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DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2015 #13 in Theater in The Philadelphia Area

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2015 was a great year for theater in Philadelphia and the Philly area reviewers of DCMetroTheaterArts: Tim Dunleavy, Deb Miller, Rachel Beecher, Megan Diehl, and Tori Middleton chime in with their favorites. Because we started our Philadelphia coverage only 3 months ago, Tim and Debra have linked to reviews they wrote this past year on Talkin’ Broadway and Phindie.com, as well as the reviews on DCMetroTheaterArts. Congrats to all our honorees! We are looking forward to covering your 2016 productions!

BEST-OF-2015-200X200-PIXELS (1)

MUSICALS

A Christmas Carol at McCarter Theatre.

A Christmas Story, The Musical at Walnut Street Theatre.

Andy: A Popera at Opera Philadelphia and the Bearded Ladies (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Billy Elliot: The Musical at at The Media Theatre.

Black Nativity at Theatre Horizon.

Diner: The Musical at Delaware Theatre Company.

Green Day’s American Idiot at City Theater Company.

Into the Woods at Theatre Horizon.

Love’s Labour’s Lost at City Theater Company.

Murder for Two at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Ragtime at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

The Three Maries – A Philadelphia Phable at Prince Theater.

The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto at People’s Light & Theatre Company. 

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PLAYS

A Comedy of Tenors at McCarter Theatre.

According to Goldman at Act II Playhouse.

Animal Farm at Luna Theater Company.

Antigone at The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia.

Baby Doll at McCarter Theatre.

The Bald Soprano at Curio Theatre Company.

brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

The Children’s Hour at EgoPo Classic Theater.

Equivocation at Arden Theatre Company.

 Exit the King at Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium.

Gentlemen Volunteers at Pig Iron Theatre Company.

 God of Carnage at the Ritz Theater.

Hooked! at Inis Nua Theatre Company.

Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre Company.

The Metamorphosis at Quintessence Theatre Company.

Nora at Delaware Theatre Company.

Peter Rabbit Tales at Enchantment Theatre.

Photograph 51 at Lantern Theater Company.

Playing the Assassin at Delaware Theatre Company.

Rizzo at Theatre Exile.

Stairs to the Roof at EgoPo Productions and Rowan University.

Stella and Lou at People’s Light & Theatre Company.

Underground Railroad Game at Lightning Rod Special (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

 The Whale at Theatre Exile.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Theatre Exile.

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PERFORMANCES

Kristen Bailey as Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis at Quintessence Theatre Company.

Candace Benson as Ensemble Member in Black Nativity at Theatre Horizon.

Jake Blouch as Todd in Unnecessary Farce at Act II Playhouse.

Luke Brahdt as Jeremiah Collins in According to Goldman at Act II Playhouse.

Tony Braithwaite as Gavin Miller in According to Goldman at Act II Playhouse.

Kyle Branzel as The Suspects in Murder for Two at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Rachel Brodeur as Lydia in Hooked! at Inis Nua Theatre Company.

Pearce Bunting as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Theatre Exile. 

Corinna Burns as Mary in Hooked! at Inis Nua Theatre Company.

Elena Camp as many characters in Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits at Act II Playhouse.

Rachel Camp as The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods at Theatre Horizon.

 Kim Carson as Nora in Nora at Delaware Theatre Company.

Judith Lightfoot Clarke as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at Arden Theatre Company.

Derrick Cobey as Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

Keith Conallen as Riece in Lights Rise on Grace at Azuka Theatre.

Akeem Davis as Cecil B. Moore in Rizzo at Theatre Exile.

Kathy Deitch as Big Marie in The Three Maries – A Philadelphia Phable at Prince Theater.

Peter DeLaurier as The Librarian in Underneath the Lintel at Lantern Theater Company.

Charlie DelMarcelle as Tom in Hooked! at Inis Nua Theatre Company.

Annie Dow as Mila in Song for the Disappeared at Passage Theater Company.

Patricia Durante as Queen Marguerite in Exit the King at Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium.

Linda Elizabeth as Elma in Bus Stop at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

Nathan Esser as Michael in Billy Elliot: The Musical at at The Media Theatre.

Catrina Ganey as Lena in brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Bobby Goodrich as Divine in Divine/Intervention at sbgProductions & Faux Real Entertainment. 

Frank X as Julian in Uncanny Valley at InterAct Theatre Company.

Alice M. Gatling as Marlene Hayes in Under the Skin at Arden Theatre Company.

Bobby Goodrich as Divine in Divine/Intervention at sbgProductions & Faux Real Entertainment. 

