A look back at some of the of Prime Time Weekend's first thirty years.
NERVE TISSUE TRANSPLANTS In Levittown, PA, Robert Toru's right arm was paralyzed after he suffered nerve damage in a motorcycle accident. His doctors said that the nerve damage was irreversible. But Dr. Eric Zager, a neurologist at the Penn Medical Center, in Philadelphia, offered Toru another alternative: transplanting nerves from his ankle into his neck, to promote nerve regeneration in his arm. The surgery was successful, and today Toru can drive stick shift using his right arm. But his has not regained fine motor skills in his hand. That may someday be possible, thanks to the work of Dr. Douglas Smith, Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at Penn. Here the research team is growing nerves in the laboratory in hopes that in a few years they will be able to transplant those nerves into human patients, like Robert Toru, and cure their paralysis.
PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA BEST OF SERIES: Rossen Milanov conducts this summer's Best of series, beginning with:
1. Czech Mix on June 24th, that includes Dvorak's Carnival Overture, Strauss's Emperor Waltz, & Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances.
2. From Russia With Love on June 25th includes Musorgsky's A Night on Bald Mountain, Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, Tchaikovsky's Waltz from The Sleeping Beauty, Prokofiev's "Montagues and Capulets" from Romeo and Juliet, and Stravinsky's Suite from The Firebird.
3. American Postcards on June 26th features Bernstein's Overture to Candide, Ives's The Unanswered Question, Copeland's Appalachian Spring, Sousa's The "Stars and Stripes Forever" March, and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, A Symphonic Picture.
Prime Time Weekend for 7:30pm, 6/07/2008 (Bike Race Special 7pm)
It's a Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling Special, that looks into how professional riders spend the week leading up to the biggest single-day bike race in the world. Then discover the best places to view the Commerce Bank Philadelphia International Championship. The Bluford Elementary School has its own Cheer Zone, for their "adopted" CSC cycling team.
Next Cecily examines the challenge of bike racing in what promises to be near one hundred degree temperatures on race day. But the Core State Triple Crown of Cycling is just the beginning of an historic cycling summer in the Philadelphia region, as riders from around the world prepare for the 450 mile American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania, with riders under twenty-five years old, racing from Philadelphia, through the Allegheny mountains, to the finish line in Pittsburg, June 24th through the 29th. That race will be followed by the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Challenge race, on August 24th, in Blue Bell, PA. This race, which is open to everyone, includes running, walking, and riding events, and it will help raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation's fight against cancer.
After this look ahead to Philly's phenomenal cycling summer, Don Polec tries his hand at the growing sport of Bike Polo. And last, we get some expert advice on how to outwit bike thieves by locking, marking, and even folding your bike.
Prime Time Weekend for 7pm, 5/17/2008 World Café Live: In the University City section of Philadelphia, it was a radical idea: to combine under one roof the University of Pennsylvania's public radio station, WXPN, with the for profit World Café Live. Here the music never stops, and new groups, some of them Grammy-bound, are able to give their best in an ideal venue. In addition, Café Live is launching "Bridge Sessions", that will expose students to world culture through music. Above all, the Bridge Sessions are about musicians and students sharing ideas and making music together. It is all part of World Café Live's fundamental mission: to create a new paradigm for popular music: to change how it is experience, and how it is created.
