60-Second Review

Chris Davis The Violence of the Lambs

THE VIOLENCE OF THE LAMBS (OR THE ANIMAL VS. HUMAN WAR) (Chris Davis): 60-second review

As the established Philadelphia companies enter their long off-season, the SoLow Festival is providing a welcome dose of idiosyncratic theater at some unusual venues around town. THE VIOLENCE OF THE…

photo by Daniel Kontz

GLASS: SHATTERED (Renegade): 60-second review

Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie is described as a “memory play”: its plot an extended flashback, its theatrical pretense laid bare. GLASS: SHATTERED, Michael Durkin’s reimaging of this classic of…

philadelphia theatre company venus in fur review photo

VENUS IN FUR (PTC): 60-second review

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch is known today primarily for the word derived from his name: masochism, and for his scandalous 1870 novel VENUS IN FUR, the title of a intelligent and…

photo by Kyle Cassidy

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (Curio): 60-second review

“Rare moths, wives pretending to be sisters,” deadly moors, escaped killers, and a legendary hellhound: the plot points of Arthur Conan Doyle’s THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES are ripe for…

gocar-productions-karma-101

KARMA 101 (GoCar Productions): 60-second review

It’s a pretty safe bet that you didn’t have a high school teacher as cool as Aaron “Gobanna” Pleasant. By turns musician, radio DJ, and teacher at Philadelphia Mennonite High School, Pleasant wrote KARMA 101 to teach high schoolers about the realities of growing up, making decisions, and higher education.

Luna Theater Future Fest review PIFA

60-second review: FUTURE FEST (Luna)

“One generation’s Orwellian dystopia is the next generation’s comfort-inducing lifestyle.” J. Ferron Hiatt, FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI TOY AND NOVELTY. The six short plays in Luna Theater’s FUTURE FEST (part of the…

review of Suzan-Lori Parks's The America Play

60-second review: THE AMERICA PLAY (P&P)

Abraham Lincoln’s status as “the Great Emancipator” is a foundational myth of the American nation: a racially loaded narrative explored and satirized by Suzan-Lori Parks in THE AMERICA PLAY, now…

Inis Nua Hand of Gaul review photo

60-second review: THE HAND OF GAUL (Inis Nua)

A pleasingly unpretentious comedy, THE HAND OF GAUL is something of a departure for Inis Nua, which generally produces serious works by contemporary Irish and British playwrights. Part of the…

everyone and i azuka review

60-Second Review: EVERYONE AND I (Azuka)

“I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue/ and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and/ casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton/of Picayunes, and…

Lantern Theater Company's production of HENRY V (2013). Photo by Paola Nogueras

The Lantern’s noble HENRY V

HENRY V completes Shakespeare’s four-part series on Plantagenet kings of England. No longer the indolent partier, Prince Hal has inherited the English throne, but is haunted by the original sin…

seminar

60-second review: SEMINAR (PTC)

Writers will find much familiar in Theresa Rebeck’s SEMINAR, which brilliantly satirizes writerly blowhards (a proportionally large subset) and the self-seriousness necessary to pursue this art. Burnt-out, self-aggrandizing Leonard (Rufus Collins)…

othello_web

60-second review: OTHELLO (Philly Shakes)

In most of Shakespeare’s tragedies, the characters are overtaken by the swirl of events, following fate to their bloody end. A notable exception is OTHELLO, now onstage at Philadelphia Shakespeare…

Endgame_1_high

60-second review: ENDGAME (Arden)

Samuel Beckett’s ENDGAME (now onstage at the Arden Theatre) is empty and confusing; the action confined, the pacing slow. For all this, it’s a great play: a humorous exploration of…

equus

60-second review: EQUUS (Curio)

Peter Shaffer’s EQUUS premiered in 1973, and its age shows. A psycho-sexual exploration of insanity, spirituality, and conformity, it continues to appeal to generations of teenagers who identify with Alan…

amish-project

60-second review: THE AMISH PROJECT (Simpatico/Renegade)

After a solid run from upstart Renegade Company, THE AMISH PROJECT is getting a revamped co-production with star indie company, Simpatico Theatre Project. Janice Rowland repeats her virtuoso one-woman performance…

photo by Alexander Iziliaev

ASSISTANCE (Wilma): 60-second review

Cutting close to the bone, Lesley Headland’s ASSISTANCE is a protest, as provocative as Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal (1928), exposing the Darwinian-exploitative nature of the 2013 job market. Irony sucker punched…

red-eye-to-havre-de-grace-2012-philadelphia

RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE (Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental): 2012 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival

An early version of this show lit up the Live Arts Festival in ’05, and I couldn’t wait to see the latest manifestation of the collaboration between Thaddeus Phillips’ Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental and Wilhelm Bros. music. The production has grown up over the intervening years. It’s bigger, wider, and deeper, and just as amazing and magical.