Reviews

Pearce Bunting and Catharine Slusar star as George and Martha in Theatre Exile’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF (Photo credit: Paola Nogueras)

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF (Exile): A tour-de-force production of an American classic

The iconic three-act, three-hour marathon of marital warfare eviscerates the myth of the American family, revealing the drama and devastation behind the façade of our societal expectations

Scott Greer and Anthony Lawton in TO THE MOON.

TO THE MOON (1812 Productions): An homage to The Great One, who was not so great after all

Whether you were a fan of The Honeymooners, or have never seen more than a clip on YouTube, this homage to The Great One reminds us of what comedy used to be like.

Dan Hodge, Rape of Lucrece 2 by Kate Raines

THE RAPE OF LUCRECE (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective): 60-second review

Dan Hodge’s one-man performance of Shakespeare’s poem RAPE OF LUCRECE is back! And it is not to be missed (again).

Kevin Rodden as Seamus Shields and Dexter Anderson as Donal Davoren in IHT’s THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN (Photo credit: Keith Miller)

SHADOW OF A GUNMAN (Irish Heritage Theatre): My great-grandfather—the shadow-less gunman

A tragic play gives this Irish American writer a newfound appreciation for his Irish heritage.

1. Arden, Jungle Book, TCanales, TFitzpatrick, CDelMarcelle, photo MGarvin

THE JUNGLE BOOK (Arden): Merging morals with make-believe

Based on British author Rudyard Kipling’s series of exotic children’s stories inspired by his childhood in India, THE JUNGLE BOOK is now an engaging family play, celebrating its world premiere at Arden Children’s Theatre.

The innocent Bonhoeffer (Chase Byrd) holding hands with his naïve fiancée (Anna Lou Hearn) with Klopstock (Adam Hammet) on duty, but not interfering. Photo by  © James Jackson.

BONHOEFFER’S COST (Beacon): 60-second review

A serious drama about the last year and a half of a short, fascinating life.

Photo 9 Burns (Griffin Stanton-Ameisen) and Dunne (John Morrison) ponder their impending fate if they don't win Penelope's love.

PENELOPE (Inis Nua): Love and death in a hot country

Enda Walsh’s existential thought-play treads a well-worn path, but it does so with intelligence and poetry.

Carl Heyde and Carol Enoch star in THE GOLDEN COACH.

THE GOLDEN COACH (Stagecrafters): Farcical wheels of fortune

In THE GOLDEN COACH, a comedy, author and director Yaga Brady takes the audience back to 1770 in Lima, Peru. We meet the Spanish Viceroy, Manuel de Amat y Junient…

3. CTC, AI, Brendan Sheehan, phto JdelTufo

GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT (CTC): An electrifying production of a timeless punk-rock opera

CTC’s production, directed with full-out intensity by Michael Gray, captures all the rage, love, frustration, and uncertainty of rebellious youth on the verge of adulthood.

Lee Minora and Matteo Scammell in THE HAIRY APE. Photo by David Sarrafian.

THE HAIRY APE (EgoPo): The cage of modern life

The challenge for EgoPo director Brenna Geffers was to make a play which must have been theatrically and politically radical a century ago relevant to a 21st-century audience.

Kevin Rodden as Seamus Shields and Dexter Anderson as Donal Davoren in IHT’s THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN (Photo credit: Keith Miller)

THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN (IHT): Humor and horror in the Irish homeland

Set during their fight for independence, this controversial two-act tragicomedy merges realism with poetry for an insightful and funny view of the Irish.

Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth with Ben Dibble as Banquo. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Rare emotion and rarer straightforwardness [critical mass review #5]

The elements which displease other writers are what makes this production a success, according to Michael Fisher in review five of the ongoing Critical Mass series.

Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre): What fools these mortals be!

Philly Shakes’ production isn’t afraid to embrace the wonderfully silly and naughty aspects of Shakespeare, and the approach works like a charm.

Frank X and Sally Mercer in InterAct’s UNCANNY VALLEY (Photo credit: Plate 3 Photography)

UNCANNY VALLEY (InterAct): What makes us human?

Post-modern technology collides with human ethics in InterAct Theatre Company’s revolving world-premiere production of playwright-in-residence Thomas Gibbons’ UNCANNY VALLEY.

national-pastime-bucks-county-playhouse-review

NATIONAL PASTIME (Bucks County Playhouse): 60-second review

It’s 1933 in the struggling radio station WZBQ in Baker City, Iowa. Owner Barry hatches an ingenious plan to resurrect a defunct baseball team, boost ratings, and save the station.

3. Loretta Vasile, Mechanical, SHE STOOPS, phto JBrough

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (Mechanical): An authentic delight!

What better place than Philadelphia’s historic Powel House for its resident company, The Mechanical Theater, to stage this historically faithful production.

Jahzeer Terrell as a soldier, Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth, Terence Macsweeny and Sean Bradley as Soldiers in MACBETH at the Arden. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Shakepeare as spectacle [critical mass review #4]

It’s the fourth installment of the Critical Mass review of MACBETH at the Arden, but Julius Ferraro thinks too many works have already been written about an unremarkable piece of theater.

Ross Beschler and Zainab Jah in HAMLET. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

HAMLET (Wilma): Blanka Zizka’s daring production amazes while keeping its distance

Not unlike the U.S. Constitution, HAMLET endures partly because its imperfections and spaces allow for different ways to read it.

2. PAC, FAIR MAID, Rachel Camp as Bess Adam Altman as Spencer CREDIT Ashley LaBonde Wide Eyed Studios

THE FAIR MAID OF THE WEST, PART I (PAC): A pirate adventure “worth gold!”

Thomas Heywood’s ridiculous rip-roaring romantic romp across the high seas of the English Renaissance is the latest in the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective’s acclaimed productions of rarely seen classics.

Ensemble in Arden Theatre Company's production of MACBETH. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Numb from the neck down, well almost [critical mass review #3]

Jessica Foley gives this week’s critical mass take on MACBETH at the Arden, part of a new review series on Phindie.