Tree Houses: For getting away from it all, there's no place like home, especially if it's built high in a tree. The magical spaces of designer tree houses are now open to the public at Longwood Gardens, where the sky's the limit for an awesome display of large scale tree houses. Contact: http://www.longwoodgardens.org/NaturesCastles.html
Indoor Water Park: In West Berlin, NJ, along a section of Rt. 73, where construction of new malls and restaurants is booming, another construction project is well underway, that will recreate what developer Ilya Girlya experience seven years ago, in Wisconsin. It was an indoor water park, where hundreds of people enjoyed 85 degree tropical breezes in a complex of waves and rapids ? while outside it was several degrees below zero. At a time when gas prices make even a trip to the shore something to reconsider, Girlya's "Sahara Sam's Oasis Indoor Water Park, may be coming to the right place at the right time, as will the CoCo Key Indoor Water Park Resort, that is rising behind the Marriott Hotel, in Mt. Laurel, just a few miles north of Sahara Sam's. Contact: http://www.saharasams.com/index.cfm?mode=coolstuff
Pennsylvania Ballet: When Oliver Percy gets locked in a natural history museum, the creatures of the museum come to life. And oddly, they resemble the people he knows in real life. And so begins a remarkably whimsical Ballet that will appeal to children of all ages, running from June 6 to June 14th at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Contact: http://www.paballet.org/season/production.aspx?id=24&src=l
Prime Time Weekend for 7pm, 5/10/2008 - content & contacts
JOHN KELLY: The Philadelphia region is the pre-eminent rowing site in the United States. It's rich history includes the amazing story of John & Jack Kelly, that is told in a new book by Daniel Boyne, who is attending the Philadelphia Book Festival on May 17th & 18.New to the region is the recent discovery of the Cooper River in Pennsauken, Camden County. The Cooper has rapidly gained a reputation as a world-class rowing regatta site, equal to the Schuylkill. And now a new multimillion dollar boathouse has been constructed along the Cooper, to attract the even more regattas. Contact:
http://www.co.camden.nj.us/boathouse/contact.html RUNNING: Philadelphia in recent years has rocketed to the top of great running cities. Its half marathons and marathons are on every world champion's to-do list. How did the city go from being also-ran, to becoming a major marathon venue? Contact:
Great running web-site: www.gophila.com/Go/PressRoom/factsheets/backgrounders1/Ready_Set_Run.aspx RECREATION: One out of every ten acres in Philadelphia is parkland. Philadelphia's park system, anchored by Fairmount Park is key to making Philadelphia the most livable large city in the US. The Park also makes great events possible such as the Philadelphia Marathon, the Dad Vail Regatta, and the Yet the Park system is actually growing, thanks to initiatives such as the Schuylkill River Trail, that will soon make it possible to run/bike/hike from Walnut street to Reading. The Park is also lovingly looked after by volunteer groups such as Friends of the Wissahickon. Contact:
www.fow.org/ PHILADELPHIA BOY'S CHOIR: 2008 is the 40th anniversary, of "The Ambassadors of Song" who have achieved renown while traveling throughout world. At the same time the choir provides a life-changing musical education for boys throughout the Delaware Valley. http://www.phillyboyschoir.org/ Prime Time Weekend for 7pm, 4/19/2008 - content & contacts
PA PRIMARY: While the Clinton-Obama debate was taking place at the National Constitution Center, the Research Intelligence Group of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., was getting instant debate reaction from twenty two undecided voters in 6ABC's studio. Using electronic dials they registered their positive or negative responses to the candidates' answers. Those responses were charted on a graph that viewers of 6abc.com could watch in real time. Nydia Han tells the story. Then Matt O'Donnell examines the history of brokered conventions.
NEMOURS MANSION AND GARDENS MAKEOVER: In Wilmington, Delaware, it is the ultimate jaw-dropping WOW house Modeled after France's famed Versailles, the Nemours Mansion & Gardens is completing a 39 million dollar restoration and will re-open the gates on May 1st. Originally constructed in 1910, Nemours Mansion is literally an acre under one roof, and is surrounded by the largest formal French garden in North America. Its unique furnishings include rare French 18th century furniture and paintings by artists that include J.M.W. Turner, James Peale, Charles Wilson Peale, Peter Breugel the Younger and Frederick Remington. Decorative objects are by Tiffany, Limoges, Wedgwood, Sevres and Royal Crown Derby. The landscaped grounds and woods encompass 222 acres.
PLEASE TOUCH MUSUEM CAROUSEL: As the Please Touch Museum prepares to move into its new home in Philadelphia's Memorial Hall, workers are preparing the Hall's new Carousel House for the historic Dentzel Carousel that is being restored in Ohio.
