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BASKERVILLE (McCarter): An entertaining trip to Dartmoor

Ken Ludwig taps literature’s most iconic detective with BASKERVILLE, a funny, inventive, entertaining take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

Tamara Anderson as Oda Mae Brown with Anna Giordano as Molly in GHOST. Photo by Maura McConnell.

GHOST (Media Theatre): Animating a corpse

Director Jesse Cline doesn’t let GHOST’s musical or lyrical deficiencies stand in his way of making involving theater.

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ARIADNE AUF NAXOS (Curtis Opera Theatre/Opera Philadelphia): Clowns and opera collide

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS predates Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George” and David Hirson’s “La Bête” by decades, but the situation its plot depicts brings both of those later 20th century works to mind.

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OSCAR (Opera Philadelphia): High notes and low in the life of Oscar Wilde

We see the tragedy of Oscar Wilde’s life played out creatively and movingly in OSCAR, a thoughtfully crafted opera by Theodore Morrison and John Cox,

Jessica Wagner as Patsy Cline. Photo by Mark Garvin.

ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE (Bristol Riverside): Sweet dreams of a country superstar

Cline is a natural subject for the theater. Although the sad facts of Patsy’s marriage and difficult personal life are alluded to, ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE is more about a relationship a star was able to form with a fan than a full biography of the singer.

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THE GUN SHOW (Passage): Let me tell you some stories about guns

EM Lewis accomplishes two simultaneous intentions—to tell a story theatrically and to spur perspective on guns.

Atandwa Kani, Mncedisi Shabangu, and Atandwa Kani in SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD.

SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD (McCarter): Being a man in apartheid

SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD is genuine work of theater and an authentic, authoritative look at a shameful period of South African history.

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INTO THE WOODS (dir, Rob Marshall): Movie review

“Into the Woods” goes beyond fairy tale into exploring a basic human dilemma, how to fight a destructive common enemy.

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BIG EYES (dir. Tim Burton): Movie review

Republished by kind permission from NealsPaper.com. Though Tim Burton plays it straight in this movie about a monomaniac who uses his wife’s talent to feed his ego and become fabulously…

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WILD (dir. Jean-Marc Vallée): Movie review

This is a movie about one woman gaining personal survival skills that will give her confidence to face the vicissitudes of everyday life when she returns to it.

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THE IMITATION GAME (dir. Morten Tyldum): Movie review

Morten Tyldum does a fine job of blending two stories: Alan Turing’s role in deciphering Nazi Germany’s Enigma Code, and his arrest and conviction for gross indecency.

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BIRDMAN (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu): Movie review

The spirit of Samuel Taylor Coleridge has to be invoked practically every minute Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Birdman” digitally projects on the screen.

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FOXCATCHER (dir. Bennett Miller): Movie review

Republished by kind permission from NealsPaper.com. The characters in “Foxcatcher” are laconic in general and, when they do talk, speak in short, clipped phrases that compactly communicate what they want…

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MARY POPPINS (Walnut): Flying between lightness and gravitas

In doing MARY POPPINS, a director has to decide between approaches: light and fantastical like the movie or darker like the book.

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THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (dir. James Marsh): Movie review

“The Theory of Everything” is a strong story because it’s one of care and victory.

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ST. VINCENT (dir. Theodore Melfi): Movie review 

The wastrel with a heart may not be a new character, but Bill Murray plays Vince with a satisfied nonchalance that makes this cliché watchable.

Carlo Campbell, Ryan Walter (as Audrey), Sean Close (as Touchstone), Lee Cortopassi (as Amiens). (Photo by Shawn May)

AS YOU LIKE IT (Quintessence): Do you not know I am a woman?

Burns and his cast humanize Shakespeare’s characters and provide a smart, jolly time that is tinged with genuine sentiment.

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LITTLE ROCK (Passage Theatre): Integrating history into theater

Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj’s poignant play about nine children who integrate Little Rock’s Central High School creates a lasting impression.

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THE 39 STEPS (Bristol Riverside Theatre): Intense mystery and low comedy

Intense mystery and low comedy combine in Patrick Barlow’s stage version of THE 39 STEPS.

Wednesday (Lauren Cupples) loves to please with her dinner treats. Photo by Chris Jordan.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (Media Theatre): A weird-family musical

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is such a familiar piece, and beloved by many for various reasons