgenson, the swing guitarist who played in Elton John’s touring band: singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon, who wrote a tune covered by Keith Richards; singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier, who ran a Cajun restaurant in Boston. Future acts: master bluesmith Chris Smither (Feb. 2); folk-rock favorite Jonathan Edwards (Feb. 23); musical storyteller Eric Taylor (March 16), whose songs have been recorded by Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith. Details: Landhaven Bed and Breakfast, 1194 Huff ’s Church Rd., Huff ’s Church, www.landhavenbandb.com, 610-845-3257. Performances begin at 8 p.m. BYOB; complimentary drinks and snacks. Box dinners from nearby restaurant available for purchase. Snapshot: Claudia Schmidt is performing a poem about the powerful pleasures of pie. Hands dicing, face kneading, voice crimping, the singing, songwriting mountain dulcimer player preaches the virtues of making, baking, smelling, eating and channeling pie all day long all around the world. Even before she gets to the part about pie promoting peace, she turns a concert room into a soul kitchen After the show spectators relax in the lounge with Schmidt, who once ran a B&B in a restored log farmhouse on a Lake Michigan island. When she learns that Donna Land had heard only a slice of the pie poem, she performs the entire piece again, this time under a shelf stacked with Donna’s antique rolling pins. Just like that, a den becomes Eden. LAFAYETTE BAR The setting: A long rectangular room with a tin ceiling, walls festooned with beer memorabilia and a highvoltage bar, all in a center-city low-rent hotel. The vibe: Casually cosmopolitan jazz joint; the sort of place where you can listen quietly and loudly. Fringe benefits: Affordable ($2 to $6) beers from all over the map (Flying Dog Raging Bitch, Schaefer, Colt 45). Homemade tapas served on jazz nights. And where else can you jive with a United Nations of localities, ethnicities, incomes and sexual persuasions? Host: Anthony “Tunsie” Jabbour, a jazz-loving, fezwearing (“People think I’m a shriner”) impresario (“I like to say I push buttons”) who tells spicy stories and treats everyone like a long-lost relative. “My mother told me if somebody beat you up in the street and they give you the respect of coming to visit you in your home, then you should greet them with open arms,” he says. “So that’s what I do: I greet them with open arms. It’s like an honor when somebody comes to visit.” Back story: Born in Easton with a first name of Tunsie (pronounced Tun-SIGH), Jabbour quickly moved to Lebanon to meet his father. Five years later he returned with his family to Easton. Despite a new American name of Anthony, he was bullied by kids who thought he was black. He soon acquired a guardian named Sam Jones, an elderly African-American who accompanied the youngster everywhere, even to kids’ birthday parties. It was

Sam who introduced Tunsie to jazz, letting the kid roam stacks and stacks of albums by Thelonius Monk, Erroll Garner and other heroes. In 1975 Jabbour began helping his brothers manage the bar in the Lafayette Hotel, which his family had just bought. The Jabbours presented jazz acts for two years, then gave up because disco was too powerful. In 2005 Jabbour gave his No. 1 genre a second chance, persuaded by a then-girlfriend who didn’t know he had given it a first chance. He took a chance on his first jazz performer, Viktorija Gecyte, a native Lithuanian singer then studying at Lafayette College. Her tone was so sultry, and her scatting so smooth, he thought she was the reincarnation of a 45-year-old chanteuse. Seven years later, Gecyte is a favorite at the Lafayette, which she plays when she’s touring away from her home in Paris. Naturally, she appears in the “Galerie” of photographs on the Lafayette’s Web site. Also featured is a regular customer who runs Jabbour’s errands. He calls her “my man Friday” and “Buddha.” Past acts: pianist David Leonhardt, who worked with Jon Hendricks and David “Fathead” Newman; soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman, a former Miles Davis partner and NEA Jazz Master; bassist Gene Perla, who accompanied Frank Sinatra and who leads the Go Trio, Gecyte’s American ensemble. Future acts: percussionist Kahlil Kwame Bell (Jan. 5), who has performed with Erykah Badu and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company; Yard Byard (Jan. 19), a quintet dedicated to Jaki Byard, the late pianist/composer/educator; pianist-composer Eric Mintel (Feb. 16), who has played the White House and the United Nations. Details: Lafayette Bar, 15 N. 4th St. (by Northampton Street), Easton, www.lafayettebarjazz.com, 610-252-0711. Jazz concerts run 9 a.m. to midnight on the first and third Saturdays of every month except July and August, when shows are presented on the first Saturday. No cover or minimum. Cash only. Smoking permitted. Open MondaySaturday noon-whenever and featuring classic soul recordings, also known as “baby-making music.” Snapshot: Viktorija Gecyte is filling the already filledto-the-gills room with a dusky, roomy, easy voice that seems to come from nowhere and go everywhere. Supported by a supple trio of bass, drums and piano, she sails through the slipstream of “That Old Black Magic,” “That Old Devil Moon” and other stardust standards. Long before the beer-sign clocks strike midnight, she turns a saloon into a salon. Between sets Gecyte glides around, greeting everyone as if they were, well, long-lost relatives. She ends the gig with a sweet salute to Jabbour, smilingly repeating his slogan “I like it!” He had shouted it to her nearly two hours earlier, thumping his chest for extra zest. “Jazz is a feeling: you either feel it, or you don’t,” says Jabbour. “You can’t feel it by reading. You can’t feel it by somebody telling you about it — even if that somebody is Sonny Rollins. The only way to feel it is to listen to it and watch it, over and over and over again. That way, every time you hear a song, you’ll hear something different. That way, you become proficient in the language. That way, a disability becomes an ability.” ■ Geoff Gehman is a former arts writer for The Morning Call in Allentown. He is the author of “The Kingdom of the Kid,” a memoir of growing up in the middle-class, long-lost Hamptons (SUNY Press, 2013). geoffgehman@verizon.net.

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R. KURT OSENLUND

From Royal Duchess to Russian Doll With films like Atonement and The Duchess, Keira Knightley has established herself as Hollywood’s corset queen, an English beauty whom everyone calls when cooking up period drama. In Anna Karenina, she teams with director Joe Wright for the third time, and if the production itself doesn’t leave you intoxicated, Knightley’s performance surely will. HAS THERE EVER BEEN a costume-drama queen as fetching as Keira Knightley? In less than a decade, this 27-year-old knockout has become cinema’s go-to gal for period romance, and her appeal goes far beyond her ability to slip so ably into a corset. In person, Knightley is just as runway-thin as the models you wish would devour a Big Mac, but she carries herself with such infectious, courtly elegance, that she still seems worlds away from, say, Marc Jacobs’s frail muses. Though she’d already donned ample regalia in 2003’s Pirates of the

“I think because it’s called Anna Karenina you assume she’s the heroine, when really, she walks the line of being the antiheroine. I find her terrifying, because I am no better than she is.”

Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, it was 2005 that saw Knightley put her singular stamp on the world of throwback refinement. Starring as iconic Elizabeth Bennet (whose glamour, ironically, comes less from fancy duds than from Jane Austen’s prose), Knightley bewitched the world in Pride & Prejudice, a film some might call the definitive version of Austen’s ageless novel. It was the project that introduced Knightley to Joe Wright, an English maestro who’d become the Woody Allen to her Mia Farrow. “There’s an amazing amount of trust between us,” Knightley says of Wright. The actress has just slipped in through the doors of a private suite at the Waldorf Towers, where scads of journalists wait to have their turn picking her brain. “That’s the underlying thing within the relationship between me and Joe,” she continues. “Even when we do have our bickering moments, as we are quite like siblings, there is never a question that I love him to pieces and I completely, implicitly trust him. I admire and love his imagination, and I have great respect for it.” Following Pride & Prejudice, Wright, of course, was the man who went on to direct Knightley again in Atonement, an epic, gorgeous adaptation of Ian McEwan’s tragic novel. Now, the filmmaker and his leading lady team again for Anna Karenina, a movie that marks their most ambitious pairing in terms of both source and scale. In 30

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translating Leo Tolstoy’s beefy doorstopper to the screen, Wright took a bold, unprecedented approach, setting much of the high-society action on literal stages, and painting the world of 19th century Russian affluence as one of grand artifice and performance. For Knightley, the technique seems to have proved extremely galvanizing, for just as the pageantry of the sets is lavishly unbound, Knightley’s work is appropriately heightened, a sustained piece of nerves-frayed acting stretched to the grandiose limit. “It was exhausting, playing a character like that,” Knightley admits, “especially given all of the stylization. Everything was enhanced, including the emotions. So, after a 14-hour shoot, it can take a lot out of you.” At this point, Knightley has portrayed a carnal headcase in A Dangerous Method, a lab-grown human bound for death in Never Let Me Go, and the infamous Georgiana Cavendish in The Duchess (another frillsand-frocks drama), but Anna may well be her most complex character yet. A polarizing figure who learns the fatal consequences of chasing a fervid affair, the princess can be praised and loathed in the same instant, especially by anyone familiar with the dangerous, rapturous pull of love. “I initially read the book in my late teens/early twenties,” Knightley says, “and my memory of it had Anna as someone who was a victim, and in the right, and almost saintly — everybody else was wrong. And then, all of a sudden, I read it again just before we did the film, and it was not what I remembered at all. Anna was not the same person I remembered. I saw her as much darker, and questioned the function of the role within the whole piece. I think because it’s called Anna Karenina you assume she’s the heroine, when really, she walks the line of being the antiheroine. I find her terrifying, because I am no better than she is. And even in the moments when I judged her the harshest, I thought, ‘Would I have behaved any differently? Could I do any better? Do I know that I wouldn’t have been destroyed by these things?’ And the answer is ‘no.’ It’s enough to make chills go down your spine when you look at her and think, ‘I do hate her today, but do I recognize that...shit? Yes.’” Though set in the 1870s, Anna Karenina joins a wealth of 2012 films that explore a common existential theme, one that follows an individual in a struggle to find contentment — to muster the ability to exist in the modern world, despite the endless perils that seem bent on dashing a chance for peace. Wright’s visionary, balletic style — which involves set pieces and choreography more stunning than those of any recent musical — certainly helps to convey the subject matter’s enduring rele-

vance, but it’s through Knightley that we see Anna as a woman with very in-the-now traits: frankness, dissatisfaction, passionate trajectory, lack of compromise, and tenderness despite a very strong “me” complex. By all evidence, the pain of Anna is directly reflective of the overall pain of love itself, which, as Knightley observes, is hardly exclusive to a single era. “I think [Anna Karenina] resonates to this day because it’s about love, and not just about romance and the whole happy bit,” Knightley says. “It’s not about the kind of love that’s sold to us, but the love that we’ve all been fascinated by, and obsessed with, for centuries — that thing that we are all after, and yet can destroy us, and can be painful, and can lead to madness. It looks at the whole thing, and I think that’s why it’s so complex. It has more questions within it than answers. Love is something that’s so inexplicable and complex and strange, and I think it’s a novel — and a film — that looks at all of that.” One would think that bringing to life so many screen goddesses, who all get tastes of cinematic bliss if not necessarily happy endings, Knightley herself may well have adopted some romantic notions of love, if only thanks to the contact high of so much lovestruck pomp and circumstance. But that’s not at all the sort of worldview that Knightley puts forth, and though she still shows a certain pep that recalls the soccer starlet she played in Bend It Like Beckham, the quality that wins out is a wise, womanly realism. It would appear that all these sweeping love stories haven’t filled her up with fluff, but rather, had a starkly opposite effect. “I’m a 27-year-old woman,” Knightley says. “I think it would be a bit strange if I had those kind of romantic notions about relationships that I think you should have when you’re in your teens. I think that there’s a lot of pain involved with love as there are great moments. Me saying that love conquers all, that’s bollocks. But I think it’s a fascination. You can rationally judge other people’s relationships, but I don’t think you can ever assess yours in a rational way. I don’t know how you can override emotions with rationale. I don’t know how that works.” Knightley does, however, know how invigorating drama works, and that says nothing of her stunning physical gifts, which place her in the pantheon of actresses born to stand before the camera. To see her in character as Anna, in all her veils, ruffles, and hoop-skirt gowns, is to see the same majesty emitted by greats like Marlene Dietrich. In a film that’s determined to serve up a glittering visual feast (and is, by the way, one of the best films of the year), Knightley stands as an extravagant, thrilling embodiment of tragedy and glamor. The jewel in the crown, one might say. ■


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Eventually, the team realized that they just needed to be real with a mission statement that read: Accessible. Affordable. Exceptional. Physical. Theater. “We like to get weird with our stories and the narrative structure, but we still want people who aren't regular theatergoers to be able to really enjoy our shows.”

Echo and the nymphs from the 2004 production of Echo.

Tribe of Fools The small Philly theater company makes its boldest statement yet. DURING THE SWELTERING HEAT of summer’s end, 2011, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival played curator to Tribe of Fools, a small indie Philly theater company whose darkly humorous and original apocalyptic tales were matched only by its intricately experimental takes on timeworn classics. How do you make Dracula anew as a simple but fearsome hall of lights? Tribe of Fools did it. Yet, in 2011, the team made its boldest and broadest statement yet in Heavy Metal Dance Fag. The steamy basement of St. Stephen’s between Chestnut and Market Streets in Center City was an apt and intimate (meaning cramped, hot and sweaty) place to witness the joyous and poignant South Philadelphian gender-fuck comedy where guidos buck, wing, tap and vogue and guidettes pump iron and bench press. “I’m a stripper, not a dancer,” says the hair-product-drenched Vincenzo (Peter Smith) when questioned about pole-dancing for gay men. Then again, nothing is what it seems in Heavy Metal Dance Fag-land, what with the deceased Pops’ double life and the likes of Bon Jovi and Poison as soundtrack du jour for the straight-faced “Timmy Bagley,” essayed by Tribe of Fools’ artistic director Terry Brennan. Every actor played his hard-ass-abs-and-thighs part with smashing duality. If you had any investment chops or cash laying around, you’d kickstart HMDF into a longterm main-stage run. That’s what the Annenberg does this month — kinda — as it remounts HMDF as part of a 2012-2013 series dedicated to second run local oddballs. “When we began rehearsals for that original version in 2011, we were just trying to make a good Fringe show,” says Terry Brennan, just weeks before the remount. “We hoped it would be popular with our core audience but we really had no idea that it would be received like it was. I remember having a conversation about how Dracula had sold-out all of its performances and that if Heavy Metal Dance Fag didn’t do as well at the box-office that it would be OK.” That’s before the momentum started and every Fringe night of HMDF sold out. That’s when Tribe of Fools began to wonder if there was the possibility for bigger things with the production. “Audience members started coming up to me and telling me that it needed to run again, that we had to take this show other places,” claims Brennan. “That was intense, and very flattering. More often than not, the people telling me this were total strangers. A former director of mine talked with me at length about how he thought it needed to go to college campuses. We really want to do that, but that’s a lot bigger than anything this company has ever done.” Heavy Metal Dance Fag is bigger than everything that Tribe of Fools has ever done by virtue of the fact that everything else had been so concentrically small and tight — like a Chuck Close painting where every pustule along the graph has more information in one breath, one sunburst, one curlicue, than most playwrights have in their entire oeuvre. “Tribe of Fools is in constant pursuit of original, daring blends of performance styles; high energy at all times,” says Jess Conda, a member of Brat Productions who has performed in more than a few Tribe-al works, Heavy Metal Dance Fag included. “Working with them requires both the ability to physically train like you’re in the army one minute and crack jokes like you’re at the bar with your buddies the next minute.

