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Jason Raia
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Sondheim Off Broadway with Pacific Overtures
Today it was Sondheim, again. Directed by minimalist John Doyle, again. I first saw Doyle direct in the brilliant  2005 version of  Sweeney Todd , followed soon after by the slightly less brilliant (ok, derivative) Company . I'm a fan, and Pacific Overtures...

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Hello, Bette!*
Some Broadway shows tell a poignant story, others are fall down funny, and still others showcase a selection of songs. Then, there is the star vehicle. Hello, Dolly! is just that, and there is no more perfect a star for the role of Dolly Levi today than Bet...

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109th Bethlehem Bach Festival
Photo of BCB from bach.org. When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to play the oboe. I have no idea why I wanted to play this obscure instrument. It's not sexy like the trumpet  or the sax, and it's not quirky like the trombone or fun like the drums, but regar...

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#12 - Cheu Noodle Bar
Philadelphia Magazine came out with their latest Top 50 Restaurants list, and I have set myself a goal for 2015. I want to eat my way through every restaurant on the list. Now many of them I have already enjoyed immensely - like Marc Vetri's four restaurant...

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Lev Grossman's Magicians Trilogy
Sometimes, it pays to discover a trilogy only upon the final installment is published. Thanks to Aisha Tyler, who has mentioned The Magicians by Lev Grossman several times on her Girl on Guy podcast , I embarked on this epic journey just as The Magician's L...

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Jake Shimabukuro Live in Pennsylvania
Jake Shimabukuro opens with "More Ukulele" in Manheim, PA Thursday night I went to see  Jake Shimabukuro play his tenor ukulele live in concert in Manheim, Pennsylvania, part of his 2014 Uke Nation Tour. Quite simply, it was amazing. Playing the ukulele fro...

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The Golem and the Jinni
Helene Wicker's first novel, The Golem and the Jinni , may be the first great work of magical realism of the twenty-first century. Though her two main characters are mythical creatures, one from Judaism and the other from the desert tribes of Arabia, when t...
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