Michael Genet and Ruffin Prentiss in FENCES at People’s Light & Theatre Company (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

FENCES (People’s Light): On broken dreams and the hope for change

The 2nd production by People’s Light from Wilson’s “Century Cycle”, FENCES is an engaging and profound examination of very human characters dealing with very challenging circumstances,

Scott Greer as Valere in the Arden’s LA BÊTE (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

LA BÊTE (Arden Theatre Company): “Excellence Must Struggle to Survive!”

David Hirson’s riotous comedy in rhyming couplets evokes the farcical Baroque style of Molière while conveying a timeless message about high art versus low art.

Kate Abernethy and Rachel Icenogle rehearsing “Little Red: an improvisation” in FROM OUR LIVING ROOM by Birds on a Wire (Photo credit: Plate 3 Photography)

FROM OUR LIVING ROOM (Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre): Fringe Review 74

FROM OUR LIVING ROOM comprises five original pieces—four duets and one solo—choreographed and performed by the all-female members of the emerging company Birds on a Wire.

Ballet Fleming, AFTER THE SUMMER SUN poster

AFTER THE SUMMER SUN (BalletFleming): Fringe Review 72

Award-winning choreographer and artistic director Christopher Fleming has created a beautiful program of new works to open BalletFleming’s 2014-15 season.

A Change of Harp, Bowerbird, 14 SEQUENZAS

14 SEQUENZAS (A Change of Harp and Bowerbird): Fringe Review 66

Each of the daring and demanding 14 SEQUENZAS features virtuoso musicians and masterful performances.

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.

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.

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.

Promotional image for NIGHTMARES IN NEVERLAND, featuring Jenna Kuerzi (Photo credit: Brey Ann Barrett)

NIGHTMARES IN NEVERLAND (Bri Shaw/Brian Clores/Brey Barrett/Haygen Walker): Fringe Review 47

Two original one-hour plays inspired by the life and popular children’s book of Scottish author J.M. Barrie

(Photo credit: Courtesy of KILL SHAKESPEARE)

KILL SHAKESPEARE: LIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL (Revolution Shakespeare and Hear Again Radio Project): Fringe Review 42

Revolution Shakespeare (dedicated to new approaches to the playwright) and Hear Again Radio Project (specializing in the recreation of vintage radio programs) have teamed up for an entertaining presentation of the popular graphic novel series KILL SHAKESPEARE.

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

ANNA K (Chris Davis): Fringe Review 40

Can you imagine 19th-century Moscow transported to contemporary Philadelphia, and Leo Tolstoy’s Russian angst-laden tragedy Anna Karenina transformed into a wacky local comedy? Luckily for Fringe audiences actor/playwright Chris Davis could.

Sam Sherburne and Hannah Van Sciver in MARBLES (Photo credit: JJ Tiziou)

MARBLES (Hannah Van Sciver): Fringe Review 37

Hannah Van Sciver examines the difficult connection and disconnect between two Millennials in her original work MARBLES.

Hunchback_5x7Postcard_Front

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME . . . A MUTE PLAY (The Renegade Company): Fringe Review 35

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME . . . A MUTE PLAY captures the narrative, message, emotion, and beauty of its literary source without speaking a word

8. John Schultz, TILL BURNAM WOOD promo image

TILL BIRNAM WOOD (John Schultz): Fringe Review 30

One way to focus on the extraordinary eloquence and drama of Shakespeare’s language is to eliminate all visual distraction, and that is precisely what John Schultz has done in TILL BIRNAM WOOD—a rapid-fire 55-minute adaptation of Macbeth that is performed before a blindfolded audience.

Melissa Dunphy stars in iHAMLET at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre (Photo credit: Kendall Whitehouse) 

iHAMLET (The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre): Fringe Review 28

Robin Malan’s iHAMLET, a stripped-down contemporary one-man adaptation of Hamlet, is performed in The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s Fringe production by one impressive woman. Actor/musician/composer Melissa Dunphy displays a remarkable command of the non-linear script, not once misspeaking a word of her 55-minute solo performance.

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TWENTY LOOKS OR PARIS IS BURNING AT THE JUDSON CHURCH (XS) (Trajal Harrell): Fringe Review 25

Trajal Harrell’s TWENTY LOOKS comes in a selection of lengths and sizes, and although the Presented Fringe version of his solo show runs extra small, at a mere 25 minutes to a 25-person audience (hence the XS in the extended title), you will be reminded that good things come in small packages.

Pre-production photo of Kaleid’s NO PLACE LIKE (Photo credit: Valerie Giacobbe)

NO PLACE LIKE (Kaleid Theater): Fringe Review 21

Part performance piece and part group therapy session, the self-devised offering is a soul-baring exposé of the growing pains of real people, in which an all-female ensemble of five creators/performers (Jess Brownell, Nina Giacobbe, Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez, Rae Bradley, and Samantha Rose Schwab) explores the concept of “home” through memorable events from their own personal backgrounds.

New Paradise Laboratories The Adults Fringe

THE ADULTS (New Paradise Laboratories): Fringe Review 20

Rhrough minimal, absurd dialogue and highly stylized, disjointed movement, the ensemble-devised work evokes the boredom and bad behavior of a privileged vacationing family of film artists and their guests.

PAC, RAPE OF LUCRECE, Dan Hodge, phto WideEyedStudios

THE RAPE OF LUCRECE (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective): Fringe review 4.2

PAC’s THE RAPE OF LUCRECE is not only the performance of a lifetime by Dan Hodge, but also a momentous socio-political statement and a stirring call to activism.

Tribe of Fools, TWO STREET, phto Kate Raines

TWO STREET: A TALE OF STAR-CROSSED MUMMERS (Tribe of Fools): Fringe Review 12.2

Shakespeare meets South Philly in Tribe of Fools’ TWO STREET, a high-energy take on Romeo and Juliet through the perspective of a contemporary gay couple. But here the tale of…