Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Dueling PIFA & PSF Fests Find A Common Ground Tonight

We're not convinced the overlap of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts and the Philadelphia Science Festival is a positive. But the ventures' one big cooperative project - tonight's "Icarus at the Edge of Time" is one clear positive.

Dueling PIFA & PSF Fests Find A Common Ground Tonight

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We’re not convinced that the scheduling overlap is a positive for  the Philadelphia International  Festival of the Arts (ending this weekend, with the big  Avenue of the Arts street fair on Saturday) and the Philadelphia Science Festival (concluding Monday.)  

But  the ventures’ one big  cooperative project “Icarus at the Edge of Time” filling the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall with sound and vision tonight is one clear positive.

"Icarus" is  a co-mingling of science and art that fits the agenda of both PIFA’s “time traveling” theme and PSF’s selling of science as a hip, cool thing. And yes, it holds  appeal  to both sides of  a  gizmo guy’s   tech and music  lovin’ brain and nature!


Very much a mixed-media adventure, “Icarus at the Edge of Time” tells the tale of a boy who “challenges the awesome might of a black hole” in outer space.   So  it’s a modern rethink of the Greek myth of Icarus , that  winged hero  too interested in the sun for his own good.

 Tonight’s  voyage through time and space features  a original score by the always hypnotic and math-centric music minimalist Philip Glass – to be performed by the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra – with an art-meets-science themed script collaboration between physicist Brian Greene and Tony-award winning playwright David Henry Hwang  to be narrated this evening by Broadway notable Kate Shindle. And there’s a spacey film backdrop, too, created by the likewise science-obsessed British creative team Al+Al.

If this sounds appealing, do  get there on time ( 8 p.m. liftoff at Broad and Spruce) as Greene will be warming up the night with insights on the science of general relativity and black holes  and, nodding to PIFA, on the notion that time travel might actually be possible.    

Tickets are reasonably priced   - $15-$25. For more info, visit  www.PIFA.org and www.philasciencefestival.org.   

Jonathan Takiff Daily News Columnist
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About this blog
Jonathan Takiff covers all manner of high tech gadgets – and the entertaining stuff you play on them – for the Philadelphia Daily News, philly.com and the McClatchy Tribune News Service. Reach Jonathan at takiffj@phillynews.com.

Jonathan Takiff Daily News Columnist
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