Theater

The best source for independent coverage of Philadelphia theater.

Dana Kreitz (Photo credit: Daniel Kontz).

GRIMMS’ JUNIPER TREE (Renegade): Important Lessons to Be Learned

Based on the dark and disturbing folktales of the Brothers Grimm, James Stover’s original world-premiere adaptation for the Renegade Company, GRIMMS’ JUNIPER TREE, examines the role that didactic children’s literature…

Señor Papos and Jota (Photo courtesy of BRAT Productions)

THREE CHORD FICTION: LOVE BITES (BRAT): A Riotous Night of Rock-Theater Cabaret

BRAT Productions, Philly’s foremost purveyor of fearless rock-and-roll theater, rocks the Tin Angel with a new installment of its Barrymore Award-winning series THREE CHORD FICTION: LOVE BITES. Running for three…

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL (Arden Theatre): Dissonance v. harmony

The tragic news of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death by OD has, for the moment, wrested the subject of substance abuse from the shadows and thrust it into the limelight. With…

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SNOWGLOBE (MacKnight Foundation): 60-second review

With clever repartee, SNOWGLOBE cleverly tackles deep existential questions. Under Bill McKinlay’s direction, the actors bring life and nuance to the clever Beckettian back-and-forth.

Philadelphia theater calendar

Philadelphia Theater Calendar: February 2014

January | February | March | April | May | June July | August | September | October | November | December Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Adapted by John Olive from the books by Louis Sachar. December 4, 2013–February 15,…

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THE ROOM NOBODY KNOWS (FringeArts): Put your secret emotions, dangerous illusions here

Enter the world of Japanese Japanese theater company Niwa Gekidan Penino: claustrophobic, hallucinatory, voyeuristic, surreal. Niwa is the Japanese word for “garden.” For over a decade Kuro Tanino has been turning…

Photo credit: Kathryn Raines/Plate 3

GIDION’S KNOT (InterAct) is a two-person powerhouse

Though the classroom where GIDION’S KNOT takes place looks as cheery, bright, and typical as any, the story that unfolds in it is certainly not. Lost in thought, a teacher…

The Five Stages of THE PILLOWMAN (Luna Theater)

Thank God for Taylor Swift. After seeing Luna Theater‘s mindcrushing production of Martin McDonagh’s THE PILLOWMAN last night, I found myself a broken man. I was shellshocked. Catatonic. I couldn’t look another…

THE DISAPPEARING QUARTERBACK (Plays and Players) tackles football’s deadly foible

Yesterday morning, I received an email from the National Football League. I get these every day, more or less—updates from NFL.com on what’s happening around the league, who’s injured, who’s…

THE PILLOWMAN (Luna Theater): 60 Second Review

With all the claustrophobia of an Otto Dix painting, Luna Theater’s production of Martin McDonagh’s THE PILLOWMAN is a delicious 140-minute-anxiety attack. Robert DaPonte is remarkably arresting as Katurian Katurian, a writer…

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You’re Probably Missing Out: A tour of Kensington’s performance spaces

The performance spaces which have made Kensington their home (Walking Fish Theatre, Hella Fresh, Mascher Space, and fidgetspace) are remote, both financially and physically, from the city, yet still close enough to converse artistically with downtown venues and even to attract funding.

GHOSTS (People’s Light): Just give in to the melodrama

At People’s Light and Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s GHOSTS, the program note written by dramaturg Gina Pisasale discusses Ibsen’s life and work. In his theater, Pisasale tells us, Ibsen created…

Kevin Chick and Melanie Julian. Photo credit: Luis Fernando Rodriguez.

BEAUTIFUL THING (Mauckingbird): Boy meets boy and love conquers all

To mark the 20th anniversary of BEAUTIFUL THING, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, dedicated to gay-themed work, begins its 2014 season with a production of English playwright Jonathan Harvey’s bittersweet comedy about…

Celebrating Shakespeare at 450: An Interview with The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s Carmen Khan

Carmen Khan has devoted much of her life and professional career to Shakespeare. She is well known to the Philadelphia theater community as the founding artistic director and long-time executive…

Photo by John Doyle

UP FROM THE ASHES (Iron Age Theatre): A bit shy of genius

  Saturday, March 25th, 1911, 4:40pm a fire broke out on the eighth floor of largest blouse making factory in New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. 18 minutes later…

Photo: David Alarcón.

EL AÑO EN QUE NACÍ (FringeArts): Living mosaic

EL AÑO EN QUE NACÍ (THE YEAR I WAS BORN) is the January installment in FringeArts’ year-round programming at their Race Street Pier theater, and new proof of their commitment…

Marcia Saunders, David Ingram. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Wilma Theater’s CHEROKEE impresses, in a way

John, a baby boomer, patriarch, and oil exec who has spent his life gaining, has lost quite a lot in a short period of time: his job, his health, even…

Philadelphia theater calendar

Philadelphia Theater Calendar: January 2014

January 2014 Philadelphia Theater Calendar

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AMERICAN FAIRY TALES (Walking Fish): Riotous fairy tales at Walking Fish

AMERICAN FAIRY TALES is a kids’ show, adapted by co-artistic director Stan Heleva from L. Frank Baum’s short stories with a generous amount of modernization and localization. This is fast and messy theater making, thriving on audience involvement. The story doesn’t matter as much as the laughs, and the more we shouted along, and the more sassy little Benjamin in the front row jeered and challenged the actors, the more engaged they, and we, became.

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THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS (Act II): My true love came to me?

Overbearing relatives, forced merriness, the same damn songs playing over and over and then over again—Christmas can be a real pain in the toches. Depicting the next year of her life, Lakis plays (almost) all the characters in this 90 minute show, without a single break.