Garrick Ohlsson: On May 2nd, at 8PM, The Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia presents legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson, in a recital at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. Ohlsson stunned the classical music world in 1970 when he became the first American to win first prize at the notoriously difficult Chopin International Piano Competition. And he has continued to win international acclaim, including a 2008 Grammy award for his album of Beethoven Piano Sonatas. In an exclusive interview, Ohlsson describes what drives him as an artist, and then, he, demonstrates his phenomenal technique, by performing some of the more complex passages for his upcoming recital.
Prime Time Weekend for 7pm, 4/12/2008 - content & contacts
KIMMEL CENTER: Think of the Kimmel Center on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts, as a musically gifted colossus of culture, with multiple personalities, whose homes are two of the greatest concert halls in all the world. Anne Ewers is the Kimmel Center Inc.'s new President and CEO, and as management maestro, oversees both the Kimmel Center and the Academy of Music. The quality and quantity of live entertainment at these two venues is stunning. Eight resident companies include: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, American Theater Arts for Youth, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, PHILADANCO, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Ballet. In addition, the Kimmel Center Presents Series runs the gamut from Doo Wop, to Jazz, to performances of movie sound tracks, while the Cadillac Broadway Series features performances as diverse as David Copperfield, Gypsy, Hairspray, and The Color Purple.
UNCLAIMED PROPERTY: Walk into the vault and look into all those safety deposit boxes. They contain jewelry, stock certificates, paychecks, savings account passbooks, certificates of deposit, and all of them are unclaimed. Yet somebody owns them. And so the Pennsylvania Treasury Department goes to great lengths to reunite millions of dollars worth of unclaimed property with its owners. This is one story that could lead some lucky viewers to long lost fortunes.
CAPE MAY BIRD OBSERVATORY: The New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Observatory is celebrated throughout the world as one of the very best places for bird lovers to flock ? especially in the spring. The observatory is also an essential stopover for many species of migrating birds. In addition, Cape May offers excellent hotels and restaurants for weary and hungry bird watchers.
HOUSING BOOM: In South Jersey, there is one town where the housing market is booming: and that's the market for Antique Dollhouses. On Apri 19th, an auction of a major collection of dollhouses will be held at Bertoia Auctions, both at their Vineland headquarters, and online. One of the major offerings is a dollhouse copy of the famous Mt. Pleasant Mansion in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. The estimated winning bid for the Mt. Pleasant dollhouse
Prime Time Weekend for 7pm, 4/5/2008 - content & contacts
JENNIFER WEINER: Philadelphia's best-selling author of Good In Bed, In Her Shoes (which was made into a film with Cameron Diaz), Little Earthquakes, Goodnight Nobody and The Guy Not Taken. Jen is coming out with a new novel this spring entitled Certain Girls which is a continuation of her debut best-selling novel Good In Bed?13 years later. Like most of her novels, Certain Girls takes place in Philadelphia.
PET INSURANCE: Sure you love your pet. But if your beloved had an accident, or an illness requiring thousands of dollars of state of the art Veterinary care, what would you do? Many pet owners throughout the Delaware Valley will at some time be faced with the cruel choice of saving their pet by digging deep into their savings, having their pet euthanized. But there is another choice: Pet Health Insurance. It's a growing industry that includes Petplan USA, a pet insurance companty based in Philadelphia, and endorsed by the United States Humane Society.
THE LOST SYNAGOGUE: Inside the stabilized ruins of Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary, Cindy Wanerman discovered a small room that used to a synagogue. Her mission to restore the synagogue and find out its role in prison life has resulted in a fund to preserve and rehabilitate the Lost Prison Synagogue, that will be open to the public for the first time in 35 years on April 5th & 6th.
THE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF PHILADELPHIA: The orchestra presents legendary American composer Terry Reilly, who performs the world premiere of his Triple concerto, with Ignat Solzhenitsyn conducting.
