Reviews

Rosario Toledo performs Vengo as part of the Philadelphia Flamenco Festival.

Passion and Art in the Philadelphia Flamenco Festival

What better way to welcome the coming spring than with flamenco? Flamenco, which means “flame-colored,” is a genre of Spanish folk dance and music traditionally characterized by sensual choreography and bold, complex guitar rhythms. In Philadelphia, dance company Pasión y Arte is bringing the spirit of modern flamenco to the Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, which runs from March 1st through March 16th.

DANCING AT LUGHNASA (Curio): Casting Disaster

The summer of 1998, I permanently moved out of my mother’s house. (My mother moved down to Nashville abruptly and without me.) So I traveled to Ireland and saw Brian…

Jo Mei and Ruibo Qian in a production of You for Me for You. Photo by Scott Suchman, courtesy of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Asian Arts Initiative’s THE WAY HOME continues with You for Me for You

The National Asian American Theater Festival and Conference is coming to Philadelphia this October, and Philadelphia’s Asian Arts Initiative and InterAct Theatre laying the groundwork with a reading series of new plays this Spring. Directed by visiting artist Rick Shiomi, founder of Minneapolis-based Mu Performing Arts, “The Way Home” features contemporary works exploring what “home” means to Asian Americans.

L-R Drucie McDaniel and Maureen Torsney-Weir. Photo by Johanna Austin.

SKIN AND BONE (Azuka Theatre): SoGoth Reinvented

In a culture that places heavier value on test scores than on the individual capacity for critical thought, you’re taught to associate. It doesn’t much matter if you’ve read the…

(clockwise from left) Julianna Zinkel, Clare Mahoney, Jessica Bedford, and Becky Baumwoll in PRIDE & PREJUDICE at People’s Light & Theatre Company (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

PRIDE & PREJUDICE (People’s Light & Theatre Company): Structure and Snobbery in Regency England

PRIDE & PREJUDICE, Jane Austen’s classic tale of class, courtship, and decorum in 19th-century England, celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2013. People’s Light & Theatre Company continues the celebration with…

Photo by Garrett Matthews

HYBERNATE (Gunnar Montana): 60 Second Review

Gunnar Montana presents a jaw-dropping winter wonderland that is part art installation, part theatrical dance performances in HYBERNATE. After his sold-out BASEMENT (see Phindie’s review here) at the 2013 FringeArts…

HINCKLEY (New City Stage): Life, Death, Celebrity

“Anything’s possible in a world where media rules all.” In 1981, John W. Hinckley Jr. fired into president Ronald Reagan’s entourage, hitting four men, including the president. Reagan’s press secretary…

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CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION (Theatre Horizon): All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women…

Life doesn’t imitate art as much as combine with it as Baker’s play, and Matthew Decker’s production of it for Theatre Horizon, sneaks up on you and moves you.

Nonhlanhla Kheswa, Ivanno Jeremiah

THE SUIT (Prince): Balancing cruelty and kindness in pre-apartheid South Africa

If Philadelphia is a tightly wound city wearing a permanent scowl, Sophiatown is tightly wound with a broad smile. Sophiatown was a cultural hub for black South Africans until 1954,…

Mark Knight, Rob Hargraves, Kirsten Quinn, and Renee Richman-Weisband. Photo credit: Evan Rosen.

ACCOMPLICE (Isis): A Comic Twist on the British Whodunit

The nature of Rupert Holmes’s ACCOMPLICE—a tongue-in-cheek thriller/sex farce/self- referencing spoof of the theater—is to surprise the audience with completely unexpected twists and turns in each scene of its two…

HOTEL SUITE (Act II Playhouse): A 60-Second Review

HOTEL SUITE highlights the best of Neil Simon’s successful play-turned-movie series including PLAZA, CALIFORNIA, and LONDON SUITES. HOTEL SUITE is a fun, in-your-face, comical view of real life for two…

THE LADY FROM THE SEA (Egopo): Bare production showcases Ibsen’s mental gymnastics

Henrik Ibsen’s name is so thoroughly canonized in theater history that it’s easy to forget just how progressive the man was as a playwright. Works like A DOLL’S HOUSE are rightly granted…

Jered McLenigan as Marc Antony (Photo courtesy of Mark Garvin)

JULIUS CAESAR (Lantern): Political persuasion in feudal Japan

If William Shakespeare was alive today he’d be a …. well, he’d probably be a poet and playwright, but he’d also make a damn good political speechwriter. The crux of his JULIUS CAESAR, now in an accessible production by Lantern Theater Company, comes in a speech following the title character’s assassination.

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…