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.

Sports Writer Gabe Oppenheim Releases 'Boxing in Philadelphia' Book

Boxing in Philadelphia by Gabe Oppenheim
Boxing in Philadelphia by Gabe Oppenheim
By A.D. AMOROSI

With his debut book Boxing in Philadelphia: Tales of Struggle and Survival, Philly sports writer Gabe Oppenheim realizes a longtime dream of his by placing the City of Brotherly Love, its classic pugilists and historic events of the fight game alongside other legendary boxing towns and arenas. Oppenheim read from his book in Philadelphia last night (February 17), and will do so again on March 24 at the Muhlenberg Branch of the New York Public Library (209 West 23rd Street, NYC, 212.924.1585).

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E6: Nia Risks it All to Record with Aubrey O'Day

Nia Frazier, star of Dance Moms on Lifetime
Nia Frazier, star of Dance Moms on Lifetime
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) moved to Los Angeles, but once there, teacher/talent manager Abby Lee Miller left the team on its own for several days. Abby did attend an audition with the girls, but she criticized Nia Frazier in front of the casting directors, a move that led to mom Holly Frazier going around Abby to get her daughter a professional gig. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 6 titled "Nia Risks it All," Holly scores Nia a recording session with Aubrey O'Day, and as a result, Abby cuts Nia from the group routine.

The War on Drugs to Play the Tower Theater on March 27

Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs
Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs
By A.D. AMOROSI

With each of their albums since 2008, Philadelphia band The War on Drugs gets bigger, better and more majestic. There’s a level of restless experimentation between that year’s Wagonwheel Blues and 2014’s Lost in the Dream – guided primarily by its singing songwriter Adam Granduciel – that’s taken the band from their blue collar indie-rock roots to something grander and more nuanced in its arrangements and lyrical output. Now, The War on Drugs is gearing up for its largest tour to date including a show at Upper Darby’s Tower Theater on Friday, March 27. Tickets go on sale on February 9 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST.

Al Pacino to Perform 'One Night Only' at Caesars Atlantic City

Al Pacino
Al Pacino
By A.D. AMOROSI

After wowing crowds with his Shakespearian recitations at the annual Academy Ball and Concert at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, Al Pacino announced an odd and lovely performance event called One Night Only. The show will hit Caesars Circus Maximus Theater in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday, March 28, 2015; pre-sale for tickets begins February 5.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E5 Hello Hollywood, Goodbye Abby: ALDC Moves to LA

Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller in her car
Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller in her car
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, as the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) prepared to move to Los Angeles, dance coach/ talent manager Abby Lee Miller emphasized that the moms shouldn't book gigs without her; the moms wanted assurance that Abby would promote all of the girls, not just her favorites. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 5 "Hello Hollywood, Goodbye Abby" the ALDC moves to LA, but Abby is stressed out and emotional and abandons the team. When Abby IS present, she criticizes Nia Frazier in front of casting directors, which leads to Holly Frazier going around Abby to get daughter Nia work. Meanwhile, the team doesn't get a warm welcome from their LA competitors who want to "make Abby cry" and "squash" the ALDC.

Nile Rodgers and Chic Sign Warner Brothers Deal for First New Album in Decades

Nile Rodgers
Nile Rodgers
By A.D. AMOROSI

Nile Rodgers made news this week. On February 3, his biggest hit with his band Chic, 1979's "Le Freak," will be inducted into the 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame with Rodgers receiving the President's Merit Award during the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' (NARAS) 8th Annual Grammy Week Celebration (the Grammy Awards are Sunday February 8). Better still for Nile lovers, he announced on February 2 that he, Chic, and his Land of the Good Groove label signed a long-term deal with Warner Brothers; it will be their first record in nearly 25 years.

Interview: Marky Ramone on Life as a Ramone, Writer and Entrepreneur

Marky Ramone
Marky Ramone
By A.D. AMOROSI

When it comes to interviewing Marky Ramone, there are many topics to touch on. He was a heavy metal drummer (Dust) who made his bones with transvestite rocker Wayne County and punk avatar Richard Hell. He was the first, non-original Ramones member and has carried on that band’s legend with his act, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. He’s a satellite radio host for SiriusXM, a noted culinary entrepreneur selling his own ice cream, marinara sauce, cookies and beer, and now, an author with the release of his autobiographical Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone. Marky Ramone will appear at Philadelphia’s Free Library’s main branch on January 29 at 7 PM as part of his ongoing book tour.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E4 Bye Bye Pittsburgh: ALDC Prepares for LA Move

Abby Lee Miller, star of Dance Moms on Lifetime
Abby Lee Miller, star of Dance Moms on Lifetime
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, Maddie Ziegler was in LA working with Sia (Maddie stars in Sia's "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart" videos), so studio owner Abby Lee Miller invited JoJo Siwa (from season 2 of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition) to perform with the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC). This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 4 "Bye Bye Pittsburgh," it's the team's last few days before their move to LA, and it's JoJo's last chance to convince Abby to give her a permanent spot with the group. Like the other dancers, Nia Frazier is anticipating the move and wondering how it will affect her career, but she has the added pressure of facing her grandfather's illness. Meanwhile, the moms wonder if Abby will promote all of the ALDC girls in LA, or just her favorites.

Numero Group Releases 'Ork Box' Featuring Punk Rock Pioneers

Numero Group's Ork Box
Numero Group's Ork Box
By A.D. AMOROSI

Ork Records was arguably punk’s first record label, an operation started in 1975 by Terry Ork as a vinyl outlet for downtown New York City bands he managed including Television. The singles label only operated for 4 years and was all but forgotten since that time. Yet, its artists are seminal names within the framework of punk iconography, several of whom continue their mission. So, 40 years after its start, the label gets a comprehensive anthology – Ork Records Singles Collection, lovingly known as the Ork Box – just in time for April 18: Record Store Day 2015.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E3: JoJo with a Bow Bow Performs with ALDC

Dancer JoJo Siwa and her mom Jessalyn
Dancer JoJo Siwa and her mom Jessalynn
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, studio owner Abby Lee Miller was served with legal documents (she's being sued by former student Paige Hyland), she tangled with dance teacher Jeanette Cota (her daughter Ava was on Abby's season 4 Select Team), and she had a terrible argument with Holly Frazier (Nia's mom). This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 3 titled "JoJo with a Bow Bow," Maddie Ziegler is in LA working with singer Sia, so Abby brings in two girls to perform with the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC): Sarah Hunt from the Select Team, and JoJo Siwa, a contestant from season 2 of Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition (AUDC).