Weekend Pick: James Beard Foundation Launches Better Burger Project

The James Beard Foundation's Better Burger Project poster
The James Beard Foundation's Better Burger Project runs May 25-July 31, 2015
By A.D. AMOROSI

What could be a better food pick for the Memorial Day weekend than news about hamburgers? On May 25th – Memorial Day 2015 – the James Beard Foundation (JBF) launches the Better Burger Project, a contest and challenge held in restaurants across America, to make the best hamburger by blending ground meat with cultivated mushrooms for sustainable, healthier meals. The Better Burger Project runs through July 31, 2015; you can vote for your favorites through Instagram.

Dance Moms Recap S5 E20 Down Under, Part 1

The cast of Dance Moms on the red carpet at the ASTRA Awards in Australia
The cast of Dance Moms on the red carpet at the ASTRA Awards in Australia
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, studio owner Abby Lee Miller announced that the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) would be traveling to Australia. This week on season 5, episode 20 titled "Dance Moms Down Under, Part 1," the team arrives in Sydney and prepares for their performance at the ASTRA Awards, but Abby is stuck in the U.S. because she loses her passport. In addition to that drama, Abby schedules the team for additional appearances in Australia but excludes two of the girls, Nia Frazier and JoJo Siwa. Also, the adults on Dance Moms really like the word "s--t."

Weekend Pick: Philadelphia Goes to the Dogs - Pet Adoption Events

Fliers for pet adoption events in Philadelphia
Fliers for pet adoption events in Philadelphia on Sunday, May 17
By REESE AMOROSI

On Sunday, May 17, Philadelphia goes to the dogs, in a wonderful way, when two organizations – Street Tails Animal Rescue (via SPADO) and Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia – hold separate outdoor events highlighted by adoptions for pet lovers to find four-legged family members.

'The Mountain' from 'Game of Thrones' to Appear in Philadelphia May 14-17

Hafpor Julius Bjornsson plays Gregor Clegane aka The Mountain on Game of Thrones
Hafpor Julius Bjornsson plays 'The Mountain' on Game of Thrones
By A.D. AMOROSI

Game of Thrones fans looking for action before their usual Sunday night of viewing can check out Hafpor Julius Bjornsson live in Philadelphia, PA, between May 14 and May 17. The world class wrestler-turned-actor who plays "Gregor Clegane" aka "The Mountain" on the HBO hit series will be at Devil's Den (1148 S. 11th St.) on May 14 from 5 to 6 PM, and will also take part in the first Philadelphia Renaissance Faire (4100 Chamounix Drive in Fairmount Park) on May 16 and 17 from noon to 8:30 PM.

John Cooper Clarke Plays America for First Time in Three Decades

Dr. John Cooper Clarke
Dr. John Cooper Clarke
By A.D. AMOROSI

When Dr. John Cooper Clarke plays Philadelphia's World Café Live on Monday, May 11, he brings with him the pedigrees of being a British first wave punk original (circa 1977), a published poet of the highest order, an artist whose music has been heard on HBO's The Sopranos and he holds an honorary doctorate from England's University of Salford. Plus, with his ever-present black sunglasses, skinny suits and high, corkscrew hairdo, Cooper will always look like the Bob Dylan of Don't Look Back fame.

Weekend Pick: 'Almost Midnight Madness' Wine Dinner at Il Pittore

Chef Chris Painter at Il Pittore
Chef Chris Painter at Il Pittore
By A.D. AMOROSI

On Saturday, May 9, famed restaurateur Stephen Starr and co-owner/Chef Chris Painter will stay up late when they hold an Almost Midnight Madness dinner at their Il Pittore in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse area (2025 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103). The four-course dinner will begin at 11 PM, and will feature wine pairings by Roberto Damonte, the owner and winemaker of Piemonte’s Roero Vineyards.

Dance Moms Recap S5 E18 Mid-Season Finale: Showdown in Pittsburgh Part 2

JoJo Siwa and Maddie Ziegler, stars of Dance Moms on Lifetime
L to R: JoJo Siwa and Maddie Ziegler, stars of Dance Moms on Lifetime
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, Nia Frazier premiered the music video for her single "Star in Your Own Life," but some of her Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) teammates didn't make the party because they were at JUMP, a dance convention. This week on the Dance Moms season 5, episode 18 mid-season finale titled "Showdown in Pittsburgh, Part 2," Abby Lee Miller and the ALDC are scheduled to compete with two rivals – Cathy Nesbitt Stein and her Candy Apples Dance Center (CADC) and Jeanette Cota and her Broadway Dance Academy (BDA) – but they are late for the show and risk disqualification.

