Author Archive | Celeste Mann

Aneta Kernová and Krista Apple. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Review: ‘Adapt!’ At The Wilma Theater

Adapt! is a new play that tells the story of Lenka, an immigrant from Communist-era Czechoslovakia who dreams of living in New York City. It’s a world premiere production, written and directed by Blanka Zizka, the Wilma Theater’s longtime Artistic Director. Zizka’s play is autobiographical, ambitious, and has much potential. The production values are high, with […]

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Colleen Corcoran and Andrew Carroll. Photo by Dave Sarrafian.

Review: ‘Anna’ at EgoPo Classic Theater

EgoPo Classic Theater presents the world premiere of Anna as the final work in its Russian Masters Festival. Anna adapts the story of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina with lots of humor and physicality. The cast of actors is splendid and the set dazzles with its realism. A very long narrative is condensed into about 105 minutes […]

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Julianna Zinkel and Mitchell Bloom. Photo by David Fertik.

Review: ‘Ironbound’ at Simpatico Theatre

Her face is banged up and she lights a small votive candle before saying a prayer. Although it is freezing, she has created a makeshift bed outside using her white parka as a mattress and an old spare tire as a pillow. She settles down to sleep and is soon awoken by a young African-American […]

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Review: ‘Our Town’ at Temple Theaters

Temple University Department of Theater’s production of the Pulitzer Prize winner Our Town would have pleased its author, Thornton Wilder. This American classic was written in the early 20th century to be performed with minimal sets and few props. Directed by Douglas C. Wager, Temple’s production stays true to the source and is poignant and thought-provoking. The […]

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Samba de Roda. Photo by Mariza Viana.

Review: Balé Folclórico da Bahia at the Merriam Theater

They say “music is the universal language.” Balé Folclórico da Bahia definitely proved that in their one-night-only performance in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater. The show, Bahia of All Colors, was nearly two hours of non-stop exuberant sound, movement and energy. Considered by Brazil’s Ministry of Culture as the “best dance company in Brazil,” Balé […]

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Review: ‘Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion’ at The Kimmel Center

Jerry Blavat, “a Philadelphia borne dancer, radio and television disc jockey, performer, entertainer, producer and nightclub owner” (according to the program insert), produced his 38th show at The Kimmel Center, called Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion, on Saturday night. Blavat has worked in the music business for more than fifty years, and is […]

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Alex Springer and Xan Burley performing 'Possession.' Photo by Erin Baiano.

Review: ‘Doug Varone and Dancers’ at the Prince Theater

Congratulations are in order! Doug Varone and Dancers (a contemporary/modern dance company) is celebrating its 30th anniversary! Doug Varone’s creativity has stood the test of time. In top form, Doug Varone and Dancers presented an engaging evening of dances and discussion of their art on Thursday, January 19, 2017 in the NextMove Dance series at […]

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Review: ‘A Philly Pops Christmas’ at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

A Philly Pops Christmas is a delightful concert of Christmas Carols, humor and lights, which rings in holiday cheer. The POPS orchestra, conducted by Michael Krajewski, was joined by guest artists, Tony DeSare  (vocalist and pianist), The Philly Pops Festival Chorus, Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir, […]

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Review: ‘Son of a Dog’ at Walnut Street Theatre

“Tawakalt ala Allah” is Arabic, and in English it means, “I rely on God”. This is the phrase that Gameel Al-Batouti uttered repeatedly as Egypt Air flight 990 went down on October 31, 1999.  Everyone on the plan was killed—including Americans, Egyptians, Canadians, Egyptian military personnel and passengers from other miscellaneous countries. Son of a […]

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Review: The Arden Cabaret Series: Michael Ogborn at The Arden Theatre Company, in Philadelphia

The Studio Theatre of the Arden Theatre Company’s Hamilton Family Arts Center was transformed into a nightclub/cabaret for Michael Ogborn’s Night at the Blue Parrot. Small round tables, covered with black tablecloths, seated 4 people, and were relatively close together. White votive candles lit each table, and upon arrival staff uncorked wine bottles and distributed […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Philadanco! in Concert’

Youth, strength, beauty, rhythm, flexibility and technique—all synonymous with Philadanco! This Philadelphia dance troupe wowed audiences at Bryn Mawr College’s Goodhart Hall in their latest concert on September 23, 2016. They presented four distinct dances, which drew from African American culture, classical ballet, and modern/contemporary dance. Joan Myers Brown founded Philadanco in 1970, and she still heads […]

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