Prepping for Philly’s celebratory Independence Day—despite a love of seasonal hot dog cuisine, but without condiments (yeah, I’m that guy)—genuinely seems wrong with the recent decision of the Supreme Court riding against women and 1973’s Roe V Wade occurring only days before July 4th. Way-of-life altering as it is, the SCOTUS decision is one you can’t imagine having happened in our lifetime. And just because Pennsylvania allows safe and legal abortions, for now, the fight for the soul of this state and the right to choose comes to a vote between Josh Shapiro and Doug Mastriano this November. And even then, anti-abortion advocates are working on PA constitutional bills to steal women’s freedom. Now, I’m not telling you to not enjoy this weekend. I am, however, reminding you that we’re not altogether so free as to get excited about fireworks that go ‘boom.’
I can’t say much now, as I was sworn to secrecy, but look for Philly to get two brand new live music venues – both intimate, one 500+ capacity, the other, a little over 700 attendees – before winter 2022. Operated by the same owner, each venue will fill a necessary gap in this city’s live independent music scene.
Did you know that, despite huge ratings, acclaim and real possibilities of 2022 Emmy nominations, that local writer, show creator and Time Person of the Year Quinta Brunson does not want credit for ABC network’s ‘Abbott Elementary‘? Brunson stood up for ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS in Variety Magazine the other day by stating, “She’s grateful for the love, but she isn’t so sure about that particular compliment. Network, all this time, has still been putting big comedies on the air. CBS especially was banging out shows with super high ratings, like ‘Young Sheldon.’ ‘The Big Bang Theory’ was on the air forever. And ABC: ‘The Conners,’ ‘The Goldbergs,’ ‘Black-ish.’ They’re holding their own.” Good on Brunson for making the hype smaller than it seems.
We’ll surely have more to say about this shortly, but, Philly’s Tired Hands Brewing founder and showrunner Jean Broillet IV apparently is back in action after one year of “reflection” after employees accused him of running things fueled by toxic masculinity.
Despite rumors of its post 2022 imminent demise, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the oldest continuously run outdoor music festival in North America, just announced the daily lineup for its 60th anniversary celebration running Aug. 18-21 at its usual, bucolic, campground location of Old Pool Farm, PA. While you could check folkfest.org for who is playing when, having old, new and racially diverse faces such as The Punch Brothers, Watchhouse featuring Sarah Jarosz, Arrested Development, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Hiss Golden Messenger, The War & Treaty and fest veterans Christine Lavin and Tom Rush sounds as if the Philly Folk Fest has life in it yet.
Unmasked Philly: Craig Storrod aka George Washington
Who better to discuss the soul of our country this week, without a mask, than the first occupier of the White House, the general who navigated the waters of the Delaware River against the British and the wooden-teethed wonder, George Washington? Or the next best thing, Craig Storrod—the British actor portraying Washington in Theater Unspeakable’s live stage production, ‘The American Revolution‘, at Christ Church Neighborhood House through July 4.
I caught up with Storrod (who in real life, just had a baby with his wife. Congrats!) preparing for an afternoon matinee of being the father of our country, and answering my nosy questions thusly. Huzzah.
Amorosi: General Washington, how do you and your soldiers spend your off hours when not fighting the American Revolution?
Washington: If we desire to experience personal prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times searching for the peace of mind that can only be found when one is embedded within the outdoor environment. There is no more powerful instrument of enduring joy than to ride free on horseback taking in the splendor of our great nation.
Amorosi: Of what career moment are you most proud?
Washington: By the all-power dispensations of Providence, I have been rewarded beyond all human probability with the responsibility of leading a fledgling nation through its darkest hours. Death was leveling my companions on every side, yet I escaped unhurt. Contending for liberty on our own ground will make me proud forever more.
Amorosi: What is your favorite music and book and why?
Washington: Here is a sample lyric from “The Derby Ram”: “The Wool upon his back, Sir, Reached up unto the sky, The Eagles made their nests there, Sir, For I heard the young ones cry. Daddle-i-day”. This is the lore of a beast so gargantuan that it could make day into night. My book? 110 Rules of Civility. Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you are to lead honourable men, you must so too be, an honourable man, of manners, civility and unimpeachable integrity.
Amorosi: What do you like most about Philadelphia?
Washington: An auspicious moment for me arrived on April 20, 1789, when I arrived in Philadelphia to be greeted by well-wishers and brave veterans of our fight for independence. Revelers filled the doors, windows and street and were greater than on any other occasion we ever remember. We’ll always encourage the nation to show favor to those Philly jawns.