A production of “The Bridges of Madison County” recently opened in Philadelphia, presented by the Philadelphia Theatre Company. I had only seen clips of the movie. And I have to admit based on that, I didn’t realize that the play was a musical — a Tony-Award winning musical at that. That was until they introduced the conductor, Amanda Morton, before the show began. The show features soaring ballads and a super-cool set.

On a winter night with temperatures dropping into the single digits, there’s nothing better than curling up in front of the fire with a good book. (I don’t exactly have a fireplace here in the city, but I found a great YouTube video of a crackling fireplace. And with enough imagination, I could almost feel the warmth and smell the burning logs.) My book of choice: “When I Was Your Girlfriend” by Nikki Harmon.

I’ve known Harmon for a while, but as a filmmaker, not a novelist. She warned me that it was a light but enjoyable read. It did not disappoint.

Polish those boots because it’s almost time for the Mr. & Ms. Philadelphia Leather contest. The annual competition will take place 8-10 p.m. Feb. 16 at The Bike Stop, 206 S. Quince St.

“Pup” Ruckus has judged, staffed and volunteered at many leather and fetish events across North America. Self-described as a smart husky with a true passion for obedience school, he is the past title-holder for Mr. Mid-Atlantic Leather.

Hello, thespians and drama kweens! Itching to get your bard on, but don’t have the bucks? You’re in luck.

   From Feb. 7-17, Theatre Philadelphia presents Philly Theatre Week. It’s actually a 10-day celebration of the arts, showcasing more than 100 unique theater events including productions, readings and interactive programs. It’s a great way to check out the growing, vibrant and diverse theater scene in the area. The shows include world and regional premieres, Black History Month and Valentine’s Day-themed events, programs with food and drink, physical theater and dance, regional theater and the classics as well as academic and community performances. Many events are free. Some cost $15 or $30.

Well, the holidays are over and it’s now time for the post New Year slump. The time when the skies are often overcast and gray and the days stretch on as we look out the window, trying to catch a glimpse of sun or perhaps a brilliant snowfall.

If the Freshman 15 is a real thing, then so is the Christmas 12, the number of pounds I seem to gain over the 12 days of Christmas.

For me, it’s not close enough to spring for me to start panicking, but for many people the best way to keep the weight down and spirits up is to exercise.

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