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They’re not afraid of pursuing their wildest, most crazy ideas, or to take all of those ideas and put them together in a blender, like a badass art smoothie.” Fools was founded by artistic directors Terry Brennan and Jay Wojnarowski to be this headily intellectual but viciously physical acrobatic company that blurred the lines between theater and movement, with multi-disciplinary focused locals doing their best work. Brennan jokes how its first mission statement was two or three very complex and dense sentences, which he can't even remember. “We wrote it by sitting in a room for an entire day arguing over how to word it,” says Brennan. “When I would tell people outside the company what it was they often stared at me and then asked ‘what does that mean?’” Eventually, the team realized that they just needed to be real with a mission statement that read: Accessible. Affordable. Exceptional. Physical. Theater. “Most importantly, we want our work to be accessible and understandable,” says Brennan. “We like to get weird with our stories and the narrative structure, but we still want people who aren't regular theatergoers to be able to really enjoy our shows.” Between its first several shows — Bedlam, Echo, Fool — with their eerily ancient outlook and everything after, Brennan sees two different Tribe of Fools: a radical company in flux with many voices straining for commonality before 2008 to a singularity of vision (or close to it) after that. By 2009, Wojnarowski and Brennan, always close, became like brothers with a nearly single vision. When the two started the company in 2003, they had just graduated from The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and believed that regional theater needed more physically generated new work. By 2010, they had realized it. “We really understood each other and would often be able to quickly build on each other’s ideas,” says Brennan. One idea, Armageddon at the Mushroom Village, happened impulsively over one of their breakfast meetings one day at the Broad Street Diner. “That show was basically a South Park-esque parody of The Smurfs that combined musical theater with commedia-inspired physical acting and stop-motion clay animation,” states Conda who acted in the 2009 play. If one wonders why Wojnarowski isn’t part of this chat, he stepped down as artistic director a few months ago. He simply didn’t enjoy producing theater any longer, realized that the amount of work versus the satisfaction derived wasn’t paying off emotionally or financially. “Jay recently joined IATSE, the union of professional stagehands, really likes the work and they actually pay him what he’s worth,” notes Brennan. “Who can argue with that?” After a subdued and alluring Dracula — all Jay’s baby, a walking delirious daydream rather than a blood lusty monster tale — came Heavy Metal Dance Fag, Brennan’s own dream of an afternoon working out at a gym in South Philly that he worked at for three years. One day, after lifting weights, listening to his iPod and getting into the music (Linkin Park, no less) Brennan, a personal trainer in his spare time, finished a particularly hard set, jumped up off the bench and did a quick Michael Jackson style spin. “And the looks I got… wow. You would have thought I smashed one of the mirrors. It seemed in that moment that I had really transgressed because I had done something that many people there perceived to be ‘gay.’ It was a very strange moment.” Based upon characters, real and imagined, from his gym, Brennan captured a type of machismo — be it men or women — that was foreign to him. Fascinated by the sexuality there, Heavy Metal Dance Fag became a satire, of that attitude-y gender-fuck in a sense, as well as the closest thing to a naturalistic play in their rep. “We felt it was a simple story, but we wanted to tell it in a way that was really large and expressive,” says Brennan. “It’s a story about one guy and he’s so little, but the things he’s struggling with consume his entire world … they feel so big. And I think that everyone can understand that. Everyone has felt like that from time to time. We really wanted the audience to experience that through the production, especially the dances. I think as a result of that idea, the play became starkly simple.” With its heavily accented voices, outrageously colored danceskins and quizzical gender politics, Heavy Metal Dance Fag became a cross between Flashdance and Goodfellas set in Philly’s grimiest ethnic area. “Dance Fag has a lotta HEART,” yells Jess Conda, who performed in the original and sings, like she did then, Guns n’ Roses’ Welcome to the Jungle in its entirety. “The whole show addresses the complexities of gender identity in a way that is approachable and honest. The performance style is virtuosic — dance theater that jumps, spins and backflips its way through telling the stories of a series of outrageous characters and the Tribe uses comedy as the tool to burrow into audiences’ hearts and minds.” Only now, they’re just doing it bigger and louder. ■ Performances will take place on Friday, December 14 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, December 15 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $20-$30 (prices are subject to change). For tickets or for more information, please visit AnnenbergCenter.org or call 215.898.3900.

If A.D. Amorosi can’t be found writing features for ICON, the Philadelphia Inquirer, doing Icepacks and Icecubes (amongst other stories) for Philadelphia City Paper, he’s probably hitting restaurants like Stephen Starr’s or running his greyhound. W W W. I C O N D V .C O M

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Bracelets, 1998. Oil on masonite, 15” x 12”

Dreadlocks, 1999. Oil on masonite, 17” x 12”

< 14 / FEATURE / MAX GINSBURG the ability to take a hit is one of them. A favorite anecdote involves a faux pas he pulled at age two — a defacing of one of his father’s portraits that landed him a spanking. “I got my first lesson,” Ginsburg says. “As an artist, you have to expect criticism.” What Ginsburg may not have expected was a certain artworld stigma that he says has proven a consistent hurdle. The artist categorizes his particular style as “contemporary American realism,” with some inspiration drawn from the early work of Norman Rockwell (though Ginsburg states he’s not much interested in Rockwell’s “lily-white Americana, [which is], to some degree, false”). He learned the basics of form and realism from his father, and honed certain foundational skills at both Syracuse University and City College of New York. But when it came time for him to do some teaching of his own, at New York’s High School of Art and Design and, later, School of Visual Arts, the artist — who was, by then, a veteran of the Korean War — found a battalion of folks in opposition to his style, from gallery owners to his fellow faculty members. It was an unfortunate echo of his own education, which lacked sufficient, formal realist training. “The modern enthusiasts were saying, ‘Why teach this realistic painting?’” Ginsburg says. “When you looked around, museums were — and still are — showing contemporary art. The major New York museums aren't interested in the oldfashioned, unless it’s strictly the old masters. But, then, they don’t have a lot of sensitivity to value.” Those who did express sensitivity, at least to the value of

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the kind of art Ginsburg shares with the world, were his students. In 1972, in response to to a collection of pupils who found Ginsburg “sympathetic to their causes,” the teacher, along with a colleague, started a volunteer group for students interested in developing their “foundational skills,” a development that wasn’t quite happening amid the normal school day. Participants would arrive at school early, and from 6 to 8:30 a.m., hone their realism talents under Ginsburg’s supervision. The group continued until 1981, nearly a decade after its inception. “It was one of the most inspirational times of my career,” Ginsburg says. Inspiration bleeds through so much of Ginsburg’s work, be it a painting of his parents, aptly dubbed “Going Shopping,” or the scads of book-cover illustrations he produced for two decades, after clinching a gig with Warner Books. On Ginsburg’s website, one can view pages of clickable thumbnails of his work, from 1956 through the present, and it’s a portfolio of life grabbed by the lapels. Known to carry a sketch pad as he travels, the artist knows just how to latch onto a mood, even if many eventual works are a marriage of live observance, in-studio modeling, and photographic reference. For a painting like “Bus Stop,” a panoramic stunner that shows 11 figures waiting for a ride, Ginsburg even asked Miryam to stand in, ultimately making her the focal point of the piece (family involvement is typical, as Ginsburg’s daughter and granddaughter have also posed for him). In Ginsburg’s official retrospective book, just published last year [Ginsburg Retrospective is available on

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Amazon.com], his work is broken into categories of workaday vitality, from “Leisure” and “Caretakers” to “Vendors” and “Transportation.” The common thread through nearly all of it? New York City. “This is the city I know,” Ginsburg says. “I know it, I live here. It’s only natural that this is what I would paint — it’s much more natural to paint about things you’ve experienced.” In what’s surely the most provocative leg of his career, Ginsburg has parlayed that gift for documenting Gotham life into a gripping array of works that address the world at large, like “Abu Ghraib” and “Foreclosure,” a 2011 piece that comments on the economic crisis. In Ginsburg’s artist manifesto, he says he’s expressed his “strongly-held feelings about peace and justice,” along with his “deep outrage to war.” He says that, “with regard to these themes, [he’s] been inspired by old masters such as Caravaggio, Goya, Kollwitz, and Picasso.” As well as, it seems, Michelangelo. Ginsburg’s most shattering, impressive work may just be “War Pieta,” a 2007 painting featuring a mother and her fallen-soldier son, directly modeled after Michelangelo’s classic sculpture of the Madonna and child. A poignant piece as beautiful as it is devastating, it speaks to all that defines Ginsburg’s art. “When you think of realism,” Ginsburg says, “you think of paintings executed in a realistic way, when they may in fact be idealism or escapism. For me, art has more of an impact when it faces real life.” Or, in other words, when it finds beauty in truth. ■


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SouthSide Horse-drawn Carriage Guided Christmas Tours. See the lights and sites of the Christmas City in a horse-drawn carriage or wagonette! Carriage rides are 15 minutes long and can accommodate up to four passengers; wagonette rides are 20 minutes long and can accommodate up to eight people. Advance reservations are required. Cost: $45 for up to four people for the carriage rides; $11 per person for wagonette rides. artsquest.org or 610-332-3378 The Happy Elf Thru Dec. 16, check website for schedule. Charles A. Brown Ice House, 56 River St., Sand Island. Eubie is the happiest elf at the North Pole. More than anything else, he longs to be a part of Santa’s sleigh team. Based on the beloved holiday song, “The Happy Elf,” by Grammy Award winner Harry Connick, Jr., The Happy Elf presented by Pennsylvania Youth Theatre is a holiday classic for the entire family! Tickets: $12-$20 123pyt.tix.com or 610-332-1400 Christmas City Follies XIII Thru Dec. 22, Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., and Sun., 2 p.m. Touchstone Theatre, 321 E. Fourth St. Annual vaudevillian holiday show features live music, whimsical characters and old-time razzle-

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dazzle wrapped into a sweet, irreverent and uniquely Bethlehem evening of winter merriment. $25; $15 for students & seniors. Every Thurs. is Pay-What-You-Will at the Door. touchstone.org or 610-867-1689 Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem PNC Plaza at SteelStacks, Thru Dec. 23, check website for hours. 645 E. First St. Recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of the top holiday markets in the world, Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem features aisles of handmade works by the nation's finest artisans, live holiday music, delicious food. Admission: $8 for ages 12 and older and free for ages 11 and under. $18 for a season’s pass. www.artsquest.org or 610-332-3378 1750 Smithy Blacksmith Demonstrations Thru Dec. 23, Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 26-30, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Adjacent to Historic Hotel Bethlehem on Main St. See sparks fly at one of the most popular spots in the Christmas City. Visit includes live demonstrations and explanation of this important trade in early Bethlehem. Free (donations accepted.) historicbethlehem.org or 610-691-6055

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Bethlehem by Night Bus Tour (NORTH) Thru Dec. 23, Thurs.-Sat., 5, 6 and 7 p.m., and Sun., 4, 5 and 6 p.m. Dec. 26-30, 5, 6 and 7 p.m. Tours depart from Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center, 505 Main St. Sit back and enjoy the Christmas City on a trip back in time with our certified guide in period dress. Tickets: $12 for adults; $6 for ages 3-12; free for under 3 lap child. www.artsquest.org or 610-332-3378. Info: www.historicbethlehem.org or 610-691-6055 Bethlehem by Night Bus Tour (SOUTH) Thru Dec. 23, Thurs.-Sat., 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sun., 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Leaves from Bethlehem Visitor Center at SteelStacks, 711 E. First St. See Bethlehem by Night Bus Tour description. Tickets: $12 for adults; $6 for ages 3-12; free for under 3 lap child. artsquest.org or 610-332-3378. Info: www.historicbethlehem.org or 610-691-6055 Central Moravian Church Putz Thru Dec. 23 and Dec. 27-30. Central Moravian Church Christian Education Building, 40 W. Church St. The putz retells the story of Christ’s birth through narration and music, while tiny lights illuminate each scene. The figures, many of them antiques of

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German origin, are nestled amidst live moss, driftwood and rocks. Info: www.centralmoravianchurch.org or 610-866-5661 Central Moravian Church Star and Candle Shoppe Thru Dec. 23 and Dec. 27-30. Central Moravian Church Christian Education Building, 40 W. Church St., Bethlehem, PA. Offering handcrafted gifts, cards, jewelry, beeswax candles, German folded stars, Moravian sugar cake and more. Info: www.centralmoravianchurch.org or 610-866-5661 Moravian Museum of Bethlehem Thru Dec. 23 – Thurs.-Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Dec. 26-31, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 66 W. Church St. Step back in time in the 1741 Gemeinhaus, the oldest building in Bethlehem and a National Historic Landmark. Tickets: $7 for adults and $3 for ages 12 and under. www.artsquest.org or 610-332-3378. Info: www.historicbethlehem.org or 610-691-6055 Christmas City Stroll Thru Dec. 23, Mon.-Wed., 4 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 3, 4 and 6 p.m.; and Sun., 3 and 4 p.m., Dec. 26-30, 3, 4 and 6 p.m. Tours depart from Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center, 505 Main St. Tour through downtown Historic

