Philadelphia artist Charles Burwell, whose artwork appeared on the cover of our Summer issue, attended an event in his honor at Bridgette Mayer Gallery.
Fall brings me back indoors and back to the theater. October is when many of the 2015–2016 seasons begin, from splashy stage productions to moving string recitals. I often think back over the many standout shows I’ve seen—last year’s debut of Kinky Boots, The Philly Pops Christmas concert when Peter Nero was at the helm, and my first major musical in the 1980s, A Chorus Line, when I was too young to understand most of the jokes but not too young to be wowed by the finale—and I wonder which new shows will become part of my personal highlights reel.
For the City of Philadelphia, every show is a winner. This piece of Philly’s arts and culture pie has a huge economic impact on the region. It’s a remarkable paper trail to follow: You buy tickets to a show. Then you book restaurant reservations before the show at that place around the corner you’ve been dying to try. The production concludes just after 10 pm, but it’s still early, so you grab cocktails before heading home. If you’re traveling into Philadelphia from out of town, you may have decided to make a night of it, so you go back to your hotel, where the next day you will have breakfast or wander through Rittenhouse to shop. Taxis will be taken and cars will be parked. Are you counting the cash yet? From just that one ticket purchase, a whole lot of money got spread around the 215—especially last year when The Book of Mormon (which is back again this year) broke the house record previously set just three years earlier with Jersey Boys. We cover the season’s best opening performances in this issue’s Hottest Ticket.
With Charles and Justin Pizzi at the Barnes Foundation for this edition’s story on fathers and sons.
Arguably the month’s most coveted tickets will be those to see the Dalai Lama during two major Philadelphia events: the National Constitution Center’s prestigious Liberty Medal ceremony and a public forum at Temple University. His visit, on the heels of Pope Francis’s history-making appearance in September, is perfectly timed with this edition’s annual Men’s Issue theme. A beloved spiritual leader with international influence is hard to compete with, but the Philadelphia men on the pages that follow have an undeniable spirit that’s all their own. Those indefinable qualities—anchored by the obvious ones like confidence, intelligence, kindness, and humor— came to life when we brought together Philly’s favorite fathers and sons for a day at the Barnes Foundation. Individually, we best know them through the professional titles listed on their business cards. But when they’re together they slip right into the father-son roles familiar to all of us. This session at one of the city’s most important museums did nothing to change the mood for these duos—they could have just as easily been talking about the day’s news and sports in the privacy of their homes, away from writers, stylists, photographers, and assistants. We capture these conversations— and much more—in our “Generation Next” feature.
The Men’s Issue is always a fun one to produce. I hope you enjoy reading it just as much as we enjoyed putting these pages together.