Brian Ratcliffe

The rain falls at the Wilma. Photo by Matt Saunders.

WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING (Wilma): How a hard rain’s a gonna fall

Using the endtimes as a backdrop, Andrew Bovell uses the drama within a family’s history as a parallel for the turbulence in humanity’s.

Photo by Matthew J. Photography

LOBBY HERO (Theatre Horizon): A web of unintended consequences

Kenneth Lonergan’s new play explores the many levels of trust.

The 1990s called; they want their facade back.

What Can The Wilma Do With $10 Million?

A new $10 million in funds includes money for an updated facade, a cafe space, and a 10-member artistic company.

2. Arden, hansbrinker, ensemble, pto MGarvin

HANS BRINKER AND THE SILVER SKATES (Arden): The sweet rewards of hope, understanding, and kindness

A world-premiere stage adaptation of Mary Mapes Dodge’s 19th-century children’s story delivers a clear message about the importance of kindness and understanding.

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ANTIGONE (Wilma): Spectacular, but a spectacular failure

The man behind the 2013 Fringe Festival hit AJAX, The Madness directs his version of ANTIGONE for the Wilma Theater.

Jered McLenigan, Ed Swidey and Keith Conallen.

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (Wilma): A contemporary classic, in three parts

Tom Stoppard’s ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD is perhaps the most ubiquitous work of postmodern drama.

Ross Beschler and Zainab Jah in HAMLET. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

HAMLET (Wilma): Blanka Zizka’s daring production amazes while keeping its distance

Not unlike the U.S. Constitution, HAMLET endures partly because its imperfections and spaces allow for different ways to read it.

deborah-crocker

Back on Stage After 12 Years: Deborah Crocker returns for SmokeyScout’s Nice and Fresh January!

Theater, dance, circus, and a return to the stage after 12 years. Nice and Fresh January is supremely accessible performance art.

red Speedo Production 8

RED SPEEDO (Theatre Exile): A dive into the waters of amorality

“We all do things that are sorta good, and things that are sorta not so good.” In RED SPEEDO, each character is capable of doing those things that are sorta not so good.

Playwright Lucas Hnath (Photo credit: Courtesy of Lucas Hnath)

A Conversation with Playwright Lucas Hnath, Director Deborah Block, and the Cast of Theatre Exile’s RED SPEEDO

Playwright Lucas Hnath raises serious legal, ethical, societal, and personal issues in RED SPEEDO, his 2013 play enjoying its Philadelphia premiere at Theatre Exile.

Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing at The Wilma

THE REAL THING (The Wilma): Exquisite dialogue shines through spotty production

Tom’s Stoppard’s dramedy THE REAL THING is set on a constantly evolving stage transforming into different locations in the UK during the early 1980s. Sky-high walls disappear, doors emerge out of nowhere, and scenes fluidly fold into the next with the help of nimble cast and crewmembers. First off, a man sits building a house of cards in a perfectly done up living room, while awaiting his wife’s return. The card house collapses with her sudden entrance, as does their marriage when he confronts her with the passport she left behind – on her trip out of the country. The whole scene feels rather put on, and the fake English accents don’t help.

Keith J. Conallan in DON JUAN COMES HOME FROM IRAQ, Wilma Theatre, photo by Alexander Iziliaev

DON JUAN COMES HOME FROM IRAQ (Wilma): A Disparate Jigsaw

Call it Don Juan or Don Giovanni, the Don Juan story, handed down through time, is pre-loaded with a mix of serious and comic elements and a supernatural dimension. DON JUAN COMES HOME FROM IRAQ, from theater luminaries Paula Vogel (playwright) and Banka Zizka (director), has the gravitas down and doesn’t lose sight of humor, but extra pieces lodge within this puzzle’s slippery treatment of time and reality.

makeshift-fortune-cookies

MAKESHIFT (Murmuration Theater): A play not just about cake

Ten seconds into Murmuration’s inaugural production of Jessie Bear’s brand spankin’ new play, MAKESHIFT, Brian David Ratcliff, stands like a little boy by his lonesome on stage in what he describes as a devastated post-apocalyptic earth donning a royal blue super hero cape, goggles strapped to his head, holding a tape recorder up to his mouth declaring: “I, Michael Bolton will save the world.” I thought: “Wow, we are really on the edge of a cliff here, and Oops, I think we fell off into—I don’t know what.”

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MAKESHIFT (Murmuration Theater): 60-second review

Strange games are afoot upstairs at Plays and Players. Not light or fun games, either—we’re talking full-on Don’t-talk-about-our-son-Martha! games here. Murmuration Theater’s new play MAKESHIFT throws us right into the middle of two different stories, and figures we’re smart enough to figure out what’s going on. The show doesn’t dole out much information, and when it does, it’s timed for maximum effect. Once you get enough to realize the show’s central conceit (which is quite nice, and unfolds so organically that I’d hate to spoil it), the earlier scenes come into better focus and make more sense.

Philadelphia Artists’ Collective’s THE SEA PLAYS Fringe review

[32.2] THE SEA PLAYS (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective): Fringe review

Eugene O’Neill’s early maritime heart-wrenchers, Bound East for Cardiff and In the Zone, are brought to life in the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective’s devastatingly effective site-specific production of THE SEA PLAYS….

Keith Conallen, David Blatt, and Brian McCann in PAC's THE SEA PLAYS, part of the 2013 Philly Fringe.

[32.1] THE SEA PLAYS (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective): Fringe review

With a series of celebrated readings and full productions (including 2012 Fringe hit The Creditors) Philadelphia Artists’ Collective has established a reputation as one of the best independent companies in…