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World music superstar Angélique Kidjo remains active on the virtual stage

Katherine Blodgett  ·  Posted April 30, 2020

World Music Annenberg Center Recommends

Chart-topping world music superstar Angélique Kidjo shone radiantly when she performed in the Zellerbach Theatre back in February (co-presented by World Café Live) and she remains a beacon of light since then, participating in multiple projects that push her incredible artistry out into the virtual space for us all to enjoy. This busy, four-time Grammy® Award winner recently performed on the new online series Live with Carnegie Hall, along with Nigerian Afropop star Yemi Alade, Senegalese singer-guitarist Baaba Maal, and another recent Annenberg Center performer, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves. The session was moderated by John Schaefer of WNYC. 

Kidjo also performed Bella Bellow’s “Blewu” with Yo-Yo Ma as part of his #SongsofComfort series, appeared on Read more...

The ultimate resource for all things dance on the web

Posted April 29, 2020

Dance Annenberg Center Recommends

Countless dance companies have risen in quick and wonderful ways to help us through the pandemic. In addition to sharing their artistry through exclusive archival footage for all to enjoy watching, many of our favorite dancers and companies are teaching us, motivating us to stand up and move with classes for all ages. Following is a selection of the virtual dance that is flooding our feeds at the Annenberg Center.  Read more...

ListenUp: Jazz Playlist

Posted April 29, 2020

ListenUp Jazz

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

Posted April 29, 2020

Special Features


The Pennchants 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

Posted April 28, 2020

Theatre Family Children's Festival

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

Posted April 23, 2020

Family Children's Festival

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.

Watch Here



ListenUp: Early Music Playlist

Posted April 22, 2020

ListenUp Early Music

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

Anne-Marie Mulgrew  ·  Posted April 22, 2020

Dance Annenberg Center Recommends

Pilobolus, 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

Rachel Messeck  ·  Posted April 22, 2020

Special Features Music

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

Posted April 21, 2020

Music Jazz Annenberg Center Recommends

Emmet Cohen, 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. 

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