Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philly museum, AyCee casino share 'Identity'

The main question to be asked about "Identity-An Exhibition of You," which is in the midst of a summer-long run at Trump Plaza, isn't, "What is it?" Instead, the burning issue is, "How did the Franklin Institute wind up partnering with an Atlantic City casino?"

Philly museum, AyCee casino share 'Identity'

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This exhibit in "Identity" at Trump Plaza tries to explain how situations are perceived differently by people based on their perceptions and experiences. Photo: Chuck Darrow

The main question to be asked about “Identity—An Exhibition of You,” which is in the midst of a summer-long run at Trump Plaza, isn’t, “What is it?” Instead, the burning issue is, “How did the Franklin Institute wind up partnering with an Atlantic City casino?”

“Trump Plaza was looking for a family-friendly option for the summer. They asked us what we had, and if there was anything we could travel with,” explained Jackie Jiracitano, who is managing the exhibit for the august repository of scientific thought and deed on the Parkway. “This exhibit was created exclusively to travel.”

As for the strange-bedfellows aspect of the partnership, Jiracitano agreed it’s an unexpected pairing, but added, “Identity” is “a great (way) to bridge the gap” between two such disparate realms as museums and casinos.

“Identity” consists of 25 interactive stations designed to explain the hows, whys and wherefores of human existence. More to the point, the often whimsical applications attempt to portray in non-scientific terms how physical, psychological and social elements combine to forge a human personality.

Although adults will find much of interest, the program is no doubt geared toward kids, who will delight in the numerous special effects provided by kiosks with plenty of buttons to push. Among the most entertaining are the display that allows someone to see what they’d look like if they were a different race and gender, and the one that illustrates what a person would look like if his or her face were 100 percent symmetrical (trust us, it ain’t pretty).

Another station is titled “How to Make A Baby,” but it’s not what you think. Instead, it’s a lesson on the crapshoot of genetics—how and why siblings often bear little physical or psychological similarities.

“Identity,” which can be found in the Plaza’s East Tower, isn’t particularly dazzling, and the individual displays seem somewhat low-tech in our touch-screen world. But it offers families a heat-beating activity that combines education and entertainment. Perhaps more important, it offers visitors to the beleaguered gambling capital another non-gambling option which, as we are repeatedly reminded, is the name of the game in AyCee these days.

“Identity” is open daily through Sept. 3. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. (last entry 6:15 p.m.). Admission is $10 (adults) and $8 (kids 12 and under). A $1 discount is offered with a receipt from the Boardwalk Mini-Golf course in front of Boardwalk Hall. For more information, go to www.trumpplaza.com.

Holmes, sweet Holmes

If Clint Holmes had been born 30 years earlier, it’s likely he’d be one of our most acclaimed entertainers. That’s because Holmes, who headlines Saturday at The Atlantic Club, is a throwback to the great acts of the mid-20th century. He’s an energetic, engaging, “old-school” performer with a masterful touch as an interpreter of pop music.

As it is, Holmes—whose closest brush with big-time success was his 1973 single, “Playground In My Mind,” which reached the number 2 spot on the Billboard magazine singles chart-- has carved out a nice career as a casino attraction, especially in Las Vegas, where he spent years as one of the town’s most acclaimed resident artists. His Saturday show is guaranteed to show you why.

The Atlantic Club, Boardwalk at Boston Avenue, 8 p.m., $20, 800-736-1420, ticketmaster.com.

Time for Wine at Caesars

Recently opened at Caesars Atlantic City is Time for Wine II, a branch of the upscale Margate retail outlet that specializes in alcohol and cigars.

Located on the second-level concourse just outside the Temple Lobby, the booze-and-smoke outlet carries a wide variety of wine and liquor (Grey Goose, Patron, Glenlivet) as well as a selection of premium cigar brands including Rocky Patel and Alec Bradley’s Prensado, named as Cigar Aficionado magazine’s number-one rated stogie.

Time for Wine II is also the only place you’ll find Nucky’s Boardwalk Red and Nucky’s Speak Easy Reserve wines, both of which are inspired by the smash HBO series, “Boardwalk Empire.”

Friday from 7 to 9 p.m., the store is hosting a tasting session featuring the two “Nucky”-label wines. Saturday, a Goose Island Beer tasting is scheduled. For more info, call 609-449-8921, or go to www.atlanticcitycigar.com.

All-in against lupus

Country-rockin’ Jimmie Lee, the self-styled “Jersey Outlaw,” is the special guest at the Aug. 3 “Rub the Felt for Lupus” charity poker tournament at Tropicana Atlantic City.

The contest, which carries a $125 entry fee, begins at 1 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded. For more, go to www.lupus.org

 

 

 

 

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About this blog
Philly native Chuck Darrow has literally covered Atlantic City’s casino scene since Day One: He was there on assignment the night in November 1976 when voters approved legalized casinos.

Since then, Chuck has covered the town and its gaming industry for several area newspapers -- which is why, in some circles, he’s known as “Boardwalk Charlie.”

You can reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com. Reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com.

Chuck Darrow