Review: Haunted Historic Colonial Williamsburg Virginia by Tim Scullion


By REESE AMOROSI

Although American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare recently aired its finale, fans of haunted houses don't have to travel far for a scare. Just 150 miles north of Roanoke, North Carolina, lies Williamsburg, Virginia, and within it, Historic Colonial Williamsburg, an area so reportedly rife with paranormal activity that there are guided ghost tours. While working as a tour guide, author and photographer Tim Scullion was inspired to document sightings, and this led to his latest book, Haunted Historic Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia: with Breakthrough Ghost Photography.

Saying 'I Do' with Celebrity Wedding Officiants

Timothy “Chio in the Morning” Acosta re-married wife Shawn with Celebrity Wedding Officiant Mike Jerrick

By A.D. AMOROSI

We've noticed a wealth of weddings officiated by someone not ordained or elected – not a priest, rabbi, judge, mayor or ship’s captain – but rather, someone regal in his own fashion. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead married Live Nation's Geoff Gordon and Sayeeda Kibria (now Gordon) between sets during his show at Philadelphia's Tower Theatre. Good Day Philadelphia host Mike Jerrick presided as Mix 106.1 FM’s Timothy “Chio in the Morning” Acosta re-married his wife Shawn. Throughout November, Grammy-nominated blues pop singer Elle King will be marrying couples during her "Matrimony Tour."

Comedian Murray Hill Looks to the Future and Tour with Bridget Everett

Comedian Murray Hill

By A.D. AMOROSI

Since the 1990s, alternative comedy has had a voice in Murray Hill, the cherubic Downtown NYC drag king entertainer known to one-and-all as "Mr. Show Biz," as well as the self-proclaimed "hardest-working middle-aged man" in comedy. Though a longtime fixture of the East Village's pre-gentrified performance art/comedy scene, it's only now that Hill is seeking greater fame with a Hollywood agent and a tour with Bridget Everett, the bawdy singing comedian who admits to having Hill as a nurturing inspiration. Their tour kicks off November 4 at The Fillmore in Philadelphia.

Henri David Hosts 48th Annual Halloween Ball on Mischief Night


By A.D. AMOROSI

For Halloween aficionados along the East Coast observing that this year the holiday falls on a school night, Henri David offers up his 48th Annual Halloween Ball on Sunday, October 30 (Mischief Night), at Philadelphia's Sheraton City Center Hotel. Rest assured that this party isn't just for locals: David's event is renowned for bringing in costumed revelers from as far away as New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Late Comedian Sam Kinison Still Enraging and Engaging in New Box Set

Sam Kinison
Sam Kinison
By A.D. AMOROSI

The late Sam Kinison was black comedy's scourge: a whip-smart ex-minister who turned religion and relationships into vicious screeds, all screamed at the top of his lungs. The comedian passed away at age 38 in a 1992 car accident, but his growl and ungodly hurtful jokes live on in a new box set, The Sam Kinison Definitive Comedy Collection of 3 CDs and 7 DVDs. While the audio-only portion of the box features Kinison's vintage comedy LPs (Louder Than Hell, Leader of the Banned, Have You Seen Me Lately), its video portions including HBO specials ('87's Breaking the Rules), posthumously discovered live shows and several documentaries offer fellow comedian's outlook on the infamous, brilliant comic.

Review: George Carlin 'I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die'

George Carlin: I Kinda Like it When a Lotta People Die
George Carlin: I Kinda Like it When a Lotta People Die
By A.D. AMOROSI

The late, legendary comedian George Carlin was renowned for his love of language: censored, like the famed "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" from his Class Clown album (1972), and commonly used and manipulative words and phrases that bugged him. Carlin was also known as a bit of a hoarder whose unused material is being divvied between the National Comedy Center (opening in Jamestown, NY in 2017) and the MPI label who, on September 16, will release I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die, a new album of never-before-heard Carlin routines

Interview: Stand-up Comics Sean Donnelly and Rus Gutin

Comedian Sean Donnelly
Comedian Sean Donnelly
By A.D. AMOROSI

On Sunday, August 21, stand-up comedian Sean Donnelly (notable for Comedy Central's The Half Hour) and Rus Gutin – comedian and promoter – will share the bill at the recently-opened Punch Line comedy club in Philadelphia. The lineup, which also features Luchana Gatica and James Mattern, also serves as the debut of Rus Gutin's Fishtown Premium, a showcase he hopes to bring to Punch Line on a regular basis. We spoke with Donnelly and Gutin about their long-time friendship and comic inspiration.

