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Madhouse Theater Company’s PLAYING LENI is Spellbinding

More than any other historical figure and his followers, Hitler and the Nazis are shorthand for evil. Few people emerge from the close contact with the Austrian-German dictator and his…

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Bringing Women’s Voices to the Stage: an interview with Polly Rose Edelstein of Crack the Glass Theatre Company

It’s a common complaint: few good roles exist for female actors in Philadelphia. Indeed even your most ardent male feminist (self-proclaimed) tends to turn his theatre company into a boys’…

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Old People and Theater (VIGIL at Lantern)

I began to attend Philadelphia theater in earnest about a decade ago, in my early mid-twenties. Consistently, my companion and I would be the youngest people in an audience made…

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Theater People vs. Theater Critics…The Ultimate Debate

I’ve been a lover of the stage as long as I can remember. Mostly this love has been realized as a patron of local theaters. My father acted in community…

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Why’s Everyone Such a Critic?

I’ve been a lover of the stage as long as I can remember. Mostly this love has been realized as a patron of local theaters. My father acted in community…

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Talkin’ Irish with Madi Distefano of Brat Productions

Six theater companies came together this season to create the Philadelphia Irish Theatre Festival, which featured eight contemporary plays from the Emerald Isle. Brat Productions is joining the fray with…

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Brat Productions’ CRAIC Fringes the Irish Theatre Fest

There are some 400 million native English-language speakers in the world and about 6 million of them live on the island of Ireland, but the Emerald Isle seems to have…

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Commedia, Terrorism, and Royalty: Inis Nua’s DUBLIN BY LAMPLIGHT

Cast members from Inis Nua Theatre’s DUBLIN BY LAMPLIGHT, playing in Philadelphia PA through May 14. The Royal Wedding and the death of international terrorist Osama bin Laden were the…

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Bastille to Broad Street: The French influence on Philadelphia architecture

Paris’s reputation as a a city of architectural beauty is long-held and its emblematic structures have influenced generations of Philadelphia architects and designers. This cultural exchange is the subject of…

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Amaryllis Theatre Company Brings an Excelente LYDIA to the Adrienne

As Octavio Solis’s sublimely crafted play Lydia opens, the Mexican American Flores family is struggling to cope with the aftermath of a terrible car accident. The daughter, Ceci (an excellent…

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Bleak Complexity: SPEAKING IN TONGUES at the Walnut’s Independence on 3

As SPEAKING IN TONGUES opens, two couples are about to cheat on their partners. Their dialog develops in unison; each pairing uttering the same lines. Sonia/Jane: Tell me about your…

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In the Swing: A Brief History of Baseball in Philadelphia

Baseball in Philadelphia is riding on a wave of success by the hometown Phillies, winners of four straight National League East titles and two of the last three National League…

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One Woman, Many Voices: LET ME DOWN EASY at PTC

There are many voices in this nation’s health care debate, and Anna Deveare Smith could probably act out them all. In LET ME DOWN EASY, now onstage at Philadelphia Theatre…

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BCKSEET Productions’ Losing the Shore

You never expect lighthearted comedy when going to a show by BCKSEET Productions. Argentine prison dramas, biting Edward Albee plays, and a Christmas show depicting Santa Claus as a reindeer molester…

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Updike’s guide to reviewing

Submit to whatever spell, weak or strong, is being cast. Better to praise and share than blame and ban. The communion between reviewer and his public is based upon the…

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It’s The End of the World As We Knew It: New City’s PTERODACTYLS at the Adrienne

PTERODACTYLS takes place in a sterile Main Line living room (set design Cory Palmer), a fitting setting for a work reminiscent of Victorian drawing room comedy. Bygone era music underlines…

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The New and Old of It: Interview with BCKSEET’s Gregory DeCandia

BCKSEET Productions has staged more than thirty plays in their eleven-year history, about half of those in Philadelphia, the city the company has called home since 2005. BCKSEET’s current production, Losing the Shore,…

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California Fresh: New theater company launches in Kensington arts space

The back streets of Kensington may not have much in common with the popular perception of Hollywood, California, but as John Rosenberg will tell you, life in the L.A. acting…

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It’s “theater”

Philadelphia is in the United States, so I’ve decided that theater should be spelled theater, not the English/French theatre. Right.

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THE CRUCIBLE (Tri-County Performing Arts Center)

Like many people, I was introduced to THE CRUCIBLE in a high school English class. The teacher dutifully told us that it was a play about McCarthyism and the House…