Reviews

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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.

Quintessence Theatre Arms and the Man Photo by Shawn May

ARMS AND THE MAN (Quintessence) plays up the farce

Two main threads run through George Bernard Shaw’s plays: social critique (he was an early member of the socialist Fabian society) and sharp observant humor. Some of Shaw’s social criticism…

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…

Maurice A. Tucker and Tiffany Bacon in RUINED (photo: Joe Herman)

Still Devastating: RUINED at The Stagecrafters

The outskirts of Philadelphia are blessed with several high quality community theaters, and visits to them are a welcome treat for theatergoers accustomed to the cadence of center city professional productions. Located…

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…

villanova theatre salome review lizzy pecora

Wilde’s curious SALOME at Villanova Theatre

They only believe in things that can’t be seen. Oscar Wilde’s witty drawing room comedies are well known to theatergoers. SALOME, an experimental modernist piece banned for many years from…

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…

Philadelphia Artists Collective Timon of Athens review

Everybody’s talking about TIMON OF ATHENS (PAC)

With their engaging interpretations of classic plays, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective has established a reputation as one of the best and boldest independent theater companies in town. Each new production is…

Chris Coucill as Timon in PAC's TIMON OF ATHENS. (Photo credit: David Comdico.)

TIMON OF ATHENS (PAC) A rare glimpse at a Shakespeare work

I’m going to go out on a limb and say William Shakespeare is a pretty good playwright. Yet his stories, his speeches, his one-liners have so pervaded our consciousness that its…

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…

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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Philly Shakes): A Shakespeare comedy that’s actually funny

When presenting Shakespeare comedies, companies often forget that they should be funny. This is not the case with Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, one of the…

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UNDER THE WHALEBACK (Wilma): Grumpy Professor Review

UNDER THE WHALEBACK, a tale of the sea taking place on a fishing ship, will upset audiences at the Wilma Theater until April 7. As she is wont to do,…

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HENRY V (Lantern): Grumpy Professor Review

HENRY V, a wonderful Shakespeare play, is being presented by the Lantern Theater until the end of April . Charles McMahon usually does very exacting directing, but he is also…

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SEMINAR (PTC): Grumpy Professor Review

SEMINAR by the Philadelphia Theatre Company at the Suzanne Roberts Theater proved to be quite enjoyable for theatergoers. Even though the foul- mouthed professor berated the writing students for most…

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A RAISIN IN THE SUN (Arden): A delightful production of a hefty play

Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A RAISIN IN THE SUN starts slow and takes a while to get to where it’s going, but the cast at the Arden handles the hefty, far-reaching…

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…

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GOOD PEOPLE (Walnut): Grumpy Professor Review

GOOD PEOPLE is suffering a weak production at the venerable Walnut Street Theatre for seven weeks until April 28th. Criticizing the Walnut is like insulting the Queen, but this offering…

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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)…

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OTHELLO (Philly Shakes): Grumpy Professor Review

OTHELLO by the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre at 21st and Sansom, is quite an excellent show. Carmen Khan, the director, really gets perfect diction from every actor in every word of…

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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…