Review: Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks

Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks
Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks
By A.D. AMOROSI

To most people, singer Bobby Rydell is a happy voice from their past, a joyful, rock n' rolling presence best known for early 60s hits such as "Volare" and "Wild One" as well as Hollywood musicals such as 1963's Bye Bye Birdie. Now, you can add author to that list as the crooner – with fellow musician and writer Allan Slutsky – has penned and published his autobiography Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks.

Hall & Oates to Stream Concert from Camden's BB&T Pavilion

Hall & Oates receive plaque for platinum sales
L to R: Hall & Oates celebrate platinum sales with execs Jeremy Holiday and Adam Block (Legacy Recordings) and manager Jonathan Wolfson
By A.D. AMOROSI

Daryl Hall and John Oates may not currently spend much time (OK, any time) recording new music as a duo. Yet, as Hall & Oates, the Philadelphia-born, blue-eyed-soul twosome continue to create new work apart, host new milestones as a unit and tour together. On Sunday, July 10, 2016 beginning at 9 PM EST, the newest Hall & Oates show will stream live from Camden, NJ's BB&T Pavillion exclusively on Yahoo Music. Live Nation TV will present the July 10 show with a stream lasting for 24 hours at this Yahoo.com link. To see Hall & Oates tour in person (with opening acts Trombone Shorty and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings) visit Ticketmaster.com.

Interview: Don Rickles Discusses His 70+ Year Career in Comedy

Don Rickles and Regis Philbin
Don Rickles and Regis Philbin
By A.D. AMOROSI

Don Rickles may have just celebrated his 90th birthday in May of 2016, but the legendarily caustic stand-up comedian – famously a friend to show-biz greats such as Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Bob Newhart and Martin Scorsese – is not about to sit down. Known throughout his career as "Mr. Warmth" and "The Insult King," the comic who all but invented politically incorrect humor returns to Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on Saturday, June 11. This time he'll appear with his old pal, Regis Philbin. "I don't need him there, you know, I can do it myself," deadpans Rickles on suddenly having a comic foil for his act.

Lakaye Studio Brings Henna and Jagua Tattoos to the Masses

Earth Jagua Premium Kit from Lakaye Studio
Earth Jagua Premium Kit from Lakaye Studio
By REESE AMOROSI

Mehndi, the practice of temporarily staining the skin with plant-based dyes – usually ground henna leaves – is an ancient art with origins in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Many people associate mehndi with India, where pre-wedding celebrations often include ceremonies to paint intricate designs on brides (and sometimes grooms). In the 1990s, mehndi became popular in the West, largely due to being seen on celebrities like Madonna and Liv Tyler, and is now appreciated by a new wave of patrons and practitioners who often call the designs "henna tattoos." Along with using henna that results in a reddish-brown stain, Lakaye Studio offers jagua, a gel that develops into a blue-black color.

'Daily Show' to Broadcast from Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah
By A.D. AMOROSI

When Philadelphia plays host to the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center July 25th through the 28th, potential nominees Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders won't be the only celebrities in town. On April 14, it will be announced that Comedy Central's late night The Daily Show with Trevor Noah will also be in Philly, broadcasting live from University City's Annenberg Center from Monday July 25 until Thursday July 28.

Interview: Andrew Bird on Old Songs, New Songs and Fiona Apple

Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird
By A.D. AMOROSI

Violinist, composer and singer Andrew Bird has been making swinging, folkish, art pop as a soloist since 1996. Beginning with his first album, Music of Hair, and continuing with each recording and project (e.g. the soundtrack of the Louis C.K. produced FX Network sitcom Baskets) proving to be more intriguing than the last. No less is true of his newly released Are You Serious album, one that finds him singing his most personal, least cryptic lyrics yet (getting married and having a son can do that), crooning a duet with Fiona Apple and generally sounding as if he's loving life more than ever.

