Theater

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Walnut Street Theatre, Arsenic and Old Lace, Damon Bonetti and Jennie Eisenhower

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (Walnut Street Theatre): Macabre Madcap Comedy Classic

The historic Walnut Street Theatre celebrates two milestones with its mainstage presentation of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, written by New York playwright Joseph Kesselring in 1939: the play’s 75th anniversary and its own 205th landmark season. Directed by Charles Abbott, the Walnut Street’s crackerjack production (in association with Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, PA) whips up the perfect concoction of murder, mayhem, and misplaced “mercy,” topped with a large dollop of macabre madness, in this delectable recipe for hilarity.

Note to Self, Figment Theater.

NOTE TO SELF (Figment Theater): Improv at Its Finest, with a Twist.

Upon entry into the theater space, I was directed to a setup off to the side with slips of paper and pens. Little placards told us to write a NOTE TO SELF and drop it in the metal can, examples offered including “get donuts for the office.” I had received the inside scoop from one of the other theatergoers that they’ll be used as a formative part of the show. As NOTE TO SELF is improv comedy, I didn’t want mine to be too mundane to work with so I chose a simple, sadly relevant, yet ripe for humor note: stop eating in bed. The conversation and jokes with strangers, all ruminating on what their contribution would be, set a fun, friendly and upbeat tone for the performance.

Alex Bechtel The West

THE WEST Comes to Town: Interview with Creator Alex Bechtel

THE WEST is ensemble-devised musical theater, described as “an absurdist western music hall drama about the gun that killed Billy The Kid, the gun that didn’t, and truth and fiction in history, human relationships, and our day-to-day lives.”

Lena Barnard and Meredith Sonnen rehearse Behind Bergman

NOTES from the INCUBATOR (SIMPATICO): Entry One: The Collective Spirit

Writing this play has been hard. It feels like squinting into the distance at an object that I think I should be identifiable but is just too blurry. Luckily, I have a cohort on this trek. If you met Lena (Barnard) and I, it would feel a lot like an episode of Gilmore Girls or the West Wing. We talk over each other and make obscure references and laugh at inside jokes that no one else gets. Being around Lena makes me feel entirely secure. I can be myself with her. I like to think the feeling is mutual. Who else will get all her Julie Andrews references?

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…

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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.

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…

Philadelphia theater calendar

Philadelphia Theater Calendar: March 2014

March listings of Philadelphia theater.

john rosenberg

A NICE AND FRESH sendoff: John Rosenberg’s last show in Philadelphia

Phindie has been a long-term champion of playwright John Rosenberg and his Hella Fresh Theater. There are pretty much no companies in Philadelphia focused on full seasons of original work, certainly none of the caliber reached in Rosenberg’s best plays, 2013′s Hannah and 2012′s Alp d’Huez.

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Free Beer. Have I said enough? Scratch Night returns at FringeArts

For several years now, the FringeArts Scratch Night series has been an in-the-know favorite on the Philadelphia performing arts scene. Each Spring and Summer in the lead up to the Fringe Fest, the organization hosts a monthly event to showcase in the works performances by LAB fellow, Fringe favorites, and other local artists.

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…

Join the Battle: Team Sunshine & Immersive Arts Involvement

On their website, Team Sunshine Performance Corporation calls themselves “an unstoppable force for good.” Among other things, they love play fighting and projects that sound insane. In that vein is their current collaboration with Shakespeare in Clark Park, HENRY IV: YOUR PRINCE AND MINE.

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Photo Essay: Kyle Cassidy captures DANCING AT LUGHNASA (Curio Theatre)

Photographer Kyle Cassidy is a Philadelphia treasure. He has been documenting American culture since the 1990s, photographing goths, punks, cutters, politicians, metalheads, dominatrices, scholars, and alternative fashion, in addition to…

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.

Joe Guzmán and Forrest McClendon in THE TRAGEDY OF JULIUS CAESAR at the Lantern, with set design by Meghan Jones (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

On the Universality of Shakespeare: Roman History through a Shoji Screen in the Lantern’s THE TRAGEDY OF JULIUS CAESAR

Director Charles McMahon, founding artistic director of the Lantern Theater Company, asserts that all of Shakespeare’s plays, whenever or wherever they’re set, are in fact observations about contemporary England. By shifting the locales to places outside of his homeland.

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,…

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The City of Brotherly Bard: Revolution Shakespeare returns with a show and a webseries

Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better Philadelphia’s newest Shakespeare company, Revolution Shakespeare, will present the second offering of its inaugural season on Tuesday, February 11th at the…

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…