Real Estate: Will Cavanaugh's Purchase Katmandu in Philadelphia?

Journalist A.D. Amorosi and Mayor Michael Nutter
Journalist A.D. Amorosi and Mayor Michael Nutter at an event in 2013
By A.D. AMOROSI

When Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia developer Michael Samschick announce, on April 16, the development of a new 3,000 capacity Live Nation concert hall – the 2,500 person Fillmore and its 500-person artist development Foundry – at Frankford and N. Delaware Avenue, that won't be the only juicy news on the block. There's some great gossip going on just down the street from the Samschick/Live Nation workplace at the old Ajax Metal Company on Delaware Avenue: the rumored sale of the legendary Katmandu at Pier 25 to the folks behind the Cavanaugh's family of clubs.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E15 Maddie vs. Kalani, ALDC vs. MDP

Jill Vertes and daughter Kendall K on Lifetime TV's Dance Moms
Jill Vertes and daughter Kendall K on Lifetime TV's Dance Moms
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, studio owner Abby Lee Miller and the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) left their Pittsburgh, PA hometown and returned to Los Angeles, CA for round two of competitions, workshops and appearances. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 15 "Maddie vs. Kalani," the ALDC gets a rematch against choreographer Erin Babbs and her Murrieta Dance Project (aka MDP, the team that beat them during their first trip to LA), and the tension between Jill (Kendall's mom) and Holly (Nia's mom) escalates as their daughters prepare to shoot music videos, one produced by Abby (Kendall), and one not (Nia).

The Sweet Life Bakeshop Moves to Philly's Famous South Street

Megan Kennedy of The Sweet Life Bakeshop on South Street in Philadelphia
Megan Kennedy of The Sweet Life Bakeshop on South Street in Philadelphia
By REESE AMOROSI

After four successful years in their original South Philly location, The Sweet Life Bakeshop has moved to an airy pink and white space on Philadelphia's famous South Street. Since opening their doors on March 2nd, they've been doing brisk business welcoming fans old and new, all who stop by for the Southern-inspired American desserts made by Sweet Life's owners, the married team of Megan and Antonio Kennedy.

Dance Moms Recap S5 E14 Hollywood Round 2: Nia vs. Kendall

Dallas Lovato and Abby Lee Miller on Dance Moms
L to R: Dallas Lovato and Abby Lee Miller on Dance Moms
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, Abby Lee Miller and her Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) had a rematch with Cathy Nesbitt-Stein's Candy Apples Dance Center (CADC) team, and for the first time in over two years, the CADC won. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 14 titled "Hollywood, Round 2," the ALDC leaves their Pittsburgh, PA, hometown and returns to LA for three weeks, Nia Frazier and Kendall Vertes prepare to make music videos AND go head-to-head in competition, and the entire team takes an acting workshop run by Dallas Lovato (Demi Lovato's sister).

Billie Holiday's 100th Birthday Celebrated with New Releases, Tributes

Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
By A.D. AMOROSI

On April 7, 2015, Billie Holiday – jazz's greatest female vocal interpreter – would have turned 100 years old. To celebrate the occasion, cities integral in Holiday's history announced honors, Billie's official website was redesigned and relaunched, and there were record releases: compilations, full catalog unveilings, and separate tributes by jazz singers Cassandra Wilson (Coming Forth by Day) and Molly Johnson (Because of Billie).

David Lynch Quits Showtime Network's 'Twin Peaks' Reboot

David Lynch
By A.D. AMOROSI

On April 5, 2015, the famously cryptic David Lynch sent out a straightforward announcement that he was pulling out of the Showtime network's reboot of Twin Peaks, the surreal 90s TV series he co-authored with screenwriter Mark Frost. The reason? Money, according to Lynch. Showtime immediately responded that they're "holding out hope" they can work things out and bring Lynch back to Twin Peaks.

Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin Debuts at Philly Bartending Competition

Bartender Jesse Cornell at Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin Event
Bartender Jesse Cornell at Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin Event
By A.D. AMOROSI and REESE AMOROSI

When Philadelphia Distilling introduced Bluecoat Gin in 2006, it was heralded as one of the most drinkable gins on the market, a spirit less dry than traditional British gins. On April 2, the state-run liquor stores in Pennsylvania began stocking Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin, a small batch processed spirit – six barrels for every run – that will only be available until May 2. On March 25, at Iron Chef Jose Garces' Olde Bar, Philadelphia Distilling held a preview party and bartending competition for their newest offering. During the event, Bluecoat reintroduced the Clover Club, a gin-based cocktail that originated in Philly in the 1880s.