Bethlehem. Guides in period dress share the story of Bethlehem’s beginnings in 1741, Tickets: $12 for adults; $6 ages 6-12; free under 6. artsquest.org or 610-332-3378. Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center & Goundie House Thru Dec. 23, check website for schedule. The Visitor Center, located in historic downtown Bethlehem, is open seven days a week during the holiday season. Staff is on hand to provide answers to all of your questions and recommendations during your visit to the Christmas City. Info: www.historicbethlehem.org or 610691-6055 Horse-drawn Carriage Rides Thru Dec. 23 – Thurs.-Sun., 4-10 p.m. (departs every 20 min.) Dec. 2631, 4-10 p.m. (departs every 20 min.) No ride 7-7:20 p.m. Rides depart outside Central Moravian Church on Main St. Cozy, serene rides through beautiful downtown North Bethlehem are the perfect way to enjoy the Christmas City. Cost: $50 for the carriage (holds four people.) www.artsquest.org or 610-332-3378. Info: www.historicbethlehem.org or 610691-6055 Tickets: $10. artsquest.org or 610-332-3378

Christmas City Village Thru Dec. 31, Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun Inn Courtyard & the Smithy on Main St. Set throughout the beautiful downtown Historic Bethlehem, this German-inspired outdoor Weihnachtsmarkt features traditional food, fine crafters and live holiday music in the same spirit as European Christmas festivals. Free. Info: www.downtownbethlehemassociation.com or 610-577-6962 Doors & Windows of Bethlehem Thru Dec. 31. The businesses of the Downtown Bethlehem Historic District and SouthSide have put together a friendly competition! Take a selfguided tour of all the shops and restaurants’ decorated doors and windows. Vote for your favorite at www.doorsofbethlehem.com and be entered in a drawing to win a $1,000 shopping spree to the merchants of Downtown Bethlehem! Free. Info: www.downtownbethlehemassociation.com or 610-577-6962 Lehigh and Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum 15th Annual Christmas Open House Thru Jan. 1, check website for schedule, 705 Linden St. This model railroad display features more than


4,000-square feet of train layout highlighting the railroads of the Lehigh Valley. Bring the kids to see Thomas the Tank on the layout Dec. 8-9. $7 for adults; ages 12 and under free. lkvmrr.com or 623-810-5730 Ethnic Christmas Trees from Around the World Daily, Thru Jan. 5. Comfort Suites of Bethlehem, 120 W. Third St. Experience this beautiful display of Christmas trees representing many of the cultures that settled on Bethlehem’s SouthSide. comfortsuitesofbethlehem.com or 610-882-9700

Breakfast with St. Nicholas Sat., Dec. 1, 8 and 15, 9:30 a.m.. Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem, PNC Plaza at SteelStacks, 645 E. First St. Fun-filled morning with St. Nicholas. A delicious hot breakfast, photo with St. Nick, admission to Christkindlmarkt, goodie bag, arts & crafts and more are included. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended, as these breakfasts usually sell out. $14.95 for ages 11 & older; $11.95 for ages 2-10; $6.95 under 2. artsquest.org or 610-332-3378

Live Advent Calendar Dec. 1-23, 5:30 p.m. Goundie House, 501 Main St. 5:30 p.m., the Goundie House Door on Main St. opens and a surprise for the crowd comes out of the door! A performance, goodies, discounts…the possibilities are endless. Free. Info: www.downtownbethlehemassociation.com or 610-5776962

Edgeboro Moravian Christmas Putz Dec. 1-22, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. & appt. Fri.-Sat., 6-8 p.m. open to public. Sun., 3-6 p.m. open to public. Edgeboro Moravian Church, 645 Hamilton Ave. The story of the birth of Jesus through sight and sound; also features a Christmas Shop with crafts for sale. Please call for group reservations. Info:www.edgeboromoravian.org or 610-866-8793

East Hills Moravian Church Christmas Putz Dec. 1-31, Wed. and Fri., 6-8 p.m., and Sat. and Sun., 3-8-p.m. East Hills Moravian Church, 1830 Butztown Rd. Free, goodwill offerings accepted. Info: www.easthillsmc.org or 610-868-6481

David Parker and The Bang Group's “Nut/Cracked” Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m. ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling, 101 Founders Way An enterprising mix of tap, ballet, contemporary, disco and even toe tap. Twenty-two sections are ac-

companied by a mix of popular, jazz and novelty versions of Tchaikovsky’s orchestral suite. Tickets: $20-$25 (student with ID are only $10). www.artsquest.org or 610332-3378 34th Annual Live Bethlehem Christmas Pageant Dec. 8-9, 1:45 p.m. Bethlehem Rose Garden Band Shell, off Eighth Ave. Singing, narration, actors and live animals in this reenactment of the historical events surrounding the birth of Christ. Free outdoor event. Goodwill offerings accepted. Info: 610-8650274 A Christmas Lovefeast at Central Moravian Church Sat., Dec. 8, 11 a.m.., Central Moravian Church, Main and Church Streets. A unique Moravian tradition that dates back to the 1700s as a celebration of community in a shared meal of a beverage and lovefeast bun. Christmas carols and Moravian hymns will be enjoyed by all. $20. artsquest.org or 610-332-3378. Bach Choir of Bethlehem Christmas Concert Britten: Saint Nicolas and Bach: Magnificat. Sun., Dec. 9, 4 p.m. First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, 2344 Center St. Britten’s Saint Nicolas em-

bodies some of the most charming and dramatic storytelling in music. Also featuring Bach’s Magnificat, Mary’s ecstatic song of praise. Greg Funfgeld will invite the audience to sing carols and hymns with The Choir. bach.org or 610-866-4382 The Celtic Tenors Holiday Show Thurs., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m. ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling, 101 Founders Way. With an eclectic mix of classical, folk, Irish and pop, The Celtic Tenors established themselves as the most successful classical crossover artists to emerge from Ireland. $30-$40. www.artsquest.org or 610-332-3378 A Christmas Carol The Musical State Theatre, Dec. 13, 7:30pm, Nebraska Theatre Caravan. 453 Northampton St., Easton, PA. 610252-3132, 1-800-999-STATE. Order online www.statetheatre.org A Chapin Family Christmas Sat., Dec. 15, 1:30 and 8 p.m. ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café, 101 Founders Way. Join Chapin Family members as they celebrate the holiday season. Featuring traditional holiday songs re-styled by The Chapin Family, songs of the season and classics by Harry Chapin. Tickets: $49$59. artsquest.org or 610-332-3378

Gerald Charles Dickens presents “A Christmas Carol” Sun., Dec. 16, 7 p.m. Moravian Book Shop, 428 Main St. Gerald Dickens presents his one-man show, “A Christmas Carol,” originally performed in 1867 by his great-great grandfather Charles Dickens. A wonderful holiday tradition! Tickets: $22. www.moravianbookshop.com or 610-866-5481 Cirque Éloize iD Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University. Dec. 22, 8pm & Dec. 23, 3pm. Family-friendly event, free event parking . $45/$35. 610-758-2787, zoellnerartscenter.org Bethlehem New Year’s Eve Celebration Dec. 31, starting at 9:30 p.m. Main Street, Bethlehem. It’s a New Year’s Eve party in the street beginning at 9:30 p.m. Enjoy live music, vendors, food, dancing and games. All ages welcome! Watch the Star drop at midnight. downtownbethlehemassociation.com or 610-577-6962 PEEPS Fest™ Sun.-Mon., Dec. 30-31, Sun., 10 a.m-4 p.m., and Mon., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way. A family event highlighting the beloved marshmallow confection, PEEPS Fest™ features

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two days of live music, art and PEEPS®-related programming. The event, presented by Just Born, Inc., the company that makes PEEPS®, and ArtsQuest™, culminates Dec. 31 at 5:15 p.m. with the popular PEEPS® Chick and fireworks. www.artsquest.org or 610-332-1300 PEEPS Fest™ 5K Monday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. Throughout Downtown Bethlehem Race starts at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way. Prizes will be awarded to the overall winners, as well as in each age category. Entry Fee Required Register in advance at artsquest.org/PEEPSFest. Participants can also register the day of the race at the ArtsQuest Center. Koresh Dance Company Jan. 26, 8 pm. Miller Symphony Hall. 23 N. 6th St., Allentown, PA. 610-4326915, www.millersymphonyhall.org Live at Birdland Jan. 30, 7:30 pm. The Birdland Big Band with Tommy Igoe. Miller Symphony Hall. 23 N. 6th St., Allentown, PA. 610-432-6915, www.millersymphonyhall.org ■

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HOTEL Modern Cuisine h Classic Comfort Corner of Swan & Main Lambertville, NJ 609-397-3552

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dining

ROBERT GORDON

DeAnna’s I THANK DEANNA’S FOR the interlude. In a year when clouds of disingenuousness polluted the American politicscape, Deanna’s dispensed not just tasty sustenance, but restorative substance. From its soulful Italian cuisine to the warm, rustic bonhomie that envelops the atmosphere, DeAnna’s trades on authenticity. What a concept. Deanna’s was always one of Lambertville’s finest eateries, going back to its days on Swan Street. But since moving to the “new” location on Franklin Street a few years ago, this Manhattan-meets-Lambertville gem has soared. Its site on unpretentious little Franklin Street belies what lies inside its doors. But yes, Deanna’s interior does breathe a Manhattan air, while still exuding a beguiling rustic ambiance. Deanna’s orchestrates these two sometimes-conflicting, sometimes-conflicted vibes with aplomb. Svelte and savvy Lisa Nichols has created a space that — to pass on the description of foodies I recently directed to Deanna’s — knocks your socks off. Outside Deanna’s is attractive but not distinctive. It has the pleasant, cheery look of the typical upscale neighborhood eatery. But the interior is a frequently morphing showcase of the chic and sexy, the garish and gracious, the understated and outrageous — a charming escape where playful lighting schemes are alternately low and lush. Besides conceiving new looks for the interior, Lisa dreams up a roster of desserts distinguished by the nuance of their recipes. Airily light, subtly sweet Ricotta Cheese Cake is delectable. Ditto for Tiramisu. Dainty lady-fingers soak up espresso, anisette, and mascarpone cheese so that each bite releases swales of lively flavor. DeAnna’s is a two-woman operation. DeAnna Paterra is the eponymous owner who handles the culinary operation. DeAnna describes her culinary style as traditional Italian, based on an abondanza of fresh ingredients masterfully prepared. As she avers, à la mode gastronomical flourishes like foams and jellies find no expression here. Yet her culinary philosophy is far from static. I’ve seen her fare evolve. Her presentations have stepped up from wholesome and coherent to lavish and lush, with no compromise in coherence. Her dishes have become more distinctive, her pairings more bold. Deanna’s nightly additions expand an already comprehensive regular menu, with some tasty detours from classical Italian. Recently, a Bok Choy Salad special was a tasty mélange of tender bok choy, buttery scallops, carrots and kale. The lion’s share of the menu is Italian fare. Do order a brimming breadbasket of housemade garlic-studded bread, slathered with butter. Hefty but not heavy, heady with garlic, DeAnna’s garlic bread is one of the region’s finest. Eggplant Marinade is lightly fried melanzana marinated to perfection with rosemary and balsamic vinegar. A shrimp appetizer features shrimp plumped under a patina of smoky, buttery paprika. Another appetizer pairs houseroasted peppers with fresh mozzarella. Entrées comprise pastas, meat dishes and grilled specialties. There are some notable comfort dishes that have become house favorites: Sicilian meatloaf with its moist, meaty

essence; Prosciutto & Peas swarm in a bed of broad-ribbon pasta similar to casarecci, and the ethereally light house-made cream sauce that clads the pasta makes for a memorable dish; Sundried Tomato & Pinenut Pesto is a personal favorite with a light cream sauce studded with pinenuts for crunch. Ribeye is served “Roman Style;” i.e., steak is marinated in olive oil and grilled with rosemary and garlic before being given a cleansing finish of fresh lemon. In the Mediterranean tradition, Whole Fish Bronzino is grilled to scrumptious perfection with herb-infused olive oil and fileted tableside. DeAnna’s offers a bevy of dining specials. From 4:30-6:30 PM on Thursdays and Fridays, DeAnna’s raw bar sells $1 shrimp, clams and oysters. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there’s a 3-course prix-fixe at the practically unbelievable price of $25. And now DeAnna’s runs the Pasta Studio, a take-out storefront that sells a variety of pastas as well as dishes directly from the restaurant menu. That’s right, you can bring delicious, top-quality fare into your own home — authentic stuff, unlike the ersatz junk that’s been invading your home electronically. ■ DeAnna’s, 54 N. Franklin St., Lambertville, NJ 609-397-8957 deannasrestaurant.com

r.gordon33@verizon.net

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Bar Ferdinand I STILL RECALL A few of Pif ’s memorable dishes, like Skate with Langoustine Cream. I can almost taste the extraordinary delicacy of the fresh skate sublimely accentuated by the subtle crunch of prawns in a light, creamy sauce. Pif was a Philly BYOB star in the early part of the last decade. Located near the Italian Market, Pif successfully recreated the essence of the French country restaurant. Chef-owner David

Almond crusted fried eggplant with spiced honey.

