Archive | Philadelphia Theater News

Jeff Dietzler and Harry Dietzler, Photo by Mark Dietzler.

Father, Son, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Interviews with Producer/Director Harry Dietzler and Director Jeff Dietzler of Upper Darby Summer Stage

Harry Dietzler, the executive and artistic director of Upper Darby Summer Stage, one of America’s oldest and most successful theater programs for young adults, founded the Summer Stage in 1976 as a 20-year-old drama teacher. The program has trained dozens of locally and nationally known performers, including such luminaries as Tina Fey. Dietzler won the […]

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Review: ‘Wicked’ at the Academy of Music

From its origins in L. Frank Baum’s1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to its adaptation in MGM’s blockbuster 1939 film The Wizard of Oz to its annual TV broadcast on CBS beginning in 1956 (which made it one of the best-known and most-viewed movies in history), the fantasy of Dorothy’s journey to the Land […]

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Review: ‘Moon over Buffalo’ at People’s Light

Now in production at People’s Light, Ken Ludwig’s Moon over Buffalo, directed by Pete Pryor, contains all the expected elements of a farce: there’s mistaken identity; insult humor; impassioned break-ups and make-ups; parodies of the classics; running jokes; physical comedy with over-the-top characters who scream, fight, ugly cry, and mug, get drunk, get angry, and […]

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Deb Miller’s Top Picks for the ‘2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival’

From antiquity to the present, tragedy and drama to absurdism and comedy, masterpieces by classic playwrights to experimental ensemble-devised works by local artists, the 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival runs the gamut over the span of eighteen days, from September 7-24, with 158 offerings throughout the city (plus another twelve shows in the Curated Fringe, and […]

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Barefoot in the Park at Candlelight Theatre

Review: ‘Barefoot in the Park’ at The Candlelight Theatre

Six days do not a week make. These famous words of nonsense, uttered by the young wife Cory, will tell all serious theatergoers that they are in the domain of Neil Simon and his oft-performed blockbuster Barefoot in the Park.  Written in 1963, Barefoot established Simon as the go-to playwright for Broadway comedy.  Nowadays we […]

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An Interview with Josh Hitchens and Ryan Walter: Going Dark in the New Jersey Fringe with ‘The Confession of Jeffrey Dahmer’

Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer committed the shocking murders of seventeen men, involving necrophilia, dismemberment, cannibalism, and the preservation of the victims’ body parts. After years of law enforcement and the public ignoring the many signs that could have led to his earlier capture, he was ultimately found “guilty but sane” in 1992, and […]

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Review: ‘The Summer Club: 3rd Anniversary Special’ at Venice Island Performing Arts Center

Back at Manayunk’s Venice Island Performing Arts Center, The Summer Club celebrated its third anniversary on a very hot night with an even hotter performance. With yesterday’s total breakdown of the Center’s air conditioning and the sweltering conditions on-, off-, and back-stage, electric fans were set up, bottled water was distributed to everyone in attendance, […]

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Review: ‘2017 Summer One-Act Bonanza’ at Old Academy Players

Ten-minute plays are a modern phenomenon. Some critics refer to them as “theatrical fast food” or “audience sound-bites” but this type of play demands a writer who can present exciting ideas in the shortest, most direct way possible, and actors who can create striking first impressions. Audiences enjoy the challenge of seeing many plays in […]

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Review: ‘The Summer Club’ at Venice Island Performing Arts Center

In his banter with the audience during last night’s musical homage to Swing, Big Bands, and ‘The Rat Pack’ at Manayunk’s Venice Island Performing Arts Center, Jeff Coon, Executive Director and creative force behind The Summer Club, referred to the vintage entertainment as “good music and a good night out.” Coon, a Barrymore Award winner […]

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Review: ‘Evita’ at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

The life of Eva Perón is the stuff legends, and rock operas, are made of: a rags-to-riches story of a poor illegitimate child from provincial Argentina, whose ambitious determination, seductive beauty, and audacious opportunism result in a meteoric rise to fame and fortune, first as an actress and model, then as her country’s First Lady, […]

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Review: ‘Fun Home’ at the Forrest Theatre

Winner of five Tony Awards in 2015 – including the first-ever Best Musical honors given to a show written entirely by a team of women – Fun Home, with book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, is now playing a national tour with a six-day stop at the Forrest Theatre, and […]

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The Dream Team that Made a Small Town Big: Interview with Erin Reilly and Matthew Decker of Theatre Horizon

Theatre Horizon (TH) is a professional nonprofit theatre company headquartered in Norristown, Pennsylvania, 20 miles west of Philadelphia. Since its inception, TH has presented critically-acclaimed productions that fulfill its mission of connecting audiences and students with professional theatre artists through relevant and compelling theatre. TH has received multiple Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. The […]

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From ‘Class Clown’ to Master of Clowning and Circus Arts: An Interview with Terry Brennan on Tribe of Fools’ ‘School Play’

Founder and Artistic Director of Tribe of Fools, Terry Brennan is back on stage this month in the Philadelphia SoLow Fest, with his company’s latest offering School Play. The original one-man show, created in conjunction with Director Jack Tamburri, examines the impact ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) had on Brennan’s life as a student, making […]

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Review: ‘Gypsy’ at Arden Theatre Company

Since its debut in 1959, Gypsy, which closes out Arden Theatre Company’s 2016-17 season, has retained its popularity as one of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time, filled with such classic hits as “Everything’s Coming up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You.” Based on the 1957 memoir of 1930s stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, the […]

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Review: ‘The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey’ at Philadelphia Theatre Company

It seems counter-intuitive that a play about a missing fourteen-year-old boy could be in any way funny or uplifting, but The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, written and performed by James Lecesne, is just that. It’s also poignant and inspiring and ultimately life-affirming, with a momentous message about individuality, diversity, acceptance, and positivity, in a masterful production […]

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Akeem Davis, Alex Keiper, and Matteo Scammell: An Interview with the Stars of ‘Buzzer’ at Theatre Exile

Theatre Exile closes its 2016-17 season with Tracey Scott Wilson’s searing drama Buzzer, which examines issues of race, class, and gender through the lens of urban gentrification. Directed by Matt Pfeiffer and featuring three of Philadelphia’s busiest and most accomplished young actors – Akeem Davis, Alex Keiper, and Matteo Scammell – the play focuses on […]

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Review: ‘The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane’ at People’s Light

Imaginative storytelling and captivating performances at People’s Light make Dwayne Hartford’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, adapted for the stage from the novel by Kate DiCamillo, a heartwarming delight for all ages. Based on the Chicago Children’s Theatre production and directed again here by Stuart Carden, the enchanting play with music, with original compositions […]

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