Prime Time Weekend for 7pm, 2/16/2008 - content & contacts
STAR WARS EXHIBIT: When it finally opened they were waiting at the steps of the Franklin Institute: the Star Wars fanatics, and their children. They came from all across the Delaware Valley to see the models, the costumes, the weapons that made Star Wars the first civilization in outer space to be oh so real. Star Wars characters greeted the fans as they poured into the Franklin Institute to see the close-up the magic that made the movies so memorable. And thanks to interactive exhibits, they learned the real science that is part of Star Wars. The exhibit is open through May 4th, and tickets can be purchased at the Franklin Institute or online.
HOOTERS: Once the Delaware Valley's hottest local band, the Hooters became instantly famous throughout the world when they opened the Live-Aid Concert in Philadelphia, in July, 1985. From there, they began touring the world. But the road took its toll the Hooters put the band on hold, so that they could "have a life". But now they're back, with their new Album "Time Stand Still", and ready to start touring once again.
MR. HOLLYWOOD: On the eve of the Academy Awards, movie fans should know that before there was Hollywood, Philadelphia was Tinseltown, USA, thanks to Sigmund Pop Lubin, whose remarkable career is described in a new short video by local filmmaker, Henry Nevinson, who hopes his work will lead to a funding for a documentary that in turn will stimulate a full-blown feature film about Lubin's life and times, starring Mel Brooks.
TIMOTHY MARTIN: An artist from Sergeantsville, NJ who points landscapes and still-lifes using floral motifs. His paintings literally bloom and have gained him international renown, and a prominent place at this year's Flower Show, where he will be painting and showing how and why he evolved his unique style.
Prime Time Weekend for 02/09/08 ? content & contacts
ZOO KEEPER: As nocturnal animal keeper at the Philadelphia Zoo, Tanya Pham caters to the discriminating palates of 21 Vampire Bats, 2 Striped Opossum, four Pygmy Marmoset, and two Giant Jumping Rats. Someone else tends to the Partridge in the Pear Tree. Tanya does have a problem with her work: she gets too attached to the animals.
HIGH FASHION: At the Museum's Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, a new exhibition, A Passion for Perfection (through March 9th) highlights works from the Museum's costume collection by three award-winning fashion designers from Philadelphia: James Galanos, Gustave Tassell, and Ralph Rucci. Perfection? Really?? Could it be improved? Fashion Design students from Drexel weigh in with their opinions. www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/274.html
SOLAR NEIGHBORHOOD: Philadelphia's first solar neighborhood has been named a 2008 Philadelphia Sustainability Award finalist, for its Maple Point 38-home community featuring passive solar design. The design includes a 4kW roof-mounted solar electric array, a solar hot water system, and radiant heat from a bio-fuel boiler powered by PA grown & refined soybean oil. Compared to conventionally built homes, Maple Point expects a 70 ? 80% reduction in energy costs.
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: V. Chapman Smith, Regional Director of the National Archives Mid Atlantic Regional Archives, celebrates the men and women of Philadelphia who risked their lives as station masters on the Underground Railroad. Stops include the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, the Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum, the Johnson House, and the Historic Belmont Mansion.
INFLUENZA: At a time when the Centers for Disease Control is urging everyone to get their flu shots, the National Archives Mid Atlantic Region has posted a pictorial history of the great 1918 Influenza Epidemic that decimated the population of Philadelphia.
