Sounds for the New Royality

Peregrine Arts began its much heralded Hidden City program last night, kicking open the doors of the long shuttered Royal Theater at 1524 South Street for the first audience the space has seen in nearly 39 years. Composer Todd Reynolds studied the people, places and history of the old 7th Ward to fashion his Sounds for the New Royality performed by the Network for New Music Ensemble. While the Network performed, film designer Bill Morrison projected onto a wall textured by decay the 1927 tale of class, race and love The Scar of Shame shot on location in the South Street corridor.

Ars Nova’s Jemeel Moondoc interpreted Anri Sala’s film The Long Sorrow with saxophone for the second half as eyes danced over the sodden beauty of the Royal, host once again to appreciative crowds.

Tonight, Ars Nova’s Marshall Allen performs. [hiddencity]

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The Temple that Temple Almost Forgot

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Although it is now touted as the “symbolic home” of Temple University, since the 1970s the Baptist Temple on the southwest corner of Berks and Broad had suffered from a quasi-official policy of salutary neglect. Some have gone so far as to sugest that it was the approach of former Temple University president Peter J. Liacouras (1981-2000) to look the other way as the historic cradle of the university mouldered into the ground. While this is unknown, Temple has come around to the idea of adapting (while not preserving) the internal space where charismatic Russell H. Conwell taught a handful of “night owls” seeking upward advancement.

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