When you hear the word “bilingual” what do you picture in your mind? International, business-y personnel? Or one of those lucky kids who happened to have parents who speak different languages? Or growing up in a different country? Well, I’m don’t fit in any of those scenarios, except being international, sure, but that’s about it. None of my family speaks English. I learned it in school because I had to, and was awful at it. I hated the subject throughout the years of forced education. But then life turns in a strange way, and somehow I ended up in this city with an unpronounceable name for almost a decade now. My every day life is in English. I ask myself over and over again: “What am I doing here?”View More NOTES from the INCUBATOR (Simpatico): Entry Three: World of BI(?!)LINGUAL
Philadelphia’s theater scene is better than ever—haven’t you heard? But so few of its practitioners can eke out a living wage from it. This interview Charlotte Ford takes a serious look at how poor the health of the theater industry is in this city.View More Interview with Charlotte Ford: The untenable career of a successful Philadelphia theater artist
The fast-paced spoof about a boy band saving the souls of an audience of sinners on the last stop of their “Raise the Praise” tour is filled with witty references to the Bible, the Passion of Christ, and the Catholic liturgy. The Boyz—aptly named Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan, and Abraham–proselytize to prospective believers in real time through their songs, employing post-modern technology, current slang, and choreographed moves that gently skewer such popular acts as the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync.View More ALTAR BOYZ (11th Hour): Raising the Praise!
Despite the bleak premise, laughter and jokes run throughout Azuka Theatre’s TIGERS BE STILL. This dark comedy looks at the things people do to cope with tragedy, and finds the humor in these strange displays.View More TIGERS BE STILL (Azuka): 60-second review
Vaudeville, bouffon, and circus meet progressive rock in BRAT Productions’ ensemble-devised cabaret performance ALWAYS COMING SOON: THE FUTURE. It’s a compelling combination that entertains, mocks, and provokes through BRAT’s signature high-energy music, intriguing visual design, and dynamic physical theater which begins the moment you enter the venue as aggressive carnival buskers hawk popcorn, drinks, and breaths of fresh air to the incoming audience.View More ALWAYS COMING SOON: THE FUTURE (BRAT Productions): Alternative Cabaret with a Timely Message
At the opening night performance of LaBute’s IN A DARK DARK HOUSE I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity: Suddenly an entire oeuvre littered with cruel antihero bastards made sense.View More IN A DARK DARK HOUSE (Simpatico Theatre Project): Oh! Neil LaBute is not just a sadistic prig!
The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium gives local audiences the chance to see Christopher Durang at his comic best in a series of seldom-performed shorts, THE DURANG SHABANG! in two performances (6pm and 8pm) at L’Etage Cabaret, on Sunday, May 18, 2014.View More THE DURANG SHABANG! IRC stages night of seldom-seen Durang shorts
I have taken the train up from Philadelphia to the New York Theatre Workshop to see how RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE has fared since I last saw it. I had discovered it in the Philadelphia Live Arts workshop production in 2005. Between that iteration and the world premiere at Philadelphia Fringe Festival in 2012, an evolutionary process took place.View More RED-EYE TO HAVRE DE GRACE (Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental): New York Theatre Workshop sees a reshaped Philly Fringe hit
In ALWAYS COMING SOON: THE FUTURE, BRAT Productions takes another look at what the future holds, and the auguries are not pretty: Derelict clowns, aggressive barkers, and obscene control culture. But THE FUTURE is funny and fun: It’s another of the entertaining rock cabarets which the company has launched in recent years,View More THE FUTURE has arrived: Interview with Peter Gaffney, musical creator of BRAT’s latest production
A touring revue on American singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie (1912-67), WOODY SEZ—on the road for seven years and now on stage at People’s Light & Theatre Company in Malvern—is an eminently likeable concert biography for fans of the respected folk musician and activist for the disenfranchised. Featuring 27 of Guthrie’s most famous songs (including his populist American anthem “This Land Is Your Land”) interspersed with snippets of his life story and folk wisdom, the show traces the highlights and low points of his times, [. . .]View More WOODY SEZ (People’s Light & Theatre Company): A Down-Home Musical Revue on the Life of Woody Guthrie
The outlandish parody of the horror and sci-fi genres, now in production at Bristol Riverside Theatre, still elicits laughs and gasps from appreciative audiences and delights with a score of period-style rock, Motown, and doo-wop numbers. BRT’s show, directed with spot-on timing by Susan D. Atkinson, embraces all the retro-camp in the story of Seymour KrelbornView More LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Bristol Riverside Theatre): Don’t Feed the Plants!
I took a seat on one of the long, cushioned benches at the unusual Hedgerow Theatre, a grist mill from the 1800s, for the opening night of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. Satisfied that at least I was introduced to such a beautiful place, I wondered what Jane Austen was going to smother me with this time.View More SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (Hedgerow): I hated Jane Austen, but I love this
Ed Swidey’s mEEps return for a one-night only show at White Pines place in Elkins Park, May 9, 2014.View More The Return of the mEEps (White Pines)
Julius Ferraro talks about his new show, MICROMANIA, and how writing about theater has changed the way he looks at it.View More Micromaniac: Interview with Julius Ferraro about his new work, Philadelphia theater, and how well-paid critics are
On Monday, May 12, 2014 (the day after Mother’s Day), upstart local Shakespeare company Revolution Shakespeare will present a staged reading of the Bard’s classic KING LEAR. The reading’s director, Samantha Bellomo tells Phindie what excites her about the decision to give the reading an all-female cast.View More Why present an all-female production of KING LEAR? Revolution Shakespeare’s director lays down a persuasive case ahead of their reading
Romulus Linney’s GINT, now in an engaging staging by EgoPo Productions, does an admirable job of translating this modernist classic for contemporary audiences. Linney reworks the story so it seems to have been lifted straight from the annals of American folklore.View More GINT (EgoPo): Ibsen as American folklorist
Thespionage Theater Company trumpets itself as a ‘pay what you can’ theater company; every ticket is priced by the audience member, and every dollar made is put into the budget for the next show. It’s an interesting new approach to small-theater funding in an age where the little guys are increasingly struggling against larger marketing machines, dwindling grant money, and thinly spread audiences of theatergoers.View More UPPER MIDDLE CLASS WHITE (Thespionage): A DIY romcom
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.View More OEDIPUSSY (Curio): Shenanigans, tomfoolery and ballyhoo reign
Concluding its 2013-14 themed season “Once upon a Time,” Luna Theater Company’s 80-minute Philadelphia premiere of BRAINPEOPLE, told in real time, is mysterious, disturbing, and challenging; but then director Gregory Scott Campbell was never one to avoid a challengeView More BRAINPEOPLE (Luna): A Haunting Invitation to Dinner
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.View More THIS IS THE WEEK THAT IS (1812 Productions): Now a Musical and Better than Ever!