Reviews

Mother Emanuel cast. Front LtR, Lauren Morgan, Christopher Augustin, Sabriaya Shipley. Back, Christian Branch. Image by Ethimo Foto.

MOTHER EMANUEL—AN AMERICAN MUSICAL PLAY (New Freedom Theatre): Taking the theater to church

New Freedom Theatre honors Emanuel Nine in new musical by creating a gospel celebration that honors their lives

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PROJECT DAWN (People’s Light): The hug or the hammer

A well-intentioned but dull play about an important legal program in Philadelphia.

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FUN HOME (national tour at Forrest Theatre): A study in want

There was a perfection to the timing of FUN HOME’s arrival in Philadelphia: Another take on FUN HOME

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Revisiting PARROT TALK: A play distilled mid-run

Those fortunate enough to see both renditions of PARROT TALK witnessed in real-time flow the distillation of creative genius.

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SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (Walnut): Stayin’ Alive

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER is a white-washed adaptation of the classic movie, with double the music and none of the soul. Director/choreographer Richard Stafford seems terrified of losing audience attention for…

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FUN HOME (national tour at Forrest Theatre): Hiding who you are is likely to be tragic

FUN HOME is both a musical and a family drama; it’s also an activist declaration

QTGVanya5 Dr Astrov (Kevin Bergen) squares off with Vanya (Steven Wright) in Uncle Vanya

UNCLE VANYA (Quintessence): Tedious boring people

Good productions of Chekhov remind us of how vital his work still can be. Bad productions feed the narrative that his plays are dated, charmless, and inconsequential.

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ANNE-MARIE MULGREW AND DANCERS COMPANY: Marvels in our daily lives

Dance is one of our most natural ways to communicate and express our thoughts.

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HIR (Simpatico): We are all everything

Author’s note: Taylor Mac uses “judy” as a gender pronoun. This review reflects Mac’s preference. Taylor Mac’s work is unwieldy and absurdist, challenging and unsettling. These elements often work to…

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DOGS OF RWANDA (InterAct): We are witnesses

A gripping solo play that asks tough questions and rejects easy answers

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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS JEFFERSON, CHARLES DICKENS & COUNT LEO TOLSTOY: DISCORD (Lantern Theater Company): Locked in limbo with literati

The Lantern team transforms an essentially all-talk playscript into an engaging, living piece of theater.

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HOW TO USE A KNIFE (InterAct): A sharp new play

Scene one is hilarious; scene two wipes the smile right off your face.

Stephanie Iozzia and Ethan Lipkin in MAKING HISTORY. Photo by Carlos Forbes.
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MAKING HISTORY (Irish Heritage Theatre): A very human Irish history play

A great play for history buffs and hibernophiles.

Veronica Nardo (left) and Caroline Dooner in GYPSY at Arden Theatre Company through June 25th.  Photo by Mark Garvin.

GYPSY (Arden): A self-aware musical

Another take on the Arden’s GYPSY

Photo by Mark Garvin.

GYPSY (Arden Theatre): Mary’s turn

Martello shines in an otherwise confused production of this classic musical.

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WEST SIDE STORY (Media Theatre): 60-second review

2018 is Leonard Bernstein’s centenary, and theaters around the country are programming his greatest works in his honor. Delaware County’s Media Theatre has taken the safe approach of presenting perhaps…

"Tall Trees Night" by Celia Resman. Part of her exhibition A Moment Noticed at Gross McCleaf Gallery

Utopias on the Outskirts: Celia Reisman’s suburban landscapes at Gross McCleaf Gallery

Celia Reisman transforms American suburbs into landscapes of the mind in four stages.

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BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (Act II Playhouse): The same old schtick

A play for people who need to be told how to feel.

James Lecesne in THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY (PTC): Just another queer tragedy

If you like your gay stories trite and tragic, this is the play for you.