Sia Releases Third Video Starring Maddie Ziegler: "Big Girls Cry"

Maddie Ziegler in the video for "Big Girls Cry" by Sia
Maddie Ziegler stars in the video for "Big Girls Cry" by Sia
By REESE AMOROSI

Madison "Maddie" Ziegler, the 12-year-old phenom from reality TV show Dance Moms (Lifetime), is arguably the most famous dancer in the world right now, having starred in a trilogy of videos by pop chanteuse Sia: "Chandelier," "Elastic Heart," and the newly-released "Big Girls Cry," in which she runs through facial expressions and a mesmerizing, manic hand jive. In all three videos, directed by Sia and Daniel Askill and choreographed by Ryan Heffington, Maddie plays a young Sia while wearing the now-iconic costume of nude-colored leotard and platinum bob wig. With Sia's soaring vocals and Maddie's preternatural talent and lack of self-consciousness, they are an unforgettable duo.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E13 "Mackenzie's Time to Shine"

Mackenzie Ziegler of Dance Moms
'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E13 "Mackenzie's Time to Shine"
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, studio owner Abby Lee Miller and her Abby Lee Dance Company won first place in a competition against nemesis Cathy Nesbitt-Stein and her Candy Apples Dance Center (CADC) team. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 12 titled "Mackenzie's Time to Shine," Mack Z gets a chance to bask in the spotlight while big sister Maddie Ziegler is in NYC performing on Saturday Night Live with singer Sia (Maddie dances in her videos for "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart"), and the ALDC and CADC get a rematch.

Bibou Chef Ron Fougeray Leaves Philadelphia, Heads to Orange County

Chef Ron Fougeray and Tasting Menu Courses at Bibou, Phila PA
Bibou Chef Ron Fougeray Leaves Philadelphia, Heads to Orange County
By A.D. AMOROSI

On March 29, Bibou – one of Philadelphia's most innovative French restaurants – held the last of its popular $50 multi-course Sunday dinners with Chef Ron Fougeray. Fougeray is leaving town for the West Coast, and Bibou's owners – Chef Pierre Calmels and his wife, front-of-house boss Charlotte Calmels – are closing the BYOB for the month of April. They'll renovate Bibou, then reopen in May with Pierre in the kitchen offering tasting menus four nights a week for $100 per guest.

Philadelphia Restaurants Ulivo and Spitalieri's Closing March 28

Joanna Spitalieri of Spitalieri's Restaurant in Phila PA
Philadelphia Restaurants Ulivo and Spitalieri's Closing
By A.D. AMOROSI

Two Italian BYOBs in the Queen Village / South Street area of Philadelphia will close on March 28: one a longtime favorite, Ulivo, opened in November 2011; the other, Spitalieri's, a fairly recent addition to the block that we initially covered right before they opened in April 2014.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E12 Abby's Trash, Cathy's Treasure: ALDC vs. CADC

L to R - Kendall Vertes and JoJo Siwa on Dance Moms S5 E12
'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E12 "Abby's Trash, Cathy's Treasure"
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, Holly, Jessalynn and Kira (moms to Nia Frazier, JoJo Siwa and Kalani Hilliker, respectively) formed a pact to have each other's backs for issues with studio owner Abby Lee Miller. On the same episode, Abby presented JoJo with a team jacket and made her an Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) member for the rest of the season. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 12 titled "Abby's Trash, Cathy's Treasure," rival studio owner Cathy Nesbitt-Stein forms a new team made up of dancers with whom Abby declined to work. Meanwhile, "Elastic Heart" – Maddie Ziegler's 2nd video with Sia – is controversial, and Cathy discusses it with the press.

Japanese Restaurant coZara Reopens in University City

Japanese Restaurant coZara Reopens in University City
Japanese Restaurant coZara Reopens in University City
By A.D. AMOROSI

Hiroyuki Tanaka, owner of Zama restaurant in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square, re-opened his coZara Japanese eatery in University City on March 13. During the two weeks that coZara was closed, Tanaka renovated the 12-month-old space's décor (traditional rice paper and bamboo window treatments, Japanese geisha paintings along its walls and staircases), upgraded the menu and installed a brand new sushi bar on its first floor.

