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V to X (GoKash Productions): Clear and present injustice

While most political theater in Philly is unfortunately limp, V TO X presents a clear and despicable injustice, and does so with real, emotionally complex characters

Illustration by Mike Jackson.

THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR (IRC): Corruption!

A production that forefronts Gogol’s surprising, desperate, hypnotizing dialogue. Illustration by Mike Jackson.

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#THEREVOLUTION (InterAct): The vapid rebellion

What would happen if a bunch of early-20-something city-dwelling music-video-watching lower-middle-class variously privileged poorish Americans launched a violent revolution against the state?

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GENTLEMEN VOLUNTEERS (Pig Iron): Psychology, trickery, live foley, everything you want

GENTLEMAN VOLUNTEERS displays charm, psychological interest, and fringe sentiment which planted the roots of Pig Iron’s experimentation.

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A PORCH AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (Transmissions): Extremist religion and unrequited love

In deep Siberia, Karp Lykov and his grown children encounter their first outsiders in fifty years.

Illustration of Luna Theater's ANIMAL FARM by Mike Jackson. alrightmike.com.

ANIMAL FARM (Luna): From pig to (wo)man, and from (wo)man to pig

Impressive theatricality in an imperfect production of Orwell’s allegory of the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s real-life dystopia.

Scott Sheppard and Matteo Scammell in HOLDEN. Photo by plate3.com.

Holden (George + Co.): Violence in the 21st

In George + Co.’s HOLDEN, J. D. Salinger hasn’t published another book since two assassins blamed his The Catcher in the Rye for their own acts of violence.

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What Theater Can Do that TV Can’t

The success of TV is based on its ability to entertain. Theater must be its own medium. It must say new things, create new forms, eschew entertainment in order to challenge, and let audiences turn on their minds.

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A DOLL’S HOUSE (Jo Strømgren Kompani): 2015 Fringe review 9.1

This DOLL’s HOUSE is human and multifaceted, lighthearted and ironic, narrative with a dancer’s expression of character.

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AFTER THE REHEARSAL / PERSONA (Toneelgroep Amsterdam): 2015 Fringe review 7.1

Toneelgroep’s take on these classic screenplays retains all of the rawness of and cruelty of Bergman’s films.

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Shhhhh! C’mere. Have you heard about the Night Market?

“There are so few secrets left in life, I wanted to make something where you can’t put it in a search bar and get it.”

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LULU’S GOLDEN SHOES (FLASHPOINT): A deft treatise on cruelty

This is a play that is constantly surprising, entrancing, and always a step ahead of expectations.

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The Art of the Steal: Director Ivo van Hove creates plays out of film scripts

“In film,” pronounced Ivo van Hove, “the director is the god of his creation.”

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MOON MAN WALK (Orbiter 3): Interstellar overdrive

James Ijames’s MOON MAN WALK, the first offering by new playwrights’ collective Orbiter 3 presents a fantasy world and a very real story. And a manic pixie girl.

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HELLO! SADNESS! (Kimmel): Just a glimpse of the divine

All Mary Tuomanen wants to do is tell us a story about Jean Seberg, but things keep coming up.

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. . . BARRY SEAL (Thaddeus Phillips/FringeArts): Smile and a wink

Thaddeus Phillips plays Barry Seal, a real-life, infamous drug smuggler-turned-DEA-informant who eventually gained the ire of both smugglers and government agents.

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PLANT ME HERE (Brat): Sound and fury

Brat Productions’ PLANT ME HERE presents a saccharine dream of ruin and rebirth.

Jahzeer Terrell as a soldier, Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth, Terence Macsweeny and Sean Bradley as Soldiers in MACBETH at the Arden. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Shakepeare as spectacle [critical mass review #4]

It’s the fourth installment of the Critical Mass review of MACBETH at the Arden, but Julius Ferraro thinks too many works have already been written about an unremarkable piece of theater.

Magda San Millan and Chelsea Murphy. Photo by Josh McIlvain..

THE VULGAR EARLY WORKS (Chelsea & Magda): Sex, society, slapstick

Chelsea & Magda speak directly from their vaginas. If you’re not into that kind of thing, don’t see THE VULGAR EARLY WORKS.