The senses are stuffed with aural and visual excess as English tribute act Brit Floyd recreates the sonic mind expansion and visceral enlightenment of a real Pink Floyd show. The band of highly trained virtuosos and a quintet choir of chanteuses does justice to its subject like a jury of smitten rock critics, nailing every note and nuance of Pink Floyd’s signature sound. Rollicking through all of The Floyd’s epic oeuvre, the British group finesses a catalog of timeless hits, including “Wish You Were Here” and “Learning to Fly.” The elaborate stage setup replicates The Division Bell tour, replete with metamorphic lasers and lighting, avant-garde screen projections, and a mammoth ocular stargate, giving fans the closest thing to seeing a Pink Floyd show without being miniaturized and injected into their uncle’s subconscious.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
The visionary minds behind Brat Productions captivate audiences with immersive performances of engaging avant-garde theater. In Rock & Awe: Eternal Glamnation, Brat resident artist Jess Conda creates a multimedia odyssey where the world of cabaret plays Red Rover with rock ‘n’ roll's most glittery era since Elvis wore gold-sequined muttonchops. Local artists, actors, singers, and melody makers put bricks on the gas pedals of their creative engines, charging toward the intersection of theater and music. Brat performers transform into their glam-rock alter-egos as a soundtrack of '70s classics by T-Rex, Roxy Music, and David Bowie sprinkles the adventurous stage in sparkles, platform boots, and apropos androgyny.
Bikram Yoga Manayunk's classes aren't meant to be easy, but they are meant to accommodate virtually every student. The studio temperature hits 105 degrees, creating a more dynamic workout while simultaneously loosening taut muscles and helping students sink further into each stretch. Within this environment, the instructors encourage attendees to push themselves while still respecting their physical limits. The defined sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises never changes, although anyone can ease the difficulty of a particular asana by modifying the hold or tying helium balloons to their ankles.
As students transition from one deeply twisting stretch to the next, tissues are inundated with fresh, oxygenating blood flow, which helps revitalize the muscles and rejuvenate the mind. Instructors are always on hand to lend assistance when needed and to remind everyone to stay hydrated.
The building that would eventually become Merriam Theater opened as the Sam S. Shubert Theater in 1918, honoring the famous, theater-owning Shubert family’s youngest member, who died tragically in a train accident a decade earlier. Following the fortunes of its fellow theaters, the Merriam's inaugural years saw success with toe-tapping Gershwin musicals and spine-tingling Shakespearean performances by John Barrymore. As vaudeville petered out and the country slid into a depression, the theater struggled to pay the bills through more tawdry means, hosting burlesque shows and letting patrons see the stage without its curtain. The University of Arts eventually bought the building in 1972, and restored the venue to its former glory as host to the country's finest performers.
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