The Great Pennsylvania Casino Tour [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Sep16

The Great Pennsylvania Casino Tour [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]

Pennsylvania legalized casino gambling in 2006, but the state’s casinos are about to pass Atlantic City in revenue to become the United State’s second gambling mecca, right on the heels of Nevada.  So, how did my home state turn into a gamblers paradise after years of shooting it down?  Some friends and I took a road trip to find out. The area where I live near New York City is littered with billboards and commercials for tons of casino action.  Take a simple ride on the subway, or a drive through the Holland Tunnel, and you will find ads for the glittering Indian casinos of Connecticut, New York’s Yonkers’ Raceway, several of Pennsylvania’s offerings, and Atlantic City – the giant who used to dominate the ads. Yonkers Raceway, just north of Manhattan, has recently dropped a ton of cash to overwhelm the local advertising, pushing their new craps games. PA’s casinos are right behind.  Emeril Lagasse’s face, touting his Sands’ restaurants and hotel tower, are plastered all over the PATH trains. The mascot squirrel on the craps table for Mt. Airy ads is all over the F train.  Some casinos are even sponsoring the weather on local TV stations, just to get attention. The New York area is definitely being targeted by the several Pennsylvania gaming halls that are just a short drive away.  We went for it, plotted our trip and decided that the best route was to explore the gambling halls in Eastern PA. After departing North Jersey, we went West on I-80 headed for the Poconos.  Our first stop was Pennsylvania’s first casino, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. MOHEGAN SUN AT POCONO DOWNS Total Number of Slots: 2,232 Total Number of Table Games: 82 Just a few minutes off of I-81 and the Pennsylvania...

THE RYAN DIXON LINE: Dangling by a thread – SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK in Theory and in Practice...

“The Ancient Greeks reserved a special word for the sort of arrogance that makes you forget your own humanity. That word was Hubris.” — From an introductory essay included in the Playbill of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Note to Julie Taymor, Bono and The Edge: When creating a $65 million dollar musical beset by more accidents than those found in the diapers of my nine-month old niece, it’s not a good idea to feature an essay in your show’s program about Hubris. But then again, the entire production history of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark reeks of Hubris. And Hubris was at the heart of what I saw on the night of December 20th when, during a preview performance, Christopher Tierney (one of the many actors who portrays the flying Spider-Man) plummeted 30 feet into an orchestra pit, causing the performance to come to a premature end with seven minutes left. In truth, I was there to see an accident. Not an accident that endangered the life of an actor, mind you, but a theatrical one.  I had missed the opportunity to feast upon such legendary Broadway turkeys as Dance of the Vampires, Lestat, and Carrie: The Musical. And the larger-than-life elements and Jupiter-sized egos involved with Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark seemed to ensure that the show was either going to be a unmitigated disaster or a genuine work of theatrical genius like Taymor’s The Lion King. I know what you’re thinking now– Aside from the stage accident, how was the show? To assist me in answering this question, I’ve enlisted my buddy Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher who knew a few things about Hubris. As anyone who’s taken a freshman year theatre class knows, Aristotle broke down Greek Tragedy (and thus...