Coddled Organic Egg with Tuna Aioli and Haricot Verts

Ansill, a Cheltenham native and Philadelphia Restaurant School grad, built quite a loyal following by scrupulously molding menu to market, giving play daily to spontaneous flights of fancy, much to the delight of regulars. I always admired Ansill’s work, both in his early-career venues, such as Lucy’s Hat Box, Judy’s Café, Café Nola and latter-day venues, such as the BYOB Pif and the eponymous Ansill’s, his now-closed Queen Village eatery with full bar service. Ansill seemed always to find his truest expression in the French tradition, notwithstanding a CV that includes stints in Miami Beach and Sweden. The French predilection seems natural, given his marriage to Catherine, a French native, and his pastry chef at Pif. When I learned the Chef was ticketed to head the kitchen at Bar Ferdinand, I was anxious to see what transpired. I wasn’t disappointed. Ansill, always a derivsh of culinary ambitions, hasn’t slowed a step either in conceptualizing dishes or finding ways to deliver them with appeal and pizzazz. Now Email comments and suggestions to r.gordon33@verizon.net

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that he’s working (almost) exclusively in tapas, he’s actually expanding his repertoire and giving even freer reign to his culinary visions. Pif ’s small-bistro model, by definition, restricted offering a large tableau of dishes. Bar Ferdinand’s big-eatery model allows him to pursue an ever-expanding slate of tapas culled from not one, but an eclectic array of culinary traditions. Ansill obviously enjoys noodling new noshes. His roster of tapas shows both breadth and a good-time dose of serious fun. A solid corps of small plates beckons with the ageless appeal of uncomplicated, fresh ingredients. They include Toasted Marcona Almonds, Oysters on a Half Shell, Haricots Verts, Tuna Crudo with Celery and Apple, and several others. But numerous, more complex tapa takes appear all over the menu. At least at present, he’s retaining the essence of the Spanish tapa while borrowing and blending profuse globe-trotting culinary influences — tweaks and takes he has mastered along his almost-three-decade path as a chef. Tapas-lovers will relish small-dish delights like Almond Crusted Eggplant with paprika honey — a coup de force in harmonized textures. Velvety-textured Corn Flan with Sea Urchin, earthy and rich, lavishes an egg shell in a classy, understated presentation. Coddled Egg perches atop a slice of lightly grilled bread surrounded by a pool of tuna aïoli and haricots verts. Encircled by an unbroken drizzle of balsamic vinegar and crowned with a generous spill of crushed pistachios, Seared Duck Breast peeks out beneath an avalanche of sherry braised dried cherries, currants, and figs. Twice-cooked Rabbit Leg criss-crossed by bright green haricots verts glistens atop bright orange carrot purée. Grilled stripe bass with kale and smashed potato, in a pool of roasted shellfish demi glace gives a tangy balance to fish, greens, and potatoes. Fresh figs and mounds of bleu cheese bond in big taste. Spanish charcuterie plates groan under mammoth portions of cured meats like Jamon, Chorizo and chorizo blanco. Crispy Pork Belly, a Contemporary American staple, is accompanied with Butternut Squash with Bacon Sherry. And to top the meal off, you can explore some unusual spins on dessert, such as olive oil ice cream with ganache — a laudatory if not fully successful endeavor. The list goes on and on. That’s the concept. Bar Ferdinand wants to be a neighborhood magnet, coaxing multiple visits not only because of its gracious ambiance but also because of its bounteous, always-something-different-to-try menu. Bar Ferdinand has a colorful, contemporary Spanish-influenced interior design that resonates energy and liveliness. Graceful, pillared archways dramatized by sexy accent lighting as well as a dimly illuminated, glossy bar insinuate exoticism into the hospitable vibe. Though Pif went poof, I'm hoping David Ansill finds enough challenge and expression to set up shop at Bar Ferdinand for a long time. ■ Bar Ferdinand, 1030 N. Second St., Philadelphia PA (215) 923-1313 barferdinand.com


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wine

PATRICIA SAVOIE

S WA N Piedmont II: Barbera (and a couple of rare grapes)

HOTEL Modern Cuisine h Classic Comfort

THE BARBERA GRAPE IS the second most planted variety in Italy (Sangiovese is first). Its origin is in the Piedmont region (the subject of November’s column on the Arneis and Dolcetto wines), where it is the most widely planted variety and where records show it having been grown in the 13th century. But Barbera has often played a Cinderella role, upstaged by its stepbrothers Barolo and Barbaresco — wines from the Nebbiolo grape. In many cases, it serves as the warm up act for the big boys. (Barbera, in Italian is feminine. All the other grape names in Piedmont are masculine.) But as many have discovered, it is a delicious, affordable, drinkable wine. Drink it young, or let it age for a couple of years for more complexity. As one Italian winemaker commented, “The Piemontese cellar their Barolo and Barbaresco, but they drink their Barbera.” There was a time (long time) when Barbera was a simple, relatively uninteresting red that was likely to be a bit sour and too acidic. In the 1980s, this began to change, as winemakers focused on reducing yields and aging it in small oak barrels, thus producing a better wine. Some of the best Barberas come from the areas of Alessandria and Asti. Monferrato, which is a geographic area that spreads over part of the provinces of Asti and Alessandria, produces excellent Barberas. Barbera has what is, honestly, a grapey aroma. Tastes range from red berries to fig, sour cherry, blackberries and licorice. With its naturally high acidity and low tannins, it has a fresh, wake-up-the-mouth taste. Barbera is medium-to-full bodied, and can range from dry to a bit sweet. You will find it as 100% Barbera, or as part of a blend, as in the Monferrato Rosso wines. There is even a bubbly Barbera, but it is not available in the U.S. Barbera wines go well with a wide variety of foods, from vegetables to fish to meats. In Piedmont, the locals love Barbera for its acidity, which makes it a perfect food wine. The specialties of the area — risottos with cheese, pastas with olive oil and earthy mushrooms or ragouts of lamb or beef, vitello tonnato (roast veal with a tuna sauce) — demand a wine with acidity to cut through the richness. In addi-

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tion, Barbera has a natural affinity for pizza. If you see it on a wine list in an Italian restaurant, you can’t go wrong. Two other lesser-known grapes that I need to mention are the Freisa and the Ruche. Freisa (Fray-zha) was one of Piedmont’s main grapes before it was nudged aside by Nebbiolo. It is still grown and made into wine by a few winemakers there (La Casaccia, Vigna Monfiorenza, Cascina Gilli, Vaira) and also in other places in Northern Italy. The name comes from a Piedmont dialect and means “strawberry” — the nose is often redolent of that fruit, or even red raspberry. The wine is usually quite tannic and crisp and great with those rich dishes. Ruche (Roo-kay) is quite rare. The wine has a ruby color and aromas are floral and red berry; taste is of plum with hints of pepper. It is low in tannin but has good acidity. One small producer, Cascina Tavijn, where Nadia Verrua is winemaker, produces a Ruche. Other producers are Crivelli and La Mondianese. Should you see either on a retail shelf or on a wine list, try them for a new experience. ■

Some of the fine Barberas I sampled while in Piedmont include: Renato Ratti: Barbera d’Alba Torriglione ($15-18) Bersano: Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Nizza” ($23): Barbera d’Asti ($12-15) Cascina Tavijn: Nadia Verrua is the young winemaker here. Her Barbera ($12) is rich and concentrated. Bersano: Barbera ($12) La Caudrina: Barbera d’Asti “La Solista” and Barbera del Monferrato “La Guerriera” ($10-12) (Dogliotti family) Pio Cesare: Barbera d’Alba ($23) Campolive Paitin: Barbera d’Alba Superiore ($25) Other excellent Barberas are from: Vietti, Paolo Scavino, Prunotto and Gaja, Marchesi di Gresy.

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about life

JAMES P. DELPINO, MSS,MLSP,LCSW,BCD

GETTING OVER IT THE EXPERIENCE OF HAVING a broken heart is universal. Most relationships come to an end. It is extremely rare to find a person whose first love became a lifetime love. In the United Sates, the average age of marriage for men and women is somewhere in the late twenties. This allows many years of dating before deciding to marry. All of those dates and relationships ended for various reasons. Some endings are more painful than others and, aside from mutual breakups, one person, at least, suffers from heartbreak as a result. Everyone knows someone who has recovered from heartbreak. Sadly, some people don’t ever recover; others recover much better after ending a relationship. The experience of loss — especially in long-term relationships and ones in which there was an enormous investment of feelings — is much like the experience of a loved one’s death. The end of a couple means the death of their future together. It means the loss of dreams, hopes and closeness. It means the death of a bond that may sustain one or both partners through the most difficult challenges in life. The mourning process that follows is very complex, unique to the individual, and can be life shattering. Recovery from heartbreak, either fast or slow, is unique to each person. There are factors that make overcoming heartbreak more difficult, more painful and longer in duration. These factors include but are not limited to: Sudden and unexpected breakup; Infidelity; Physical Violence; Emotional/Verbal abuse; Threats; Being replaced by another; If there are children involved; Age; Length of the relationship; Impact on family and friends; Impact on employment; Financial impact. The number of factors and their relative severity often determine how painful and how long getting over someone takes. Since over 80 percent of people remarry within two to five years of a divorce, it may be safe to assume this is a range of time that represents how long it takes to overcome, recover and love again. The loss of a loved one is an experience that words can barely express. The ways in which the grief reaction to the loss is manifested are countless. Grieving can take the form of sadness and depression — a person isolates, removes him or herself from hobbies and interests, cries frequently and, perhaps, shows symptoms of sleep disturbance. Mourning the loss of a relationship can present more like anger, with rages, property destruction, verbal and physical fighting. Heartbreak is often revealed in reckless or high-risk behaviors like excessive use of alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, fi-

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nancial mismanagement and getting fired from work. High-risk behaviors may be followed by regrets, sadness and anger. The challenges do not end with sadness, anger and regrettable behaviors. In many situations, deep fears are triggered. The two most common fears people experience after a relationship ends are being alone and trusting again. The fear of being fooled again or the heightened fear of physical violence manifest in those who are abuse survivors, and especially those who have been victimized by some sort of scam. These fears are actually deep injuries around the area of trust. When someone claims to love another person and then does or says things that betray trust it shatters the belief that people can be trustworthy. Mistrust is a natural and expected reaction in these situations. It is actually a very healthy response initially as it is meant to protect the person from further injury and hurt. It becomes a problem when it lasts too long or it gets projected onto everyone in general or to members of one or the other gender. Just like when there is a physical injury, the emotional injury from heartbreak requires care and healing. The goal of overcoming heartbreak is a bit like the old road signs that used to say say: “Temporary Inconvenience/Permanent Improvement.” Taking the time to reflect and learn from the experience is the single most important thing to do after a breakup. This kind of selfcare generates the wisdom that will take care of you in the future. It is a time to get in touch with, express and process feelings. It is an opportunity to see patterns of feelings, thoughts and behaviors of each person in the relationship. It presents the chance to identify destructive patterns in the self and others. Heartbreak can open a person to the core issues of love and life and in the opening, painful though it might be, develop a higher and deeper awareness. Awareness is the first step on the road to recovering from heartbreak. Using the loss of a love relationship as the springboard towards growth is more difficult but it is better. Better is always harder, but it is better. Forgiving another often means understanding that the other person got lost in their own internal struggles, pain and wounds. It is helpful to remember that if he or she knew better they would have done better or at least differently. Forgiving others is the pathway to self forgiveness. The gift of forgiveness is that it allows people to let go of the old relationship and frees them to move to new relationships with a heightened awareness and wisdom of themselves and others. ■

Jim Delpino is a psychotherapist in private practice for over 30 years. jdelpino@aol.com (215) 364-0139.

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sally friedman

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Pastrami: his culinary passion

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DINNER FOR 2:

MY HUSBAND RECENTLY CELEBRATED a milestone birthday. Never mind which one. He wanted no fuss. Insisted on it. But he got some anyway. We gathered at the home of a daughter who wisely bypassed any gourmet fare at our unfashionably late lunch for the guest of honor, and went straight for his culinary passion: deli. The pastrami and corned beef — the chopped chicken liver, seeded rye bread, potato salad and cole slaw: perfect. The grandkids created their usual mayhem. And that felt right, too. Perfect behavior from our Magnificent Seven would have felt forced and unnatural. And when we gathered in the living room for some toasts and thoughts about this man who has been our family anchor for so long — when we all tried to put the feelings into words — those words inevitably failed us. How do you tell the man who has spent a lifetime watching over the rest of us that he is cherished and adored? How do you praise his selflessness without sounding smarmy and corny? Not easily. I knew I wasn’t going to make it through any meaningful toast without bawling, and I was right. But I didn’t care. I wanted my daughters and sons-inlaws, and yes, those grandchildren, to know that it’s okay for a woman who has loved her man long and well to shed a few tears in tribute to him. And, of course, I barely scratched the surface.

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n that living room, with the grandchildren actually separated from their iPads and tweets, I tried to explain the early yearning/burning/hearts-on-fire “playing house” days when I had actually put on lipstick and blush before he came home for dinner, and made his favorite apple cake from scratch. Then along came kids, and suddenly, it wasn’t all about him anymore. In fact, he was upstaged not just briefly, but for decades. In the chaos of never enough “us” time, he endured. Dewy romance exited, and car pools, earaches, lost mittens and echoes of “She hit me first!” sometimes ground us down. We were chronically sleep-deprived, and definitely not inclined to break out the bubbly because what we had in the fridge was more likely diet

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soda and non-fat milk. But just as suddenly as they had erupted into our lives, those daughters left us. And there we were, just the two of us again. My husband’s birthday celebration wasn’t the time or place to say all that. But it was a chance to wander back through the years of our togetherness and remind our progeny that love does grow richer and deeper over time. What they see are two lined faces and bifocals, and a medicine chest full of reminders that their parents are no longer younger than springtime. But if romantic love brings people together, it’s an abid-

ing devotion and loyalty that sustains us through the flaws and messiness of long marriage. I’m still happy to see this man in the morning when not much else makes me happy, and grateful to end the day with him. And when he takes my hand as we cross the street, what I feel is something way way beyond the swoony stuff of the early days together. There’s a protectiveness now that defines what love is. I didn’t expect our kids and grandkids to understand much of that. Not yet. They have years yet — decades for the grandkids — to plow their way through the grief-stunned, angry, panicked times that drop us to our knees. To go through mine fields and still come back for more. Somebody once suggested that marriage is a bungee jump off a cliff, a leap into the unknown, at least for the generation that didn’t marry after years of living together. You can fall to the rocks, or sail, hand in hand, hanging on to hope. On my husband’s recent birthday, I was the lucky jumper who chose the right man for keeps. Our love is burnished now, like my grandmother’s old copper kettle. And what I want for my husband and me as we mark his milestone birthday together is more — more time, more birthdays. And yes, more burnish. n


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regional theater

EDITED BY DAVID SCHULTZ

A Christmas Story Through 12/9 A Leg Lamp. A Red Ryder BB gun. A Scary Santa. And one of the most popular modern Christmas tales of all time. Little Ralphie Parker is obsessed with finding a Daisy Brand Red Ryder BB gun under the tree on Christmas morning. Neither bullies, frozen flagpoles, or a horrifying Macy’s Santa Claus can arrest Ralphie from his quest. Based upon the heartwarming motion picture, A Christmas Story is a holiday treat for the entire family that is sure to sell quickly. A Christmas classic by Phil Grecian. Based on the motion picture written by Jean Shepheard, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark. Directed by Steven Dennis. The Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, 2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA 610-2823192. desales.edu/act1 Christmas City Follies XIII Through 12/22

friends who share a shoebox-sized apartment and their search for the perfect profession. From dog walker to librarian to astronaut, Dave and Aaron try on all manner of hats in this wordless, tightly choreographed comedy. With an original score from Alex Bechtel, foley accompaniment, and supertitles, this piece gives more than a winking nod to the films of iconic comedians like Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, and Buster Keaton. 1812 Production @ Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street, Phila. (215) 592-9560. $22-$38. 1812productions.org

time, this tale of love and courage is Rogers and Hammerstein’s final triumphant collaboration. Based on the true story of the von Trapp family, The Sound of Music has become a beacon of hope and joy for generations. Directed and choreographed by James Brennan. Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn N.J. (973) 376-4343. $26-$97. www.papermill.org

