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Author Archive | Deb Miller

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Review: ‘Significant Other’ at the Booth Theatre

It’s hard to accept the realization that your BFFs aren’t really F, especially if you’re the single, and more-than-somewhat-neurotic, Jordan Berman. Feeling increasingly alone and abandoned after years of youthful fun, camaraderie, sharing, and support, he worries that he’ll never have a lifetime relationship with that special someone (apart from his obviously aging but ever […]

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Review: ‘Nibbler’ at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

Making the transition from high-school graduation into adulthood can be a challenge, especially for teens who haven’t quite yet found themselves. Ken Urban’s Nibbler, a world-premiere production by The Amoralists at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, takes a funny and “dirty” look at the growing pains of a group of five not-so-mature friends in a coming-of-age sci-fi […]

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Review #2: ‘Kid Victory’ at Vineyard Theatre

When seventeen-year-old Luke returns home to small-town Kansas after being missing for a year, he must come to terms with what transpired and face the aftermath with his family, church, and community, and, most importantly, with himself. The latest collaboration from John Kander (music and story) and Greg Pierce (book, lyrics, and story), Kid Victory […]

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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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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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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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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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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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Geoff Sobelle.

Review: ‘The Object Lesson’ at New York Theatre Workshop

As an avid collector of art, antiques, and memorabilia, with a PhD in Art History, I have spent a lot of time around objects, studying, explaining, and appreciating them. And I’ve always known that it’s not the monetary value or the conspicuous consumption of the things we accumulate that matter; it’s the sense of beauty, […]

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Love for Sale

Review: ‘Love for Sale’ at the Huron Club at SoHo Playhouse

Now in its American premiere after performing in London and Edinburgh, Love for Sale takes us to Paris, 1934, for a “cabaret-play” woven around the music of Kurt Weill and contemporary songwriters from the era of World War and Depression. Written and performed by Kelly Burke, and presented by Tilted Productions, the show tells the […]

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Loudon Wainwright III. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘Surviving Twin’ at People’s Light

Well-known to audiences for his offbeat 1972 novelty song “Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)” and his appearances as the singing guitar-playing Captain Calvin Spalding on the popular TV series M*A*S*H, Loudon Wainwright III, now 70, takes a look back at his life and four generations of his family through stories, songs, and […]

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Vedra Chandler (in red) with Taylor Pickett-Stokes, Rose Scott, and Tiara Green. Photo by Chris Miller.

Review: ‘Memphis’ at Ritz Theatre Company

“How could people be so bad that make me feel so good?” That is the rhetorical question posed by white DJ Huey Calhoun, a 9th-grade dropout with an eccentric style, a profound passion for black R&B music, and a mission to have it heard and loved by everyone, everywhere. Set in the segregationist south in […]

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Review: ‘Rock of Ages’ at Eagle Theatre

It’s back to the ‘80s at Hammonton’s Eagle Theatre, for an absolutely hilarious revisiting of the decade of big hair, tacky fashions, and bad-ass music–or just bad, if you’re not of that generation!–in Rock of Ages. More than simply a jukebox musical, the book by Chris D’Arienzo is an over-the-top parody of the period, constructed […]

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Carla Belver and Nancy Boykin. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘John’ at Arden Theatre Company

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker is unsurpassed in her modern-day observations on the human condition and how we respond to it: the afflictions that impact us; the troubled relationships that plague us; the ghosts that haunt us; the half-heard conversations and pregnant silences that fill our days and speak volumes; and the magic of seeing […]

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Review: ‘Lizzie’ at 11th Hour Theatre Company

Whacked-out psycho-killer or falsely-accused innocent? We’ll never know the truth about Lizzie Borden, but 11th Hour Theatre Company’s production of the rock musical Lizzie, by Steven Cheslik-Demeyer (music and lyrics), Alan Stevens Hewitt (music, orchestrations, and additional lyrics), and Tim Maner (book, lyrics, and additional music), makes a rock-solid case for guilty-though-acquitted by reason of incompetence […]

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Sam Fineman, Megan Edelman, and Amber Orion. Photo by Gerald Cyrus.

Review: ‘And Then There Were None’ at Allens Lane Theater

For Allens Lane Theater’s production of And Then There Were None, director Josh Hitchens not only presents the mystery, but also heightens the mood and highlights the message inherent in Agatha Christie’s all-time best-selling novel (with sales of over 100 million copies) of 1939. And he does that by restoring the author’s original ending and […]

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Review: ‘Saloon’ at the Merriam Theater

Montreal’s Cirque Éloize explodes on stage at the Merriam Theater with a two-day run of its touring production of Saloon, presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center and the Shubert Organization for Broadway Philadelphia. Under the creative direction of Jeannot Painchaud (the company’s President and Artistic Director), the rip-roaring show, set in the Wild West, combines […]

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Holden

Review: ‘Holden’ at New Ohio Theatre

The current remount of George & Co.’s critically-acclaimed Holden, first developed in New Ohio Theatre’s 2015 Ice Factory Festival, is as relevant and unnerving now as it was then, in a country long plagued by a deadly combination of murder, mental illness, and all-too-easy access to guns. Written (in collaboration with the ensemble) and directed […]

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Dr. Heather Berlin and Baba Brinkman in a promo image for Off the Top. Photo by Patrick Lam.

Review: ‘Off the Top’ at The Huron Club at SoHo Playhouse

Who would have thought that a fact-filled illustrated lecture on neuroscience could form the basis of a popular and critically-acclaimed Fringe show? Or that rap music could hold appeal for intellectuals? Off the Top, created and performed by real-life married couple Baba Brinkman (the rapper) and Dr. Heather Berlin (the neuroscientist and professor), provides proof […]

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