Theater

The best source for independent coverage of Philadelphia theater.

New City Stage Company American Sligo review photo

AMERICAN SLIGO (New City): Wrestling with dysfunction

The American dysfunctional family was the theme of New City Stage Company’s successful 2012/13 season, and it would be hard to find a play which fit the theme more than…

Barcelona People's Light Theatre review photo

BARCELONA (People’s Light): Transatlantic tension, transatlantic truth

She’s an American tourist on a girls’ holiday, seeking out a romantic, exotic fantasy of Spain. He’s a dashing, seductive Spaniard who takes her to his soon-to-be demolished apartment, where…

1. Arden, Night Music, CPMullen & GGonglewski, photo MGarvin

The Arden Hits a High Note with A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

Stephen Sondheim’s transcendent musical exposé of love, liaisons, and life in 1900 Sweden.

philadelphia theatre company venus in fur review photo

VENUS IN FUR (PTC): 60-second review

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch is known today primarily for the word derived from his name: masochism, and for his scandalous 1870 novel VENUS IN FUR, the title of a intelligent and…

Mark Cofta interview photo

Just one asshole with an opinion: theater critic Mark Cofta on the art of reviewing and observations on Philly’s theater scene

Originally published on the FringeArts blog. Republished with kind permission. “I see 150 to 180 plays a year, and still always regret missing a bunch.” Mark Cofta has been covering…

photo by Mark Garvin

HEROES (Lantern): Quieter guns of August

It’s 1959. Two veterans of the Great War sit in silence. HENRI: I love the month of August GUSTAVE: I knew it couldn’t last, the world was at peace, and…

Wilma Theater Bootycandy review photo.

BOOTYCANDY (Wilma): Bringing genitalia to the stage

There is a certain brand of comedy that bases its entire aesthetic on the idea that genitalia, in and of itself, is hilarious. A lot of trashy movies from the…

Simpatico Theatre Lysistrata Project

THE LYSISTRATA PROJECT (Simpatico): A momentary delight

Ancient Greek historian Thucydides introduced his majestic History of the Peloponnesian War by claiming it was “not a piece of writing designed to meet the needs of the immediate public,…

The Gambling Room Hella Fresh Theater

THE GAMBLING ROOM (Hella Fresh Theater): An ambitious conundrum

Hella Fresh is staging THE GAMBLING ROOM at Papermill Theater in Kensington. One of several little companies working in small neighborhood venues, Hella Fresh is contributing to the flowering of…

Azuka Theatre Failure a love story review photo

Azuka Charms with FAILURE: A LOVE STORY

In 1900 the city of Chicago reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that it discharged into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan. The flow of time is…

photo by Kyle Cassidy

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (Curio): 60-second review

“Rare moths, wives pretending to be sisters,” deadly moors, escaped killers, and a legendary hellhound: the plot points of Arthur Conan Doyle’s THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES are ripe for…

The Misanthrope, Quintessence, review photo

THE MISANTHROPE (Quintessence): What’s not to like?

I hope one day to see (and understand) a Moliere play in the original French, though as I’m not doing anything about that desire except letting my scant French knowledge…

everyone's a critic

The Purpose of Criticism: Roger Ebert, Lester Bangs, and Psychotic Reactions

Following his much-discussed piece on Gimmickry in Theater, Michael F. Fisher considers the role of the critic, and how theater criticism in Philadelphia compares to the best pop culture reviews….

north-of-the-boulevard-review

NORTH OF THE BOULEVARD (Theatre Exile): If the Boss wrote plays he’d write this one

A few years ago I was at that good used bookstore on 20th Street by the Free Library and saw a crowd gathering on the Parkway: Bruce Springsteen was about…

gocar-productions-karma-101

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.

Michelle-Pauls-interview-photo

Phindie Podcast 03: Michelle Pauls

For Phindie’s third Philadelphia Independent Theater podcast, hosts Christopher Munden and John Rosenberg visit the Walking Fish Theatre in Kensington to talk to owner Michelle Pauls, artistic co-director of B….

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…

Jenna Horton

Jenna Horton And The Birth Of Etna

Interview with Jenna Horton about her Jumpstart piece MOUNTING ETNA.

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…