The Tools of Ignorance Present: High Cheese

[47] THE TOOLS OF IGNORANCE PRESENT: HIGH CHEESE (Tools of Ignorance): Fringe review

It’s a shame theater and sports don’t intersect more often. The goings-on of the four major professional sports—especially in Philadelphia—never fail to provide fans with a rollicking mixture of tragedy…

Chlamydia dell'Arte MORE Sex-Ed Burlesque

[38] MORE SEX-ED BURLESQUE (Chlamydia dell’Arte): Fringe review

The delightful and hilarious ladies of Chlamydia dell’Arte—Gigi Naglak and Meghann Williams—would like to educate you. They would like to sing you a song about the etiquette of butt sex….

This is Not a Theater Fringe review

[28.2] THIS IS NOT A THEATER (Navin Rawanchaikul, Navin Production): Fringe review

You know those commercials at the movies that play for fifteen minutes before the trailers? You don’t want them, you don’t care about them, but you accept them as part…

The Living Newspaper Liz Magic Laser 2013 Philadelphia Fringe review photo

[30] THE LIVING NEWSPAPER (Liz Magic Laser): Fringe review

Given that you have to sit suffering through the disgraceful This is Not a Theater, it’s almost irrelevant to review THE LIVING NEWSPAPER, but NEWSPAPER is at least a “show” (read…

The Society 2013 Philadelphia Fringe review

[7.2] THE SOCIETY (Jo Strømgren Kompani): Fringe review

Let’s be real: Most theater we see these days is at least a little bit pretentious. The very nature of theater is based in pretense. We are asked to believe…

Tough Cookies Together We Act Fringe Review

[17] TOUGH COOKIES (Together We Act): Fringe review

First, the elephant in the room: Together We Act is a non-profit theater company for people who stutter. Now, it doesn’t take a cynical theater critic to draw the conclusion…

Go Long Big Softie. Photo by Kate Raines. 2013 Philly Fringe Festival

[15] GO LONG BIG SOFTIE (Groundswell Players): Fringe review

As I watch TV and lament the opportunities missed by my fantasy football team (Why didn’t I start Jimmy Graham? I’m an idiot, that’s why.) I am reminded of the…


[10] PARTS: A SPEED-THROUGH (Drexel Players): Fringe review

PARTS: A SPEED-THROUGH is an ambitious, outside-the-box piece devised and performed by the Drexel Players. Anyone who has ever been involved in theater knows the process: you audition, you rehearse,…

This is the Twilight Kingdom Found Theatre Company Fringe review

[5.1] THIS IS THE TWILIGHT KINGDOM (Found Theater Company): Fringe review

“You can see–but you cannot change–the choices you have made.” That’s one character’s assessment of the afterworld in Found Theater Company’s THIS IS THE TWILIGHT KINGDOM, a devised piece directed…

Bathtub Moby-Dick The Renegade Company Philly Fringe review

[1.1] BATHTUB MOBY-DICK (The Renegade Company): 2013 Fringe review

We are all searching for something in this life, and oftentimes it’s something that can’t be got. That’s Captain Ahab’s story, but it’s probably yours and probably mine too. In…

Barcelona People's Light Theatre review photo

BARCELONA (People’s Light): Transatlantic tension, transatlantic truth

She’s an American tourist on a girls’ holiday, seeking out a romantic, exotic fantasy of Spain. He’s a dashing, seductive Spaniard who takes her to his soon-to-be demolished apartment, where…

Wilma Theater Bootycandy review photo.

BOOTYCANDY (Wilma): Bringing genitalia to the stage

There is a certain brand of comedy that bases its entire aesthetic on the idea that genitalia, in and of itself, is hilarious. A lot of trashy movies from the…

everyone's a critic

The Purpose of Criticism: Roger Ebert, Lester Bangs, and Psychotic Reactions

Following his much-discussed piece on Gimmickry in Theater, Michael F. Fisher considers the role of the critic, and how theater criticism in Philadelphia compares to the best pop culture reviews….


A RAISIN IN THE SUN (Arden): A delightful production of a hefty play

Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A RAISIN IN THE SUN starts slow and takes a while to get to where it’s going, but the cast at the Arden handles the hefty, far-reaching…


Gimmickry in Theater

While perusing the pop culture section of Bill Simmons’ Grantland site a couple weeks ago, I came across a piece by contributor Sean Fennessy detailing an interesting event that took place at the…