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Review: ‘Nunsense’ at Potomac Playmakers

Something funny is going on at Potomac Playmakers in Hagerstown, Maryland! It’s a new production of Nunsense, an interactive musical with book, music, and lyrics by Dan Goggins. Anyone who grew up Catholic will find something amusing in this charming little musical, peppered with just enough irreverent humor to split your sides laughing without the […]

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Review: ‘Bernstein on Broadway’ at The Kennedy Center

It was a glorious evening for Leonard Bernstein and musical theater fans at The Kennedy Center. It was the exceptional, one-night-only opening to the worldwide celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s upcoming 100th birthday. It was Bernstein on Broadway. The evening’s celebration focused on Bernstein’s works for Broadway. The selected musical pieces ran the gamut from the […]

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Review: ‘How I Became a Pirate’ at Adventure Theatre MTC

A few days ago, you might have heard more than your fair share of “scallywags” and “lily-livered land lubbers” if an acquaintance or loved one elected to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day. If any of those pirate-talking buccaneers are kids, they are sure to enjoy the musical How I Became a Pirate with […]

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Post-Play Palaver: ‘Lela & Co.’ by Factory 449 at The Anacostia Arts Center

Post-Play Palaver is an occasional series of conversations between DC Metro Theater Arts writers who saw the same performance, got really into talking about it, and decided to continue their exchange in writing. That’s what happened when Senior Writers and Columnists Sophia Howes (Dangereuse) and John Stoltenberg (Magic Time!) saw the play Lela & Co. […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘A Period of Animate Existence’ by Pig Iron Theatre Company

If you open the dictionary and look up the word ‘life,’ one entry reads: ‘a period of animate existence.’ Composer Troy Herion gives this explanation for the title of Pig Iron Theatre Company’s newest work. A Period of Animate Existence is the largest project Pig Iron has ever taken on: it has 87 performers, including […]

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Maeve Höglund. Photo by Dominic M. Mercier.

Review: World Premiere of ‘The Wake World’ by Opera Philadelphia

Inside a museum dedicated to art from the past, the O17 Festival has brought a new opera which celebrates musical and literary styles from the past. Composer/librettist David Hertzberg built upon musical forms from the same time period, a century ago, when Albert Barnes was acquiring his unique collection. This is a clever, site-specific staging […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Cymbeline’ by Revolution Shakespeare at Hawthorne Park

For its fourth annual Fringe offering, Revolution Shakespeare returns to South Philadelphia’s Hawthorne Park with another free outdoor selection from the Bard’s canon. This year’s production (and the company’s best yet!) is Cymbeline, a rarely-seen work first presented in 1611, inspired by a tale from the history of ancient Britain and Rome, and subsequently classified […]

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Magic Time!: ‘The Arsonists’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

In a recent satire published on Medium, the San Francisco writer/actor/comedian Alison Page listed five dozen “Honest Theatre Awards.” Among them was one that struck me as an apt accolade for the production of The Arsonists I had just attended at Woolly Mammoth: “The This-Play-Isn’t-About-Trump-But-It-Kind-Of-Is-Now Award.” As if to underscore The Arsonists‘ earnest eligibility in […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Joan Crawford in Her Own Words’ by JC Productions at Tabu Lounge & Bar

Created by Michael McHugh, directed by Peter Tupitza, and starring the fabulous Eric Singel, JC Productions’ revival of Joan Crawford in Her Own Words reunites the show’s original team for a revamped version of their 1990s hit, with some newly added material for the current Fringe presentation. As indicated by the title, the up-close-and-personal direct-address […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Bind’ by Corinna Burns at The Drake

Corinna Burns is not just skilled at acting, she’s also a superb writer and an enthralling storyteller, and she’s proving it once again in this year’s Fringe Festival with Bind. Her latest original work-in-development is an X-rated autobiographical exposé, presented as a script-in-hand solo reading in which she reminisces about her first year in Philadelphia […]

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Sondra Radvanovsky. Photo by Dominic M. Mercier.

Review: Sondra Radvanovsky in Recital at Opera Philadelphia

Sondra Radvanovsky’s recital as part of Opera Philadelphia’s O17 Festival was a spectacular event. That may seem like an oxymoron to some readers, who expect singer/pianist recitals to be intimate communions. She is a tall, majestic-looking woman with a huge voice. Here she entered what was, for her, the unfamiliar territory of small-scaled personal communication, […]

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Review: ‘Native Gardens’ at Arena Stage

Native Gardens is a bloomin’ hysterical comedy at Arena Stage Need something to boost you up? Perhaps something to make you, temporarily, forget the current political and social climate? Or, the threat of a wall rising on our southern border? Head to Arena Stage’s Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C. You’ll have a […]

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Review: ‘Respect! A Tribute to Aretha Franklin’ at the American Pops Orchestra

Five fabulous divas joined the innovative new American Pops Orchestra to celebrate the music of Aretha Franklin at the Arena Stage’s Fichandler Stage on September 16. An energized audience sang, swayed – and, at times – nearly levitated above their seats as this breathtaking tour through Franklin’s years with Atlantic Records (1967-1979) called up vibrant […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘#CocktailPlays’ by Juniper Productions at Philadelphia Distilling

For its inaugural offering in the Fringe, Juniper Productions, founded earlier this year, partners with Philadelphia Distilling for a themed site-specific presentation of four commissioned short plays, performed by three actors, in one hour. The quick-paced round of one-act #CocktailPlays, directed by Marcia Ferguson and produced by Sonya Aronowitz, considers stories and issues, from the […]

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Virginia Barrie and Susan Dewey. Photo courtesy South Camden Theatre Company.

Review: ‘Ripcord’ at South Camden Theatre Company

Ripcord is the story of a cutthroat battle of practical jokes and dirty tricks between two women in an assisted-living residence for the elderly. Does that seem unlikely? Then you’ve never met Abby and Marilyn, who aren’t your typical little old ladies. In David Lindsay-Abaire’s comedy, Abby has made an art of being difficult. She’s angered […]

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Review: ‘Lady M’ – A Co-Production of Collective Eleven, Women from Mars and Gitana Theatre at Atlas Performing Arts Center

In the first scene of LadyM, a show devised by Francesca Chilcote, Rachel Hynes, Vanita Kalra, and Anastasia Wilson, a woman dressed in white dumps an entire bottle of ketchup onto a burger. She tears the burger apart with her teeth, groaning with pleasure. The audience doesn’t know whether to laugh – to play along […]

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