Quince Productions’ GayFest! kicks off with HEAD OVER HEELS

Philadelphia’s first and largest LGBTQ theater festival, GayFest! by Quince Productions, returns this August 5-23 to Plays and Players Skinner Studio. Opening this year’s festival is the The Bang Group’s HEAD OVER HEELS, a high energy mix of concert dance, slapstick, and musical theater in a cabaret setting. Artistic director and choreographer David Parker took time with me to offer some insights into the dance and his New York City dance ensemble’s interests in creating the piece.

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The Walnut Street Theater: Part 2, Crafting a Popular Season

In the second of her three-part series on the Walnut Street Theatre, Katelyn Behrman looks at how the Walnut puts together its season of popular productions, and considers the opportunities presented by the second stage and rented facilities.

Ama Bollinger stars in Chris Davis’s ANNA K (Photo credit: Courtesy of the artist)

Deb Miller’s 15 Top Picks for the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival

Phindie will provide more Philly Fringe Festival coverage than any publication in the world! Coverage begins with 15 picks from star Phindie writer Deb Miller.

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Just plain weirdness: Coming Soon! Mark Mackner talks about the low-budget film scene in Philadelphia

Mark Mackner has been making supernatural thrillers in the underground Philly scene for almost 20 years now. His short film STUMP GRINDER has just been released online. He chats with Phindie about his latest release, the Philly independent film scene and his future goals.

The Walnut opened as a circus theater in 1809.

The Walnut Street Theatre: Part 1, The People’s Playhouse

Philadelphia’s oldest theater is also by far it’s most popular and financially secure. In a time when other large theaters are struggling to stay afloat, the Walnut Street Theatre maintains the largest subscriber base in the country. In the first section three-part series, Kathryn Behrman sits down with Walnut artistic director Bernard Havard and other local theater folk to consider the playhouse’s commitment to popular entertainment.

Deanna Gibson plays one of three witches in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s MACBETH (Photo credit: Lee A. Butz)

MACBETH (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival): A Minimalist Vision

Director Patrick Mulcahy takes a modernist approach to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s production of MACBETH, with a 20th-century minimalist aesthetic that compels the audience to focus on the emotions and actions of the characters and the power of the playwright’s language. It’s stark and intense, and also, at times, oddly anachronistic and comical, performed in attire that suggests a peculiar mash-up of wartime Berlin and dance club chic, military and punk.

The cast of ANDY: A POPERA elevating Sean Lally, who stars as Warhol “expert” Dr. Peter Never (Photo credit: Kate Raines Plate 3 Photography)

ANDY: A POPERA (The Bearded Ladies Cabaret): The Enigma of Warhol

A post-modern fusion of Pop art with opera, ANDY: A POPERA, a work-in-progress by the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, explores the enormous fame and legacy of Andy Warhol, with elements of both tragic opera and opera buffa. The synthesis reflects in part the ambiance of Warhol’s Factory in the Sixties.

Mary Tuomanen and Aimé Donna Kelly in WE ARE BANDITS. Image courtesy of Applied Mechanics.

WE ARE BANDITS (Applied Mechanics): People like us don’t meet

With WE ARE BANDITS, director Rebecca Wright and Applied Mechanics are working against a brutal opponent: American cynicism.

They’ve turned the third-floor space of Asian Arts Initiative into what looks like a sprawling, minimalist installation piece. Tables, chairs, and little else delineate various spaces throughout the basketball-court-sized venue, including a city square, the apartments of various characters, a rooftop, and a church.

Promotional image for ANDY: A POPERA by The Bearded Ladies Cabaret (Photo credit: Design by Flying Hand Studio, photo by Kate Raines Plate 3 Photography, Make-Up by Rebecca Kanach)

15 Questions in 15 Minutes with John Jarboe

The Bearded Ladies extend their proverbial 15 minutes of fame this week with the opening of their cabaret residency of ANDY: A POPERA in the lobby of the Wilma Theater,…

Clio (Erica Nicole Rothman, center) with her sister Muses in Mazeppa Productions’ XANADU (Photo credit: Kelly Anne Pipe Photography)

XANADU (Mazeppa Productions): A campy, aMUSEing musical

Zeus has decreed that Muses from Mount Olympus are not allowed to fall in love with mortals – that includes the Muse Clio and a boy from Venice Beach. Therein lies a story of forbidden love, gumption, and sly swipes at certain Hollywood movies — especially XANADU (Universal Pictures, 1980).

