Archive | Philadelphia Theater News

David Stanger as Jesus.

Repairing and Healing the World Through Theater: An Interview With the Actors of IRC, Philadelphia’s Surreal Theater Company

Near the end of each year, Philadelphia’s only surreal theater, The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium (IRC) —with their deeply philosophical mission statement, “We Bring Good Nothingness to Life”—offers a benefit performance for the next season opener. However, the recent presidential election threw the cast and the directors for a loop as they had to rewrite the […]

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Jessica DalCanton and Jennifer Summerfield. Photo by Ashley Labonde, Wide Eyed Studios.

Review: ‘Uncle Vanya’ at Hedgerow Theatre

A group of people are seated at a dinner table. They discuss the weather. Meanwhile, their lives are falling apart. With the revealing use of subtext like this, Anton Chekhov and others introduced modern theatre to the world. Uncle Vanya is one of Chekhov’s most revered works. The quiet desperation of this group of poor […]

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Samba de Roda. Photo by Mariza Viana.

Review: Balé Folclórico da Bahia at the Merriam Theater

They say “music is the universal language.” Balé Folclórico da Bahia definitely proved that in their one-night-only performance in Philadelphia at the Merriam Theater. The show, Bahia of All Colors, was nearly two hours of non-stop exuberant sound, movement and energy. Considered by Brazil’s Ministry of Culture as the “best dance company in Brazil,” Balé […]

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Oslo

From PlayPenn to Lincoln Center: A Conversation about ‘Oslo’ with Paul Meshejian and J.T. Rogers

Following its development in 2015 at PlayPenn — the respected thirteen-year-old Philadelphia-based artist-driven organization dedicated to supporting and fostering new work — playwright J.T. Rogers’ Oslo is Broadway bound, scheduled to begin previews at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater on March 23. The latest play by the award-winning writer, whose previous works include Madagascar (2004) and […]

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Brian McCann and Paul Kuhn. Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas.

Review: ‘Waiting for Godot’ at Curio Theatre Company

Waiting for Godot is generally considered a comedy. Samuel Beckett himself called this, his most famous play, a “tragicomedy.” But its reputation as an important, monumental piece of art can have a way of choking off the laughs. I’ve seen tedious productions that left me scratching my head and asking “What’s so funny?” If the […]

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Robert Cuccioli and Danielle Leneé. Photo by Matt Urban, Mobius New Media, Inc.

Review: ‘White Guy on the Bus’ at Delaware Theatre Company

White Guy on the Bus, at Wilmington’s Delaware Theatre Company through Sunday, February 19, is easily the prolific Bruce Graham’s most important and most accomplished play, even more than Coyote on a Fence or Funnyman. It shrewdly and bravely depicts American attitudes toward race, showing the casual and fairly harmless way racial matters creep into […]

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After Birth of a Nation, at City Theater Company

Review: ‘After Birth of a Nation’ at City Theater Company

Today’s audiences need farce. Wild men chasing beautiful women through many doors, visual running gags, women dressed as men, and vice versa, all enhanced by a desperation throttled performing style to keep the laughs coming. Our crazy world just requires farce!! City Theater’s After Birth of a Nation, a world premiere by David Robson, supplies […]

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Review: ‘Tancredi’ at Opera Philadelphia

A company premiere and part of its Opera at the Academy series presented in the historic Academy of Music, Opera Philadelphia’s production of Tancredi, from Opéra de Lausanne and Teatro Municipal de Santiago, is at once grand and intimate, florid and quiet, updated but timeless. Based on Voltaire’s play Tancrède (and borrowings from Ludovico Ariosto’s […]

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Puppets by Mark Williams. Photo by Johanna Austin.

Review: ‘The Enchanted’ at Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium

A colorful clearing outside a provincial French village is visited by the spirit of a murderer who enthralls Isabel, an innocent young schoolteacher obsessed with the enigma of death. Aided by the wise local Doctor, opposed by the hard-nosed Government Inspector, and courted by a handsome enamored Supervisor, will she forsake the supernatural, succumb to […]

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Samantha Rosentrater. Photo by Matthew J. Photography.

Review: ‘Grand Concourse’ at Theatre Horizon

Heidi Schreck’s fascinating play Grand Concourse is set in a church soup kitchen, among people who need a hand and those who help them. The play deals with poverty, but its biggest concern is the people who work in this field, devoting their lives to helping others and giving of themselves. What happens to the […]

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Geoff Sobelle.

Review: ‘The Object Lesson’ at New York Theatre Workshop

As an avid collector of art, antiques, and memorabilia, with a PhD in Art History, I have spent a lot of time around objects, studying, explaining, and appreciating them. And I’ve always known that it’s not the monetary value or the conspicuous consumption of the things we accumulate that matter; it’s the sense of beauty, […]

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Anna Zaida Szapiro. Photo by Dave Sarrafian.

Review: ‘The Seagull’ at EgoPo Classic Theater

Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull is one of the most durable of all 19th century plays. But it’s a play that producers, directors, and playwrights love to tinker with. In the last few years, audiences in Philadelphia and New York have been presented with updated rewrites of the work (including a musical version) rather than the original. EgoPo […]

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Any Given Monday at the Stagecrafters Theater

Review: ‘Any Given Monday’ at the Stagecrafters Theater

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise they’ll kill you. That quote, usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw, aptly describes Any Given Monday, a play by Philadelphia’s very own Shaw, Bruce Graham, that will make you laugh out loud and then stay up all night pondering the author’s moral questions. […]

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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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