Jered McLenigan, Ed Swidey and Keith Conallen.

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (Wilma): A contemporary classic, in three parts

Tom Stoppard’s ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD is perhaps the most ubiquitous work of postmodern drama.

Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth with Ben Dibble as Banquo. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Rare emotion and rarer straightforwardness [critical mass review #5]

The elements which displease other writers are what makes this production a success, according to Michael Fisher in review five of the ongoing Critical Mass series.

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MOTHERS AND SONS (PTC): Closure, revenge, and life after AIDS

Katherine and Cal seem uncomfortable together, and we soon learn why: they are forever connected by the death of Andre.

Kathleen Wallace and Greg Wood in Noël Coward’s PRIVATE LIVES at Walnut Street Theatre. Photo by Mark Garvin.

PRIVATE LIVES (Walnut): Who is being mocked?

PRIVATE LIVES, as written by Coward, is funny because it exposes the savagery that exists beneath the polished façade of the English upper class.

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CLOSER (Luna): The sex is neither sensual nor dirty, it’s tactical

Campbell’s production allows us to see the raw humanity in these people—or, in many cases, the lack thereof.

Bradley K. Wrenn as Ezra Chater and Nathan Foley as Captain Brice in Lantern Theater Company's production of ARCADIA. Photo by Mark Garvin.

“The Experiment”, conclusion: ARCADIA (Lantern)

Michael Fisher concludes his multi-part review experiment of ARCADIA at the Lantern Theater Company. Was it a success?

Daniel Fredrick as Valentine Coverly with toroise in Lantern Theater Company's production of ARCADIA. Photo by Mark Garvin.

“The Experiment”, part 3: ARCADIA (Lantern)

Michael Fisher continues his multi-part critical consideration of the Lantern Theater Company’s ARCADIA.

Charlotte Northeast, Maxwell Eddy, Alex Boyle  in ARCADIA (Photo: Mark Garvin)

“The Experiment”, part 2: ARCADIA (Lantern)

Part 2 of Michael Fisher’s multi-part, multi-week consideration of ARCADIA at the Lantern.

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“The Experiment”, part 1: ARCADIA (Lantern)

Part One of Michael Fisher’s multi-part critical experiment, reviewing the Lantern Theater Company’s production of ARCADIA several times over its run.

Photo by Kim Carson.

“The Experiment”: ARCADIA (Lantern), Introduction to an experiment in criticism

Phindie writer Michael Fisher introduces his multi-part critical experiment, using the Lantern’s production of ARCADIA as his guinea pig subject.

THREE CHEKHOV SISTERS: From left, Sarah Sanford (as Olga), Mary Tuomanen (as Irina) and Katharine Powell (as Masha) as the 'Three Sisters' in the Arden Theatre Company production of Anton Chekhov's play. (Photo courtesy of Mark Garvin)

THREE SISTERS (Arden Theatre): Does the gimmick stick?

THREE SISTERS is the story not only of its title characters—the sisters Olga (Sarah Sanford), Masha (Katharine Powell) and Irina (Mary Tuomanen)—but also of the various characters who shuffle in and out of their country home over the course of a few years. It’s a soap opera on wheels as nearly everyone falls in love, gets caught up in adultery and waxes philosophical, all while sinking deeper and deeper into the exact sorts of lives they never wanted to lead.

L-R Drucie McDaniel and Maureen Torsney-Weir. Photo by Johanna Austin.

SKIN AND BONE (Azuka Theatre): SoGoth Reinvented

In a culture that places heavier value on test scores than on the individual capacity for critical thought, you’re taught to associate. It doesn’t much matter if you’ve read the…

THE LADY FROM THE SEA (Egopo): Bare production showcases Ibsen’s mental gymnastics

Henrik Ibsen’s name is so thoroughly canonized in theater history that it’s easy to forget just how progressive the man was as a playwright. Works like A DOLL’S HOUSE are rightly granted…

The Five Stages of THE PILLOWMAN (Luna Theater)

Thank God for Taylor Swift. After seeing Luna Theater‘s mindcrushing production of Martin McDonagh’s THE PILLOWMAN last night, I found myself a broken man. I was shellshocked. Catatonic. I couldn’t look another…

THE DISAPPEARING QUARTERBACK (Plays and Players) tackles football’s deadly foible

Yesterday morning, I received an email from the National Football League. I get these every day, more or less—updates from NFL.com on what’s happening around the league, who’s injured, who’s…

Dana Kreitz as Olivia and Merci Lyons-Cox as Oliver in Curio Theatre Company's GENDER COMEDY. Photo by Claire Horvath.

GENDER COMEDY: A LESS STUPID TWELFTH NIGHT GAY FANTASIA (Curio): A loving parody brings infectious glee

Harry Slack has cut the gaping holes in Shakespeare’s logic into microscope slides, and the result is a hilarious and self-aware send-up of the rarely-discussed flaws in the work of our most beloved playwright.

4000 Philadelphia Theatre Company review

4000 MILES (PTC): What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been

As someone born in the mid-1980s, I’ve rolled my eyes at the sight of the word “Millennial” more times than I can count. What’s great about Amy Herzog’s 4000 MILES is that she refuses to imprison the characters in any social or political context.

Adam Altman and Clare Mahoney in Inis Nua's BLINK.

BLINK (Inis Nua): The Manufacturing of Affection

Phil Porter’s BLINK—making its American premiere with Inis Nua Theatre—is a touching pastiche of romance, high drama and farce. It’s both heavy and light, comic and tragic, whimsical and earthbound—yet…

Lantern Theater Company's production of Jane Austen's EMMA review

EMMA (Lantern): Philly falls for Austenmania

Over the past few years, there’s been a surprising and unlikely spark of interest in Jane Austen. Austen’s novels—Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, et al—have been required reading for over…

THE TALKBACK (Berserker Residents)

[56.1] THE TALKBACK (Berserker Residents): Fringe review

Every now and then we need to take a step back and look at the art of theater from a distance—through a microscope, in a vacuum, stripped of its pretense…