Reviews

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THEOREM (Greg Kennedy): Fringe Review 11

Cirque du Soleil alumnus Greg Kennedy toys with the concepts of innovation, invention, and collaboration through circus arts in his new performance THEOREM.

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THEY CALL ME ARETHUSA (Colie McClellan & Mark Kennedy): Fringe Review 10

In THEY CALL ME ARETHUSA, Southern-tinged Greek myths tie together documentary theater-style interviews reminiscent of Anna Deavere Smith’s one-woman shows.

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(SOME) LOVE AND (SOME) INFORMATION (Ira Brind School and Headlong Dance Theater): Fringe Review 9

Staging a Happening used to be straightforward. To jangle the audience out of the role of The Observer, you redefined art from what-I-the-Artist-do-up-here into what-is-happening-between-you-and-me. You and the audience would…

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99 BREAKUPS (Pig Iron Theatre Company): Fringe review 8

Each Fringe, the Pig Iron Theatre Company show is one of the most highly anticipated. This year’s offering, 99 BREAKUPS, may be untidy and inconsistent but it’s already almost completely sold out.

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INCONGRUOUS (Audience Wanted Productions): Fringe Review 7

HBO After Dark meets Bunraku-style puppetry meets documentary theater in Laurencio Carlos Ruiz’s INCONGRUOUS. The piece is constructed of six short stream-of-conscious monologues from six characters who are dramatizations of real-life…

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AE$OP (The Drexel Players): Fringe review 6

The Drexel Players bring us with their adaptation of Aesop’s fables, AE$OP, re-hashing the fables’ warnings concerning might and deception, but subvertting others for our society in which money speaks the loudest.

Ethan Lipkin stars as Bérenger in the IRC’s RHINOCEROS (Photo credit: Johanna Austin @ AustinArt.org)

RHINOCEROS (Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium): 2014 Fringe Review 5

Director Tina Brock brings spot-on casting, lightning-quick pacing, and non-stop hysteria (of both the panicked and hilarious varieties) to Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium’s FringeArts production of Eugène Ionesco’s RHINOCEROS. The devastating consequences of mindless conformity, social apathy, and turning a blind eye to a growing threat are the important themes of the darkly comic Theater of the Absurd masterpiece.

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THE RAPE OF LUCRECE (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective): 2014 Fringe review 4.1

As indicated by Phindie’s 2014 Critics’ Awards, the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective is one of the most consistently excellent independent theater companies in the city. Their last few shows (Creditors [Fringe…

Jennifer Childs and Tony Lawton star as Celia and Toby Teasdale in 1812 Productions’ INTIMATE EXCHANGES (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

Intimate Exchanges (1812 Productions): 2014 Fringe Review 1.2

What makes film different from theater is that film is fixed forever, performances and lines repeating endlessly year after year, while theater has the ability to surprise us. And what makes theater different from life is that theater is scripted and life is random, unexpected, not planned out ahead of time. And what makes Philadelphia’s FringeArts Festival fun is that it delights in performances that confound expectations.

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CLOSURE (Aleksandra Berczynski & MB Grupa Realizacji): Fringe review 3

Aleksandra Berczynski once again brings a short, delightfully self-indulgent mono-drama to Fringe audiences.

Teddy Fatscher is featured in the VIP locker-room pre-show for SUSPENDED by Brian Sanders’ JUNK (Photo credit: Courtesy of Brian Sanders’ JUNK)

SUSPENDED (Brian Sanders’ JUNK): Fringe Review 2

Have you ever been caught between two conflicting emotions at the same time? Have those ambivalent feelings left you hanging, unable to decide what to think or how to act? Have you turned to your most primal impulses to figure out who you are and where you’re going? Baring body and soul, Brian Sanders’ JUNK explores the psychology and physicality of uncertainty and transition in SUSPENDED.

Jennifer Childs as Sylvie Bell and Tony Lawton as Lionel Hepplewick in 1812’s INTIMATE EXCHANGES (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

INTIMATE EXCHANGES (1812 Productions): Fringe Review 1.1

Alan Ayckbourn’s inventive rom-com about failing and budding mid-life relationships in suburban London is that the play (or more accurately, the first volume of the playwright’s original two-volume work that is performed here) offers sixteen plot options and eight different endings. And for the first time in its production history, 1812 shines the spotlight on random members of the audience to decide spontaneously which path the characters should take as they reach a series of crossroads in their lives.

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CRAZYFACE (BrainSpunk): Maybe we’re crazy

From the mind that created the internationally popular ‘Clive Barker’s Books of Blood’ and the movie ‘Hellraiser’ comes another of Barker’s successes, also known as a play called CRAZYFACE. The downright madness of this three-hour play is performed by a cast of over 30 of the finest members of the local BrainSpunk Theater group.

Kash Goins stars as Willy Loman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN. (Photo credit: Katie Balun)

DEATH OF A SALESMAN (GoKash): What happens to a dream deferred

“There is no future for a people who deny their past. My Foreparents, My Grandparents, My Mother, My Father did not suffer and die to give me an education to…

YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO (Quince): Devils and saints in small-town America

Daniel Talbott’s YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO presents some unique challenges. Three short plays which could easily take place in the same town dwell with nearly pornographic clarity on the cruelty of the town’s inhabitants and of fate.

Photo by Kyle Cassidy

THE GLASS MENAGERIE (Commonwealth Classic): Through the glass darkly

Commonwealth’s production draws the curtain on enough of the play’s window into regret to reveal the melancholy brilliance of THE GLASS MENAGERIE.

(Left to right) Chris Melohn and Alex Kryger in Quince Production’s THE HAUNTED HOST (Photo credit: John Donges)

THE HAUNTED HOST (Quince Productions): Neon Nihilism

On a favor called in by a friend, the misanthropic Jay agrees to let a traveling college drop-out, Frank, crash on his couch for the night. Jay has given up on his dream of becoming a writer, while Frank eagerly seeks advice and guidance on his own play. However, in a great display of “neon nihilism,” Jay teases and bullies his straight guest Frank, who looks uncannily similar to Jay’s recently deceased boyfriend. As these men come to understand each other, and themselves, we discover what it means to sacrifice yourself for lovers, friends, and art.

Aurora Black, Erik Ransom, and Avery Royal in Libertine Idol’s COMING in FringeNYC (Photo credit: Michael Blase)

COMING (Libertine Idol Productions): The Battle of Glamageddon hits FringeNYC!

Self-proclaimed “heir to Sodom and Gomorrah,” the divinely talented writer/ actor/ singer/ musician/ composer/ “disaster in lipstick” Erik Ransom stars in a newly revised version of his 2011 Philadelphia smash hit COMING: A ROCK MUSICAL OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS for FringeNYC.

Alexander Kacala as Miss Fit in SOME ARE PEOPLE, part of GayFest! 2014.

SOME ARE PEOPLE (Quince, GayFest! 2014): Summer loving is no drag

SOME ARE PEOPLE is about summer people. Those people who come into our lives for a time and then go back to wherever they came from, leaving us changed forever.

Mark Evans THE BOOK OF MORMON First National Tour © Joan Marcus, 2013

THE BOOK OF MORMON (Forrest Theatre): Grumpy Professor review

John “The Grumpy Professor D’Allessandro paid over $100 for a ticket to THE BOOK OF MORMON and thinks it was worth it.