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Sebastian Cummings talks about LIFE ON THE FRINGE

Sebastian Cummings has always been a little edgy. A military brat, a black man in the white suburbs, a Jamaican American in African American black society, a gay actor in a straight-role world—throughout…

Danny Gardner as Johann Martin Steindorff in BACH AT LEIPZIG at People’s Light (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

BACH AT LEIPZIG (People’s Light): 60-second review

People’s Light & Theatre Company pairs Itamar Moses’s uber-witty historical farce BACH AT LEIPZIG with the zaniness of director Pete Pryor in a hilarious, intelligent production.

The Bearded Ladies and Opera Philadelphia present Stage 2 in the development of Warhol-inspired ANDY: A Popera

Wednesday, July 16th, The Bearded Ladies and Opera Philadelphia will lay down stakes in the lobby of the Wilma Theatre, and, for two short weeks, perform an hour-long cabaret inspired by the outrageously influential life of Andy Warhol. Featuring original music by Heath Allen.

Herringbone at Flashpoint Theatre Company

HERRINGBONE (Flashpoint Theatre Company): A remarkably strange solo musical, about a boy … with a problem

This mighty peculiar story opens with a grown up George looking back at 1929 and singing, “Did ya ever have one of those years?” His parents have one foot in the poorhouse, as their only prosperous relative has just stinted them in his will. When eight-year-old George has the chance to take performance lessons from the surviving member of an old vaudeville act, he shows inexplicable ability beyond his years. Parental hopes for financial resurrection ride on little George singing and dancing his way to Hollywood.

Clio (Erica Nicole Rothman, center) with her sister Muses in Mazeppa Productions’ XANADU (Photo credit: Kelly Anne Pipe Photography)

XANADU (Mazeppa Productions): A Flop of a Film, but a Smash of a Show!

Greek mythology meets roller-disco in XANADU, a spirited send-up of American pop culture circa 1980, based on the preposterous movie of the same name starring Olivia Newton-John. Mazeppa’s exuberant production of the award-winning musical-comedy (book by Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar) delivers an uproarious parody of both disco culture and the cult-classic film.

The ensemble of Delaware Shakespeare Festival’s HAMLET (Photo credit: Alessandra Nicole)

HAMLET (Delaware Shakespeare Festival): “’Fore God, my lord, well spoken . . .”

While “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” something is wonderful in the state of Delaware! With its unsurpassed examination of the human condition, profound emotions, and exquisitely beautiful language, HAMLET is considered by many (myself among them) to be the world’s greatest play by the world’s greatest playwright.

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Sustainability and the Artist

Lately I’ve been thinking about that “worthwhile strategy” in regards to making a living as a theatre artist. Too many of my colleagues can’t afford to get sick, and certainly can’t afford to start a family. An interview with Charlotte Ford (revealing she’s stepping away from theater to go back to school for speech pathology) seems to have sparked a vigorous public debate about how difficult it is to make a living as an artist, and what can be done about it.

The Who Tommy New Cavern

See Me, Feel Me: New guys New Cavern rock out THE WHO’S TOMMY

The Who’s 1969 concept album TOMMY kicks ass. It’s a real rockists rock album, from the golden age of British rock. The 1975 movie and 1993 Broadway adaptation capture the dramatic…

Jane Gotch's Let It Fall, a duet for Leo Gayden and Juliet Remmers. Photo by Mike Strong.

Cool Dancing in Warm Spaces: Jane Gotch and Myra Bazell at the Iron Factory

Myra Bazell, a much-loved teacher of dance, and Jane Gotch first met fifteen years ago when Gotch had to scratch together enough change to take Bazell’s popular modern class. The good-vibe feeling between these two choreographers was evident as Bazell explained to the audience of about thirty on a (thankfully) not-too-hot June evening that the Iron Factory was a positive venue for this reunion.

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SINema After Hours: One Year Anniversary Show

Campy fun abounds at SINema After Hours. Shoshanna Green reviews a night of sin and scares at Walking Fish Theatre.