Archive | Philadelphia Theatre Reviews

featured_Herbert Blomstedt

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Mozart and Brahms

During the 44 years when Eugene Ormandy was music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra (1936 to 1980), he led almost every concert. There was scant need for guest conductors. Now the symphonic world is different. All prominent conductors dash from one city to another, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin needs to do this more than others because […]

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Review: ‘The Matchmaker’ at People’s Light

An effervescent all-star ensemble of fourteen actors and two musicians under the ebullient direction of Abigail Adams brings to life the eccentric characters, madcap situations, and old-fashioned values of Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker of 1954, in a high-spirited eye-catching production at People’s Light. Set in the melting-pot cities of Yonkers and New York in 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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featured_Ingrid Rosenback and Jack Scott at Marple Public Library, Marple, PA

Music with a Mission: Interview with Last Chance, a Great American Musical Duo

Last Chance, Philadelphia’s much-talked-about musical duo of singer-songwriter Jack Scott (vocals, banjo, and guitar) and Ingrid Rosenback (vocals, fiddle, and harmonica), has been performing as a duo since 2012. Featuring only original songs, they play extensively in Philadelphia and the surrounding area to a wide range of music lovers of all ages and backgrounds—ready to […]

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Review: ‘Leper + Chip’ at Inis Nua Theatre Company

The goal of Inis Nua Theatre Company is to “tell the story.” In its American premiere of Irish playwright Lee Coffey’s Leper + Chip we get not only the story, but the big picture. As with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the boy-meets-girl star-crossed-lovers romance is one young couple’s personal story, told within the much broader […]

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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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Oslo

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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Review: ‘Last of the Red Hot Lovers’ at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

Neil Simon writes terrific comedy. Tonight, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, directed by Theater J’s Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr, performed by Walnut Street Theatre at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, relied on two wonderfully talented comedians to remind us how good Simon’s plays can be. The play, which first opened on Broadway […]

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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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Review: ‘Lagan’ at Villanova Theatre

About halfway through Villanova Theatre’s ultimately engaging production of Lagan, by Northern Ireland playwright Stacey Gregg, is a scene between two young people, Emmet (Patrick McAndrew) and Fiona (Kelly McAnally) who are certainly attracted to each other and, after some fumbles and hesitations, are in bed consummating their relationship. The scene stands out for several […]

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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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