The Nutcracker 12/8-12/30

An energetic and breathtaking 90-minute thrill ride, Cirque Eloize ID appeals to theatergoers of all ages with stun-

Cirque Eloize ID 12/22 & 12/23

Journey to the wondrous Land of Sweets for the Philadelphia region’s most beloved holiday tradition. Follow Marie and her Prince through the dazzling party scene, a harrowing battle, a glistening forest full of snow, and into the Sugarplum Fairy’s kingdom. Spectacular sets and costumes make this 44-

Ring in the Mayan Apocalypse with Bethlehem’s favorite Holiday tradition! This Touchstone Theatre ensemble-created classic yet again re-imagines what the holidays are all about with music, wit and holiday hijinks. We look forward to standing under the mistletoe with you. Touchstone Theatre, 321 E. 4th St., Bethlehem. 610-867-1689. touchstone.org A Christmas Carol Through 12/15 Celebrate the holiday season with this 23rd annual production. Tens of thousands of people from the Lehigh Valley

Artists of Pennsylvania Ballet. Photo: Alexander Iziliaev.

year-old tradition sparkle like new. The Philadelphia boys choir and dozens of local dance students add to the enchantment. Choreography by George Balanchine. Classic score that melts hearts by Peter IIyitch Tschaikovsky. Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street, Phila. (215) 893-1999 $25$150. paballet.org Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) 12/6-12/23

and beyond have come to catch the spirit of the season as Charles Dickens’ legendary characters come to life on Civic's stage. This timeless show engages the heart with compassion, gratitude, selflessness, and acceptance. Nineteenth Street Theatre. Civic Theatre of Allentown. 527 N 19th Street, Allentown. (610) 432-8943. $12-$26. Dave & Aaron Go To Work Through 12/31 Just in time for the holidays, 1812 Productions unveils its premiere comedy, created and performed by award-winning theater artists Dave Jadico and Aaron Cromie. Dave & Aaron is a virtuosic physical comedy that tells the story of two 46

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In this PG-13 holiday revel, a trio of actors decides they can’t do Christmas Carol yet again with straight faces. Instead, with plenty of wig and mustache swapping, they power through every Yule tale ever told. Linus, toting his blanket, reads the nativity story. A television quiz show conveys the history of fruitcake. Santa gets critiqued on Queer Eye for the Sleigh Guy. And the evil Grinch threatens Who-ville. Allentown's own Matt Candio, Michael Fegley and Joshua Neth play all the roles, male and female. Allentown Public Theatre. Allentown Brew Works, 812 Hamilton Street, 5th Floor Ballroom, 542 W. Hamilton Street, Allentown. 1-888-895-5645. AllentownPublicTheatre.com. [The play opens at Allentown Brew Works on 12/6. On 12/7 the play moves to the Antonio Salemme Foundation for the rest of the run.] The Sound of Music Through 12/30 One of the most beloved and inspirational stories of all

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ning visuals and feats of daring, as vibrant city streets come alive with the boundless energy of acrobats, break dancers, contortionists and stunt artists who perform in a kaleidoscope of eye-popping projections. This is an amazing and unusual performance piece that stands out in the busy holiday season. Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University. 420 East Packer Ave, Bethlehem PA. (610) 758-2787. $35-$45. zoellnerartscenter.org It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play 12/13-12/30 This inspired play is based on the classic film, and is performed as a 1940’s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience. This beloved American holiday classic, that tells the story of idealistic George Bailey as he considers his demise one fateful Christmas Eve, comes to captivating life with the help of an ensemble that brings over two dozen characters to the stage. Bucks County Playhouse, 70 South Main Street, New Hope PA. (215) 862-2121. www.bcptheater.org ■


footlights

DAVID SCHULTZ

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Tracy Letts, Carrie Coon, Amy Morton and Madison Dirks. Photo by Michael Brosilow

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

NOT ANOTHER DREARY REVIVAL of that 50-year-old play about caustic academics. No, this new version of Edward Albee’s masterpiece is a mind-blowing experience. (And this transfer from Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre opened on Broadway in October on the exact day that the original did in 1962. Talk about synchronicity.) The last time we saw George and Martha on Broadway was in 2005 with a rather bland Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. That casting, at least on paper, was inspired, but it turned out to be a rather tame, de-fanged rendition of Albee’s play. This time around it’s as if the thing was just written and the ink on the pages is still wet. George and Martha, played with an innate sensitivity and cutthroat intensity by playwright/actor Tracy Letts and Amy Morton, are perfectly matched. Letts and Morton have worked together before, playing various married couples, in at least six other plays and their uncompromising sensitivity to each other pays big dividends. The plot is minimal — middle-aged associate professor George and his wife, Martha (daughter of the college’s president), invite a new young couple, Nick and Honey (Madison Dirks, Carrie Coon), into their book-strewn New England college home late one night for a nightcap. Nick’s a strapping young biology instructor; Honey is mousy, highly sensitive and nervous. These faculty newcomers, who have a full night ahead of them, think they’ve been invited for a pleasant chitchat and a few beverages. But George and Martha have much more on their minds: they play “games,” wounding and pulling back, then recharging for even more

dark revelations so stunning that one can only sit back and watch the play unfold with something approaching awe. The accrual of painful insights into these characters’ lives has never been as apparent in this play until now. It has always been there in the text, but it helps that there is a brilliant director, Pam MacKinnon, and actors who can take that dark plunge without a net. It helps immeasurably that these actors are not as well known as others. It helps that the pain and codependent relationship is so nakedly exposed. It helps that the steady ratcheting-up of hurling epithets is mixed with the very real sense of love that these two wounded people, George and Martha, have for each other, yet are incapable of expressing unless they hurt each other first. In the final showdown between George and Martha, all the corrosive bile, the seething contempt, has faded away as early dawn breaks. As these two wounded souls reach out for each other, one senses that there might be a new beginning … or maybe we’ve witnessed the final, fatal stake in the marriage. The brilliance of Albee’s work is that it gives both of these possibilities a voice and leaves one with an unsteady feeling that both have happened simultaneously. ■ Playing at the Booth Theater, 222 West 45th Street, Manhattan, through January 27. David Schultz is a member of the Outer Critics Circle. W W W. I C O N D V .C O M

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singer / songwriter Maria Muldaur ★★★1/2 ...First Came Memphis Minnie Stony Plain Records For the 40th album of her career, Maria Muldaur looks back to pay tribute to one of earliest blues influences. With ...First Came Memphis Minnie, Muldaur lovingly acknowl-

TOM WILK ★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC

would fit right in on a Steely Dan album. “Slinky Thing” recalls “Hey Nineteen” in its depiction of an cross-generational romance. “I’m thinkin’ does she need somebody/Closer to her own age,” Fagen sings. “The New Breed” finds an older man giving way to a younger rival (“It’s best if I just leave you here/To your new dotcom slash life.”) “It’s Not the Same Without You” finds the narrator contemplating a new life and finding out he can cope. The cleverly constructed “Weather in My Head” name checks Al Gore and serves as Fagen’s take on depression, playing off the theme of climate change. On “Good Stuff,” Fagen unfolds a noir tale of crime that could have sprung from the pen of Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. Fagen’s crack band, which includes co-producer Michael Leonhart on keyboards and horns, provides tight and solid support throughout the CD’s nine songs.

Hans Theessink & Terry Evans ★★★★ Delta Time Blue Groove Blues is a universal language that communicates across borders as Hans Theessink (a native of the Netherlands) and Terry Evans (a native of Mississippi) demonstrate on Delta Time, their second album as a duo. Theessink’s baritone and Evans’ dynamic range are a good fit for the album’s 13 songs, a mix of Theessink originals plus classic soul and gospel covers. The sparse acoustic setting has the feel of a living-room

Graham Parker & The Rumour ★★★1/2 Three Chords Good Primary Wave Records From The Who to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, reunions have been a recurring part of the music

concert, allowing plenty of room for the singers’ voices. The title track is a paean to the South and its charms. “Blues Stay Away From Me,” featuring Ry Cooder’s haunting guitar, is a bare-bones version of the Delmore Brothers country classic. Theesink and Evans trade vocal lines on “It Hurts Me Too,” Elmore James’ blues standard. “Build Myself a Home,” a Theessink original, is rooted in traditional gospel. “Down in Mississippi,” a J.B. Lenoir blues song, is stretched out to nearly nine minutes and gives Evans a chance for some soul testimony. “Mississippi,” the closing track, brings the album full circle, with its litany of musical greats from that southern state.

Maria Muldaur.

edges the timeless songs of Minnie Lawlers, a pioneer among blues women. With its double meanings and playful suggestiveness, “Me and My Chauffeur Blues” is a natural fit for Muldaur, best known for her 1974 hit single “Midnight at the Oasis.” She shows a tender side with her interpretation of “Long as I Can See You Smile.” Muldaur enlisted the help of her musical contemporaries in assembling the album. Bonnie Raitt delivers a gutsy version of “Aint Nothin’ in Ramblin’” while former Princeton resident Rory Block turns in an effective solo reading of “When You Love Me,” showcasing her slide guitar. Ruthie Foster is at home on the sassy “Keep Your Big Mouth Closed.” Emmylou Harris once suggested that old songs needed to be sung by new voices in places they’ve never been sung before in order to survive. Muldaur and her fellow artists prove the truth of that statement. Donald Fagen ★★★1/2 Sunken Condos Reprise Sunken Condos, the fourth solo album from Donald Fagen, finds the Steely Dan co-founder serving up the jazzoriented grooves and dry wit that have been the New Jersey native’s trademark over the last 40 years. Much of the music

Graham Parker & The Rumour.

business. Graham Parker & The Rumour, his original backing band, have successfully reunited for Three Chords Good, their first album together in more than 30 years. At 62, Parker is no longer the angry young man of the ‘70s when he and the Rumour brought a fresh burst of energy to the music scene. While the current sound is less aggressive, Parker and his band display a versatility and musical maturity on the new CD. The reggae-influenced “Snake Oil Capital of the World” shows Parker’s lyrical wit remains sharp. The soul-tinged “Long Enchanted Ride” reflects his softer side without being maudlin. “Arlington’s Busy” is a tough-edged reflection on the nation’s disinterest in wars fought half a world away. “Last Bookstore in Town” is a biting lament on the passing of a cultural landmark. Three Chords Good finds Parker and band taking good advantage of their second act, which will gain greater visibility when both are featured in This is 40, the new film directed by Judd Apatow.

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Jimmie Dale Gilmore ★★★ Fair & Square/Self-titled Floating World Record Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s first two solo albums marked the arrival of a new and distinctive voice on the roots music scene of the late 1980s. Originally released on the HighTone label, the albums have been reissued on one CD. Gilmore’s warbling tenor made his music stand out on such ballads as David Halley’s “Rain Just Falls” and Butch Hancock’s “When The Nights Are Cold.” A native of Texas, Gilmore drew inspiration from fellow Lone Star State singer/songwriters. He delivers a careening version of Townes Van Zandt’s “White Freight Liner Blues” and and captures the regret of Joe Ely’s “Honky Tonk Masquerade.” As a songwriter, Gilmore demonstrated that he could deliver the goods. “Dallas” shows the highs and lows of that Texas city. “Deep Eddy Blues” and “That Hardwood Floor” draw their inspiration from traditional country music that Gilmore grew up with in the 1950s. One drawback to the CD is a failure to adhere to the original sequencing of the Fair & Square album. It’s a lack of attention to detail that could have been easily avoided. ■


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keresman on disc TriBeCaStan ★★★★ New Deli Evergreene Music

Joe Alterman ★★★★1/2 Give Me the Simple Life Miles High

More a concept and/or a collective than a band (in the usual sense), TriBeCaStan is something that maybe only could be bred in Brooklyn. Like that melting pot, this lot —

This NYC jazz pianist Joe Alterman is something of a throwback — which is not to imply he has a closet full of zoot suits. Alterman’s approach suggests pianists such as Bobby Timmons, Gene Harris, Junior Mance, and, yes, Horace Silver — blues/gospel/R&Bcharged beboppers that “invented” the sub-genre soul jazz, where powerful grooves and overall joie de vive held sway. Alterman is joined by mucho simpatico types Herlin Riley and James Cammack (both from Ahmad Jamal’s Trio) and tenor sax demigod Houston Person, one of the last of the original generation of big-toned, creamy, unashamedly romantic tenor tradition of Gene Ammons and Willis Jackson. Simple Life is not cerebral/intellectual jazz but Friday- and Saturday-night jazz, to get your pedal extremities to tapping (of their own accord). “Biscuits” even melds some driving boogie-woogie keystrokes into the mix.

John Kruth. Photo: Paul Hoelen

nominally headed by author/multi-strings-player John Kruth (biographer of Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Townes Van Zandt) — performs a freewheeling mix of assorted world musics, jazz, folk, rock, and what-ever-else they feel like tossing into the mix. Among the players: jazz bari-sax gal Claire Daly; jazz trombone ace Steve Turre, tabla drummer Badal Roy, and The gospel-ish “A Crack in the Clouds” could fit onto an early Traffic album; Kirk’s “Freaks For the Festival” has an irresistible soul-jazz-meets-jam-band vibe, “Jovanka” is Hungarian tango music (whether it exists or not), and “Daddy Barracuda” is the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band under the direction of Frank Zappa in one of his more whimsical moods. (In fact, the cover art is by Cal Schenkel, who did ditto for FZ.) Stuffy purists need not bother — the ‘Stan is one big sassy, adorably impertinent good-time combo. evergreenemusic.com Various Artists ★★★★ The Return of the Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of Yazoo/Shanachie For younger readers, the title of this collection comes from the classic H. Bogart/J. Huston 1941 film The Maltese Falcon, referring to a rara avis for which assorted characters were willing to steal and kill. Yazoo Records — specialists in relatively “ancient” American music styles — has done it again with a killer compilation of 1920s Americana. Not only the “hip” roots musics but also gospel, Cajun (“Basile Waltz”), sounds brought to the USA by European immigrants (“Wsciekla Polka,” “Maid in a Cherry Tree,” the latter trad Irish), the beginnings of bluegrass (“The Last Shot Got Him”), and folk-blues acoustic guitar playing that’ll warm the heart of any Leo Kottke fan (“Rolling Log Blues”). There are few “big” names here — blues icons Charley Patton (Robert Johnson learned from him), Blind Willie Johnson, and Furry Lewis, early country singers Uncle Dave Macon and Charlie Poole. This double-disc collection (excellent sound quality, incidentally) is like unto a time machine to an America we can barely imagine yet is still with us today, a land of yearning, struggle, and joy. yazoorecords.com

Cash Box Kings ★★★1/2 Holler & Stomp Blind Pig

shemp@hotmail.com

Listening to lots of modern blues CDs can give one the blues, if you catch the drift. Many slices of electric blues “product” are either too “accomplished” (i.e., polished to the

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Joe Alterman. Photo: Fran Kaufman.

