Aetna Gallagher and Brian McCann in Curio Theatre Company's OEDIPUSSY.

OEDIPUSSY (Curio): Shenanigans, tomfoolery and ballyhoo reign

OEDIPUSSY isn’t something to analyze, it’s just something to enjoy— an antidote to life’s heavy stuff. Appealingly physical and comically overwrought, it’s tons of fun. The most amazing thing about this lunatic version is that the epic tragic story actually emerges through all the clowning, sight gags and laughter.

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The ensemble (Dave Jadico, Alex Bechtel, Aimé Donna Kelly, Scott Greer, and Jennifer Childs) plays “The Spinners” in 1812 Productions’ THIS IS THE WEEK THAT IS (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

THIS IS THE WEEK THAT IS (1812 Productions): Now a Musical and Better than Ever!

Lampooning everything from Hillary Clinton ‘not’ running for President in 2016 to NJ Governor Chris Christie ‘not’ closing the George Washington Bridge, 1812 Productions’ THIS IS THE WEEK THAT IS delivers non-stop laughs in a fast-paced ensemble-devised review of today’s important issues.

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Chelsea Murphy and Magda San Milan in WE TOUCHED IT. Photo by Kate Raines, Plate3Photography.

REMIX FESTIVAL (fidget): The Unseen Hand

Remix Festival, hosted at , is curated by Annie Wilson and Susan Rethorst, creator of the remixing concept (she calls it “wrecking”). The concept behind the festival is that on each of the four nights, three or four artists present original dance works. Then, after a short break, other artists present “remixed” versions these dances which they’ve had two days to prepare.

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Ann Crumb, dressed like an exotic bird, ready to take off in her final scene in Sunset Boulevard at the Media Theatre. Photo by Mark Jordan.

SUNSET BOULEVARD (Media Theatre): Ann Crumb as Norma Desmond, the delusional diva

Few singers can do what Ann Crumb can do, namely to transform herself in such versatile ways that people follow her wherever she goes, whether she performs on Broadway or in Media. Crumb, a depowered female King Lear, dominated every scene of SUNSET BOULEVARD in her own dream castle.

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PHILADANCO can do just about anything

PHILADANCO!, the city’s premiere modern dance company, had a bit of a problem during its final performance of Blood, Sweat and Dance at the Kimmel Center on Saturday night: the ushers had run out of programs and had to hand out black and white photocopies. In the dance world, however, this is a very good problem to have, and in this case, it was a testament to the company’s continued preservation of predominantly African-American traditions in dance.

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ANNAPURNA (Theatre Exile): A powerful Philadelphia premiere of playwright Sharr White

Black comedy, bitterness, and intimacy intertwine in Sharr White’s ANNAPURNA. Theatre Exile’s top-notch Philadelphia premiere of the gritty two-hander captures the dark humor and devastating hurt of their relationship, as they come to terms with broken love, debilitating loneliness and regret, and imminent death.

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Victoria Rose Bonito and Akeem Davis in ROMEO AND JULIET

ROMEO AND JULIET (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre): A Love to Die for

They’ve known each other for what—a couple of hours? Already they’re crazy in love, and they’ll steadfastly love each other against all odds. A love to die for. One of the world’s most celebrated and enduring love stories, ROMEO AND JULIET, is currently on stage at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre.

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THREE DAYS OF RAIN (Quince Productions): 60-second review

It’s 1995, siblings Walker (Mark Sherlock) and Nan (Jessica Snow) meet at a run-down Manhattan loft after the death of their star-architect father. Peripatetic Walker has just returned from his latest escapist foreign jaunt and is obsessed by a new find: the journal of his taciturn father. Maybe this will will reveal the inner soul of this silentious man?

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(Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE (Walnut): A 60-Second Review

Some of life’s biggest journeys begin with that one small voice in our heads, telling us to take an unexpected leap of faith. As a painfully shy young girl channeling bold songstresses of the past through her deceased father’s record collection, Ellie Mooney delightfully shows audiences how to find the power within, as the star of THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE.

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Photo courtesy of Bucks County Playhouse

IN THE MOOD (Bucks County Playhouse): 60-Second Review

IN THE MOOD is more than a music revue—it’s a concert, a musical, a history lesson, a show of patriotism, and a celebration of one of the most important times in American history. The 1940’s was a time of significant change. In music, the whole nation was listening to the same big bands. Swing music, romantic ballads, and dancing shaped an entire cultural movement and most importantly became a prevailing icon of hope as we faced the reality of World War II. Proudly, the show takes a segment to recognize and honor the veterans in attendance. In its 20th year of touring, IN THE MOOD is an international success.

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Image courtesy of GPSBodies

#GPSBODIES (Marcel Williams Foster): Tweet the Rainbow

Marcel Williams Foster turns social media and performance upside down, and spontaneous performance, situational intimacy, and social media are the tools you have to curate your own audience/performer experience.

Using theses and other techniques to activate the audience, theatermaker/scientist Marcel Williams Foster takes us on a self-referential tweeting goose chase. How ‘meta.’

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Alex Keiper and William Zielinski in DOWN PAST PASSYUNK. Photo by Kathryn Raines.

DOWN PAST PASSYUNK (InterAct): Theater ‘wit’ a taste of South Philly

I once heard then-governor Ed Rendell give some cheesesteak advice: for the real deal don’t go to one of the big name line-around-the-block places, go to a food truck or your local deli and get one made-to-order. I was thinking about this truism and our prevailing infatuation with authenticity as I watched A. Zell Williams’s world premiere production of DOWN PAST PASSYUNK at InterAct Theatre.

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Krista Apple-Hodge as Queen Elizabeth I. (Photo credit: Plate3Photography)

MARY STUART (PAC): The Prison of Power

Philadelphia Artist Collective’s tightly-corseted production of Frederich Schiller’s Mary Stuart, starring the earth-shattering Charlotte Northeast and the finely-tuned Krista Apple Hodge will leave you white-knuckle-gripping the edge of your seat. Sitting in a severe theater-in-the-round circle, the audience itself forms four oppressive walls seemingly trapping the actors on the Broad Street Ministry’s cherry wood floor. If Schiller were alive today, he would raise a thumb in approval of director Dan Hodge’s minimalist approach.

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