Archive for December, 2011

Two Favorites Return with New Shows in Philly

December 27, 2011

Gypsy Fuzz - Havrilla & Kurm

Brian Sanders Junk Snowball

by Debra Miller
Philadelphia Arts and Culture Correspondent

If you’re planning a trip to Philadelphia in the next month, be sure to mark your calendar for the return of two of the city’s most exciting performers, singer/songwriter Christine Havrilla and dancer/choreographer Brian Sanders (both featured in separate Central Voice posts in August and September).

First up, Havrilla will be rocking in the New Year at the Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd Street in Old City, with two sets (at 8 and 10:30 pm) on December 31. She’ll perform signature songs from the Christine Havrilla Duo with Gretchen Schultz, along with cuts from her new Gypsy Fuzz CD, Searching.Finding.Living, which debuted in October, and was named one of’s Best Overlooked Albums of 2011. With Christine fronting Gypsy Fuzz on electric guitar, expect her original music and personal lyrics to be done in a dynamic and aggressive “’70s powerhouse rock” style. Tickets are available through the venue’s website at

Following their smash hit, Dancing Dead, at this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Brian Sanders’ JUNK takes on a winter white theme with Snowball. Featuring Sanders’ daredevil, cutting-edge choreography and his incomparable troupe of young dancers, the non-profit company’s fundraiser is a one-night only event on January 21, at Hamilton Hall, University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad Street. With white cocktails and JUNK food, white dress, a winter wonderland of art installations, and additional performances by dancers from Cirque de Soleil, Koresh Dance Company, MOMIX, and Pilobolus, Snowball promises to be a night to remember. VIP reception begins at 7, general admission at 8. For tickets, log on to

Claim “Pride Discount” with Hershey Theatre’s “SHREK THE MUSICAL”

December 19, 2011

Want your “Pride Discount” with Hershey Theatre’s upcoming performances of “SHREK THE MUSICAL”?

SHREK THE MUSICAL, based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life on stage. In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a villain with a SHORT temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand… and his name is Shrek. It features a terrific score of 19 all-new songs, big laughs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery.

The show is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone!

Pride Discount offer:
Offer: $5.00 discount per ticket on first 3 price levels (does not apply to $25 cloud club seating)
Valid: Tuesday 12/27 at 7:30 pm; Wednesday 12/28 at 7:30 pm
Password: Just ask for “Pride Discount”
Additional Performances: Thurs 12/29 at 7:30pm, Fri 12/30 at 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm, Sat. 12/31 at 11:00 am and 4:30 pm, Sun. 1/1 at 2:00 pm.
Ticket Limit: None

Tickets: Call (717) 534-3405 or http://www.hersheytheatre.comLocated in downtown Hershey, Pennsylvania, this magnificent theatre has established itself as the area’s premier performing arts center, presenting the finest in touring Broadway shows, classical music and dance attractions, and world-renowned entertainers. Hershey Theatre, 15 E. Caracas Ave., Hershey, PA 17033

Central Voice – Central to your life.

Chris Dietz Announces Run for 104th State Rep Seat

December 14, 2011

Chris Dietz announces run for General Assembly

2011 FAB award honoree

Dauphin County resident and Millersburg Borough Council president Chris Dietz announced Dec. 14 his candidacy for the 104th district of the Pa. House of Representatives.

He will run in the May 2012 Primary Election followed by the November General Election.

Following a contentious redistricting statewide, the newly drawn map of the 104th House district includes the boroughs of Dauphin, Halifax, Millersburg and Penbrook and the townships of East Hanover (in Dauphin and Lebanon Counties), Halifax, Jefferson, Middle Paxton, North Annville, Reed, Rush, Susquehanna, Upper Paxton, Wayne, and Wards 4 and 7 in Swatara.

Dietz tells Central Voice the voter registration for the new 104th approximates that of the old district. President Obama carried 49% of the old district’s vote. US Senator Robert Casey and his US House counterpart Congressman Tim Holden carried about 50% of the vote in their last election cycle. “It’s a swing district in play,” Dietz said.

A 2011 FAB award honoree for service to the region’s LGB T community, Dietz is a proponent of eco-tourism and government reformer.

Why run?

