Russ Widdall as RFK.

Revisiting New City Stage Company’s RFK

Since my original review of New City Stage Company’s stellar production of RFK in October 2012 (reprinted below), the show was featured in Washington, DC’s Capital Fringe in July 2013,…

Raphael Xavier. Photo by Brian Mengini.

Raphael Xavier’s THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO AUDIENCE WATCHING PERFORMANCE at the First Person Arts Festival

Published by The Dance Journal. Reprinted by kind permission. Like many artists, dancer Raphael Xavier has a difficult time describing exactly what he does for a living.  “I usually say…

Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

JEWELS (Pennsylvania Ballet): Dance review

Published by The Dance Journal, reprinted with kind permission. As noted in Lew Wittington’s interview with PA Ballet Artistic Director Roy Kaiser last month, George Balanchine’s iconic JEWELS is an immense undertaking. …

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THE JERSEY DEVIL (Berserker Residents): 60-second review

The three troupe members of the FringeArts-famous Berserker Residents will do pretty much anything to get a good laugh out of the audience. Their recently re-installed THE JERSEY DEVIL (first…

Rendering of the initial design for the FringeArts outdoor plaza (Photo credit: WRT Planning & Design)

FringeArts Progress Report: The latest on the High Pressure Fire Service Building of 1903

Since my initial tour of the new FringeArts headquarters in August 2012, the projected opening (originally set for the Spring of 2013, then for the 2013 Festival in September) has…

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Get Berserk this Halloween: The Berserker Residents return with THE JERSEY DEVIL

The Berserker Residents—that ludicrous comic trio of Justin Jain, David Johnson, and Bradley K. Wrenn—are a moved-loved highlight of the Philly Fringe. 2013′s The Talkback was a joyous exploration of spontaneity and theatricality…

Josh Carpenter (as Marlow), Sonja Field (as Kate Hardcastle) in SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER. Photo by Alexander Burns.

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (Quintessence): A contemporary 18th-century comedy

SHE STOOPS is an 18th-century comedy of manners and mistaken identities by Oliver Goldsmith. It is considered by many to be the most enduring of 18th-century plays (name another you’ve…

Wes Haskell, Mary Tuomanen, and John Jarboe in COCK. Photo by Paola Nogueras

COCK (Theatre Exile): Spatial choreography reveals isolation, influence, and alliances.

Here’s the setup: A young man has lived with his male lover for a few years. During a spat he falls for a woman. Things have gotten complicated and he…

Marcus Plays and Players review photo

MARCUS; OR THE SECRET OF SWEET (Plays & Players): 60-second review

Is life sweet when you live in the Louisiana Bayou before an unprecedented storm hits?  For Marcus (Eric L. Fleming), life at 16 years of age is not only sweet, but…

Photo by Paola Nogueras. Theatre Exile Cock Review

COCK (Theatre Exile): A Provocative Fight for Love and Identity

Finding love and self-knowledge beyond the fixed categories of sexual identity (gay, straight, or bi) is the central theme of Michael Bartlett’s COCK, now in its Philadelphia premiere at Theatre…

Kevin Meehan.Photo credit: Kathryn Raines

WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT (InterAct): Are You Black Enough?

Drury’s funny, traumatic, inventive and timely play will stab at you, personally, at least once. She asks whether it is important that a story be told, or if it is more important that it be told in a certain way. She uses the events in Namibia to illustrate the cracks in our own culture, the divides caused by racial issues even among a group of people who would probably all vote for the same candidate..

Hedgerow Macbeth review

MACBETH (Hedgrow): An ambitious and effective take on the Scottish play

Director Dan Hodge does not mind imposing his vision upon a text. His bold decision to combine the Ariel and Miranda characters proved surprisingly effective.in last season’s The Tempest at…

The “Droogs” at the Milkbar (l to r: Katie Gould, Shamus Hunter McCarty, Kevin Rodden, and Alan Holmes as Alex) in Luna Theater Company’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Photo credit: Aaron J. Oster)

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Luna): Commedia dell’arte meets post-modern morality play

Luna Theater Company’s interpretation of Anthony Burgess’s 1962 novel is a unique marriage of the British author’s futuristic stylizations with disturbing a cappella songs with the historic conventions of masking and stock movement inspired by Italian commedia dell’arte. It’s a perfect match to tell the cutting-edge morality tale of teen ultra-violence and reform.

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COURTLY LUST: A KING ARTHUR BURLESQUE (GDP/Walking Fish): 60-second review

A tongue-in-cheek recounting of some of the sexier moments of King Arthur’s rule, COURTLY LUST attempts to do it all—just like the knights of old. Comedy, kink, and wit combine,…

Francesca Piccioni as Christina in HANNAH. Photo by @dopez.

HANNAH (Hella Fresh): The glories of the sober mind

In response to a story I wrote about LSD, a college creative writing professor told me that it’s never a good idea to give characters drugs, because if they’re high,…

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Trilogy: Philadelphia audiences get a great look at an acclaimed new playwright

Allen Radway, James Ijames, and Daniel Student discuss Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister trilogy. All three plays in the series hit Philadelphia stages this fall.

pictured: Cait O'Driscoll, photo credit: Erin Pitts

SLASHER (Figment): An improv horror

SLASHER is a one hour improv play in the vein of a B-movie horror. There’s an unnecessarily precautious “splash area” where the audience may be stained with stray stage blood. An audience member’s spin of a wheel dictates the setting and holiday (a school on Easter weekend, on opening night). If this sounds like a description of the kind of show you like to see, you’ll probably like SLASHER.

Lance Coadie Williams and Zainab Jah in Wilma Theater's THE CONVERT. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

THE CONVERT (Wilma/Woolly Mammoth): Shining a light on colonialism

Colonialism is Pygmalian writ large: one culture trying to civilize another. In Danai Gurira’s melodramatic THE CONVERT, a priggish preacher (Irungu Mutu) in 1895 Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe) seeks to educate and…

Sebastian Cummings, creator and performer in "I Am Because I Am" in DANCE IT OUT.

DANCE IT OUT: SEBASTIAN AND SHANNON (curated by Meg Foley): What Stays With You

Excerpted from thINKingDANCE.net. Upon entering the dark, intimate AUX space for Meg Foley’s first DANCE IT OUT (a new series she is curating), the crowd made chatter from their seats along…

4000 Philadelphia Theatre Company review

4000 MILES (PTC): What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been

As someone born in the mid-1980s, I’ve rolled my eyes at the sight of the word “Millennial” more times than I can count. What’s great about Amy Herzog’s 4000 MILES is that she refuses to imprison the characters in any social or political context.