Reviews

Photo by Jaqlin Medlock

COME TOGETHER FESTIVAL: Dance review, part 2

Part 2 of Lew Whittington’s look at the COME TOGETHER FESTIVAL

Kun Yang Lin Dancers. Photo by Bill Hebert.

COME TOGETHER FESTIVAL: Dance review, part 1

The collective energy of the deep field of Philly dance and visiting artists created a palpable festival atmosphere.

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HENRY V (PA Shakespeare): The king is but a man

While HENRY V contains two of Shakespeare’s most stirring speeches, smaller, less rhetorical moments are the more engrossing in Matt Pfeiffer’s staging for Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

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MERCURY FUR (Brainspunk): The hills are alive with the sound of post-apocalyptic horror

Dystopia can be a good place to demonstrate the kinder side of human nature. Philip Ridley’s play is shocking, violent, and uncomfortable to watch, but also weirdly heartwarming.

1. PL&TC, STELLA AND LOU, Marcia Saunders, Tom Teti, phto Mark Garvin

STELLA AND LOU (People’s Light): A middle-aged rom-com with South Philly attitude

No one captures the timbre of hometown Philadelphia better than playwright Bruce Graham, and nowhere is that more evident than in this regional premiere.

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LULU’S GOLDEN SHOES (FLASHPOINT): A deft treatise on cruelty

This is a play that is constantly surprising, entrancing, and always a step ahead of expectations.

Ryan Walter and Bobby Goodrich face off in DIVINE INTERVENTION (Photo credit: Garrett Matthew)

DIVINE/INTERVENTION (sbgProductions & Faux Real Entertainment): Reflections on the dual life of “the drag queen of the century”

The dual life of Glenn Milstead, a performer who achieved international fame in John Waters’ cult-classic films as the drag queen Divine, is the subject of a compelling new play.

Charlie DelMarcelle (the Lord) and Leonard Kelly (Sly) in Delaware Shakespeare Festival’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (Photo credit: Alessandra Nicole)

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (Delaware Shakespeare): The people’s choice!

Shakespeare’s comedic battle of the sexes was the audience choice for this year’s outdoor summer production by the Delaware Shakespeare Festival.

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BITTER HOMES AND GARDENS (Bearded Ladies at PHS Pop-Up)

The Bearded Ladies latest show is planted full of good ideas, some of which germinate, some of which reach farther than they can comically travel, and some of which die on the vine.

Craig Hutchings stars in the title role of SHREK THE MUSICAL at the Ritz (Photo credit: Chris Miller)

SHREK THE MUSICAL (Ritz): Even ogres can live happily ever after

Fans of the popular 2001 animated film, the 1990 children’s book by William Steig, and the 4-D attraction at Universal Studios can now see their favorite green ogre come to life on stage.

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SILHOUETTE (Kim Brandt): Dance review

Like most performing arts supporters, I am used to walking into a theater knowing what to expect. Either via program notes or context clues, the answers have been given to me.

Paul McElwee and Erica Scanlon Harr in Mazeppa’s CLOSER THAN EVER (Photo credit: Kelly Anne Pipe Design and Photography)

CLOSER THAN EVER (Mazeppa): A charming musical exposé of mid-life angst

All songs and no dialogue is the format Richard Maltby, Jr. (lyrics) and David Shire (score) employ for their popular two-act musical revue now enjoying a top-notch staging by Mazeppa Productions.

Chloe Felesina and Edgar Anido in Adam Hougland's When We're Alone.
Photo by Alexander Iziliaev

SUMMER SERIES (BalletX): Summertime satisfaction

The program is packed everything from serious to funny: tap, swing and jazz, all thoroughly infused with and supported by the dancers’ strong foundation in classical ballet.

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MOON MAN WALK (Orbiter 3): Interstellar overdrive

James Ijames’s MOON MAN WALK, the first offering by new playwrights’ collective Orbiter 3 presents a fantasy world and a very real story. And a manic pixie girl.

Photo by Sharon Torello.

TURBINE (Leah Stein/ Mendelssohn Club): Stein’s water-dances power the Water Works

Greek revival structures and riverscape environs inspire an immersive choral-dance work that explores the specific interplay of machinery and nature.

Anita Vasan as and Richard B. Watson as Phinneas Fogg. Photo by Lee A. Butz.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (PA Shakespeare): A comic circumnavigation of Verne’s classic

Director Russell Treyz grants quarter to cogent, cohesive storytelling in his production Mark Brown’s adaptation of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS for Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

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ONE WAY RED (Dani Solomon): SoLow review

Dani Solomon’s 40-minute sojourn to Mars is inspired by testimonials from folks who are seriously vying for a one way ticket to go to the red planet.

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HUMAN & AUTISMAN (John Cherney): SoLow review

John Cherney weaves a illuminating narrative reflecting on the validity of feeling alone, isolation, autism and the science and nature of universal connectivity

Leonard Haas in I HATE HAMLET at Montgomery Theater. Photo by Angela McMichael.

I HATE HAMLET (Montgomery): Paul Rudnick knows a hawk from a handsaw

I have seen a dozen productions of I HATE HAMLET, including the legendary Broadway staging that induced Evan Handler to complain to Actors Equity against co-star Nicol Williamson. This is one of the best.

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SUPPER, PEOPLE ON THE MOVE (Cardell): A topic tackled with great success

Supper, People on the Move was a well thought out and efficaciously executed choreographic project that called for us to carefully examine the paths people take to conquer new horizons.