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A NEW BRAIN (Horizon): Getting a new lease on life

Theatre Horizon’s production of William Finn’s autobiographical musical comedy is filled with off-beat humor, powerhouse vocals, and a life-affirming message.

Bowman Wright in THE MOUNTAINTOP at People’s Light (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

THE MOUNTAINTOP (People’s Light): An original vision of Martin Luther King

Katori Hall’s creative re-imagining of Martin Luther King’s final night before his assassination in 1968 is delivered through forceful performances and an evocative design.

Alex Keiper and Dan Hodge in the Arden’s STUPID FUCKING BIRD (Photo credit: Mark Garvin).

STUPID FUCKING BIRD (Arden): A sidesplitting and insightful reinvention of Chekhov

Aaron Posner’s hilarious reinvention of The Seagull captures all of Chekhov’s laughable characters, absurdities of life, and self-references to the theater from a 21st-century perspective.

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BILLOSOPHY: LIFE, CIRCUS, DEATH (Bill Forchion): 2016 Fringe review 58

A one-hour existentialist monologue filled with expressive movement, colorful costumes, funny props, apropos music, and audience participation

RING OF FIRE at People’s Light features Deb Lyons and David M. Lutken (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH (People’s Light): Singing the life of the ‘Man in Black’

A new twist on the jukebox musical traces the life and career of country icon Johnny Cash.

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The Mechanical Theater Brings RICHARD III to Laurel Hill Cemetery

A dark and emotional 90-minute production of Shakespeare’s bloody history of war, murder, and blind ambition is performed outdoors by a cast of six on the grounds of a 19th-century cemetery.

4. Chris Davis, Apocalypse Now, pto Maria Shaplin

Deb Miller’s Top Picks for the 2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival

Can’t decide what to see in the 2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival? Check out Deb Miller’s recommendations in her annual top picks preview.

1. People's Light, IRIS MALLOY, JZinkel, SBryce, pto MGarvin

THE HARASSMENT OF IRIS MALLOY (People’s Light): A male perspective on the socio-economics of sexual politics

A world-premiere play about sexual misconduct, politics, lies, and opportunism considers the economic hardships on single mothers in a culture of winning at all costs.

Hokusai's Wave print from the 36 Views series.

In Conversation: Lantern’s panel discussion explores the themes of 36 VIEWS

A panel discussion on “Art-World Movers and Shakers” explores the art-related themes of the Lantern’s production of 36 VIEWS.

3. Birds on a Wire, HATCH, Gestures of Learning, donia salem, Plate 3

HATCH (Birds on a Wire): The expressiveness and diversity of contemporary dance

A contemporary dance program of seven world-premiere short pieces by emerging women choreographers highlighted their stylistic and thematic diversity and expressiveness.

1. Simpatico, TIME, BB, CC-H, KN, phto Plate 3

TIME IS ON OUR SIDE (Simpatico): Philadelphia’s living history of gay pride and social progress

A world-premiere commission filled with humor and heart considers the history and progress of gay rights in Philadelphia through the lens of a local podcast and the discovery of a revealing artifact.

2. Mechanical, ROMEO AND JULIET, Clay Westman, Brianna Lopez

The Mechanical Theater Discusses its New Site-Specific Take on ROMEO AND JULIET

The cast, director, and artistic director of Mechanical’s upcoming production of Shakespeare’s classic give a sneak peek at their original site-specific adaptation.

Elisa Matthews and Bailey Ryon in Arden’s THE SECRET GARDEN (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

THE SECRET GARDEN (Arden): Captivating mystery and haunting artistry

A superb cast and creative artistic design bring the story of traumatic loss and joyful renewal to life in the haunting musical adaptation of a Victorian classic.

3. Horizon, Fully Committed, MDoherty, Matthew J. Photog

FULLY COMMITTED (Horizon): A zany one-man tour-de-force

One actor plays dozens of roles in a hilarious parody of the mad scramble for reservations at a trendy restaurant in Manhattan.

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OVO (Cirque du Soleil): Acrobatic insects and a life-affirming egg

Cirque du Soleil’s current touring show considers the world of insects in its signature combination of breathtaking acrobatics, original live music, and colorful design.

Megan Edelman, Christina Higgins, Molly Edelman, and Allison Kessler in Victorian Theatre’s LITTLE WOMEN at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion (Photo credit: Rowland Hetrick).

LITTLE WOMEN (Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion): A sincere and sentimental view of female life in Victorian times

An intimate site-specific adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Victorian novel captures the humor and pathos of the book and the look and feel of the era.

2. Inis Nua, BRADLEY MANNING, JSmith, photo Katie Reing

THE RADICALISATION OF BRADLEY MANNING (Inis Nua): An unforgettable examination of a critical American subject

An intense and impactful bio-play on Bradley Manning makes its powerful American debut in a stellar production by Inis Nua.

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Meet Me On South Street: Previewing the fourth annual SOUTH STREET SPRING FESTIVAL

The city’s largest block party returns to South Street on May 7, with a celebration of food, drink, music, and art.

2. PAC, HE, RBeschler, pto ALaBonde

HE WHO GETS SLAPPED (PAC): Spectacle and sadness at the circus

Leonid Andreyev’s classic tale of love and death in the Big Top is given original interludes of circus acts and live music to set the stage and mood.

1. PDC Exterior, photo courtesy of Vectorworks

Arts in Sacred Places: Grand opening of the Philadelphia Design Center

A new facility in Philadelphia offers theatrical designers affordable monthly memberships in an accessible co-workspace with state-of-the-arts equipment.