Archive | Philadelphia

Joe Kinosian and Kyle Cameron. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘The Nerd’ at Bucks County Playhouse

The summer stock experience has nearly passed away. Half a century ago it was a vacation custom to visit a picturesque village and, after a day of sightseeing complemented by great food, stop by a local playhouse for a fun evening. These theaters sometimes featured young artists practicing their new craft or famous stars in […]

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Cast of Mother Emanuel.

Celebrating the Lives of the Emanuel Nine: An Interview with the Cast of New Freedom Theatre’s ‘Mother Emanuel’

During a prayer service on June 17, 2015, nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, were killed by a 21-year-old white supremacist. He confessed to the shooting in hopes of igniting a race war. Mother Emanuel: An American Musical Play, inspired by the lives of the Emanuel […]

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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: ‘Always… Patsy Cline’ at The Media Theatre

Anyone who has ever felt any heartfelt connection to another can hear a legendary Patsy Cline song and say “Oh yes, been there, seen, done that.” The lyrics are about much more than trucks, beer or bygone dogs. Her tunes depict those special times in life – looking back, looking forward, or being ‘in the […]

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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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Melanye Finister, Danielle Skraastad, and Yvette Ganier. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘Project Dawn’ at People’s Light

Gritty and harsh, but with flashes of humor and hope, Project Dawn tackles a vital issue and doesn’t shy away from showing its worst repercussions. Karen Hartman’s play, inspired by a real-life court with a novel solution for eliminating the scourge of prostitution, provides lots of food for thought – and lots of rich, meaty […]

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Kirsten Quinn, Ian Agnew, and Tyler Brennan. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘The Roses in June’ at Seagull Productions

June 1967. What memories does that bring? Sgt. Pepper, The Rolling Stones, bell bottoms, assassinations, the conflict with ’50s conformity, trouble in the Middle East? This is the era summoned by Timothy M. Kolman’s play The Roses in June, which is now receiving its world premiere at Plays and Players Theatre in Philadelphia. If you […]

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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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Terry Brennan. Photo by Nick Mazzuca.

Review: ‘School Play’ at Tribe of Fools

What is education? Just because you attend school and sit in a desk doesn’t mean you learn something. In addition, learning can happen beyond the traditional classroom. In School Play, Terry Brennan plays himself at nine years old in the fourth grade. This one-man show, written by Brennan and Jack Tamburri, depicts a typical day […]

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Marcia Saunders and Eppchez! Photo by Daniel Kontz.

Review: ‘Hir’ at Simpatico Theatre Project

Two staples of American drama have been the “kitchen-sink play,” which feature small casts and meticulously detailed, usually lower-middle class, settings, and what I’ll call “family reunion plays,” in which the return of a family member opens festering wounds. (The two styles of drama can easily overlap.) Usually these plays have focused on white, “mainstream,” […]

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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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Steven Wright. Photo by Shawn May.

Review: ‘Uncle Vanya’ at Quintessence Theatre Group

There’s something seriously wrong with this house. That’s what one character says early in Quintessence Theatre Group’s new production of Uncle Vanya, and boy, is she right. Uncle Vanya is set in a large country house where everyone seems to be in a funk, affected by a crippling, dispiriting malaise. But there’s one thing about this […]

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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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Elizabeth Zharoff. Photo by Peter Konerko.

Review: LiveConnections Presents Elizabeth Zharoff + Xavier Foley at World Cafe Live

LiveConnections Presents ended its sixth season with soprano Elizabeth Zharoff and double bassist Xavier Foley. This season was devoted to pairing musicians in order to stretch musical boundaries, and has resulted in some memorable programs, such as SYBARITE5 and Jakub Ciupinski, or Nicholas Photinos and Florent Ghys. Although both Zharoff and Foley are extraordinarily talented, […]

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Review: ‘Motown The Musical’ at the Academy of Music

Bringing Detroit’s soulful music to the masses was the goal, and Berry Gordy showed he was ready for the challenge by creating the melodies of Motown. Written for the stage by Gordy (adapted from his own memoir), Motown The Musical is now onstage at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, as part of the Broadway […]

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