Author Archive | Lisa Panzer

Steve Underwood.

Interview: Steve Underwood, Director of ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure’ at Beacon Theatre Productions

Steve Underwood earned his M.A. in Theatre at Villanova University, and holds B.A. in English from Temple University. As an active writer and actor, he completed his oral thesis at Villanova in Playwriting. Most recently he wrote and performed in Melvin’s Last Ride and appeared as Advocate Rott in Beacon Theatre Productions’ mounting of Bonhoeffer’s […]

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Christopher Garofalo, John Williams, Lee Cortopassi and Ashton Carter. Photo by Shawn May.

Review: ‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’ at Quintessence Theatre Group

Quintessence Theatre Group brings William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, as directed by Alexander Burns, vibrantly to life with spectacular staging, scintillating costumes and a sparkling cast. The King of Navarre, Ferdinand (Lee Cortopassi), has convinced his complement of Lords – Berowne (John Williams), Longaville (Ashton Carter) and Dumaine (Christopher Garofalo) – to swear off women […]

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Patrick Romano and Tracie Higgins. Photo by Bill D'Agostino.

Review: ‘Tomfoolery’ at Act II Playhouse

“Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it. “ ~ Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer’s Tomfoolery, as directed by Tony Braithwaite, is a wickedly wonderful celebration of musical wit and wordplay. Featuring superbly performed selections from Lehrer’s top satirical songs, interspersed with tidbits of the songwriter’s life […]

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Dana Kreitz and Lee Cortopassi. Photo courtesy the production.

Review: ‘The Big’ at The Sedgwick Theater

Lee Cortopassi’s The Big offers a fun, farcical take on classic film noir, loaded with ludicrous, laugh-out-load moments of sheer, nearly surreal silliness. Set between 1939 and 1942, The Big follows three stock noir characters – sultry wannabe actress Scotch Esperanza (Dana Kreitz), notorious yet sensitive criminal Matty McFadden (Lee Cortopassi), and comically clueless detective […]

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Review: ‘Enter Laughing’ at The Players Club of Swarthmore

Enter the new year laughing out loud with the cast and crew of Enter Laughing at The Players Club of Swarthmore, directed by Paul Kerrigan! Joseph Stein’s tour de farce, inspired by Carl Reiner’s same named semi-autobiographical novel set in the 1930s, takes a comedic peek at the reaction David Kolowitz (Mike Sokolowski), a recent […]

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Review: ‘Wilde Tales’ at Quintessence Theatre Group

Brightened by a beautiful glittering garden backdrop, several of Oscar Wilde’s fabled fairy tales, smartly adapted and directed by Jeremy Bloom, convey the childlike spirit to an enchanting world where miracles, magic and mysticism mix with somber morality motifs, and puppets roam and ruminate. Wilde had penned these tales for his children during the Victorian […]

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Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Hedgerow Theatre

A Christmas Carol, written as a novella by Charles Dickens in 1843, has been widely adapted in many forms for television, radio, the big screen, opera and theater. It remains a powerful parable that resonates through time, of a man whose heart has shriveled to almost nothing and must receive a severe shock in order […]

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Review: ‘Angels in America Part Two: Perestroika’ at The Players Club of Swarthmore

…Worst thing about being sick in America is that you’re booted out of the parade. Americans have no use for sick… Roy Cohn, Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika An outstanding production of Tony Kushner’s multiple award-winning epic drama on the 1980’s HIV/AIDS devastation in America, deftly directed by Dave Ebersole, awaits those who dare […]

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Review: ‘Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play’ at Pulley and Buttonhole Theatre Company in Jenkintown, PA

Aficionados of the TV hit The Simpsons, in particular, won’t want to miss the Philadelphia area premiere of Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, directed by Bridget Reilly Beauchamp, at Pulley and Buttonhole Theatre Company. But you don’t have to be a fan to appreciate the satirically entertaining homily offered here on the human […]

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Review: ‘Angel Street’ at Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, PA

Hedgerow Theatre captivatingly brings Patrick Hamilton’s Angel Street, directed by Cara Blouin, across the pond, into the year 1924 in Philadelphia where Bella Manningham (Jennifer Summerfield) and her husband Mr. Manningham (Jared Reed) are locked in a mad duel. Married but three years, Mr. Manningham has become increasingly upset with Bella’s inability to keep track […]

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Review: ‘Vocalosity’ at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA

Resounding applause met the awe inspiring, all a capella group, Vocalosity at the newly renovated Bucks County Playhouse opening night for their North American Tour Launch. Ten ultra-talented young performers, directed by Artistic Director, Music Director and Arranger, Deke Sharon, and Director and Choreographer, Sean Curran, demonstrate, with verve and vocality, the amazing sounds the human body […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Review: ‘Incredible Dreamz’

A comedy collective, referring to themselves as a “polyamorous quad couple” or “Incredible Dreamz” starring The Incredible Shrinking Matt & Jacquie (Matthew Schmid and Jacquie Baker) and The New Dreamz (Rose Luardo and Andrew Jeffrey Wright), have whipped up an absurd offering of silly, surreal, funny shtick with a side of bologna roll to suit […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Walk to Topaz’ by Brendan Tetsuo

Brendan Tetsuo began his evocative Walk to Topazas a solo dance journey to further explore his family’s heritage, developing into a fabulous Fringe offering. Traditional Japanese movements are combined with scintillating stylized dance in an endeavor to communicate the experience that began with his grandparents internment during World War II at the Japanese Internment Camp […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Tales of the Grotesque and Mysterious: The Works of Edgar Allan Poe’ at The Phenomenal Animals

In several dimly lighted rooms within the walls of the brick tower atop the Shiloh Baptist Church, Edgar Allan Poe’s tales, adapted by Robert Cousins, are being reborn, as eerie as nevermore, performed by the co-creative ensemble, The Phenomenal Animals, under the direction of Kate Sparacio. Waiting for those who dare is a congealing of […]

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2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival Review: ‘Pangaea: A Folk Opera’ at The Hum’n’Bards

“I am not prepared to be isolated” ~ Anna Michael, Lead Artist The Hum’n’Bards, directed by the talented Jasmine Kojouri, in association with Van.Martin Productions, have produced a charming, and alarming, post-apocalyptic, neo-beatnik folk opera which explores the human need for connectivity. The term “pangaea” refers to a long ago time when all of the […]

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Review: ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ at Mauckingbird Theatre Company in Philadelphia

Mauckingbird Theatre Company twists the tides a bit while taking the audience on a fun-filled, thoroughly enjoyable trip on the high seas of hilarity, with its rollicking LGBT adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1879 operetta, The Pirates of Penzance, directed by Peter Reynolds. From the scintillating opening aria, “Pour, Oh Pour The Pirate Sherry,” onward, it […]

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Review: ‘The Magnus Effect’ at The Greenfield Collective in Philadelphia

Take five folks with aviophobia, fear of flying, then multiply that by the individual’s various phobias and anxieties connected to flying, combine that with timely comedy plus intense drama, an excellent cast complemented by clever tech, compounded with perfectly interspersed dance and movement, and you have an exponentially superb show with a wonderfully constructed panoramic […]

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