If there’s one thing Philly knows, it’s culture.
It just so happens that, within the cozy confines of the City of Brotherly Love, we have our own special brand of green-bleedin’, cheese whiz-drenched, liberty first, last and always kind of culture. It’s a culture that doesn’t ask the same question twice. That puts pomp in its rightful place collecting mothballs at the back of the closet.
Our culture is our own. It’s unique. It’s tough. It’s down-to-earth.
And as cheesy as it sounds, it’s, well … Gritty.
And so, unlike most other major cities, when we renovate one of our oldest and most storied buildings, we don’t just do it so it can be a pretty, overproduced monument to all the hoity toity nonsense none of us ever actually want to do.
No, we do it so we can go see hometown boy Kurt Vile rip a few sing-talk songs. Or so we can catch a cabaret before we head to Chinatown for some pillowy pockets of vegetables and dough. So we can live our lives like always, celebrating the exceptional while embracing the everyday.
So while the historic Philly Metropolitan Opera House, set to re-open as The Met Philadelphia, a 110,000-square-foot, 3,500-seat, state-of-the-art music venue, of course includes things like “fanciful woodwork decorating the ceiling and stage frame, and a dramatic curtain draping the performance area,” what really matters is that the $56 million restoration went toward restoring a Philly feature to prominence, a Philly favorite, a becoming beacon of the sort only a city with blue collar ethics and white collar capabilities could create. Or truly appreciate.
Philly’s Metropolitan Opera House | Dec. 3. Free. Metropolitan Opera House, 858 N. Broad St. themetphilly.com/
– CAL SETAR | @CALSFRO