“Local family sustaining jobs, legislative reform, quality public education, and conservation are very important to my friends and neighbors,” Dietz said. “At a time when state government should be helping citizens, our legislature is more disconnected than ever from the common citizen. The legislature’s automatic pay raises are not reflective of stagnant wages and high rates of unemployment in the private sector,” Dietz said. “It is time for our state government to reaffirm its commitment to making Pennsylvania the best state in which to live, work, play, and raise a family.”

Diane Bowman, president of the Susquehanna Township Commissioners and former chair of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee will chair Dietz’s campaign. Dietz has, Bowman says, “what it takes to advocate for those community-minded values from inside the General Assembly.”

Dietz is one of three known and out candidates running for seats in the state house. Pa. State Rep. Babette Josephs faces a challenge for her 182nd District seat from Philadelphia attorney Brian Sims, who last election cycle served as her campaign finance chair.

Josh Young, a Caln Township commissioner in Chester County is also running for a newly created House seat in that county that was formed due to population growth. Map makers removed one seat in Allegheny County where population had been declining.


Chris Dietz Bio
Chris Dietz is graduated from West Perry High School and a 1999 Penn State Mechanical Engineering graduate (B.S.). He cites his membership in community groups, including the Boy Scouts of America and church youth groups, as having instilled in him a sense of public service. Part of the Millersburg Bicentennial Celebration, he worked with others to raise more than $300,000 to support the event. Dietz co-founded the Tour de Millersburg cycling race as a component of the Bicentennial, and has served as president of the Tour for three years raising $25,000 in proceeds for community non-profit groups. Dietz and his partner Alexander Reber enjoy getting to know their community and spending time with Chris’s cat Chief.

Susquehanna Twp. Passes Anti-discrimination Law

December 10, 2011

26th municipality to pass anti-discrimination law

By a seven to one bipartisan vote Susquehanna Twp. Commissioners on Dec. 8 adopted a non-discrimination ordinance proposed by township resident Steve Dorko. One commissioner was absent.

The process began last July and garnered mostly support from township residents, although anti-gay Pittsburgh-based American Family Association of PA unsuccessfully joined the debate.

The township is the 26th municipality in the state to pass such an ordinance. The new law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and discrimination based on genetic information for what the municipality defines as public accommodations.

At press time, advocates in Cheltenham Township were working through the new ordinance process with that municipality’s board of commissioners. Equality PA president Adrian Shanker told Central Voice that he’d testified before the board that passing the ordinance makes it clear “discrimination against anyone, including LGBT people, is simply unwelcome” and that “discrimination is not a value of this community.” The proposed Cheltenham measure applies to employment, housing, and public accommodation.

There were 14 speakers at the meeting with 12 speaking in favor of passage, two speakers were opposed. The other big issue item on the agenda was the 2012 budget. “The budget did not draw a single comment,” Dorko noted.

“Ordinance comments were overwhelming positive,” Dorko said, pointing out that the American Family Association of PA did circulate email communications to township residents advising readers not “to make the same mistake several southeastern Pennsylvania townships have made recently.”

“I don’t see our actions as making a mistake,” township board of commissioners president Diane Bowman told Central Voice. LGBT residents are “not unworthy, just different.”

Upon initially proposing the ordinance, Dorko cited inaction by the Pa. General Assembly in enacting statewide anti-discrimination protections, even though 25 municipalities in the state already have such protections, although the state’s three largest cities – Altoona, Wilkes-Barre, and Williamsport – do not.

Most recently, Jenkintown Borough and Whitemarsh Township, both in Montgomery County, passed protective ordinances, preceded by Bethlehem. The complete list includes: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie (County), Allegheny (County), Reading, Scranton, Bethlehem, Lancaster (City), Harrisburg, York, State College, Easton, Newton Borough, Swarthmore, Lower Merion Township, West Chester, New Hope, Landsdown, Doylestown, Conshohocken, Haverford, Springfield Township, and Montgomery County.

Over the past year, Equality PA has combined efforts with locally-based advocates to pass ordinances in eight municipalities.
“We are really just doing what state legislators have told us to do all along on non-discrimination,” Equality PA executive director Ted Martin told Central Voice. “Pass local ordinances and that will build grassroots pressure on us to act they say. So we have made passing ordinances a top priority and we wanted 25 on the books by 2012,” he said.

“Many ordinances have passed with bipartisan support and our opposition has learned that the world did not end,” Martin said. “We have 12 other communities” in various stages of organizing ways to have similar ordinances passed in their municipalities, he noted, adding “we get more calls on this subject than you can imagine.”