Mary Carpenter

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THE NEW & IMPROVED STAGES OF GRIEF (Act II): Laughing through tears

Philadelphia’s queen of comedy takes on a dark subject with humor and heart.

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THIS WONDERFUL LIFE (Act II): Every time a bell rings…

Tony Braithwaite re-enacts a holiday film classic in Act II Playhouse’s THIS WONDERFUL LIFE.

Jennifer Childs and Tony Braithwaite star in the world
premiere of their original comedy cabaret, ON THE ROAD AGAIN at Act II Playhouse. 
Photo by plate3.com.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN (Act II): 60-second review

What better way to celebrate the cluster that is travel but with a charming show all about it in Ambler!

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MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT (Act II Playhouse): 60-second review

Presented in variety-show style with skits, songs, and improv sessions, this show is downright funny.

Jennifer Childs and Tony Lawton star as Celia and Toby Teasdale in 1812 Productions’ INTIMATE EXCHANGES (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

Intimate Exchanges (1812 Productions): Fringe Review 1.2

What makes film different from theater is that film is fixed forever, performances and lines repeating endlessly year after year, while theater has the ability to surprise us. And what makes theater different from life is that theater is scripted and life is random, unexpected, not planned out ahead of time. And what makes Philadelphia’s FringeArts Festival fun is that it delights in performances that confound expectations.

Jennifer Childs as Sylvie Bell and Tony Lawton as Lionel Hepplewick in 1812’s INTIMATE EXCHANGES (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

INTIMATE EXCHANGES (1812 Productions): Fringe Review 1.1

Alan Ayckbourn’s inventive rom-com about failing and budding mid-life relationships in suburban London is that the play (or more accurately, the first volume of the playwright’s original two-volume work that is performed here) offers sixteen plot options and eight different endings. And for the first time in its production history, 1812 shines the spotlight on random members of the audience to decide spontaneously which path the characters should take as they reach a series of crossroads in their lives.