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SISTERS OF ELLERY HOLLOW BY STEPHEN SPOTSWOOD (RHolt Productions): Fringe Review 60

The show, which is all about loss and violence in a dark corner of the world, is too bright – it has no real darkness to it at all

The cast of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium's RHINOCEROS.

Give the rhinos a chance: Interview with the actors of Ionesco’s RHINOCEROS

I asked cast members of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium (IRC), Philadelphia’s absurdist theatre (since 2006), founded by artistic director Tina Brock, what Ionesco’s RHINOCEROS brought up for them as actors and as people. The range of responses is as astounding as this production. A big thank you to everyone who participated in this Phindie interview.

(L-R) Bob Schmidt, Michael Dura, Tina Brock (front), Tomas Dura and David Stanger in Eugène Ionesco's Rhinoceros. Photo Credit: Johanna Austin (www.austinart.org)

On becoming a RHINOCEROS: Interview with director Tina Brock 

Tina Brock, writer, actor, founder and producing artistic director of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium (IRC) since 2006—Philadelphia’s only absurdist theatre company—holds degrees from the University of Maryland and West Chester University, works as a Standardized Patient Trainer at the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, and makes the impossible possible, year after year, with some of the most thought provoking and unusual productions.

Kate Raines in THE BODY LAUTREC © Jacques-Jean Tiziou / www.jjtiziou.net”

Nudity or Crudity: a conversation with Mary Tuomanen about THE BODY LAUTREC

I asked Tuomanen, who directed the piece, to talk about The Body Lautrec. On extremely short notice, she agreed (“Aaron called me, said someone was upset about Lautrec and you wanted to ask me some questions.”) We talk about filth, exploitation, agency, and other uplifting stuff.

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2014 Rocky Awards – Winners!

Unlike other awards that have a panel of judges or votes by the public, each 2013 recipient has the honor of bestowing a 2014 Rocky to an individual they feel represents the best of Philadelphia dance in the previous season.

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THE ORGASM CHRONICLES (OneTaste Philly): Fringe Review 59

Dramatic narrators voice acutely detailed stories of sexual exploits, dating disasters/successes, and intimate gatherings.

Leah waits with me outside of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium's RHINOCEROS. Phindie's Official Fringe Bike Tour

Fringe Bike Tour Was Awesome: Three shows, twelve bikes, dinner, and some rides

“Your little ducks,” Leah says, as we look over our shoulders at the line of weaving their way south on 21st, “they’re all in a row.”

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BROKEN WING (Pantea Productions): Fringe Review 29.2

The timely BROKEN WING, offered to the FringeArts festival in an beautifully executed performance by Pantea Productions, tells the story of a brash American photographer (Bob Stineman) who, while traveling in Iran, sleeps with his host’s young wife Arezoo.

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MIRRORING SKY — A Soundscape (InVersion Theatre): Fringe Review 58

Starting in bustling Rittenhouse Square, MIRRORING SKY guides participants along familiar city streets, ending at the Schuylkill River Park

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ALTERNATIVE THEATRE FESTIVAL (iNtuitions Experimental Theatre): Fringe Review 57

Playwrights are do not come fully formed. Directors have to start somewhere. And the Philly Fringe Festival is traditionally a great place for artists to take their first artistic steps.

John Bellomo and Renato Arcuri perform in Ombelico’s FLIM FLAM PHANTOM SHAM (Photo credit: Courtesy of Ombelico Mask Ensemble)

FLIM FLAM PHANTOM SHAM (Ombelico Mask Ensemble): Fringe Review 56

Ombelico’s latest al fresco offering, FLIM FLAM PHANTOM SHAM, is a delightful synthesis of traditional Commedia dell’Arte with current Philadelphia references, delivered in Italian and English—or Philly’s local version thereof!—which kept me in stitches throughout the entire all-ages show.

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THE WAITSTAFF SH*TS THE BED (The Waitstaff): Fringe Review 55

After years of milking their hit show The Real Housewives of South Philly until it jumped the shark, The Waitstaff return to the Fringe with another set of funnybone-tickling sketch comedy

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NECESSARY EFFORTS (The Naked Stark): Fringe Review 54

What is necessary? In NECESSARY EFFORTS, the mixed-bill production by The Naked Stark, the answer offered is the work of making.

Aaron Cromie stars in THE BODY LAUTREC (Photo credit: Mary Tuomanen)

THE BODY LAUTREC (Aaron Cromie and Mary Tuomanen): Fringe Review 53

THE BODY LAUTREC is not everyone’s cup of tea: a shockingly hard-core depiction of the depravities and debaucheries of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his art.

Chris Davis plays Vronsky in ANNA K (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Artist)

Anna K (Chris Davis): Fringe Review 40.2

It would be fun to call ANNA K an irreverent romp through Tolstoy’s 1870s novel, Anna Karenina, but in fact playwright Chris Davis reverences the material in his own way. For all its comedy, and there’s plenty in his South Philly-style version, the play scans the storyline and retains underlying issues.

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UNDERGROUND EPISODES (Run Boy Run Productions): Fringe Review 52

UNDERGROUND EPISODES carries us from Olney to past City Hall and then back again in poems, half-spoken and half-recited, sometimes direct and sometimes inscrutable.

Philadelphia Opera Collective, BY YOU THAT MADE ME FRANKENSTEIN (Photo credit: Harish Pathak)

BY YOU THAT MADE ME, FRANKENSTEIN (Philadelphia Opera Collective): Fringe Review 51

The compelling two-act opus captures the historic characters, events, and mood with passion and clarity.

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NELLIE/NELLIE (Antigravity Theatre Project): Fringe Review 50

NELLIE/NELLIE combines whimsy and imagaination with the true story of American journalist Nellie Bly and her 10 days in a mental institution.

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BALLETX AT THE BRIDGETTE MAYER GALLERY (BalletX): Fringe Review 49

BALLETX’s intimate performance featured a company dancer and performers from Murmuration, a dynamic and experimental ensemble.

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THE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, FORGET-ABOUT-IT, LAST NIGHT AT VON DAHM’S SPORTS BAR, WING HUT, AND KARAOKE PALACE (Actors International Theatre): Fringe Review 48

Some Fringe shows display great production values and artistic quality. VON DAHM’s isn’t one of those, but it’s still a joy.