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“What we do matters.” Zoe Caldwell and Audra McDonald in the premiere of McNally’s ‘Master Class.’ (Image courtesy of Floating World Pictures.)

Jeff Kaufman’s ‘Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life’

Missing McNally

The 2018 documentary ‘Every Act of Life,’ seeing a resurgence following Terrance McNally’s death from COVID-19 complications earlier this year, is a wonderful look into the life and career of the theatrical polymath.
Gail Obenreder

Gail Obenreder

Articles 4 minute read
The movie starts when the sun goes down: the Drive-In at the Navy Yard. (Photo courtesy of PFS.)

Back to the drive-in: Philly joins the COVID-safe movie renaissance

Movies take a front seat in the pandemic

The drive-in theater has reemerged as a popular activity in the pandemic, and Philly-area movie-goers are in on it. Cinephile Kelly Conrad says it’s a welcome relief from the times.
Kelly Conrad

Kelly Conrad

Articles 4 minute read
Life’s first cover, featuring Margaret Bourke-White’s 1936 ‘Fort Peck Dam, Montana.’ (Courtesy of LIFE Picture Collection. ©1936 The Picture Collection Inc. All rights reserved.)

Princeton University Art Museum presents ‘Life Magazine and the Power of Photography’

American vision

Millions of ‘Life’ magazine subscribers devoured images and stories that became iconic windows on the world. ‘Life Magazine and the Power of Photography,’ now digitally accessible, explores the magazine’s impact. Pamela Forsythe reviews.

Pamela J. Forsythe

Articles 4 minute read
No spoon-feeding: actor Effie Kammer in ‘Frauenschlläechterei.’ (Photo by Effie Kammer.)

Free Fringe 2020: Hella Fresh Theater presents ‘Frauenschlläechterei’

A play in the post

Could theater-by-mail catch on? With ‘Frauenschlläechterei,’ Hella Fresh Theater asks whether technology is necessary to put on a show remotely. Rachel Bellwoar reviews.
Rachel Bellwoar

Rachel Bellwoar

Articles 3 minute read
What happens when wealth tumbles in for generations? (Image via Penguin Random House.)

'The Beneficiary' by Janny Scott

Bobby, we hardly knew ye

Robert Montgomery Scott, the late president of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, inherited a legacy that many of us might envy. But 'The Beneficiary,' his daughter’s unblinking post mortem, raises the old question: Is great wealth a blessing or a curse? Dan Rottenberg reviews.
Dan Rottenberg

Dan Rottenberg

Articles 6 minute read
‘Legendary’ marks the 30th anniversary of ballroom culture in Philadelphia. (Image courtesy of BlackStar.)

‘Legendary: 30 Years of Philly Ballroom’ at the BlackStar Film Festival

Queer history is American history

‘Legendary: 30 Years of Philly Ballroom,’ screened as part of this year’s BlackStar Film Festival, goes behind the fashion, flair, glitz, and glamour to elevate a vital origin story. Hanae Mason reviews.
Hanae Mason

Hanae Mason

Articles 3 minute read
An anonymous donor provided dance surfaces to homebound artists, like the PA Ballet’s Jermel Johnson, here practicing at home during the pandemic. (Image courtesy of PA Ballet.)

How are leaders of the Pennsylvania Ballet weathering the pandemic?

Jumping into life at home

Just as it was poised to transition its contemporary ballets to the Perelman, the Pennsylvania Ballet hit the same crisis that every other live arts producer did. Camille Bacon-Smith spoke with the organization's leaders about how dance can survive a pandemic.
Camille Bacon-Smith

Camille Bacon-Smith

Articles 5 minute read
‘Coded Bias’ explores the ways ubiquitous modern technology still carries out the prejudices of its makers. (Image courtesy of BlackStar.)

‘Coded Bias,’ ‘Unapologetic,’ and ‘Nationtime - Gary’ at the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival

Beyond ourselves

Three documentary features at the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival, highlighting activists from the 1970s to today, summarize the current political landscape in Black America. Hanae Mason reviews.
Hanae Mason

Hanae Mason

Articles 5 minute read
A must-read for people interested in design, urban planning, and Philly politics. (Image courtesy of Rutgers University Press.)

‘Becoming Philadelphia’ by Inga Saffron

New city, new readers

‘Becoming Philadelphia’ gathers a new collection of columns by longtime Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron, but the book’s construction leaves something to be desired. Judy Weightman reviews.
Judy Weightman

Judy Weightman

Articles 5 minute read
We can’t mythologize pregnancy apart from embodied experience. (Image courtesy of Bold Type Books.)

‘Belabored’ by Lyz Lenz

An experience of pregnancy

Lyz Lenz’s ‘Belabored’ offers no solutions to the rampant anxieties of the present, but its bold centering of the realities of pregnancy offers something we may need even more. T.S. Mendola reviews.
T.S. Mendola

T.S. Mendola

Articles 3 minute read