Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Philadelphia”

Spectacular Opening Night For Come From Away

Last night, Come From Away, Broadway’s Tony award-winning musical made its debut in Philadelphia. Running from October 22-November 3, Come From Away is an incredibly moving, powerful, and satisfying show that had the audience crying, laughing, and clapping along throughout its tight runtime of one hour and forty minutes. Come From Away is about 7,000 stranded passengers whose airplanes were forced to land in Newfoundland on September 11, 2001 because of the terrorist attacks that took place. While the subject matter is sad, this musical is not a downer. Sure, there are some somber moments but, overall, the music is upbeat, increadly melodic, and infectious as can be. It was met with a well-deserved and thunderous standing ovation at the end, and the entire audience left the theater smiling from ear to ear. It is an excellent production of a wonderful musical that no one should miss.

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RENT Celebrates 20th Anniversary In Philly

Following a sold-out March 2019 engagement, RENT is back by popular demand in Philadelphia to celebrate its 20th anniversary. I attended the opening night, and it was my first time seeing this show. The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical is taking place at the Merriam Theater October 18-20, and it’s absolutely worth seeing. RENT is an unconventional, frenetic show that gave me chills and made me cry, smile, and laugh multiple times. Unlike Hamilton, which I found to be underwhelming because of its grating music, shallow characters, and limp ending, RENT blew me away with its unique musical compositions, incredible cast, and emotionally moving story. Add to this a hot crowd full of people who had seen the show before and loved it, and I felt like I was at a rock concert more than a musical. This high-energy atmosphere made this excellent production even more enjoyable, and I now understand why people choose to see RENT more than once.

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Review: Cats Comes to Philly

From June 18 through June 30, Cats, the award-winning and record-breaking Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, is in Philadelphia. I had the opportunity to see the show and it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I love cats (my wife and I have two that we adopted), and I love musicals. I also adore Barry Manilow’s interpretation of the signature song from this show: “Memory.” However, I found this show to be one of the weirdest musicals I’ve ever seen.

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Philly’s Final KISS

KISS performed its final concert ever in Philadelphia on March 29, 2019. I was there, along with my wife, and it was a blast! Even though I’ve seen KISS live many times, including on three KISS Kruises, I’ve never seen them in the Wells Fargo Center. It was awesome seeing them in a large arena, filled with face-painted fans of all ages. Even better, the band left all access passes for us, something I’ve never had, which meant we could walk almost anywhere we wanted in the building, including backstage, without restriction.

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Review: Aladdin The Musical

Disney’s Aladdin, the musical, is currently at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Performances run until July 1, and I highly recommend that you go. I went to a performance last night and the nearly sold-out crowd ate it up from beginning to end. Having watched a clip of this show from the Tony Awards a few years back, I knew that the Genie was going to be the star of the show and he was. Michael James Scott, who plays the role of the Genie and was the understudy for the Genie during the original Broadway run, is fantastic. Just watch him sing and dance to “Friend Like Me” and you’ll be blown away by his stamina and unending charisma. He’s the heart and soul of the show and made it a blast to watch.

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James Patterson & Bill Clinton Discuss New Novel In Philly

Photo by David Burnett

As you may have heard, President Bill Clinton has teamed up with the world’s best-selling author, James Patterson, on a new novel: The President Is Missing. From what I’ve been told, this is the first time a former U.S. President has co-written a novel with a best-selling author. Both Clinton and Patterson are currently on a book tour to promote this new venture and last week they made a stop in Philadelphia.

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Meeting Daryl Hall

Last Saturday, after HoagieNation, my wife and I had the opportunity to meet the legendary Daryl Hall. We were the only people that met him after the show, aside from his family, so I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity, and he was a pleasure to speak with. I shook Daryl’s hand, introduced him to Stephanie, reminded him of the cover story on Hall & Oates by me that was just published the other week in The Aquarian Weekly, and asked him to autograph it for me. Daryl said, “That was a really good piece you wrote” and gladly signed the cover for me.

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Review: William Shatner Live On Stage

William Shatner, even at 87-years-old, seems to have boundless amounts of energy. He’s always working on something new and exciting. Right now he’s on a tour where he’s visiting cities and, following a screening of the classic film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Shatner is participating in a live-on-stage Q&A with audiences. My father and I attended the Philadelphia screening at The Academy of Music, and it was an excellent event.

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Night Ranger Rocks Philly

Night Ranger is one of my favorite rock bands, ever since I first saw them on KISS Kruise III. I also firmly believe that they are one of the most underappreciated bands, as they have written, released, and performed countless songs that feature killer riffs, harmonies, and hooks that rival nearly anything their peers have put out. This is why I always make it a point to buy the band’s newest albums and see them live when they’re in my area, which they were last Friday night. Read more…

John Oates Brings Arkansas To Philly

John Oates, one half of the most successful music duo of all time, Hall & Oates, just released a new solo album entitled Arkansas. According to Oates, “It’s like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.” Just a couple days after the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl, this mustachioed master of music brought his new tunes to the City of Brotherly Love, delivering an impassioned performance that resulted in the majority of the crowd buying copies of Arkansas.

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