Archive | Philadelphia Theatre Reviews

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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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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Jessica Fields and Rodney Landis.

Review: ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ at Exclamation Theater

The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays, one that has spurred argument and discord for over 400 years. Is the play as misogynistic as it often appears, or is its theme just a matter of interpretation? Exclamation Theater’s new production won’t settle any arguments, and it may not win over […]

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Felicia Leicht (bottom) and Corinna Burns. Photo by Katie Reing.

Review: ‘Swallow’ at Inis Nua Theatre Company

Swallow, by Scottish playwright Stef Smith, was first seen at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015. This American premiere is produced by Inis Nua Theatre Company (which specializes in works from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland) and dazzles in its simplicity. The convincing acting, streamlined set. and compelling script make for a refreshing evening of theatre. […]

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Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943).

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents The Rachmaninoff Festival

During his lifetime, Sergei Rachmaninoff was more famous as a pianist than as a composer. Logically, therefore, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s current Rachmaninoff Festival is concentrating on the keyboard. The Rachmaninoff Festival includes three separate concert programs being given over three days, with short biographical plays preceding each concert and “Russian musical salons” after each concert. […]

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Tania Isaac. Photo by Lindsay Browning.

Review: ‘crazy beautiful’ at FringeArts

How are dances created? What might inspire a choreographer? Specifically, how does Tania Isaac develop a dance? What role does the viewer have in it all? These are some of the questions that come to mind and are answered in Tania Isaac’s performance piece, crazy beautiful. FringeArts presents this interactive dance event for just three […]

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Clare O'Malley and Rachel O'Malley. Photo by Matt Urban/Mobius New Media.

Review: ‘Hetty Feather’ at Delaware Theatre Company

Nothing can keep Hetty Feather down. An orphan’s life is a hard one, especially in Victorian England – and Hetty has it harder than most orphans, spending years enduring cruel treatment in London’s Foundling Hospital. But in her mind, Hetty soars. And with the aid of a little stage magic (and a lot of remarkable […]

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The Full Monty at The Players Club of Swarthmore.

Review: ‘The Full Monty’ at The Players Club of Swarthmore

The Players Club of Swarthmore brings six average Joes to the stage with its season finale musical, The Full Monty. Based on the 1997 movie featuring six British blue-collar out-of-work steelworkers, the musical version – featuring a bouncy, witty score by David Yazbek and a funny and sensitive book by Terrence McNally – transplants the […]

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Love and Information at Temple Theaters.

Review: ‘Love and Information’ at Temple Theaters

“I did tell you” “You didn’t” “I did I said Wednesday we’re going to dinner with” “But you didn’t” “Yes because I remember because you said” “All right I must have forgotten I’m sorry” “Yes you did” “I’m sorry” That’s a scene – an entire scene – from British playwright Caryl Churchill’s intriguing play Love […]

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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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