Ben Dibble

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SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (Walnut): Stayin’ Alive

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER is a white-washed adaptation of the classic movie, with double the music and none of the soul. Director/choreographer Richard Stafford seems terrified of losing audience attention for…

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A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD (Arden Children’s Theatre): Another year with frog and toad

The simple tricks of the stage awe an audience of CGI-era children, showing that even something as normal as friendship can be magic.

Jennie Eisenhower. 
Photo by Kim Carson.

Working with the First National Congress in 1776: Interview with director-choreographer Jennie Eisenhower, part 2

In this, the second of a two-part interview, we talk to Eisenhower about the history behind 1776: The Musical

Ben Dibble as John Adams and xxx as Abigail in 1776 The Musical. Photo by Maura McConnell

1776: THE MUSICAL (Media): Not your textbook history production

1776 will make you laugh, might even make you cry, and will most certainly be more enjoyable than the lectures of your middle school history teachers.

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1776 THE MUSICAL (Media): Rollicking romp through history

A rocking, irreverent look at the birth of our nation wrought with lively, believable characters.

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HARVEY (Walnut): Burns slow, then hops right along

The story is a little dated, but that is part of its charm, like watching a Norman Rockwell painting come to life.

Megan Nicole Arnoldy and Paul Schaefer in HIGH SOCIETY. Photo by Mark Garvin.

HIGH SOCIETY (Walnut): A curious Philadelphia Story

A curiously performed version of Arthur Kopit’s unnecessary rearranging and cheapening of The Philadelphia Story.

Ben Dibble, winner of "Best Actor" for his role in Herringbone at Flashpoint Theatre.

Picks for Best in Theater, 2014/15, by Philly Reviewer Neal Zoren

Each year, Philadelphia-based reviewer Neal Zoren announces his choices for the Helen and Morris Zoren Awards for World Theater. A fair number of the picks on Neal’s list are performers and productions from the Philadelphia area.

Jennie Eisenhower and Ben Michael in Arden Theatre's production of PASSION. Photo by Mark Garvin.

PASSION (Arden): Pretty anticlimactic

Excerpted from NealsPaper.com by kind permission. Stephen Sondheim’s musical PASSION comes to a pivotal point at which a young soldier, Giorgio (Ben Michael), suddenly becomes deeply enamored of the homely, lonely, Fosca (Liz Filios). It…

Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth with Ben Dibble as Banquo. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Rare emotion and rarer straightforwardness [critical mass review #5]

The elements which displease other writers are what makes this production a success, according to Michael Fisher in review five of the ongoing Critical Mass series.

Ensemble in Arden Theatre Company's production of MACBETH. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Numb from the neck down, well almost [critical mass review #3]

Jessica Foley gives this week’s critical mass take on MACBETH at the Arden, part of a new review series on Phindie.

Judith Lightfoot Clarke as Lady Macbeth with Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Fast but not furious [critical mass review #2]

Alexander Burns’ production of MACBETH at Arden Theatre Company is energetic and visually engaging, but it lacks ferocity and substance.

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MACBETH (Arden): Bloody bold and resolute [critical mass review #1]

Burns maintains the energy and pacing of his best work for Quintessence and takes full advantage of the Arden’s high production values to create an exuberant and understandable version of Shakespeare’s masterpiece.

Ben Dibble in DOUBT. Photo by Mark Garvin.

DOUBT: A Parable (Lantern): Some things are certain

It may be daunting for theaters to produce the original theatrical source for a well-regarded movie, but Lantern Theater Company’s DOUBT shows why some plays are worth reclaiming for the stage.

Ben Dibble, winner of "Best Actor" for his role in Herringbone at Flashpoint Theatre.

Neal Zoren announces his picks for the best in Philadelphia theater, 2014

Each January, local critic Neil Zoren announces his favorite production, direction, and male and female actor and male and female supporting actor for the previous calendar year.

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The winners of the 2014 Barrymore Awards…

From about 100 entries, winners in twenty-two categories were selected by a panel of twelve judges and announced at the Barrymore Awards ceremony tonight. InterAct Theatre’s Down Past Passyunk won top…

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9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL (Walnut Street): Performance over plot

Sharp performances keep 9 TO 5 so consistently entertaining it masks a contrived plot and mediocre music and lyrics.

Herringbone at Flashpoint Theatre Company

HERRINGBONE (Flashpoint Theatre Company): A remarkably strange solo musical, about a boy … with a problem

This mighty peculiar story opens with a grown up George looking back at 1929 and singing, “Did ya ever have one of those years?” His parents have one foot in the poorhouse, as their only prosperous relative has just stinted them in his will. When eight-year-old George has the chance to take performance lessons from the surviving member of an old vaudeville act, he shows inexplicable ability beyond his years. Parental hopes for financial resurrection ride on little George singing and dancing his way to Hollywood.

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.

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PARADE (Arden): A Musical Tragedy of Bigotry and Injustice

Set in Georgia between 1913 and 1915, PARADE examines the true story of Leo Frank, a transplanted Brooklyn-bred Jew accused of killing a thirteen-year-old girl in the Atlanta pencil factory…