Contact: the National Archives Mid Atlantic Region
The Philadelphia Opera Company presents an original co-production of a new opera Cyrano, with all new music an updated libretto, and in the lead role, the brilliant young tenor, Stephen Costello. In Sept. 2007, his career took off, when the Metropolitan Opera's James Levine moved Costello from obscurity to a lead role at the Met. For Philadelphia Opera fans, this makes Costello a home town hero -- he grew up in the Northeast, and attended the Academy of Vocal Arts in center city. (Cyrano performance dates, Feb 8th, 10M, 13, 15 & 17M)
Anne Crumb, Broadway actress and singer (and daughter of famous Media resident, composer George Crumb) stars deliberately off-key in a play called "Souvenir" at the Media Theater, in Media Pennsylvania. "Souvenir" profiles a real person, the legendary indefatigably tone-deaf socialite singer, Florence Foster Jenkins (1868?November 26, 1944). Her concerts were sold out, by those who were amazed by her complete sincerity, couple with her lack of rhythm, pitch, and tone. She was an American Idol long before her time ? one who adored music, and was perversely adored by her fans. Her career peaked, when, at age 73, she rented Carnegie Hall for her final sold out performance. It is what happens after that performance that makes "Souvenir" an unforgettable night at the theatre. Contact: www.mediatheatre.org
The Manayunk Design Group's Frank Piller buys salvage rights to demolition sites and old buildings, where he finds historic architectural artifacts like the stained glass windows he's rescued from a church demolition in South Philadelphia.
He often works with Bob Beaty who owns Provenance, in North Philadelphia, and has done major salvage work on the famous Divine Lorraine Hotel.
The results of this work are collected in their two stores whose assortment of pieces appeal to homeowners looking for unique accent pieces, historic flooring, mantelpieces, lights, doors, windows, or shutters. Recent finds include the ticket window of the old Lambertville train station ($800), and a coffee table ($550) designed with legs from a LOVE Park bench.
THE FIRST CELEBRITY ATHLETE:
"Being Sugar Ray" is a new book that tells the story of why Sugar Ray Robinson was possibly America's greatest boxer, and its first celebrity athlete. He was broadly accepted across racial lines at a time when America was racially segregated. He used his fame to launch several successful businesses, and his athletic, social, and business prowess paved the way for today's Superstar Celebrity Athlete.
The author of "Being Sugar Ray" is Kenneth Shropshire. He is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is uniquely qualified to tell Sugar Ray's story, as director of Wharton's Sports Business Initiative, president of the Sports Lawyers Association, former executive with the LA Olympic Organizing Committee, and author of: The Business of Sports, In Black and White: Race and Sports in America, and Basketball Jones: America Above the Rim.
He's actually Andean, which is his claim to fame, since he's lived five years longer than any other Andean ursine zoo inhabitant in history. And that reflects the good life that bears lead these days in modern Zoos, with gourmet meals, full-time concierge service, and a strongly encouraged love-life. In celebration of BooBoo's birthday, and winter's waning, all zoo guests will "pay the weather". When temps are in the 30's, admission will be $3.00, in the forties, $4.00, and so on. If temps tank into the teens, then just a dollar will get you inside to shiver with the polar bears.
When he was in high school, Dave George fell in love with historic race cars from the 1920's through the 1950's. He is now a world-renowned restorer of those cars, whose makeover can sometimes take years, at a cost ranging up to half a million dollars. The dozens of cars in Dave's coachworks, in Cochranville, PA are works of art, with historic pedigrees, and values that can exceed several million dollars. Despite their great value, the object of their restoration is to make them ready not only for shows like Pebble Beach, but also for racing in events like Italy's thousand mile Mille Miglia, or Lime Rock. Dave normally doesn't allow is clients to work on their own cars in his shop. However, he has made an exception for Dick Vermeil. Dick is restoring "Old No. 7", a sprint car that was his father Louis' pride and joy. Louis owned a garage in California, and raced the car on weekends. Dick worked in the garage as a teenager, and now, as a tribute to his father, is working as often as he can in Dave's garage, the only Coach in the Coachworks, restoring Old No.7 from a rust bucket to a proud racer, ready for the track.
Molly, 610-593-7423, 4029 Glenville Rd., Cochranville, PA 19330
- is the name of The Franklin Institute of Science's, newest exhibit, that is open until April 20th, 2008, and focuses on how scientists make useful and fascinating discoveries about our physical, psychological, and social identities. High tech interactive exhibits use art and music to chart a revealing journey into human identity. The exhibit has special meaning for Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein who were twins separated at birth, who did not meet until 35 years later. Now they've written a book called: "Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited."