'Dance Mums UK' Recap S1 E1 It All Starts Here: Meet the JEDT

Jennifer Ellison of Dance Mums UK
Jennifer Ellison, star of Dance Mums UK
By REESE AMOROSI

Dance Mums UK is set in Liverpool and stars British triple-threat Jennifer Ellison, who began performing at age 3 and went on to conquer dance (numerous credits and awards), acting (film, stage and television) and singing (including two hits on the UK pop charts). As she says, she's "Been there, seen it, done it and won it." Jennifer's goal as the "Principal" of the Jennifer Ellison Dance Team (JEDT) is to lead the group to victory at the Dance World Cup in Portugal, but first, she'll guide the JEDT through a series of smaller competitions. On Dance Mums season 1, episode 1 titled "It All Starts Here," we meet the girls and mums of the JEDT as they prepare for TalentFest Wales.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E11 Nia's Last Chance: Holly Makes a Pact

Holly Frazier, star of Dance Moms season 5
Holly Frazier, star of Dance Moms season 5
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, studio owner Abby Lee Miller had Maddie Ziegler compete against guest dancer Brynn Rumfallo (they placed 1st and 2nd, respectively), and the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) was victorious over Cathy Nesbitt-Stein's Candy Apples team. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 11 titled "Nia's Last Chance," Abby gives Nia Frazier a solo with the caveat that if she doesn't place, she won't get another solo for a long while. Meanwhile, the tension between Abby and Holly (Nia's mom) leads to her making a pact to stand with Jessalynn (JoJo Siwa's mom) and Kira (Kalani Hilliker's mom). Also, Abby makes JoJo a permanent member of the ALDC for this season.

Garage Philly to Host Taproom on 19th Pop-up on March 13

Kielbasa cheeseburger from Taproom on 19th
Kielbasa cheeseburger from Taproom on 19th
By REESE AMOROSI

On Friday, March 13, Garage Philly – the former auto body shop that now houses a watering hole popular for its vast canned beer selection and "badass" food cart – will host a pop-up for Taproom on 19th, an unpretentious South Philly neighborhood pub with an upscale menu. The event will showcase a cheeseburger made with Polish kielbasa, and two Mexican-inspired dishes: Queso Frito and Grilled Zucchini. The food will be available from 6PM until it sells out.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E10: Is Brynn Rumfallo the New Maddie Ziegler?

Brynn Rumfallo on season 5 of Dance Moms
Brynn Rumfallo on season 5 of Dance Moms
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, teacher Abby Lee Miller and the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) left LA and returned to their home base of Pittsburgh, and the moms struggled for middle ground between those who obeyed Abby and those who defied her. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 10 "The New Maddie?" the moms deal with Abby's praise for guest dancer Brynn Rumfallo; Holly (Nia Frazier's mom) and Abby are still at odds; the ALDC dances against Abby's rival, Cathy Nesbitt-Stein, and her Candy Apples Dance Center (CADC). Also, CADC mom Brigette calls Cathy out in a big way, so she and her son, Lucas Triana, are dismissed. No worries; Lucas was quitting anyway.

Pennsylvania Ballet Principal Dancer Zachary Hench Retires

Zachary Hench and Lauren Fadeley in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake
Zachary Hench and Lauren Fadeley in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake
By REESE AMOROSI

Over the weekend at Philadelphia's Academy of Music, the Pennsylvania Ballet presented post-modern choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's re-interpretation of Swan Lake, the 19th Century ballet classic which runs there through March 15. At the March 8 matinee performance, the Pennsylvania Ballet bid adieu to Zachary Hench as its Principal Dancer. Hench will continue with the Company as Ballet Master.

Gene London: From Beloved TV Host to Hollywood Collection Curator

A.D. Amorosi and Gene London
A.D. Amorosi and Gene London
By A.D. AMOROSI

The world-renowned Philadelphia Flower Show is in full swing through March 8, 2015, and with it comes a classic Hollywood theme. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, hosts of the Flower Show, held a red carpet premiere on February 28 featuring clips of Philly-filmed favorites (Rocky, Mannequin, Blow Out, etc.) and an entrance garden with an Art Deco theater façade, chandeliers with hanging moss, rings of calla lilies and towering palms. The flowers are delightful, but the biggest star of that night, and of the entire PFS, is Gene London and his Hollywood Collection. London is a one-time local children's show host who, after his program's end, became both an expert on and collector of Hollywood’s rarest costumes.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E9 The Great Divide: ALDC Returns to Pittsburgh

Cast members from the Lifetime show Dance Moms
Cast members from the Lifetime show Dance Moms
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, teacher/manager Abby Lee Miller wanted the girls from the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) to pull out of appearing in a MattyB video, but only some of the moms complied. This week on Dance Moms season 4, episode 9 titled "The Great Divide," the ALDC returns home to Pittsburgh, PA after spending three weeks in Los Angeles, CA, and the moms are split between those who honored Abby's wishes, and those who defied her.

