Dana Kreitz as Olivia and Merci Lyons-Cox as Oliver in Curio Theatre Company's GENDER COMEDY. Photo by Claire Horvath.

GENDER COMEDY: A LESS STUPID TWELFTH NIGHT GAY FANTASIA (Curio): A loving parody brings infectious glee

Harry Slack has cut the gaping holes in Shakespeare’s logic into microscope slides, and the result is a hilarious and self-aware send-up of the rarely-discussed flaws in the work of our most beloved playwright.

1812 Productions THE BIG TIME review

THE BIG TIME: NEW VAUDEVILLE FOR THE HOLIDAYS (1812): Juggling seasonal laughs

Vaudeville has returned in all its glory with 1812’s THE BIG TIME: NEW VAUDEVILLE FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Pratfalls, double entendres, and caricatures of people past and present light up the…

Charlie DelMarcelle, Geneviève Perrier, Amy Smith, and Doug Hara in the Lantern’s A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (Lantern): Idyllic visions of a holiday past

Lantern Theater Company’s world premiere adaptation of A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES by Charles McMahon and Sebastienne Mundheim, the inventive “interdisciplinary performance-maker” who designed the production and also directs, captures all the warmth, nostalgia, and childlike wonder of the original, employing live actors, puppets, miniature houses, plastic-bag clouds, and exhilarating snow flurries to transform Thomas’s descriptive language and idealized memories into an enchanting theatrical vision.

Twelfth Night Pig Iron

TWELFTH NIGHT, or WHAT YOU WILL (Pig Iron/FringeArts): The 1602 equivalent of a holiday special

TWELFTH NIGHT being the 1602 equivalent of a holiday special, there’s no shortage of booze-riddled merriment in Pig Iron’s revival from the 2011 Fringe Festival.

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Considering A CHRISTMAS CAROL

You might call me a scrooge. The Philadelphia theater scene goes on hiatus in July and August, as most companies take a season break. And for me, December is like…

Photo credit: Cindy Jensen Graphic Design

FROST/NIXON (New City Stage Company): A gripping game of psycho-political chess

New City Stage Company’s Philadelphia premiere of FROST/NIXON is anything but the dry historical debate you might expect. Under Aaron Cromie’s brilliant direction, playwright Peter Morgan’s story of the series of TV interviews conducted by faltering British talk-show host David Frost in 1977 with disgraced US President Richard Nixon is a painfully tense and surprisingly humorous cat-and-mouse game.

Photo by Johanna Austin

TWELFTH NIGHT (Pig Iron): Upends Expectations, Rights Shakespeare’s Play

David Patrick Stearns writes yet another petulant review, this time of Pig Iron’s TWELFTH NIGHT. If he whines enough that he isn’t entertained at theater and doesn’t get it, will…

Photo credit: Julius Edward Maurer III.

OWNERS (InVersion): A farce in a dark world

OWNERS, a dark comedy by British playwright Caryl Churchill, is an examination of the sexual politics of power and property. It’s a fun, dark world, where everything and everyone is just an acquisition waiting to happen; apartments are traded for babies, which are traded for sex, which is used as leverage for more negotiations and scheming.

Chelsea Packard in MEET ME IN SAINT LOUIS.

MEET ME IN SAINT LOUIS: A LIVE RADIO PLAY (Bucks County Playhouse): 60-second review

MEET ME IN SAINT LOUIS: A LIVE RADIO PLAY is based on The Kensington Stories by Sally Benson and the MGM motion picture Meet Me in Saint Louis; the musical book written by Hugh Wheeler was expertly adapted to the unique radio play style by Joe Landry. Simply, this show is fun.

Kim Carson stars in People’s Light & Theatre Company’s CINDERELLA (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

CINDERELLA (People’s Light): The Return of an Award-Winning Panto

In celebration of its tenth anniversary season of wintertime pantos People’s Light & Theatre Company in Malvern is presenting a remount of CINDERELLA, its most acclaimed panto to date.

