Archive | Philadelphia Theater News

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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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Review: ‘Dream: A Phonograph Musical’ at Ritz Theatre Company

Celebrating the 90th anniversary of its historic building, Ritz Theatre Company presents Dream: A Phonograph Musical, an original prequel to the genre of the ‘jukebox musical’ inspired by the hits of the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. Created by Jeff Lesser (Vocal Director), Josh Kurtz (Writer), and Bruce A. Curless (Director), with Colin Maier serving as […]

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Review: ‘Witness for the Prosecution’ at Bristol Riverside Theatre

A grand presentation of Agatha Christie’s popular whodunit of 1953, Witness for the Prosecution, closes out Bristol Riverside Theatre’s 30th anniversary season with a bang. Directed by Susan D. Atkinson, the play (later adapted for the 1957 hit film starring Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, and Tyrone Power) not only offers a thoroughly engrossing courtroom drama/murder […]

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Review: ‘My Funny Bone’ at Brian Sanders’ JUNK

In My Funny Bone, the latest offering from Brian Sanders’ JUNK, the boundary-breaking choreographer/dancer traces the evolution of his, let’s say, “eccentric” sense of humor from childhood to the present in a revue-style show of sixteen irreverent vignettes that, as a whole, are decidedly not for all ages. If you’re easily (or even not so […]

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Review: ‘The Arsonists’ at Azuka Theatre

Haunting and primal, Azuka Theatre’s rolling world premiere of The Arsonists, the final installment in Philadelphia playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger’s “Southern Gothic Trilogy” (following the terrible girls and Skin & Bone), re-imagines the ancient Greek tragedy of Electra, the myth of the Three Fates, and the classical concept of the Four Elements deep in the swamplands […]

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Review: ‘The White Devil’ at the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective

In the fall of 2010, the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective – the city’s critically-acclaimed purveyor of rarely-performed classics – burst onto the scene at the historic Broad Street Ministry and became the talk of the theater community with its superlative production of John Webster’s 1614 tragedy The Duchess of Malfi. Now concluding its 2016-17 “Jacobean Season,” […]

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Josh Hitchens, Diane Richardson, Molly Edelman, and Megan Edelman Discuss ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and Victorian Theatre at Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

The latest offering in Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion’s popular Victorian Theatre presentations is a new interpretation of Anne of Green Gables, playing for four performances this weekend in the 19th-century house-museum’s ornately furnished parlor. Adapted from Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s best-selling novel of 1908, the play, appropriate for all ages, follows the uplifting story of […]

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West Side Story at The Media Theatre.

Review: ‘West Side Story’ at The Media Theatre

Earlier this season, The Media Theatre presented Shakespeare’s classic Romeo & Juliet. Now they’re concluding their 2016-2017 season with a production of West Side Story, the musical that put a 20th Century spin on the Bard’s story and became a masterwork in its own right. Set in New York’s Upper West Side in the mid-1950s, West […]

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Review: ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ at the Forrest Theatre

When John Cameron Mitchell (book) and Stephen Trask (music and lyrics) were developing their gender-bending rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch for its Off-Broadway premiere in 1998, the Berlin Wall had only recently come down (November 1989), David Bowie and Lou Reed, icons of the glam and punk rock music of the ‘70s, were still […]

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Talking Marriage and Farce with the Couples of 1812 Productions’ ‘Happy Birthday’

Celebrating its 20th anniversary season, 1812 Productions – Philadelphia’s all-comedy theater company – is now in rehearsals for its springtime offering, the local premiere of French playwright Marc Camoletti’s Happy Birthday. Adapted by British writer Beverly Cross, the rollicking door-slammer farce was a long-running hit in London, which Camoletti soon followed with Don’t Dress for […]

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Michael Biello and Dan Martin Are Grooming for the Opening of ‘Marry Harry’

Philadelphia-based artists Dan Martin (composer) and Michael Biello (lyricist) are about to make their Off-Broadway debut this month with Marry Harry at The York Theatre Company. The longtime creative collaborators and life partners are well-known in Philadelphia for their art gallery and salon sanctuary in Old City, the Biello Martin Studio, which hosts exhibitions and […]

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Review: ‘The Light Princess’ at Arden Theatre Company

A world-premiere musical adaptation of George MacDonald’s 19th-century Scottish fairytale The Light Princess, with book and lyrics by Tony Lawton and music by Alex Bechtel, is the latest offering from Arden Theatre Company’s acclaimed Arden Children’s Theatre. The full-stage production follows an earlier musical workshop reading, created by the collaborative team of Lawton, Bechtel, Aaron […]

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Review: ‘Bradley’s Bucks’ at Franky Bradley’s

Acrobatic, athletic, comic, and erotic, Bradley’s Bucks have it all and delivered it all upstairs at Franky Bradley’s in their latest high-energy offering. Founded, led, and directed by Teddy Fatscher and Tommy Schimmel (well-known to Philadelphia audiences for their dare-devil performances as principal members of Brian Sanders’ JUNK), the all-male resident dance troupe – comprised […]

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Review: ‘I and You’ at People’s Light

For a personal two-hander about a gravely ill teenager’s transcendental reflection on life and death through the lens of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, you need to have empathetic actors who make you care about the characters without becoming maudlin. People’s Light has them, for its Philadelphia premiere of I and You by Lauren Gunderson. Under […]

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A Conversation with Colleen Corcoran on Her Role in Devising and Performing EgoPo’s ‘Anna’

Currently performing the titular role in EgoPo Classic Theater’s Anna – an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Russian epic Anna Karenina, written and directed by Brenna Geffers – Colleen Corcoran has become a regular in the company’s original ensemble-devised productions, based on re-envisioning the masters for a 21st-century audience. In addition to her power to command […]

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Review: ‘Hand to God’ at Philadelphia Theatre Company

Sometimes it’s easier to let a puppet speak for you, when you know the truth about how you feel will not be well received by your small southern Christian community. That’s exactly what happens in Robert Askins’ outrageously funny and surprisingly poignant Hand to God, a devilish dark comedy now playing at Philadelphia Theatre Company. […]

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Review: ‘Cabaret’ at the Academy of Music

Some shows never get old or lose their impact. The national tour of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Tony Award-winning revival of Cabaret, making its Philadelphia premiere for a limited run this week at the Academy of Music, is still as stunning as the original by Joe Masteroff (book), John Kander (music), and Fred Ebb (lyrics) was when […]

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