THE THREE MUSKETEERS (Quintessence): Swordplay and horseplay combine in a breezy adaptation

As always with an Alexander Burns production, imagery is rife, props are creative, and jokes come as much from sight gags as from dialogue.

BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE (DTC): A child and her dog steal a charming musical

It’s an old show biz maxim, and true, that an adult cannot expect full attention if he or she is working on stage with a dog or a child.

GROUCHO: A LIFE IN REVUE (ActorsNET): There’s no such thing as a sanity clause

Off stage, David Newhouse looks nothing like Groucho Marx. In makeup, Newhouse’s transformation is astounding.

THE THREEPENNY OPERA (Villanova): Brecht played louder than the music

Republished by kind permission from Neals Paper. Kurt Weill’s insistent tingel-tangel score for THE THREEPENNY OPERA pervades the Vasey Hall stage, with horns and drum pumping to a martial beat that…

UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL (Hedgerow): Following a shaggy dog to the library

One of the funniest and most entertaining of all shaggy dog stories.

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (Temple Theater): Parties and excess

The young talent the school is grooming stands out in the Temple Theater production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.