Reviews

TROUSERS (Inis Nua): The Proof Is in the Pants

In keeping with their native tradition of storytelling, Irish playwrights Paul Meade and David Parnell weave an engaging tale of two estranged men who reconnect and revisit their shared youth…

Susan Giddings (Photo: Johanna Austin)

ONDINE (Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium): At sea with emotional hyperbole

Talented and celebrated director Aaron Cromie teams up with the idiosyncratic Idopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium to tackle French impressionist Jean Giraudoux at the Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5. The play, ONDINE,…

Andrew Carroll, Ama Bollinger, Jerry Puma, and Tina Brock (Photo: Johanna Austin)

ONDINE (Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium): Nature versus Human Nature

When Hans, a handsome but not-so-smart knight-errant of Wittenstein, meets the unbridled naiad Ondine at a fisherman’s cottage in the woods, they fall recklessly in love and marry—a union that…

Photo by Paola Nogueras.

TRUE WEST (Theatre Exile): Sibling rivalry and the American dream

Sibling rivalry, conflicting personalities, and antithetical lifestyles regress to anti-social antics, primal rage, and role reversal in TRUE WEST, Sam Shepard’s dark comedy about two adult brothers, estranged for five…

ID:3 (Hybridge Arts): Tapas of challenging dance and theater

Last night at Christ Church Neighborhood House, Hybridge Arts Collective brought it to me live with ID:3, an evening of three performance works by the co-directors of said collective. I…

Griffin Stanton-Ameisen (Photo credit: Daniel Kontz).

GRIMMS’ JUNIPER TREE (Renegade): 60 Second Review

GRIMMS’ JUNIPER TREE weaves in plot points from various famously morose Grimm brothers’ fairy tales around one lesser known story—that of the Juniper Tree. This is the central narrative which…

Photo by Paola Nogueras.

TRUE WEST (Theatre Exile): a rare, in-your-face take on a modern classic

Theatre Exile mounts new, dicey plays and modern classics—badass classics, that is, from outstanding contemporary playwrights like Tracy Letts, Martin McDonough, and in this case, Sam Shepard. For anyone out…

Dana Kreitz (Photo credit: Daniel Kontz).

GRIMMS’ JUNIPER TREE (Renegade): Important Lessons to Be Learned

Based on the dark and disturbing folktales of the Brothers Grimm, James Stover’s original world-premiere adaptation for the Renegade Company, GRIMMS’ JUNIPER TREE, examines the role that didactic children’s literature…

Señor Papos and Jota (Photo courtesy of BRAT Productions)

THREE CHORD FICTION: LOVE BITES (BRAT): A Riotous Night of Rock-Theater Cabaret

BRAT Productions, Philly’s foremost purveyor of fearless rock-and-roll theater, rocks the Tin Angel with a new installment of its Barrymore Award-winning series THREE CHORD FICTION: LOVE BITES. Running for three…

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL (Arden Theatre): Dissonance v. harmony

The tragic news of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death by OD has, for the moment, wrested the subject of substance abuse from the shadows and thrust it into the limelight. With…

macknight-snowglobe

SNOWGLOBE (MacKnight Foundation): 60-second review

With clever repartee, SNOWGLOBE cleverly tackles deep existential questions. Under Bill McKinlay’s direction, the actors bring life and nuance to the clever Beckettian back-and-forth.

Photo credit: Kathryn Raines/Plate 3

GIDION’S KNOT (InterAct) is a two-person powerhouse

Though the classroom where GIDION’S KNOT takes place looks as cheery, bright, and typical as any, the story that unfolds in it is certainly not. Lost in thought, a teacher…

The Five Stages of THE PILLOWMAN (Luna Theater)

Thank God for Taylor Swift. After seeing Luna Theater‘s mindcrushing production of Martin McDonagh’s THE PILLOWMAN last night, I found myself a broken man. I was shellshocked. Catatonic. I couldn’t look another…

THE DISAPPEARING QUARTERBACK (Plays and Players) tackles football’s deadly foible

Yesterday morning, I received an email from the National Football League. I get these every day, more or less—updates from NFL.com on what’s happening around the league, who’s injured, who’s…

THE PILLOWMAN (Luna Theater): 60 Second Review

With all the claustrophobia of an Otto Dix painting, Luna Theater’s production of Martin McDonagh’s THE PILLOWMAN is a delicious 140-minute-anxiety attack. Robert DaPonte is remarkably arresting as Katurian Katurian, a writer…

GHOSTS (People’s Light): Just give in to the melodrama

At People’s Light and Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s GHOSTS, the program note written by dramaturg Gina Pisasale discusses Ibsen’s life and work. In his theater, Pisasale tells us, Ibsen created…

Kevin Chick and Melanie Julian. Photo credit: Luis Fernando Rodriguez.

BEAUTIFUL THING (Mauckingbird): Boy meets boy and love conquers all

To mark the 20th anniversary of BEAUTIFUL THING, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, dedicated to gay-themed work, begins its 2014 season with a production of English playwright Jonathan Harvey’s bittersweet comedy about…

Photo by John Doyle

UP FROM THE ASHES (Iron Age Theatre): A bit shy of genius

  Saturday, March 25th, 1911, 4:40pm a fire broke out on the eighth floor of largest blouse making factory in New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. 18 minutes later…

Photo: David Alarcón.

EL AÑO EN QUE NACÍ (FringeArts): Living mosaic

EL AÑO EN QUE NACÍ (THE YEAR I WAS BORN) is the January installment in FringeArts’ year-round programming at their Race Street Pier theater, and new proof of their commitment…

Marcia Saunders, David Ingram. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Wilma Theater’s CHEROKEE impresses, in a way

John, a baby boomer, patriarch, and oil exec who has spent his life gaining, has lost quite a lot in a short period of time: his job, his health, even…