Archive | Philadelphia Theatre Reviews

Photo by Steve Sachs; design by Dan Lee.

Review: ‘koma’ at Solecalibur

It’s 2 a.m. His mind is racing, overwrought with memories of situations, conversations, and images of her. Music and film merge with poetry, rap, and movement to explore one half-hour inside one man’s anguished psyche in Solecalibur’s koma – “a sound spectacle with a visual component” – created, directed, and edited by Tommy Butler, with […]

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Ritz, MOCKINGBIRD feature image

Review: ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ at Ritz Theatre Company

Adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, Harper Lee’s 1960 classic American novel To Kill a Mockingbird, set in the Deep South in the 1930s, still sounds a resonant call for integrity, compassion, and heroism in the face of racial prejudice, hatred, and injustice. Ritz Theatre Company’s heartfelt production, directed by Matthew Weil, delivers the […]

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Patrick Romano and Tracie Higgins. Photo by Bill D'Agostino.

Review: ‘Tomfoolery’ at Act II Playhouse

“Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it. “ ~ Tom Lehrer Tom Lehrer’s Tomfoolery, as directed by Tony Braithwaite, is a wickedly wonderful celebration of musical wit and wordplay. Featuring superbly performed selections from Lehrer’s top satirical songs, interspersed with tidbits of the songwriter’s life […]

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Review: ‘Irish-ish’ at Manayunk Theatre Company

Just in advance of St. Patrick’s Day, Manayunk Theatre Company brings its tradition of Irish pub entertainment to Roxborough’s Tavern on Ridge with Irish-ish: A Trio of Irish Tales. Showcasing three new short works by emerging local playwrights, the themes run the gamut from fantasy to tragedy to dark comedy, in stories inspired by the […]

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Sandra Hartman and Brian Jason Kelly. Photo by Jim Pifer.

Review: ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ at Old Academy Players

What did happen to Sebastian last summer? This sounds like a murder mystery, right? But if Tennessee Williams writes the mystery, one can be certain that it will be highly poetic, and involve questions about the nature and deep desires of mankind. Suddenly Last Summer is one of this author’s less-performed works, but this production […]

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Adam Langdon. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Review: ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ at the Academy of Music

Words like breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and touching only begin to describe the epic journey experienced in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, currently playing at the Academy of Music. The story follows fifteen-year-old Christopher, a science and math genius on the autism spectrum, who decides to investigate the mysterious death of his neighbor’s […]

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The viola section, featuring Rachel Ku,. Photo by Jessica Griffin.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Brahms’ Eleven Chorale Preludes, Bach’s Cantata No. 150, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4

The Philadelphia Orchestra set of concerts during the last weekend of February was one of the most imaginatively conceived in recent memory. The program consisted of selections from Brahms’ Eleven Chorale Preludes, Bach’s Cantata No. 150, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. Johannes Brahms is the favorite composer of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Most musicians will avoid picking a favorite, […]

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Akeem Davis & Charlotte Northeast. Photo by Johanna Austin/AustinArt.org.

Review: ‘Sh*theads’ at Azuka Theatre

The characters in Sh*theads don’t mind being called shitheads. True, that may not be a word you’d use in polite company… but these people aren’t polite company. They’re the employees of Bert’s Bikes, a feisty, independent bike shop in the trendy Chelsea section of Manhattan, and they’ve twisted that word and made it something to be […]

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Warren Kelley and Susan Riley Stevens. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘The Gift’ at Walnut Street Theatre

The fun, and perhaps coyness, of The Gift, Will Stutts’ gentle and constantly engaging play at the Walnut Street Theatre’s Independence Studio through March 19th, is the way it uses the personae of writers Truman Capote and Harper Lee without ever mentioning the names that made them familiar to readers and the general public. (Throughout […]

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Ilmar Gavilán, Melissa White, Felix Umansky, Jaime Amador, Arturo Stable. (Photo taken at the sound check.) Photo by Brian Buttler.

Review: LiveConnections Presents Harlem Quartet + Arturo Stable

Once again, LiveConnections Presents (“LCP”) curator Mary Wheelock Javian’s musical matchmaking has produced a lively evening of musical discovery. This time it was the pairing of the Harlem Quartet with percussionist and University of the Arts professor Arturo Stable. As usual with LCP’s offerings, the first set featured the invited string players. The Harlem Quartet’s […]

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Trevor William Fayle and Susanne Collins. Photo by Paola Nogueras.

Review: ‘Lost Girls’ at Theatre Exile

For Maggie, life has been, ever since childhood, one crisis after another. Now, as a winter storm is blanketing her New Hampshire hometown, several more crises have struck at once: her car has been stolen; her rebellious 16-year-old daughter Erica has fled town – with that car; and without that car, and without any way […]

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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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3. People's Light, THE MATCHMAKER featured 200 x 200 image

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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3. Inis Nua, Leper + Chip Promo image

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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