Reviews

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THE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, FORGET-ABOUT-IT, LAST NIGHT AT VON DAHM’S SPORTS BAR, WING HUT, AND KARAOKE PALACE (Actors International Theatre): Fringe Review 48

Some Fringe shows display great production values and artistic quality. VON DAHM’s isn’t one of those, but it’s still a joy.

Promotional image for NIGHTMARES IN NEVERLAND, featuring Jenna Kuerzi (Photo credit: Brey Ann Barrett)

NIGHTMARES IN NEVERLAND (Bri Shaw/Brian Clores/Brey Barrett/Haygen Walker): 2014 Fringe Review 47

Two original one-hour plays inspired by the life and popular children’s book of Scottish author J.M. Barrie

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9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL (Walnut Street): Performance over plot

Sharp performances keep 9 TO 5 so consistently entertaining it masks a contrived plot and mediocre music and lyrics.

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KIM COLES: OH, BUT WAIT . . . THERE’S MORE! (Kim Coles / Dir. Scotch Ellis Loring): Fringe Review 46

The actor, best known for work on “Living Single,” opens it all up with a solo show that is hilarious, hopeful, and surprisingly heartfelt.

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BEN TO THE FUTURE (Salamé Studios): Fringe Review 45

The creative young minds of Salamé Studios have put together a show that anyone willing to try something untrodden will enjoy

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MAD BLOOD AND OTHER BEAUTIES (A Plague On Both Your Houses): Fringe Review 44

This is no mere retelling of Romeo and Juliet. What we get is a conjuring, a blood-letting, a full-throated cry of rage.

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BENT (Truth Be Told Productions): Fringe Review 43

Truth Be Told Productions BENT isn’t innovative, but it is a quality production of a culturally significant play.

An image from Romeo Castellucci's THE FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT, featuring nudity.

THE FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT (Societas Raffaello Sanzio): Fringe Review 36.2

Romeo Castellucci has poured his personal inspirations and philosophy into this remarkable abstract production, but ultimately viewers must determine its meaning for themselves. To this viewer, the piece is a resounding “NO.”

(Photo credit: Courtesy of KILL SHAKESPEARE)

KILL SHAKESPEARE: LIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL (Revolution Shakespeare and Hear Again Radio Project): Fringe Review 42

Revolution Shakespeare (dedicated to new approaches to the playwright) and Hear Again Radio Project (specializing in the recreation of vintage radio programs) have teamed up for an entertaining presentation of the popular graphic novel series KILL SHAKESPEARE.

New Paradise Laboratories The Adults Fringe

THE ADULTS (New Paradise Laboratories): Fringe Review 20.2

Whit MacLaughlin is going off the deep end with this one. Are you willing to jump in with him? New Paradise Laboratories’ handsomely crafted, meticulously acted, and totally weird production, is not easily accessible. Nothing much can be taken literally here, and the production doesn’t reward searching for specific meanings as it creates its own tilted world with its own skewed logic.

SECRETS (Tongue & Groove): Fringe Review 41

Tongue & Groove’s team is pretty fearless, and though the performance has some slower moments, they’re quick to cut off a bit that isn’t working and move forward. Musician Carol Moog sits off to the side, riffing on a harmonica whenever she decides a scene has ended.

Chris Davis plays Vronsky in ANNA K (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Artist)

ANNA K (Chris Davis): 2014 Fringe Review 40

Can you imagine 19th-century Moscow transported to contemporary Philadelphia, and Leo Tolstoy’s Russian angst-laden tragedy Anna Karenina transformed into a wacky local comedy? Luckily for Fringe audiences actor/playwright Chris Davis could.

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SAFE SPACE (Apocalypse Club): 2014 Fringe Review 39

A collaboration between three inventive local playwrights, SAFE SPACE provides its audience a Fringe adventure: a choose your own adventure.

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PHILLY SONG SHUFFLE (Xtreme Folk Scene): Fringe Review 38

From a toe-tapping Peet Seeger sing-along to a head-banging rock and roll number, dozens of unique performances crowded the World Café Live Stage for PHILLY SONG SHUFFLE.  Hosted by the Xtreme…

Sam Sherburne and Hannah Van Sciver in MARBLES (Photo credit: JJ Tiziou)

MARBLES (Hannah Van Sciver): Fringe Review 37

Hannah Van Sciver examines the difficult connection and disconnect between two Millennials in her original work MARBLES.

An image from Romeo Castellucci's THE FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT, featuring nudity.

THE FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT (Societas Raffaello Sanzio): Fringe Review 36

Named after a Mark Rothko painting cycle, Castellucci’s piece is a sort of abstract impressionism on stage

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THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME . . . A MUTE PLAY (The Renegade Company): 2014 Fringe Review 35

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME . . . A MUTE PLAY captures the narrative, message, emotion, and beauty of its literary source without speaking a word

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SPEED DATING TONIGHT! (Poor Richard’s Opera): Fringe Review 34

“You don’t have to like classical music, but you have to like beer,” sings a lonely bassoon player in the charming SPEED DATING TONIGHT!

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THE WINGMEN PRESENT: THE NEIGHBORHOOD (The Wingmen): Fringe Review 33

A combination of sketch, stand-up and improv comedy, THE WINGMEN PRESENT: THE NEIGHBORHOOD sets out to deliver a lively and fun night for its neighborhood audience.

Seth Reichgott

STAND BACK I’M GONNA UKE: AN EVENING OF OLD-TIMEY MUSIC (Seth Reichgott): Fringe Review 32

Short, sweet, and a little bit uplifting. STAND BACK I’M GOING TO UKE is an enjoyable evening of old-timey music.