Author Archive | Tim Dunleavy

AChristmasCarol-bg

‘A Christmas Carol’ at McCarter Theatre Center

As McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol opens, the streets of London are bustling. Snow is falling lightly, and good will is in the air. A group of carolers gathers around a brightly decorated Christmas tree to sing. But then the festive mood is shattered: the tree suddenly tumbles to the ground, knocked over from behind […]

Continue Reading
images (38)

‘Becoming Dr. Ruth’ at Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3 in Philadelphia

Becoming Dr. Ruth is a cute little show about a cute little lady. A one-woman show about Ruth Westheimer, the world’s most famous “German-French-Israeli-American” TV sex therapist, Becoming Dr. Ruth isn’t dramatically rich, even though it recounts the often frightening events of Dr. Ruth’s early life. But thanks in part to Jane Ridley’s charming performance, […]

Continue Reading
download (20)

‘Mountain: The Journey of Justice Douglas’ at Bristol Riverside Theatre in Bristol, PA

If you don’t know anything about William O. Douglas (1898-1980), the man who served on the United States Supreme Court longer than any other justice, Douglas Scott’s play Mountain: The Journey of Justice Douglas will tell you everything you’d ever want to know. It’s packed with information about his most important judicial decisions, about his […]

Continue Reading
download (19)

‘Macbeth’ at Villanova Theatre at Villanova University

More than four hundred years after Shakespeare wrote it, Macbeth remains a potent play. Its tale of how the lust for power corrupts is timeless, made even more enduring by some of the most legendary lines in English literature. It’s hard to go wrong with a classic play that just about everybody knows, even if […]

Continue Reading
220px-05BarrymoreAward

Oh What a Night at The 2015 Barrymores!

“It’s been a big year for me.” That was quite an understatement coming from Scott Greer. The veteran Philadelphia actor had just won his fifth Barrymore Award, named Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play for his role as a 600-pound man in Theatre Exile’s The Whale. And he’d been nominated in the same category for […]

Continue Reading
equivocation_home

‘Equivocation’ at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia

Equivocation, Bill Cain’s alternative history about William Shakespeare getting caught up in deadly royal court intrigue, is exceedingly clever and almost dizzyingly erudite. And it has some quite funny moments early on. But it soon turns dark and depressing, focusing on a historical event that’s bleak and, to many Americans, obscure. And with a running […]

Continue Reading
images (38)

‘Bullets Over Broadway’ at Broadway Philadelphia

Bullets Over Broadway is one of Woody Allen’s funniest, most accessible movies. But the stage musical adaptation, using a script by Allen himself, is an awkward mishmash of comedy and music that never congeals. And the touring production now playing at the Academy of Music, while slick, handsome and filled with excellent dance numbers, never […]

Continue Reading
rizzo logo

‘Rizzo’ at Theatre Exile in Philadelphia

Technically speaking, Rizzo isn’t a great play. Bruce Graham’s new play about the life of the late Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo doesn’t dig deeply enough into what made its main character tick. The show’s framing device, using a single day in Rizzo’s final political campaign as a way for him to reminisce about his life, […]

Continue Reading
11209559_10153006595901965_8531605941771371814_n

‘Disgraced’ at Philadelphia Theatre Company

Disgraced is a play that pushes people’s buttons. Almost every character says something that is guaranteed to outrage somebody. But when you push too many buttons, a show can feel mechanical – and that’s true of Disgraced. Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play is fascinating and enlightening in its examination of Muslim Americans (an under-dramatized group […]

Continue Reading
Corinna Burns 1

‘Hooked!’ at Inis Nua Theatre Company in Philadelphia

If there’s one thing the Irish are good at, it’s keeping – and creating, and gossiping about – secrets. (My Irish grandmother practically turned it into an art form.) In Hooked!, playwright Gillian Grattan offers up a trio of Irish villagers whose stockpiles of secrets create suspicion and anger amongst their neighbors – and a […]

Continue Reading
images (23)

‘Metamorphoses’ at Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia

Watching Metamorphoses is a sensory experience. Mary Zimmerman’s play retells ancient myths with intelligence and invention, and that alone makes it memorable. But what you’ll remember most about the show is its use of water, and the way you’ll feel immersed in it, even if you don’t get a drop on you. (And don’t let […]

Continue Reading
download (12)

‘Bus Stop’ at Bristol Riverside Theatre in Bristol, PA

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. It’s the middle of the night on an isolated Kansas highway, somewhere between Kansas City and Topeka, and a massive winter snowstorm has stranded a group of bus passengers in a diner. They pass the time by drinking coffee, eating some modest meals, and getting to know each other. […]

Continue Reading