Ian Merrill Peakes

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THE CRAFTSMAN (Lantern): Crafting a good story

Now in its world premiere from Lantern Theater, the latest play by Philly’s favorite playwright Bruce Graham is based on a true story. It’s a great story.

Eleanor Handley as Elvira, Ian Merrill Peaks as Charles, and Karen Peaks as Ruth. Photo by Lee A. Butz.

BLITHE SPIRIT (PA Shakes): 60-second review

Nothing beats watching actors at the top of their game biting into crunchy material and whipping it into a tasty delight.

Ian Merrill Peaks as Petruchio and Eleanor Handley as Katherina in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. Photos by Lee A. Butz.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (PA Shakes): Shrewd Shakespeare

A good production that benefits most when it puts farce aside and concentrates on two people using their will to create partnership and harmony

Ian Merrill Peakes and Maboud Hamidzadeh. Photo by Paola Nogueras. 3

Taken Hostage By a Play: Interview with Ian Merrill Peakes on THE INVISIBLE HAND

Theatre Exile’s production of THE INVISIBLE HAND features an all-star creative team. We interviewed them.

Ian Merrill Peakes (L) & Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (R)
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[podcast] J. Paul Nicholas on THE INVISIBLE HAND

J. Paul Nicholas on the politics and conversations that surround this well-executed production.

Aaron Cromie and Ian Merrill Peakes in Walnut Street Theatre’s PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (Photo credit: Mark Garvin).

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (Walnut): A wacky look at the backstory of Peter Pan

An outstanding ensemble recounts the backstory of Peter Pan in a madcap prequel with music.

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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.

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EQUIVOCATION (Arden): They made him an offer he can’t refuse

In the wake of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Shakespeare is summoned to take on a play commission for the Crown.

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.

Jahzeer Terrell as a soldier, Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth, Terence Macsweeny and Sean Bradley as Soldiers in MACBETH at the Arden. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Shakepeare as spectacle [critical mass review #4]

It’s the fourth installment of the Critical Mass review of MACBETH at the Arden, but Julius Ferraro thinks too many works have already been written about an unremarkable piece of theater.

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.

Harry Smith (left) and Ian Merrill Peakes in "The Body of an American." Photo by Alexander Ilziliaev.

THE BODY OF AN AMERICAN (Wilma): War lives in all of us

Did anyone anywhere actually believe that being photographed would take away the soul, or is that the kind of ethnocentric nonsense we need good foreign journalism to counter?

Scott Greer as Valere in the Arden’s LA BÊTE (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

LA BÊTE (Arden Theatre Company): “Excellence Must Struggle to Survive!”

David Hirson’s riotous comedy in rhyming couplets evokes the farcical Baroque style of Molière while conveying a timeless message about high art versus low art.

Ian Merrill Peakes, Mary Martello, and Paul L. Nolan in Arden Theatre Company’s Incorruptible by Michael Hollinger. Photo by Mark Garvin

INCORRUPTIBLE (Arden): Laughter in the monastery

The set of Michael Hollinger’s witty INCORRUPTIBLE looks like it has been there for hundreds of years, transporting one back to the days of monks and minstrels. At the Abbey…

From left:  Mary Tuomanen (as Irina) Sarah Sanford (as Olga),and Katharine Powell (as Masha) as the ‘Three Sisters’ in the Arden Theatre Company production of Anton Chekhov’s play. (Photo courtesy of Mark Garvin)

Conversations on Chekhov: What gimmicks? The Arden’s THREE SISTERS has a lasting effect

In September of 1900 Anton Chekhov confessed in a letter to his actress-wife Olga Knipper: “I find it very difficult to write THREE SISTERS, much more difficult than any other of my…

GHOSTS (People’s Light): Just give in to the melodrama

At People’s Light and Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s GHOSTS, the program note written by dramaturg Gina Pisasale discusses Ibsen’s life and work. In his theater, Pisasale tells us, Ibsen created…