While not a minimalist in the Monk (or Philip Glass) tradition, Alterman has that knack for exactly the notes he/we need — no more, no less, with plenty of swing-sauce on the side. I hope he pushes the limits some next time out, but without any pandering to that mythical “larger audience.” Simple Life stands as perhaps this year’s most flat-out fun jazz platter. Take it to the bank, pal. mileshighrecords.com


MARK KERESMAN ★=SKIP IT; ★★=MEDIOCRE; ★★★=GOOD; ★★★★=EXCELLENT; ★★★★★=CLASSIC

point of predictability and/or sterility) or the performers bend over backwards trying to be “raw” and irreverent (not without its charms but that’s a trap as well). With guitar and razorsharp harmonica in hand, Cash Boy Kings carve a path through the brush of mediocrity. Mixing the fiery Chicago styles of Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson with the no-frills ap-

Cash Box Kings.

proach of the early ‘60s Rolling Stones (whose “Off the Hook” is covered) and the unrefined country twang of rockabilly cats Carl Perkins and Warren Smith, CBKs kick out some swell good-time-y t’ Hell-with-the-world-it’s-Saturday-night racket. blindpigrecords.com Arvo Pärt ★★★★1/2 Adam’s Lament ECM

Arvo Pärt. Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

If you follow Christian mythology, you’ll recall Adam was the first (along with Eve) to get his walking papers from The Almighty’s compound. But whether you follow that or not, Adam’s Lament is one captivating hunk of sound. The compositional approach of Pärt (born 1930, Estonia) draws upon the Western European and Russian classical traditions, Renaissance-era composers, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The music of Lament — performed by Latvian and Estonian choirs and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra — is measured, dense, stately, and poignantly sad, albeit with undercurrents of hope. Lament evokes Gregorian chant, but more dynamic and not so stark-sounding, and Dead Can Dance, but more orchestral and slightly less ethereal. While in no ways funky, this is true music of the soul (however you choose to define that part of human-ness beyond biology). ecmrecords.com

Mark Keresman’s Baker’s Dozen Best CDs of 2012 Redd Kross, Researching The Blues Wadada Leo Smith, Ten Freedom Summers Fred Hersch Trio, Alive at the Village Vanguard J.S. Bach/András Schiff, The Well-Tempered Klavier, Books I & II Dan Deacon, America Kelly Hogan, I Like To Keep Myself in Pain Raoul Björkenheim/Bill Laswell/Morgan Ågren, Blixt Elliott Sharp’s Terraplane, Sky Road Songs Magico (Charlie Haden/Egberto Gismonti/Jan Garbarek), Carta De Amor Lee Konitz/Bill Frisell/Gary Peacock/Joey Baron, Enfant Terribles Amy Rigby & Wreckless Eric, A Working Museum Iris Dement, Sing the Delta Bill Laswell, Means of Deliverance

Mike Keneally ★★★1/2 Wing Beat Fantastic Exowax Guitar wizards often pay more attention to their sixstring wizardry than to the music as a whole — but not this Mike Keneally fellow. While he’s made his rep with Frank Zappa’s later bands (playing guitar and keys), Keneally has carved out a nice niche in the progressive rock sphere (on his own, with Steve Vai, and Henry Kaiser). Yet, Wing Beat Fantastic is as far away from that as Mitt Romney is from a mop. Collaborating with XTC’s Andy Partridge in a songwriting capacity (AP doesn’t perform herein, except for a drum loop), Wing Beat is full of dreamy, luxuriMike Keneally. ant art-pop a la XTC (surprise) circa Skylarking, Traffic, and the Beatles in “ornate” mode circa White Album/Abbey Road. Keneally’s singing is amiably wry, vulnerable, occasionally impish, and rather Partridge-like. He forgoes guitar heroics/histrionics for tastefully quirky, richly orchestrated textures and a winsome, somewhat contemplative ambiance. keneally.com n

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nick’s picks Charles Mingus ★★★★★ The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 Mosaic Records By the time that bassist Charles Mingus and his wife Sue got the idea to form a company to document and release his live recordings, the 42-year-old musician and composer had already released a string of classic recordings, Mingus Ah Um (1959) and The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady (1963) among them. Much effort was invested in The Jazz Workshop project, but not all of it has been either heard or released until now — thanks to the champion music producers at Mosaic Records, the company co-founded by Michael Cuscuna and the late Charles Lourie dedicated to reissuing historically important jazz recordings in limited edition boxed sets. Postponed from a July 2012 launch because of newly discovered music from performances staged at NYC’s Town Hall and Monterey, CA, the box set was retooled and expanded to seven

Sacred Sioux”) or calling them up on their instruments (“alto!”) He’s both cheerleader and an exuberant master of ceremonies. This Mosaic set brings all of Mingus’s passion to life again, supported by a 20-page booklet with vital background info, a track-by-track analysis by Mingus biographer Brian Priestley, an essay from Sue Mingus and rare concert photographs. Like all of their sets, this is strictly a limited edition of 7,500. You can’t download it and will definitely sell out sooner rather than later. The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 is the best historical album released in 2012. (7 discs; about 7.5 hours of music) Frank Kimbrough Trio ★★★★ Live at Kitano Palmetto Records Here’s the thing about pianist Frank Kimbrough: he’s been active on the jazz scene for 25 years, with a handful of excellent solo recordings (Lullabluebye is a good one) and many more as a founding member of the Jazz Composer’s Collective. He’s a teacher, composer, and is currently the pianist with Maria Schneider’s Orchestra, too. But the really amazing part is that for Live At Kitano Kimbrough planned no rehearsals, no set list and had little discussion with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Matt Wilson as to what they would play. Though not alone in that practice, Kimbrough makes this session a bit magical by establishing a rapturous conversation between three high-caliber musicians right from the start. Kimbrough is physically bearish in stature, but asserts his strength with an extraordinarily sensitive playing style. He’s particularly good at delivering delicate melodic statements, as on his improvised “Helix,” and he lets tunes flow to his trio where rhythmic impulses are shaped by contrasting bass notes and intriguing percussion. The pianist explores music by Andrew Hill (the wonderful, shape-shifting “Dusk”) and a tune by Oscar Pettiford, a decisively swinging “Blue In The Closet” that gives bassist Jay Anderson an opportunity to flex. Anderson played with pianist Joe Sample’s trio for many years and his soulful sound is just as rewarding here. It’s

Charles Mingus.

discs to include dates in Minneapolis and Amsterdam. Sue Mingus supplied Mosaic with the original archived tapes, which were painstakingly restored and assembled, chronicling five essential live performances with a stellar line-up of players: Eric Dolphy, Charles McPherson, Jaki Byard, Johnny Coles, Clifford Jordan and Dannie Richmond. Sonically and musically, this Mingus set stands among Mosaic’s best efforts and is well-timed to coincide with Mingus’s 90th birthday anniversary. The sheer volume of music and entertainment leaves one breathless at the veracity of Mingus’s creativity, especially when its contrasted against the turbulent times of the era, and it compounds the bassist’s legendary stature as a master of swing and compositional heft. In addition to standards and music by Duke Ellington, a bounty of originals is presented with tracks stretching as long as 30 minutes. The performances are often played as spiritual awakenings or protesting injustices (“Don’t Let It Happen Here”) with spoken word passages. Mingus is often transfixed, gleefully shouting musician’s names at their solo (“They Trespass The Land Of The

Nick Bewsey has been writing about jazz for ICON since 2004. A member of The Jazz Journalists Association, he blogs about jazz and entertainment at www.jazzinspace.blogspot.com. Twitter: @countingbeats 52

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Frank Kimbrough.

a great showcase for Matt Wilson, too. He’s a drummer who artfully works subtle shifts of tone and tempo to great effect. Kimbrough also pays tribute to a former colleague Paul Motian on the moody yet beautiful “Arabesque” and reestablishes Ellington’s “Single Petal Of A Rose,” as something more sacred. The superb Live At Kitano led by the one-of-a-kind Kimbrough puts you in a seat at the club and the trio delivers the goods. (8 tracks; 60:41 minutes) Frank Kimbrough will be appearing with his trio at Kitano in NYC on December 14 and 15. Plan your visit: www.kitano.com


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The Paul Winter Sextet ★★★1/2 Count Me In 1962 / 1963 Living Music

Ed Cherry ★★★★ It’s All Good Posi-tone

Before establishing the Paul Winter Consort, a group that found fame playing jazz with new age tendencies (Icarus was a very popular recording in the ‘70s), saxophonist Paul Winter led a sextet from 1961-63 with a singular distinction: they played the first-ever jazz concert at the White House in November, 1962 at the invitation of then First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Later,

Backed with impressive credentials as a musician, Ryan Truesdell, Centennial: The Gil Evans Project teacher and sideman, the persuasive East Coast guiMelissa Stylianou, Silent Movie tarist Ed Cherry takes his diverse experience with trumMarc Johnson / Eliane Elias, Swept Away peters Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Hargrove and saxophonist Vijay Iyer, Accelerando Henry Threadgill to fashion a rather rewarding career as Yosvany Terry, Today’s Opinion a leader. His current It’s All Good builds on the classic Kurt Rosenwinkel, Star Of Jupiter guitar-organ-drum format popularized by artists like Orrin Evans, Flip The Script Grant Green or Wes Montgomery back in the day, yet Jesse Davis, Live at Smalls Cherry’s melodic flair and affinity for the groove gives Brad Mehldau Trio, Ode this combo a boldly updated sound. Anat Cohen, Claroscuro Swing is the thing here Mary Stallings, Don’t Look Back and Cherry’s trio stretches out on deeply felt originals, luscious standards (“In A [Complete list and notes will be posted on my blog Sentimental Mood” and “You in mid-December.] Don’t Know What Love Is”) and kick ass versions of the Blue Note jazz classics, “Maiden Voyage,” “Chitlins Con Carne” and Wayne Shorter’s “Deluge.” Pat Bianchi, a firstrate jazz organist with a flair for funky riffs lays down a carpet of Hammond B-3 harmonics, an inviting platform for Cherry’s off-the-hook licks. Drummer Byron Landham has played

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Nick Bewsey’s Baker’s Dozen Best Jazz CDs of 2012 Gregory Porter, Be Good Ahmad Jamal, Blue Moon

Paul Winter.

discouraged by President’s Kennedy’s assassination, their optimism defeated, the group disbanded. Though the personnel would change slightly, the band featured Winter, trumpeter Dick Whitsell, baritone sax player Les Rout, pianist Warren Bernhardt, bassist Richard Evans and drummer Harold Jones. Bassist Chuck Israels and Cecil McBee along with drummers Ben Riley and Freddie Waits also recorded with the band. Fifty years later, Count Me is released, featuring two discs of the Sextet’s recorded music including 14 never released tracks including the historic concert at the White House. “The Sextet was conceived as a kind of little ‘big band,’” says Paul, “and with our instrumentation of three horns and rhythm, it has quite a different sound from that of the Paul Winter Consort, which [is how] people have known me for during the last several decades. But on a primary level, it’s all the same lineage: a spirit of celebration, in the democracy of ensemble, aspiring toward a balance between the improvised and the composed.” The music is reflective of the era — modern jazz from the early 1960s that’s similar in sound to groups fronted by Gerry Mulligan or Art Farmer. The White House performance may be of most interest and the remastered tape offers a wide, airy soundstage with a lot of open air, although the piano can sound improperly miked and distant. It sounds good but takes a second to get used to. However, the playing is where it’s at. Tight arrangements and fleet interplay characterize the show. Solos by Bernhardt and Les Rout are excellent. They swing on originals and three tracks ply crowd-pleasing Brazilian rhythms. Disc 2 is a stronger effort with tunes by Tom McIntosh, Jimmy Heath and John Lewis, and originals by Bernhardt and bassist Richard Evans, and the sound is just about perfect to better connect with this band. (17 tracks; 65:39 minutes / 15 tracks; 74:49 minutes)

Paul Winter's Solstice Celebration, an annual event staged at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in Manhattan takes place on December 13, 14, 15. Visit www.solsticeconcert.com for tickets and info.

Ed Cherry.

with organist Joey DeFrancesco and guitarist Russell Malone, so he’s perfect for this gig, dishing out the soul jazz beats on his kit with righteous assurance. Best of all is Cherry’s twist on Duke Pearson’s “Christo Redentor,” a track off Donald Byrd’s iconic album, as well as his knock-out arrangement of Bill Evans’ “Blue And Green.” The trio brings the right amount of heat to the game, and Cherry pulls It’s All Good together as an inspired exercise of post-bop spontaneity. (11 tracks; 65:59 minutes) n

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jazz library

BOB PERKINS

SOME TALENTED PEOPLE STAY around a long time, and those who appreciate their work, enjoy the opportunity of benefitting from the talent of the gifted for many years. Conversely, there are those talented souls who do not enjoy great longevity, but leave their mark, and live on through their contributions to society. In the world of jazz music, people like Charlie Parker, Clifford brown and John coltrane come to mind. Both Parker and Coltrane were only in the international spotlight for little over a dozen years. Brown became world renown in about a halfdozen years. But what an impact each one had on jazz, alive and in death.

Pianist Bobby Timmons didn’t carry as famous a name as the aforementioned but he, too, made his mark in jazz in a short span of years, and his compositions are still played by musicians and enjoyed by jazz fans, even though he’s been gone for close to 40 years. . Bobby Timmons was born December 19, 1935, in Philadelphia. He began piano lessons at age six. He was raised by his grandfather, who was a minister. Timmons played organ at his grandfather’s church, which explains his unique piano sound — a mixture heavy in gospel, blues, and a bit of stride and funk; the musical pyramid topped by straightahead jazz. Given his musical versatility, Timmons could have

BOBBY TIMMONS

been a Minister of Music at a church, or part of an R&B or blues band. He’d never have been without a gig. Timmons made his move toward jazz while in his teens, when he became part of a local sextet comprised of fellow teens, which included drummer, Albert Tootie Heath, (the youngest of the famed Heath Brothers trio of jazz greats), Henry Grimes was the bassist, Timmons the pianist, Sam Reed played tenor sax, Buzzy Wilson, alto sax, and Ted Curson played trumpet. The then “young lions,” played a number of area gigs before disbanding and going their separate ways, Heath, Curson, Grimes and Timmons, eventually attaining international fame. (Early last month, a few days before submitting this piece to ICON for its December issue, I received word that Ted Curson had died. Ted was 76.) I was fortunate to have known all of the aforementioned musicians. We were all about the same age and lived fairly close to one another.