Madonna Announces Rebel Heart Tour for 2015

Madonna - Rebel Heart
Madonna - Rebel Heart
By A.D. AMOROSI

Madonna just announced the dates for her 35-city, international Rebel Heart Tour. The tour kicks off in Miami, FL at the American Airlines Arena on August 29, and will stop in major cities in North America and Europe including Philadelphia, PA (Wells Fargo Center, 9/24), Los Angeles, CA (The Forum, 10/27) and London (O2 Arena, 12/1). Tickets go on sale March 9 unless you happen to be an Icon (fan club) member, in which case you’ll have access to buying tix on March 3. Guess that recent fall at the Brit Awards hasn’t slowed her one bit.

Patrick Rodgers and Meals of Antiquity to Host Babylonian Pop-up Dinner

Royal Emmer at Meals of Antiquity Babylonian Dinner
Royal Emmer at Meals of Antiquity Babylonian Dinner
By A.D. AMOROSI

Philadelphia-area audiences know Patrick Rodgers for his Dancing Ferret Concerts goth events. Television viewers will remember Rodgers for his 2011 appearances on CNN, Fox News and The Colbert Report when he exposed Wells Fargo Bank for its illegal foreclosures. On March 1, however, Rodgers’ new enterprise, Meals of Antiquity, hosts a pop-up dinner in Old City’s Lucha Cartel with a Babylonian-inspired menu that he says “was 4,000 years in the making.” The March 1 event is sold out, but you can call to check for last-minute openings (Lucha Cartel, 207 Chestnut St, 267.761.9209). Also, Rodgers is hosting a second Babylonian dinner on March 15.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E8 Wild Wild West Coast, Part 2: Mega Mama Drama

L to R - Abby Lee Miller, Melissa Gisoni, Jill Vertes, Holly Frazier of Dance Moms season 5
L to R: Abby Lee Miller, Melissa Gisoni, Jill Vertes, Holly Frazier of Dance Moms
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) girls auditioned for a MattyB video. When Mackenzie Ziegler scored the lead role, Melissa (her mom) signed the contract without consulting teacher/manager Abby Lee Miller, who didn't want her pop star protégé in the video unless she got featured billing. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 8 titled "Wild Wild West Coast, Part 2," Abby wants ALL of the girls out of the video, but only Melissa and Jill (Kendall Vertes' mom) honor her wishes. It's a bold move for the others, because Abby never forgets. Meanwhile, the news that Abby plans to cut one girl from the team leads to mega mama drama.

Kid Rock Announces Tour and Releases 'First Kiss' Album

Kid Rock's new album First Kiss
Kid Rock's new album, First Kiss
By A.D. AMOROSI

Kid Rock is not a man to do anything small. Along with releasing his brand new album First Kiss on his new label (Top Dog/Warner Bros.) on February 24, he’ll put tickets on sale for his summer tour with Foreigner the same day. To make those shows affordable to all, tickets from the second row to the lawn seats will be $20. There will also be $20 all-in tickets (including parking) offered at participating Walmarts and venue box offices. Plus, the Kid will be on Howard Stern’s satellite Sirius-XM radio show on February 25 to talk about the whole shebang.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E7 Wild Wild West Coast, Part 1: ALDC and MattyB

L to R: Dance Moms stars Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler
L to R: Dance Moms stars Maddie Ziegler and Mackenzie Ziegler
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, Holly Frazier scored daughter Nia a recording session with singer Aubrey O'Day but didn't have dance teacher/talent manager Abby Lee Miller's approval, so Nia was cut from the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) group number. This week on Dance Moms season 5 episode 7 "Wild Wild West Coast, Part 1," it's the ALDC's last week in LA. Maddie Ziegler is away taping TV show Austin and Ally, so Abby brings in two alternates, Sarah Reasons and Brynn Rumfallo, who will dance with the girls at competition, and compete against them for a role in a MattyB video. Mackenzie Ziegler lands the lead, but Abby wants to pull her from the shoot unless she gets equal billing with MattyB.