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Author Archive | Deb Miller

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Fringe Encore Series Review: ‘Homo Sapiens Interruptus’ at The Huron Club at SoHo Playhouse in NYC

Following the trajectory of his career from heavy-metal rocker to student, writer, and theater artist, Carlos Dengler not only recounts his own personal development, but considers it within the context of the maturation process from youth to adulthood and the course of the evolution of our species, in his one-man show Homo Sapiens Interruptus. Interspersing […]

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Review: ‘Inner Voices’ at Premieres in NYC

The human condition can be challenging, whatever your age, gender, background, or experience. Inner Voices explores, with insight and humor, some of those debilitating personal difficulties, and the need to communicate with others (who just might understand), in three intimate musical shorts commissioned by Premieres for this season’s fifth installment of the biannual series. Opening […]

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Fringe Encore Series Review: ‘Piaf and Brel (The Impossible Concert)’ at SoHo Playhouse in NYC

Though they never met or performed together, Édith Piaf (1915-63) and Jacques Brel (1929-78), nearly fifteen years apart in age, both became legends of the modern “chanson française” and the 20th-century Parisian café-cabaret with their passionate songs of love and loss, sorrow and hope. In Piaf and Brel (The Impossible Concert), Canadian-born chanteuse Melanie Gall […]

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Fringe Encore Series Review: ‘Opera Mouse’ at SoHo Playhouse in NYC

An engaging storyteller, a gifted soprano, and a natural with children, Melanie Gall brings her warmth, talent, and stage presence to the Fringe Encore Series in Opera Mouse, a delightful solo show that she wrote and performs. Directed with vitality and enthusiasm by Erik deWaal, Gall employs adorable hand puppets, classic arias, and audience participation […]

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Review: ‘This Is The Week That Is: The Election Special’ at 1812 Productions in Philadelphia

An annual favorite at 1812 Productions is its irreverent take on the current news. This year’s show, This Is The Week That Is: The Election Special, has hit the motherlode of material with the two most widely mistrusted presidential candidates in US history, and the terrific TITWTI ensemble of writers/performers–Sean Close, Justin Jain, Alex Bechtel, […]

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Review: ‘The Masque of the Red Death: An Evening of Spirits & Consumption’ at Going Dark Theatre Company and the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia

Guests arrived for the party in formal wear, as requested by the host. Inside the historic building, constructed in 1909, they donned masks in carnival colors and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and libations, including a special “POEtion” created for this “evening of spirits & consumption.” Suddenly a man in black attire and whiteface, wearing a red-feathered […]

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Review: ‘Molly Sweeney’ at Irish Heritage Theatre

Filled with poetic language, engaging characters, and penetrating insights into the human condition, Brian Friel’s Molly Sweeney represents the tradition of Irish storytelling at its very best. Told in the format of rotating direct-address monologues, the funny and heartrending three-hander requires a director and cast who can deliver all of the humor and pathos, hope […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Imaginary Music’ by PhEAD at the Philadelphia Art Alliance

A one-night-only multimedia concert that paired Minimalist music–a movement that originated in downtown New York in the 1960s–with visual imagery and current digital technology, Imaginary Music by PhEAD (the Philadelphia Electro-Acoustic Duet) engaged and challenged the ears, eyes, and mind. Founded earlier this year by Andrew Litts and Ryan Olivier, PhEAD’s first joint effort and […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Jungle’ at Bradley’s Bucks

Man and beast struggle and evolve in the post-apocalyptic world of Jungle, the latest work and first Fringe offering of the all-male dance troupe Bradley’s Bucks. Created and directed by dancers Teddy Fatscher and Tommy Schimmel (both accomplished members of Brian Sanders’ JUNK) and produced by co-creator Dave Morreale, the imaginative company employs movement, acrobatics, […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Pandæmonium’ at Nichole Canuso Dance Company and Early Morning Opera

A featured work in this year’s Curated Fringe, Pandæmonium, by Nichole Canuso Dance Company and Early Morning Opera, is a conceptual reflection on relationships, separation, isolation, and emptiness, expressed through movement, music, theater, and video. Taking their inspiration from the contrasting landscapes of California’s suburbs and the Mojave Desert, advances in post-modern digital technology and […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Omeletto: Like Hamlet, Only Scrambled’ at Ombelico Mask Ensemble

Commedia dell’arte meets Shakespeare in Ombelico Mask Ensemble’s original deconstruction of Hamlet. Omeletto: Like Hamlet, Only Scrambled synthesizes all of Shakespeare’s dramatic characters with the comic archetypes from the 16th-century Italian genre, in a madcap ensemble-devised work making its world-premiere al fresco, per convention, in Liberty Lands Park. Directed with flair by John Bellomo, an […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘A Runaway, a Soldier and a Snowball Fight’ at Iron Age Theatre

In her world-premiere historical fiction A Runaway, a Soldier and a Snowball Fight, presented at Fergie’s Pub by Iron Age Theatre, playwright-in-residence Leah Lawler re-envisions the momentous events that precipitated the 1770 Boston Massacre through the imagined backstory of Crispus Attucks, a runaway slave and the first casualty of the American Revolution. Lawler’s approach brings […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’s Switched! Or The Insider and the Outsider’ at Tavern Productions and PAFA Performs

  Conceived by emerging playwright Kevin Stackhouse as “a parody mock opera,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s Switched! Or The Insider and the Outsider, presented by Tavern Productions and PAFA Presents, is a camp mash-up of the titular duo’s operettas, Mark Twain’s novels Pudd’nhead Wilson and The Prince and the Pauper, and the popular film Trading Places […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Interview: ‘Revisiting Current Remounts of Past Hits with Terry Brennan, Tina Brock, and Greg Kennedy’

Three annual Fringe favorites have chosen to remount a past hit for this year’s festival, giving audiences a chance to see the acclaimed works they missed, or to revisit the shows they loved. I had the opportunity to discuss the new 2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival productions of Spherus with Innovative Juggler Greg Kennedy, Antihero with […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Shadow House’ at Philadelphia Opera Collective and PhilaLandmarks

“Are you in here?” “Is there anyone here?” “Who are you?” Where are you?” “You’re not supposed to be here.” Spirits of the people who inhabited the Powel House at different periods in its 250-year history simultaneously move through its rooms with an ethereal presence. The unresolved issues of their lives keep them connected to […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Birdie’s Pit Stop (and the tribe of queers who fucked everything up)’ at On the Rocks

Camp and kitsch reign supreme in On the Rocks’ Birdie’s Pit Stop (and the tribe of queers who fucked everything up), an outrageously funny world-premiere parody of the horror genre and the second installment in “The Dead Teenager Trilogy” by hot young Philadelphia playwright Haygen Brice Walker. Company Co-Founder Elaina Di Monaco directs the over-the-top […]

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