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TOMFOOLERY (Act II): Rediscovering the satire of Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer is the smartest, most devilish, most perceptive, and most funny of the editorial songwriters

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SIDE SHOW (Media Theatre): Coming together on a small stage

SIDE SHOW is a tricky piece, but there was much to savor at Media Theatre’s production

Kittson O'Neil in OR.

Neal Zoren’s BEST OF PHILADELPHIA THEATER, 2016

Neal Zoren chose his favorite productions, directors, and actors from the last year.

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SLEEPING BEAUTY (People’s Light): Festive wake-up

The Grimmish fairy tale kingdom is transformed to Paoli Shoals, a town depressed by the collapse of a once-thriving recording industry

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DISGRACED (McCarter): No disgrace here

A divinely thorough production of an honest, far reaching play.

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A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE (BRT): Fall to pieces over Patsy

Someone should sit down and write a dozen Country tunes for Jessica Wagner to record in the style of Patsy Cline.

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ELECTRA (Villanova): Sophocles gets electrified

Review of Sophocles’ Electra at Villanova Theatre

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MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION (Lantern): Thought-provoking amusement

In a Philadelphia theater season with an auspicious beginning, this production of MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION might be the most auspicious of all.

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BATHING IN MOONLIGHT (McCarter): In the pale moonlight

While Nilo Cruz broaches some interesting subjects and often provides his characters with profound things to say, his world premiere play never takes off dramatically.

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THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (Media Theatre): Atmospherically moody production

Loveliness and tenderness that breaks through the surface coldness are the hallmarks of the Media’s production of this delicate but sweepingly romantic musical.

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ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION (Act II Playhouse): A vote-getter

Puns, pokes, and irreverent portrayals take the place of debating issues

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THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (Hedgerow): Finding Sherlock

Thank goodness for Brock D. Vickers. In adapting one of Conan Doyle’s most popular Sherlock Holmes mysteries, he kept the intense tone of the original.

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Ray Didinger (Simon Canuso Kiley) meets his boyhood hero Tommy McDonald (Ned Pryce) back in the late 1950s in TOMMY & ME. Photo by Paola Nogueras.

TOMMY & ME (Theatre Exile): Theatrical touchdown

A lovely and elegiac look at how a sportswriter developed his love for football and friendship with an Eagles quarterback.

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BOEING BOEING (Hedgerow): 60-second review

It’s difficult to tell which actor provides the most comic energy in Damon Bonetti’s lively and funny production of this farce

Anthony Lawton as Don Adriano de Armado and Peter Schmitz as Holofernes. Photo by Lee A. Butz.

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (PA Shakes): 60-second review

Republished by kind permission from Neals Paper. Lightning, alas, did not strike two years in a row when it came to Pennsylvania Shakespeare’s grand experiment of mounting one of the…

Eleanor Handley as Elvira, Ian Merrill Peaks as Charles, and Karen Peaks as Ruth. Photo by Lee A. Butz.

BLITHE SPIRIT (PA Shakes): 60-second review

Nothing beats watching actors at the top of their game biting into crunchy material and whipping it into a tasty delight.

Ian Merrill Peaks as Petruchio and Eleanor Handley as Katherina in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. Photos by Lee A. Butz.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (PA Shakes): Shrewd Shakespeare

A good production that benefits most when it puts farce aside and concentrates on two people using their will to create partnership and harmony

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THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (Del Shakes): 60-second review

The emphasis is on the physical comedy in David Stradley’s production