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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…

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LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE by Theatre Exile at Plays and Players

Playwright Martin McDonagh delivers a powerful political message in the most palatable of pills

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Don’t worry folks, he’s not like that in real life (or so he claims): Interview with Blasted’s John Jezior

Actor John Jezior has become well known to Philadelphia area audiences through his work on Shakespeare productions; he has performed in nearly half of the Bard’s canon. “Jez” has been…

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“Great Expectations” at Curio Theatre

Charles Dickens asked in his will that no memorials be erected to him and so the life-size sculpture of the author in Clarke Park in West Philadelphia is the only…

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Sarah Kane’s Controversial Play ‘Blasted’ Comes to Philadelphia’s Luna Theater Company

That playwright Sarah Kane looked on the world as a pretty bleak place was confirmed by her 1999 suicide (at the young age of 28). But her dark worldview had already been…

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Musical theater kicks off Mauckingbird Theatre Company’s fourth season

I’m not the target audience for Mauckingbird Theatre Company’s Philadelphia premier of “[title of show]“, now onstage UPstairs at the Adrienne Theatre. I’ve never been the biggest fan of musicals. “Why…

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A Weekend of Christmas Plays

Amazingly, there is just one weekend left until Christmas, but that’s still plenty of time to get your fill of holiday theater. Here is the pick of this weekend’s festive…

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PTC Preview show to benefit Philadelphia literacy organization

Tomorrow, Thursday 11, 2010, the Philadelphia Theater Company is presenting a special pay-what-you-can performance of its upcoming production, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Proceeds will benefit the Center…

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Brat Productions Presents ‘Carrie’ at Underground Arts

Published in 1974, Stephen King’s Carrie, the tale of a bullied high school outcast who takes bloody telekinetic revenge upon her torturers, kick started a horror-writing career that now spans almost 40 years and…

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Theater Picks for the 2010 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe

The Live Arts and Philly Fringe has grown and moved mostly North and West from its Old City nexus, prices have gone up, and the roster of performances seems larger and harder…

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A Queer Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mauckingbird Theatre Company presents a gender-bent look at Shakespeare’s famous play for a woman wert thou first created; Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting, And by addition me…