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Who was the man behind the powerhouse pitcher? (Image courtesy of Triumph Books.)

‘Doc: The Life of Roy Halladay,’ by Todd Zolecki

What fans didn’t see

In his new biography of late Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, longtime local baseball writer Todd Zolecki shows how even the best athletes are facing more struggles than you know. Stephen Silver reviews.
Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver

Articles 4 minute read
Adora is back, in an affirming, truly beautiful adventure. (Image courtesy of Netflix.)

DreamWorks and Netflix present the final season of ‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’

Chicken soup for the queer soul

Unlike those in many other movies and TV shows, the queer characters in the new ‘She-Ra’ are not sidelined or disposable. They’re central to the adventure. It gives Mina Reinckens hope for the future.
Mina Reinckens

Mina Reinckens

Articles 4 minute read
Great comedic chemistry: Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani in ‘The Lovebirds.’ (Image courtesy of Netflix.)

How Netflix’s ‘The Lovebirds’ could change the film industry

When the movies go to us

Michael Showalter’s ‘The Lovebirds’ debuted last month on Netflix after its originally scheduled premiere at SXSW and theatrical release were canceled. Is it a harbinger of the post-pandemic film industry? KC Wingert reviews.
KC Wingert

KC Wingert

Articles 3 minute read
Edward Pettit, Mary Going, and Lauren Nixon bring Dracula to Zoom every week. (Image courtesy of the Rosenbach.)

Seven tips for transforming in-person conferences into irresistible online experiences

If you stream it, will they come?

Conference veterans and networking mavens Neil Bardhan and Marta Rusek have your guide to organizing virtual gatherings that don’t suck (unless they involve Dracula).
Neil Bardhan Marta Rusek

Neil Bardhanand Marta Rusek

Articles 6 minute read
A new post-pandemic medium for Swarthmore’s ‘Women of Trachis.’ (Photo by Michał Zadara.)

Swarthmore College presents Sophocles’ ‘The Women of Trachis,’ sans audience

Theater without witnesses

If a demigod burns and no one hears about it, does it make a catharsis? Walter Bilderback investigates a pandemic-era production of ‘The Women of Trachis’ at Swarthmore dubbed “theater without witnesses.”
Walter Bilderback

Walter Bilderback

Articles 5 minute read
‘Carthage’ is The Crossing’s tribute to Philly composer James Primosch. (Image courtesy of Navona Records; artwork by Steven Bradshaw.)

The Crossing presents ‘Carthage’

A journey you must take

‘Carthage,’ the latest recording from The Crossing, dwells on spirituality and doubt and musical riches. Gail Obenreder reviews.
Gail Obenreder

Gail Obenreder

Articles 4 minute read
Boldly harnessing the organ at Notre Dame Cathedral: composer Gerald Levinson with organist Olivier Latry rehearsing for the 2013 premiere of ‘Au Coeur de l’Infini.’ (Photo by Nanine Valen.)

‘Now Your Colors Sing’ by Gerald Levinson

A 48-year suite

A new double album from Swarthmore-based composer Gerald Levinson is a retrospective of a leading light of the Philadelphia new-music scene and beyond, bursting with bright hues and grand sonorities.

Peter Burwasser

Articles 3 minute read
Refusing to choose a side. (Image courtesy of Temple University Press.)

‘Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right’ by Michael Smerconish

Stuck in the middle with us

Doylestown native and national pundit and author Michael Smerconish staked his career on a middle ground in an increasingly polarized world. ‘Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right’ collects his columns between 2002 and 2016. Pamela Forsythe reviews.

Pamela J. Forsythe

Articles 4 minute read
Putting on Disney+ with the kids just isn’t the same as heading to the movie theater. (Photo by Stephen Silver.)

What I miss most about going to movie theaters

Streaming isn’t the same

Film critic Stephen Silver has been arguing for years that Philadelphia's movie theaters are insufficient. What he wouldn't give to get back to them.
Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver

Articles 4 minute read
An invitation to re-explore the joys and pains of junior high: Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine in ‘PEN15.’ (Image courtesy of Hulu.)

How Hulu’s ‘PEN15’ let me open up to my own teenage years

What we learned at school—and what we didn’t

The 7th-grade besties of Hulu’s ‘PEN15,’ played by real-life adult friends looking back on their teen years, help us see the past with compassion and humor—and recognize racism. Christina Anthony remembers her own school years.
Christina Anthony

Christina Anthony

Articles 4 minute read