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Author Archive | Neal Newman

Jen Allegra. Photo courtesy The Stagecrafters Theater.

Review: ‘The Miser’ at The Stagecrafters Theater

A play by Moliere in the Philadelphia area? Be still my heart! I took a quick unscientific survey in the lobby, prior to the performance, and discovered that not many visitors to The Miser, presented by the Stagecrafters of Chestnut Hill, had seen one of the great French author’s works. This company usually presents modern […]

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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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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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Something Wicked This Way Comes, Delaware Theatre Company

Review: ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ at Delaware Theatre Company

What’s the most impressive technical production in the area? What’s just as astounding as Disney World or any show on Broadway? It’s Delaware Theatre Company’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, a world premiere musical. Chicago-based Director Rachel Rockwell has imported the Windy City’s finest to present a truly unprecedented theatrical achievement. The designers have embraced […]

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Beada Briglia. Photo by Greg Carroccio.

Review: ‘Carousel’ at The Media Theatre

Musical Heaven. Is there a better way to describe the production of Carousel at the Media Theatre? It would be hard to find a better-sung production than that given by the surpassingly youthful professional company assembled by director Jesse Cline. The evening allows us to savor again Richard Rodgers’ amazing ability to deliver compositions that are […]

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Funny Girl logo, Candlelight Dinner Theatre

Review: ‘Funny Girl’ at Candlelight Dinner Theatre

What would you rather see: Fanny Brice singing on a tugboat in New York harbor, or a real live Fanny Brice in the Ziegfeld Follies? Funny Girl, the original 1964 Broadway musical, is a real stage animal, revisiting a classic era of American theatre. Most of its scenes are about theatre life and are set […]

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Rebecca Robbins. Photo courtesy of Walnut Street Theatre.

Review: ‘Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins’ at Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3

How is theatre superior to film or TV? What special magic is found in live performance? This question is superbly answered in Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, Stephen Temperley’s hilarious and oddly touching play at the Walnut Street Theatre. Leading lady Rebecca Robbins is a trained opera singer, yet she […]

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Nina Covalesky and Drew Seltzer. Photo courtesy Theater With a View.

Review: ‘Rabbit Hole’ at Theater With a View

Warning: You don’t have much time left! Nearly one third of Theater With a View’s performances of Rabbit Hole have been rained out (including the earlier one I was supposed to attend.) There are very few remaining showings of this unique and splendid production. One of the raisons d’être of this company is to bring […]

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Jock Guthrie and Jeb Guthrie. Photo courtesy Bristol Riverside Theatre.

Review: ‘Scarborough Fair: A Tribute to Simon & Garfunkel’ at Bristol Riverside Theatre

Whenever a musical group has the name “brothers” or “sisters” (as in “Smothers” or “Andrews”) you can expect a tight, controlled sound with seamlessly blended harmonies. Close harmony (even if it’s just simple thirds and fifths) can be difficult to sing, and family groups have always mastered it most successfully. After all, the rehearsals don’t […]

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Barefoot in the Park at Candlelight Theatre

Review: ‘Barefoot in the Park’ at The Candlelight Theatre

Six days do not a week make. These famous words of nonsense, uttered by the young wife Cory, will tell all serious theatergoers that they are in the domain of Neil Simon and his oft-performed blockbuster Barefoot in the Park.  Written in 1963, Barefoot established Simon as the go-to playwright for Broadway comedy.  Nowadays we […]

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Review: ‘2017 Summer One-Act Bonanza’ at Old Academy Players

Ten-minute plays are a modern phenomenon. Some critics refer to them as “theatrical fast food” or “audience sound-bites” but this type of play demands a writer who can present exciting ideas in the shortest, most direct way possible, and actors who can create striking first impressions. Audiences enjoy the challenge of seeing many plays in […]

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Joe Kinosian and Kyle Cameron. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘The Nerd’ at Bucks County Playhouse

The summer stock experience has nearly passed away. Half a century ago it was a vacation custom to visit a picturesque village and, after a day of sightseeing complemented by great food, stop by a local playhouse for a fun evening. These theaters sometimes featured young artists practicing their new craft or famous stars in […]

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Kirsten Quinn, Ian Agnew, and Tyler Brennan. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Review: ‘The Roses in June’ at Seagull Productions

June 1967. What memories does that bring? Sgt. Pepper, The Rolling Stones, bell bottoms, assassinations, the conflict with ’50s conformity, trouble in the Middle East? This is the era summoned by Timothy M. Kolman’s play The Roses in June, which is now receiving its world premiere at Plays and Players Theatre in Philadelphia. If you […]

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Kevin Rodden and Ethan Lipkin. Photo by Carlos Forbes.

Review: ‘Making History’ at The Irish Heritage Theatre

The Confederate statues have been removed from their pedestals. Some people are disappointed. Their rosy vision of the lost genteel South has been taken away. To them, history has been rewritten again. Making History, the 1988 Brian Friel play now on display at the Irish Heritage Theatre, might well be called Inventing History. The truth […]

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Amanda Morrell.

Review: ‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid’ at Steel River Playhouse

Memorial Day Weekend usually means a trip to the shore, but Steel River Playhouse brought the ocean to Pottstown, with its glorious rendition of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. True, the show takes plays underwater (something more easily achieved in the original animated film), but that couldn’t deter a triumphant director/design team. Artistic Director Leena Devlin’s […]

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