Reviews

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Stirring BLACK MONK Offered Up by Simpatico

“Forget all the laws of optics, which the legend does not recognize” —Anton Chekhov, The Black Monk Attempting to summarize the best modernist short stories is futile; it’s impossible to…

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New City’s TERRORISM Presents a Sardonic Look at Modern Life

Passenger: It’s madness — what sort of an age do we live in? You don’t feel safe anywhere now, only at home… First Passenger: At home? Passenger: Only at home…

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A PLAY, A PIE AND A PINT: Three Things We Can All Like

As a lover of theater, beer, and meat-filled pastries, I’ve been excited by the ads and positive buzz about this series from Tiny Dynamite for a few months. When I…

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Inis Nua Finds a Home with LITTLE GEM

Since 2004, Inis Nua Theatre Company has been entertaining Philadelphia audiences with provocative new Irish and British plays, staged at venues around the city. The company has already marked a…

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Fun for a Night, Hell for a Life: Luna’s Toxically Humorous BACHELORETTE

We’ve all met someone like her: the beautiful ex–prom queen with a cutting wit, overconfidence, and the forgivable tendency to say something hopelessly stupid and insensitive. In Leslye Headland’s BACHELORETTE,…

Simpatico’s THE MEEP PROJECT by Ed Swidey. Illustration by Robert Berry.

Simpatico’s THE MEEP PROJECT Brings Innovation to All-Ages Theater

THE MEEP PROJECT is a charming collaboration between playwright Ed Swidey and Simpatico Theatre Project. The world premiere development piece (which looked as fully developed as any original production I’ve seen!) employs new methods of storytelling, using movement and sound in place of language.

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Feliz Navidad! UN VIAJE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY at Kensington’s Walking Fish Theatre

UN VIAJE—A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY is running at Walking Fish Theatre in Kensington (Philadelphia), PA through December 30. (Photo courtesy of B. Someday Productions at Walking Fish Theatre) UN VIAJE: A…

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A Versatile Acting Showcase in The Renegade Company’s THE AMISH PROJECT

“What happens to a person when they live in a world where you can’t believe anything and the things you don’t want to believe are actually true?” Janice Rowland stars…

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InterAct’s THE HOW AND THE WHY is Well Written and Full of Ideas

“It’s yours, you created it, you gave birth to it. Don’t throw it away because you’re frightened of the implications.” Zelda (Janis Dardaris), an award-winning evolutionary biologist, is telling Rachel…

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Tracy Letts’s AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY…A Modern Great at the Arden

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY bookends with characters quoting T. S. Elliot’s “The Hollow Men.” “Life is very long,” begins Beverly Weston (David Howey), the alcoholic patriarch of an Oklahoma household, talking…

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A Voyage of Wonder: WHaLE OPTICS at the Live Arts

“Meditation and water are wedded forever” —Herman Melville, Moby Dick For last year’s Live Arts Festival, playwright Thaddeus Phillips took us on a trip to Columbia into the heart of…

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Madhouse Theater Company’s PLAYING LENI is Spellbinding

More than any other historical figure and his followers, Hitler and the Nazis are shorthand for evil. Few people emerge from the close contact with the Austrian-German dictator and his…

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Old People and Theater (VIGIL at Lantern)

I began to attend Philadelphia theater in earnest about a decade ago, in my early mid-twenties. Consistently, my companion and I would be the youngest people in an audience made…

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Commedia, Terrorism, and Royalty: Inis Nua’s DUBLIN BY LAMPLIGHT

Cast members from Inis Nua Theatre’s DUBLIN BY LAMPLIGHT, playing in Philadelphia PA through May 14. The Royal Wedding and the death of international terrorist Osama bin Laden were the…

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Amaryllis Theatre Company Brings an Excelente LYDIA to the Adrienne

As Octavio Solis’s sublimely crafted play Lydia opens, the Mexican American Flores family is struggling to cope with the aftermath of a terrible car accident. The daughter, Ceci (an excellent…

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Two Jews Walk Into A War at InterAct

At the Adrienne last Thursday night, the show started before the curtain went up: first there was the woman who got a verbal spanking from the theater staff for munching…

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Bleak Complexity: SPEAKING IN TONGUES at the Walnut’s Independence on 3

As SPEAKING IN TONGUES opens, two couples are about to cheat on their partners. Their dialog develops in unison; each pairing uttering the same lines. Sonia/Jane: Tell me about your…

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One Woman, Many Voices: LET ME DOWN EASY at PTC

There are many voices in this nation’s health care debate, and Anna Deveare Smith could probably act out them all. In LET ME DOWN EASY, now onstage at Philadelphia Theatre…

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BCKSEET Productions’ Losing the Shore

You never expect lighthearted comedy when going to a show by BCKSEET Productions. Argentine prison dramas, biting Edward Albee plays, and a Christmas show depicting Santa Claus as a reindeer molester…

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It’s The End of the World As We Knew It: New City’s PTERODACTYLS at the Adrienne

PTERODACTYLS takes place in a sterile Main Line living room (set design Cory Palmer), a fitting setting for a work reminiscent of Victorian drawing room comedy. Bygone era music underlines…