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Archive | Philly Reviews

Sunny (as Sandy) and Tahlia Ellie. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘Annie’ at the Walnut Street Theatre

The sun’ll come out tomorrow Bet your bottom dollar that Tomorrow there’ll be sun…. Those familiar lyrics seem fresher than ever in Walnut Street Theatre’s new production of Annie. With its book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, Annie is a musical full of optimism, hope and humor. Brimming […]

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Lantern, THE CRAFTSMAN feature image

Review: ‘The Craftsman’ at Lantern Theater Company

Guilty or not guilty? And of what crime? An intriguing real-life episode from 20th-century Art History provides the basis for The Craftsman, Bruce Graham’s latest world-premiere play commissioned and presented by Lantern Theater Company as part of its New Works Initiative. Directed by M. Craig Getting and featuring a dream cast of Philadelphia all-stars, the […]

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Leonard C. Haas and Tim Rinehart. Photo by Chris Miller.

Review: ‘The Fantasticks’ at The Eagle Theatre

What’s not to like about The Fantasticks? It’s always been a modest, gentle show that goes down easy. The Eagle Theatre’s new production adds a few new wrinkles, putting its own stamp on this venerable musical without getting in the way of what’s made it work so well for over half a century. The original […]

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Ann Harada and Clyde Alves. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Review: ‘The New World’ at Bucks County Playhouse

A Thanksgiving musical? We can think of musicals that sometimes involve that observance, but an entire show about how the holiday evolved? Bucks County Playhouse’s The New World may be onto something here. The show runs through December 2, and Anna Louizos’ set design certainly evokes autumn in Massachusetts. One of the songs about that […]

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Margaret Leng Tan. Photo courtesy The Barnes Foundation.

Review: ‘Pioneers of Avant-Garde Piano’ at The Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation presented an unusual recital of avant-garde music composed by Henry Cowell, John Cage and George Crumb. These three giants of experimentation remind us of Albert Barnes’s interest in classical music and his sponsoring of musicians. It was Barnes’s custom to invite guests to his home to see his modernist paintings and to […]

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Marcia Hepps and Annaliese Gove. Photo by Paul Mackey.

Review: ‘The Manor’ by Colonial Playhouse

For fifteen years, a California theater company has been presenting the drama The Manor in the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills — an appropriate spot because the play is based on a true murder and suicide of rich and famous men in that home. Now the Colonial Playhouse, a community theater company in Aldan, Delaware […]

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Sisi Wright. Photo by Paola Nogueras.

Review: ‘Intimate Apparel’ at Villanova Theatre

Villanova Theatre’s final production for 2017 is Intimate Apparel, directed by Valerie Joyce. The play, penned by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, tells the story of Esther Mills (played by Sisi Wright), an African-American seamstress in early 20th Century Manhattan. Esther, who pines for a life of independence and romance, finds herself trapped by her […]

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Alice Yorke, Jaime Maseda & Maggie Johnson. Photo by Johanna Austin/AustinArt.org.

Review: ‘The Gap’ at Azuka Theatre

The Gap, Emma Goidel’s world premiere play for Azuka Theatre, focuses on Lee, a theater practitioner constructing a performance piece about her older sister, Nicole. Nicole claims, with no irony or doubt, that she is an alien and has been since a watershed incident that occurred when Nicole was age five, and Lee was three […]

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Derrick Davis and Eva Tavares. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Review: ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ at the Academy of Music

“I’m not going to take this on the road unless it’s as good as what people have read about, with the same lighting and the same sound. I think that’s my biggest bequest—that I imposed my standards. It’s sensible, actually, because the real thing will last longer than something shoddy.” – Cameron Mackintosh, in an […]

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Jered McLenigan, Campbell O’Hare and Company. Photo by Bill Hebert.

Review: ‘Blood Wedding’ at The Wilma Theater

The Wilma Theater’s Blood Wedding sets out to overpower you – and it succeeds. From its first moments, when the 11-member ensemble assembles on a long, bare, black platform, stares directly into the audience, and begins dancing aggressively – pounding the floor rhythmically, in bare feet, in martial style – one feels that these people are […]

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Danielle Leneé and Bi Jean Ngo. Photo by Alessandra Nicole.

Review: ‘As You Like It’ by Delaware Shakespeare – On Tour

In 2016, Delaware Shakespeare began a new program: the Community Tour. This program is a bold initiative, designed to “bring a professional theater production to underserved or non-traditional audiences in locations such as homeless shelters, detention facilities, and centers for individuals with cognitive or physical disabilities.” The program is inspired by a Minneapolis company, Ten […]

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Laural Merlington, Keith Baker, Nick Ullett. Photo by Paola Nogueras.

Review: ‘Quartet’ at Bristol Riverside Theatre

Every few weeks we read in the news about the death, at 90+ years, of a beloved celebrity or artist. Someone always asks, “Whatever happened to them? I thought s/he was already dead.” What does happen to these people when they retire? And who better to answer this question than Sir Ronald Harwood, who began […]

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Rand Gurrero and Steven Wright. Photo by Kate Raines/Plate 3 Photography.

Review: ‘Broken Stones’ at InterAct Theatre Company

Just because someone says it doesn’t make it true. What exactly are truth and reality? Both are subjective and depend on one’s perspective. In the news, there are often many sides to a story. These days in the United States, where business reigns, news must sell, whether it is on paper or online. Books must […]

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The Craftsman feature image

Previewing ‘The Craftsman’ at Lantern Theater Company: An Interview with Artistic Director Charles McMahon and Playwright Bruce Graham

Philadelphia theater-goers have something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving month. Bruce Graham’s latest play The Craftsman, commissioned and developed through Lantern Theater Company’s New Works Initiative (as mentioned in my last interview with Graham in May 2016), will begin previews on November 9. The subject is one that has fascinated the Lantern’s Co-Founding […]

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