On Stage

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2013/14 Critics’ Awards: The best in Philadelphia theater

For the second year, Phindie asked local theater writers to vote on the best theatrical work produced in or near the city in the 2013/14 theater season.

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10 Fringe Dance Picks: Lew Whittington on the best of the 2014 Fringe Festival

Dance writer Lew Whittington gives 10 “moving” picks for the 2014 Fringe Festival

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Fringe Picks: Daniel Student gives his shameless plugs and insider tips

Plays and Players Theatre is host to x shows in this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival and the upstairs bar is a regular after-show spot for Fringe performers, so Daniel Student, artistic director of the resident theater company, has his finger on the festival pulse. Daniel told Phindie what he’s looking forward to this year, at P&P and beyond.

Juniper Street, a community-building sleepover play about death

Introducing the Fringe/Fringe Festival, which you probably won’t want to miss

A backwoods exorcism by a snake-handling preacher, a community-building sleepover play about death, devised theater by dangerous women, and a gallery where live mannequins and their art intersect: we’re hoping the newly-birthed Fringe/Fringe Festival turns out to be as freaky and compelling as its play synopses promise.

Photographing Quince Productions’ YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO

In shooting YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO, I wanted to capture not only the unique world in which Talbott’s plays occur, but the very different worlds of these three short plays. A kitchen (Break My Face on Your Hand), a public bench (You Know My Name), and a bedroom (What Happened When) become joyous, sinister, hopeful, despairing, or reassuring places as the plays move along and flow into one another.

Richie Sklar (l.) and Peter Zielinski in Geoffrey Nauffts' NEXT FALL. Photo by John Donges.

Queer and Christian: a preview of NEXT FALL (Quince, GayFest! 2014)

This Wednesday, Quince Productions continues an exciting GayFest! with the opening of Next Fall, playwright/actor Geoffrey Nauffts’ Tony Award-nominated play. Next Fall tackles big issues without big presumptions, approaching societal white…

Isa St. Clair, Allen Radway, and E. Ashley Izard in THE GLASS MENAGERIE. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

Kyle Cassidy Photo Essay: THE GLASS MENAGERIE (Commonwealth Classic Theatre)

Kyle Cassidy photographs Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company’s production of Tennessee Williams’s THE GLASS MENAGERIE, now onstage at the Off Broad Street Theatre.

Standing on Ceremony

STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS (Quince), GayFest! 2014.

“What’s really interesting to me is that in just a few years since “Standing on Ceremony” came out, some of the pieces are already ‘period pieces.’ There is, for instance, one piece about two women flying from California to Iowa because marriage is legal in Iowa but not California (it was while Proposition 8 was still making its way through the courts). And the two women are saying things like, ‘Can you believe we live in California and have to fly to Iowa to get married?’ Well that, of course, is no longer the case. So in a way it’s a primer on recent history and an indication of how quickly things change!”

Daniel Talbott

Playwright on Playwright: Two charming people interview one another

Daniel Talbott (You Know My Name: A Daniel Talbott Trio) and Kathleen Warnock (Some Are People), two of the playwrights with work in this year’s GayFest!, happen to be old friends and professional colleagues. These two unique personalities interview each other about their participation in Quince Productions’ festival, their writing habits, and a slew of other topics from desserts to dreams.

Quince Productions’ GayFest! kicks off with HEAD OVER HEELS

Philadelphia’s first and largest LGBTQ theater festival, GayFest! by Quince Productions, returns this August 5-23 to Plays and Players Skinner Studio. Opening this year’s festival is the The Bang Group’s HEAD OVER HEELS, a high energy mix of concert dance, slapstick, and musical theater in a cabaret setting. Artistic director and choreographer David Parker took time with me to offer some insights into the dance and his New York City dance ensemble’s interests in creating the piece.

Ama Bollinger stars in Chris Davis’s ANNA K (Photo credit: Courtesy of the artist)

Deb Miller’s 15 Top Picks for the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival

Phindie will provide more Philly Fringe Festival coverage than any publication in the world! Coverage begins with 15 picks from star Phindie writer Deb Miller.

The Bearded Ladies and Opera Philadelphia present Stage 2 in the development of Warhol-inspired ANDY: A Popera

Wednesday, July 16th, The Bearded Ladies and Opera Philadelphia will lay down stakes in the lobby of the Wilma Theatre, and, for two short weeks, perform an hour-long cabaret inspired by the outrageously influential life of Andy Warhol. Featuring original music by Heath Allen.

The Who Tommy New Cavern

See Me, Feel Me: New guys New Cavern rock out THE WHO’S TOMMY

The Who’s 1969 concept album TOMMY kicks ass. It’s a real rockists rock album, from the golden age of British rock. The 1975 movie and 1993 Broadway adaptation capture the dramatic…

Colin Quinn

Arrogantly profiling American history: An interview with Colin Quinn, starring at the Philadelphia Theatre Company

Let me say it up front: Unconstitutional, running through July 6th at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, is a tour de force stronger than the Tour de France.

The famous Quinn, familiar to Saturday Night Live fans, presents his observations on the quirks of life in the U.S. at such a neck-breaking pace that I thought I was participating as a bidder at an auction, where the auctioneer speaks at world record speed so that I, as one of his “bidders,” was unsure at times if I was buying or not. So as not to miss his many powerful insights, wrapped in highly addictive humor, I was forced to listen carefully. And listen I did.

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The Ups and Downs of Success: Theatre artists between jobs

“There aren’t enough cocktails to help me understand why I continue to be an actor! This shit is for the birds!”

Thus begins the Facebook entry by Joey, a dancer-actor-singer who played many roles along the U.S. east coast, but recently did not get hired for a new musical.

James Ijames

Freezing one’s laughter mid-stream: THE MOST SPECTACULARLY LAMENTABLE TRIAL OF MIZ MARTHA WASHINGTON by James Ijames

“You will be broken and put back together again,” as one theatregoer commented on Facebook.

Given the explosive nature of this extraordinary play, I thought it important to talk to the playwright directly.

BODY Play by Kaycee Filson

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE ELEVEN: CHRIS DAVIS, CORINNA BURNS & KAYCEE FILSON

In this final episode, we talk about people talkin’ ‘bout bodies in West Philly and a double-bill: dark skies and stalkers in South Philly.

SIGN FELT! (a show about nothingness) by Alexandra Tatarsky

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE TEN: ALEXANDRA TATARSKY, CINDY SPITKO and JOY CUTLER

In episode ten, we’ve got nothingness Goethe in a secret secret place, grief clowning in West Philly, and autobiographical anatomy in Rittenhouse.

Paper Mustache (Or, Helix) by James Haro

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE NINE: THOMAS CHOINACKY, SARAH VAN AUKEN & JAMES HARO

In the SoLow Fest this year, some 30+ artists are creating cheap cheap theater in formal and informal spaces around the city. Challenging the idea that budget = quality, artistic…

What Sanity by Chelsea Murphy, Alex Romania, and Magda San Millan

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE EIGHT: DUO OF GROSSNESS, TRIO OF MADNESS

In SoLow, you redact the boring stuff—these tickets and grants and five-year-plans and most importantly the stages and lobbies and flashy pricey venues—which are meant to indicate to the audience member, yes, see this show and not those.

Let’s imagine that when SoLow redacts these walls, what results, remarkably, is not dust and rock and paper shreds, but sand.

A big pile of sand.

SoLow is like a sandbox.

To give you a clearer picture of what’s being built in the sandbox, freelance writer/performer Julius Ferraro conducts a series of flash interviews of our artists.