New Chefs, Drinks and Dishes Debut at Taste of the Nation 2015

Creekstone Farms' David Katz and Philly chef Jen Zavala at Taste of the Nation 2015
Creekstone Farms' David Katz and Philly chef Jen Zavala at Taste of the Nation
By A.D. AMOROSI

On May 3, Taste of the Nation, the largest charity event from Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry initiative, held its annual festival in Philadelphia at Loews Hotel with 50 of the city's best chefs, bartenders and restaurants giving away food and drink for a good cause. The event raised over $35,000 for No Kid Hungry and its beneficiaries, which equates to giving children access to 350,000 meals, according to Samantha DeNafo from Share Our Strength.

Weekend Pick: South Street Spring Festival on Saturday, May 2

Glamorosi Magazine Weekend Pick - South Street Festival
 Glamorosi Magazine Weekend Pick: South Street Festival on Saturday, May 2
By A.D. AMOROSI

On Saturday, May 2, the street where hippies meet will host the annual South Street Headhouse District Spring Festival from 11 AM to 8 PM, between Front and 8th Street and along Headhouse Plaza. As always, the day-long party is a celebration of that famous neighborhood with live music and shopping including 150+ vendors, 40+ bands, and 30+ restaurants and bars participating.

Dance Moms Recap S5 E17 Showdown in Pittsburgh, Part 1: Nia's Video Premiere

Nia Frazier premiered her Star in Your Own Life video on Dance Moms season 5 episode 17
Nia Frazier premiered her "Star in Your Own Life" video on Dance Moms
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, Abby Lee Miller and her Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) were in LA, and Jill Vertes and Holly Frazier ramped up the mama drama while their daughters – Kendall K and Nia Frazier, respectively – shot music videos. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 17 titled "Showdown in Pittsburgh, Part 1," Abby and the team are back in Pittsburgh, PA; Holly plans a premiere party for Nia's "Star in Your Own Life" video; and the ALDC prepares to compete against two rivals: Cathy Nesbitt-Stein, owner of the Candy Apples Dance Center (CADC), and Jeanette Cota, owner of the Broadway Dance Academy (and mom of former ALDC Select Team member Ava Cota).

Philadelphia's Deesha Dyer Named as Special Assistant to the President

President Obama
President Obama
By A.D. AMOROSI

In mid-April 2015, the United States' White House announced that Philadelphia-native Deesha Dyer had been promoted to Special Assistant to the President and Social Secretary. This is a considerable leap for a woman who started as a young White House intern in 2009, then served as Deputy Director and Hotel Program Director in the Obama administration's White House Office of Scheduling and Advance. Mostly though, Dyer's new job is just one more step in the fine career of a Philadelphian who was a club promoter and a freelance reporter.

East Passyunk Celebrates Flavors of the Avenue and Grace & Pat's Opening

From Plenty for East Passyunk Flavors of the Avenue, Crostini with Tasso ham, fig jam, sliced green apple and Gruyere
From Plenty: Crostini with Tasso ham, fig jam, sliced green apple and Gruyere
By A.D. AMOROSI

On Sunday, April 26, East Passyunk Avenue (EPA) – home to South Philadelphia's famed Restaurant Row – will show off its finest culinary wares in one place at the 8th annual Flavors of the Avenue under the big top tent between Tasker and Morris Avenues from noon to 4 PM. That same day will also be the debut of East Passyunk Avenue's newest eatery, Grace & Pat's ristorante, across from EPA's Singing Fountain.

'Dance Moms' Recap S5 E16 Video Killed the ALDC Star: Abby vs. Aubrey

Nia Frazier and Kendall Vertes, stars of Dance Moms on Lifetime
L to R: Nia Frazier and Kendall Vertes, stars of Dance Moms on Lifetime
By REESE AMOROSI

Previously on Dance Moms, Abby Lee Miller and the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) were victorious in their rematch with Erin Babbs and the Murrieta Dance Project. This week on Dance Moms season 5, episode 16 titled "Video Killed the ALDC Star," the ALDC spends their last week in LA in a competition judged by kids, and the ongoing tension between Holly (Nia Frazier's mom) and Jill (Kendall Vertes' mom) comes to a head as both of their daughters shoot music videos, one produced by Abby (Kendall), and one not (Nia).

The Spirit of 'The Honeymooners' Jackie Gleason Lives on in 'To the Moon'

A still from To the Moon by 1812 Productions
A still from "To the Moon" by 1812 Productions
By A.D. AMOROSI

On April 22, 1812 Productions – Philadelphia's sole "all-comedy theatre company" – premieres To the Moon, a fantastical tale of a hard working mook who dreams of hitting the big time, whatever that may be, with The Honeymooners' Jackie Gleason as his ideal. The play stars Scott Greer, known to 2015 audiences as the critically-acclaimed lead in Theatre Exile's The Whale (and also for the press surrounding his titular role in that company's upcoming Rizzo), is directed by Matt Pfeiffer and is written by 1812's Artistic Director (and Greer's wife) Jennifer Childs, with additional choreography from Bill Irwin.

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.