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spoke with Timmons around the time he moved to New York in 1954. We talked about music and musicians. I asked him about the rising star of trumpet player/singer Chet Baker, whom he didn’t think much of at the time, but in whose group he found himself working two years later. He remained with Baker short of a year. Next came work with Hank Mobley, Sonny Stitt, Lee Morgan, Maynard Ferguson and a number of other jazz greats — including Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he thrived. Blakey even titled one of his LPs, Moanin’ after a song penned by Timmons, which later became a jazz standard. For a brief period in the latter 1950s, and a time when Timmons was a member of the Messengers, the five-member group boasted four Philadelphians — Timmons, bassist Jymie Merritt, trumpeter Lee Morgan, and saxophonist Benny Golson. With Blakey, who hailed from Pittsburgh, there were five Pennsylvanians. Timmons left the Messengers to join Cannonball Adderley’s group, only to return some months later. But even while officially gone from the Messengers, he managed to record with them and with Cannonball. He formed his own small band in 1960, signing a contract with the Riverside label. Along the way, his compositions, “Dis Here,” and “Dat Dere,” were catching on and adding to his fame. When Oscar Brown, Jr. Added words to “Dat Dere,” a humorous little tune about a quizzical child, asking his father about this and that, and about a his having that “great big elephant over dere” almost everybody liked Bobby Timmons.. Timmons continued to record with the Messengers well into 1961, while also leading his own group. He also appeared as a sideman with other groups. But his health began to fail, due to his addiction to alcohol, and as a result the gigs became fewer and fewer as his health declined. His last album was released in 1974, the same year he died from a liver ailment. He was only 38. But Bobby Henry Timmons kicked up a lot of dust in the less than two decades he was a professional jazz musician. As far as music is concerned, his time on Earth was well spent: He left compositions for other musicians to play, and for jazz fans to enjoy. ■ Bob Perkins is a writer and host of an all-jazz radio program that airs on WRTI-FM 90.1 Monday-Thurs. night from 6 to 9pm & Sunday, 11–3pm. 54

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FINDINGS By Rafil Kroll-Zaidi

A compendium of research facts

RESEARCHERS FOUND THAT HUMAN fetuses will prioritize nurturing the brain over enhancing body fatness, are 69 percent likelier to grow into fat children if they are exposed to magnetic fields, and contain the spongy hearts of reptiles. Recurrent miscarriages may be due to an indiscriminate uterus, and discrimination against pregnant African-American women was correlated with lower birth weights. Chronically stressed mouse fathers have very anxious and socially deficient mouse daughters, orphaned moose suffer between eight and forty-seven times more aggression by strange adult moose than do moose with mothers, and the likelihood that male killer whales over the age of thirty will die within a year increases eightfold on the deaths of their mothers. Boys whose parents divorce are three times more likely to have strokes as adults, and boyhood sexual abuse makes men three times more likely to have a heart attack. Maternal psychological instability in childhood leads to tooth decay in adolescence. Filipino fathers who sleep close to their children have lower testosterone levels. Researchers sought to distinguish Chinese-American parenting from child abuse, doctors sought to distinguish temper tantrums from mental illness, and neuroscientists sought to measure the value of nap time. High IQs discourage British bullies from violent crime later in life. On administering a tickle test, neurologists determined that “Roger,” a man who is missing his insular cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and medial prefrontal cortex, still possesses selfhood. A cortical implant cured macaques on cocaine of their inability to make decisions. SIMULTANEOUSLY HERMAPHRODITIC SIPHOPTERON QUADRISPINOSUM sea slugs mate as females much more often than necessary, leading scientists to propose that traumatic injections of prostate fluid via the male-specific syringelike penile stylet may have unknown benefits. Scientists deafened gerbils and then restored their hearing by injecting their ears with human stem cells, and mice born unable to smell became able to after their noses were injected with therapeutic viruses. Regrown lizard tails are inferior to the originals. Dogs that receive vitamin supplements spend less time chasing their tails. Hamsters exposed to night lights rapidly resign themselves to drowning. Cuckolded rock sparrows sing louder. Japanese primatologists recorded the singing of white-handed gibbons in a room filled with helium. Lepidopterists catalogued the butterflies and moths of Guantánamo Bay. Psychopathic character traits make for better presidents. Paralympians were once again suspected of using performance-enhancing testicular strangulation. AN EMIRATI MAN WAS arrested in New Delhi with a seven-inch slender loris in his pants, a squirrel was accused of freeing a scarlet ibis from the Edinburgh Zoo, and a wild boar and a young fox in Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis freed three zoo kangaroos. Scientists found both red wine (which dilates blood vessels) and vodka (which causes the development of collateral vessels) to be beneficial to the hearts of pigs. Binge drinking was found to increase happiness among both wealthy white heterosexual fraternity members and unpopular students, and a low-expressing MAOA gene (which makes men angry) was found to make women happy. The poor of the world eat more carbohydrates than do the rich. Wealthy Spanish theatergoers were found to form a class distinct from intellectual Spanish theatergoers. Gold and silver cannot both form in the explosion of a single star. Archaeologists digging under a car park in Leicester may have found Richard III. Canadian scientists observing photons defied Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle by measuring how much uncertainty they were creating. Marine biologists described the mechanisms whereby squid iridesce but could not say how particular colors are chosen. “One possibility,” said the leader of the study, “is the animals do not care.”

day trip

DAN HUGOS

Lively December Holiday Program at the Mauch Chunk Opera House IT’S BY FAR THE biggest December in many years at Jim Thorpe’s Mauch Chunk Opera House. And there’s something for everyone. It’s Twelve Twenty Four - Music of the Trans-Siberian Express first up Saturday, December 1, for the first Christmas-themed show of the year, a dynamic crowd-pleaser to thrill everyone and get the Holiday season off to a rocking start. On Friday, December 7, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus bring their Christmas show to town. First appearing in Jim Thorpe way back in 2005, GMSCD have become big favorites here in town, with their great rock n’ roll (Tom Petty and Bob Dylan performing Pink Floyd — with the scent of incense in the air — comes to mind) and their uplifting, steadfastly positive outlook (not to mention the great coffee they sell at the merch table!).

On both December 8, 15, and 22, Jim Thorpe playwright Joe Hiatt features his adaptation of A Christmas Carol in 11 AM and 1 PM showings. The Dickens classic is re-imagined by Mr. Hiatt, celebrating Scrooge and Marley along with other classic elements of this tale, and placing them in Coal Country, U.S.A. Philadelphia’s bawdy and hilarious Peek-A-Boo Revue completes the weekend with some more holiday season cheer on Saturday, December 8. An ensemble capable of almost anything onstage, the neo-burlesque troupe has performed for a wide-range of audiences over the years, and been attached to many high-profile events, festivals and causes. Two of the finest jambands in the region, Cabinet and MiZ, celebrate the season in style at the Opera House on Friday, December 14. This show is something of a first, and already there’s excitement building to have two such fine bands in the house. Lehigh Valley bluesman Craig Thatcher assembles a host of A-list musicians from around Carbon County and the Lehigh Valley on Saturday, December 15, capping the weekend with A Rockin’ Christmas, a show that has become a popular and much-anticipated Christmas-season favorite in Jim Thorpe. Seasonal classics and surprises characterize this popular show led by Mr. Thatcher, a longtime Lehigh Valley guitarist and teacher whose various projects have developed a broad and enthusiastic following. We cap off a great 2011 by sending it out with another lights-out, just-about-year-ending performance by the Tartan Terrors on Sunday, December 30, the renowned Celtic Comedy group that over the years has become a huge favorite. We can think of no better way to wrap up a year that saw 84 shows at the Opera House! Tickets to all Opera House shows are available online at MauchChunkOperaHouse.com or by calling the box office 570-325-0249. You can also visit SoundCheck Records in downtown Jim Thorpe (across the street from the Inn at Jim Thorpe) or call them anytime for tickets at 570-325-4009. n

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The Los Angeles Times SUNDAY CROSSWORD PUZZLE

IN AND OUT By Tom Heilman Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis ACROSS 1 Inn option 7 Assigned in spades 14 Sources of some stadium images 20 Spanish novelist Blasco __ 21 Monster with both a lion’s and a goat’s head 22 Piano brand 23 Wolfing down burgers and fries while driving? 25 Like corn in the kettle 26 Tibetan priest 27 Rough talk 28 Meryl Streep’s alma mater 30 Pasture parent 31 Depilatory cream 33 Plus-size supermodel 36 Suffix meaning “living substance” 38 Rocky road from fad to fashion? 45 “Speed-the-Plow” playwright 46 Many millennia 47 Kind of bran 48 Port of Yemen 49 “__ Wiedersehen” 50 Personnel list 53 Whomp relative 55 To-do list item 57 Solidarity among commoners? 62 Vents frustration toward 63 Offscreen friend in “Ernest” films 64 Professor ’iggins 65 On the safer side 66 Former Indy champ Bobby 68 Kid’s comeback 70 Jefferson Davis’s sch. 74 Brief court plea 75 Actor whose voice is emulated by Snagglepuss the Lion 77 Put to shame 79 Reenactment of a memorable scene from “The Exorcist”? 83 “Reservoir Dogs” actor 85 Polar sheet 86 Radio host John 87 Ironically, he composed the “Microsoft sound” on a Mac 88 Drying oven 89 Actor Daniel __ Kim 90 Utterly 93 Washing station 95 “Dismount” or “settle”? 101 Sipped uncertainly

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Contrary current __ cava Gone by Ripped off City near Anaheim Daughter of Darth What opinions often do Food-fight evidence at the picProofer’s finds Sing unlike Bing Golf shoe brand Shifty sort Blows up Hinge (on) DOWN Iranian currency “Dancing Queen” band Respectful address Not as slow as adagio Lawn beads Hank who voices some “Simpsons” characters Chance-of-rain nos. Optimistic reply Small, aptly? Leggy runner John who loved Colorado Ocean predator Offhand turndowns To a large degree Actress Linney et al. Online exchanges, briefly Memorable Eastwood line “Close call!” “Marat/__”: 1963 play Tale Tie concern Team moving to the American League in 2013 McKinley, e.g.: Abbr. Learn all aspects of Packer with a strong arm Relating to regional animal life “Don’t worry about me” Unheeding Performing trip Get down? Seinfeld’s Uncle Leo portrayer __ Lesser Cut off Tierney of “NewsRadio” Winning like crazy Smashes beyond repair Top dog

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55 Dresses 56 Sign of hope 58 Riesling giant Chateau __ Michelle 59 FDR project 60 “__, we won’t go!”: ’60s anti war chant 61 Like some nuts 67 To what length 69 Woofer’s sound 70 Work the aisles, in slang 71 “Oh, come on!” 72 Avoid waffling 73 Accompaniment 74 Marlins’ div. 76 Ancient 78 Cinder receptacle 79 Issues requiring attention 80 Absolute 81 Quebec’s __’Orleans 82 Chiwere speaker 83 “Rock and Roll, Hoochie __”: 1974 hit 84 Clean off plates? 89 Dimwit 91 Kept under wraps 92 Color in large Crayola packs 94 Running swiftly 96 Equal, as expectations 97 Cleaning basic 98 Declining in later years 99 Chevy subcompact

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Tilted Food truck drinks Lass Report generators Foil relative Pensioned: Abbr. Berlin article Participation declaration

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Preschool song opener Short-lived diet, perhaps Sm. change Land div. by the 38th parallel Absorbed, as a cost

Answer in next month’s issue.

Answer to November’s puzzle, ALL FIRED UP


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INDEX Facts compiled by the editors of Harper’s Magazine

Percentage change since 2010 in the per-pound cost of a Thanksgiving turkey : +22 Portion of the total U.S. corn crop that goes to make ethanol : 2/5 Estimated number of chickens killed after a drunk man accidentally shut off power at a Maryland poultry farm in August : 70,000 Average number of square miles by which Arctic sea ice decreased each day this summer : 36,400 Date on which it reached its lowest size on record : 9/16/2012 Estimated number of gallons of raw sewage spilled off the coast of Tijuana following an August pipeline break : 5,000,000 Amount three New York men owe in restitution for stealing rock lobsters off the coast of South Africa : $54,900,000 Amount the U.S. Department of Education spent on loan collection and guarantees last year : $1,400,000,000 Factor by which employee claims of wage and hour violations have increased in the past decade : 3.5 Portion of U.S. workers age 50 or above who plan to delay retirement because of the financial crisis : 1/2 Projected worldwide surplus of low-skill workers by 2020 : 93,000,000 Projected worldwide deficit of high- and medium-skill workers by that time : 85,000,000 Portion of the French who are pessimistic about the future : 7/10 Estimated amount Ireland spent on paperless balloting machines : $70,000,000 Amount for which it sold the machines as scrap in June, after abandoning paperless balloting : $92,218 Portion of Germans who think they’d be better off without the euro : 1/2 Rank of China among global beer producers by volume : 1 Rank of the United States : 2 Value of Chinese acquisitions of U.S. assets and businesses in the past year : $7,700,000,000 Portion of people residing outside the United States who say they like American pop culture : 2/3 Who say it’s a “good” thing that American ideas and customs are spreading : 1/4 Percentage of Americans in 1992 who believed gun laws should be stricter : 78 Percentage who believe so today : 43 Number of states that restrict men who father children through rape from obtaining parental rights : 20 Percentage change since 1988 in U.S. teen-pregnancy rates : –36 In abstinence rates among white teens : +31 Among black teens : +56 Percentage of Americans with HIV who are over the age of 45 : 50 Factor by which U.S. cases of West Nile virus have increased since the virus was first detected here in 1999 : 51 Factor by which U.S. Muslims are more likely than Muslims abroad to think there are multiple interpretations of Islam : 2 Percentage of Democrats who have an “unfavorable” opinion of Muslims : 29 Percentage of Republicans who do : 57 Rank of “I don’t know” among the most common answers Republicans give when asked why black voters support Democrats : 1 Rank of “government dependents” want “something for nothing” : 2 Percentage of Ohio Republicans who say Obama is more responsible than Romney for the death of Osama bin Laden : 38 Who say Romney is more responsible than Obama : 15 Who say they aren’t sure which man is more responsible : 47 Number of “known cracks and breaks” in the dome of the U.S. Capitol building : 1,300 Portion of Americans who don’t walk for at least ten continuous minutes at any point in an average week : 2/5

Index Sources 1 American Food Bureau Federation (Washington); 2 U.S. Department of Agriculture; 3 Wicomico County Sheriff ’s Office (Salisbury, Md.); 4,5 National Snow and Ice Data Center (Boulder, Colo.); 6 International Water and Boundary Commission (San Ysidro, Calif.); 7 Pew Environmental Group (Washington); 8 U.S. Department of Education; 9 Seyfarth Shaw LLP (Boston); 10 Towers Watson (N.Y.C.); 11,12 McKinsey Global Institute (San Francisco); 13 Institut Français d’Opinion Publique (Paris); 14,15 Irish Citizens for Trustworthy Evoting (Dublin); 16 TNS Emnid (Bielefeld, Germany); 17,18 Kirin Institute of Food & Lifestyle (Tokyo); 19 Dealogic (N.Y.C.); 20,21 Pew Global Attitudes Project (Washington); 22,23 Gallup (Washington); 24 Shauna Prewitt (Chicago); 25–27 National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, Md.); 28,29 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta); 30 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (Washington); 31,32 Arab American Institute (Washington); 33,34 Social Science Research Solutions (Media, Pa.); 35–37 Public Policy Polling (Raleigh, N.C.); 38 Architect of the Capitol (Washington); 39 National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, Md.).