Brian Sanders' JUNK in a pre-production photo of a scene from SNOWBALL (Photo credit: Ted Lieverman)

SNOWBALL (Brian Sanders’ JUNK): A Wondrous Urban Fairytale for Kids of All Ages

The latest installment of SNOWBALL, the annual wintertime extravaganza by Brian Sanders’ JUNK, is a must-see world-premiere holiday delight for the whole family. Combining a post-modern urban narrative with a charming “Winter Wonderland Furrytail,” the engaging two-act show will keep you smiling, gasping, oohing and aahing at its heartwarming moral, Sanders’ stunning choreography, and his acclaimed dance troupe’s extraordinary finesse.

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NO RESERVATIONS (PNAA): 60-second review

As the holiday season begins, so does the decorating process.  We all have those neighbors who take the time to remind us about the true story of Christmas, by displaying entire…

Koresh Asya Zlatina and Jessica Daley. photo by Frank Bicking

THROUGH THE SKIN (Koresh): Flesh and the dance devil

The body beautiful is an aspect of dance that can be easily exploited. Two shows, from opposite ends of the dance spectrum, featuring scantily clad dancers, challenge audiences not to objectify – Koresh Dance’s Through the Skin and Flashdance, the Musical. In contrast to the sexy poster art for both show, they both un-voyeuristically sing the body electric.

Shakespeare's Restless World cover

Book Review: SHAKESPEARE’S RESTLESS WORLD: A PORTRAIT OF AN ERA IN TWENTY OBJECTS by Neil MacGregor

While Shakespeare’s Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects is not, and does not claim to be, a complete narrative history of the times or a full-blown dramaturgical analysis of the Bard’s oeuvre, it does offer a fascinating collection of twenty chapter-length essays, using the objects as a springboard to explore key issues of the day and in Shakespeare’s work.

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A MICROFESTIVAL OF STUBBORN OCCASIONS (Mascher Space Co-op): The moment doesn’t exist

This is in Kensington, on the closing night of Mascher Space Cooperative’s Microfestival of Stubborn Occasions: a set of performances described as “a space where choreography is given permission to exist in the in-betweens.” Two shows are on the docket for tonight, Foster’s #JANEGOODALLDRAMA and Christina Gesualdi’s MY NEBULOUS SOLO.

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RISK! TRUE TALES BOLDLY TOLD (First Person Arts): Risky storytelling pays off

Okay, Kevin Allison’s RISK! is the undisputed G-spot of the 12th annual First Person Arts Festival. The format is simple: five people step behind a microphone and relate their most private thoughts in the form of a story to an audience of strangers.

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EVERYMAN (Villanova Theatre): 60-second review

In the Middle Ages, the Church endorsed theatrical depictions of Church teachings to educate a mostly illiterate public. EVERYMAN is only one of five from its time that has survived to today. Villanova Theatr commissioned Mark J. Costello to translate the play from Middle English using modern language and the authenticity of rebelliousness in the punk subculture

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17 BORDER CROSSINGS (Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental/FringeArts): Voyage of imagination

“Let’s assume you’re traveling,” says Thaddesus Phillips, placing the audience as the sojourner. And he whisks us off. With co-creators Tatiana Mallarino and Patrick Nealy, and director Rebecca Wright, Phillips has concocted something special with 17 BORDER CROSSINGS.

Matthew Neenan

BalletX’s Matthew Neenan downshifts for THERE I WAS

Earlier this month BalletX dancers had their pointe shoes ready for a rehearsal for Matthew Neenan’s ballet There I Was. The piece showcases how inventive, within and out of specific pointe shoe classicism, Neenan can be. Even though it is weeks before the opening There I Was looks ready, Neenan only moved around to cue a specific music change, apologizing to the dancers for the pause.

Photo: Kathryn Raines

FALLING INTO HERE or THE IMPORTANCE OF NORMAL (The Naked Stark/ First Person Arts): Dance review

Fractured. Awry. Akilter. There is frighteningly little cohesion and order (or shall we call it normalcy?) in the dark visual and kinesthetic world that Katherine Kiefer Stark presents in Falling into Here or The Importance of Normal. The performance is a welcome dance work among the talking heads presentations of the 12th annual First Person Arts Festival, a 10-day affair dedicated mostly to autobiographical narrative expressed through storytelling and song.