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Archive | Philadelphia Theatre Reviews

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Philadelphia’s ‘Christmas Village’ Returns to LOVE Park

Now celebrating its tenth year, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village – an open-air German-style holiday market – returns to the newly restored LOVE Park with more than 80 vendors offering authentic food, beverages, gifts, arts, and crafts from around the world, and a full slate of events and entertainment running through Christmas Eve. Rows of wooden booths […]

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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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Matthew Rose. Photo courtesy The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Gives a Haydn Masterpiece a Local Premiere

The programming of music by Haydn is unusual for The Philadelphia Orchestra. The choice is even more surprising coming from conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is more associated with modern compositions by composers like Mahler, Bruckner and Stravinsky. Yet Nézet-Séguin chose Haydn’s The Seasons to fill the entire program in his concerts of November 16, 17 […]

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Colleen Hughes, Rachel Gluck and Tessa Kuhn. Photo by Rebecca Gudelunas.

Review: ‘Crimes of the Heart’ at Curio Theatre Company

Curio Theatre Company’s production of Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize winning tragicomedy, Crimes of the Heart, is the dark and hilarious tale of the Magraths — as twisted a set of sisters as you will surely ever meet. Crimes of The Heart, directed by Curio founding member Gay Carducci, is set in sleepy Hazlehurst, Mississippi, and […]

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Review: ‘Finding Neverland’ at the Academy of Music

I went into Finding Neverland with high hopes. I had been enchanted by the 2004 film from which this musical has been adapted. The story, based on a play by Allan Knee, follows the (highly fictionalized) relationship between J. M. Barrie, the widowed Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, and Llewelyn Davies’ four sons, who inspire Barrie to create […]

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Angie Henderson-Goode and Leah O'Hare. Photo by Scott R. Grumling.

Review: ‘Rasheeda Speaking’ at Allens Lane Theater

The setting is ordinary – an office with two desks side by side. The desks are covered with plants, knickknacks, and piles of paperwork. The sort of thing we see every day in corporate America. But this ordinary office is also a battleground in a struggle over office politics and racial politics. And that’s ordinary […]

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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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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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