Archive | Philadelphia

JoAna Rusche and Brett Pardue. Photo by Dan Valentino.

Review: ‘The Dollar Princess’ at Concert Operetta Theater

Leo Fall’s music is not likely to return to Broadway. It did, however, provide pleasant vocal opportunities for gifted young singers of the Concert Operetta Theater in Philadelphia this weekend, along with nostalgia for a way of life that vanished a century ago. The mundane sound of his name is misleading: Fall’s family was Moravian-Jewish […]

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Photo courtesy The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Mahler’s Longest — and Greatest — Symphony

Although not frequently performed, the Symphony No. 3 is Gustav Mahler’s most encompassing work, the piece which best exemplifies his life and career. Yannick Nézet-Séguin led a magnificent performance of it during the closing week of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2016-17 season. The Symphony No. 3 contains the greatest balance between anguish and love and its finale is […]

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DJ Gleason and company. Photo by Bill D'Agostino.

Review: ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ at Act II Playhouse

Are there any award nominators out there? Is so, get down to Act II Playhouse. This superb production of Brighton Beach Memoirs deserves a bundle of them. Much of the production’s success is, of course, due to the brilliance of Neil Simon’s play. Originally premiered in 1983, it now joins the American classics that inspired it, […]

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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: ‘Betrayal’ at Allens Lane Theater

Adultery, the trespass that has fascinated human beings through the ages, offers many emotional highs and lows. There is the desire that overwhelms all reason. There is the joy of stealing about, narrowly escaping being found out. And there is the sadness and guilt knowing that people you love will soon to be grievously wounded. […]

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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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Alex Keiper and Akeem Davis. Photo by Paola Nogueras.

Review: ‘Buzzer’ at Theatre Exile

Buzzer is a story about real estate, and how moving to a new home can mean more than just leaving a forwarding address. Tracey Scott Wilson’s play addresses several compelling subjects: race, gentrification, drug addiction, sexual harassment. They’re problems that don’t have easy solutions, and Wilson wisely doesn’t try to provide any. But she has a […]

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Chris Davis and Stephanie N. Walters. Photo by Plate 3 Photography.

Review: ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ at Orbiter 3

I attended Peaceable Kingdom, a new play by Mary Tuomanen, last night at Christ Church Neighborhood House. I am already checking my calendar for a day when I can see this unique and riveting production again! Peaceable Kingdom was developed by Orbiter 3, which bills itself as “Philadelphia’s first producing playwright’s collective.” It is one […]

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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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Sally Struthers, Kevin Carolan, Erin Dilly, Carson Elrod, Clifton Duncan, Lindsay Nicole Chambers and Brian J. Carter. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Review: ‘Clue On Stage’ at Bucks County Playhouse

Wanna play a game? Clue On Stage is a show that doesn’t ask deep, profound questions of its audience. Instead, it simply asks, whodunit? Who killed Mr. Boddy? Was it Professor Plum in the conservatory with the candlestick? Or was it Miss Scarlet in the library with the lead pipe? Yes, it’s a play based […]

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Jaylene Clark Owens and Jessica Bedford. Photo by Matthew J. Photography.

Review: ‘White’ at Theatre Horizon

White is pure gold. James Ijames’ audacious and hilarious new play takes on racism, sexism, and a handful of other isms. It’s a comedy, but its message is serious. It’s bold, outlandish, insightful, and as exciting a play as you’re likely to see this year. White opens with a speech to the audience by Jane, […]

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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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Sasha Cooke. Photo by Dario Acosta.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents Leonard Bernstein’s First Major Composition

Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 was the major undertaking at The Philadelphia Orchestra’s concerts of May 3, 5 and 6, 2017. Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the piece as a prelude to a year-long celebration of Bernstein’s centenary. (He was born on August 25, 1918.) Nézet-Séguin conducted the concerts in the midst of a three-week stint leading Wagner’s […]

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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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Scott Greer and Susan Riley Stevens. Photo by John Flak.

Review: ‘Happy Birthday’ at 1812 Productions

Laughter broke out in the jam-packed theatre even before the first pratfall, which then only served to fan the funniness. Watching Beverly Cross’ adaption of Marc Camoletti’s Happy Birthday, as directed by Trey Lyford, is like getting a gift chock full of comedy for yourself. It’s a sexy French farce bound up in edgy British […]

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