John Timpane is the books/fine arts editor/writer for the Inquirer. His beat includes books, social media, dance, theater, art, museums, and classical music. From 1997 to 2008 he was the Commentary page editor.

Latest Stories

Gentrification hit Harlem first, and now a housing-boom play born there makes its Philly premiere

Theatre Horizon stages "Renaissance in the Belly of a Killer Whale" Feb. 22-24. We talk to co-creator Jaylene Clark Owens.

Coming to the Delaware waterfront in March: A new theater mini-festival with ‘hip-fizz'

In March,FringeArts launches its High Pressure Fire Service series, HPFS for short. Say it: hip-fizz.


‘People Kissing’: The history of the kiss in photos, or vice versa

This little collection of images doesn't try to do too much, but it suggests a history of photography, and of kiss photos. It stresses the sweet side of kisses, the side the camera likes most. You wonder about the story between the kissers -- and the person holding the camera.

Rising-star Philly playwright will premiere his latest at the Kennedy Center Friday

Philly playwright Josh Wilder watched girls playing double Dutch on his block in Point Breeze. His play about their grit and resilience opens in Washington, D.C., this weekend.


‘Three Sisters, by RashDash’ at Curio: Cabaret versus Chekhov and the patriarchy

It's an epic, entertaining three-woman gang-tackle of Anton Chekhov's maddening masterpiece, unleashing the powers of dance, cabaret, and creative nonsense to ask fun questions of the play, maleness, and especially, sisters with nothing to do.


‘Clown Sex Ed’ by Tribe of Fools: Vulnerability, compassion, and plenty of craziness

Many kids learn about sex at home, or in school, or in religion class, or in gym class. Wherever adults try to teach sex ed, it's hilarious. And Tribe of Fools exploits the built-in hilarity to explore our vulnerabilities and excellences as real-life clowns.

Def Jam co-founder Danny Simmons joins Art Museum’s African American arts committee

The painter, author, art collector, and arts entrepreneur will help the museum develop and catalogue its holdings.

These are Philly Theatre Week’s best deals at all three price points: $15, $30, and free

Wilma's "Romeo and Juliet" and Arden's "74 Seconds ... To Judgment" are among the hot shows offering bargain tickets.


Melinda Gates, Valerie Jarrett, Patti Smith, and Dave Barry will visit Philly to talk books and poetry

Also on tap on the literary circuit: a whirlwind of events celebrating Walt Whitman's 200th birthday. Some for Herman Melville's 200th, too.

Must-see theater in Philadelphia: ‘Rent,’ August Wilson, ‘Bridges of Madison County,’ ‘Indecent,’ ‘Legally Blonde’

The season kicks off with bargain pricing for Philly Theatre Week and only gets better from there.