David P. Gordon

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CABARET (Arden): Glücklich zu sehen?

CABARET has taken on a new level of relevance, but Matthew Decker’s re-creation of Sam Mendes’ famous production remains stuck in the past.

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LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR (Walnut): Funny, morbid, timely, and of a time

Theatergoers who long for the good ol’ days of pre-political correctness will love it. Everyone else, just enjoy the ride.

U.R. as Sterling and Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. as Memphis in Arden Theatre Company’s production of Two Trains Running. Photo by Mark Garvin.

TWO TRAINS RUNNING (Arden): 1969, Pittsburgh

August Wilson is a really good playwright. That’s hardly a bold critical statement, but it’s one confirmed by this vivid production at Arden Theatre Company.

Matteo Scammell as the Beast in the Arden’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Arden): An innovative retelling of a favorite fairytale

Director Whit MacLaughlin employs both live actors and shadow puppets to convey both the darkness and magic of the popular story.

Grace Gonglewski as Masha, Kraig Swartz as Vanya, and Deirdre Madigan as Sonia in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE (Philadelphia Theatre Company): Absurdist Farce on Russian Angst

The angst-laden work and gloomy characters of Anton Chekhov provide funny fodder and apropos appellations for Christopher Durang’s VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, now in production at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. The Bucks County playwright set his Tony Award-winning comedy where he lives, making for a decidedly quirky yet familiar combination of current local references and recurrent allusions to the Russian classics in a zany family reunion filled with adult sibling rivalry and childish temper tantrums.