Reviews

Buck Schirner and Daniel Fredrick in Mickle Street at Walnut Street Theatre’s Independence Studio on 3. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MICKLE STREET (Walnut): There is more to life than theatrics

Philadelphia playwright Michael Whistler’s latest play, Mickle Street, shows Oscar Wilde, 27, searching for an identity and seeking out advice from older poet Walt Whitman.

David Nikolas as Maurice Mullinsin A MURDER HAS BEEN ARRANGED at Hedgerow Theatre. Photo by Ashley LaBonde

A MURDER HAS BEEN ARRANGED (Hedgerow): There’s something spooky backstage

A MURDER HAS BEEN ARRANGED may contain all the usual elements of a typical who-dunnit, but it’s spirit lies elsewhere

3. Curio, OTHELLO, Brian McCann as Iago, photo KCassidy

OTHELLO (Curio): A different approach to an iconic tragedy

This original take on OTHELLO has more the feel of a farcical comedy than an ironic tragedy

Photo by: Alexander Iziliaev

WINTER SERIES 2015 (BalletX): Sizzling Despite the Snow

BalletX is on fire. Their winter series provides Philadelphia with the perfect antidote to the cold-weather blues.

Daniel Fredrick, Sabrina Profitt and Buck Schirner in MICKLE STREET. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MICKLE STREET (Walnut): Whitman and Wilde meet and then they talk

Life imitates art far more art imitates art.

Makoto Hirano in the role of Gordon Hirabayashi in Plays & Players' production of HOLD THESE TRUTHS.

HOLD THESE TRUTHS (Plays & Players): When the hero loses, we all lose

The lesser-known story of Gordon Hirabayashi, who ought to be publicly regarded as one of America’s outlying forces of justice, is told fearlessly by Makoto Hirano in Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS.

Magda San Millan and Chelsea Murphy. Photo by Josh McIlvain..

THE VULGAR EARLY WORKS (Chelsea & Magda): Sex, society, slapstick

Chelsea & Magda speak directly from their vaginas. If you’re not into that kind of thing, don’t see THE VULGAR EARLY WORKS.

(l-r) Melanie Lawrence, Nastassja Baset, and Danielle Leneé in impatico Theatre Project's MILK LIKE SUGAR. Photo credit: Kathryn Raines.

MILK LIKE SUGAR (Simpatico): Dreams and reality

Everyone wants to feel special. This longing to be acknowledged is at the core of Kirsten Greenidge’s MILK LIKE SUGAR.

Mary McDonnell and Olivia Mell in THE CHERRY ORCHARD at People’s Light (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

THE CHERRY ORCHARD (People’s Light): Capturing the comedy, insight, and pathos of Chekhov

Completed in 1904, THE CHERRY ORCHARD, Anton Chekhov’s final dramatic work, is the most often staged of all Russian plays worldwide, and its production at People’s Light & Theatre Company…

2. EgoPo, Stairs, LBerman, CO'Brien

STAIRS TO THE ROOF (EgoPo and Rowan): An absurdist take on a fledgling work by Tennessee Williams

This is Tennessee Williams as you’ve never seen him, filled with youthful ardor, idealism, and scorn, and well suited for showcasing a young ensemble of emerging talents.

Liz (Kate Czajkowski) and Charlie (Scott Greer) in Theatre Exile's THE WHALE by Samuel D. Hunter. Photo credit: Paola Nogueras.

THE WHALE (Theatre Exile): Intelligence and transformation moving under the surface

Not many plays have this kind of unmistakable resonance. When you encounter such a play, you know it. With works of consequence you can feel the pull of intelligence and transformation moving under the surface.

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MOTHERS AND SONS (PTC): Closure, revenge, and life after AIDS

Katherine and Cal seem uncomfortable together, and we soon learn why: they are forever connected by the death of Andre.

michael-eddie-villanova-theatre

MICHAEL & EDIE (Villanova Theater): 60-second review

It’s more than the classic boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl is cold to boy tale:. Rachel Bonds’s MICHAEL & EDIE is a whirlwind of realization, emotion, and introspection.

Leigha Kato, who plays Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood in Theatre Horizon's INTO THE WOODS.

INTO THE WOODS (Theatre Horizon): Agony is ecstasy

Theatre Horizon tackles Steven Sondheim’s alternative take on fairy tales.

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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,

Kristen Bailey (as Gregor). Photo by Shawn May

THE METAMORPHOSIS (Quintessence): Leave the bug spray at home

A sensational production of Franz Kafka’s story, utilizing sound, movement, color, and light to transport the audience into the eerie world of salesman-turned-cockroach Gregor Samsa .

3. DTC, NORA, KimCarson, ChrisThorn

NORA (DTC): A riveting production of a feminist classic

Ingmar Bergman’s 1981 stage adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is pared-down, focused, and intense. By reducing Ibsen’s original lengthy script by nearly half, Bergman endows the 19th-century feminist milestone with a post-modern clarity and import.qD

Corinna Burns in Inis Nua’s LONG LIVE THE LITTLE KNIFE (Photo credit: Katie Reing)

LONG LIVE THE LITTLE KNIFE (Inis Nua): A delightfully duplicitous foray into the art(s) of deception

What do art forgers and the theater have in common? Both try to convince you that something is real when it’s not, and both do it with the expectation of…

Alexander Peters in George Balanchine's "Prodigal Son." Photo credit: Alexander Iziliaev.

PRODIGAL SON (PA Ballet): Ballet forward with Corella

New artistic director Angel Corella was able to take full advantage of works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon and a premiere from resident choreographer Matthew Neenan, to start to show his retooling of the company.

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.