Theater

The best source for independent coverage of Philadelphia theater.

Chris Davis The Violence of the Lambs

THE VIOLENCE OF THE LAMBS (OR THE ANIMAL VS. HUMAN WAR) (Chris Davis): 60-second review

As the established Philadelphia companies enter their long off-season, the SoLow Festival is providing a welcome dose of idiosyncratic theater at some unusual venues around town. THE VIOLENCE OF THE…

Eric Scotolati

Another take on GLASS: SHATTERED (Renegade)

Pacified by a pre-show serving of *Little Baby’s* ice cream, the Renegade Company’s audience sat in a cozy room with broken victrola records scattered on the floor. Our tummies filled…

Ed Swidey as Uncle Tom and Langston Darby as Master Hardy in UNCLE TOM'S CABIN

Afterthoughts on UNCLE TOM’S CABIN: AN UNFORTUNATE HISTORY (EgoPo)

EgoPo’s show closes at Plays & Players in Philadelphia tonight. I finally got to see it at the end of the run. The finale of their American Vaudeville Festival, UNCLE…

Some Other Kind of Person review photo InterAct Theatre Company

SOME OTHER KIND OF PERSON (InterAct)

The title of Eric Pfeffinger’s SOME OTHER KIND OF PERSON, now in production by Interact Theatre Company, refers to a purposefully misquoted line of Aristotle, that if you act virtuously…

photo by Daniel Kontz

GLASS: SHATTERED (Renegade): 60-second review

Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie is described as a “memory play”: its plot an extended flashback, its theatrical pretense laid bare. GLASS: SHATTERED, Michael Durkin’s reimaging of this classic of…

Uncle Tom's Cabin EgoPo Classic Theater review photo

UNCLE TOM’S CABIN: AN UNFORTUNATE HISTORY (EgoPo): An unfortunate production

Rooted like wooden figurines in a nineteenth-century music box, the cast of EgoPo Classic Theater’s adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s UNCLE TOM’s CABIN stand in front of a gigantic American…

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…