Archive | Philadelphia Theater News

EMMansion, Christina Higgins, TRIBULATION PERIWINKL feature image pto EMM

Review: ‘Tribulation Periwinkle: Civil War Nurse’ at Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

In commemoration of Women’s History Month, Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion’s Victorian Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Tribulation Periwinkle: Civil War Nurse. Adapted and directed by Josh Hitchens, the solo show, performed by Christina Higgins in the beautifully restored 19th-century parlor of the historic house museum, is an original interpretation of Louisa May Alcott’s Hospital […]

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Review: “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Bristol Riverside Theatre

Scheduled to coincide on the calendar with the days historically associated with the last week in the life of Christ, Bristol Riverside Theatre’s spring production of the groundbreaking 1971 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is relocated from Jerusalem in the 1st century AD to […]

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Review: ‘The Lyons’ at Isis Productions

Expletives, insults, and accusations fly, when an unhappy wife, alcoholic daughter, and gay son gather in the hospital room of their dying husband and father for a farewell verbal slug-fest. Isis Productions tackles playwright Nicky Silver’s The Lyons, a no-holds-barred dark comedy about dysfunctional relationships marked by anger, isolation, disappointment, and blame, keeping a tight […]

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Photo by Steve Sachs; design by Dan Lee.

Review: ‘koma’ at Solecalibur

It’s 2 a.m. His mind is racing, overwrought with memories of situations, conversations, and images of her. Music and film merge with poetry, rap, and movement to explore one half-hour inside one man’s anguished psyche in Solecalibur’s koma – “a sound spectacle with a visual component” – created, directed, and edited by Tommy Butler, with […]

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Review: ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ at Ritz Theatre Company

Adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, Harper Lee’s 1960 classic American novel To Kill a Mockingbird, set in the Deep South in the 1930s, still sounds a resonant call for integrity, compassion, and heroism in the face of racial prejudice, hatred, and injustice. Ritz Theatre Company’s heartfelt production, directed by Matthew Weil, delivers the […]

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Review: ‘Irish-ish’ at Manayunk Theatre Company

Just in advance of St. Patrick’s Day, Manayunk Theatre Company brings its tradition of Irish pub entertainment to Roxborough’s Tavern on Ridge with Irish-ish: A Trio of Irish Tales. Showcasing three new short works by emerging local playwrights, the themes run the gamut from fantasy to tragedy to dark comedy, in stories inspired by the […]

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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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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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