Spotlight Philly: Celebrity news, local gossip and stories about the city you love

Spotlight Philly
Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky

Fresh from her victory at the 2022 Grammys and prizes for best R&B performance (‘Pick Up Your Feelings’) and best R&B album (Heaux Tales), Philly’s Jazmine Sullivan – who still lives and records at home – has the honor of singing and co-composing the theme song for ‘Till’, the biography of 14-year-old Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till, seeking justice for her son’s torture and lynching in 1955. The song is titled, “Stand Up,” and Sullivan co-wrote it with Dernst ‘D’Mile’ Emile II, and it is already being shortlisted for best original song for the 2023 Academy Awards.

“Stand Up” will be released on Oct. 7. ‘Till’ comes out Oct. 14.

Speaking of the Oscars, Netflix’s shot-in-Philly basketball flick, ‘Hustle’, is quietly mounting its Academy Awards nominating campaign for actor/producer Adam Sandler and director/Philadelphian Jeremiah Zagar. Meanwhile, Sandler has upcoming  stand-up comedy tour dates in the area—at Allentown’s PPL Center on Oct. 21, and in Atlantic City on Oct. 28 at the Hard Rock Live’s Etess Arena.

Philadelphia Iron Chef Jose Garces will open a second Amada, his flagship Old City tapas restaurant, on the Main Line. In keeping with local restaurateurs seeing double, the sweet and spicy Kalaya of South Philly Italian Market fame is branching out and branding anew in Fishtown.

After 35 years, Philly’s Marty Moss-Coane, the voice and producer of “Radio Times” at WHYY, will leave the daily news show on Nov. 18, and effectively end her heralded program. She and “Radio Times” will be missed for its fascinating and unique insights into topical news issues, local and beyond.

Philadelphians can never get enough of the cocktails at Chinatown’s Hop Sing Laundromat. Now comes news that the Race Street drink salon will host a residency with craft cocktail barkeep and author Toby Maloney (of The Bartender’s Manifesto fame) and their bakers dozen of heady concoctions. Owner Lê celebrated 10 years of Hop Sing Laundromat in May, and is supposedly still gearing up to open a Banh Mi sandwich shop at an (of course) un-spoken location.


A local focus: Philadelphia Theatre Company’s co-artistic directors Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky

When Philadelphia Theatre Company’s freshly-anointed co-artistic directors Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky aren’t busy gearing up for the world premiere of ‘The Tattooed Lady’ opening at PTC Nov. 4, they’re getting to know their new home.

“We have been seeing a ton of shows as part of the Fringe Festival,” says Taibi of the couple’s A&E journey in Philadelphia, so far, and “are excited about ‘Those with Two Clocks’ at the Wilma, starring our friend Jenn Kidwell.”

Tyler grew up outside Boston, and Taibi was raised in North Carolina. Tyler loves outdoor exercise and following football and basketball closely, and is in a “20-year fantasy football league with buddies from college.” Taibi loves cooking, be it “a 30-minute recipe or a 6-hour recipe,” and reading ‘The New Yorker’.

Tyler also had something to say about some of his most recent favorites, “I really liked Beyonce’s last album, ‘Renaissance’, as it was incredibly fun, rich, and dense with ideas – plus it’s great music to run to. My favorite book that I read this past year was ‘Empire of Pain’ by Patrick Radden Keefe, about the history of the mass marketing of opioids. And recent movies I really liked were ‘Dune’, ‘Drive My Car’, and Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’.”

As for their most memorable personal or professional moments, while Taibi won an Obie Award for her Off-Broadyway production of ‘Is God Is’, her first professional theater job was getting coffee for Meryl Streep performing ‘Mother Courage’ at NYC’s Public Theatre (“No one has ever been as kind,” she says of Meryl. And Tyler, while working at Trinity Rep in Providence, Rhode Island, as their education director, “built an arts-enrichment summer camp for young people which is still going strong today.”