Scott Greer as Frank Rizzo in Rizzo at Theatre Exile.

Scott Greer as Charlie in The Whale at Theatre Exile.

Garrett Lee Hendricks as Lewis in Playing the Assassin at Delaware Theatre Company.

Maurice Hines as himself in Tappin’ Thru Life at Delaware Theatre Company.

Eric Hissom as Shag in Equivocation at Arden Theatre Company.

Josh Hitchens as Jeffrey Dahmer in Jeffrey Dahmer at BrainSpunk Theater.

Johnnie Hobbs Jr. as Otto in The Shoplifters at 1812 Productions (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Dan Hodge as Cecil in Equivocation at the Arden Theatre Company.

Dan Hodge as Roughman in The Fair Maid of the West at the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective.

Susannah Hoffman as Baby Doll in Baby Doll at McCarter Theatre.

Michael Thomas Holmes as Tateh in Ragtime at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

Robb Hutter as King Berenger in Exit the King at Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium.

David Bradley Johnson as Player 2 in Shipwrecked! at Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3.

Leigha Kato as Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods at Theatre Horizon.

Jennifer Kidwell as Caroline in Underground Railroad Game at Lightning Rod Special (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Derek Klena as Boogie in Diner: The Musical at Delaware Theatre Company.

Ezra Knight as Frank Baker in Playing the Assassin at Delaware Theatre Company.

Emily Krause as Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Theatre Exile.

Jenna Kuerzi as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre.

Mark Lazar as Queen Agnes in The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto at People’s Light & Theatre Company.

Felicia Leicht as Francoise in The Captive at Philadelphia Artists’ Collective (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Ian Lowe as Marcus in Murder for Two at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Graeme Malcolm as Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at McCarter Theatre.

Mary Martello as Sister Aloysius in Doubt at Lantern Theater Company.

Mary Martello as Mama in Memphis at Walnut Street Theatre.

Mary Martello as Alma in The Shoplifters at 1812 Productions (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Mary Martello as Queen Marie in The Three Maries – A Philadelphia Phable at Prince Theater.

Rob McClure as Max in A Comedy of Tenors at McCarter Theatre.

Dylan McDermott as Silva Vacarro in Baby Doll at McCarter Theatre.

Mary McDonnell as Lyubov in The Cherry Orchard at People’s Light & Theatre Company. 

 Ron Menzel as Sherlock Holmes in Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Ellie Mooney as Miss Shields in A Christmas Story, The Musical at Walnut Street Theatre.

Campbell O’Hare as Ellie in The Whale at Theatre Exile.

Ron Orbach as Saunders in A Comedy of Tenors at McCarter Theatre.

 Steve Pacek as The Baker in Into the Woods at Theatre Horizon.

Ian Merrill Peakes as Garnet and Burbage in Equivocation at the Arden Theatre Company.

Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth in Macbeth at Arden Theatre Company.

Geneviève Perrier as Dr. Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51 at Lantern Theater Company.

Ciji Prosser as Sarah in Ragtime at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

Pete Pryor as Lord Mazarotti in The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto at People’s Light & Theatre Company.

Kirsten Quinn as Lisa in Collected Stories at Isis Productions.

Brandon Ranalli at Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot: The Musical at at The Media Theatre.

Jane Ridley as Dr. Ruth Westheimer in Becoming Dr. Ruth at Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3.

Marcia Saunders as Stella in Stella and Lou at People’s Light & Theatre Company. 

Scott Sheppard as Stuart in Underground Railroad Game at Lightning Rod Special (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Catharine Slusar as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Theatre Exile.  

Jenny Lee Stern as Liz in High Society at Walnut Street Theatre.

Susan Riley Stevens as Melanie in According to Goldman at Act II Playhouse.

Emma Stratton as Helen Sinclair in Bullets Over Broadway at Broadway Philadelphia.

Clarke Thorell as Preacher in Because of Winn-Dixie at Delaware Theatre Company.

Mary Tuomanen as Andrei in Andy: A Popera at Opera Philadelphia and the Bearded Ladies (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Noah Weisberg as Shrevie in Diner: The Musical at Delaware Theatre Company.

John Zak as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre.

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DIRECTION

David Bradley for According to Goldman at Act II Playhouse.

Tina Brock for Exit the King at Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium.

Gregory Scott Campbell for Animal Farm at Luna Theater Company.

Joe Canuso for Rizzo at Theatre Exile.

Joe Canuso for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Theatre Exile.

Matthew Decker for Into the Woods at Theatre Horizon.

Marcia Milgrom Dodge for Because of Winn-Dixie at Delaware Theatre Company.

