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Author Archive | Deb Miller

2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Iphigenia at Aulis’ by the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective at the USS Olympia

“What gods?” asks the devastated Clytemnestra after the sacrifice of her first-born daughter Iphigenia, in The Philadelphia Artists’ Collective’s Fringe adaptation of Iphigenia at Aulis. The ancient tale from the Trojan War, recounted by Euripedes circa 406 BC (and using the translation by Florence M. Stawell for the current production), raises universal, and often conflicting, […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes’ by Almanac at the Painted Bride Art Center

Did you ever want to sail away from it all and begin anew with a circle of like-minded friends? That’s what the figures in Almanac’s Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes do, in a decision that tests their individual commitment to the shared utopian goal and their trust in each other’s support – both emotionally […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Strange Tenants’ by Sam Tower + Ensemble at Power Plant Productions

Evincing the seminal inspiration of Fringe mainstays Pig Iron Theatre Company and New Paradise Laboratories, Strange Tenants is the latest original work developed in Sam Tower + Ensemble’s characteristic method and experimental style. A mash-up of ensemble-devised neo-expressionist movement, a script that parodies the mid-20th-century genre of film noir, and a critical feminist eye on […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Labor of Love’ by The WaitStaff at L’Étage Cabaret

Philadelphia sketch-comedy icon, and longest-running annual act in the history of the Fringe, The WaitStaff marks its seventeenth year of participation with an all-new Labor of Love. Directed by the delightfully outrageous Eric Singel and featuring thirteen original skits performed by the hysterically impudent Jim Boyle, Sara Carano, Joanne Cunningham, Gerre Garrett, and Chris McGovern, […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘. . . strand . . .’ by JUNK at Grays Ferry Crescent Trail Park

A transportive adventure awaits Fringe-goers in JUNK’s . . . strand . . ., as Brian Sanders and his stunning troupe contemplate the enigma of the time-space continuum in a dreamlike meditation on the evolution of civilization, in which the here-and-now, history, and posterity merge into one. Staged throughout “Forgotten Bottom” (Grays Ferry Crescent Trail […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘United’ by The Revivalists at the Betsy Ross House

Performed in the candlelit courtyard of the historic Betsy Ross House and opening in the 2017 Fringe on September 9 – the same date, in 1776, that the Second Continental Congress declared our Colonies the United States of America – The Revivalists’ United, conceived and directed by Ben Smallen, is a well-researched and deeply-felt union of […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Fishtown – A Hipster Noir’ by Tribe of Fools at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake

A spot-on parody of the retro-style of film noir in a hilarious send-up of our ever-growing post-modern obsession with social media and technology, Fishtown – A Hipster Noir reaffirms Tribe of Fools’ standing as a perennial favorite in the Philadelphia Fringe. Written by Caitlin Weigel and directed by Peter Smith, the hysterically sharp-witted show will […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘As the Matzo Ball Turns – The Musical’ by Heart of a Lion Productions at the Independence Seaport Museum

A ten-year account of the failed pursuit of his Hollywood dreams, Gene Duffy’s As the Matzo Ball Turns – The Musical is an ambitious stage adaptation of the eponymous 2012 autobiographical chronicle by small-town Pennsylvania native Jozef Rothstein (Duffy’s pen name) – an aspiring actor earning his living as a waiter in a Jewish deli […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Pericles’ by Die-Cast at The Rotunda

Brainchild of Director Brenna Geffers and Designer Thom Weaver, the newly-formed Die-Cast makes its public premiere in the 2017 Fringe Festival with an arresting re-envisioning of the rarely-produced Shakespearean epic Pericles. Commissioned by the international Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown for presentation later this month on Cape Cod, the Philadelphia-based company’s original version of the […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Game Show Show’ by Found Theater Company at the MAAS Building

Seen through the lens of the popular phenomenon of the TV game show, Found Theater Company’s latest ensemble-devised Fringe offering, Game Show Show, considers the ethical dilemma of how far a person would go to achieve success, while casting a critical eye on the declining societal standards promoted in our mass-media culture. Directed by Alison […]

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2017 FringeArts Festival Philadelphia

2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Eugène Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano’ by The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium at the Bethany Mission Gallery

The banality of bourgeois life, the futile desperation to find meaning in mundane existence, the trivial chatter and vapid clichés used to fill the emptiness of everyday being, and the failure of language to express anything but the illogic of it all are the tragicomic themes of Eugène Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano. Though the Absurdist […]

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‘No Ransom To Be Paid’ at Pangea: An Update on ‘GRINDR: The Opera’ and More with Erik Ransom

Featured this summer in producer Ed Miller’s No Ransom To Be Paid four-part series at Pangea, the presented works of writer/composer/musician/actor Erik Ransom include songs from More Than All the World – his epic musical reinvention of Christopher Marlowe’s bio-play on the life of England’s King Edward II – and an hour-long concert version of […]

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Review: ‘A Never-Ending Line’ at The Players Theatre

Conceived by Composer and Director Jaime Lozano as a loving tribute to the women in his life and his matriarchal upbringing, A Never-Ending Line, produced by Maribel Escobosa, Martha Orendain, and Victoria Kühne, presents a cycle of seventeen songs written by nine female lyricists set to his original music. The show, which made its New […]

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Review: ‘Lili Marlene’ at St. Luke’s Theatre

Taking its name from the romantic wartime ballad famously recorded by Marlene Dietrich in 1945, and which, in its earlier German and English versions, had become uniquely popular with both Nazi and Allied troops during World War II, Lili Marlene, with book, lyrics, and music by Michael Antin, makes its East Coast Off-Broadway debut at […]

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Review: ‘Gruff!’ at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre

Part of the first Summer Family Theater Festival at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, Gruff!, a co-presentation by Vital Theatre Company and Doppelskope, is everything that great children’s theater should be. The ecologically-conscious musical fairytale, with concept and text by Ora Fruchter and Christopher Scheer and music by Toby Singer, is entertaining, engaging, and educational, in its […]

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Review: ‘A Real Boy’ at 59E59 Theaters

In the world premiere of A Real Boy, presented by Ivy Theatre Company in association with Athena Theatre at 59E59, playwright Stephen Kaplan significantly reimagines Italian writer Carlo Collodi’s popular children’s book of 1883, The Adventures of Pinocchio, for an adult audience, with an eye on current socio-political issues in our own country. Directed by […]

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Review: ‘Georama’ at the New York Musical Festival

The rise and fall of the largely forgotten 19th-century American artist John Banvard is the subject of Georama, an irresistible bio-musical by West Hyler (book) and Matt Schazt (book, music, and lyrics), with arrangements, additional music, and lyrics by Jack Herrick. Closing out the final week of this year’s New York Musical Festival at the […]

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Review: ‘Wicked’ at the Academy of Music

From its origins in L. Frank Baum’s1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to its adaptation in MGM’s blockbuster 1939 film The Wizard of Oz to its annual TV broadcast on CBS beginning in 1956 (which made it one of the best-known and most-viewed movies in history), the fantasy of Dorothy’s journey to the Land […]

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