New Documentary Focuses on Career of Musician Kenn Kweder

Kenn Kweder
Kenn Kweder
By A.D. AMOROSI

With Adventures of a Secret Kidd: The Mass Hallucination of Kenn Kweder, documentary director John Hutelmyer has created a literate, harrowing, comic piece about one of the East Coast's most legendary folk rock heroes, Kenn Kweder. The film premieres Friday, March 25, at Philadelphia's International House in University City with several screenings, Q&A sessions and an acoustic showcase by the titular singer-songwriter.

PBS Chef Christina Pirello to Host a Series of Culinary Pop-up Events

Christina Pirello of  PBS Show Christina Cooks
Christina Pirello of the PBS show Christina Cooks
By A.D. AMOROSI

Many chefs and restaurants are currently using farm-to-table menus and healthy eating as a marketing tool. Christina Pirello, however, has been doing that for ages. Since the 2001 launch of her PBS series, Christina Cooks, the Philadelphia chef has prepared gourmet vegan dishes. On Friday, February 12, 2016, she'll start hosting culinary pop-up events dedicated to healthful eating. The first of these moveable feasts is a romantic, 5-course, pre-Valentine's Day dinner/cabaret with live music at Caffe Valentino in South Philadelphia.

Goodnight, Starman: Remembering David Bowie

David Bowie
David Bowie
By A.D. AMOROSI

David Bowie didn't seem like a man who would ever die, but rather go on forever-and-ever until he popped like a bubble or flamed out like a comet. Bowie was to me – and others like me who held his work as Pop scripture – a beacon, a prism, an avant-garde seal of approval. This wasn't just passive listening or a set of albums and shows – Bowie birthed a new world that touched on Burroughs, Rechy, Kubrick, Dylan, Czukay, Mackie, Brecht and beyond, without aping their sound and vision.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Inductees

Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick
By A.D. AMOROSI

The 2016 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced, and without a doubt, all of its nominees are deserving of the honor: rap act N.W.A. along with 1970s era rockers Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple and Steve Miller. The induction ceremony will be held on April 8 in Brooklyn's Barclays Center with HBO televising the event later that spring. While delighted for the Class of 2016 (especially Deep Purple who practically birthed heavy metal with "Smoke on the Water") one question must be asked: why not Chic, Nile Rodgers' influential disco band, who in its 10th year as a nominee, still failed to win induction.

New Releases (and Re-releases) Commemorate Frank Sinatra's 100th Birthday

Re-releases commemorate Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday
By A.D. AMOROSI

On December 12, 2015, Frank Sinatra would have been 100 years old.  He was always protean and strong, a sound and vision of the smart American male who had, in the words of author Gay Talese, "survived as a national phenomenon, one of the few pre-war products to withstand the test of time, "even in an age when the very young seem to be taking over, protesting and picketing and demanding change." Sinatra is the music of America's 20th Century, its swing, sway and romance. Though it's grand to celebrate his catalog of music and film at any time, marking 100 years just seems appropriate.

Glamorosi Recipe: Vanilla-Poached Quince and Membrillo Quince Paste

Glamorosi Recipe Membrillo (quince paste) with Manchego Cheese and Marcona almond
Membrillo (quince paste) with Manchego Cheese and Marcona almonds
By REESE AMOROSI

My late Father was a professional horse trainer, and in his job he traveled and befriended people in all walks of life. So, when we wanted something – no matter how obscure – my Father knew someone who had it. Such was the case for the elusive quince (Cydonia oblonga), the ancient, yellow, lumpy relative of apples and pears that some believe was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Quince is a rare find: it's not widely grown (in 2012 The New York Times reported that the USA's "entire quince crop covers a paltry 250 acres" compared to 350,000 acres of apples) and it's almost never seen in stores. My Father, of course, knew a man with quince trees on his land, and every Fall he'd invite us to pick as much of the fragrant fruit as we desired. We'd gather the quince (or, more accurately, I'd gather quince while my Father and his friend talked horses) and then spend months cooking through our repertoire of quince recipes.

Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq' Adapts Ancient Greek Play to Show Modern Chicago Violence

Spike Lee's Chi-Raq - the film and soundtrack released on December 4, 2015
Spike Lee's Chi-Raq film and soundtrack released on December 4, 2015
By A.D. AMOROSI

Director and writer Spike Lee has done smart and sexy film, hard satirical film and Afro-conscious socio-political film in his past with, respectively, She's Gotta Have It, School Daze and Do the Right Thing. Those early flicks created the blueprint for his films to follow (save for Inside Man, his heist drama anomaly). With Chi-Raq, Lee's new "joint" released on December 4, Lee merges all three concepts into one bawdy, colorful dramedy based on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the 5th-Century B.C. play in which women organize sex strikes to stop men from making war. Lee's modern setting is present-day Chicago with warring gangs and black-on-black violence as the reason the women withhold sex.

Vetri Named Best Italian Restaurant in America

Chef Marc Vetri and food writer Rick Nichols at the 2015 Great Chefs Event
Chef Marc Vetri and food writer Rick Nichols at the 2015 Great Chefs Event
By A.D. AMOROSI

Executive chef and culinary entrepreneur Marc Vetri is known nationally for his annual Great Chefs Event for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and his Eatiquette program that provides healthy dining options to school cafeterias. This week, however, Vetri and his business partner Jeff Benjamin won acclaim for something more personal: Vetri's self-titled boutique restaurant at 1312 Spruce Street in Philadelphia was named the Best Italian Restaurant in America by Time Out Magazine.

David Bowie Drops 'Blackstar' Single and Video, Launches 'Lazarus' Musical

David Bowie
David Bowie
By A.D. AMOROSI

Starting with the preview of his art theater musical Lazarus at Off Broadway's New York Theater Workshop, David Bowie fans are having their best week ever. On November 19, Bowie will drop his new single, ★ (pronounced "Blackstar") and its accompanying video, both from the album of the same name that will be released on January 8 2016, his 69th birthday. November 19 is the same day that Blackstar is available for pre-order, something fans should jump on quickly as differing packages featuring clear vinyl, die-cut covers and lithographs all sold in limited editions will be available at davidbowie.com.

Sebastian Schipper Film 'Victoria' is a One-Take Wonder

A still from the Sebastian Schipper film Victoria
A still from the Sebastian Schipper film Victoria
By A.D. AMOROSI

Cineastes and critics still in awe of Orson Welles' 1958 film noir Touch of Evil and its 3-minute, 20-second opening tracking shot, take a seat. Director Sebastian Schipper's new film Victoria is a rare, magical treat, a film that was made in, as its poster states, "One city. One night. One take." Victoria was shot in a continuous, 134-minute take across 20+ locations in Berlin, Germany – cafes, nightclubs, etc. The English and German language flick that won three awards at the Berlin International Film Festival 2015 opens wide on October 30.

Peaches Brings Her 'Rub' Tour to Philadelphia and Washington DC

Peaches by Daria Marchik
Peaches
By A.D. AMOROSI

Fifteen years after her debut, 2000's The Teaches of Peaches, Merrill Nisker – aka Peaches, Canada's queen of rude electro – is continuing to seed the sexual path she's long tilled with her new album, Rub. There is but one major change: "Everything is much the same as when we started, but it's taken 15 years for people to get it," says Peaches during a recent interview. "People wondered if I was a one-trick-pony with all the albums and tours in-between my first album and Rub, but I've lasted. It's nice to stick around and reap the rewards." On October 25 and 26, audiences in Philadelphia and Washington DC (The Trocadero and the 9:30 Club, respectively) will learn just what Peaches is teaching.

Miley Cyrus Announces Club Tour for Fall 2015

Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz will tour clubs this Fall
Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz will tour clubs this Fall
By A.D. AMOROSI

As soon as Miley Cyrus finished hosting the season opener of NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL) on October 3, the singer's PR team went into full-swing and sent post-midnight press releases announcing a special limited-run club tour that would start on November 19, 2015 in Chicago, and includes dates in New York City, Washington DC, Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston. For this tour, Cyrus is accompanied by Her Dead Petz aka Wayne Coyne's Flaming Lips, who, with the singer, released the internet-only album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. Tickets go on sale October 7 at 4 p.m. EST at http://www.Ticketmaster.com.