Archive | Philadelphia Theater News

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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Lexi Gwynn and Brandon O'Rourke. Photo by Maura McConnell.

Review: ‘Romeo & Juliet’ at The Media Theatre

“Two households, both alike in dignity In fair Verona, where we lay our scene From ancient grudge break to new mutiny Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean….” Delaware County’s Media Theatre continues its current season with a production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Playing in the company’s State Street venue through February 19th, […]

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Review: ‘Marcus/Emma’ at InterAct Theatre Company

Marcus Garvey and Emma Goldman were known for their stirring, provocative speeches. But I doubt that, in any of her speeches, Goldman ever said anything as provocative as “Solidarity is sexy! Yeah!” Or that Garvey ever pointed to himself and said “You can’t deport this. You can’t deport this raw sex power.” Mary Tuomanen’s play […]

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Review: ‘Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion’ at The Kimmel Center

Jerry Blavat, “a Philadelphia borne dancer, radio and television disc jockey, performer, entertainer, producer and nightclub owner” (according to the program insert), produced his 38th show at The Kimmel Center, called Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion, on Saturday night. Blavat has worked in the music business for more than fifty years, and is […]

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Florent Ghys

Review: LiveConnections Presents Nicholas Photinos + Florent Ghys at World Cafe Live

Nicholas Photinos’ and Florent Ghys’ evening of “string innovations” was another successful pairing for LiveConnections Presents’ ambitious curator Mary Wheelock Javian. Her 2016-17 season “is focused on pairing virtuosic string players with a musical partner who takes their music in a new direction.” An evening will combine performances of work from each artist’s repertoire with […]

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Mary Tuomanen. Photo courtesy FringeArts.

Review: ‘Hello! Sadness!’ at FringeArts

Mary Tuomanen’s fiercely political solo performance Hello! Sadness! dreamily jolts through time and space. It blends together disparate historic figures and fictional characters, from Joan of Arc and the actress who embodied her on film, Jean Seberg, to Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, to Hamlet, and to Tuomanen herself. Tuomanen’s work comes at a […]

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Review.’Driving Miss Daisy’ at Bristol Riverside Theatre

Atlanta 1948: “Negro Policemen to Patrol City Streets—They are ordered not to arrest white people” This is an actual headline featured in the multimedia of Bristol Riverside’s Driving Miss Daisy. It is the post-war South. She’s 72, white, rich, annoying and Jewish. She needs a driver. He’s black, but needs a job. Thus begins one […]

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Loudon Wainwright III. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘Surviving Twin’ at People’s Light

Well-known to audiences for his offbeat 1972 novelty song “Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)” and his appearances as the singing guitar-playing Captain Calvin Spalding on the popular TV series M*A*S*H, Loudon Wainwright III, now 70, takes a look back at his life and four generations of his family through stories, songs, and […]

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Vedra Chandler (in red) with Taylor Pickett-Stokes, Rose Scott, and Tiara Green. Photo by Chris Miller.

Review: ‘Memphis’ at Ritz Theatre Company

“How could people be so bad that make me feel so good?” That is the rhetorical question posed by white DJ Huey Calhoun, a 9th-grade dropout with an eccentric style, a profound passion for black R&B music, and a mission to have it heard and loved by everyone, everywhere. Set in the segregationist south in […]

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Sarah Gliko and Jered McLenigan. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Review: ‘Constellations’ at The Wilma Theater

In Constellations, what happens is just as important as what might have happened. Nick Payne’s play concerns two young people who meet, fall in love, quarrel, break up, reunite, get engaged, and deal with a life-changing disease. Or maybe not. Maybe none of that happens. Or only some of it does. And that’s what makes […]

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