Philadelphia's Legendary Radio Personality Jerry Blavat, "The Boss with The Hot Sauce" remembers his days as a regular dancer on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, that was broadcast live from a studio at 6ABC, where Jerry later hosted his own show, "Jerry's Place". This month, Jerry will salute the 60's and 70's in a Nostalgic Doo Wop and Disco Reunion with Special Guests at the Kimmel Center on January 26.
A familiar landscape is described in Beth Kephart's Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River. Here, the river tells its own history in a poetic voice, backed up by footnoted facts and illustrations that cover a time span from the 1600's to the present. Beth's book signing takes place at the Schuylkill River Heritage Center in Phoenixville that against all odds has been preserved by civic leaders who take tremendous pride in the building's former role as the Phoenixville Ironworks.
is a company owned by Drexel University, that is run by students and overseen by faculty. Within the company are divisions, including a record lable, booking agency, publishing company, and a video production company. Students spend time in each company, getting real world experience in all aspects of the music industry. The students also get to work with music industry legends like Howard Benson, a top record producer, who has produced My Chemical Romance, and Motorheads, among others. He grew up in Havertown, and worked as an aerospace engineer before making his mark in music production. Contact: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAD_Dragon_UNLTD
PETS IN AMERICA:
In Delaware's Winterthur Museum, it's a family-friendly look at the history of Americans' relationship with pets, from the 1700s to the present. Contact: www.winterthur.org/calendar/calendar.asp
ContempraDance Theatre's Philly-Nutt is an is a unique twist on the well-known holiday favorite, the Nutcracker, that transformed into a Nut Crack Up, combining comedy, hip hop, jazz, modern and ballet dance. Featuring Rappin SugarPlum Fairy and her Hip Hoppin Rats, City Hall Dolls, and Captain Philadelphia, Philly-Nutt-Crack-Up is filled with references to local Philadelphia places, and personalities. Tchaikovsky shares musical credits with Fatboy Slim, James Brown, Flight Crank, Leonard Bernstein, Tchaikovsky and others. The cast consists of 15 professional dancers and 28 children. Location and times of performances during the holiday season can be found at www.contempradancetheatre.org 396 W Lan
caster HOLIDAY POPS
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops provide the essential soundtrack for the holiday season. Contact: http://www.peternero.com/
The Philadelphia Art Museum's latest exhibition stars Renoir's Landscapes that are as sensuous and luminous as his nudes, and well worth a visit in these chilly days of winter. Contact: www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/260.html
Prime Time Weekend for 7:30pm, 11/10/07
WHEEL OF FORTUNE: The Wheel celebrates its 25th anniversary with a celebrity-contestant show at Radio City Music Hall. Behind the scenes, Vanna, Pat, and Paige Hemmis of Extreme Makeover, describe what it is that had made Wheel the most successful, and one of the longest running shows in syndicated television history.
SPACE TOURISM: In Southampton, PA, the new National Aerospace Training & Research Center, or NASTAR, uses state of the art simulators to launch a new industry: training space tourists for the rigors of space-flight. In his inimitable fashion, Action News reporter Don Polec describes the history that led up to "space tourism for the rest of us", while Action News Morning Anchor Matt O'Donnell takes NASTAR's shortcut into outer space.
TRI-STATE BIRD RESCUE: It may be the holidays, but Tri-State Bird Rescue is busy saving the Pelicans who came in from the cold, the Hoot Owl who broke his wing, the eagle who barely escaped electrocution and the countless gulls, hawks, and songbirds who have escaped death by oil-spill. Almost all of these birds are released in good health back to the wild, thanks to the world renowned TLC of Tristate.
Contacts: Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, 110 Possum Hollow Rd., Newark, Del 19711, 302-737-9543, www.tristatebird.org