Geoffrey Goldberg for Billy Elliot: The Musical at at The Media Theatre.

Doug Hara for Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre Company.

James Ijames for Michael & Edie at Villanova Theatre.

John Jarboe for Andy: A Popera at Opera Philadelphia and the Bearded Ladies (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Ozzie Jones for Black Nativity at Theatre Horizon.

Adrienne Mackey for The Children’s Hour at EgoPo Classic Theater.

Kathryn MacMillan for Photograph 51 at Lantern Theater Company.

Emily Mann for Baby Doll at McCarter Theatre.

Kathleen Marshall for Diner: The Musical at Delaware Theatre Company.

Michael Mastro for Nora at Delaware Theatre Company.

Charlotte Northeast for The Bald Soprano at Curio Theatre Company.

Matt Pfeiffer for The Whale at Theatre Exile.

Pirronne Yousefzadeh for The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane at InterAct Theater Company.

 Pete Pryor for Stella and Lou at People’s Light & Theatre Company.

Pete Pryor for The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto at People’s Light & Theatre Company.

Tom Reing for Hooked! at Inis Nua Theatre Company.

James Rocco for A Christmas Story, The Musical at Walnut Street Theatre.

Dan Rothenberg for Gentlemen Volunteers at Pig Iron Theatre Company.

Sarah Sanford for Underground Railroad Game at Lightning Rod Special (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Lane Savadove for Stairs to the Roof at EgoPo Classic Theater.

Scott Schwartz for Murder for Two at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Richard Stafford for Memphis at Walnut Street Theatre.

Stephen Wadsworth for A Comedy of Tenors at McCarter Theatre.

BEST-OF-2015-200X200-PIXELS (1)

DESIGN

Christopher J. Bailey for his Lighting Design for Nora at Delaware Theatre Company.

Alex Bechtel for his Sound Design for Underground Railroad Game at Lightning Rod Special (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Jeff Becker for his Set Design for Alias Ellis Mackenzie at Lucidity Suitcase International (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Brian Sidney Bembridge for his Set Design for Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre Company.

Beowulf Boritt for his Set Design for Murder for Two at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Scott Bradley for his Set Design for brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Shon Causer for his Lighting Design for Photograph 51 at Lantern Theater Company.

Russel H. Champa for his Lighting Design for brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Christopher Colucci for his Sound Design for The Hound of the Baskervilles at Lantern Theater Company.

Christopher Colucci for his Sound Design for Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre Company.

Christopher Colucci for his Sound Design for Uncanny Valley at InterAct Theatre Company.

Charlie Corcoran for his Set Design for A Comedy of Tenors at McCarter Theatre.

Jorge Cousineau for his Video Design for Andy: A Popera at Opera Philadelphia and the Bearded Ladies (2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival).

Jorge Cousineau for his Sound Design for To The Moon at 1812 Productions.

Alexis Distler for her Set Design for Nora at Delaware Theatre Company.

Dirk Durossette for his Set Design for Animal Farm at Luna Theater Company.

Brian Dudkiewicz for his Set Design for In the Blood at Theatre Horizon. 

Markéta Fantova for her Set Design for The Children’s Hour at EgoPo Classic Theater.

Olivera Gajic for her Costume Design for Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre Company.

Geoffrey Goldberg for his Choreography for Billy Elliot: The Musical at at The Media Theatre.

Erica Hoelscher for her Scenic Design AND Costume Design for Exit the King at Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium.

Marla Jurglanis for her Costume Design for The Cherry Orchard at People’s Light.

 Lance Kniskern for his Set Design for The Taming of the Shrew at Lantern Theater Company.

Robert Koharchik for his Set Design for Private Lives at Walnut Street Theatre.

Paul Kuhn for his Set Design of The Bald Soprano at Curio Theatre Company.

William Ivey Long for his Costume Design for A Comedy of Tenors at McCarter Theatre.

Jason Lyons for his Lighting Design for Murder for Two at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Colin McIlvaine for his Set Design for The Metamorphosis at Quintessence Theatre Company.

Rosemarie McKelvey for her Costume Design for Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates at the Arden.

Chris Miller and Ted Wioncek for their Set Design for Bonnie & Clyde at Eagle Theatre (Hammonton, NJ).

Daniel Ostling for his Set Design for Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Daniel Ostling for his Set Design for Baskerville – A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Dennis Parichy for his Lighting Design for The Cherry Orchard at People’s Light & Theatre Company. 

Edward Pierce for his Set Design and Lighting Design for Baby Doll at McCarter Theatre.

Jenn Rose for her Choreography for Black Nativity at Theatre Horizon.

