ListenUp: Jazz Playlist
This week’s ListenUp playlist features artists from our jam-packed 19/20 jazz season. We kicked things off in October with the electrifying pianist Hiromi
in a rare solo performance. In November, we welcomed drummer Ralph Peterson
, who brought with him a group of elite alumni from the Jazz Messenger bands, in a show celebrating the 100th anniversary of Art Blakey’s birth. The following week, we were delighted to present the Philadelphia debut of vibraphonist Joel Ross
. Two of today’s top jazz vocalists, Dianne Reeves
and Alicia Olatuja
graced our stages in December and February, and the sizzling hot salsa and Latin band Spanish Harlem Orchestra
returned to the Annenberg Center on a cold night in January. Earlier this month, SFJAZZ Collective
was slated to celebrate the 50th anniversary of two essential albums: Sly and Family Stone’s Stand!
and Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way
. Although we missed them this time, we can’t wait to have SFJAZZ Collective back next April.
The Pennchants present Social Distance-SING, in partnership with Philabundance
were formed in 1989 as an all-male subgroup of the Penn Glee Club with an interest in singing songs outside of the Glee Club’s standard barbershop and musical theatre repertoires. Opting to instead perform arrangements of the latest hit songs, The Pennchants became an overnight sensation within the campus music scene, leading them to a victory in the inter-Penn a cappella competition within a year of their inception. Praise rolled in from across the nation and The Pennchants eventually left the Glee Club in 2001. They have since experienced huge success as an award-winning, internationally touring ensemble. Read more...
Enjoy Enchantment Theatre Company's Peter Rabbit™ Tales with the family
Children's Festival Family Theatre
If you’ve ever been to our annual, three-day Philadelphia Children’s Festival, you might have seen a delightful performance by Enchantment Theatre Company
, who we have welcomed at our festival for numerous seasons. In 2017, Enchantment put on three sold-out performances of its charming Peter Rabbit™ Tales
. Now, as an extension of its Enchantment Everywhere outreach initiative, the festival favorite has made the full-length video of Peter Rabbit™ Tales
available for streaming on YouTube (see below). Read more...
Trusty Sidekick Theater Company's Shadow Play
Children's Festival Family
Plan a “play date” with the Trusty Sidekick Theater Company
! One of the highlights of our 2019 Children’s Festival was the Company’s marvelously inventive Shadow Play
. Stream the full video (for free) of the playful adventures of Flash and his exciting quest to reunite with his shadow in this multimedia performance for children (ages 2-5) and their adults. As an added bonus, learn how to make shadow puppets at home with Trusty Sidekick’s Artistic Director Drew Petersen.
ListenUp: Early Music Playlist
Early Music ListenUp
Our 19/20 season featured several early music artists from around the world. Vox Luminis
(Belgium) made its Annenberg Center debut in November and the Dunedin Consort
(UK) made its Philadelphia debut with us in January. Since we won’t get to present Les Violons du Roy
(Canada) in their own Philadelphia debut this weekend, this week’s ListenUp playlist includes some of the best early music heard in our theatres this season plus other stunning recordings by these remarkable early music ensembles.
Stream Pilobolus' classic Gnomen at home
Penn Live Arts Recommends Dance
, fondly known for its humorous, eye-popping and mind-boggling use of the human form, made its Annenberg Center debut on the Inaugural Dance Celebration Series in 1983 with 17 subsequent appearances. Audiences continue to be mesmerized by Pilobolus’ unfathomable athletic prowess and fluidity, sculptural beauty and collaborative weight-sharing techniques. Named after a phototropic fungus, Pilobolus broke rules and created a new dance language. Who else could fit 26 people inside a MINI Cooper (making the 2011 Guinness World Record), create a Hyundai Santa Fe with dancers’ bodies or be featured at the 79th Annual Academy Awards®?
Pilobolus shares with home-viewers its powerful and passionate Gnomen, a work that premiered at the Annenberg Center in 1998 and was to be performed April 16-18, 2020. One of the 115 works in Pilobolus’ world-touring repertory, Gnomen features four world-class male dancer/gymnasts set to music by Paul Stillman. Gnomen explores the interconnectivity of the human spirit – the need to touch, heal, and lift one another in challenging times.
Penn alumnus John Legend participates in the #TogetherAtHome Concert Series
Music Special Features
As Penn’s center for the performing arts, we were so pleased to see one of our University’s most celebrated alumni, John Legend, participating in the #TogetherAtHome Concert Series. The series, organized by Global Citizen, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a growing group of artists, serves to bring joy, optimism, and a shared sense of humanity during this time of uncertainty and challenge. We certainly felt hopeful watching Legend sing a few tunes with his family close by, from a Stevie Wonder cover, to Beauty and the Beast
(at his daughter’s request!), to one of his biggest hits, “All of Me.” Watch a replay of the performance below.
During his time as a student, Legend was President and Music Director of Penn’s oldest, co-ed a cappella group, Counterparts. Days before Penn announced that it was transitioning to remote classes due to COVID-19, Counterparts performed some of their material for Legend over their spring break, in what would soon be one of the group’s final performances with their graduating seniors. Our hearts go out to all of the Penn performing arts groups who had to cancel shows they had been working towards, and especially those who won’t have the opportunity to perform together again once we return to campus. Help us show Penn’s student performers some love and follow < Read more...
Emmet Cohen continues to amaze us
Penn Live Arts Recommends Jazz Music
, a recent guest at the Annenberg for his Center debut, has already become one of our favorites. After selling out our Harold Prince Theatre last spring with his trio, Emmet continues to amaze us with his innovative approach to making and sharing his music. You can experience the trio’s terrific music making at Emmet’s apartment in Harlem every Monday evening via “Live at Emmet’s Place
.” We’ll post these weekly events on our calendar
, so be sure to check back regularly to see the latest from this dynamic and charismatic performer.
Watch Einstein on the Beach through Apr 19
Theatre #GLASSFEST Penn Live Arts Recommends New Music
We can’t get enough Philip Glass these days following our memorable #GLASSFEST this past winter. Through April 19, the Grand Théâtre de Genève has provided free viewing access to its full-length production of Einstein on the Beach. Glass and Robert Wilson's groundbreaking opera "has no narration, no plot and follows no biographical intention" (Broadway World), yet draws the viewer in with its poetic, signature Glass progression through time. Co-produced and performed by Swiss theatre group Compagnia Finzi Pasca, Einstein on the Beach opened the Grand Théâtre's 19/20 season.
Virtual Book Tour Discussion with Mark Morris and Wesley Stace
Dance Penn Live Arts Recommends
Tune in on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 PM, when the Free Library of Philadelphia hosts legendary dancer, choreographer and director, Mark Morris, and Wesley Stace in a lively virtual discussion on Out Loud, the duo's new, co-written memoir on the life and career of Morris. A longtime friend of the Annenberg Center, Morris was last with us as an unforgettable Artist-in-Residence in 2018. He created over 150 original works for his Mark Morris Dance Group during his impressive career, which also includes a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and 11 honorary doctorates. His co-author, Stace, has received critical acclaim for his novels, as well as recognition for his Cabinet of Wonders variety show that features various performers.