Reviews

berserker-residents-jersey-devil-review

THE JERSEY DEVIL (Berserker Residents): 60-second review

The three troupe members of the FringeArts-famous Berserker Residents will do pretty much anything to get a good laugh out of the audience. Their recently re-installed THE JERSEY DEVIL (first…

Josh Carpenter (as Marlow), Sonja Field (as Kate Hardcastle) in SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER. Photo by Alexander Burns.

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (Quintessence): A contemporary 18th-century comedy

SHE STOOPS is an 18th-century comedy of manners and mistaken identities by Oliver Goldsmith. It is considered by many to be the most enduring of 18th-century plays (name another you’ve…

Wes Haskell, Mary Tuomanen, and John Jarboe in COCK. Photo by Paola Nogueras

COCK (Theatre Exile): Spatial choreography reveals isolation, influence, and alliances.

Here’s the setup: A young man has lived with his male lover for a few years. During a spat he falls for a woman. Things have gotten complicated and he…

Marcus Plays and Players review photo

MARCUS; OR THE SECRET OF SWEET (Plays & Players): 60-second review

Is life sweet when you live in the Louisiana Bayou before an unprecedented storm hits?  For Marcus (Eric L. Fleming), life at 16 years of age is not only sweet, but…

Photo by Paola Nogueras. Theatre Exile Cock Review

COCK (Theatre Exile): A Provocative Fight for Love and Identity

Finding love and self-knowledge beyond the fixed categories of sexual identity (gay, straight, or bi) is the central theme of Michael Bartlett’s COCK, now in its Philadelphia premiere at Theatre…

Kevin Meehan.Photo credit: Kathryn Raines

WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT (InterAct): Are You Black Enough?

Drury’s funny, traumatic, inventive and timely play will stab at you, personally, at least once. She asks whether it is important that a story be told, or if it is more important that it be told in a certain way. She uses the events in Namibia to illustrate the cracks in our own culture, the divides caused by racial issues even among a group of people who would probably all vote for the same candidate..

Hedgerow Macbeth review

MACBETH (Hedgrow): An ambitious and effective take on the Scottish play

Director Dan Hodge does not mind imposing his vision upon a text. His bold decision to combine the Ariel and Miranda characters proved surprisingly effective.in last season’s The Tempest at…

The “Droogs” at the Milkbar (l to r: Katie Gould, Shamus Hunter McCarty, Kevin Rodden, and Alan Holmes as Alex) in Luna Theater Company’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Photo credit: Aaron J. Oster)

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Luna): Commedia dell’arte meets post-modern morality play

Luna Theater Company’s interpretation of Anthony Burgess’s 1962 novel is a unique marriage of the British author’s futuristic stylizations with disturbing a cappella songs with the historic conventions of masking and stock movement inspired by Italian commedia dell’arte. It’s a perfect match to tell the cutting-edge morality tale of teen ultra-violence and reform.

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COURTLY LUST: A KING ARTHUR BURLESQUE (GDP/Walking Fish): 60-second review

A tongue-in-cheek recounting of some of the sexier moments of King Arthur’s rule, COURTLY LUST attempts to do it all—just like the knights of old. Comedy, kink, and wit combine,…

Francesca Piccioni as Christina in HANNAH. Photo by @dopez.

HANNAH (Hella Fresh): The glories of the sober mind

In response to a story I wrote about LSD, a college creative writing professor told me that it’s never a good idea to give characters drugs, because if they’re high,…

pictured: Cait O'Driscoll, photo credit: Erin Pitts

SLASHER (Figment): An improv horror

SLASHER is a one hour improv play in the vein of a B-movie horror. There’s an unnecessarily precautious “splash area” where the audience may be stained with stray stage blood. An audience member’s spin of a wheel dictates the setting and holiday (a school on Easter weekend, on opening night). If this sounds like a description of the kind of show you like to see, you’ll probably like SLASHER.

Lance Coadie Williams and Zainab Jah in Wilma Theater's THE CONVERT. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

THE CONVERT (Wilma/Woolly Mammoth): Shining a light on colonialism

Colonialism is Pygmalian writ large: one culture trying to civilize another. In Danai Gurira’s melodramatic THE CONVERT, a priggish preacher (Irungu Mutu) in 1895 Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe) seeks to educate and…

4000 Philadelphia Theatre Company review

4000 MILES (PTC): What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been

As someone born in the mid-1980s, I’ve rolled my eyes at the sight of the word “Millennial” more times than I can count. What’s great about Amy Herzog’s 4000 MILES is that she refuses to imprison the characters in any social or political context.

Quintessence Theatre Hamlet review

HAMLET (Quintessence): Brevity is the soul of it

Hip, fast-paced, with a frat-boy-cool lead: these aren’t usually phrases to describe HAMLET. But Quintessence Theatre Group’s heavily edited version takes a bare bodkin to Shakespeare’s story of revenge and existential crisis in the state of Denmark.

Curio Theater Company's ROMEO AND JULIET stars Rachel Gluck and Isa St. Clair (Photo credit: Kyle Cassidy)

ROMEO AND JULIET (Curio): A same-sex take on Shakespeare’s classic

The world’s most famous love story is given a new twist. The familiar characters are now the teenaged daughters of the feuding Montague and Capulet families, whose tragic romance is used to explore the true universality of Shakespeare’s themes.

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THE ELEPHANT ROOM (FringeArts): 60-second review

In the new FringeArts building, we are presented with what looks like a floating basement, decorated many decades ago, sitting on sloppily placed cinderblocks.  Out of pure gray smoke, three jokesters appear.  They…

Adam Altman and Clare Mahoney in Inis Nua's BLINK.

BLINK (Inis Nua): The Manufacturing of Affection

Phil Porter’s BLINK—making its American premiere with Inis Nua Theatre—is a touching pastiche of romance, high drama and farce. It’s both heavy and light, comic and tragic, whimsical and earthbound—yet…

white pines productions luckiest kid review

LUCKIEST KID (White Pines): 60-second review

Philly-based playwright Martha Kemper’s memoir-based LUCKIEST KID is an achievement just this side of brilliant. Playing the protagonist and main speaker in a story of a high-school girl who sleeps…

All photography by Daniel Kontz.

THE BROTHERS SIZE (Simpatico): 60-second review

The stories of the orishas, a pantheon of spirit personalities, has a lasting influence on the descendants of enslaved Africans throughout the Americas (The great French-Cuban hip hop band of…

Alex Suha and Kevin Chick in DO NOT PUSH. Photo Credit: Kathryn Raines at Plate 3 Photography.

DO NOT PUSH (GDP): Clown Symphony

Where invention, precision and skill are present, great theater is possible. Alex Suha, creator of DO NOT PUSH, has applied all of these attributes with a clever hand. A mime-esque dramatization of…