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KRISSY FRAELICH (Arden Cabaret): 60-second review

Fraelich proves her mettle as a singer who can move as much as impress you.

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FOREVER PLAID (Montgomery): Always on song

Of all the variety pieces that have become ensemble favorites, Stuart Ross’s musical remains the most durable.

Photo by Mark Garvin.

ALWAYS … PATSY CLINE (Walnut): Crazy for this show

Ted Swindley’s blend of a heartwarming bonding of two good ole’ gals and more than two dozen songs associated with singer Patsy Cline.

Left to right. Charlie Hudson III, Adam Greer, Jeremiah Wiggins, and Turron Kofi Alleyne star in the Crossroads Theatre Company's prodcution of FLY. Photo by Sherry Rubel.

FLY (Crossroads): Fighting for the skies

From dancing to dogfights, FLY tells the story of the Tuskagee Airmen.

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AN OCTOROON (Wilma): A melodrama, a social commentary, an experience

Beyond being entertaining and thought-provoking, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s AN OCTOROON is an experience

Abby Mueller (Carole King), Becky Gulsvig (Cynthia Weil), Ben Fankhauser (Barry Mann) & Liam Tobin (Gerry Goffin) in BEAUTIFUL. Photo by Joan Marcus

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL (National Tour, Academy of Music): A finely woven tapestry

Douglas McGrath tribute to Carole King goes beyond the formulaic jukebox musical to tell a story that stands on its own

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DOGFIGHT (Media): Love and war

Jesse Cline’s production is solid and holds dramatic intensity throughout, but ‘Victoria Mayo elevates a fine staging into one worth remembering.

Kersten Anderson as Maria. Photo by Matthew M

THE SOUND OF MUSIC (National Tour at the Academy of Music): Politics gets its song

THE SOUND OF MUSIC is a warhorse that has been brushed and festooned in ways that belie its age, familiarity, and expectation.

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THE MOUSETRAP (McCarter): Christie brought to life

Director Adam Immerwahr and a wonderful cast make this piece that’s been running as long in London as Queen Elizabeth II alive with an energy that belies the play’s age.

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NUREYEV’S EYES (DTC): Painter and dancer onstage

Michael Mastro’s production invigorates David Rush’s play so effectively, you almost don’t notice that each of Rush’s scenes have the same paradigm and general outcome.

Photo by Matthew J. Photography

LOBBY HERO (Theatre Horizon): A web of unintended consequences

Kenneth Lonergan’s new play explores the many levels of trust.

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THE PHILLY FAN (Montgomery): The time is always ripe for a Philly sports story

Though Bruce Graham’s play is set on the eve of a potential Philadelphia sports triumph it chronicles the long-suffering, patiently impatient diehard who supports local professional teams.

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A WONDERFUL NOISE (Villanova): Noise but not wonderful

Michael Hollinger and Vance Lemkuhl’s musical is lacking in conflict and complexity.

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Media): Killing Lee’s mockingbird

In directing Christopher Sergel’s dramatic adaptation of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Jesse Cline is uncharacteristically too reverential about the material.

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Ranking 50 Years of Philadelphia Theater

Rankings from 1967 until 2015 for best actor (male), best actor (female), best supporting actor (male), best supporting actor (female), best production, and best director.

David Pegram and Stephen Tyrone Williams in THE PIANO LESSON. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

THE PIANO LESSON (McCarter): A fine tune

Baikida Carroll’s PIANO LESSON is August Wilson as it’s meant to be seen.

Matteo Scammell, winner of the Neal Zoren's award for Best Actor in Philadelphia, 2015.

The Best in Philadelphia Theater, 2015

Each January, local theater critic Neal Zoren announces his picks for the best in Philadelphia theater over the previous calendar year.

Billy Finn (left) and Graeme Malcolm in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Photo by T Charles Erickson)

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (McCarter): One for past and present, but unfortunately not future

After this year, a holiday tradition will be refreshed. Here’s wishing it would remain.

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THE BALD SOPRANO (Curio): The absurd banality of everyday conversation

Ionesco offers comically entertaining insight on the careless and constant cacophony that passes for communication but is just platitudinous twaddle.

Mark Evans THE BOOK OF MORMON First National Tour (c) Joan Marcus, 2013

THE BOOK OF MORMON (First National Tour Company): Sincerely funny

This touring production doesn’t make THE BOOK OF MORMON any more savage, but it knits Parker and Stone’s comic ideas together into a moving story more satisfying because it has a human core.