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Tag Archives | Jane Casanave

Michael Gamache. Photo by Shawn May.

Review: ‘Aesop’s Fables’ at Quintessence Theatre Group

All of the characters in Lee Cortopassi’s colorful cartoon-like adaptation of Aesop’s Fables sparkle, and speak, just like the original ones drawn up way back circa 600 B.C. But they also snap, crackle and pop with super-duper sound effects, designed by Daniel Ison, cool lighting concocted by Joseph Glodek, and an exceptionally savvy ensemble. Aesop’s […]

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Mattie Hawkinson. Photo by Shawn May.

Review: ‘The Broken Heart’ at Quintessence Theatre Group

It’s unlikely you will be familiar with John Ford’s The Broken Heart. Like most early 17th century playwrights not named Shakespeare, Ford’s works are rarely performed: he’s known almost exclusively for ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore. The Broken Heart was not performed between Ford’s time and 1962, when Laurence Olivier included it in the Chichester Festival’s season. […]

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Dana Kreitz and Lee Cortopassi. Photo courtesy the production.

Review: ‘The Big’ at The Sedgwick Theater

Lee Cortopassi’s The Big offers a fun, farcical take on classic film noir, loaded with ludicrous, laugh-out-load moments of sheer, nearly surreal silliness. Set between 1939 and 1942, The Big follows three stock noir characters – sultry wannabe actress Scotch Esperanza (Dana Kreitz), notorious yet sensitive criminal Matty McFadden (Lee Cortopassi), and comically clueless detective […]

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‘Wilde Tales’: An Interview with Director Jeremy Bloom, on the Quintessence Production

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), famous and controversial Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet, also authored thought provoking fairy stories for children that appeared in various magazines. Married to Constance Lloyd, Wilde fathered two sons—Cyril (1885) and Vyvyan (1886). In 1888, Wilde published The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Philadelphia’s Quintessence Theatre Group presented five of them […]

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Review: ‘Wilde Tales’ at Quintessence Theatre Group

Brightened by a beautiful glittering garden backdrop, several of Oscar Wilde’s fabled fairy tales, smartly adapted and directed by Jeremy Bloom, convey the childlike spirit to an enchanting world where miracles, magic and mysticism mix with somber morality motifs, and puppets roam and ruminate. Wilde had penned these tales for his children during the Victorian […]

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‘The Mandrake’ at Quintessence Theatre Group in Philadelphia

Sex sells, and this certainly true of Quintessence’s The Mandrake. Their 6th season starting off a “Love and Lust” theme, The Mandrake certainly fulfills the quota for lust, and then some. Originally written by Niccolo Machiavelli in 14th Century Italy, Quintessence has chosen a 1977 English translation by Wallace Shawn, in which the update has lost none of […]

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