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.

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.

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

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

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.

A WONDERFUL NOISE (Villanova): Noise but not wonderful

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

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.

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.

THE PIANO LESSON (McCarter): A fine tune

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

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.

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.

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.

LAFFERTY’S WAKE (Society Hill Playhouse): Putting the fun in funeral

The LAFFERTY’S WAKE ensemble is quick and amiable in Susan Turlish’s gentle comic story,

THE SECOND MRS. WILSON (George Street); Behind every great man

Joe DiPietro’s thought-provoking piece is set in Woodrow Wilson’s second term, but it rekindles a period in the mid-20th century of sweeping biographical plays about historical figures.

MATILDA: THE MUSICAL (RSC): Dahl on tour

Roald Dahl is wildly popular, and this musical version of MATILDA benefits from the author’s lionization.

BILLY ELLIOT (Media Theatre): Dance Billy, dance

As usual with 2007 musical version of the 2000 movie, the personal scenes are the strength of this production

BECOMING DR. RUTH (Walnut): 60-second review

Jane Ridley is consistently engaging in Mark St. Germain’s chatty play about the woman who became Dr. Ruth.

BLACK NATIVITY (Theatre Horizon): A celebration of human spirit

Ozzie Jones’s production of this updated Langston Hughes play dazzles in just about every way a theater piece can.

A FREE MAN OF COLOR (Temple): Outrageous but haphazard vaudeville

John Guare’s play about race relations in early 19th century New Orleans is sprawling and convoluted under the best of circumstances.

A COMEDY OF TENORS (McCarter): More adventures in opera

Ken Ludwig brings four of the outstanding characters from Lend Me A Tenor from Cleveland to Paris for more rollicking escapades.