Author Archive | Celeste Mann

Emma Gibson. Photo by Kate Raines/Plate 3 Photography.

Review: ‘Perfect Blue’ at Tiny Dynamite

Something new and cutting-edge is happening at Christ Church Neighborhood House this summer – the U.S. premiere of Perfect Blue, by G.S. Watson. Perfect Blue, produced by Philadelphia-based theatre company Tiny Dynamite in association with UK theatre company Pursued By a Bear, is an example of “transmedia storytelling.” According to their website, “transmedia storytelling utilizes […]

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Terry Brennan. Photo by Nick Mazzuca.

Review: ‘School Play’ at Tribe of Fools

What is education? Just because you attend school and sit in a desk doesn’t mean you learn something. In addition, learning can happen beyond the traditional classroom. In School Play, Terry Brennan plays himself at nine years old in the fourth grade. This one-man show, written by Brennan and Jack Tamburri, depicts a typical day […]

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Chris Davis and Stephanie N. Walters. Photo by Plate 3 Photography.

Review: ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ at Orbiter 3

I attended Peaceable Kingdom, a new play by Mary Tuomanen, last night at Christ Church Neighborhood House. I am already checking my calendar for a day when I can see this unique and riveting production again! Peaceable Kingdom was developed by Orbiter 3, which bills itself as “Philadelphia’s first producing playwright’s collective.” It is one […]

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Felicia Leicht (bottom) and Corinna Burns. Photo by Katie Reing.

Review: ‘Swallow’ at Inis Nua Theatre Company

Swallow, by Scottish playwright Stef Smith, was first seen at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015. This American premiere is produced by Inis Nua Theatre Company (which specializes in works from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland) and dazzles in its simplicity. The convincing acting, streamlined set. and compelling script make for a refreshing evening of theatre. […]

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Tania Isaac. Photo by Lindsay Browning.

Review: ‘crazy beautiful’ at FringeArts

How are dances created? What might inspire a choreographer? Specifically, how does Tania Isaac develop a dance? What role does the viewer have in it all? These are some of the questions that come to mind and are answered in Tania Isaac’s performance piece, crazy beautiful. FringeArts presents this interactive dance event for just three […]

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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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