4. Chris Davis, Apocalypse Now, pto Maria Shaplin (1)

ONE-MAN APOCALYPSE NOW (Chris Davis): 2016 Fringe review 38

Who but Chris Davis would even think of a ONE-MAN APOCALYPSE NOW?

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A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Deep Blue Theatre Collective): 2016 Fringe review 20.1

Deep Blue goes for the jugular with a serious staging of STREETCAR, Tennessee Williams’s beloved, hard, and overheated play

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NOTES OF A NATIVE SONG (Stew and Heidi Rodewald): 2016 Fringe review 9

“Won’t you follow me down to Baldwin Country? This ain’t your mama’s Baldwin Country.” The show opens with offhand remarks by Stew, a large black man up front at a…

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JAMAICA (New Freedom): A great big musical full of vibrant colors, delectable lyrics, high spirits, and island vibes

New Freedom Theatre in North Philadelphia is dedicated to presenting productions that illuminate the multifaceted African American experience. Their current production, JAMAICA, is based on a musical that opened on…

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[NYC] THE TOTAL BENT (Public Theater): In world premiere in NYC, a messy rocking musical has Philadelphia connections

The action transpires at the nexus of tradition, belief, protest, crass commercialism, and rock ‘n’ roll, shedding light on differing views of the budding Civil Rights movement within the black…

Ian Merrill Peakes (L) & Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (R)
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THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (Curio): A light surface has a dark pull

Something funny across the surface with dark issues riding just under it.

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DOCTOR FAUSTUS (Quintessence): If you want to know everything, go to hell

A remarkably original and gloriously entertaining version of the Marlowe play.

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THE WOMEN (EgoPo): An engaging show turns a trifle into a treatise

Clare Boothe Luce saw her 1936 play as a critique of certain malicious denizens of Park Avenue. Director Lane Savadove sees more in it.

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TWELFTH NIGHT (Filter Theatre in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company): A rousing Shakespearean travesty

The Filter ensemble shows the audience a good time with lots of music, noise, and laughs within a Shakespeare play environment.

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THE SISTERHOOD (MAUCKINGBIRD): A delightful hi-brow comedy skewers hi-brow pretensions

While some plays are heavy three course meals, THE SISTERHOOD is definitely dessert.

Marc LeVasseur as Oscar Wilde. Photo by Mark Garvin.

OSCAR WILDE: FROM THE DEPTHS (Lantern): A love that dared not speak its mind

With his brilliant work and tragic arc, Oscar Wilde remains a fascinating figure.

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EQUIVOCATION (Arden): They made him an offer he can’t refuse

In the wake of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Shakespeare is summoned to take on a play commission for the Crown.

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RIZZO (Theatre Exile): A romp through the Rizzo years

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when Frank Rizzo strode the city like he owned it.

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ALIAS ELLIS MACKENZIE (Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental and CINEtica): 2015 Fringe review 50

Eleven skilled performers play crew or actors on the set of a Colombian TV show about 1980s American drug pilot and adventurer Barry Seal.

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A GREAT WAR (Iron Age): 2015 Fringe review 40

This tense, evocative play explores the eternal verities of war, sacrifice, and deceit.

Kyra Baker, Newton Buchanan, Andrew J. Carroll, Aetna Gallagher, and Doug Greene in NOISES OFF. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

NOISES OFF (Curio): Utter nonsense, superbly structured and out of control

Michael Frayn’s enormously popular 1980s play is a zany farce about doors and sardines, relationships, and mistakes.

Ross Beschler and Zainab Jah in HAMLET. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

HAMLET (Wilma): Blanka Zizka’s daring production amazes while keeping its distance

Not unlike the U.S. Constitution, HAMLET endures partly because its imperfections and spaces allow for different ways to read it.

Liz (Kate Czajkowski) and Charlie (Scott Greer) in Theatre Exile's THE WHALE by Samuel D. Hunter. Photo credit: Paola Nogueras.

THE WHALE (Theatre Exile): Intelligence and transformation moving under the surface

Not many plays have this kind of unmistakable resonance. When you encounter such a play, you know it. With works of consequence you can feel the pull of intelligence and transformation moving under the surface.

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UNDER THE SKIN (Arden): The boundaries of the body and the limits of love: It’s complicated

There’s little inherent humor in a guy needing a kidney, but evidently no one told that to Michael Hollinger.