Matt Saunders for his Set Design for Hamlet at Wilma Theater.

Gina Scherr for her Lighting Design for Diner: The Musical at Delaware Theatre Company.

Jason Simms for his Set Design for Ragtime at Bristol Riverside Theatre.

Robert Smythe for his Puppet Design for The Three Musketeers (The Later Years): A Musical Panto at People’s Light & Theatre Company.

Janus Stefanowicz for her Costume Design for In the Blood at Theatre Horizon.

James Sugg for his Sound Design for Macbeth at Arden Theatre Company.

Theodoros Terzopolous for his Choreography, Costume, and Lighting Design for Antigone at The Wilma Theater.

Andrew Thompson for his Set Design for Becoming Dr. Ruth at Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3.

Thom Weaver for his Lighting Design for Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre Company.

Thom Weaver for his Lighting Design for Passion at Arden Theatre Company.

Darron L. West for his Sound Design for Baby Doll at McCarter Theatre.

BEST-OF-2015-200X200-PIXELS (1)

SPECIAL AWARDS

Playwright Bruce Graham.

Playwright Bruce Graham.

With numerous plays running in Philadelphia and throughout the country, Playwright Bruce Graham continues to contribute immensely to the reputation of the city’s theater scene, as well as to bring an understanding of the quirkiness, humor, and heart of Philadelphians through his funny and sensitive plays. Though he is still much too young for a lifetime achievement award, he is deserving of recognition for being one of the most productive and compelling playwrights in the US.

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The cast of 'Animal Farm': Isabella May, Sarah Knittel, Michelle Pauls, Katherine Perry, Tori Mittelman, and Kelly McCaughan. Photo courtesy of Luna Theater Company.

The cast of ‘Animal Farm’: Isabella May, Sarah Knittel, Michelle Pauls, Katherine Perry, Tori Mittelman, and Kelly McCaughan. Photo courtesy of Luna Theater Company.

To the ensemble cast of Animal Farm at Luna Theater Company –Isabella May, Sarah Knittel, Michelle Pauls, Katherine Perry, Tori Mittelman, and Kelly McCaughan.

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Ken Opdenaker, Maria Konstantinidis, Rachel Gluck, Aetna Gallagher, Brandon Pierce, and CJ Keller. Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas.

Ken Opdenaker, Maria Konstantinidis, Rachel Gluck, Aetna Gallagher, Brandon Pierce, and CJ Keller. Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas.

To the ensemble cast of The Bald Soprano at Curio Theatre Company – Ken Opdenaker, Maria Konstantinidis, Rachel Gluck, Aetna Gallagher, Brandon Pierce, and CJ Keller.

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Kingsley Ibeneche (Joseph) and Sanchel Brown (Mary), and the cast of ‘Black Nativity.’ at Theatre Horizon in Norristown. Photo courtesy of Matthew J. Photography.

Kingsley Ibeneche (Joseph) and Sanchel Brown (Mary), and the cast of ‘Black Nativity.’ at Theatre Horizon in Norristown. Photo courtesy of Matthew J. Photography.

To the ensemble cast of Black Nativity at Theatre Horizon. Candace Benson, Nastassja Baset, Will Brock III, Adam Hoyak, Angelica Jackson, Timotheus “Moe” Peay, Kayla Tarpley, and Devon Eric Taylor, Sanchel Brown, and Kingsley Ibeneche.

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The cast of 'Metamorphoses' at The Arden. Photo by Mark Garvin.

The cast of ‘Metamorphoses’ at The Arden. Photo by Mark Garvin.

To the ensemble cast of Metamorphoses at Arden Theatre Company – Sean Bradley, Krista Apple-Hodge, Leigha Kato, Alex Keiper, Sharina Martin, Christopher Patrick Mullen, Claire O’Malley, Steve Pacek, Brandon Pierce, and Lindsay Smiling.

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Michael Castillejos and Bryant Martin. Photo by Lindsay Browning Photography.

Michael Castillejos and Bryant Martin in Gentlemen Volunteers. Photo by Lindsay Browning Photography.

To the ensemble cast of Gentlemen Volunteers at Pig Iron Theatre Company – Bryant Martin, Scott Sheppard, Lauren Ashley Carter, Melissa Krodman, and Michael Castillejos.

LINKS:
Read DCMetroTheaterArts’ Philadelphia area reviews.

Oh What a Night at The 2015 Barrymores! by Tim Dunleavy.

DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2015 Honorees in the DC, VA, and MD Area:

DCMetroTheaterArts’ Best of 2015 #1: Special Awards.

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