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DECEMBER 2012

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agenda CALL TO ARTISTS GoggleWorks Center for the Arts 2013 Juried Exhibition. Home: Interpreting the Familiar Grand Prize: solo show in the Cohen Gallery. GoggleWorks is the country’s largest, most comprehensive interactive arts center. Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place. Open to all media. Up to 3 works allowed, $35. Juror: Genevieve Coutroubis, award winning photographer and director, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia. Deadline: Dec. 21, 2012. Exhibition: May 11 – June 23, 2013. Prospectus: goggleworks.org/Exhibitions/Callfor-Artists/. 201 Washington St., Reading, PA. 610-374-4600 Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission’s 48th Annual Fine Arts & Craft Show, A Juried Exhibition. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Historic District), May 11-12, 2013. Outdoors. Artists’ reception & award ceremony. $1,600 in prizes. Image deadline February 15, 2013. Download prospectus from www.bfac-lv.org. For additional information, call 610-865-3924 (after 5pm). February 8, 2013 10AM-1PM for jurying at Paoli Presbyterian Church, 225 S. Valley Rd, Paoli, PA. Delaware Valley Art League Spring Show at Radnor. March 2- May 4, 2013. Delivery March 2, Pick Up May 4. Juror is Ron Coppola, artist- illustrator. One painting per artist. Fee: $10 member. Memberships available. February 8, 2013 10AM-1PM for jurying at Paoli Presbyterian Church, 225 S. Valley Rd, Paoli, PA 19301- Delaware Valley Art League Spring Show at Valley Forge March 9- May 11, 2013. Delivery March 9, Pick Up May 11. Juror is T. Mark Cole, working artist and graduate of PAFA. Two paintings per artist. Fee: $10 member. Memberships available. ART EXHIBITS

Bucks County during its holiday open house and exhibition. Meet the artists Sat., Dec.1, 58. 47 W. State St., Doylestown, PA. 215-3481728. Patriciahuttongalleries.com THRU 12/31 Small Works by Gallery Artists, SFA, Schmidtberger Fine Art, 10 Bridge St., Suite 7, Frenchtown, NJ. 908-268-1700. sfagallery.com THRU 1/6 Generations: Louise Fishman, Gertrude FisherFishman and Razel Kapustin. Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave, Phila. 215-247-0476 woodmereartmuseum.org THRU 1/6 Murray Dessner: A Retrospective. Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave, Phila. 215-247-0476 woodmereartmuseum.org THRU 1/6 Bruce MacDougall, “Searching for Wabi-SabiDiscovering Molly.” “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” in Upstairs Gallery II. Red Filter Gallery, 74 Bridge St., Lambertville. 347-2449758. redfiltergallery.com. Th.-Sun. 12-5. THRU 1/13 Franz Kline: Coal and Steel. Sixty-four works by the artist, many of which have rarely or never been viewed by the public. Allentown Art Museum, 31 North Fifth St., Allentown, PA. 610432-4333. allentownartmuseum.org

THEATER THRU 12/9 A Christmas Story, based on the motion picture. Act 1, DeSales University, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, 2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA. 610-282-3192. desales.edu/act1 THRU 12/22 Christmas City Follies XIII, presented by Touchstone Theatre. 321 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem, PA. 610-867-1689. touchstone.org 12/13-30 It’s A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry. The Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope, PA. 215-862-2121. BCPTheater.org 12/22 & 23 Cirque Eloize iD! A vibrant hip-hop universe collides with a kaleidoscope of circus arts. Zoellner Arts Center, 8pm. $45/$35. 610-758-2787 or zoellnerartscenter.org NOTE: 12/22 at 8PM; 12/23 at 3PM 1/8 -1/9 West Side Story, 7:30. State Theatre, 453 Northampton St., Easton, PA. 1-800-999STATE. statetheatre.org DINNER & MUSIC Saturday nights: Sette Luna Restaurant, 219 Ferry St., Easton, PA. 610-253-8888. setteluna.com

THRU 1/13 Walker Evans & The American Social Landscape Photographers. Allentown Art Museum, 31 North Fifth St., Allentown, PA. 610-432-4333. allentownartmuseum.org

Thursday nights: John Beacher’s Community Stage, 8-12pm, Community Stage sign ups, 9pm: Solo act, 8-9pm. Karla’s, 5 W. Mechanic St., New Hope. 215-862-2612. karlasnewhope.com

THRU 3/31 Making Magic: Beauty in Word and Image. Michener Art Museum, 138 S. Pine St., Doylestown. michenerartmuseum.org

DANCE 12/15-12/16 The Nutcracker. The Pennsylvania Youth Ballet & Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley. Nutcracker Suite & Treats reception following Sat. performance. Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh Univ, Bethlehem, PA. 610-758-2787. zoellnerartscenter.org.

THRU 12/9 Works in Wood, The 11th Annual Juried exhibition of Contemporary, functional and sculptural forms. New Hope Arts, 2 Stockton Ave., New Hope. newhopearts.org. 215-862-9606.

THRU 4/7 The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Broad St., Philadelphia. PAFA.org

THRU 12/14 Nestor Armando Gil: Pan (Myotopia), a multimedia installation. Grossman Gallery, Lafayette Art Galleries, Easton, PA. 610-330-5361. http://galleries.lafayette.edu.

12/1-3/2 Delaware Valley Art League. Winter Juried Show at Penn Medicine at Radnor, 250 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA 19087 delawarevalleyartleague.com

CONCERTS

THRU 12/14 Booked, the book as an inspiration for the artistic imagination. Williams Center Gallery, Lafayette Art Galleries, Easton, PA. 610-3305361. http://galleries.lafayette.edu.

12/4-1/6 Harold Kalmus: Recent Sculpture. Reception 12/14, 6-9. Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St., Phila. Wed-Sun 12-6. 215-772-1911. twenty-twogallery.com

12/8 The Bach Choir of Bethlehem Christmas Concert, Benjamin Britten’s, St. Nicolas and Bach’s Magnificat, 8pm. First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, PA. $29-$40 adults, $10 students. Bach.org or 610-866-4382.

THRU 12/30 It’s About Time…Alexander Volkov and Mary Serfass, The Snow Goose Gallery. Meet the artists Sat., Dec. 8, 1-5pm. 470 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA. 610-974-9099. thesnowgoosegallery.com

12/7-2/3 17th Annual Holiday Show. Opening reception 12/8, 4-7. Artists’ Gallery, 18 Bridge St., Lambertville, NJ. Fri, Sat, Sun 11-6. 609-397-4588. lambertvillearts.com

THRU 12/30 Kardon Gallery showcases paintings by Si Lewen. 139 South Main Street, Doylestown. Wed.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. 12-5, and by appt. 215-489-4287. kardongallery.com. Thru 12/31 Patricia Hutton Galleries features small paintings for gift giving and winter landscapes of

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12/7, 6-9; 12/9, 1-4 Alex Cohen: Small Captivations. Robert Beck Gallery, 204 N. Union St., Lambertville, NJ. 12/14-1/27 Virginia Fitch: Fresh Picked. The Quiet Life Gallery, 17 So. Main St., Lambertville, NJ. 609-397-0880. quietlifegallery.com

DECEMBER 2012

W W W. I C O N D V. C O M

Some organizations perform in various locations. If no address is listed, check the website for location of performance.

12/9 The Bach Choir of Bethlehem Christmas Concert, Benjamin Britten’s, St. Nicolas and Bach’s Magnificat, 4pm. First Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem, PA. $29-$40 adults, $10 students. Bach.org or 610-866-4382. 12/11 A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, 7:30 pm. Arts at St. John’s, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 37 S. 5th St., Allentown, PA. 610-435-1641. stjohnsallentown.org

12/13 The All-Star Jazz Quartet. Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Samson St., Philadelphia. 215-568-3131. chrisjazzcafe.com.

12/14:

12/15 Handel’s Messiah, Camerata Singers Annual Christmas Concert, 7:30pm. Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, conducted by Allan Birney. First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, 3231 West Tilghman St., Allentown, PA. 610-434-7811. pacameratasingers.org

12/22: 12/30: 1/12:

12/16 at 2:30PM & 7:30PM American Masters: Barber, “Serenade,” Op 1; John Williams, “Essay for Strings”; Copland, “Quiet City”; Gershwin, “Lullaby”; Copland, Appalachian Spring: Suite. 2:30PM. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad St., Philadelphia. chamberorchestra.org.

12/15: 12/15:

1/18:

1/19: 1/25:

1/26: 1/27:

12/25 Organ Noëls, Stephen Williams, organist, 3:00 pm. Arts at St. John’s, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 37 So. Fifth St., Allentown, PA. 610-435-1641. stjohnsallentown.org

Season Celebration with Cabinet and MiZ A Coal Country Christmas Carol Craig Thatcher and Friends Rockin’ Christmas A Coal Country Christmas Carol The Tartan Terrors. Dancin’ Machine; The band that had everyone dancing to non-stop hit after hit from the disco era, is back. Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 40 Band. An exciting return engagement by one of the world’s greatest drummers. An Evening with Savoy Brown. The Eilen Jewell Band. The band is comprised of modern players authentic to Americana and Jazzy Swing sound. Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Steam Show It Was a Very Good Year with Tony Year. Frank Sinatra’s early days with Tommy Dorsey to the bright lights of New York City to his comeback at Madison Square Garden.

EVENTS 1/18 Utrecht String Trio, 8:00pm. Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem, Foy Concert Hall, Moravian College, W. Church & Main Streets, Bethlehem, PA. Tickets: lvartsboxoffice.org. cmsob.org ARTSQUEST CENTER AT STEELSTACKS (Musikfest Café) 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 610-332-1300. artsquest.org 12/4: 12/6: 12/7:

Clay Aiken: Joyful Noise Tour 2012 Christmas 1944 David Parker And The Bang Group's Nut/Cracked Returns 12/7-8: Christmas 1944 12/8,9: The Second City's Dysfunctional Holiday Revue 12/12: Lee DeWyze Of American Idol 12/13: The Celtic Tenors Holiday Show 12/15: A Chapin Family Christmas 12/21; Sarah Ayers And Friends 12/22: Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes 12/27: Jimmy And The Parrots Holiday Parrot Party 12/28: The Hold Steady 12/29: Cupcake Bowl 12/31: Start Making Sense - New Year's Eve Party!!! For Fans of: Talking Heads 1/4: Hector Rosado y su Orchestra and special guest Alberto Santiago 1/5: Craig Thatcher's Tribute To The Music Of Jimi Hendrix 1/7: An Evening With Little Feat 1/11: She Said Sunday. Voted the Lehigh Valley’s Best Cover Band. 1/18: The Wailers Perform Survival 1/19: The Fabulous Greaseband MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE One of America’s oldest vaudeville theaters, built in 1881. 14 West Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA. 570-325-0249. mauchchunkoperahouse.com 12/7:

12/8: 12/8:

Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus. A Christmas Show event! A Coal Country Christmas Carol Peek-A-Boo Revue Holiday Spectacular

THRU 12/21 2012 Holiday Gallery and Sale, fine art & crafts by local artists. Celebrate with The Baum School of Art! Gallery reception: Wed., Dec. 12, 6-8pm. 510 West Linden St., Allentown, PA. 610-4330032. baumschool.org THRU 12/31 Christmas City highlights include Christmas open house, tree lighting, Christmas city village, live advent calendar, and more. Bethlehem, PA. 610-691-6055. Bethlehempa.org. downtownbethlehemassociation.org THRU 1/5 The Village is beautifully decorated with thousands of lights. Gingerbread House Competition & Display. Entries are displayed throughout the Holiday season in the Village Gazebo. Peddler’s Village, Rts 202 & 263, Lahaska, PA, PA. 215-794-4000. Peddlersvillage.com 12/1-12/24 Handmade Holidays. Unique handmade gifts for everyone on your list! Support your local artists. Open Tues.-Sat. 11-4. Some Things Looming, 526 Washington St., Downtown Reading, PA. 610-373-7337. 12/7 Christmas Parade, 7pm. Clinton, NJ. For full schedule of Holiday events: clintonguild.com 12/13 Candle Light Night, dusk until 9pm. Clinton, NJ. For full schedule of Holiday events: clintonguild.com 12/16 Santa Comes to Clinton, 1-2pm. Clinton, NJ. For full schedule of Holiday events: clintonguild.com 12/24 Rice’s Market will be open on Christmas Eve Day. Offering great last minute deals on a wide array of stocking stuffers and holiday gifts. Your one-stop-shop for the holiday season! 6326 Greenhill Rd., New Hope, PA. 215-297-5593. ricesmarket.com


ICON Magazine  

Cultural magazine circulated in the greater Philadelphia region and suburbs

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