Author Archive | Tim Dunleavy

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‘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, […]

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‘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 […]

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‘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 […]

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‘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 […]

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‘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. […]

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‘Eurydice’ at Villanova Theatre in Villanova, PA.

Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl’s fresh take on a classic Greek myth, is irreverent and deadly serious at the same time. It’s profound… and at times it’s also profoundly silly. And its willingness to jump between these tones, while never losing sight of its eternal and relevant themes, makes it captivating. While Villanova Theatre’s production doesn’t quite […]

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‘Baby Doll’ at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ

You can cut the air – and the tension – with a knife in Princeton these days. The McCarter Theatre’s new production of Baby Doll, adapted from Tennessee Williams’ 1956 screenplay (and his short play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton), takes us deep into the Mississippi delta, where it’s summertime and the cotton is high… […]

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‘High Society’ at The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia

Philip Barry’s 1939 play The Philadelphia Story has long been rightly celebrated as a model of wit and sophistication. It inspired a classic movie version the following year and then, in 1956, High Society, a movie musical adaptation with a handful of songs by Cole Porter, who wasn’t too shabby in the wit and sophistication […]

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2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival: ‘Alias Ellis Mackenzie’ at Lucidity Suitcase International

Alias Ellis Mackenzie tells the story of Barry Seal, who smuggled drugs into the United States for the Medellin Cartel during the 1980s while simultaneously working as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Seal was a complex character, and Alias Ellis Mackenzie – named after Seal’s actual undercover alias – is a complex […]

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2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival: ‘Underground Railroad Game’

Underground Railroad Game is a show that doesn’t care who it shocks. It’s filled with racial and sexual stereotypes, raunchy language, and offensive images, not to mention full frontal nudity. There’s something in it to offend almost everyone. And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Created and performed by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott […]

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‘Murder for Two’ at Philadelphia Theatre Company

Whodunit? Who killed the famous author? Was it his wife, his mistress, or his psychiatrist? Maybe it was the author’s friends Murray and Barb, the ones who introduce themselves as “the feisty old couple.” Maybe it was Henri, the dancing French fireman. (Yes, a dancing French fireman.) Or maybe it was the boys’ choir that […]

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